What do Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Kwanzaa and Eid Al-Fitr all have in common?

Lots and LOTS of good food. 

No matter what holiday it is there is typically a huge spread of food out on the table. This can be absolutely INCREDIBLE, but for people who struggle with IBD, IBS, or other digestive issues, this can be a disaster. 

Food is often at the center of these events, and so it is not only expected, but it is also encouraged to eat in mass quantities. 

Over the years I have learnt a few tricks on how to mindfully enjoy the food over the holiday season without getting sick. So, today I will be sharing those with you. If you do enjoy this post, please share it with a friend. 

Tip #1: Be Honest

It can be very difficult and annoying to be repeatedly asked over and over and OVER again to try this, and try that. So, it is important to be honest and to learn how to say NO. If you are watching your weight, struggling with your stomach, or you simply are not hungry, be honest with those that are around you. 

At first, they may be annoyed that they made all this food and you aren’t eating, but it is important for you to tell them your goals and/or concerns. For me, I simply say that I would rather skip on the *insert yummy food* in order to avoid being on the couch in pain. You know your body better than ANYONE. So, it is important that you stand up for yourself, be honest, and say NO when it is necessary. It may take a little while, but your family/friends (hopefully) will understand and will get off your back. 


Tip #2: Chew, Chew, Chew

During the holiday season we are often eating indulgent foods that we don’t have most of the year. This means that we may be in contact with foods that our bodies are not used to digesting. Therefore, it is SUPER important to be mindful while eating your food. 

It is great to sit, eat and chat during the holidays, but this is one of the easiest ways to under chew your food and mess up your digestion. But, don’t worry, you don’t have to sit in a corner by yourself to eat mindfully! You just need to remember to chew (and chew enough) before talking. Did you know that we should be chewing our food 30-70 times per bite. So, make sure that you are being conscious and aware of what food you are eating, and how you are eating it.


Tip #3 : Bring Your Own Dish

If you are eating a very particular diet for either weight loss purposes, or for a digestive condition, you may want to bring a dish to the event. This will help to set your mind at ease because you will know that you will have at least ONE THING you can eat. But, this can take a load off of  your families shoulders.

When I was briefly gluten free, I made sure that I always brought an option that I knew I could have. This way my relatives didn’t have to stress about it, and I knew that I would be set. This is also a great way to introduce your family members to your diet and show them that the food you eat can still “taste good”. We have all been there when someone is like “Wait this is gluten free/vegan/vegetarian??” It opens there eyes to a new way of eating without being pushy. 


Tip #4: Be Prepared

If you know that you do struggle with your digestion be sure to be prepared with your emergency kit in case you do have problems during a holiday party/dinner. For me, I personally always make sure that I bring my Peppermint Halo oil from Saje Wellness for any abdominal cramping or bloating, a Gas-X pill in case I get gassy or bloated, and a peppermint tea bag. 

After almost every meal, the host will offer the guests coffee or tea. This is the perfect time to aid your digestion with a nice cup of tea. My favorite for post meal is Peppermint. However, if you do suffer with acid reflux I would avoid Peppermint and opt for Licorice tea, because peppermint makes the acid reflux worse. Alternatively, any herbal tea will work. I also like Chamomile Lavender , Turmeric or Lemon Ginger tea. 


Tip 5: Don’t Be Afraid

It is SO hard to look at all the yummy food and desserts and think “I can’t eat that, it will go write to my *insert body part*”. But, I am telling you to throw that thinking out the window. Everything piece of food you put into your body is a CHOICE. Nobody is holding you hostage and stuffing food down your throat (at least I hope they aren’t). So, remember that you have a choice to make with everything you eat. 

With that, I want to remind that you should be able to chose to have a brownie and not beat yourself up about it for a week after. Don’t be afraid of food, try new things, but most importantly listen to your body.


With that, I hope that you enjoyed your holiday season and that these tips help you out for your next party or event.

If you liked the post make sure to share it with a friend and subscribed to my blog to get email updates every time I post. Also be sure to follow me on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest to get more updates from me on my day to day life.

Your trusty, gutsy gal,
Nathalie xx

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Managing Food Anxiety with #IBD . . Food is such an important part of how we engage with other people and get together with friends and family. Coming from an Italian and French family, we are constantly gathering around the table for meals together. However, using food as a means to socialize can be challenging for people with IBD. . . I love food so much, but for parts of my life I have also hated it. I have always known that I need food to live, but finding WHAT food works for me has been the ongoing challenge of my life. (And I'm sure MANY of you can relate with that feeling). . . Throughout the 10years of having Crohn's disease I have learnt more and more about what foods are working for me. Some things have changed throughout time, and some have remained the same. But, throughout that journey I have never struggled more with food than the few years leading up to my bowel resection. I had a narrowing in my intestine which caused me a crazy amount of pain and bloating everytime I ate. I tried so many #diets, but time and time again it continued. . . To make a long story short, I know what it feels like to have a meal in front of you and to not want to eat in fear of the pain that comes next. BUT, I NEVER LET IT STOP ME. I HAVE said no to dinners out with friends, I HAVE said no to dessert, I HAVE said no to a meal before. But, none the less I persisted. . . It is so important to know your boundaries, but to also push past them. If I said no everytime I was scared of a stomach ache, I would have never made so many memories around the table with friends. And although the picture above was from a dinner party last Saturday with friends, and I was fine and had no problems. I know that the same situation may have caused me #pain and #anxiety 6 months ago. . . If you made it to the end of this post, know that you are not alone in your fear of food. But, also know that you can make it past it.💜 (However, if you do find it too much to handle and are concerned about your health, please do reach out to a doctor if you feel you may have a eating disorder. There is no shame in seeking help.) . . #crohns #colitis #ibd #food #fear #crohnswarrior #chronicillness #fear

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Nathalie is a Canadian entrepreneur, blogger, architectural designer, and Crohn’s warrior. Nathalie graduated from her final university degree in Spring 2020 with a Master’s of Architecture. Nathalie decided to start this blog to share her journey and experiences. She shares daily advice on all things health, lifestyle, self love, motivation and environmentalism on the blog and over on Facebook and Instagram.


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