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FESTIVE FOODS: FRIEND OR FOE?
With the fall season comes a variety of festive occasions and tons of holiday goodness and cheer. Many of these occasions involve food (and lots of it) as part of the party. But when you have IBD, these occasions can be, well, let's just say, less than festive. So what exactly CAN you eat? In this article, you'll find helpful hints and super-great tips to help you make the best holiday food choices!
GO WITH YOUR GUT
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are conditions that are as unique as each individual. Through trial and error, you've probably learned what foods you can tolerate safely and what foods you could do without. Go with what you know and be sure to trust your instincts. Listening to your body will make all the difference, especially during special occasions and frequent holiday chow-fests.
STAY ON TRACK
Evening get-togethers with your friends and holiday lunches during schooldays can totally mess up your normal, healthy eating habits. Bah Humbug! There are way too many tempting dishes, sweets and munchies during this time -- Halloween with all those Snickers bars and Abba Zabbas, Thanksgiving with its rich stuffing and heavy gravy, not to mention the zillions of super rich desserts during the December holidays. There are pretty much goodies around every turn and sometimes it can be super hard to say no.
The holiday season always seems to be jam-packed with shopping trips with friends and 24/7 family get-togethers. With such a kooky schedule be careful that your stress level doesn't go through the roof and your eating plan out the window. Take a breath and remember to take it slow. With some pre-planning, you can avoid all that yucky stress and stay on track.
BYOD: BRING YOUR OWN DISH
If you have party plans, why not call your hosts and ask if you can contribute to the menu by bringing one of your favorite foods? This way your hosts will be thankful and so will your body.
Understandably, you may feel a teensy bit awkward making "the phone call" to people you don't know well, especially if you're not ready to tell them about your IBD. But no worries! You don't need to reveal TMI if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Just tell them you're on a medical diet and that there are certain foods you're not supposed to eat. This response can also be used when random friends or even strangers press problem foods at holiday gatherings. Most people will be cool with your explanation without demanding further details. And if they're not? Change the subject. "So how about those Mets, anyway?" always seems to do the trick.
Bug your mom for some the recipes of some of your favorite and most agreeable foods and/or help her cook an appetizer, one-dish entree, and/or your fave dessert to bring along to a party. This way you will have something there you know you can eat, not to mention a grateful hostess, which means more invitations for you! Woohoo!
P-R-E-P is K-E-Y
Ask your parent or guardian to cook some of your favorite and most digestible foods ahead of time so you can keep favorites in the freezer at all times. That way, an unexpected invitation won't leave you worrying - you can just grab a dish and go. This helps keep the pressure off mom as well.