I know not everyone has the time/inclination/energy to cook from scratch every meal but it really is undoubtedly the best way to control your symptoms. No one wants to spend hours having to look at packet labels when you're buying your lunch or shopping in the supermarket. So my advice would be to start cooking simple home cooked meals. You can keep the fat low, exclude gluten/dairy if you need to, avoid any suspect trigger foods and generally be more in control of what you're putting into
Here's some advice to get you started:
- Do a careful first supermarket shop buying only low fat versions of your usual products. Spend time reading labels, familiarising yourself with what products are available and try to make good healthy low fat choices. Don't spend too much time in the free-from aisle, you don't need to, just look out for naturally healthy, low fat options. Once you've done your first well researched shop you can then choose to have your shopping delivered which avoids any embarrassing running-to-the-loo-in-the-supermaket moments!
- Spend double the amount of time than usual in the fresh fruit & vegetable aisle. Choose things you've not cooked with before and don't be afraid to experiment.
- Write a few meal plans down and shop according to what you're planning to cook that week. Cook in bulk and then freeze half of it so you always have something suitable on hand.
- Throw out/donate to a food bank/give to family & friends any unsuitable items in your kitchen. Nothing is worse than being tempted every day by high fat foods that are hanging around in your cupboards.
- Be patient with yourself. It will feel initially that you are restricting your food choices and you will probably feel frustrated if you don't like some of the substitutions. Just remember, it takes eating a food 3 times to make a new food-memory and you'll be surprised how quickly you can get used to a new taste (especially if you're feeling better eating it).
Also, think about 'how' you are cooking your meals at home. Do you tend to fry your food? Try grilling instead. Do you tend to roast in lots of oil? Try steaming. Replace your regular cooking oils with spray oils to encourage you to add less oil when you cook.
If you need some cooking inspiration do head over to my website www.gdfree.org where you will find hundreds of sweet and savoury recipes, all gluten and dairy free, and all new recipes are now listed with nutritional information highlighting fat content so you can see exactly what recipes choices would be good for you.