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The Difficulty of Grocery Shopping When You Have a Diet-Sensitive Illness


We live in a world surrounded with social media, advertisements and the desire to always be more then what we feel we are. Life moves very fast, and it always feels like there is more we should be doing. I tend to feel like I will get left behind and replaced because I am not able to keep up with such a fast moving society right now.

I was walking through the grocery store last week, remembering how good toast tastes. I was looking for something to help settle my stomach and a bit of comfort food. I found myself grabbing the usual veggies I eat and looking longingly at the bread. I started thinking about the foods I eat now and wondering what might satisfy that craving of bread. Mostly I wanted my stomach to settle down, I wanted to feel better and at some point in my life, toast was the magic cure all for nausea.

Times have changed and there are other things that help me with nausea, so I focused on those. I grabbed some fresh fennel, nuts and apples, because I like crunchy foods. Even though I haven’t had much of a reaction to gluten the few times I have had it, I have learned it is better not to experiment when my foundations are already low. I still think there is a possibility that I can only tolerate a little bit gluten and even gluten-free breads.

The flip side of that is when my foundations are low, that’s when I am most aware of all those temptations. These are the moments when I find myself crying or wandering around the grocery store lost. My new diet is not quite familiar enough and I still grieve.

It doesn’t matter if it is lack of sleep, a hard day of work, or just lots of little pebbles of stress — there is a tipping point. That is the point and the edge where willpower feels exhausted and skill becomes a necessity. With the skill of knowing thyself, I didn’t get bread because I know it does not makes sense when I am not feeling well to bring more unknowns in the equations. If I had chosen to get bread, it would have been because it made sense to me that it would help with the nausea. Neither choice is wrong, it is simply a matter of understanding myself and identifying what I need.

A couple of months ago I had a bad reaction to some medication and got extremely sick, and honestly was not able to even stomach any other food then some toast.  So my husband went out and bought me some bread, because I didn’t know what else I could eat. It made sense. Being able to understand what I want, what I need and the context of the situation have helped me approach temptation with much more clarity even when the emotion is still there.

In the last year, I have changed my lifestyle, what I eat, what I wear, what I do for fun and it is not the first or last time in my life that things will change. I am no longer the bull in the china shop — velocity and force are not terribly useful when it comes to my health. So it will remain one step at a time, and I will continue to learn patience and trust even while I feel like the world is passing me.