I'm Dr. Elizabeth
EPIDEMIOLOGIST TURNED HOLISTIC HEALER, MEDICAL INTUITIVE AND YOUR HEALTH ISSUES’ WORST NIGHTMARE
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Summer health tip time! The end of May feels like the official kick off to the summer season for those that live in the northern hemisphere of the globe. Summer brings cookouts, barbecues, picnics and all the get-togethers to celebrate.
Summer social events come along with fun, laughter, sunshine, time to play, time to slow down and kick back with friends and family, and they also come along with a whole lot of food. For those that are on a healing journey, avoiding certain allergens, or simply living a holistic healthy lifestyle, it can be challenging to navigate these events and social situations. Summer health tips for social events are a must.
For some, they may be avoiding foods and drinks they used to enjoy. For others, these avoidances are lifelong. Either way doesn’t make it any less challenging. Summer health tips for social events can be very empowering.
In my practice, two of the most frequent questions I get this time of year from clients are,
“Do you have any tips for going to events like picnics, potlucks, and cookouts? Are there things I can do to prepare in advance?”
I often get questions like this from women who are at the beginning stages and phases of their healing journeys. As they begin to encounter social situations and circumstances where they’re faced with new and unique challenges like food and drink they need to avoid (especially if they didn’t use to think twice about indulging) summer health tips are on demand.
There are a whole new set of pressures that come along with being an adult in these environments. The pressure to maintain your self-integrity in a social group and your commitment to yourself to make lasting health and wellness non-negotiable.
It can be simpler to honor your healthy habits when you’re on your own, but it’s not always easy when you’re thrown into public environments. All of a sudden, you’re faced with situations like explaining yourself to people, trying to figure out what to eat, and how to prepare. This can be difficult for a lot of people, especially in the midst of the mental chatter and stress that may come along with these situations.
Today I want to support you with some summer health tips and strategies so you’re ready to navigate those social events with confidence. I’ll share a bonus recipe too that you can take along to potlucks!
How can you be proactive whenever you’re planning for any type of summer social event whether it’s a picnic, barbecue, party, or cookout?
Enjoy a healthy meal or snacks before the event, depending on what time it’s being held. Load up on fruit, smoothies, salads, and veggies. It will support your lasting health and wellness, and your immune system, especially on a day when you may indulge for a bit. It’s also a great idea to take some bananas, apples, and fruit that is easily peeled along for the ride. You can have a simple snack on the way (as long as you’re not driving!) and ditch the trash later.
Make sure you’re well hydrated before you leave the house. I suggest drinking at least 32 ounces of lemon water before you leave the house that day. Lemon water is very cleansing and healing for the body. Even if you do end up indulging, this will help give your immune system a boost and keep your body in cleansing and healing mode.
Consider travelling with a thermos of water. I don’t recommend taking plastic water bottles in the car, as this can introduce harmful toxins into the body especially when exposed to the heat. Take a container that’s heat resistant (like Yeti) so you have something in the car or on hand for you to drink.
Positive but clear communication is one of the most important strategies and summer health tips for navigating social events. There are several ways to communicate and it’s going to help you determine how to make the best plan for yourself.
When you call a location or venue, specifically ask if the location is accommodating of your nutritional or dietary guidelines. Simply share your needs. Be clear and direct. If you’re avoiding things like dairy, eggs, and/or gluten, be verbal about this and ask if they serve items that don’t include these common allergens. No matter who you communicate with, do not be apologetic. This is something that you need to do for you and your health, and that is priority.
Restaurants and people in general are getting better at labeling their dishes, clearly indicating whether it’s free from common allergens such as gluten and dairy. However, this is not always the case.
It’s OKAY to communicate with the host positively and clearly. Call them in advance when you receive an invitation and say, “Hey [insert name], thank you for the invitation! I’m thrilled to be invited to your event. I’m reaching out to let you know I’m not able to eat XYZ. I want to communicate about this with you now because I’m excited to attend and my health is a priority. Is there something that I can bring along?”
This will naturally open up the conversation with the host. They may tell you “Sure! It would be great if you could bring something!” or they may tell you that there will be plenty for you to enjoy when you arrive.
Remember that you and your health are priorities. The people that truly care will not make you feel awkward or uncomfortable when you communicate about this. They will be supportive. You deserve to feel safe speaking your truth.
“Hey, you used to drink! How come you’re not having a drink today?”
“You used to LOVE my cheese dip, don’t you want some?”
“How come you’re not having a hotdog?”
“Is that all you’re eating?”
Rather than waiting for them to call it out, call it out yourself. Be proud of your choices. Communicate with others and tell them “My health is my priority now. I’m no longer available to XYZ.” OR “I’m focused on making healthier choices right now and XYZ doesn’t align with that.” OR “I just don’t like the way XYZ makes me feel.”
It’s important that we start to normalize not overindulging as adults. It’s important that we start to normalize behaviors like not drinking alcohol at social events. As you start to positively communicate clear boundaries, your confidence and comfort will grow.
Remember why you’re going to this social event in the first place. Remember your purpose.
It can be challenging to embody a healthy lifestyle on a daily basis 365 days a year. Even those of us who have been living a holistic healthy life for many years, like me, are still tempted by smells, sights, and memories.
It can be challenging to navigate social situations as an adult who is no longer engaging in things that they used to, or simply avoiding temptations. This is why it’s important to remember your purpose.
Why are you really going to this event? Are you going to this event to eat? Or, are you going to this event to spend time connecting, enjoying community, being present with people you care about? Reflect on this when you feel tempted.
Often, we tend to attach ourselves to and identify with behaviors and things that we do-even foods that we eat.
Throughout my career I’ve heard countless comments such as “I’m a cheese eater.”
“I’m a meat eater.” and “I’m a crunchy snack person.”
Notice when you have tendencies to do this. When you do, when you have these thoughts, you’re identifying these behaviors with who you are.
So, who are you? You are not a cheese eater. You are not a meat eater. You are not a drinker. You are not anything that has to do with the food you eat or the beverages you drink.
You are a cosmic being living a human experience. A cosmic being who came here for a purpose, who came here to connect with other beings.
We can get so caught up in “all the things” like food, that we easily forget why we’re doing the things in the first place.
Why are you getting together to cook out on the grill? Why are you getting together to have a summer barbecue? Are you doing it simply to eat a hotdog? No.
The barbecue, the picnic, the food, they’re just the vehicles. You’re really there for connection. Remember your true purpose.
If you’re going to an event or potluck where you’re able or asked to bring a dish, then make it and take it! It’s always nice when you have some control over the options being served at social events. Make a recipe that aligns with your healthy lifestyle and take it with you so you know there will be something at the event you can eat and enjoy.
That means it’s bonus recipe time! Today I’m going to share two recipes that are free from some common allergens (free from gluten, dairy, eggs). One recipe is fat-free in case you’re avoiding fats entirely at this stage and phase of your health and healing journey.
Chickpea Salad (credit: Oh She Glows)
*Makes 3 servings
1 14oz can no-salt added chickpeas, drained and rinsed (can also used freshly cooked chickpeas)
2 celery stalks, chopped finely
2 green onions, sliced thinly
¼ cup finely chopped dill pickle
¼ cup finely chopped red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons store bought or homemade vegan mayo (I recommend the brand Chosen Foods)
2 teaspoons fresh minced dill
1 ½ teaspoons yellow mustard (I recommend Sir Kensington)
1 ½ to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon sea salt, to taste (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Radish, Asparagus, and Apple Salad (credit: Medical Medium)
*Makes 1-2 servings
1 pound brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, shaved on a mandolin or thinly sliced
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, sliced into thin rounds
½ cup thinly sliced radish
1 medium red-skinned apple, very thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 teaspoon finely grated red onion
1 ½ teaspoon raw honey or pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Looking for support with creating and maintaining healthy habits to improve your health and wellbeing? Click here to see if a private health mentorship is the right fit for you!
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