So, how is it going? Right about now, you might be buoyed by success, or frustrated at the “restrictions” you now feel confined to exist within. Or a mix of both? Regarding the later: stop thinking about what you can’t or shouldn’t eat, and start thinking about what you can! When people hear that I can’t eat what constitutes the majority of a typical American diet, they look at me appalled and gape, “but then what do you eat?!” This always causes me to smile, and I respond, “why everything else!” It just involves a little bit of creativity and perseverance to step outside the norm and put your health first. What do you do when you can’t eat breakfast from a box or container? You learn to make your own. Just because the food industry says breakfast should be sugary, quick and packaged, doesn’t mean that’s right for you. You have to find your own voice, because you’re an individual, not a lemming, and individuals require individualized eating plans! So, a new opportunity has presented itself to you – a chance to go against the grain, change your perspective, and see what kind of delicious creativity follows!

Rich Roll eloquently sums up this concept and everything we have been talking about here:

“This is not about deprivation. Instead, it’s about a willingness to release old ideas you’ve harbored your whole life about what a healthy diet entails. It’s about being open to the adventure of experimentation, exploring and rediscovering whole foods in their natural state. It’s about developing an enhanced connection to and relationship with your body, learning to pay greater attention to the nexus between the foods you eat and how you feel and function. And ultimately, it’s about developing a more acute intuition about what truly serves you, so you can reprogram yourself to make better choices that are in your best long-term interest physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.”

In my own personal journey, small changes weren’t that hard, but the two big changes I needed to make were so hard to mentally accept that I had to reach the point of being very sick before I was finally ready to listen to my body. I’ve always been great at seeing both sides of a discussion and debating one or both sides with eloquent, convincing determination. So, you can imagine the internal struggle between body and mind. Complicated by the fact that it’s not just internal: if you live in a city, eating out can be daunting. At first, I would cheat even though I didn’t want to simply because I didn’t want to be a burden or to embarrass my dining partners. But, nearly every restaurant you go to has something you can eat regardless of your requirements, it just might not be obvious from the menu. You have to take the extra step and say out loud, “I have X sensitivity or allergy, what would you suggest?” or “can you make substitutions here?” It really only takes about 1 extra minute total when I’m out, and servers and chefs are generally very open to accommodating you. But, you need to be accommodated, and that can be a really hard hurdle to get over and might even lead to feelings of embarrassment. This is not insurmountable! Your health is worth the extra minute! And, you will probably come to find that your dining partners not only don’t mind, they admire your dedication. So, own it!