If we get caught up in who we were, we lose sight of who we can become.
Pre-celiac, I studied abroad in northwest France, where I ate a pastry and/or bread product every. single. day. No exaggeration. I was twenty years old, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, savoring every bite of French food culture and LIVING IT UP.
These gorgeous pastries right here were on a trip to Paris. I probably ate countless of these beauties, along with buttery brioche, perfectly golden baguettes, pain au chocolate (chocolate croissants) that melted in my mouth, and pistachio raspberry tarts that I literally still dream about. It was butter and gluten, all day, everyday.
I returned to the states and a few years later started having digestive issues that would lead me down a long road to discovering I have celiac. I (sadly) have not been back to Europe since, but in remembering my time in France, I recognize that next time will look very different.
I feel okay with that.
There are still moments where I miss foods from the past, but 95% of the time I feel pretty content with where I am today. I could either get attached to the nostalgia and feel bitter about how my health circumstances have changed my food options, or I could simply be grateful for my experience in France that was one of the most formative of my life thus far, one that had an immense influence on the food-filled direction my life would take not long after.
To give you some perspective, I’ve been working on this mental shift for many years now, so yeah, it doesn’t happen overnight. Give yourself time, permission, and grace to process and grieve foods and/or the way your life once was before celiac. Cherish your past, but try not to get lost in what was. Try to instead latch onto the wonder of what you and your life can become. Celiac is an opportunity for us to be stronger, more loving and kind to ourselves, and for many of us it renews our appreciation for our health. That’s worth quite a few pastries in my book.
It’s easy to get swept away in remembering the “good ol’ days” but it may lead you to miss out being present for potentially better ones to come.
If any of this resonates with you, feel free to reach out or comment below with your thoughts!