Amy's journey on the Gluten Free Health Challenge continues the first 3 Mondays of every month through November. Today she's talking about food, emotions, and why giving up bread is about more than just carbs. I'll be running my own program on releasing emotional eating later this summer, so be sure to sign up for my newsletter if you want to hear about it first. It will be an intensive program with lots of individual attention, so I will only be enrolling a small group of women, first come first serve.
You can learn more about Amy's health coach, Mia Davis, on her website, Blissful Chicks Wellness and in her interview here on the The Daily Dietribe.
One of the things that this challenge has made me think about is my relationship with food and why I eat the way I do. I have never thought that my emotions, feelings, or memories had anything to do with food intake, but I am starting to rethink this. My health coach, Mia, mentioned that my relationship with bread may have something to do with how important bread was when I was growing up. Bread was such a large part of my life that my grandmother's best friend used to bring it over every weekend (fresh baked that morning) and we would even put a candle in it for my birthday. I would clean my plate every Sunday when we had pasta and "gravy." I would clean up the gravy with bread to the point where there was literally nothing left on my plate. My life has taken a huge turn since those childhood days. My father has passed away. My mother remarried and moved to Florida, although she is now back closer to me in Massachusetts. My grandmother passed away; her house is where we used to have dinner every Sunday. My grandmother's best friend passed away. While all these things are expected in life, maybe bread conjures up memories of those days long gone.
I also have this issue with being perfect. I tend not to complete or even attempt anything where I may fail. I think this is why I have never actually done well with going gluten free in the past. Again, Mia mentioned something about my perfectionism and how I spoke about not being perfect and being okay with it. I'm not happy when I eat gluten and give into a craving, but I am now able to realize that all I have to do is start eating gluten free again and all is good. I don't need to give up and think about being a failure. What I need to understand now is what triggers those cravings. Is there something else that doesn't make me feel miserable that will satisfy my cravings? Am I craving something I shouldn't eat because of emotional reasons, because I need a certain nutrient, or because I'm bored? Maybe I just need to give in and let myself have a little so that I don't end up gorging on a food that makes me miserable.
This week has been a little stressful for me. I have worked every day. From Sunday though Thursday last week, and this week I worked a half day, then rushed to pick up my kids so my husband could go to a class about an hour away. I had to get up, get myself ready, get the kids ready, get snacks ready, and get out of the house on time. It's not hard. It's just not what I'm used to. It hasn't been the best week, but it hasn't been the worst. Not by a long shot. I have had a green smoothie every day and I haven't had caffeine in a week. Breakfast used to be my most miserable time of day because most of the breakfast foods I loved and craved were gluten filled. Starting off my day wrong often meant that the rest of the day continued in the same manner. Now, the green smoothie helps keep me on track and I actually enjoy it! I am so happy that I have stopped caffeine. I was getting a crazy amount of headaches, usually caffeine withdrawal, which would then just start the cycle over. I decided to take it slow and give up coffee over a few days instead of cold turkey. Now that I have stopped, I have no plans to start up caffeinated coffee again.
I have been thinking about all the foods that showed up on my blood test as potential sensitivities. It is somewhat stressful to think about giving up all these foods. Sometimes I think I should just eliminate all the foods and see how much better I feel, especially since I have proven to myself that I do feel better when I don't eat gluten. Then I think, maybe it will be too stressful to give them all up at once. I think maybe if I can remind myself how much better I feel without gluten, it will be easier. Mia talked with me about doing a food journal and I think that maybe I should. Maybe that will help me with food triggers. Maybe then I can figure out my relationship with food. I am so happy and appreciative to Mia and Iris for letting me be a part of this and helping me learn all of these things about myself.