By Dietitian Jill
Part of what I do as an alternative healer and food sensitivity tester is to tell people what they can and can’t eat. It’s not my fave thing as I honor all foods as nourishing and nurturing.
But if avoiding, for example, turkey and chicken (some of my own sensitive foods) can get people well I’m all for it.
A lot of my pained and otherwise ill clients ditch sensitive foods and never look back. But sometimes giving up these foods requires a grieving process that may be both profound and prolonged.
Getting test results back takes two weeks of so. And most clients can’t wait to get them … they often e-mail or call me wondering where they are.
So when one failed to contact me for a month, I wondered what was up. When she finally did, she gave me several reasons why she’d delayed. And ended by saying, “And I need time to grieve over the loss of coffee!”
But when I talked to her this morning, she said “once I committed to doing it, it was a breeze.” Many people have difficulty giving up the foods they love. She assured me that she didn’t. But I still wasn’t sure.
My clients begin their programs with the best of intentions. But often end up waffling and wavering after the first few weeks.
It’s almost as if they have an addiction to these foods. Which isn’t far-fetched.
How to Give Up Cherished Foods without a Tussle
When I was creating programs to support addicts through detoxification and recovery, I discovered that many who drink to excess are actually allergic to alcohol. And have the worst times detoxing from it. They’re also the ones that relapse most often.
So it’s not a stretch to believe that we might also be allergic-addicted to foods we’re sensitive to, especially since we’ve probably been eating them for a long time without knowing it. Until we’re tested, that is. I keep hearing from clients when I review their results, “I eat that every day!”
So if you ARE allergic-addicted, or just miss foods you have to give up for your greater good, how can you possibly do that? Here are some ideas:
You’ve Gotta have a Powerful WHY
I bring this up constantly in my articles because it’s crucial for change. If you don’t have a goal … and a great reason to change behind it, you ain’t gonna do it! I never saw a more motivated bunch ready to eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day than my cancer patients. Or those with no other answer than finding out what foods might be making them sick.
But why don’t you start right now. Sit down with your favorite writing implement and whatever pad or notebook you’d like and begin writing down everything that comes into your head about why you want to change.
There have been tons of studies that show that handwriting not only boosts memory and the ability to understand concepts and facts but is also crucial for creativity. So it makes total sense to do it while you’re trying to access the deepest recesses of your mind and heart.
Grieve it …
Another client grieved eggs for two months. She opened every session we had together with “boy, do I miss eggs!”
Mourning the loss of something in your lifestyle is just as important and mourning the loss of a beloved pet or even a cherished person. It’s part of our human process.
I remember bursting into tears over the accident that took my only brand-new car (I’ve had vintage Datsun 280Z’s ever since). My boyfriend at the time was smart enough to tell everyone that I was grieving my car.
I was also, however, mourning the final vestige of my marriage as my husband had bought the car for me. So is grieving a complex process? Darn right it is!
So Grieve It Already …
I was never close with my dad. Yet I mourned him for so long that a well-meaning friend finally said to me, “Enough already”.
I fortunately snapped right out of my funk. Now I realize that a food isn’t the same as a parent … beloved or otherwise. But we do have a special relationship with some foods … and even more so if we have an actual or emotional addiction to them.
Yet there comes a time when you absolutely have to put an end to the grieving process. Set a stop date, do some writing, ritual, guided imagery … one of my favorite ways to get rid of unwanted stuff …or any other spiritual process of your choosing, and move on!
Focus on what you CAN Eat
I always start my food sensitivity sessions by telling clients this. Because, when they can look at what’s actually available to them, they feel better.
And just the knowledge that they finally know what foods are “safe” is a huge psychological coup. It minimizes the pain of the foods that they have to give up.
I also truly believe that knowing what’s “safe” to eat is as powerful as the physical healing process. Celebrate the foods you CAN eat and prepare them lovingly … they present you with the gift of wellness.
So if you must mourn foods … do. If you must, do it fully, using writing, ritual, and even stomping on them (put them in a plastic bag first puleeese). Then put a stop point on the grieving, focus upon what IS available, realize the glass IS half-full, and celebrate the entire process.