Love and Hate: The Summer Barbecue

I love being around my family, swimming in the pool, playing horseshoes, and sitting by a fire. I also love barbecued ribs. I also love macaroni salad, hot dogs, hamburgers and beer. Did I mention that I have IBS? So that’s a big fat no (at least for me) to everything I just mentioned. My brother in law has a smoker, too, which makes all that meat so, so…perfect.

I sound a bit like a food addict right now, but it is years of trying to be a good boy with my diet that makes me long for the things I can’t have. This happens in the grocery store, when I’m out to dinner, even walking down a city street, but nothing, I mean nothing is worse than the barbecue. It’s just the things I like the most. How do I manage to get through this nightmare every summer? Well, I’ll try to explain what I TRY to do. The keyword is TRY.

Before I go further, I should say that this is not a Todd’s going to tell you how to feel perfectly fine at the barbecue, No, certainly not. Todd loses more than he wins. I get into the ‘just this one-time’ mentality. I get into the ‘I’m willing to pay for it mentality’…so bring it on. Then I look at my plate with baked beans and ribs while I finish my third beer. I AM GOING TO HELL. IBS Hell at the very least.

You can survive summer barbecues with IBS

I do much, much better when I bring my own food and beverages. Things I know I really like and won’t cause me trouble. I love grilled chicken. If I think about it, I really do like it more than hot dogs, especially with a good low FODMAP salad of some kind. I really do like water and I can handle some juices. I try to get something that makes me feel good and helps keep that deprived feeling at bay. Most importantly, I participate in the party, the conversation and the games. After all, isn’t that what the get together is about anyway?

Tips to avoid the barbecue food cravings

Being busy at the picnic keeps your mind and body busy. Yes, ‘that smell’ will still be in the air, but think of it as ambiance rather than something to be desired. Enjoy talking to the sister that you don’t get to very often, because of all the kid’s activities. Enjoy talking to the friend you haven’t talked to in years. Get as competitive as you can in the games of the backyard. Get busy, get involved and I promise things will go much better for you. This is what I have found at least. If you slip up, it is not the end of the world and trust me, you won’t be alone. No shame, my friend. No shame. Until next time lol ;-)

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