5 things I learned from eliminating certain foods from my diet

by Kim on April 9, 2013

 

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that my son Mason has multiple food allergies. When we first discovered that, I had to make a decision: quit breastfeeding, or continue, but cut out every single one of his allergens from my diet.

Namely: dairy, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, and tree nuts. (Well, and peas, but that wasn’t exactly a hardship.)

nursing

Our BFing experience had been going awesome, so I decided to stick with it, and I immediately eliminated all the foods.

The whole experience was ultimately pretty life-changing for me (you can read more about it here, here, here, here, and here). I learned a lot about myself, met new foods, expanded my cooking skills, got really good at reading food labels, and opened my mind to all kinds of different eating styles (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan).

Now that it’s (technically) over, I wanted to take a minute to share some of the things I learned along the way.

1. I don’t NEED to eat any particular food.

(Despite what I might think or say…)

At first, I was all “the SECOND this is over, I’m going out and getting a WENDY’S FROSTY.” It was like this prize on a pedestal, just because I couldn’t have it. Today, over a month after I officially quit breastfeeding, I still haven’t had a frosty.

I still don’t drink regular milk or eat much cheese, either—which is crazy, because one of the things I struggled with most in the beginning was that I realized I barely knew how to cook without cheese. Turns out it’s not that important after all.

Really, no one food is.

masehighchair I would like to add “any vegetable” to the list of foods that are not important.

2. It’s easier to adapt than you might think.

At first, I was like, “If I can’t eat all this stuff, seriously, WHAT IS LEFT?” I was totally clueless, scared to eat anything, and unable to fathom finding 3 meals a day, everyday, that I could actually have.

It took a lot of extra time and effort up front, but eventually, the new diet became second nature to me. A few months into it, I couldn’t even remember what we used to eat. I forgot that eggs even existed, or that it’s pretty standard to put cheese on tacos.

3. It’s easier to make changes when there’s an outside motivator.

I had the strongest motivator I can think of: if I ate something I shouldn’t, it would cause someone else (my own baby) pain.

eating
How could you hurt…me??? (*Activate Precious Moments Eyes*)

But there are plenty of other outside motivators that are more accessible and still effective, like coaches and accountability groups. Or, hey, healthy living blogs. Smile

4. The real key to weight control is not eating less, it’s eating clean.

Of course I lost some weight during this process—it was a lot of foods to eliminate at once, and they were pretty staple foods for me previously. (PS, don’t worry: I was in contact with a nutritionist during that time.)

But I never ate less—in fact, since I was still breastfeeding, I was over vigilant about making sure I got enough calories. I chowed.

funnyIt’s so cute that you put me in this chair everyday, but I’ll just wait for the milk. Thanks!

Really, the reason for the weight loss was just that I was essentially being redirected toward a cleaner, more whole-foods-based lifestyle.

Now, I’m retaining a lot of the habits I learned during this adventure, but I’m SO happy to be eating peanut butter and eggs again! I’ve maybe gained a pound or two back, now that I can eat pizza again (haha), but I’m still eating a lot cleaner than I used to. And thanks to that, I now have a totally new “plateau weight” where my body likes to be. (I always thought my body was “happy” at my old weight, but it seems even happier here.)

5. Little or no dairy makes me feel good.

In fact, the more I think about and research dairy, the less convinced I am that it needs to have any place in our diets.

Now, even though I can have it again, I’ve cut down on it drastically just because I’ve found that I feel better that way.

mase

Have you ever tried eliminating certain foods to see how you felt?

I know a lot of people have tried cutting things like dairy, soy, and gluten. And a lot of people have learned interesting things about their bods that way!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Suz April 15, 2013 at 9:41 pm

I don’t eat most of those either (and feel so much better for it), but just curious about eggs. How did they affect you? I think I’d find them pretty hard to give up as I tend to use them in so many things!
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Kim April 19, 2013 at 2:44 pm

I didn’t find them nearly as difficult to eliminate as dairy, soy, and wheat, but I did miss them! I don’t think eggs affect me in any negative way–I was only giving them up because my son is allergic and I was breastfeeding. Now that I’m done, I’ve been eating eggs almost daily! :)

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Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome April 9, 2013 at 10:43 pm

I agree, Clean Eating Rocks! I’m doing back to mostly Paleo, which is pretty much what you described, because I just feel better without gluten and dairy.
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GiGi Eats Celebrities April 9, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Clean Eating = KING!!! Seriously, it is! :) It’s the closest thing to a “one-sized fits all” diet out there! Wait, not a diet, lifestyle!

Oh and, I agree about the dairy thing – I honestly feel like no one should be consuming dairy, but of course that’s a crazy controversy!
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