How do I stay satisfied without grains?
I know it’s not easy; I live it every day, so I can empathize with your feelings of frustration, sadness, anger and deprivation. I’m not a nutritionist or doctor here to tell you why it’s a healthier way of living, but I can tell you from my own experience that it changed my life. I don’t have a degree to help guide me along these life choices I’ve found myself having to make, and I was (at many times) just plain pissed off about my situation. I often wondered why I got the crappy end of the health stick, why I can’t be like “everyone else” and just go out to eat without needing a manager to come to my table to guide me on what was allergen-free, or ask for a special menu. I felt the need to apologize to wait staff for being so high maintenance with my orders.
What I learned along the way is that I am stronger than I gave myself credit for. As my health started to improve, and my physical self was getting stronger, my emotional self was as well. What a great feeling to finally have my body, heart and mind all be in sync! I no longer make excuses for having to run to the bathroom. Gone are the terrible headaches and body aches, cramps, horribly heavy menstrual cycles and fatigue. My skin is no longer dried and cracking. No more heartburn, tummy cramps, constipation and diarrhea.
I quickly realized that avoiding grains was ABSOLUTELY worth it! The rewards of living grain-free far outweighed the inconveniences, and by learning to cook and bake with alternative flours (think almond & coconut flours) I was still able to enjoy foods and feel good. And, no, I don’t cheat because I quickly fall right back into a vicious cycle of symptoms. And since I don’t miss how crappy I used to feel, it’s really not an issue for me to stick with this way of life.
It’s helpful to have a strong support system helping you stay on track. Like with any life choices that require will power and a change of habit, living grain-free requires dedication, discipline and (is much easier with) a support system of family and friends that will help you embrace your new food choices. I’ll admit that living grain-free requires more prep time, and more trips to the market since most of what I eat is now fresh (not pre-packaged). Not to say that you need to eat only fresh foods, but it will make your quest to be grain and gluten-free much easier to control.
Take a moment to breathe.
You will absolutely love your new life. Just take a moment to breathe through those times when you feel overwhelmed, frustrated or sad. Take some time to develop new habits an traditions related to food and you will learn to love your new way of life!
And remember, it’s a lucky person that wakes up every day, puts two feet on the ground and starts a new day. So, love each day as only you can, and try to be grateful for your journey, or change the path you’re on until you can.