I am asked the same questions each time I eat around a new friend. It starts with, “What are you allergic to?” I begin to name the list. With eyes bugging out, they ask, “So what CAN you eat?” This is the part of the conversation I love most, explaining that even though I’ve cut out so many foods, I actually have access to plenty of really good foods that nourish my body.
If you have been struggling with autoimmune reactions or food allergies, I hope this post can give you direction towards some safe food choices. Understand, for me, this process has taken place over 16 years of trial and error. I began with taking out dairy when I was 14, but did not always follow that faithfully because I was a teenager who loved ice cream and Taco Bell. Gluten free was my next step right after college. It was a good start for me that brought great relief, but my body still needed more help.
A friend recently asked me about deciding what foods to eat and what to cut out. We are bombarded by messages about healthy and unhealthy all the time. It can be tough figuring out what’s right for you. To make it even harder, traditional allergy tests do not always communicate food allergies properly. Although finding your safe foods is a difficult process, the measuring stick is pretty simple… what foods make you feel your best? Food elimination diets helped me determine my safe list over many years. Finding a Functional Medicine doctor or Holistic Practitioner can also be a great support. To be fair, some foods are not a true allergy, but more of a food sensitivity. I just lump it into one category because I know they don’t make me feel my best and it’s easier to communicate to the world. I encourage you to check out this list and see if it could help you. If you feel overwhelmed don’t give up! You don’t need try it all at once, but you might find a good place to start.
Mandy’s Safe Foods
- Almost all vegetables – Green leafy veggies are the best
- Almost all fruits – Low glycemic seem to be the best
- Organic meats – Grass fed beef, chicken, pork, lamb
- Wild caught seafood
- Organic Sweeteners – Raw honey, maple syrup, stevia, monk fruit
- Organic Tea
- Water – We have a reverse osmosis filter in our home.
No Way! NEVER Foods
These foods cause serious digestive issues, skin irritations, extreme fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, just to name a few. I would skip eating all day before I would eat these because it’s just not worth it.
- All grains – Just being gluten free doesn’t cut it. I react to all grains, even quinoa, oats, corn, and rice
- Process foods or additives – If you can’t identify it or pronounce it, don’t eat it
- Alcohol – Even wine causes me digestive struggles
These are foods that seem to be fine in very small quantities. If I eat them a few times a year it’s not a problem. If I’m traveling and there isn’t any other option, I might eat these foods. However, eating them on a regular basis causes problems, so I’m careful not to push these limits.
- High Glycemic fruits – Watermelon, pineapple, cherries
A note about Keto
For about a year I have been working on following a low carb, no sweetener, clean keto plan. I was diagnosed with SIBO which was causing my body to crave glucose like crazy! Keto has been huge in resetting my body. There are plenty of “safe veggies” like sweet potatoes that aren’t what’s best for me now, but will find their way back into my diet again.
You can do it!
My hope is for you to find encouragement in this, not defeat. When you catch yourself thinking about all the foods you “can’t live without”, take captive of those thoughts. Instead imagine relief from chronic symptoms. Food is meant to be fuel for our bodies. After many committed years of eating this way, I do not miss my old foods. I have found such freedom from sickness, I never want to go back!