Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Food Tips

The holidays can bring with them a bit of dread for people with active IBD. Food becomes more tempting, less controllable, and more painful. Here are a few tips to make holiday foods less stressful this Christmas season.

- Take your cuts of turkey or ham from the inside of the bird / ham spiral to avoid the seasoned outside skins if seasonings bother you.

- Make your gravy from drippings off the turkey and set some aside for your own non-seasoned gravy. Let everyone else have the flavour-packet enhanced gravy. Yours will be a little blander, but mild on your system. All you need is the drippings, a little water, cornstarch and a pinch of salt.

- Make mashed potatoes with water, a little salt and some non-dairy margarine if milk bothers you.

- Cooked squash or sweat potatoes with a little brown sugar are tasty.

- You can make pumpkin pie without any spices or with reduced spices. Pecan pie is a mild alternative that is usually ok for me.

- Avoid the stuffing if seasonings give you problems.

- Avoid salad if fibrous veggies are one of your triggers.

- Don't forget to take your maintenance medications and to relax a bit during all the hectic holiday bustle.

- Avoid alcohol. Drink lots of water.

- Eat moderately. Regardless of how tempting it can be, don't stuff yourself till you're bursting. A massive meal is hard on your digestive system.

It all boils down to making dishes that are safe for you to eat. If you are having a lot of guests, set aside a separate portion for your own blander versions of the dishes. If you are going to someone else's house, offer to head over there early to help with the cooking so you can make your own separate portions, or bring your own.

You don't have to miss out on the holiday feasting - it just takes a little more care and effort.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you!