For those of us with food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities, eating can be a nightmare. The aftermath of a recent family gathering—in which I accidentally ate something with gluten—firmly reminded me why it’s important to take care of ourselves after exposure to our bodies’ food-borne foes.
Here are a few things I’ve found helpful when I find myself knocked flat by edibles.
Drink It Away
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to flush your system; the faster the irritants get out, the better. Make sure you drink plenty of water and green or detox tea to keep things moving.
If your particular situation leaves your guts in a knot, brew up some ginger tea with honey. For thousands of years, ginger has been used to soothe upset stomachs, and to wonderful effect. If the pain is really bad, add some turmeric to beat back the inflammation.
For me, headaches are a huge problem when I’ve accidentally consumed gluten, and I’ve heard that I’m not alone in this (nor is it exclusive to those with gluten intolerance). If you too, suffer from migraines and brain fog, you may want to try lavender, which is known for its relaxing affects on the nervous system. It makes a lovely addition to any cup of tea, and the scent of it can help reduce both headaches and stress.
Let It Go
Headaches and gut pain are bad enough, but oftentimes our food intolerances and allergies can leave us aching, exhausted, and completely overwhelmed. If you’re so wiped you can’t get out of bed, and it’s stressing you out, here’s an idea: stay in bed. Yes, you have an extra long to-do list for today, but guess what? If you drag yourself out and around now, you’re likely to do a poor job of things—or worse, crash before you can get everything done.
Pull those covers back over your head and let your body rest some more. The work will still be there when you get up, and you’ll have more energy and presence of mind to deal with it. Seriously, I find that I get far more done after spending half a day in bed with a gluten reaction than I would if I had gotten up with the alarm.
When you do get up, have a cup of tea, take a nice, hot shower, and give yourself a hug. It’s going to be ok.