Issue #38: Tips for Cocktail Parties, Holiday Travel and Beach Vacations

“I like the careful explanations and visuals that help me get a good idea about each and every aspect of arthritis and how to cure it. It is very carefully thought out and put together so that I can take bites out of all there is to know and learn about getting well. 

The course is working so far to help me soak in information in baby steps. It seems to keep me motivated to get well and helps me clarify what it is I am up against and what I need to do to get well. Overall, the course is taking me where I wanted to go, to health! I gave the course an 8 because it is giving me the tools I need to succeed in getting well.”

Alecia Fred

In this Issue:
An Overview
Number One Tip
Cocktail Parties
Resorts, Spas, Restaurants
The Beach
Helpful Websites

An Overview

Photo by Steven Depolo

It can take about seven days for inflammation to subside after it has been triggered. This means that in order to enjoy your vacation you need to avoid foods and chemicals that can cause inflammation. Get tested at least a month before you leave. A month or sometimes two is usually how long it takes to master a new eating plan, develop a strategy for eating away from home, and be on your way to enjoying your vacation pain free.

Number One Tip for Coming through a Party, Trip or Vacation Pain-Free

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Delayed food and chemical sensitivities are an often unrecognized underlying cause of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other types of arthritis. Because the particular foods and chemicals that are triggering inflammation vary from person to person and can change over time, it is important to be individually tested and that the test results be no older than one year.

My number one recommendation is to be tested at least a month ahead of your big event, so that you know what your triggers are and have figured out a pleasurable and effective strategy for your cocktail party or vacation. It takes most people about a month (sometimes two) to successfully discover and learn to avoid hidden food allergens, once they have a list of which foods are safe for them and which they need to avoid. Once you have this skill, you have the power to stop arthritis flair-ups.

Cocktail Parties

If you are reacting against grapes, brewer’s yeast, sodium sulfate, beef or pork (because pig and cow byproducts are often used to make gelatin and gelatin is often used to clarify wine) you will want to skip wine, but depending on your reaction pattern, you might do just fine with a bloody Mary or a Margarita. If your food sensitivities are moderate or severe, you would be best off skipping the alcohol all together, because it tends to make leaky gut syndrome and therefore inflammation worse. However, that doesn’t mean you have to skip the fun of a cocktail party or drinks with dinner. Knowing what drink set ups are safe for you means you can still “drink” with everyone else without making your arthritis worse and without having to worry about triggering an arthritic flair-up.

Resort Spas, Local Organic Food Restaurants and US National Park Food Concessionaires

If you have a tricky pattern of food and chemical sensitivities, planning a visit to a resort spa or another place that understands food allergies, such as restaurants focusing on local, fresh, organic food, and can often be a great strategy for enjoying interesting and appealing food that is safe for you.

A few years ago I noticed that the food concessionaires for the US National Park System were particularly good at creating safe, creative, gourmet entrees even in the face of the food restrictions I had at that time. My best experiences were at the lodges at the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park. Restaurants that are part of the “slow food movement” are also often a good choice because they are already so aware of what is in the food they serve and much less likely to accidentally include one of your problem foods in the dishes they serve you.

The Beach

As for the beach, knowing your food and chemical sensitivities ahead of time can be a godsend there too. That will give you time to make sure your sunscreen is not accidentally triggering your inflammation and if it is, to purchase light colored clothing you can wear instead of sunscreen for sun protection. Knowing if you are reacting against chlorine can let you know if you need to stick to swimming only in the ocean or if the hotel pool is also safe for you.

Since it generally takes about seven days for the inflammation triggered by delayed food or chemical sensitivity to end, mastering how to avoid your inflammatory trigger foods and chemicals before you leave, can make the difference between the vacation of a lifetime and one spent in pain.

Websites Listing Gluten Free Restaurants

Learn More About Cooking, EatingOut and Traveling with Arthritis

Barbara Allan’s online arthritis course includes a learning module from, which focuses on avoiding inflammatory triggers when traveling and still eating well and having a good time. You can check out the course here and the traveling module here.

Your Champion of Renewed Health and Vigor,
Barbara Allan


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