Next week, I’m making a presentation about my food allergy coaching practice to a medical group in Boston during their lunch hour. And in all of my preparations, I overlooked that seemingly and obvious detail: lunch hour equals lunchtime. Lunchtime means food, that I need to eat, during my presentation.
My contact very considerately inquired what might I be able to dine on safely and what could he order for me or how to arrange it best for my safety. After quickly considering my options, I made the most logical conclusion: bring my own, shelf-stable and safe food, from New York.
The alternative was of course doable: get the name of their caterer, talk about my food allergy needs, go over menu and options, recheck the day of and then take that leap of faith that all of my due diligence paid off. Or, more worrisome, mistakes were made and I would have to go without lunch. (I, of course, always have a safe snack on hand, but that's not lunch.)
But skipping lunch is not an option; that gets me into low blood sugar zone which is a whole different set of (bad) issues. I need to be food allergy safe, I need to not be worrying about every bite during my presentation and bottom line, I need to eat.
So, I replied via email that I would bring a shelf stable lunch (Eden beans and rice) and asked if there was a microwave that I might use. He replied yes, there was one available.
Seems easy right?
What makes it easy is that I know what I can and cannot eat, I know where my safe eating boundaries are and what my emotional needs are – feeling and being safe is about your dietary and physical needs as well as your emotional. Knowing all of this and being able to communicate it clearly is one of my definitions of food allergy confidence.
So, have you had a work event recently that you needed to navigate the food situation? Did you feel confident? Where were there hiccups or questions? How might you have been able to do it better? Where were there successes and triumphs? Please, share!