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The holidays and new food allergies/intolerances

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Not sure this belongs here, or where it should go. I am 3 months plus into no gluten and no dairy, on top of an already vegetarian diet due to suspected food allergies.


I got through Thanksgiving and was fine- but for some reason the thought of Christmas and all of the food I am going to be missing is making me want to cry. Not to mention- the amount of work it will be to prepare two days worth of food, for holiday gatherings on the 24th and 25th, is really overwhelming. I have figured out that the key to getting through parties and gatherings is to have food that I can eat that feels special and delicious. If there is dessert served, I need to be sure there is dessert I can eat. Appetizers for appetizers, etc. My dad's gathering on the 24th is very much centered around food, and most of my favorite things to eat will be there. My step mom's mexican dip and homemade cheesecake being at the top of the list, and my cousin's brie with raspberries and slivered almonds wrapped in pastry crust.


I guess I just need support. I have considered just eating what is served and seeing how my body reacts-- but I am afraid I will end up really sick. How do you do it? Why is this so emotional? Any support or advice? Any great recipe websites out there for somewhat easy vegggie/GF/DF holiday recipes?


So far I am looking at these recipes, and basically spending all of tomorrow cooking:


Quinoa stuffing, Earth Balance subbed for butter. I have made this several times and it is a hit.


Brussel sprouts with balsamic and cranberries  Also a hit with the family.


Deviled eggs with Nayonaise instead of mayo. I love deviled eggs in a guilty pleasure kind of way. Hoping they will be good w/ the fake mayo.


Chocolate PB pie with a store bought gluten free/vegan crust I found at Whole Paycheck.


Trying to convince my vegetarian sister to bring guac, tortilla chips and salsa for her contribution, so I will be able to eat that, too. Also hoping there will be a green salad option contributed by my step mom.


Deep breaths. Trying to remember that life could be a lot worse. I don't know why I am so depressed about this.

post #2 of 6
You are depressed for various reasons. One of which may be that you are suffering from physical withdrawal symptoms on top of psychological withdrawl.

Be gentle with yourself. Holidays get easier as you stop thinking of the old foods when you hear certain songs or see certain decorations. And smells tend to bring back old memories. You will be feeling a strong desire to eat the old foods this year. Only you know if it would be worth suffering after to indulge in old foods.

I've been dairy and sugar free for 17 years, now. I hardly noticed the old pulls, until an Andy Williams song was played on the radio. Then I said, "this still makes me want sugar cookies", and that was the end of it.

So there will be better years. Take this year as it comes and know others have been through it before. You will get through. And I think it's ok to mourn your losses. Then look for new traditions.

I spent a couple years not doing the cooking and baking, but just focused on the people instead of the food. It really depended on what was topping my priority list that year.

Good luck and may the holidays be happier than you think possible!
post #3 of 6

I feel for you.  I am eating my own dinner before going to ILs for Christmas Eve.  They are having gumbo, and dessert has walnuts in it.  There will be nothing there I can eat.  I'll bring an appetizer and see if I can get away with eating that without anyone noticing too much.


I'm not encouraging you to eat anything, but sometimes eating and getting sick is a powerful way to teach you to avoid it in the future.  It only takes once or twice, and you will not have the same trouble with temptation again.


Of course, if you can avoid temptation in the first place, that's infinitely better.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your comments and support, it means a lot to me. I spent the day cooking on the 23rd, and my puppy pulled the quinoa dish off of the counter on to the floor. Then the pie crust crumbled twice, so my peanut butter chocolate mousse pie ended up being just a mousse. In the moment, I sat on my floor and cried, I suppose it was just a needed release after all of the stress I was building up around the holiday and my new dietary restrictions. The next morning my attempt at making whipped cream out of coconut milk failed miserably.  Despite all the cooking fails, the holiday parties went quite well, the food was enjoyable and even the meat eaters thought everything I made was very good. My sister and her girlfriend made a few gluten free/dairy free dishes that I could eat, so there was plenty of variety.


Since then I have cheated a few times. I had a huge craving for baked mac and cheese and went for it, and felt awful on the sofa feeling horrible after, and now I have a sinus headache and possible sinus infection. I also had a Potbellies veggie sandwich that had cheese on it. Been feeling just a general "not great" besides the sinuses so I definitely need to lay off again.

post #5 of 6
I'm glad your holiday went so well. My first holiday was pretty much a disaster, I ended up crying and having my husband yell at me for crying. O bet that cry helped you release a lot of pent up emotion.

I hope you're feeling better, again, soon! Keep hanging in there!
post #6 of 6

Slowly, you will get a handle on the cravings.  It is very difficult at first, and you fall off the wagon a few times.  It's been about 3 years since I was diagnosed with my allergies, and I still fall off occasionally despite my better judgment.  Eggs in baked goods are the hardest for me, and I often leave birthday dinners with a bloated stomach, intestinal cramps the following morning.  6 months ago I finally stopped eating walnuts because sister's cookies were loaded and I felt like crap for the better part of the day.  


The first year is the absolute worst, but you do stop craving things--mostly.  I guess it would be better to say you stop being tempted so much.  I would love nothing better than to have huevos rancheros again.  The cravings don't stop, but I am not tempted to order them.  


Eventually, you learn.  Smaller amounts of the offending food become noticeable.  Getting sick is a powerful lesson that eventually sinks in.

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