The GMGH Holiday Survival Guide
Note: this post is way old but still great so it’s getting a face lift! I do also want to clarify something: while I normally advocate for following as diverse a diet as your body allows, the holidays can be stressful and may trigger more digestive symptoms than during “normal” times — this happens for me at least. Around Thanksgiving and Christmas, especially when traveling, I try to eat as many “safe” foods to minimize feeling miserable!
Christmas is this week! How did that happen?! We’re hosting both of our families this year, so we’re busy making shopping lists and planning our menu. But I figured I’d pop in and share some tried and true tips for surviving the holidays.
Whether you’re hosting, traveling a short distance, or traveling across the country for the holidays, one thing is sure: nobody wants to deal with a crippling stomachache on top of everything else going on during this week and next. Just because you follow the low FODMAP diet doesn’t mean you have to suffer though! Here’s your guide to having an enjoyable and pain-free holiday week.
Figure out the menu
If you’re not hosting, call up whoever is and inquire about the menu. I find that most people are very sympathetic toward restricted diets, they just don’t know what to do to help, so offer some suggestions! That turkey? Ask that they don’t smother it in garlic. Actually, request that they hold on the garlic and onions whenever possible. Planning on roasting veggies? Suggest some low FODMAP options, like green beans or winter squash (just not butternut).
Bring your own dish
This comes across as an act of generosity, and you are ensured that there’s something you can eat. Double win! Here are some great options:
- This article has a good roundup of my favorite holiday recipes
- Cornbread, always a winner
- Chicken tortilla soup — easy to make ahead of time and re-heat
- A simple salad like this one is always great
- Roast some veggies — sweet potatoes or beets are a great option
- Make some cookies — some low FODMAP chocolate chip ones, or this roundup looks great!
Provide your own breakfast and snacks
As when I’m traveling on my own, I always come prepared. For the meals that are more casual, and to hold yourself over in between meals (so you don’t eat that plate of cookies). My traveling arsenal usually looks something like this:
- Container of granola (or this Kind granola is a good ready-made alternative)
- Homemade protein bars or store bought low FODMAP protein bars — I love these, and you can also visit my shop page for more low FODMAP products.
- Loaf of bread – I prefer sourdough from Whole Foods but gluten free breads like Udi’s are also a good bet
- I’ll then ask the host to pick up a carton of lactose-free milk, or pick up some on my way in. (Almond milk is my backup.)
- If you’re not a cereal-for-breakfast person, eggs and bacon are a great alternative! Toast a piece of that gluten free bread and you’re set.
- Tortilla chips and mixed nuts (just not cashews, and only a few almonds) are also great snack options.
Drink lots of water
Seriously. You can thank me later.
Avoid foods you know are issues
There’s a big plate of cookies in the living room. They’re calling your name. Just walk away. They’ll be harder to hear in the kitchen.
The above being said, this is Christmas, and you deserve to treat yourself. FODMAPs are dependent on portion sizes, so just don’t eat the whole plate of cookies. But go ahead. Have one or two. And savor every bite.
Merry Christmas to everyone! Don’t expect too much activity between now and the new year, as I plan on spending time away from the computer and with my family, but you can follow me on instagram for more updates. Cheers!
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