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Natural Awakenings Indianapolis

Letter from Publisher

This month we explore an increasingly prevalent topic in conversations about what we like to eat and how it affects us—and the growing number of people we know that are impacted by food intolerances. Kathleen Barnes’ feature article, “Fearless Eating: How to Move Past Food Sensitivities,” provides a springboard for considering the roles food plays in our lives, changes in the supply chain and how to identify and deal with food sensitivities, intolerances and allergies.

When food we daily turn to for essential nourishment, as well as entertainment, comfort and celebration, poses a potential threat, it impinges upon our physical, emotional and even social well-being. Like me, you no doubt have go-to foods and treats from preferred markets and restaurants you’ve discovered over the years. Some may still reflect a connection with how our taste buds developed as children. Parents’ preferences and ethnic background typically drive youngsters’ initial food choices; witness how kids love to request their all-time favorite meal for birthdays. For me, it was stuffed peppers or chicken paprikash, a nod to my father’s Hungarian heritage.

As a young girl, I disliked many good-for-us foods, with spinach topping the list (although now it’s a favorite). Fast food predominated in my teen and college years, partly due to budget and convenience; but I also enjoyed it. I soon developed an unhealthy relationship with food that led to weight gain and subsequent weight-loss diets.

Thankfully, as we come to understand more about nutrition and what’s truly good for us, our diet matures right along with us. In my early 30s, Weight Watchers clued me into better concepts of nutrition, healthy eating and exercise and I brought my habits in line (albeit with lingering sugar and junk food cravings).

Then about eight years ago, my relationship with food took another turn. Even though by that time I’d fully transitioned to a healthy diet with only the occasional indulgence, I began to react to what I was eating; I often had a bloated stomach after a meal and felt fatigued, foggy and uncomfortable. A series of tests by my integrative doctor revealed I’d developed several significant food sensitivities, resulting in a leaky gut. It all catalyzed a steep learning curve and long, difficult road to recovery using restricted and rotation diets.

Over time I pieced together a new approach to food and life in general and healed with the support of family members, holistic practitioners and markets and restaurants suited to my needs. These days I’m eating healthier than ever and enjoy the adventure of putting together meals, grateful for the many options available for people with special diets. Yes, it can be a challenge to be spontaneous and sometimes I feel “high maintenance” when dining out, but Lanette Abbott’s article, “Tips for Conscious and Allergy-Friendly Dining,” offers helpful insights on how to best navigate eating out to keep it an enjoyable experience for everyone. Bon appétit!

To happy and healthy living,

Teona Signature

Teona Wright, Publisher

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