It’s no big secret—I’ve been telling anyone and everyone who wants to know about my new diet.
Well, almost everyone. I don’t generally volunteer medical or dietary information to the cashier at the grocery store, the customer service rep in my online chat, or the neighbors’ dog. Anytime, though, that my conversation even approaches the topics of health or food or recent life changes, I’m happy to volunteer that I’m on a restricted diet for autoimmune repair. If it’s appropriate, I’ll rattle off a quick list of “eat” and “eat not” categories.
In the very beginning, I made a point of letting my closest family members and friends know about my major dietary changes. That goes back as far as November of 2015 (remember our chat, Should I share my celiac diagnosis?). Part of my decision is pure practicality. I avoid a lot of awkward social situations by being open about changes in my diet; my family and friends understand when I can’t participate in certain activities or need to bring my own food. So far, everyone has been very supportive—nobody is pressuring me to eat forbidden foods, for starters.
I’ve been surprised by how many people open up when I share a little bit about myself and what I’m eating—or not eating. Sometimes, I’ve gotten awesome suggestions for delicious recipes, such as a friend who explained how she like to roast Brussels sprouts. I’d just barely started experimenting with Brussels sprouts, and I loved her method! Other times, people have opened up about their food challenges or health problems, and that has only led to opportunities to answer questions, provide resources, or share experiences.
Sometimes, eating different foods can feel socially isolating, and I’d be lying if I said I never longed to go back to my “normal” pre-celiac, pre-Hashimoto’s diet. But, there is a lot of good in where I am now. A lot of healing. A lot of sharing. A lot of growing and becoming. And the future is looking pretty tasty.