When I first discovered my soy allergy, I thought I would never be spontaneous again. My husband and I loved getting in the car and driving to wherever the road took us. Over time, I have realized that it is indeed possible to do these things, but it takes a couple of key lessons:
- Food does not define a successful party, event, or adventure. Focus on the people you are with and making the most of your day.
- Keep it simple: When I first started on my soy allergy journey, I felt the need to bake the perfect cake, make the perfect meal, or have the best recipe ever. Some of that need came from feeling like I needed to prove to myself and others that I could still have a great life, but it also came from my need for perfection. Now I realize that my “new normal” does not need to look like Martha Stewart in order to be just as fulfilling.
I will have a series of upcoming blogs related to being spontaneous, and the first has to do with a last-minute picnic that my husband and I had this afternoon to celebrate his birthday. It’s been super hot all summer in South Carolina, and we were thrilled to be able to grab a picnic table at the lake with the perfect breeze and a breath-taking view.
Because I was able to let go of the idea of perfect picnic food, we were able to have the perfect evening instead.
To plan a picnic at the last minute, try picking one or two items from the lists (as long as they work with your food allergies, of course):
- Veggies: think about things that are easy to grab from the store, like baby carrots, pre-cut celery, or one of those broccoli/cauliflower/carrot mixes. I have also used a dry slaw mix as a salad.
- Protein: think cheese, seeds, nuts, or soy free lunch meats.
- Dips or Spreads: I make my own onion mix so that I can easily mix with sour cream. Guacamole and Hummus can also be made quickly if you cannot find a soy-free version at the store. (Note: some people who are allergic to soy also have to avoid other legumes.)
- Fruits: This also depends on what is in season, but I can almost always find organic apples and pears.
- Chips: Think popcorn, tortilla chips, potato chips, and anything else that can be eaten with your fingers.
Most of these things can truly be a grab-and-go items from the store with very little preparation. Just grab some napkins, plates, utensils, and a little ice, and you are on your way to a great impromptu picnic!
Calling All Soyvivors: What Are Your Favorite Easy Picnic Foods?