Holiday Treats + Food Sensitivities = Trouble?
The holidays can be a rough time of year for those of us with food sensitivities. The plethora of holiday parties often tempt us into trouble. This seems to be especially true when people have a few months of improvement and healing under their belt (Heh; pun intended) – sometimes people think, “I’m so much better, now I can do whatever I want!” Or, they’re frustrated at limitation and take a “forget it” attitude – only to end up regretting it.
Here are a few tips to help you thrive when nobody else around you is eating healthily.
Don’t Go Hungry
The old standby rule – “Don’t go to the grocery store hungry” – has a corollary: “Don’t go to holiday parties hungry.” Remember that the point of a party is not to eat. The point of a party is to go hang out with your friends and family. Repeat this to yourself as often as necessary, and then fill up on healthy choices before you go.
Just Say No
We live in this weird time in which some people equate healthy eating with food snobbery. Just because people do this, doesn’t mean you have to play along!
Whole, unprocessed foods are not a fad, and they are not elitist – think about what the lower and middle classes were eating before the Industrial Revolution: whole, unprocessed foods that were probably local, and in-season, and were definitely organic!
It definitely helps to let go of convincing anyone your way is the right way; as much as you don’t want to hear judgment of your choices, they don’t want to hear judgment of theirs. By all means, educate when asked. But save yourself some frustration and leave it at that.
When offered something that you don’t want to eat, it’s 100% acceptable to simply politely decline with a “No, thank you.” You don’t have to explain anything. If your host or a busybody guest insists or inquires, just smile, nod and repeat, “No, thank you.” Remind yourself that your health choices are your own business and require no justification.
Watch Out for the Tricksters
Unfortunately, sometimes junk masquerades as healthy choices.
Vegetable crudités are usually a safe bet, but definitely watch out for the dips. A Ranch-dressing sort of thing will certainly be filled with additives and chemicals.
Mixed nuts – also watch out here. The typical commercial ones are often roasted with hydrogenated oils, and coated with chemical seasonings. Go for plain ol’ nuts when you see them.
Bring Your Own
Bring a dish to share, and not only will you know it’s good to eat and exactly what’s in it, you might have the covert satisfaction of sneaking healthy food into your friends and family (or is this just me?).
Take Your Enzymes
If you’re well into your healing process, you might be able to indulge in an item or two you couldn’t previously eat. But don’t overdo it! Frequently people make the incorrect assumption that now that they’re healed, they can eat anything they want. That is only true if you want to go back to how you used to feel.
If you’re far enough into your healing process, you might know how frequently you can eat your food sensitivity without getting into trouble, so stick to that – even around the holidays. And when you do go down that path, travel with your allies, by taking your digestive enzymes with you.