I was incredibly intimidated when I started the SCD diet. But what was even worse was trying to figure out how I was going to manage a diet like this and still be a normal person at work. I was constantly going to lunch meetings with different people and I had no clue how I was going to stick to the diet and somehow still fit in.
I was really shy when I first started the diet and hid the fact that I was eating the SCD diet. But over time, I learned a few things that made it easier to get by and now I have no trouble sticking to the diet and following a normal work life. In fact, sometimes people at work even pull me aside because they want to learn more about how I got to be so healthy. Here are the top three ways to manage the SCD diet at work.
Number One: Always be prepared! At dinner time each night, I make enough food so that I can pack my lunch to eat the exact same foods the following day. Doing this one thing allowed the SCD diet to integrate seamlessly with my work life. I am always prepared with an SCD legal packed lunch and if I end up having to stay late, I always have an emergency meal ready in the freezer for defrosting in the microwave. Believe me, I have attended some very high-class meetings that had catered lunches and I just hauled in my big, ugly, red cooler, asked for a microwave, and proceeded to eat some leftover pork tenderloin on a paper plate! People are very understanding when you feed their curiosity a little; it has not affected my career in any way. The bottom line is if you are always prepared for any occasion and set up the condition for success then you will never have an excuse to give in and fall off the wagon. Make it easy for yourself and always eat your leftovers for lunch the next day; make enough food the night before!
Number Two: Talk to the elephant in the room! I built up my confidence by keeping my co-workers informed about what was going on. If I didn’t speak up and say something about why I was hauling a cooler to an upscale meeting when lunch was being served who knows what crazy rumors their imaginations would conjure up. The bottom line is educate your co-workers about what you are doing… just say something along the lines of, “Yeah, I am on a special diet for a while because of some food allergies I am experiencing. It is extremely healthy and if you ever want to know more about it, let me know. Since I have been on it, I feel incredible.” I have found that this usually satisfies their curiosity and puts the ball in their court to find out more, but most do not ask again and seem to have a little more respect for me for taking care of my health. Giving them just enough information to let them know that you are not trying to exclude yourself, but are merely doing it for health reasons, is all that is needed. As the information about different digestive diseases spreads, many people will think of you as a strong person for making positive changes to help your body.
Number Three: Don’t skip out on invites to social situations. If your workplace is a very social place, and business is frequently conducted at restaurants, don’t be afraid to go right along and bring your own food.
I have never had a problem explaining to the maître d’ that “My co-workers and I will be having a lunch meeting here and providing you with a lot of business. It is important that I attend. However, I have a lot of food allergies so I have to bring my own food. I trust that it will be fine if I heat it up and join my colleagues?” This always works, and the service staff has always been great about accommodating me. Don’t forget to chip in on the tip, though. Bottom Line: You’re trying to heal your body to live a long and healthy life. People will admire that. Don’t be shy and never skip out on something just because you have a special diet and are bringing your own food!
If you follow these three tips that I have implemented over the last year, things at work will be just as normal as you could imagine. In fact, people may even show more respect for you because of how you’re taking control of your health… you never know, one day your boss might call you in their office to get your advice on their digestive problems!
Got any SCD tips for work? Add to the comments below.