Getting healthy is a hot topic all year round, but as summer grows closer, getting fit becomes increasingly more popular. Oftentimes the idea of getting heathy seems daunting, with so many restrictions required in order to see success. However, it is exactly these practices that people in the food allergy community have become so accustomed to. Getting healthy is all about a mindset, because for those living with food allergies, all the raw materials are already there.

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Sticking to a Diet

People will tell you that the trick to getting healthy is moderation. But for so many, the idea of sticking to just one cookie seems like an impossible feat. Diets feel constricting, claustrophobic and keep people from being able to enjoy their food. However, people with food allergies already know how to restrict and control their diets. For many families, having one family member with a food allergy results in the entire family cutting that food out of their diet. How many people loved Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups but gave them up after meeting a partner with a peanut allergy? If we’re able to choose our loved one’s safety over our love of candy, then why can’t we do the same for our own health?

Trust Your Doctor

Having someone work alongside you and monitor the way your body responds to different foods sound familiar? When living with food allergies, having an allergist is vital. It is important to have a doctor that you can trust that will help you best deal with your diet. Getting healthy is no different. Many people have found success when deciding to see a dietician or nutritionist. Getting healthy isn’t necessarily synonymous with weight loss and sometimes it helps to have a doctor that can see beyond your weight and instead focus on the ways in which your body’s reacting to different diets and foods.

Keep a Diary

One of the most used tricks when getting healthy is keeping track of the foods you eat. Many people are shocked to find out how much junk food they are actually consuming, not recognizing these unhealthy habits until it’s staring them in the face. For people with food allergies, writing down everything you put in your mouth is already second nature. Many people use food diary’s in order to track their allergy patterns and the same process can be used when trying to see which foods keep you full, which make you feel good and which leave you feeling sick.

Reading Labels

When living with food allergies, reading labels becomes second nature. And while this doesn’t seem like something that should translate to getting healthy, this habit is actually extremely helpful for food tracking. So many health foods are really sugar disguised in healthy looking packages. Energy bars, granola, even many yogurts. Reading labels keeps you in the know about what is in the food you are eating and what products you are actually putting into your body.

DIY Snacks

Keeping a healthy diet is all about being mindful of what you put into your body. One of the best ways to do this is to be prepared. A great way to keep track of what you’re consuming is by having DIY snacks on hand. Homemade snacks (e.g. cut up fruit, energy balls, muffins) allow you to be aware of every ingredient in your food and ensure that you are keeping healthy even when in a rush. For people with food allergies (who can’t necessarily rely on finding a snack in a snack machine) having homemade snacks on hand is a habit they have long grown accustomed too.

Getting Creative

Many food allergy families have long found ways to make knock off versions of their favorite foods. And while it doesn’t necessarily taste the same, it usually does a pretty good job of curbing the craving. Given this, when changing your diet and cutting out excessive sugars and fats, it can be difficult to find food that is satisfying. However, by taking those creative juices and applying them to healthy recipes you may make some real noteworthy discoveries. Remember, healthy food does not and is not synonymous with bad food. There are plenty of delicious, nutrient packed recipes that even the most sugar addicted individual will find yummy.

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As the summer approaches and more and more people begin putting pressure on themselves and others about getting fit, it is important to keep in mind that healthy looks different on different people. Eat right, exercise and remember that everything needs to be done in moderation. Even healthy habits can become unhealthy when overdone. That said, people with food allergies have been developing the habits involved with getting healthy for years. Health is a mindset, so remember to take those tools that you already have and find the health journey that works for you.