It’s hard to adapt to a new lifestyle. Being devout foodies, The Intolerant Family were used to trying as many new foods and restaurants as possible. That all came to an end when celiac disease and food intolerance struck.
We’ve spent the last 5 years preparing every meal from scratch, trying to recreate old favorites safely for our various food intolerances – and discovering a few must-haves.
We learned some tricks, found inspiration and educated ourselves about celiac and food intolerance - and we found a new lifestyle that works for us.
Of course, the change was far from easy. For me, memories of the past were the hardest part.
It was devastating to give up quick, easy, and delicious meals delivered right to our door. Having to cook every single meal was torture for someone who lacked the skills to match flavors and pair foods properly.
But I couldn’t quit. Being intolerant to so many ingredients – if I didn’t cook it, I was afraid to eat it.
While learning to manage our intolerances, we realized there were lots of people like us - a great community of intolerant foodies that we could join – and help with The Intolerant Family website. So here are some tips for changing to a healthy lifestyle.
The Intolerant Family is impatient. We hate taking things slow. For example, The Intolerant Dad has a bad habit of jumping into a kettlebell routine. I plan the workout, add it to my daily schedule, and force myself to do it. I jump in full throttle – and by Day 2, I’m sore, disappointed that I can’t meet my expectations, and nursing a pulled muscle. So, what’s the moral here?
TAKE IT SLOW! Do the research, try one new thing at a time.
If you are learning to cook a new food, read up on it. Check our recipes for advice. Master one thing at a time – and don’t expect it to happen overnight.
Go shopping! You need the right tool for the right job.
You don’t chop vegetables with a steak knife - unless you want to spend 8 hours cooking your meal! You can’t puree food by stirring it really fast with a knife, (although that would be kind of fun to watch)! That’s why The Intolerant Family recommends using all that money you’ll be saving on restaurants and takeout to buy the equipment you need to make delicious meals easily and efficiently.
Get a new set of pots and pans (make sure they’re oven-safe!), a sturdy cutting board, a food processor or heavy-duty blender, a couple of baking sheets, and the list goes on! You’ll also need to invest in a few good-quality knives:
• a nice chef’s knife (or Santoku knife) for all-around use,
• a boning knife for carving meat,
• a paring knife for fruit
• a great vegetable peeler
According to this study, the type of clothes you wear for a specific activity can help you feel more engaged. I believe the same holds true for the type of equipment you use to accomplish a task! When I have my Santoku knife in hand and am ready to chop and dice an onion, I’m way more confident that I will master the task, which makes me smile – even though I’m crying because of the onion.
It’s hard to embrace a new lifestyle when you have no idea what you’re doing! So surround yourself with people who understand your new lifestyle and have similar interests.
You can also find social media influencers or celebrities who embrace your chosen lifestyle. For The Intolerant Family, it was Gordon Ramsay – with his simple, no-guff attitude towards cooking. We enjoy watching his shows and appreciate Chef Ramsay’s approach to food. We started learning his easier recipes, building the confidence to try new techniques and flavor combinations.
PS - The Intolerant Kids love watching MasterChef Junior! They have already learned a few skills from watching it. And every episode they choose a dish to try making at home!
The right attitude is crucial to embracing a new lifestyle change. And – not so coincidentally - healthy eating is not only good for your body, but also your mind.
I noticed a shift in my way of thinking as my leaky gut symptoms disappeared. Clean eating had brought more clarity of mind, but I still felt unfocused. It wasn’t until I began meditating daily that I truly felt calm and openminded.
Meditation requires daily practice. It’s not a short-term solution that you should abandon when you feel better. It’s also not an instant solution; it took me around 30 consecutive days of meditating for it to noticeably affect my thought patterns. Like any positive change, the longer you stick with it, the more you’ll benefit.
At some point, you need to just let go of whatever is holding you back and dive into your new lifestyle.
Change isn’t easy, and it can’t be forced. If your motivation to change doesn’t come from within, you won’t change! I resisted the changes in my life at first, thinking I could heal my body and with the “boring, plain stuff” and go back to my old way of life when I felt better. But the thing is: I was never going to get better without changing my lifestyle.
One day, I’d had enough. I stopped resenting my new life and saw the opportunities it afforded me – like having the energy to play with The Intolerant Kids or practice yoga with The Intolerant Mom. My old lifestyle is part of my past – and not just because I am Intolerant to most of the foods I used to eat 😊!
Please test out your new culinary skills, take a picture and tag us on your social media and use the hashtag #TheIntolerantLifestyle!