Sunday, October 16, 2011

Food Allergies and Diet

The food allergy lifestyle is not a diet.  Now don't get me wrong, eating this way can cause you to lose some weight........sometimes we even have to find creative ways to add some fat sources back into our diets.  But what is true with diets-most diets are a choice.  If you choose to follow them, you will see results.  If you choose not to follow your diet, you will see results all right-just not the right kind of results!

This is how the food allergy lifestyle and a diet differ.  The way we eat is not a choice.

There are no cheat days.

Eating everything "in moderation" to satisfy cravings is not an option.

The diet is not short-term until desired results have been achieved.

The lifestyle is usually for life.  It's all day, every day.

Sometimes I feel like others view our lifestyle as a fad diet.  They wonder when we'll fall off the bandwagon and go back to eating "regular" food.  It can be so discouraging when our diet is not taken seriously or when others predict our failure.

I've had doctors tell me that there was no way I could maintain this lifestyle.  They believed avoiding all of Bee's allergens was impossible, not only for her, but for our entire family.  These doctors tried to discourage me from transitioning our entire family to the allergy-free diet.

I've known other families who decided to go gluten free, casein free, or allergy free for reasons such as behavior problems in their children.  For all of these families, the diet change was a "want to" because they believed the diet was healthier or would produce positive behavior or health results for their families.  None of the families that I've met who attempted the diet for reasons other than allergies are still maintaining the diet.  And for families of children who only exhibited small reactions, many of those families don't practice strict avoidance.

So, we're really going this alone sometimes.  Our diet is not a fad for us; we don't get the option of falling off the bandwagon.  And despite what the doctors believed and told me, the diet is possible-not only for Bee but for our entire family.  We have made the change and we have been able to adjust.  We're also reaping the health benefits in that we are rarely sick.  The kids are growing and thriving.

But what matters to me is that Bee is safe.  I don't have to live with constant fear and worry when we're at home.  We can all sit at the table and share meals as a family, and if she reaches over and grabs food off my plate, it doesn't matter.  This is more than a diet; it's my family and it's our life.

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