Oh what a difference a year makes

Friday, June 18, 2010

It's been roughly a year since I began with an elimination diet that led to figuring out some of what is bothering my poor guts. I'm getting close now. And it's amazing the changes that have happened to me in the last year- really.

I made mention in my "cupcakes" post that a palate can be trained. We all know this instinctively. Have you ever tried baby food? It tastes like...well...nothing really. But your wee babe is lapping that up and is so excited about having a strong flavour in his mouth (other than the garlic and onion tint to his milk after mom's had fajitas..woops). In any event, that palate is virtually blank at that point, and we add to it...condition it to react to different foods.  A year or two ago, my youngest would not eat produce. She would eat the odd blueberry and she's always been a broccoli fan, but anything else was virtually impossible. But we kept at it. And at it. And at it. We finally "broke" that child and she now eats a great variety of fruit and veggies. There is still room for improvement mind you, but she is leaps and bounds ahead. We trained her palate to see that there was more to life than carbs, meat and cheese. If your child eats hot dogs and pizza every day, there is hope. You can make changes, and eventually if you just keep offering, giving incentives, and most importantly being a role model of healthy eating, you can make a difference.

For me, I've come to a few realizations as of late. The biggest one is that I no longer like things that were my "norm". I used to drink rum and Coke zero with my father in law when we saw him. Now, the chemically acid-sweet taste is just too much for me. I just can't choke it down anymore. It is TRULY awful. Regular coke? I haven't been able to drink that for years. I can no longer drink full-strength juice either. It's just too sweet. Same goes for ketchup. I even bought an organic ketchup sweetened with agave (rather than that horrible white sugar) but you know, I just don't like that kind of sweet anymore. Milk chocolate? forget it. I like chocolate that is dark and crunchy and dense- at least 80% cocoa. Despite being anti-dairy, I did allow myself a little butter recently when I baked a fresh gluten free loaf. Know what? SALTY. WAY way waaaaaaay too salty. Super gross actually. Again, it's amazing what happens to your expectations when you train your brain to like certain foods. It would be quite difficult to go back at this point, and that is what I need to keep reminding myself of when I go to a party and see everyone eating that cheap slab cake that I used to LOVE (where the icing is so thick with sugar, it's like sand in your teeth?). I can't eat it anymore because it's made with wheat, but in the end, even if I did, I would more than likely be totally grossed out: wheat flour with no nutrients, fat, and sugar. Ew.

So there you have it. Here I am on the other side of a year, after thinking I couldn't ever do that for even a month. I am healthier, have more energy, have better guts (for the most part!), less acne (as long as I'm strict about the milk!) and am super proud of myself. Yeah, I still remain the single worst person to share a meal with (if you're a typical North American eater) but I'm working my way through the social aspects. I'm trying. Maybe eventually the restaurant industry will catch up and there will be more places I can go for a gluten-free vegan breakfast...or maybe not. :)  But in the interim, I'll keep rockin' on, trying to help others who are ready to make a change to nutrient-dense foods.

Happy, healthy eating, folks!


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