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Navigating the Holidays with Food Sensitivities

Our health coaches are one of the things that sets Parsley Health apart from other medical practices. We know that working with a health coach helps our patients both set and reach their goals. This week, coach Alyson Roux walks us through how she coaches patients through the holiday season.

I talk to Parsley Health patients every day who are worried about how to navigate the holidays with their food sensitivities.

Luckily I can give them some good news. When you have a plan in place, you’ll be able to enjoy the festivities. Armed with the below pre-party checklist you don’t need to agonize over holiday socializing.

1. Know and set your limits ahead of time.

Can you have a few bites of something and get away with it, or does a crumb of wheat ruin your day? Does more than a glass of wine make you bloated or anxious the next day? Are you on a low FODMAP diet for IBS and do you know that eating a few almonds for you is ok, but more than 10 will do you in? Determine the maximum of a food, drink, or sweet you can handle ahead of time to avoid temptation. Set your threshold and stick to it. Use friends or your Parsley health coach as support.

2. Eat before you go.

This is on most people’s list for navigating the holidays in a healthy way, but eating a balanced, small meal before going out will help you avoid being tempted by trigger foods. If there’s something safe to eat at the party, that’s a bonus! If not, you won’t be so hungry that you’ll make for less-than-festive company.

3. Always have food on you.

Pack nuts and seeds in little bags and throw a few in your purse or car. This is especially during cold and flu season when it’s important to increase mineral intake as much as possible with high mineral foods such as Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds and walnuts. Try a tablespoon of each in a little baggies that will be good for weeks to nibble on as needed.


Schedule a free conversation with a Parsley Health expert to learn about our comprehensive approach to a healthy eating.


4. Stay hydrated.

Drink plenty of water during the party in case some little cross contamination got into your crudité.

5. Have an “emergency” gut-supportive supplement protocol on hand.

Talk to your doctor at Parsley Health about what you should keep accessible for accidental food trigger exposure. Your doctor can suggest specific digestive enzymes, charcoal and/or clay tablets. Want a doctor who can provide this incredible personal and supportive service for you year-round? Schedule a free phone call with one of our health experts today!

6. Talk to the host beforehand.

If it is a smaller party, talk to the host and explain that you don’t want to be a nuisance, and offer to bring a dish to share that you know you’ll be able to eat safely. How would you feel if you were hosting a party and one of the guests couldn’t eat anything? If it is a larger event, you can always politely ask one of the catering staff about the particular ingredients in a dish. They usually want you to have a good time and will happily go ask the chef about any particular ingredient.

7. Take beautiful care of yourself before and after.

Build a strong gut, build resilience to stress, wash your hands and have post-party care ready. Try digestive soothing teas made from licorice, fennel, or marshmallow root.

Most importantly, support your body the majority of 365 days of the year with whole, real foods that make you feel alive, and help optimize your health and well being. By taking great care of your self during the year, a few treats at a party shouldn’t derail your entire nutrition plan.


Are you ready to change your diet? Talk to one of our health experts to find out if Parsley Health can help you meet your goals today.

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