Are you cheating on your diet?
Is it affecting your progress towards recovery or causing weight gain? How can you say no the bread basket, the wedding toast, or office donuts without being rude? Following the Lyme anti-inflammatory diet is hard sometimes, but these tips can help you stay the course. The payoff is better health, less inflammation, and weight control.
Following the Lyme Diet is Hard; Are you Cheating on Your Diet?
Maintaining a special diet for Lyme or other health condition is hard! It’s hard enough when you are eating anti-inflammatory, low carb, gluten, and dairy free. Now throw in the avoidance of other foods you are sensitive to, and it can feel impossible and overwhelming.
I know first hand how this feels. Here is just one quick example of the types of social pressures we can face on a daily basis. Last school year, a teacher friend of mine brought in donuts for her students. She is super nice and so offered me a beautiful, scrumptious looking chocolate glazed donut with sprinkles. When I politely refused while my mouth watered, she said something like, “Just eat a damn donut you skinny b****!” We laughed because we both knew she was just kidding (kind of). It was hard for me to say no then to be teased about not partaking made it that much harder.
But, what do you do when your well-meaning friends are really insulted if you don’t sample their homemade goodies? If they think you are no fun to be around because you always order salad with plain fish or chicken and no dressing? How can you say no to that slice of cake your boss buys for your birthday? Then of course there are the special holiday treats we are expected to partake in.
So, are you cheating on your diet? Perhaps you think you’re not. “Oh, one bite won’t hurt.” you say to yourself. Yes, it actually does hurt the healing process. Eating just one bite of a food you are sensitive to, can set you back months. Yes, that’s right, months. I think my doctor told me three. She said if I decide to eat something I shouldn’t, I need to be ready to feel the effects for what could be up to three months. I usually think of this little fact and end up concluding that it’s just not worth it.
Some of the strategies I list below may seem like common sense but when you’re in the moment, it can be very difficult to resist temptation. These tips just may come to your mind next time you find yourself being handed the bread basket at a restaurant.
Are you Cheating on your Diet?
Here are some strategies that helped me stay the course when I was working to heal my gut and treat the Lyme. I had to be very strict about my diet.
1. Do not let yourself get too hungry. When you are refusing food in a very hungry state, you’re trying to fight the laws of nature. You might lose. Willpower can only carry you so far. When that blood sugar dips, all you want is pure carbohydrate sugar with every cell of your being. So, eat enough at your meals to hold you over and bring snacks with you when traveling to avoid being over-hungry.
2. Cook at home as often as possible and make yourself some treats so you are not feeling deprived all the time. Prolonged feelings of deprivation lead to intense cravings and likely, bingeing.
2. Remember it is not worth it! Natural consequences can be great motivation. Eat it, feel sick, repeat. Eventually you learn. This is kind of like touching a hot stove right?
3. Have substitutes prepared and ready to go. Freeze the treats you make in single servings. Bring a guilt-free dish you know you can enjoy when you go to a party. At least there will be one thing on the menu you can eat. If you have a homemade, allergy-free, low carb treat with you, you are much less likely to give in to the junk.
4. Be honest with those people who are easily offended or pushy. Beating around the bush to spare feelings just doesn’t work. I have found the following statement works pretty well. “Thank you for offering. It looks and smells wonderful! Unfortunately, I can’t have any. My doctor has given me strict orders to be (gluten, dairy-free, or insert your food sensitivity here) to help my body fight inflammation and heal from Lyme or whatever health condition you may have.
5. It takes some inner strength and determination to do this. It also takes self-respect. Love and respect yourself enough to make the right choices, even if it’s hard sometimes.
6. Avoidance may be necessary for a while in the beginning. Avoid the situations you know will set you up for temptation. Instead of going out to lunch with coworkers, pack and eat lunch at a picnic table in a quiet setting. If you finish early, take a walk. Take a real break from work during lunch. Sometimes that includes a people-break so you can recharge.
7. Hang out with people in the same boat as you more often. If you’re with friends who understand your situation, it is a lot easier to stay the course together. You can support each other, share recipes and ideas, and there is no need to make excuses for eating healthy.
8. If you have small kids on a restricted diet, you will need to speak to teachers or other caregivers. Send notes and reminders throughout the school year because we teachers sometimes forget things. We have a lot of kids to keep track of. You can also send in large packages of snacks to be kept on hand in case of emergencies. Ask them to inform you ahead of time if there will be a party involving food. Try to make your child’s treat as similar to what everyone else is having as possible. They don’t want to feel different.
Are you cheating on your diet? You don’t have to! Follow these tips and stay the course. You are worth the sacrifice! The bottom line is that you will be cooking at home a lot and freezing extra meals and snacks whenever you can. You will be packing lunches, not buying.
We will continue to post recipes and there are so many great ideas for allergy free foods available. Also for ready made grab-and-go options, some of our favorites are: Epic Bar Bison Flavor, Paleo Bars.
Remember to treat yourself from time to time with something yummy so you are not deprived. With all the allergy free versions of recipes available, there is no need to eat a tasteless, boring diet all the time.
*Disclaimer: The information provided in this website is for informational purposes. It is based on my own personal experiences and opinions. I am not a medical doctor and what is written should not be used to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. The product links are not meant to be construed as medications or treatments and you should consult your doctor before taking any supplements, herbal products, or starting exercise programs.