My Food Life {and what I really think}

{Warning: This is a rant. This is not pointed at anyone in particular. This is simply how I feel and what I am never able to say to people.)

It would be a gross understatement to say that food is a big part of my life. Sometimes I feel that food IS my life. Figuring out what to eat, shopping for it, preparing, learning new ways to make the best of what I have. And having a good attitude about it.

For those that may not know, I live on a diet made up of vegetables, nuts, beans and a small bit of fruit. And that’s it. I’ve been working on this diet for over four years. I have eliminated all of the following: wheat, gluten, grains of any sort (including rice and oats), caffeine, corn, sugar, all artificial colorings and sweeteners, potatoes, squash (with the exception of pumpkin), chocolate, soy and most vinegars.

It’s part of my journey to cure myself from a form of what I have come to call hormonal and diet-related epilepsy.

Its always interesting to tell people about my food life and what I do or don’t eat. They tend to stare at me, jaw dropped and eyes blinking, as if they can’t possibly imagine how someone could eat like I do. Then the questions come and unbelief deepens, especially when I tell then I never, ever cheat.

I think a lot more than I say, most of the time. I bite my tongue a lot, and simply just shake my head or shrug my shoulders.

I try so hard not to be a “food snob”, or get irritated with people. But sometimes…

This is what I’m really thinking.

“So, you’re like a celiac? My {insert random family member} is celiac and its so hard knowing what to feed her!”

Yes and no. I don’t label myself that because its so much more than that. I don’t have the common symptoms a true celiac does.

I also do not follow the popular “gluten free” diet. That diet is based on the common gluten free grain: CORN. Which in most cases is genetically modified. And even if it is organic, its still going to cause a ton of inflammation. AND odds are your awesome gluten free food is laced with extra sugar to make it taste better. Going gluten free the way a lot of people do it is a lose-lose situation.

You don’t know what to feed your celiac friend? Hello. Get out of the mindset that every meal has to have some sort of pasta, bread, muffin, cookie or other grain based object in it! Get some veggies, even potatoes and rice, and you’ll all be better off.

“You can’t eat bread or pasta or potatoes??? What do you eat??”

Man. You say that like there literally is nothing else to eat in the world. I hope you realize there are other foods than that!

And didn’t I just tell you? I eat VEGETABLES (lots of them), NUTS, BEANS and some fruit. Its really amazing how full you can get from those foods, and how many things you can do with them. Quit thinking of a salad as a side dish. Quit thinking of nuts as a snack. The difference between you and me is that I don’t fill my stomach with empty calories. My body benefits from every single bite of food I eat. There is nothing I eat that I can’t tell you has some sort of nutritional health benefit. Unlike your bowl of cheesy pasta, which has very little value and is probably just going to give you inflammation…which in turn will make you go to your doctor and he’ll diagnose you with arthritis and give you a whole lotta blah-blah-blah unless he’s smart and he’ll tell you to just back off the pasta. Simple.

I eat more and better food than you likely will ever imagine eating. I am not lacking. I am not hungry. I don’t struggle with excessive weight gain like you do. On top of that I have better willpower and self control than you will probably ever have because I have to. I CHOOSE TO.

“I don’t think I could ever eat like that! I couldn’t give up {insert favorite fatty food}!!”

Get over yourself. You could eat like that. People don’t die from a lack of pizza, potato chips and ice cream. Actually people would live longer and have much better quality of life if they did eliminate those foods!

How about this…just don’t even go here with me. Don’t tell me you “can’t” give up or live without some favorite food. You’re just being a big whiny child. If you’re going to say anything to me about this, just come out and admit you just have bad willpower and just don’t want to not eat what you want to eat. I’ll have more respect for that than  “I can’t live without…”

There are only a few things in this world necessary to your survival. Water, nourishment, a way to keep warm, a roof over your head. Everything else is a luxury. Everything you say you couldn’t live without is purely for your enjoyment and has nothing to do with your survival.

“You should go to an allergist and get checked out and find out what you’re allergic to. Then maybe you could have some of those foods again!”

Um…I had seizures. And when I eliminated foods, I stopped having them. When I eat certain things, especially during certain times of the month, I am prone to having seizures. Don’t you think that’s test enough??

Just because I’ve never gone to a doctor doesn’t mean I don’t know how to heal myself. Quit treating your doctor like a god. He is not the be-all-end-all of health. Maybe if you quit depending on him so much and started learning and studying for yourself, you wouldn’t be in his office as much.

And do I LOOK like I’m lacking? I am a well proportioned twenty-four year old woman whose only health need at this point is to exercise a little more (there I’ll admit that one). I’m definitely not malnourished. I never go hungry. The food I eat is amazing. So tell me again how I’m suffering from not eating the foods you think are so important?

“Here, you want a {insert food}? Oh wait…sorry…you can’t have that.”

Yeah. Thanks for reminding me again of how I can no longer participate in the world-wide tradition of bonding with my loved ones over all our favorite foods.

Thanks for reminding me that smell is now my only connection with all the seasonal favorites such as hot cocoa, pumpkin pie, Christmas cookies, and Thanksgiving turkey.

Thanks for reminding me of the nervousness that comes from serving someone food I’ve made for them because I can’t taste it to know if its good or not.

Thanks for reminding me that I have to stand on the sidelines and watch everyone else eat my birthday cake.

Thanks for reminding me that I can’t go out for ice cream with my husband, or meet a friend for coffee, or eat at most of the restaurants in town.

Thanks for reminding me that this is my life.

Yeah. That’s sarcasm.

This has turned into a longer rant than I expected. If you’ve actually made it through all that, then I applaud you.

Despite my generally positive attitude about my food life, I have days just like the rest of you where I get frustrated and discouraged. I have literally blocked most food options from my brain and only ever allow myself to think about eating what I know is good for me. That is how I get through cooking for my husband or anyone else. I don’t give myself the option of eating “normal” food. My only choice…the only one I give myself…is what is on my short list. Period.

But then there are the days. Someone makes a comment, whether uneducated, unfeeling, or just out of the embarrassment of not being able to feed me whatever they’ve prepared. And those comments pile up in my heart and remind me of what I’m missing. While everyone else is gushing over how wonderful something tastes, I just have to stand and smile. While everyone is celebrating with a birthday cake or holiday meal, I just have to sit there and wait, wishing everyone would eat faster so this meal would be over sooner.

But I’m fine. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it absolutely doesn’t bother me. Because of the food life I have come to claim as mine, I’m strong enough to handle people and their half-thought-out comments and actions. Because of what I go through on a daily basis, I choose not to let it bother me. But everyone needs to vent sometimes.

Stop feeling sorry for me. Eat your food, enjoy it, be happy, whatever. And let me do the same. Try being happy for me, giving me a pat on the back, instead of mourning over the food I can’t eat. I don’t sit around moping and whining because I can‘t eat the same food as everyone else…so why should you?

Quit pitying me. I need your encouragement, not your pity. I’m better off and healthier than you are anyways.



  1. You are my hero. End of story.

    On a side note though, I once heard someone say they would rather put a child on medication than "deprive" them if they had food allergies. *facepalm*

    Keep rockin' it, lady.

  2. I am glad if it really helps you to have a better life. It is hard to know as some people do actually have physical problems from food, but there are a lot of eating disorders disguised as health issues supposedly. Make sure you use balance and add in supplements to make up for some of the minerals and things you have cut out. I learned the hard way why you need to do that.


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