Many people today are on therapeutic diets. Whether it is for health reasons, weight management or just prevention of disease, why wait to take matters into your own hands, even at the picnic table?
Healthy eating does not have to taste bad. It can be satisfying and guilt free.
A typical elimination diet could exclude dairy or wheat. Since these are large categories, a meal with others can lead to temptations.
Many people don’t want to offend their host by refusing to eat offered food. The bottom line is that your host will not suffer from your health ailment when you choose to abandon your health recovery plan by eating the taboo food.
It’s certainly no good to go to a dinner party and not be able to eat anything.
There are a couple of solutions to this situation. For one, bring “potluck” and make sure it is something you can eat. Second, you can communicate with the host of the party and make meal suggestions.
Chicken and salad are usually well liked. Meat and vegetable rich shish kabobs are festive and easy to prepare. It is best to plan a meal that does not include dairy and wheat substitutions.
Meals that just don’t include cheese or bread won’t ever feel substandard.
For those who want to limit sweets, how about fresh berries or a fruit plate for dessert. The natural sugars and vegetative fibre top off any meal nicely. Artificial sweeteners are not advisable, so be smart with the amount of real sweet in your food. For those with talent in the kitchen, baked goods can be made with gluten free flour, soy or almond milk in place of cow’s milk, and stevia as a sweetener.
When it comes to alcoholic beverages, moderation is more fashionable than excess.
While the French paradox teaches us that a small glass of wine with dinner can have health benefits, the health benefits of red wine diminish after the halfway mark on the bottle. A switch to soda water with fruit juice can go in a wine glass with no one the wiser.
If we really don’t have to go entirely without, moderation is the word. But, if a full elimination is required, be it short term or long term, it is best to learn these survival strategies.
There is a fabulous magazine called Living Without. Inside it has recipes and tricks of the trade for flourishing on an elimination diet. I highly recommend people check it out.
Dietary change is challenging. As a naturopathic doctor, I help people by brainstorming ideas for meals, snacks and treats that won’t impede recovery. There is a balance that can be struck.
— Dr. Tara Macart owns Opti-Balance Naturopathic Medicine in Qualicum Beach with her husband Jonathan.