Foodie on a Restricted Diet?

People have dietary restrictions for a number of reasons. Sometimes the reason is medical, other times it’s a personal choice, and often it’s a combination of the two. Many believe that the food we put into our bodies has a profound effect on our health, wellbeing, and even the presence or absence of disease. Although the surge of nutritional information and dietary advice seems to be a recent trend, the concept that diet can be used to treat or prevent disease is actual quite historical. Hippocrates, the ancient Greek Physician¬†is known for saying, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.
So, can someone on a restricted diet still be considered a foodie? My answer is, yes! Maybe even more so, as eliminating certain common foods allows for experimentation of foods and food groups that had previously been ignored. For instance, eliminating wheat or gluten may lead one to try alternative grains such as rice, quinoa, or buckwheat. Having tried both wheat-free and gluten-free diets myself, I’ve found that ditching the bread actually enhances the taste experience. With a bun-less burger, I truly experience all the tastes of the meat and toppings.
Giving up dairy in addition to gluten was more difficult for me, as I love, love, love cheese. Did I mention I like cheese? But I thought this restriction was worth it as part of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. I still eat eggs (and man do I eat eggs!) but I avoid all animal milk products. Alternatives to dairy that have come to be a regular part of my diet include almond and coconut milk, and dips like hummus, guacamole, and pico de gallo (instead of crackers and cheese).
While restricting certain foods is, indeed, a restriction – it can also expand your palate beyond what you used to eat. If the particular diet is also curative, or at least makes you feel better, then it’s a win-win. That is not to say that living with a medically-necessary diet is easy or carefree; in fact, for those who do not have a choice it can be a huge hardship. But I hope that with the increasing awareness of gluten-free and other special diets, alternative food choices become more and more convenient.


Food for Your Mood

Do you crave certain foods depending on your mood? Everyone is different, but maybe some of us share the following mind-gut connections!
What you eat when you’re…
Pretty much anything. After all, you’re happy and feel like nothing can go wrong – including dinner.
A snack, appetizer, or tapa. When you’re excited about something, you don’t care too much about eating. But who could turn down a few bites of fish dip or a tasty slider?
Now this one is different for everyone. Some people don’t want to eat when they’re sad. Others prefer comfort foods – maybe something you ate since you were little. How about homemade grilled cheese, or drowning your sorrows in a bowl of spaghetti?
Something spicy. Buffalo wings, and some blue cheese to cool it (and you) down a bit.
Similar to sad-mood food, this one can go either way. Most likely, if you’re super anxious about something, your hunger switch is turned to “off”.
Something exotic. A new type of ethnic food, or something you’ve never had like goat, alligator, or rabit. Or if you’re not into meat, then kale, quinoa, or seaweed.
The worst time to eat (for your waistline anyway)! When you’re bored you’d eat pretty much anything, and any amount.
When you’re inspired, maybe you’ll cook up a new kitchen creation, snap a photo, and post your pride on facebook!