New Year Celebration Mindshift

New Year’s Eve |  Celebration | Ideas

Wondering how to celebrate New Year's Eve and other special occasions safely? Cultivate a Celebration Mindshift, and you'll be making your own memories without the worry of food-related accidents.
Wondering how to celebrate New Year’s Eve and other special occasions safely? Cultivate a Celebration Mindshift, and you’ll be making your own memories without the worry of food-related accidents.

One of my pet peeves as a Food Allergic Person (FAP) happens almost every time I want to take part in large-scale celebration. Let’s say it’s an upcoming New Year’s Eve event at a beautiful hotel. The organizer is selling tickets to the posh event, and the tickets are available in a number of levels. Here’s an example:

1. Bells and Whistles. Pay $$$$ for tickets, and you get a premium table in the VIP room and seating, access to a full-food buffet, unlimited drink tickets, and arrangements for safe transportation to and from the event.

2. A Bell and A Whistle. Pay $$$ for tickets, you get a table in the main room, access to the full-food buffet, three drink tickets, and you arrange your own safe transportation.

3. No Bells and No Whistles.  Pay $$ for tickets, no table (stand up and eat), access to the full-food buffet, two drink tickets, and you arrange your own safe transportation.

4. There is no option #4 (except being told, “We can’t help you.”).

For the FAP and people on a medically-necessary diet, , packages #1 through #3 are useless to us (and in many cases, dangerous to us). You are paying for food and drink that you should not consume unless you are completely prepared to play roulette with your health and safety.

With cross-contamination, poorly marked foods, and unclear ingredients, you do not know what you are consuming. If you have food sensitivities, you may also encounter them when consuming alcohol, which most of us also know are highly discouraged if you have GI issues, Autoimmune Disease, or have multiple food allergies or intolerances, because alcohol can inflame your GI tract. And you know the saying: hell hath no fury like a GI tract scorned.

Every year since I was diagnosed with Autoimmune Disease and multiple severe food allergies, New Year’s plans and other special occasions  are an important consideration, and one that can be embedded with emotional stories as we try to celebrate with family and friends. This year, make sure you get through the maze not only intact, but with flying colors.

Let’s help you make New Year’s celebrations fun again, shall we?

Author, wearing a bright green snowboard jacket and black pants, helmet and goggles, boarding down a snow-covered hill.
To celebrate special occasions, take a moment to shift your mindset and create your own memorable moments instead of relying on organized events that don’t have your needs in mind. Photo by M., Dec. 2016.

Celebration Mindshift

What you need is a Celebration Mindshift.

What would happen if you dropped your old emotional and nostalgic stories about what celebrations should look and feel and even taste like to you, and you curated an event that allowed you to really enjoy that special time?

As I write this post, I am in Whitefish, Montana, snowboarding and snowshoeing at the Whitefish Resort Village just steps away from from Chairlift Three.  Putting together our New Year’s Eve celebration, we aren’t buying tickets to the big celebration in town, because that celebration is someone else’s construction of a good time. Yet it doesn’t “work” for me.

What does work:

  • spend time with someone you love, friends and family, people who understand your food restrictions and lifestyle
  • activities that don’t impede your ability to get what you need regarding clean food, time to rest and relax, and time to socialize when your energy is the highest.
  • to be able to sit down when and where you need to, especially if you are in the recovery phase of a flare, you have been recently diagnosed, or have had a recent food allergy event that has thrown your nutrition and absorption into chaos
  • remarkable memories, such as nature, art, and good conversation
  • the absence of temptations, which may undermine your progress (open bar, buffet table, policies that don’t allow you to bring your own food, etc)

Last New Year’s Eve 2015, my husband and I snowshoed to a bluff near Snoqualmie, WA and drank hot tea and shared cacao nib dark chocolate as we looked at the stars. That cost us a whole drink and food “ticket” of maybe $15 dollars. Breaks the bank, doesn’t it?

Ironically, we saw a local company event for over $100 that offered the same thing: snowshoeing, hot drinks, alcohol, and food, plus the gear. While that package would have worked for my husband, it wouldn’t have worked for me, and so we curated our own experience, which gave us the Celebration Mindshift we needed for this year’s celebration at Whitefish.

I batched cooked our meals after grocery shopping the first day, preparing all my snacks and meals in a couple of hours, and using the suite’s slow cooker to make a large stew. By tucking a few dry items in my baggage for the train ride from Seattle to Whitefish (interrupted by a coach ride, due to a weather-related issue), I have everything I need to make meals without a lot of trouble. Which leaves me energy to conquer the mountain!

Maybe you aren’t ready to do a Polar Plunge or a New Year’s Eve/Day 5K run for your celebration this year, yet these are the kinds of mindset shifts I’m talking about, where you choose how you want your celebration to play out, and you build around it, instead of relying on someone else or some organization to take your money and give you very little in return.

A New Year’s Eve Message for You

And so, to my Hungry Hamster Minions, let’s keep making food fun again, right into 2017! I’m so grateful for each and every reader, friend and new subscriber, who has come along and read posts here on My Allergy Advocate, and I think about you every day as I build the content to my new website (pointed for a late Spring launch in 2017).

I’m curious to hear how you make your own Celebration Mindshift, and ring in the New Year. And I can’t wait to show you my 2017 changes to ring in my 50th Birthday Year (I start celebrating my new Age Group on January 1, according to all the races I’m planning on signing up for, ha ha ha). It’s going to be a remarkable year!

Happy New Year! (and Year of the Rooster in late January 2017)

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