Over the course of the last two and a half years I have been at times struggling (especially the first year), with, and at other times successfully navigating life with food intolerances that I developed as an adult.
It is not as easy as taking a pill or just eating what is provided. I constantly have to be thinking about what is in my food, checking labels and asking questions.
I have figured out that dairy (not just lactose), gluten and caffeine are the three things that I have developed intolerances to. Dairy is the worst, I can handle a little tiny bit of gluten on the rare occasion and I also avoid caffeine (in addition to the sensitivity issues) because I have found that I sleep better without it in my system.
Having food intolerances does impact my life, but for the most part I can navigate it well as long as I go some place that has GF/DF options or I cook for myself. I may not be able to go to camp as a counselor or on a youth retreat because it is a logistical food nightmare but at the same time I am not hurting any by missing out on these things. I went to camp as a camper and a couple of times as a counselor, as well as having gone on several retreats before I developed
Intolerances. So I don’t really feel like I am missing out on much since I am not one who likes big groups anyway. If it were a ladies retreat with just the ladies from my home church (while I was in college) it would be a different story – fewer people/easier to be able to cook for myself.
In almost 3 years now I have become accustom to taking care of myself when I go somewhere and pack my own food, and know some safe food and safe restaurants. Day trips are super easy now.
There is no point in complaining about it. I have come to accept that this is how my life is. Rather than feeling bad and see it all as what I can’t eat, I choose to see what I can eat and making that taste good. It is what it is, it is how my life is, and I can’t go back to the way it was before so I might as well make the best of it.
I believe things happen for a reason. Situations and challenges are sent our way to rise above and make the best of. No I have no plans to reintroduce foods I know make me sick into my diet. There is so much out there that tastes good that is gluten and dairy free. Why should I make myself sick just to try to become tolerant of said items again, when I can avoid the stomach ache and time in the bathroom/loo/toilets/washroom whatever you call that room in the house, and have food that tastes just as good as “normal” food. That and it is counter intuitive at best to making the problem worse/ doing more harm to your body by knowingly eating food that makes you sick.