After my first visit to the doctor, I knew that wheat, dairy, and eggs had to be eliminated from my diet, but I felt that this was the start of having nothing left to eat and going hungry. I spent an entire afternoon throwing out everything in my cabinets and fridge that had these “make Lauren sick” ingredients. Although sad to look at empty shelves, it felt good to make a fresh start. Of course, I had to go grocery shopping first. After asking a lot of questions and spending a lot of time in the grocery store, I realized that a very important part of understanding what I can eat has been reading labels.
Once I started looking, I noticed how potential allergens listed underneath the ingredients list on every food label. How did I never notice that before? Actually, my friends have also become acutely aware of reading labels, and always happily tell me when something is gluten or dairy free or when they see a restaurant offering gluten or dairy free fare (thanks, guys!).
Reading labels should be a part of everyone’s eating habits. Most of us are aware of the calorie, fat, carb, and protein content of labels and where to look for this information, but we should also be aware of ingredient lists. We should know what we are putting into our bodies and how these ingredients affect us. Maybe some ingredients make you feel better than others and you don’t even know it! So, I know that I can’t eat wheat and gluten, but what grains can I eat? My current favorites include arborio rice (risotto), jasmine rice, and flaxseed. Also, I can’t have any milk products, but what does that list include? Instead, I really love seeing what I can do with coconut milk and soy milk. (Coconut milk ice cream even has fewer calories and fat than our regular good guys Ben and Jerry!)
See my recipes for how I have used some of these great ingredients!