Christmas is my favourite time of year…I love decorating, I love choosing presents…I love the warmer weather.

But there is one aspect which is becoming more and more difficult to deal with each year…coping with food intolerances and allergies while at festive functions!


I have a severe lactose intolerance…for those who think that it is all in my head, and I can still eat food with dairy in it, think again.

If I eat something with even a hint of lactose, I have gastro symptoms within 20 mins…it starts with a horrible feeling in my chest, and then I know what’s coming.

It’s not that I chose not to eat dairy…I don’t have a choice!

It’s because my body has decided it is a poison, and reacts accordingly to remove it…it can take a few days to recover from even a small episode.

Now, I am lucky that my intolerance isn’t life threatening…I won’t die from eating dairy and there are people who suffer from much, much worse allergies.

But it will make me horribly sick and miserable, totally ruining a good night out…and probably ground me at home a few days afterwards.

This time of year, our calender fills up with invitations to end of year celebrations, but it is also when I begin to dread going out.

Not because of the social side of things…I love catching up with everyone…in fact, I love a party…especially if dancing is involved!

The trouble is the food…the eating…I am like the high maintenance child with a list of special requests…and I hate having to be the odd one out.

I have to have total trust that the waiter/waitress relays everything back to the chef, who then hopefully takes notice.

If I didn’t have to eat at all, I would be happy! In fact, that is one thing I sometimes do…I eat at home before going out to be on the safe side.

However, I have decided to put an apology in for our work function this week, as I just not brave enough to go to a restaurant I haven’t been to before…especially one that is not close to home, and to which I will be going to on my own.

I guess it would make things easier if I could at least have a drink or two, but nope…I don’t drink either! Did you know that many wines use milk, fish and eggs in the finishing process?

So I will have to be at the function in spirit, and live vicariously through others.

To all of you who can eat and drink without fear, I envy you!

And please spare a thought for those of us that are chained to these damn allergies/intolerances, especially at this time of year…it is not much fun being the odd one out…


Do you suffer from an intolerance or allergy? How do you cope during the festive season?