When health crises prompt major diet changes, focus on the positive and patiently and persistently adopt new habits to move toward a therapeutic way of eating.
Q: My son has just been diagnosed with the gluten-related autoimmune skin condition dermatitis herpetiformis, and we recently found out that my daughter is severely allergic to milk products and experiences digestive distress from all grains. My husband has irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, and asthma; I have digestive bloating; and all of us are overweight and don’t eat enough vegetables. Going on a grain-free, sugar-free, dairy-free diet seems like it would be best for us, but I’m overwhelmed about how to go about that. Can you offer some pointers?
—Tanya W., Madison, Wis.
a: It’s common for health crises to compel transformation in diet, and summer is the perfect time to make the switch so your family can become accustomed to this therapeutic way of eating before your kids go back to school. And, really, it’s a good idea for everyone to adopt at least a few of these healthier dietary practices.
“Changing your diet now can save you time, heartache, and money in the future,” says Leah Webb, MPH, author of the new book, The Grain-Free, Sugar- Free, Dairy-Free Family Cookbook (Chelsea Green Publishing). Families who are not in crisis mode might favor a more moderate approach to their diet, but getting grain- sugar-, and dairy-based junk foods out of the diet can benefit everyone. “Don’t settle for mediocrity when it comes to diet when the alternative feels so much better,” says Webb.
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