Are you looking to lose weight? Maybe you’ve been working out, but haven’t perfected your diet yet? You may be reading this because, like me, you suffer from an autoimmune disorder and need guidance. If you are any of these three people, you’ve come to the right place!
It's time to make a change.
I have Endometriosis, which is an autoimmune disorder that stems from my reproductive system and causes me constant, chronic pain. A huge factor in managing the pain is dieting. If you DON’T suffer from a chronic illness, you’re not in the wrong place! My diet plan is easy to follow and centers around eating clean but not restricting yourself to starvation. My tips and guidance could be what you need to continue your journey in improving your health.
The reality is that our diets affect a lot more than we realize. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or not, having a set diet really does help your body. Take it from me: I had no energy, my pain was getting worse, and my health was at an all-time low. The first step I took, before I even began to work out, was to improve my diet. Just that alone made a HUGE difference in my everyday health.
As an online yoga coach, setting a good example for a diet is part of my job. However, I started my “endo diet” well before I was coaching. I used to not pay attention to my diet because I’ve always been naturally skinny. Why worry about my diet when people tell me to eat more burgers? Reality check: My body is unique and needs to be taken care of. Everyone has their own reasons for why they’re dieting. It seems complicated and like a lot of work, but that’s why I created this resource to help give you a good first step! I’ve done a lot of research and experimented with different food. I figured out what helps me feel better and what triggers my pain, also known as a flare-up.
Nobody with Endometriosis wants to be stuck in bed. We don’t want to be in constant pain or discomfort. Most importantly, we want to feel healthy and have energy! Even if you don’t suffer from pain and fatigue, you’re reading this for a reason. That’s why I’m sharing all the details of my diet! I’ll be going over the food groups, what to avoid, and how easy dieting can be. So let’s jump into it!
We’ve all read on the internet to avoid red meat. Honestly, the internet isn’t lying this time. If you have an autoimmune disorder, read meat can and will bring a flare-up. At the very least, bloating is to be expected. Red meat is heavy on the stomach, making it work harder to digest. Most foods I’ll be listing to avoid cause similar issues. This extra work on the stomach is what triggers bloating or flare-ups. This, of course, brings a long pain.
Red Meat Includes:
Instead, aim for leaner white meat:
I eat a decent amount of pork, too. Mainly, I enjoy seafood like fish, crab, or shrimp.
Let’s talk about eggs for second, though. I love eggs! When I found out that they should be avoided because they trigger extra estrogen production, I was very upset. I have eight chickens in my backyard that produce an egg every day! Have no fear if you’re an egg lover like me. Farm fresh is the best to get, not store bought. I allow myself ONE egg a day, at most.
I’m not on the Vegan Bandwagon, again, because I’m rather skinny. However, if you’re looking to cut out meat completely, nuts and beans are a good go-to for protein!
Vegetables and Fruit
You can never have enough fruits and veggies! Here is a list of what I regularly eat:
- green beans
- bell peppers
Take note that sugar is a concern for flare-ups. So don’t overload on fruit, as these have a lot of natural sugar. I usually have a fruit smoothie for breakfast every day, which includes a variation of my listed fruits. It’s a great energy boost, especially for the morning.
When it comes to vegetables, I try to avoid corn. Corn is a starch, technically, so it doesn’t hold much value. It’s not cut completely out of my diet, but I go for broccoli or green beans as a dinner side more often.
Salads are important! I aim to have one every day for lunch, usually a mix of lettuce and vegetables. I also add crab meat or a hard-boiled egg.
As stated above, my breakfast and lunch are usually fruit and veggie-based with a dash of protein. This is SO important because it’s light on the stomach and gives my body a nutritional energy boost. Even if you don’t have Endometriosis, this kind of routine can benefit your energy, health, and mood.
Now, I know we all love carbs! It’s an easy go-to and super common in most meals. I’m not here to tell you to take it all out. In fact, carbs are important to have. Our bodies use carbohydrates to create energy, so it does hold some benefit. What’s important is that you eat the right carbs and portion them to be less or equal to the other food groups. We should never have the majority of our daily diet be carbs.
Carbs to Avoid
- white bread
- white rice
- deep-fried or greasy potatoes
- flour tortillas
Instead, Replace with
- brown rice
- whole wheat bread
- cauliflower rice
- corn tortillas
You can have pasta and potatoes, just not all the time. I often have potatoes, but it’s not an everyday thing.
Carbohydrates are so important to watch. This is because a lot of women with Endometriosis can become sensitive to gluten. Gluten is found in wheat, which is used to make flour. White bread is heavier in gluten than whole wheat. When I have a sandwich for lunch, I always use whole-wheat bread. I suggest toasting the bread, but that’s just my personal taste!
The point here is that I’m not allergic to gluten because of my autoimmune disorder. It’s the same situation as red meat. Heavier carbs cause your stomach to work harder, making you tired, bloated, and at risk for a flare-up. So when I cut the portions of my carbs down and made smarter carb choices, I am able to enjoy food without hurting my body!
If you don’t have Endometriosis, I still suggest following my replacement list. These tips will help you lose weight and feel more energized. Even without an autoimmune disorder, too many carbs is just not what your body needs.
When it comes to dairy, I avoid it all together. Dairy is heavy on your stomach, and of course this can trigger a flare-up. This means,
- sour cream
- cream cheese
- whipped cream
If you can’t live without milk, I really do suggest almond milk! The taste is amazing, and it’s better for you!
I won’t tell you that you can never, ever have dairy. I have cheese sometimes, and sour cream will always be my favorite taco topping. I do go days, even a whole week, without a single dairy product in my stomach. It’s been the easiest to let go of, since I’m a fully grown adult who doesn’t need the calcium boost. Sometimes it gets difficult to eat fewer carbs when I have a busy day, and I’m just trying to grab something easy. Dairy is easier to cut out, and you’ll find that it’s simply an added treat.
Sugar and Fats
I really shouldn’t have to go into detail about why less sugar and fat is good for you. Cutting out regular fast food and treats will help you lose stubborn fat and keep away flare ups for those with chronic pain.
Again, you don’t need to never ever eat cake, fries, or any other fatty treats. Be smart! If you’ve been eating super clean for a couple days, but have a craving, go get it! Don’t binge on a whole cake or two big burgers from a fast food joint. You’re allowed to treat yourself. If you’ve set your body up with a nutritious base, you’re sticking to a good diet routine, and you’re feeling healthy, there’s no reason not to have a treat sometimes!
To summarize and help you put these lists into action, I’ll go over two options for a basic breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These are my go-to meals every day! They’re easy to put together, the ingredients are inexpensive, and they follow the diet plan I’ve laid out.
Option 1: Fruit Smoothie
- slices of banana
- strawberry-flavored shake powder
- 1 cup of fruit juice
Blend the above ingredients together, and enjoy an energizing shake!
Option 2: Toast
- two slices of whole-wheat bread
Topped with your choice of:
- peanut butter
Option 1: Simple Salad
- shredded carrot
- avocado, sliced or diced
- crab meat or a hard-boiled egg
Option 2: Sandwich
- whole-wheat bread
- turkey or ham slices
- avocado slices
- THIN spread of mayo (better than a thick slice of cheese)
Option 1: Turkey Burger
- grilled Turkey Burger (easily found at a store
- whole-wheat bun
- small amount of mayo or mustard
- green beans on the side
Option 2: Chicken and Rice
- chicken, seasoned and cut to your preference
- rice mixed with mushrooms
- broccoli on the side
Need More Inspiration?
To make things easier, I have a shake that I keep on-hand as a meal replacement. This shake powder is something I use in my daily fruit smoothies. It has an excellent serving of fruits and veggies, it’s low in calories, and curves my appetite while giving me energy! You could use this shake for breakfast or have as a snack in the middle of the day. Having something like this has made planning my daily meals easier. Breakfast is important and really sets you up for the day, which is why I always recommend replacing your breakfast with this shake.
You could make your own smoothies, or contact me via Instagram (which I will link at the end of the article) to learn where to get the shakes I drink!
I hope this article has inspired and helped to guide you in the right diet direction. Having a healthy lifestyle makes a huge difference on your physical and mental health. That’s why I’m on a mission to bring guidance and inspiration to a better you!
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