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Go on treat yourself…
What’s the definition of a treat in your house?

The dictionary says a treat is “an event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure.”

So my question is does eating that gluten-filled cake or additive filled processed meal really give great pleasure? Is it out of the ordinary or a rare event or do you treat yourself every mealtime or at least each day?

It does if your relationship with food is screwed up!

We have so many beliefs around food and in particular treats. This is a really key thing to work on when attempting an elimination diet and could be the reason why so many people cannot manage to do it.

Here are a few beliefs that might be familiar:

🍰 I can have as many treats as I want because I’m on holiday/it’s my birthday/it’s Christmas/I’ve worked hard this week/it’s free/it’s a day that ends on a Y! (Insert your own reasons for indulging here)

🧁 It’s not like I treat myself to cheesecake every day (Yet every day and sometimes more than once a day you are labeling a different food as a treat and giving yourself permission to indulge)

🍫 It makes me feel good when I eat cheese/ chocolate/ dairy/ sweet stuff (Yes but for how long?)

🥮 Why should I punish myself/holdback/miss out on the cake I deserve it. (Yes I’m sure you do but does your body deserve something more nutritious?)

I certainly have had my own issues with my relationship to food and only bringing awareness to it has helped me. My diet when I was younger has not helped my health and now for me what is most important is that I fuel my body with foods that serve me and are nutritious. That’s what I see as a treat!
A homecooked meal with lots of veggies or a hearty casserole made with bone broth- tastes amazing and is nourishing me at the same time!

To you, that may sound boring or maybe you can’t see how I get joy from eating those foods rather than a 10 bag of jam doughnuts. It’s about how you label food and your mindset around it. To me, joy is supporting my long-term health and feeling more like 10 out of 10 than 5 out of 10. I thought I was experiencing 10/10 but frankly, I didn’t know what 10/10 was for most of my life!

In fact, in our house, we don’t even use the word treat to label food. I have done this consciously with our daughter. She knows that some foods we moderate and some foods we can eat as much as we like. Chocolate is just chocolate. It’s not labeled good or bad but it is eaten in moderation because it has lots of sugar and we don’t need lots of sugar to be healthy.

I hope that by doing this when Ellie is older she will not have attachments to ‘treat’ foods and then when she has a bad feeling she doesn’t then reach out to treat herself with food that isn’t good for her. I just asked Ellie what treat foods she knows and she said I don’t know! There’s a bit of confirmation that she is growing up with a more balanced view of food than I did.

Have you tried elimination diets and given up after a short time?
Did you constantly ‘cheat’ while on the diet?
Do you feel like you are missing out when on elimination diets?

If yes then it is it likely because you have some issues around your relationship with food. I don’t believe it’s because you don’t know deep down that it makes you feel bad or that you don’t realise that it makes your symptoms worsen when you eat your trigger foods. It’s because there is an unconscious story running in the background about food and how you should nourish your body.

Perhaps today you can bring some awareness to the food choices you make while eating the leftovers today. Must you overindulge so it doesn’t go to waste? Is that really true? Must you eat it all before January because after Christmas you have to cut out all ‘treats’ because you overindulged and now you must punish yourself in January? After all, it is the only way to get rid of those guilty feelings. What happened to balance? Is it an excuse to continue to overindulge? Triggered by any of this? Sorry not sorry but you’ve got some work to do 😊 Awareness is the first step.

If you know you should really complete an elimination diet to figure out your triggers and begin healing your gut and skin but struggle to do this alone then there’s a couple of options. In our group coaching you get to work through this- including tackling those beliefs around food- in a supportive group environment with loads of tools from us to make it easier. You get to realise you are not the only one and actually you can learn from each other and help each other. Or you can go for a more personalised approach which can include gut testing or allergy testing to ensure you are removing all the foods that are giving you issues.
Our next group coaching intake will be in January and we have spaces for 1:1 coaching from February.

Find out more here: https://happyguthappyskin.com/group-coaching/
Book a free 20 min chat with us to see what we can do to help you: https://calendly.com/happyguthappyskin/20-min-discovery-call

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