Christmas is literally just around the corner and it’s such an exciting time of they year, with Christmas Parties, families getting together, Father Christmas visiting the little people in our lives, mint matchmakers are back on sale… I could go on! However, for those of us suffering with digestive conditions, it can actually also be a very daunting time of the year.
Christmas tends to be a very busy, quite stressful time of year, with lots of over-indulging, lack of exercise and too much to drink… all of which are key triggers for our tummy flare-ups!
So, here are our top tips for making it through the festive season when you have IBS and follow the Low FODMAP Diet, to hopefully make it a symptom free Christmas!
Enjoy the festivities, don't stress about them
Christmas should be such a magical time of year, but for many of us it just becomes super stressful! (Particularly in my family with 3 birthdays in the week before Christmas!). Try to just enjoy the festivities and not get too stressed. Book a day off work to do your shopping and wrapping, or go to a spa and unwind! Christmas should be about friends and family and enjoying the time of year, it’s not worth getting stressed about and triggering a flare-up! Relax and enjoy!
Planning ahead is key to managing your IBS and following the Low FODMAP Diet. It’s the times we don’t plan where we end up being stressed, eating the wrong foods and ending up having a flare-up. So whether it’s contacting restaurants before you get their about menu options, or getting some Low FODMAP stock cubes in for the gravy or just planning your Christmas presents and not leaving it until the last minute… it will all help to not be stressed, caught out and result in triggering your symptoms!
Don't leave your exercise plan until January
Exercise is a really key part of managing your IBS and makes you feel so much better and have more energy, so don’t put it off until January! Even if it’s just 2 or 3 times a week for 30 minutes, it all helps. Yoga, walking and swimming are all great forms of less-intense exercise which also help you to destress and relax!
Make use of the season for big jumpers!
Don’t forget this is the perfect time of year to get away with comfy, non-stomach-restricting clothes! Get your big winter jumpers on, cosy up in your fleece joggers and feel comfortable under a big coat. You’re not going to look out of place (unless it’s a black tie dinner) in this attire throughout the winter so make the most of it whilst you can! My winter wardrobe is my favourite!
Get involved with the food & drink options
Whether it’s your Christmas party, nibbles and drinks at a friends house, or Christmas Day lunch… offer to get involved with the food and drink side of it and then you can actually make/bring Low FODMAP options you know you can eat. Ask to help organise the Christmas dinner and then you can either make your own Low FODMAP gravy and other foods or speak to the restaurant ahead of time if you are going out!
Stock up the cupboards
A key thing to remember to do is to stock up the cupboards with lots of Low FODMAP food and goodies! Whilst there’s so much planning into Christmas Day Lunch, you don’t want to get to Boxing Day when the shops are shut and have nothing but high FODMAP foods in the house!
So those are our top tips for making it through the festive season when you have IBS!
If you need to stock up on our sauces to make sure you always have a Low FODMAP meal option in the cupboard you can get them from our website, selected Morrisons stores, Ocado or FODMarket…
Written by Bay Burdett, Founder & CEO of Bay’s Kitchen..
Copyright Bay’s Kitchen. Please do not reprint without permission.