IBS Ready During The Holiday Season!

After my holiday fiasco of last year, this time I have decided to take my own advice, and be totally prepared for the holiday season.

I love this time of the year… the atmosphere, the hot, sunny weather (I'm in Australia after all and it's summertime here), having time to hang out with my beautiful family, visiting loved ones, etc. But there is something I dread during this period and that's the various gatherings that include food. I'm talking about work Christmas parties, and other social events; unless I am in control of the food preparation, I often tend to avoid them or I attend them with an almost full belly so that I am not tempted to indulge in food that can trigger my IBS symptoms.

This Christmas, it’s going to be extra special, because we have planned a great family vacation. A few days just with my husband and our daughters, traveling down the coast of Australia and spending quality time together. Where we will be staying, there is no internet available, so I’m intending to bring some board games and playing cards to keep us entertained.

Failing to plan is planning to fail

I don’t want to miss any minute of this precious time with my dearest ones and I need to avoid feeling sick at all costs, especially spending hours in the toilets and ruining this beautiful time for everyone, this is why I’m going to plan the whole trip.

For a start, I am going to pack snacks that are safe and nutritious, which will come handy when traveling by car. I will prepare light meals for everybody, even though my family doesn’t need to be on a special diet for IBS. I prefer to have nibbles ready for them too, or they will want to stop at whatever place along the road, where I will be tempted to eat the same kind of food and then regret it for the rest of the trip.

Low FODMAP snacks

For myself, I will have with me some homemade food and some yummy treats that have been certified low FODMAP. My homemade food is going to consist of IBS-friendly sandwiches and suitable fruits and vegetables. My favorite types of sandwiches are made with low FODMAP bread, chopped boiled eggs and mayo or filled with tuna and olives paste. I will pack the food into insulated bags with a few ice blocks to keep them cold. Any food that we will need for the first few days of our holiday and does not require refrigeration will also be packed in the car.

I have already checked the map and have found several pit-stops with toilets available if needed, so that’s also covered. I only had “accidents” a couple of times and none recently, but to be sure I will also pack a spare change of clothes to keep handy, and some plastic bags…just in case.

Once arrived at our destination, I will head straight to the supermarket to buy all the fresh ingredients I need to create a lovely Christmas lunch. My low FODMAP version of a Christmas roast includes a big roast chicken, instead of turkey as in my family we much prefer chicken to turkey, with a side of beautiful low FODMAP stuffing, and a few roasted vegetables like pumpkin, potatoes and zucchini. There will be also various starters like tomato and basil bruschetta on low FODMAP bread, prawns skewers and boiled eggs stuffed with tuna and capers. Dessert is usually pavlova with suitable berries or other low FODMAP fruit and possibly also a beautiful chocolate christmas pudding.

I know I will not be stressed this year, as I am only cooking for four, and considering the lack of internet connection, I’m expecting the rest of the family to help out with the food preparation.

I hope that you are also getting ready ahead for the coming holiday season and that you will have an enjoyable time with your loved one. I wish lots of love and many blessings to you all.

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