Thursday, June 30, 2011

Life’s a Picnic...

Holidays can be hard for those with food allergies and food sensitivities. Everyone seems to be having a good time while you obsess over the unknowns of what you can and cannot eat. Does the salad dressing have soybean oil? Are the meatballs made with breadcrumbs or cheese? Did that hamburger touch the salmon when they were on the grill together?

A good strategy for dealing with picnics and parties is to be informed. If you know the host or hostess well, you can directly address your concerns beforehand while offering to make a side dish and/or a dessert. Making something similar to what will be served is a good tactic. This way, you wont feel deprived since you CAN have what others are having.

From a buffet, choose foods that are basic, such as a salad that has dressing on the side, or a plain baked potato. If you have problems with wheat or gluten, wrap a burger in a lettuce leaf. This is a popular strategy for people on a low-carbohydrate diet. Remember to avoid mayonnaise if you are allergic to soy or eggs. And always take the opportunity to read a label before putting something on your plate.

Are you going to a picnic or party as a guest and feel awkward about being vocal regarding your food allergies or food sensitivities? Then consider eating a large meal at home and taking snacks with you. Avoiding alcohol can keep you focused and enable you to refrain from making bad choices.

If you have a severe allergy to any food, you should avoid it no matter how socially uncomfortable it may be to ask the questions that will protect your health and, possibly, your life. The consequences are not worth the risk.

Someone with food sensitivities may be willing to take such a risk. In the event that you opt to indulge, then make notes of any symptoms experienced. This knowledge may help you be more diligent in the future. It’s also a good idea to take some digestive enzymes as they may shorten the duration of any symptoms that may occur.

Here are a few picnic- and party-friendly dishes:

Other suggestions that are not shown are Potato Salad (click for recipe,) Italian Salad Dressing (click for recipe,) and Pomegranate Orange Salad Dressing (click for recipe.)

You never know, you may be providing a nibble for some who didn’t want to speak up about their own food allergies or food sensitivities.

Eat well and be well,


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