We’re just at the beginning of the of the holiday season and the invites for work parties, friend gatherings, in-laws and family outings, are coming in and it’s not even the main event!
With all the joy and excitement, it can bring on a lot of overwhelming feelings for those who have dietary restrictions and allergies. Living a plant-based lifestyle and being allergic to tree nuts has had me become quite the expert! I think I deserve to toot my own horn about this! TOOT, TOOT!
My 5 Top Tips to Surviving the Holidays and you can thank me in the comments below. 😉
- You’ve definitely heard this tip before when it comes to being in-control when you live with allergies but it’s a fool proof! Bring your own food to share. This is a simple way for others to become more educated on your allergies and for you to be able to join in on the fun, without being worries about what you’re going to eat! I Especially plan to make or purchase an item that I usually wouldn’t get or my favourite treat!
2. Host the dinner or brunch at your place! If the party planner is getting everything in order, suggest that you can host the dinner at your place and that you just ask that they keep the recipes free from! It might require a little clean up, but if you and your girlfriend are teaming up, it can actually be a lot of fun to host a dinner at your place. I’ve done this a couple times and I didn’t even end up cooking anything. My girlfriend took over the kitchen and I was served a delicious allergen friendly dinner!
3. Eat before you go. It can get tricky when it comes to work holiday parties. It’s great to bring your own snacks to work parties but it’s definitely a place when cross contamination can become an issue. Your co-workers may have a few too many cocktails and we can’t blame them for having a good time, but we don’t want to spend a night in the hospital either. My fool proof plan is to eat a delicious meal beforehand, bring some snacks in my purse and grab a glass of bubbly!!
4. When it comes to going out to restaurant for dinners and especially holiday work dinners. I’ve run into this situation a few times with my nut allergy. Eating plant-based it can be actually pretty easy to find options at restaurants but when you add the nut allergy into the mix. It can get complicated. In these situations, I keep it lean and green. I usually have a snack before I go and then keep it to lean protein, greens and vegetables. I make sure the waiter is aware of my allergies and notify them to do what they can to avoid cross contamination. I have never run into many problems with this but if you do…I would say its not worth it. Plain and simple. I know you may be thinking…”oh great, now here comes all the questions from my co-workers”. NOTHING is worth getting sick or having a reaction! Keep is classy and cool. Enjoy the company of your co-workers and maybe have a second glass of wine? Hit up that late-night grocery store and buy your favourite allergen free box of cookies. It’s going to be alright.
5. Your family and especially you in-laws could be new to your allergies and lifestyle choices. When Anna was first discovering that she had celiac disease, our family had no idea what could contain gluten and it took time for them to understand. Don’t get upset, don’t be dramatic. You’re going to get through it and you going to eat something delicious! This is the perfect time to discover a new bake shop, allergen friendly restaurant or health food store! During this time of year these places usually come out with specific holiday menus that are AMAZING. I have to say I’ve gone a little crazy with all the options in the city. Anna lives in a small town and there is many gluten free bake shops and restaurants in the surrounding area, doing this type of thing! Plan ahead and you will be sure to find something delectable!
BONUS: Pinterest. Pinterest is a quick and fantastic resource to find new allergen friendly recipes to make this year! You can now find Live Free Canada on Pinterest with all of our free from recipes!