How To Eliminate Stress From a Special Diet Plan
Five Helpful Hints
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with food allergies or need to follow a special diet, the transition to your new diet and lifestyle can be overwhelming. These tips can help reduce the stress that you may be experiencing.
Don’t rush yourself: Start with the basics and take your time learning about your food allergies or special diet. Learn about which foods and specific ingredients you are and are not allowed to eat on your special diet. Create a “yes” and “no” list and post it on your refrigerator to reference. Learn about hidden sources of food allergens and cross contamination from trusted experts, publications, organizations and research centres. Ask family and friends if they can recommend books to you that they have found helpful. Victoria Yeh is a Toronto-based cookbook author. Her cookbook, Where Do I Start? offers easy-to-follow advice and recipes for those with multiple food allergies/intolerances.
Make healthy food choices: Learn how to manage your new diet the right way—by incorporating healthy foods. For example, stick to clean, nutrient-dense whole foods, and avoid those that are refined/processed, packaged and filled with sugar and salt. Eating wholesome foods will help you to feel at your best and conquer stress.
Consider joining a support group: Although you might not be feeling very social, a support group could be just what the doctor ordered. Food Allergy Canada (www.foodallergycanada.ca) can point you in the right direction. Support groups offer a variety of events, emotional support, helpful information and opportunities to make meaningful new friendships.
Get moving: The benefits of physical exercise are endless — choose something you enjoy, sign up and make a habit of participating. Consider a variety of forms of physical fitness. Exercise is great for your gut, hormones, serotonin levels and chronic disease prevention, to name a few. Yoga is good for our digestive system and provides meditation that can help us to refocus. Do you like to dance? Consider dance classes, such as Zumba, salsa, belly dancing and hip hop. Go for a meditative walk or jog. There are so many choices. Whether you invite a partner or enjoy physical activities in solitude, build fitness into your schedule.
Try new recipes: There are many wonderful, healthy allergy-friendly cookbooks available. You’ll also find easy, nutritious recipes available online, created by talented allergy-friendly food bloggers, chefs and cookbook authors. Experiment with new recipes with loved ones and have fun with it. Find a quality, all-purpose allergy-free flour that you can use as a 1:1 replacement to recreate your favourite family recipes.
Lisa Cantkier is a holistic nutritionist and lifelong celiac who specializes in food allergies and special diets. For more information, visit LisaCantkier.com