Is your food sensitivity a reflection of your own mind?
Taking the order of a table with me and my four closest friends, is one of the most laughable experiences of my life.
Hello, may I take your order?
Friend: Sure, I’ll go first. May I have this plate without tomatoes, onion, and peppers? There’s no nuts in this right? (Check, nut allergy and personal distaste for raw onion, peppers, and tomatoes)
Okay, no problem.
Friend: I’ll have what she is having but with everything, excluding the cheese. (Check, lactose intolerant friend number one).
Okay, with all those and without cheese, got it!
Friend: I’m sensitive to dairy too, can I have this plate without the meat and cheese? Oh, and is there cream in that? (Check, vegetarian and lactose intolerant friend number two, as she rummages for her lactaid pills just in case)
Uh, okay. I don’t think so, but I can check. (Unconvincingly…)
Friend: Is there any way to make this entree without flour? Could I have avocado instead of bread? (Check, friend avoiding refined carbohydrates and added sugars)
So you don’t want any carbohydrates? Okay…
Rounding it off with my order: I want eggs and I like bacon, but I have a sensitivity to gluten, onion, garlic, and nightshade vegetables. I also don’t want the hollandaise sauce or any of the toppings. Can I combine this entree with this other plate without the sauces, and an added side of spinach?
Cue, dumbfounded stare. Excuse me?
Yep, that about sums up every restaurant experience during my recovery period from ulcerative colitis that lasted well over six years. Talk about a headache for the waiter– imagine the anxiety brewing in my brain, let alone my body!
What was once a simple joy in my life– eating– became such a stress-evoking experience, yet it had much less to do with the food than you think.
What constitutes a food sensitivity, anyway? A food sensitivity is when you experience digestive distress after consuming food. Have you ever recognized that you feel extra bloated after eating fried food? Or that your bowels are reacting to some meals and not others? Do you ever run to the bathroom after eating or have irregular elimination? These are just some of the signs of food sensitivity. If any of the above describes you, don’t worry! Most of us have all be there at one time or another– have you ever had a hard time keeping food down when you were extremely nervous? Our emotions play a huge role in the way we digest food; the way we digest food is a direct reflection of the ways we digest life!
When I was struggling with food sensitivity, I began expecting pain– perpetuating my anxiety with fear towards food. Naturally, those emotions strengthened, triggering even more distress and anxiety in social situations. I craved control– over the food, the pain, and my life. When navigating restaurant menus felt akin to navigation through a minefield, it became clear: there was more to it than the food. Yes, eating nourishing, organic foods is always a great idea, yet fearfully controlling food intake is not a healthy solution to food sensitivity. I recognized that the energy I brought to the dinner table had a huge impact on how I was able to digest my food.
So, if you are experiencing digestive distress and believe you may have a food sensitivity, begin to recognize how you feel before, during, and after eating. Recognize your emotional environments around the eating experience. If you are feeling deep emotions, it may be most beneficial to work through those emotions before consuming food as anger, fear, or sadness can not only affect the way your subconscious perceives the food, but can have a huge impact on the ability of the digestive system to do its job well.
Start by bringing awareness to the underlying triggers, emotions, and lifestyle habits that surround your digestive distress. You have the power to create, reverse, and transform your digestive reality!
For more support with your food sensitivity, join Live Your Fit and Free Lifestyle FB Group at fitandfreelifestyle.com