This week, I have talked fairly extensively about healing diets and how we got started on ours. I covered our diet in detail in the first post, and yesterday talked about some difficulties that we have had to overcome to make this whole thing work. Today, I want to share some tips that I think have helped us as we’ve journeyed through this process, in hopes that they might help you too.
1. Always remember your “why.” Think about all the reasons you chose to do it, and the progress you’ve made, or are making. I remember when we were in full-time ministry, someone told us how important it was to remember God’s call on our lives to be in ministry. Times would get really tough, things that would happen that would drag us down, and there would assuredly be moments that we would want to give up. In those times, often the only thing you have to go back to is that call God placed on your life. It’s true with just about anything worth doing. You’ve got to remember that commitment you made in the first place and the basis for it, and all the positives that are and will come out of it. Often that will bring everything else into focus.
2. Focus on what you can have, rather than what you can’t. There are far more foods that are allowed than ones that aren’t, but for whatever reason, people always seem to get caught up in and dragged down by the “forbidden fruit.” My friend Mandy suggests sitting down and making a list of all those “I can” foods because it helps to see them all on paper. If there’s a particular food that you love that is allowed, indulge in that (within reason, of course)! When we first got started, I didn’t want my boys to feel totally deprived of the things that they couldn’t have, so I began by making some of their most favorite dishes that we could have. And I found a couple of recipes for sweets that were diet-approved and made them. Sure, they have missed some of their other favorite things, but they have so fully enjoyed the ones they can have that it’s helped their mindset a lot. We’ve tried lots of new things and they have developed new tastes and new favorites. And we just don’t think about the other stuff that often.
3. Lighten up, and don’t stress out about everything. One of the things that our doctor told us in the very beginning was that it will do us more harm to stress out about the diet all the time than to just eat some things here and there that are not on it. Healing doesn’t happen, or doesn’t happen very quickly, in an over-stressed environment. Sometimes it’s better just to “fudge” a little here and there than it is to get all stressed over it. That being said, if you’re “fudging” ALL the time, you’re defeating the purpose of the diet. But there are times when it’s better just to eat a little something that you shouldn’t than to kill yourself to keep from it. This one is a little hard for me sometimes because I am one of those over-achiever types. But we do fudge on occasion to lighten our load a little. Of course, I would say this doesn’t apply to foods that you absolutely know will make you sick. I would avoid those ALL the time because otherwise you’re avoiding the stress on the front end, but creating more on the back end.
4. Don’t let other people discourage you. Yes, unfortunately it’s easy to let others bring you down when what you’re doing goes against the grain. People don’t necessarily mean to be unsupportive, but they tend to be anyway, especially when they don’t understand things. People will say all kinds of things like, “That’s just crazy.” or “It’s a shame that a kid has to go through life without getting to experience (insert poison-laden popular treat here).” or “One (sugar-filled piece of junk) isn’t going to kill your son. Can’t he just have it, this once?” Or in the case of my child, people will often just give him stuff without even asking my permission first. He has gotten to the point now where he will tell people that he can’t have something if he knows for a fact that it isn’t on his diet. Even if he suspects, he will pass on it just in case. He’s amazing. Most kids would just eat whatever they could when their mom wasn’t looking. But we have explained to him the why, and he understands and is on board with that. And he even encourages me in the midst of discouragement! Seriously amazing for a 7-year-old. It’s also helpful to find others who are like-minded. Seeking the support of others who DO understand is really great, if you know people who fall into this category. And then, referring back to #3–lighten up about it. One piece of junk probably isn’t actually going to kill anyone 🙂
5. Be patient.Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you’re not going to be able to undo years of damage to your body in one either. In my case, I have had layers of stuff to peel back and work through, so it’s been a time-consuming process. Know that going in, and remember it when you feel like it’s taking forever and a day. You’ll get there. It just takes time. If you can learn to enjoy the journey, you will be much happier, and the time will go faster. Take inventory of the things that are going well in your life because of what you are doing and stop to smell those roses. Ask the Lord to show you ways that you can minister to people through this time. You are making a difference in your life, and can in others’ too.
6. Celebrate your healing! Whether you’re starting to see some improvement, or hitting a huge milestone, be encouraged and pat yourself on the back! This is why you’re doing what you’re doing, and it’s very exciting to see that happen! Don’t hesitate to throw yourself a little party! And be sure to thank the Lord for helping you achieve your purpose! Even small steps are a big deal, so celebrate!!
I have spent the last couple of years looking for recipes, and adapting recipes that fit our diet. I want to share some of that with you, although this will have to come a little at a time since I don’t have them all ready. In April, I posted a Recipe Roundup of different dinner dishes. Not all of those fit with our current diet, but I have placed blue stars by the ones that do. You’ll see that most of the recipes fall within our parameters, which is encouraging! There are certain recipes that I do make, and simply leave out certain ingredients that don’t align with our diet (like a cheese topping, for example) or change them up slightly (use almond milk for regular milk or cream, or use white wheat flour for white), and I have starred those as well. Feel free to contact me if you have questions about subbing any ingredients in these. I am working on putting together a Recipe Roundup of breakfast dishes, desserts, snack foods, and other categories. And I will star the recipes on those lists too, in the same manner. There are a few recipes on my site already that fit with our diet, and they include:
- Granola (I’ll mix up a giant batch of this and we’ll eat on it for days—so handy when you don’t want to fix something for breakfast every day)
- Warm Blueberry Crumble
- Breakfast Cookies
- Our Favorite Chicken Casserole
- Spaghetti Sauce
- Quinoa and Wild Rice Stuffed Squash
I will post more as I can. There also some great websites that can help you find recipes you are looking for. Some of these include:
There’s a new one I haven’t really checked out yet called supercook.com where you can click on the ingredients you have and want to use and it will find recipes with only those ingredients. Also, I have pinned a bunch of recipes on Pinterest to my boards called Dairy Free Delights, Gluten Free, and Sans Sugar (refined sugar free recipes). They are not organized in the best way, and there a plenty of recipes on my other food boards that fit the bill for our diet, but I haven’t had a chance to sort them all out yet. But if you’re interested in looking through to find something that appeals to you, that’s another good place to start.
Healing diets certainly have their challenges, but the rewards are huge. I encourage you to consider doing one if you are looking to improve your life and your health! It’s well worth the effort. And as always, I would love to hear your thoughts and comments about this topic! Thanks for reading!