Social gatherings with new foods can be stressful, especially if you have IBD. Here are 9 things you can do to make sure you enjoy the day!
1. Eat Before You Go
If you feel uncomfortable bringing food or are traveling and that's not possible, try eating beforehand. You could also bring a tolerated snack with you so that you can at least safely eat something.
2. Bring Substitutions
Beef hamburgers and hotdogs are BBQ staples, but you don't need to rely on these foods if you can't tolerate them. Instead, bring a lean turkey burger, chicken breast, or salmon to put on the grill.
3. Bring a Side Dish to Share
Bringing a side to share with the group is a sneaky way to ensure you have something to eat that you know you can tolerate. Just be sure to get some before your others gobble it up!
4. Be Kind to Yourself
If you're craving a hot dog or beef burger, have it. Consuming inflammatory foods here and there is okay. If you know it'll trigger symptoms and want to eat it anyways, give yourself some grace. Sometimes the symptoms are worth it!
5. Stay Hydrated
Hydration is important for those with IBD and being outside in the hot sun can be extra draining for us. Make sure to bring water and maybe even some electrolyte tablets you can throw into your water to maintain hydration
6. Have a Plan for Alcohol
If you want to drink, sip on one drink rather than drinking a lot throughout the day. You can also just have a drink in your hand, but not drink it.
7. Use Sunscreen
People with IBD are at an increased risk for skin cancer so make sure if you're going to be out in the sun all day, to protect your skin.
8. Bring an Emergency Kit with You
This could include imodium, fiber supplements, change of clothes, etc. that will make you feel more comfortable in case you do start to experience symptoms
9. Plan Out Responses to Common Questions/Statements
Sometimes people say things without thinking through what they're saying. If your Aunt Debra always comments about your body size or diet restrictions, have a response ready to go that you feel comfortable with. We can't control what other people say to us, but we can control how we react and what we say.
We hope you have a safe and fun holiday weekend!