You’ve been given a diagnosis and the advice to change your diet. Now what?
First, continue the conversation with your doctor. If he or she is the person who recommended dietary changes, they should have given you some guidelines. If you didn’t receive any instructions, call the doctor’s office to ask for more information.
You’ll want to know what your diagnosis is, and how diet affects you because of it. Ask which foods are recommended and which foods are restricted. Ask if they have any recommendations of where you can go for more information or recipe ideas.
As you review the list of approved foods, consider which of your usual meals will still work. Also think about which meals will work if you substitute a restricted ingredient with an approved ingredient. Working with your familiar meals where possible will lessen the feeling that something is being taken away from you.
Once you have your “yes” and “no” foods, and know which of your recipes you can work with, do some research to add to your meals and snacks plan. The Internet can be a great resource. Search using your diagnosis as one of your keywords. For example, “recipes for cardiac patients.”
You might also try the cookbook section of your local bookstore. There are cookbooks out there for all sorts of diets, including for certain medical conditions, like diabetes, for example.
Diagnoses can come with a lot of anxiety, and receiving food restrictions can feel like even more is being lost. With good planning and a little creativity, your new diet can satisfy you nutritionally and bring comfort.