Should I Expand My Restricted Diet?

Updated: January 2020

This article was inspired by an interesting conversation with a lady that I met at a party. She wanted my opinion about reintroducing corn.

She had been restricting corn for about one year and had to say goodbye to many of the processed foods in her diet. When she started making meals at home, she discovered that she loved cooking! She lost weight and felt healthier. Overall, the restriction had a positive impact, so she decided to continue with it. 

How is the restriction impacting your life?

If you are struggling with this dilemma, ask yourself how the restriction is impacting your life. Here are a few questions to consider. Do you…

  • enjoy your meals/snacks?
  • eat a reasonable variety of healthy foods?
  • feel comfortable in food-related social situations?
  • have the time (and desire) to prepare special food?
  • have enough money (if the restricted diet is more expensive)?

You may also want to consider how your restrictions impact other people (e.g. someone that cooks for you). If you answered “no” to all or most of these questions, you should consider expanding your diet.

How much variety do we need?

Clients often worry that their restricted diet is not nutritious. Dietary variety is ideal (for enjoyment and to get a wide range of nutrients), but it is not essential. Consider the typical diet a few generations ago. I live in the Canadian prairies, and typical foods were root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, turnips), beef, chicken, bread, coffee, milk, and cheese. There was not much variation from day today.  My great grandfather ate mainly turnips for a few months after laying claim to a new homestead. His dad left him and his brother and went back to get the rest of the family. Toward the end, all they had left were turnips (needless to say, my great-grandfather never ate another turnip).

In summary, many generations have lived quite well with a repetitive diet. The important question is how it affects your life (see the questions above). 

Is it a good time  to expand your diet?

Expanding your diet can be scary because you are stepping out of your comfort zone. If you need support on this journey, read Eight Tips to Expand a Limited Diet and consider taking the Calm Your Food Fears & Expand Your Diet Program.

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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.

4 comments on “Should I Expand My Restricted Diet?
  1. Dan says:

    Can you e-mail me when you have written that article.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I read somewhere that it is better to start with cooked fruits and vegetables-not raw. Is this true?

    • Wendy says:

      This is a complex answer and I’m hoping to write an article on it this spring, but I’ll give a summary here. Many people that have inhaled allergies (particularly to pollens, dust, etc.) also get itching/tingling/swelling in their mouth or throat when they eat certain raw fruit or vegetables. Their body is reacting to an allergenic protein in the pollen, but the fruit or vegetable has a similar protein, so it also causes a reaction. Fortunately, the protein in the fruit or vegetable breaks down with heat, so it is okay when cooked

      Coming back to your questions – I would start with the raw fruit or vegetable, but if it does not go well, try it cooked.

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