I’ve completely cut out gluten and dairy at this point except for when I eat them, which is often. They weren’t even that hard to eliminate, and I’d say the trick is still eating them daily. I’ve become way more mindful of what I’m putting into my body now, which is tons of gluten and dairy, all the time.

It’s something I’ve been trying for a while because I might have an intolerance, but honestly, since I started, I don’t feel any better at all, and I think it’s because I still eat gluten and dairy constantly. I guess I would say it’s been difficult at times not to indulge when the food is already in my mouth and sliding down my throat. Still, I understand the importance of treating my body like a temple, because we only get one body for this lifetime, and mine is full to the tits with cheese and bread.

The main culprits I try to avoid are bread, pasta, cheese, and ice cream, and it’s been going well—I really only eat them whenever I want to. I know people find it difficult when they’re out to dinner and have to find something on the menu they can eat. I don’t worry about seeming high maintenance with my healthy diet; I just tell whoever I’m with that I no longer eat gluten and dairy, then I order a dish steeped in volcanic cheeses because a little bit won’t hurt anything except for my insides from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.

You’d be surprised how many foods have gluten in them; you have to read ingredients pretty closely to make sure it’s gluten-free, which I do not do. I can basically tell there’s gluten in something when I fall to the floor, clutching my abdomen. Dairy is easier to spot, so I know when I’m destroying a tub of ice cream in bed at 11:00 p.m., there’s going to be quite a bit of milk in there.

I’m all about balance, so eating an entire wheel of brie here and there is something I allow myself; I don’t want to completely restrict myself from eating foods that make me physically ill for days. There are no “good” foods and “bad” foods, only foods that give me explosive farts, cramps, and acne, and foods that don’t. It’s not that I don’t believe in the “power of food”; it’s just that I don’t “want to stop,” if that makes sense. I guess it’s hard to explain what I mean while my mouth is stuffed with macaroni and cheese.

If you think you’re sensitive to gluten and dairy, try starting small by saying, “Oh, I shouldn’t,” then eat it anyway, until you’re ready to announce, “I have a gluten and dairy allergy,” before devouring every scrap like a loose, angry wolf. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect; we’re all just doing our best to avoid eating gluten and dairy while still eating them multiple times a day, every day of our lives.