If you learn about food, it starts to feel like you only hear bad news. If every food has something wrong with it, then what are we supposed to eat?
Our family diet has changed dramatically in the last couple of years because of research and food intolerance. It can be overwhelming to say the least.
The latest food we’ve had to watch out for is sugar. Lane never ate much sugar anyway for two reasons:
- We haven’t told her about candy.
- There’s a shortage of baked goods at our house. (If you substitute flour and butter, is it still a cookie?)
Recently I found a recipe for a cookie that was both gluten and casein-free. It was a big deal, and we baked together, and Lane got to eat some since it was such a special treat.
Four hours later at 11:30 p.m., Lane was jumping up and down on my bed. She couldn’t calm down after the sugar. For the next two days she turned into a crazy child after eating cookies.
So now sugar is added to the list of MSG, caramel color, gluten, casein, and a couple hundred processed ingredients that make Lane and Doug sick. It rules out the majority of packaged foods.
My kitchen now holds products like psyllium, cod liver oil, and probiotics. We keep grains like quinoa, millet, and amaranth. We have almond milk, rice milk, and hemp milk. I had never heard of most of these before two years ago.
When I hear about other people feeling overwhelmed, trying to start over and learn how to cook with entirely new methods, and missing old comfort food, I can relate. My cooking now resembles experiments, with more failures than success. I don’t use any of my old recipes.
I could never have managed without people sharing their knowledge and experience online. It’s how I figured out Doug’s milk intolerance was due to casein, and he didn’t need the acid reflux medicine the doctor had prescribed. It’s how I first realized that Lane had a gluten intolerance, and she wasn’t just small like her doctor thought.
Even though I’m reluctant to make more changes, I’m cheered that all of the changes are so much healthier. Food is personal and tied to so many past memories and feelings. I take it in little steps. My strategy is to choose food with as few “messed-with” ingredients on the label as possible. No one ever says “you know, I really think it would help you to eat more processed foods.”
A few more personal stories about changing food habits:
- My Journey To Nourishing Food — from Nourishing Days
- Panel: How Did You Get Started? — from The Nourishing Gourmet