If you're anything like me, and I'm sure you are... the Thanksgiving bounty has left you feeling as bloated as the Macy's parade balloons. Too much of a good thing can sometimes be... well... too much! As good as I tried to behave I indulged in treats and dishes we don't normally eat, and like a fool I paid little or no attention to the fact that the foods I was eating were NOT allergy free. I'm thankful that my allergies do not cause anaphylactic symptoms or hives... they cause digestive upset and inflammation. I suppose I've just lived with it for so long that sometimes I just don't care what the consequences are... until later that night or the next day when I'm miserable.
So, now enough of the complaining. What am I going to do to make sure this doesn't happen again at Christmas, or New Years, or any other food-centric event? I could kid myself and say I'm just going to eat carrot sticks and lettuce leaves... no allergens there, but that's just not realistic. Not to mention it will most likely lead me to binge later. It's obvious I made some typical mistakes, so here are some tips to help keep the splurge urge in check.
First of all, if you're hosting the event then there is no reason to not have foods available that you can eat, but if you're like most people, you'll be heading over to someone else's house for the holiday festivities. My major mistake this Thanksgiving was not taking control of some aspect of my meal. Don't do what I did. Have a conversation with your host, and be honest with your dietary needs. I don't believe in making it their responsibility to provide acceptable foods for you, but offer to bring a dish or two that you can eat. That way you'll at least have something there that's OK for you. If there's a traditional dish that you just know you're going to have trouble avoiding... research some alternatives. Rework the recipe with ingredients that are acceptable for you. Take control.
I realize that sometime the host is someone we don't know, and there will be situations where you can't control the food being served. My advice in those situations are to find out as much as you can about the foods being served, be smart about the foods you do choose to eat, and if nothing else... eat before you go.
The bottom line is we're all going to come across some irresistible food this holiday season, whether it's mom's special dish that she only makes once a year or a killer recipe someone is just dying for you to try. Don't sabotage yourself, be honest about your needs, and go with a plan.