The holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year’s can be a time of massive struggle for those who deal with food allergies, food sensitivities, digestive disorders and disordered eating. I’m there with you and the struggle is real!
Food is so intricately tied to celebration in our culture, and that isn’t a bad thing! But it can be so difficult to navigate making food choices that nourish both body and spirit. For those of us who have restrictions, we often find ourselves feeling resentful, sad, left-out and deflated when everyone around us seems to be living it up at the party. Sometimes, we decide to be “naughty” and eat things we know we “shouldn’t”, and then deal with the guilt we apply to our choices. No fun!
Holiday Eating Guide
Here are some simple suggestions for alleviating those feelings of injustice and guilt that we take on when trying to enjoy food during the holidays.
- Remember, it’s just food. It does not hold intrinsic emotional value, nor does it define your value. The eating of foods or avoidance of foods does not define the heart of what you are celebrating. It’s just food.
- Find joy in what food is available to you. This may mean looking at foods with a new perspective: perhaps joy does not come through mindless indulgence, but through appreciation for your journey toward health.
- Give yourself the gift of a nourishing life. Choose foods, activities, restorative practices and people who build up your body and spirit. It’s ok to say no to the things that are not beneficial at this time of your life.
- It’s ok to occasionally eat things that may not be the best for your body (with the exception of foods to which you are allergic or experience an auto-immune reaction). Investigate the feelings and motivations behind your choices, make your choice with gusto and enjoy that food!