Updated: January 2020
A bland, tasteless diet can make life boring! These steps will help you expand your diet and get back to enjoying your meals.
Start by Calming Your Food Fears. It’s essential to approach food reintroduction with a positive mindset. If you are trapped in the Food Fear & Symptom Cycle, it will be nearly impossible to reintroduce food. Our program, Calm Your Food Fears and Expand Your Diet, will help you step back from your symptoms and break out of the Food Fear & Symptom Cycle.
Talk to your doctor before reintroducing foods. Talking to your doctor is extremely important if you have ever had severe or immediate reactions to food or other triggers. You may need to reintroduce some foods under medical supervision.
Let go of extreme internet information. The internet is full of conflicting theories for curing difficult symptoms. Too much internet research will create food fears. Limit your research and ignore toxic opinions.
Traditional food challenges often don’t work. With traditional food challenges, you introduce a specific food in gradually larger quantities over a short time (e.g. 2- 4 days). If you are symptom-free, the food is “safe.” Food challenges work well if food is your only trigger, and food triggers are consistent. Unfortunately, many people have inconsistent triggers. In this case, traditional challenges don’t work, because symptoms may be related to the challenge food or another trigger.
Introduce new foods in a rotation. If you are initially okay with the new food, but react after eating it for a few days, try a rotation food reintroduction. For example, introduce a ¼ cup of blueberries twice a week rather than every day. I’ve worked with many clients that have successfully introduced a variety of foods if they don’t eat them every day.
Specific foods may not be the cause of your symptoms. If you experience symptoms during a food reintroduction, it’s natural to blame the new food. However, something else may have caused your symptoms. Ask yourself, “Is it Food Sensitivity?”
You need to eat, despite symptoms. This statement sounds harsh, but you need food to nourish your body. Your health will further deteriorate if you stop eating. A friend of mine with severe Crohn’s disease experienced pain when her disease flared up, and her digestive system was inflamed (no matter what she ate). She used to say, “most people live to eat, but I have to eat to live.”
Additionally, it’s normal to have increased symptoms when you introduce a new food, but your symptoms will likely settle down. Change is hard for sensitive bodies!
Take a slow, steady approach. We all want the “magic bullet” to make a difference quickly. In my experience with food sensitivities and other areas of dietetic coaching, meaningful change is usually slow. Have patience!
Need Further Support?
Do you need help expanding your diet? We can help you break out of the Food Fear & Symptom Cycle and expand your diet.