That's the big question, right? OK, if I'm going to do this thing and work on food choices and maybe add supplements and, frankly, experiment a bit with these food reactions…when do I start?
And then begins all of the reasons why now is NOT the right time. Maybe it's as big as some huge life event like a wedding or a big vacation (FINALLY!). Or perhaps it's something smaller but just as important - a school event, a big game, a night out or a big meeting or presentation. If you're a woman who has struggled with miserable monthly cycles, that may be enough to convince you to put off starting something new.
Truth is, there is no "ideal" time to start. There is simply now or later. And the trouble with waiting until later is your chances of feeling better are also delayed until…later.
About five months ago I planted a new tree in my yard, a Thundercloud Plum. She lost some leaves shortly after being planted, but that was reasonable. But about a month ago, she started losing all of her leaves.
We're going into early fall so I assumed the tree was just getting an early start on winter preparations. But then just last week I noticed something as I drove by - there were a few little buds. Since then that naked plum tree has sprouted new growth on every branch. She even has sweet little showy flowers blooming!
In my mind, it makes no sense at all to start new growth in early September. Many of the local trees have started showing off their fall colors and dropping some leaves already!
Starting something new doesn't always make sense to the left-side of our brains, where logic and strategy live. That's where all of those reasons to wait come from.
But what if you started listening to your body instead? To that gut instinct that keeps repeating, there is so much more out there for me than feeling miserable and avoiding every food except konjac noodles and chicken.
Worst case scenario: you feel a little worse for a while or you try something that doesn't serve you well. So, you take a break and try again. (Or ask for help - remember, I'm always an email away!) But don't lose the importance of having learned something about your body and your situation! Even when something doesn't go according to plan, it is rarely a wasted experience.
Best case scenario: you notice little changes in how you feel physically, emotionally, mentally. You get a big reassurance that you CAN feel better! And then you're ready to keep on the journey.
Whichever way it goes, keep a little journal of what you tried and how it changes your symptoms. It will become a critically important part of your story!
But it's all up to you. There really isn't any right or wrong time to start a new adventure. And sometimes the best thing we can do is start at the exact moment it makes the least amount of sense…just like that little plum tree blooming in late September. So…when are you starting?
Sixty-second Self-Care Tip…
One of the most frustrating things to happen on your food sensitivity journey is the cha-cha - a few steps forward and a few steps back. It easily eats into our resilience, patience and creativity.
Here's a quick tip to help minimize the potential of a bad reaction - start low and go slow. Seems oversimplified but I cannot emphasize this enough.
Whether you're starting an elimination diet, adding in a food you've avoided for a while or challenging yourself to all of the cool stuff you're learning about food sensitivities, it is possible to push too hard and too fast and totally feel miserable. Those are the steps backwards which impact our mindset and our willingness to try something new and challenging. It pays to go slow to minimize reactions and keep your forward momentum up.
Not to mention, if you start more than one thing at a time you'll never know what made the biggest impact for you!
Be deliberate. Have a basic plan in mind. My suggestion is to start with food choices, then stress management and then start exploring all of the other ways you can support your body in decreasing inflammation. (Number 1 biggest thing you can do to decrease inflammation? Cut high fructose corn syrup out of your food choices!!)
And if you're just feeling stuck all the way around, why not request a copy of my FREE resource, 7 Steps to Minimize Histamine Intolerance! You'll get unstuck in less than ten minutes!