Have you ever had a day when you were just "done"? Tired? Burnt out? Sick of the whole thing…whatever that thing may be?
That's one of the many challenges with food sensitivities. At any point in the journey, we have to be ever-aware of the stuff we put in our bodies - the foods, the snacks, the drinks, the meds and vitamins. Everything is potentially a trigger so we read labels and interrogate waitstaff. It gets old!
In some ways, I liken it to emptying the dishwasher. Part of my morning routine is to empty the dishwasher. Then the family refills over the course of the day and it gets turned on when we all go to bed. Generally not a big deal, right?
But there are those mornings when I think, "today is supposed to be my day off" and "does it really matter if I don't empty the dishwasher" and "I'm just not gonna do it!" (Please tell me this sounds a little familiar!) Despite the mumbling and grumbling in my mind, I stick with my morning routine and empty that dishwasher.
Why? Because I know me. I know if I skip one day there is a really good chance it'll turn into two or three days and the sink will be overflowing with dishes and I'll be really annoyed with the whole thing. Then it's at least three times as much energy, time and water to get caught up again.
Same thing with my food allergies and sensitivities. Most of the time I can eat a few bites of a trigger food and not feel too bad. But just like not emptying the dishwasher puts me a little behind for the next day, the impacts of eating my trigger foods do the same thing - I'm more tired, more cranky, bloated, clearing my throat, and my gut may be chastising me for my questionable choices. And it is that much harder to get back into my "clean routine'', e.g. all of the self-care I do for myself, not the least of which is clean-for-me eating.
The most important thing to keep in mind with either the dishwasher or your food choices is that it is all your choice. Just like the world won't fall apart if I don't empty the dishwasher - I may be frustrated and inconvenienced - the world won't fall apart if you or I decide to eat a trigger food. We will still deal with the consequences and may feel crummy for a bit…but it is your choice.
(The only caveat here is food allergies which trigger anaphylaxis. If this is you - the potential impact is so much more than not emptying a dishwasher! Please don't cheat with these trigger foods!)
You and I both know those days when we're tired and just don't want to care any more are going to show up. My recommendation is to plan for those days. Nothing over the top but have a back-up plan to help you get back to your "clean routine". Even if you never really use the plan…just the thought you put into it will serve you well because it minimizes the surprises and puts you in control of the situation.
Even if that means choosing to not empty the dishwasher for a day!
Sixty-second Self-care Tip…
Let's do it! Let's plan for those tired, annoyed days when we don't care. (Even though we really do, right?!)
Grab a little notebook, a scrap of paper or start a new note in your phone and consider these prompts:
Who can you call to get encouraged or reminded of your health goals? Who can talk you down from eating that one trigger food you desperately want to inhale?
What is your first and second choice for de-stressing and purely taking care of you? You might consider taking a walk, watching a movie, taking a hot bath or shower, taking a nap, etc.
Remind yourself of your heart goal and why you're working so hard to live your "clean routine". Need a little refresher on heart goals? Check out the Sixty-second Self-care Tip here.
If you really crave a particular trigger food, what is a safe alternative to indulge with instead?
I find many times when we're having these hard days, we feel exhausted from trying to figure out what to do next. It can be helpful to get some new ideas! My free resource, 7 Steps to Minimize Histamine Intolerance is all about self-care and things you can do today to feel better tomorrow. Remember - you're not alone in this thing!