Making sure you are eating healthy can be a challenge for anyone, but especially for those who are also dealing with food allergies or celiac disease. Restricted diets and foods that are off limits can make it seem difficult for both healthy and safe eating, but Food Allergy Gal Dietician, Lisa Musician, explains how it can be done. I had the privilege of hearing her address this topic recently at the Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest in Columbus, OH.
Musician, a registered and licensed dietitian in Northeastern, Pennsylvania with expertise in the area of food allergies, was one of the shows featured speakers. She shared simple and effective strategies for maintaining health and safety when eating with food allergies or celiac disease.
Focus on What You Can Eat
When you are dealing with food allergies there is often a tendency to focus on the foods you cannot have. Musician says by simply shifting your focus to what you can have, your “safe” foods, you realize there are still many options for you to enjoy. Creating a list of safe foods help you focus on what the possibilities are rather than your restrictions.
Get Back to Basics
Cooking doesn’t have to be fancy to be good. Musician suggests sticking to simple ingredients- think a protein, starch and fruits and vegetables. Get creative with preparation to explore new flavors, for example roast your vegetables instead of boiling them. Build meal plans so you can reference the plan when you are feeling stuck or need some inspiration. Other great tips include cooking ahead of time and making extras as well as determining your safe staples and making sure they are always on hand in the pantry.
Make Mindful Choices
A visit to the grocery store will reveal that there are many safe convenience foods available for food allergic and celiac diners, but at the end of the day are these choices truly healthy? Musician says making it yourself is always a better choice. Processed foods, even those that are safe, often have increased levels of fat, sodium and sugar. Convenience foods are an easy choice, especially when you tire of cooking so much, but over time there is no doubt that your health will suffer if convenience always wins.
Eating healthy and safe is possible- it just takes some planning and preparation. The investment in time will pay off both in terms of staying healthy and exploring all the safe options you have available.
Tami Pyles is an AllerCoach and owner of Thrive On Consulting. You can follow her blog, Thoughts for Thriving On, by visiting her website thriveonconsulting.net