I am often asked how I overcome the issue of being served food I am intolerant to when eating at friends or social events. Personally this is something I don’t get to uptight about, because I subscribe to the 80:20 ratio when it comes to eating. Meaning if I eat something here and there that is technically not on my list of recommended or tolerated foods, as long as I am not straying more than 10 – 20% of the time, I tend not to experience any negative effects with my digestion ( like bloating or tummy aches) or the auto immune condition I suffer – Hashimoto’s.
Take lunch with my girlfriends Sal and Viv on Sunday, we all brought along a dish and the host Sal, (that’s the other Sal), cooked up a beautiful sweet potatoe and sage pie and spinach and leek quiche. (You can find my gluten free adaptions for the sweet potatoe & sage pie here). They were both an absolute taste sensation and although they contained wheat, cow’s dairy and honey – ingredients I would normally avoid in my day to day eating, I did not get hung up about eating them as I avoid gluten, cow’s dairy and sugar 80 – 90 % of the time. But I did choose to give the crusty bread on offer a swerve , as I knew this would be ‘gluten overload’ for me.
Because I ate gluten, cow’s dairy and sugar on Sunday, I’ll be sure to avoid foods containing these allergens for the next few weeks. I do this to prevent triggering an inflammatory immune response that could ignite symptoms associated with my auto immune, or for others you may experience symptoms associated with IBS, skin conditions, headaches, even depression and anxiety can be exascerbated from eating gluten, sugar and artificial additives in particular.
When it comes to recipes containing wheat, cow’s dairy and sugar, remember you can pretty much always find ingredients to substitute these with. Once you get a handle on working with the gluten and cow’s dairy alternatives, there will be no need to feel like you’re missing out, or that you are some freak of nature when it comes to food and I guarantee your friends won’t know the difference when you serve up some GF, DF and SF recipes!
My final tip regarding eating foods that you are intolerant to – as I mentioned it’s important to avoid the offending food such as gluten or cow’s dairy, for a good 4 weeks after consumption, to completely recover from the impact on your immune and digestive system, although this time frame may vary from each individual, depending on the degree of sensitivity – so test this out for yourself.
I see many folks eating foods they are intolerant to a couple of times a week under the misconception they are ‘avoiding’ it, but in reality this level of intake is too much if you are trying to eliminate the effects food intolerance’s and allergies are having on your health. So be sure to keep a close eye on just how often you are eating high allergenic foods such as gluten and cow’s dairy, as well as sugar, as you may be suprised at just how often these foods are sneaking into your diet!
If you eat what’s right for your body at least 80% of the time, then those social occasions when it is just too hard to pass up on the foods that are not so great, will be less likely to impact on your health, or weight for that matter.
And remember, when it comes to healing from the effects of food intolerance’s and allergies, it is just as important to ‘fix your gut’ in conjunction with avoiding the offending foods. This is because the state and function of your digestive system has a direct impact on your immune system’s reaction to foods likely to trigger intolerances and allergies.