Turkey, Stuffing and A Side of Food Allergies and Emotional Eating. 5 Tips for Surviving

The table is set. Turkey, mashed potatoes, with unforgiving sides of food allergies and emotional eating. For those who have a problem with food, the food holidays can be a stressful nightmare. Read Elika Kormeili’s tips to surviving the food holidays.
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How Well Do You Cope With Food Allergies, Food Intolerances, Food Sensitivities Or Restricted Diets?

Elika Kormeili, works with many individuals to help with create healthier relationships with food. The holidays present to be a more stressful time for more people. Typically over the holidays, people stress out about their gift shopping and party planning. For those with restricted diets, the holidays can be even more stressful.

Just in time for the holidays, test your ability to cope with food allergies, food intolerances and/or a restricted diet.

Quiz: Test Your Ability to Cope With Food Allergies, Food Intolerance, Food Sensitivities or Restricted Diet

Answer yes or no to each question and then rate the level of distress that each “yes” answer contributes to in your life. Distress rating is between 0-10, with 10 being the most distress possible, and 0 being none.

1. Do you ever feel anxious whenever you are asked to attend a social event that may involve food, such as a party, wedding, or even just happy hour? yes or no: level of distress 0-10

2. Do you avoid social events that involved food because of anxiety, fear, or embarrassment? yes or no: level of distress 0-10

3. Do you ever feel resentful towards loved ones when they eat something in front of you that you can no longer have? yes or no: level of distress 0-10

4. Do you ever crave the foods you can no longer eat? yes or no: level of distress 0-10

5. Do you find it hard not to cheat or break your diet? yes or no: level of distress 0-10

6. Do you have a child with food allergies, diabetes or other food restrictions? yes or no: level of distress 0-10

7. If you answered yes to number 6, do you have difficulties talking to other parents, schools, babysitters or other people about your child’s dietary needs? yes or no: level of distress 0-10

8. If you answered yes to number 6, does your child’s food restrictions cause you overwhelming stress, anxiety and fear? Is it affecting your relationship with your child? yes or no: level of distress 0-10

9. Are you afraid to travel due to food restrictions? yes or no: level of distress 0-10

10. Do you avoid taking trips and vacations due to food restrictions? yes or no: level of distress 0-10

11. Are you experiencing stress in significant relationships due to necessary changes in your lifestyle? yes or no: level of distress 0-10

12. Do you find it hard to just enjoy time with your family or friends because you are constantly worried about food restrictions? yes or no: level of distress 0-10

There are many other factors you may also want to think about, however if you answered yes to any of these, Elika Kormeili can help you overcome these obstacles! If you find that there are areas that you would like to change and improve, give us a call to schedule an initial consultation at 424.274.2276

Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Food Issues & How We Can Help

Is stress or anxiety making your eyes pop out? At Center for Healthy and Happy Living, our Founder Elika Kormeili, likes to focus on solutions rather than problems. Whether you have food restrictions or not, stress can weaken your immunity. Stop the stress-induced madness, read about how we can help you with more than just your restricted diet.

Problem: Too Much Stress
Solution: Identify and tackle triggers. Learn effective stress management techniques.

Problem: Anxiety

Solution: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to identify and reduce anxiety provoking triggers. Effective relaxation techniques.

Problem: TMJ, Grinding, Clenching

Solution: Identify and effectively manage emotions.

Problem: Spread too thin/Too many commitments

Solution: Appropriate boundaries and self-care. Stress Less in LA services are just right for you!

Problem: Food Temptations.

Solution: Eliminate food temptations by stocking a healthy home/office environment. Challenge self-defeating thoughts and triggers for eating when not hungry and eating foods that are not on your eating plan.

Problem: Anxious About Food Allergies

Solution: Increase ability to manage stress, anxiety and fear. Learn strategies to explain why you or your child have to eat differently from others. Learn to battle against isolation, labeling and bullying.

Problem: Need to Lose Weight

Solution: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Weight Loss. Managing food temptations. Overcoming all the reasons for eating other than physical hunger.

Problem: Difficulty focusing and getting meeting deadlines

Solution: Time management and organization skills.

Problem: Your child is not following directions

Solution: Positive Parenting Program (Triple P)

Problem: When bad memories won’t go away

Solution: Trauma-Focused Cognitivie Behavioral Therapy

Have a problem that you would like a solution for?

Why You Should Get Therapy If You Have Food Allergies or A Restricted Diet.

At Center For Healthy and Happy Living, our Founder, Elika Kormeili (aka “the food allergy therapist”), encourages adults and children with food allergies, food intolerances, food sensitivities, or other restricted diets to strongly consider getting counseling.

 Whether you are new to a restricted diet or if you are overwhelmed with the daily stressors of adhering to a strict diet, here is an explanation of why you should get counseling for food allergies, in addition to seeing your regular doctor.

Eliminating foods from your diet goes beyond just knowing what to eat and not eat. It involves an overall change in your relationship with food. It requires changing your attitude about food, associations with food, making effective and healthy decisions, tolerating emotional distress that can arise from not being able to “just eat”, especially in social settings.

A doctor can give a diagnosis, a dietician or nutritionist can tell you what to avoid, a health coach can teach you about alternative foods, however, they are not generally able to be there with you through the social, behavioral, and emotional aspects of making such drastic lifestyle changes around food.

It’s easy to know that a certain food should be avoided, but making that choice every time is not as easy. Especially when that food was once your favorite, or you show up at an event and there’s nothing safe to eat.

An alcoholic can stay away from bars and nightclubs. The alcoholic can even refrain from ever having a sip of alcohol. It is impossible to refrain from eating food, we need food to survive.

Counseling can provide you with the emotional support and motivation that is needed to overcome the cravings, anxiety, depression, and social challenges that arise when making such drastic lifestyle changes.

Post Halloween Food Allergy Survival Tips

Trick or Treat? Let me pick my own treat! When your child has food allergies, going trick or treating can be a real trick. This week, Center for Healthy and Happy Living’s founder, Elika Kormeili, talked to many concerned parents about their children with food allergies especially about surviving Halloween.

 Here are how some parents are suriving Halloween with their food-allergic child:

1) Some parents will run a few houses ahead of their child. Explain the situation to the homeowner and provide them with approved treats and candy.

2) Some parents will only take their children trick or treating at the homes of friends and family Approved candy is already stashed there.

3) Parents will let their child go trick or treating and then switch out the candy with approved candy.

4) Families will have a Halloween get together instead of trick or treating. This way the parents are in control of what their child eats.

Here is a tip from us: focus your child’s attention more on activities (Halloween crafts and games) and less on food.

***If you do take your child trick or treating (even with pre-approved candy) make sure to check their bag (and candy) because as you know children love to trade candy and some people may not understand the severity of your child’s food allergies.

How did you survive this sugar-infused holiday?

Healthy Eating On The Road (Food Allergy Friendly Advice)

At Center for Healthy and Happy Living, our clients, just like you are busy professionals, parents, and students. They frequently ask, Elika Kormeili, our resident food allergy therapist, how to eat healthy while away from home. We all have preferences for types of food we enjoy, however, when you are on a restricted diet (due to food allergies, diabetes, or even religious reasons) eating away from home can be especially anxiety provoking. Perhaps you travel for work, work in the field, are planning a vacation, or simply trying to survive a date, here are some suggestions just for you!

Twenty Tips For Healthy Eating On The Road:
1. Do your research. Find restaurants that offer healthy options on their menu. Call the restaurant or hotel in advance to see how they can accommodate your dietary needs. Most places will accommodate you if they have advance warning. If they can’t/won’t then don’t feel obligated to give them your business.

2. If there are certain foods /snacks that you love, pack them! Some examples are raw nuts, individual potions of nut butters, protein bars, 100 calorie packs and canned tuna in water.

3. Take dry food with you i.e. bread/pasta (especially if you have gluten or soy allergies). You can have the restaurant cook it for you.

4. Find a hotel with a kitchen or kitchenette and perhaps do some grocery shopping.

5. Tell the waiter not to bring chips or bread to the table: if you are starving you won’t make healthy food choices AND you will stuff yourself with bread/chips.

6. Instead of sugary sodas order iced tea or club soda with lime.

7. Have the server dilute your soda with club soda or mix regular soda with diet soda. The regular soda will stay on the bottom so if you drink it with a straw by the time you’re halfway through you won’t taste the difference.

8. If you insist on dessert-share it!

9. Eat slowly. That’s right this actually requires putting your utensils down.

10. Stay away from buffets and “all you can eat” places. Just because you can eat it all doesn’t mean you should.

11. Take the time to enjoy your meal. That means no multi-tasking. Do you actually remember the last time you tasted your food?

12. Stay away from anything that says fried, breaded, glazed or battered. Instead look for steamed, grilled or sautéed.

13. Leave some food on your plate. Despite that your parents taught you, those leftovers won’t do any good for the starving children in Africa.

14. Salad can be a calorie bomb! Lightened it up by skipping the dressing, or having dressing on the side. 

15. Remember you eat to live so don’t live to eat.

16. Use all your senses to make your meal a pleasant experience, that way your food isn’t your entertainment.

17. Be cautious of liquid calories: coffee, cocktails, and juices.

18. Try to have veggies at every meal.

19. Eat at least 1 hot meal everyday.

20. If it doesn’t taste the best-don’t ingest! Calories are calories even when they don’t taste good.