Going away for the weekend with friends, getting invited to a cottage or a vacation property is one of the great perks in life – but it can obviously create some anxiety if you are on a diet, protocol or have dietary restrictions that your friends and/or family don’t share.
An easy solution is to simply put your diet on hold for the weekend and resume when you’re back – but this doesn’t work for everyone – particularly those on an anti-candida diet or doing an elimination diet to determine potential food allergies. Plus, there is always going to be something – some event, some party, some night out at a restaurant. Stay strong and commit to learning alternatives for dealing with a difference in diet!
This may seem obvious but it needs to be said anyways. Politely explain to your hosts, friends or family members that you currently have specific dietary needs and will not be eating all of the same foods that they are over the weekend. This can be met with a lot of responses, some positive and some negative, so be prepared to deal with both. Hopefully you have supportive people around you but unfortunately that is not always the case, and you will have to navigate those situations as they arise. Just remember, what you are doing is important for your physical, mental and spiritual health – so sometimes it is best to agree to disagree.
Bring Your Own Meals
Do not expect anyone else to adhere to your dietary restrictions or cater to you, so bring your own food! Make sure to thoroughly communicate this with your host and ensure that there is enough room in the refrigerator and pantry for what you’re planning. You can also ask if it will be necessary to bring a cooler for additional storage. Once you are there, if there is certain food that you don’t want other people getting into, politely communicate that. As in all aspects of life, straightforward communication will be your key to success.
Prepare in Advance
Be as prepared as possible, plan out each meal and all of your snacks. You can ask what all of the meals will be throughout the weekend and plan alternatives around that or simplify things and batch cook. Anything you can make in advance will make it easier for you in the moment and also take up less space (this can be things like smoothies, salads, sauces, dips, soups, etc.). If space allows, it would also be advantageous to bring extra – you don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you run out of food early and get tempted to eat something that does not adhere to your diet.
Another layer of difficulty is added when your weekend away includes going out to a restaurant. In this instance, you will want to find out where you will be dining in advance and research their menu, see what you can eat and focus on that. If the options are limited and seem bleak, just eat in advance! There is no need to torture yourself, watching everyone else eat while you’re hungry. Be realistic about how much you need to eat to feel full and for how long.
Ultimately, you will succeed if you are extremely organized, plan everything in advance, communicate your needs and make sure to not be offended by anyone who doesn’t understand or disagrees with your dietary choices.