Published December 13, 2022
There are those who dread holiday dinners because they are trying to lose weight and know they will overindulge. Others can’t wait until the holidays so they can “pig out. Then there are those who live with IBD and stress as the holidays approach, as there are so many situations, decisions, and personal interactions that can possibly cause friction or embarrassment. Fortunately, there are ways to navigate holiday dinners when you have IBD.
The IBD Dilemma
There are 3 million Americans who live with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Trying to balance taking part in traditional holiday meals but avoiding an IBD flare is no easy task. Those with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease know how tricky this can be.
As the season approaches, these tips may help you with navigating holiday dinners with IBD.
Indulge in Alcohol-Free Beverages
There are many alcohol-free beverages out there from wines to beers and no one needs to be the wiser.
Never Go to a Holiday Dinner or Party Hungry
When you’re hungry, your defenses are down and you may eat things you know will cause problems later. Eat something healthy and filling before you attend an event which will help to keep you on track.
Offer to Bring a Dish
That way you can get a heads up on what will be served and be able to plan ahead what you can enjoy and what to avoid. You know that what you are bringing fits into your restricted diet.
Bring an Appetizer
You can choose the ingredients and everyone can partake. Safer and stress-free compared to surprise appetizers. Even better, bring a dessert too.
Ask for What You Need
That means asking the host to prepare something for you. This could be simple boiled potatoes before they are mashed with butter, or setting aside some of the veggies and simply roasting them minus the cheese and other dressings. It’s easier to do if you know the person hosting or if they are a relative (at least, usually).
Don’t forget to drink water to stay hydrated and squeeze some lemon into it. Without enough water, you can develop a headache, feel dizzy, or weak.
Some Additional Tips
- It is important to eat slowly and chew your food well
- Eat small portions instead of one large one
- You be the host
Just remember that a flare is temporary, so stay positive. Enjoy the company around you instead of focusing on the food.
Contact GI Solutions of Illinois at (773) 631-2728 if you have specific questions or concerns about having an IBD and navigating holiday dinners.