Yes, I Can Eat That

It takes roughly 7.25 hours to drive from Park City, Utah to Boulder, Colorado with 2 pee breaks and driving an average 7 mph over the speed limit. That’s the length of time I spent driving home on Sunday from the Blend Retreat. I typically don’t mind road trips, but let me tell you, I80 through southern Wyoming has to be THE most desolate stretch of land I’ve ever driven on.


So, I relied on entertainment in the form of fitness podcasts.

On one particular podcast I was listening to, the guest was talking about “feeling free” from her obsessive eating and exercise habits. How she only sometimes felt restricted, felt good in her own skin, and had gained weight but was ok with it.

It got me thinking…

Do I feel free? What makes me feel free?

In short, YES, I feel completely free from obsessive thoughts about food and fitness – and there was a time when I wasn’t. And if I’m being completely and truly honest with myself, I probably didn’t feel 100% free until about a year ago. Sure, the obsessive thoughts were long gone by then, but I wouldn’t quite say I felt free until I could say 5 simple, freeing words:

“Yes, I can eat that”

-to everything.


Yes, I can (and do) eat meat.

Yes, I can (and do) eat wheat

Yes, I can (and do) eat dairy.

Yes, I can (and do) eat peanuts.

Yes, I can (and do) eat pizza.

Yes, I can (and do) eat ice cream.

Yes, I can (and do) eat CHEESEBURGERS.


You catch my drift. There was a time when I didn’t eat meat. There was also, more recently, a time when I didn’t eat gluten.

A little backstory: If you’ve been reading for a while, almost 2 years ago I was diagnosed with PCOS (which, another ob/gyn told me later she thinks that was a misdiagnosis, and HA was more likely,) and I sought the care of a naturopath right away. Surprise, surprise, he told me to avoid grains for 2 weeks, and then gluten forever. So I did. I gave up gluten (and most grains) in an effort to get my cycle back for the better part of a year.


And then I did more research, and found out about my low blood sugar and its correlation with a low body fat. Restricting gluten was stressing me out – I mean, I live in land of delicious craft beer! After switching up my diet to be more blood sugar-friendly, and gaining about 10 pounds, I got my regular cycle back (on the last day of Blend Retreat 2013, actually!) Come to find out, I can eat gluten just fine! Yes, I can eat that – and I’m so glad I can. It’s much tastier, and much easier.

Every year at Blend Retreat, the organizers put on a raffle at the closing ceremony. Basically, it’s a sweet giveaway package from the retreat sponsors that’s a little bigger/has more value than what’s in everyone’s swag bags. And the awesome part? EVERYONE wins something! That’s my kind of raffle Winking smile However, as the organizers were announcing names of attendees and what they had won, there was a crazy amount of people who had to have their names put back into the drawing because of the words “I can’t eat that.” Their diet or allergies didn’t allow them to eat the certain food (whey, wheat, etc.) that was being raffled off. (In their defense, the organizers did say everyone could decline a prize if it’s because of an allergy)

Now before I go any further, I have to disclaim that I am not, in anyway whatsoever belittling those with a real, diagnosed allergy of any food. Some of my very favorite people are forced to forgo certain foods from their diet so they don’t break out, get sick, or have some other allergic reaction. It sucks for them, and I feel for ‘em.

I am also not at all shaming those who are eliminating certain foods from their diet even though they don’t have a diagnosed allergy. Maybe they’re experimenting, or maybe they feel they are healthier without a certain food group. I’m not hating on it. I was in their shoes just over a year ago – so I have no place to judge, nor is it any of my business in the first place. In fact, if someone would have come up to me and tell me I didn’t have a real allergy, and to eat some bread, I’d probably tell them to mind my own business, and a few other choice words Winking smile Live and let live and all that is my motto.

What I am saying is that for me, someone who doesn’t have a real allergic reaction to certain (whole) foods: I feel truly free being able to get together with a group of friends, sharing some yummy Colorado beer, and sharing a few pizzas for dinner – and not feeling any guilt, anxiety, or resistance while doing so.


^ my bestie, Katie and I on Monday, with our pizza (yes, we each had a pizza to ourselves, haha – and our local craft brew!) Yep. I can eat that.

Of course I don’t think drinking beer and eating pizza every night is healthy, but it’s pretty damn nice to make it a weekly tradition.

Do you have a food allergy? Do you eliminate any food group from your diet?

(Again, no judging here on those who do. I do, however, sometimes find the marketing behind it laughable when foods like apples or cheese are labeled “gluten free”…like, duhSmile with tongue out)

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  1. Sadly, I had to be one of those difficult ones! 😉 I don’t eliminate ANYTHING unless I HAVE to. My allergies are not something I can play around with and still function. It really stinks because I would love to bite into a nice big slice of cheesy, doughy pizza!
    Brittany @ Delights and Delectables recently posted..Blend 2014- The FinaleMy Profile

    • I know you do, girl xoxo But, you handle it so well (and make some amazing meals! *cough*green curry*cough* <—going to go look for it on your blog now :))

  2. I definitely consider myself lucky that I CAN eat anything – I don’t have any allergies or sensitivities that I know of. And interesting about the misdiagnosis! I’ve heard that that’s pretty common with HA – when I was trying to figure out why I didn’t have a cycle I though I’d be diagnosed with PCOS. But all I needed to do was rest and gain some weight.

    But back to what you were saying – After YEARS of thinking that “I can’t eat that” (sugar, white flour, etc) or going out for burgers with friends and only ordering a salad, it’s nice to feel complete freedom with food.
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted..Blend 2014: The Workouts.My Profile

  3. you read my every thought! i thought, heck, if you can’t eat it, just pass it along to someone who can, it’s a gift!! but … that wasn’t my place, i guess.

  4. I feel lucky to be able to eat everything too. I chose not to eat red meat, but that’s for personal reasons, not because my body can’t handle it. I feel really bad for people with foods allergies because so many of the things people are allergic to taste soo good!
    Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie recently posted..A year of changeMy Profile

  5. It’s an interesting topic and I had a feeling I knew where it was going… I DO feel free with my diet, it’s not always easy but I feel like I eat the foods that make my body feel its best, even if to some it might seem limiting. Dairy is a debilitating allergy for me and where gluten may be more of a *choice*, I do want to keep my hair so I avoid it. 😉 But with that, I was truly embarrassed when my name kept getting pulled on dairy-based items and thought about just saying “it’s ok” and giving it to someone else later…lol
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted..4 Ways That I Modify CrossFit for ME!My Profile

  6. I could’ve written this post myself. I won’t lie, I was a little wide eyed this past weekend at the huge number of allergies I was surrounded with throughout the weekend. Like you said, not at all belittling anyone that has an actual allergy, but it does frustrate me and make me a little sad when people “make up” an allergy because everyone else is doing it. Anyways, it’s super refreshing to know that “I can eat that” too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I sure do love how you think!
    Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries recently posted..06/12/14: Thursday ThoughtsMy Profile

  7. I love this post! I think its crazy when people give up entire food groups just because! I definitely understand having a food allergy where you have to give it up but don’t see the point otherwise! Why restrict yourself all the time?!
    Lindsay recently posted..Bark in the Park & Throwback Thursday – Twin Cities Marathon 2013My Profile

  8. Britta Kallevang says:

    Hey Paige –

    Do you mind sharing the name of the podcast you refer to? Great post! Thanks!


  9. Just love you!

  10. I’ve done everything from Paleo to raw and vegan, and I like the whole drink beer when I want, eat pizza when I want deal. I mean gluten-free pizza is nothing compared to regular pizza.

  11. yep. you are my kinda gal.

  12. I do not have any food allergies, but my daughter has intolerances to bovine protein (milk/beef) & eggs. , therefore I don’t eat anything with any kind if milk product, or beef, or any eggs.

    It’s not as difficult as I thought it would be- it’s most complicated when I’m out to eat- everything has butter /milk/eggs.
    Jena recently posted..Every day momentsMy Profile

  13. I completely appreciate what you have said here Paige. For myself, I have had to remove gluten, I have celiac disease, and I am intolerant to cow dairy. I wish I didn’t have these issues, obviously. I miss good beer SO much!! I think we overcomplicate our lives sometimes for the sake of drawing attention. I’m not saying everyone does this, but there are the select few. Even though I had to go on a restricted food elimination, I felt like such a pain, I didn’t want to be ‘that’ person.

    I’m with you, once I started watching my blood sugar, and gained some weight, I have found my body is reacting very positively. I am so grateful for that! It’s been difficult to wrap my head around the fact that I don’t have to restrict ‘everything’ to be healthy. I don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. I can just be me. It’s certainly a work in progress, and yes, I’m feeling that I have much more freedom than I’ve had for a long time!

    Love you girl! xo
    Christa @ Edible Balance recently posted..Celebration continues and a North Coast Naturals giveaway!My Profile

  14. GIRLLLLL! I used to go to school in Boulder, CO – and I am from Jackson, WY…. So I would drive 8 hours from Boulder to Jackson all the time. SO I UNDERSTAND YOUR COMPLAINTS about Southern WY! HA HA AH!

    And you bet your aunt Sally I have food allergies and intolerances. I cannot eat: wheat, dairy, gluten, sugar, soy, nuts, fruit and eggs!!!
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted..Clamming Around With My DadMy Profile

  15. I have a LOT of food sensitivities…so many I can’t even list them all here. However frustrating and sometimes embarrassing it can be to have to turn down so many foods, the difference in how I feel is totally worth it. I was feeling so bad physically, which was draining me emotionally because I could not find a cause. So now that I know how to control it through diet, I find a lot of comfort in that.

    Before discovering my sensitivities, though, I was definitely in an “I can’t eat that” place purely by choice. So many of us develop our own food rules that can really be faulty and invalid. There is no point depriving ourselves. Now that I know what I truly can’t eat, I don’t restrict myself of anything that won’t make me sick, because it’s not worth it. I totally hear you on how liberating it is to let go of those self-imposed rules.
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  17. I’m one of the lucky ones with no food allergies. I can eat almost anything and pretty much do with the exception of meat and fish. I’m a textural eater so those two groups aren’t really my thing. I’ve never really enjoyed them, with the exception of bacon and hot dogs, which is why I walked away from meat a couple years ago. I have no regrets about it, and one day I will eat bacon and hot dogs again, especially since I don’t believe in true restriction, not for myself anyway. It’s doesn’t bode well for a long term lifestyle and doesn’t sound enjoyable either, and for me, food is something to be enjoyed.

  18. Kristen says:

    I have Celiac Disease and it’s a real bitch. I was diagnosed almost 4 years ago and I’m STILL struggling to come to terms with it. I absolutely agree, don’t give yourself something to be restrictive about if you don’t HAVE to. Food is wonderful. Gluten is AWESOME. My immune system is defective. Oh gluten. How I miss you.

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  22. Hello I’m a man lol…anyways I stumbled across some of your articles and I just wanted to say they are great..I’ve gone back and forth with body image struggles…dropped weight..gained weight..gotten lean..gotten you name it I’ve done it..I’ve gotten revelation that set me free and then turned around and went back into being trapped again…anyways long story short I think you look fabulous physically no matter what weight but most of all I think your strong and beautiful mentally..not many people make it to that type of freedom in their life..really enjoy your articles and like the way you think..

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