This post on the blog Gluten-Free Girl by Shauna James Ahern was such a revelation to me and I just had to share it. I know that hers is a specifically gluten free blog, but I think this particular post (or at least the first half of it) can apply to any food intolerance. Think of it as Chicken Soup for the (insert your food intolerance)-free Soul! ;)

To sort of give a couple-sentence sum, in the post, among other things, she compares gluten free food to Tootsie Rolls. You know how Tootsie Rolls have a sort-of, not really chocolaty flavor? Oh how I miss them, by the way! (They contain milk and soy) Like Shauna, they were also my favorite when I was growing up, but I still distinctly remember their taste. Anyway, people used to ask Shauna why she liked Tootsie Rolls when they were a bad imitation of chocolate. To that, she would reply, “I know. I like chocolate too. But Tootsie rolls have their own taste. I like that.” The post continues and she talks about how she views gluten free food the same way - that you have to appreciate it for what it is - not what you hoped or want them to be. I know that seems so simple, but to me, it was like a smack on the forehead ... DUH! I mean, all this time, I had been searching for gluten free replacements and substitutes for the gluten-filled (or dairy or soy, etc) foods that I loved when instead, I should just be seeking out foods like that Hubby and I like, as they are, for what they are, not what I want them to be.

Seriously, the thought sticks with me daily. I constantly remind myself to appreciate my foods as they are, not what I hoped or want them to be. I just think "Tootsie Rolls" and I am instantly relieved, inspired and motivated. Letting go of finding the "perfect" substitute is sort of like lifting a boulder off my shoulders. I'm not pressured to make or find replacements, just to find an make things that Hubby and I like. I mean, With that stress gone, I am simply inspired and motivated to try new things, new recipes, to tweak old ones just a bit ... whatever it takes to make/find safe and nourishing foods for my body. I guess I had a glimpse of this all along - trying to focus on delicious things that are naturally gluten free, but now, it's so much more than that. I know this may sound strange, but I think I am at really peace with my diagnoses for the first time, and I was diagnosed 8 months ago!

So, Gluten-Free Glirl, aka Shauna James Ahern, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you!




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