Eczema-Friendly Dinners During the Holiday Season
I come from a very large, close-knit family (over 70+ people) and let me tell you, we take full advantage of the holiday season to gather and to eat some amazing traditional food!
The holiday season is also, not coincidently, a time when my eczema seems to flare the most. And I think I have an idea as to why.
The holiday season
Typically, when people think of the holiday season, words like vacation, fun, food, dinners, gatherings, late-night movies, pajamas, Christmas gifts, and hot chocolate come to mind. As for your girl and those in the eczema community, words like flare-up, dry, red, itchy, flakes (no, not snowflakes) and allergies sound more relatable. (Am I right or am I right?)
Traditionally and from my personal experience, the holiday season isn’t one to take eczema into consideration. Unless you are completely open about your eczema and allergies, no one’s walking around yelling “Merry Ecz-mas!” Let’s face it, entertaining guests, late-night movies, baking and eating sweets, eating outside of your diet, and blasting the heater doesn’t mix too well with eczema.
In previous years, I had never set my eczema up for a win during the holiday season. Meaning, I knew that eating certain foods would trigger my eczema, yet I ate them anyway because of a lack of self-control and zero preparation. My mentality was "go big or go home" aka eat now and suffer later.
I would eat a plate of food (filled with carbs, grains, meat, and more) plus desserts and as a result, would deal with an eczema flare-up for two weeks thereafter, if not longer. While this mentality may have worked in my younger careless days, it’s definitely not something I can afford now.
So in order to best prepare for this holiday season, I took it upon myself to be conscious of how I can make this holiday season eczema-friendly. Check out some of my tips below.
Get a work out in before dinner
I know this is the last thing many people want to do, especially before a big gathering or if you’re helping your family out with cooking and decorations. However, I suggest getting a 30+ minute workout in to keep your body active. This will get your blood flowing, digestive system moving, and ready to intake what you’re about to put in it.
Eat before dinner
WHAT?! Yepp. I said it. Eat a meal, preferably a healthy one, before any gathering or planned meal with your family or friends. This will prevent you from overeating or getting seconds when the time comes. A plate of fruit, a shake, or a small salad will do some justice. This will help you avoid snacking and overeating.
Keep it to one plate only
I learned a great tool from a friend recently. He said, “If it doesn’t (comfortably) fit on ONE plate, you don’t get to eat it. Period.” I would add, dessert included. The more you fill up your plate, the more your mind perceives that you are still hungry. So keep your plate relative to your size and only fit what you can eat on it.
Drink lots of water
I tend to forget to drink water when I’m with people, especially when I’m too busy shoving food down my mouth. Drinking water will ensure what you eat is properly digested and goes out as soon as possible.
Cook it yourself
If you know there’s a specific type of food or dessert that you are eager to have, but you know it will be made with ingredients you may be allergic to, make it yourself! This will not only satisfy you but also keep you from regretting eating something you wish you never ate.Relax and have fun All in all, enjoy this holiday season and make it eczema-friendly as best as you can!
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