Holiday weekends are all about food and games and people we love! And it all sounds wonderful…until you have to bring your food sensitivities to the party.
And there's more to it than not eating favorite and really yummy foods and answering all of the questions. I believe our identity changes a bit. What we saw ourselves as and what we imagined for the future are different now that you have to incorporate food sensitivities.
Maybe that sounds a little dramatic. But think about all of the ways food plays a role in our lives. It's tradition, identity and family. It's a form of communication.
I put all of this out here as encouragement - you're not crazy or overly emotional if you find the food sensitivity thing depressing. It's hard and it changes the rules of the game.
So, while we're working on solving the puzzle it makes sense to take a little time to simply acknowledge that we're also grieving something we've lost.
That's one reason I am so passionate about food sensitivities. I feel the medical world basically shrugs their shoulders at us and wishes us luck as they walk out the exam room door. This is not an easy journey and it's definitely not an easy puzzle to figure out.
But if we work just a bit on the mind game side of food sensitivities, it can make the overall puzzle a bit easier. (At least then we're not fighting with ourselves!) This is where we start digging into the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. We're not going to go through all of these, but can't you see each one in yourself if you think about your food sensitivity journey?
Keep in mind these stages don't go in order. They bounce all over the place! I've been doing this thing for over 45 years and I still have periods of anger. I still periodically try some dairy ice cream, fingers crossed it won't bother me this time. And then I end up just shrugging my shoulders and accepting the situation…with a little bit of hope that my body will still heal, change, and, someday, like dairy ice cream.
A wise friend of mine has indulged me on a few occasions, chatting about grief and loss and other light and airy kinds of topics. He has a saying which I love…"Grief comes in fits and starts until it starts to fit".
Be patient with yourself on this journey. Remember this is a big thing you're dealing with - it affects just about every aspect of your life. And working through it is what I call Next-Level Self-Care.
Sixty-second Self-care Tip…
Comfort food is such a big part of our culture. Before you ended up on this food sensitivity path, what was your go-to comfort food for times you felt sad or overwhelmed? Is it something you can still eat now if you're playing by your new food sensitivity rules?
If not, it's time to find a new go-to comfort food! Because we all need a little self-indulgence periodically.
Two options to consider if your comfort food is a recipe you make at home. First, you can change up ingredients and update a favorite recipe. It's not going to taste exactly the same, but for some folks that's ok! Second, if that favorite dish just isn't the same unless it tastes exactly the way it did when you first discovered it, look for something new and unrelated.
Be curious. Be deliberate. Take care of you!
And then when you're headed to a holiday meal or party, you can bring along your new comfort food for a little emotional back-up! Who knows…you might just help some friends or family try something new and wonderful, too!
Need a few more ideas for how to stay sane on this food sensitivity journey? Request a copy of my FREE resource, 7 Steps to Minimize Histamine Intolerance, and get started today!