How to Survive the Holidays When You Have Food Sensitivities
If you have food sensitivities or are on a special diet it can be stressful navigating social meals over the holidays . Here are some tips so you can spend your energy having gratitude for family and friends–not feeling bloated or getting diarrhea.
1) Have activated charcoal or digestive enzymes with you in case you accidentally get exposed to foods you don’t tolerate. These will not completely take away your symptoms but will likely help reduce them significantly.
2) Be prepared ahead of time and make or purchase food for the meal you can eat. I cannot eat a lot of the typical Thanksgiving foods so I will often buy things in advance from local bakeries and food coops that carry gluten free/dairy free foods or organize my recipes and make it myself. It is not rude to bring delicious food to a meal to ensure you can eat it. If you feel really uncomfortable bringing food to someone else’s house, just eat before you go so you aren’t dependent on what they are offering.
3) If you are eating out, take charge of choosing a restaurant and call ahead so you know what you will be able to eat off the menu.
4) If you are traveling see what grocery stores and restaurants are in the area so you know in advance what your options are. There are several resources for finding gluten free restaurants across the country.
5) If anyone asks why you can’t eat something just tell them you are allergic to it. This usually stops the conversation and people can understand what that means. If this triggers someone to making disparaging comments about how trendy it is to be gluten free/dairy free just smack them with a turkey leg. Kidding!