The journey to start eating a diet free of certain foods requires the joining of a camp. Either we join the camp of self-pity, that "Woe is me, I shall never get to eat my favorite holiday treat again!" spoken with a pouty lip and downcast teary eyes,
We can join the camp of choosing joy and optimism and, yes, even thankfulness.
It is all too exceptionally easy to join Camp #1, and quite honestly, most wouldn't blame us. Unless you have never tasted a cream horn made in an authentic Dutch bakery, it truly is hard to say good-bye and look for an entire new palette of food to live by. It can be truly hard to look forward to tradition-steeped holidays and realize that the beautiful tasty offerings of childhood holiday memories are completely off-limits. I will never deny that the change itself is hard. But, I am encouraging all of us (yep, me included!) to not unroll our sleeping bag and settle into Pity Camp.
This is the reality of our lives and let's make the absolute most of it, shall we?
Across the river from Camp #1 is our alternative. In Camp #2, there is optimism in that we can EAT food. Yes, even with severe allergies or intolerances, there is still something that we can eat. Actually, there are probably two, three, four, a dozen, and then some things that we can eat. And if we have the choice to pick and choose a variety of foods to spread our table with, are we not immensely blessed? If we sat down to a holiday dinner with only a bowl of warm pinto beans before us, are we not still immensely blessed? I feel the sunshine of thankfulness seeping into this camp already!
I have had my share of days meandering down the paths of Camp #1, wishing for "easy" foods from our former food life....to whip out a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a busy day, to see my Pickles eat a classic American bowl of Mac-and-Cheese, to order carry-out pizza. Yes, I have those days too. I won't pretend I haven't been there, done that, and am tempted often to return. But we made the choice to abandon those foods in an effort to also abandon the misery that our bodies were having to endure by eating them. We eat 'free to LIVE FREE from those issues. Feeling better certainly brings about a joy in the freedom!
Camp #2 has an air of excitement: looking for new flavors to explore, enjoying what is available, and maintaining joy in that the issues from food lessen in this camp. The rainclouds of discontentment are melted away in the light of optimism and simple contentment. In this camp, thankfulness thrives because we can eat food and feel good...
...and we are thankful to have the food to eat, whether it be a pinto bean or a turkey.