Library: Holiday Tips and Tricks
Holidays place many of you in difficult situations regarding food. Please don't let it stress you - you deserve better from yourself. A few tips...
- If you have a problem with food chemicals you may be able to risk some deviation from your diet - if you do this then please please enjoy it and not worry about it. If you get a reaction then that's just life. Savour the moment!
- If you can not deviate from your diet at all, or there are some foods that are extremely toxic to you, then make sure that anybody cooking for you knows this. I always think it best to supply a list of foods you can eat rather than ones that have to be avoided.
- If family are not prepared to adjust meals for you or you suspect that, despite good intentions, they'll not get it right then take some of your own food with you. You can always soothe hurt feelings by explaining that you've been too ill just lately to take any risks or that your doctor has insisted that you stick to food that you have prepared.
- If somebody keeps insisting you have something not safe... "go
on a little bit won't hurt... your mother/aunt/friend/whoever has
been slaving in the kitchen for days to prepare this - you'll hurt
their feelings.. I made it specially for you ..."
Reply with something like 'I'm really sorry but I can't. It looks lovely but it will make me very ill.". Keep repeating the same sentence to each repeated attempt at persuasion until the person gets the message. If you have do this more than 5 times then change the subject or excuse yourself and go to the bathroom.
- Don't expect to be understood and you'll experience less grief. I always think back to the days before I knew about allergies and food intolerance - I wouldn't have understood what someone with my problems was talking about and I'm not sure that I've been that interested. I think also it would have made me very nervous to invite them for a meal and I would have welcomed a list or better still the offer that they bring some of their own food with them.
- Remember your problems are familiar to you but others may have no understanding of them at all. If someone wants to debate with you whether your problems are real or 'in your head' don't get into the discussion. State your case as simply and in as few words as possible, change the subject, leave the room or whatever but don't swallow the bait!
- Don't feel you have to explain yourself all the time or 'convert' people to your point of view. If someone asks you about your diet then explain but do stop when their eyes start to glaze over!
- And most important of all, enjoy yourself!
Some extra tips for dealing with holidays when on your own.
There are times when due to severe allergy problems, chemical intolerance, or illness you quite simply are unable to be with others on special days. These tips are just for you.
Make things as special as possible – just because you are on your own does not mean you can’t celebrate. Aim to have a lovely time – you deserve it. A few ideas to help you on your way:
- Plan some really lovely meals – don’t just make do.
- Put up some decorations even if you have to make them yourself.
- Buy yourself some special gifts and wrap them.
- Enjoy the luxury of having time to just be yourself – many people long for this and are just unable to take it so, from their perspective, you have an amazing gift.
- Pamper yourself - whether that is a long soak in a bath, an extra long sleep, marathon watching of your favourite films, curling up with a book, listening to music, starting a new craft project...
Remember, there is nothing wrong with you as a person just because you can’t do what others are doing.
Look after yourself really well. You are a special person (there is no one else quite like you) so treat yourself with respect and love.