I was reading a forum for other doctors and one doctor said she is trying to help support someone who has a gluten and soy sensitivity, is going to Japan, and he says it would be too difficult to avoid these foods so he is looking for ways to reduce symptoms.

Another doctor commented saying he could ask for rice or buckwheat noodles, and have his meals cooked without sauces (Asian sauces can often contain soy).  The doctor said she tried telling him that, but he is going for business purposes and absolutely does not want to do that.

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What I gather from his response is that her client needs to work on becoming more okay with adjusting for their dietary sensitivities in front of other people, especially those who he seeks to impress.  This situation is similar to someone who needs to reduce their drinking due to health conditions, but currently drinking more than they should due to networking events for their job and is having a hard time stopping because of that.

As someone who HAS to avoid gluten, I know avoidance can be done anywhere and/or I will figure it out.  Whenever I go to any Asian restaurant, rice is always an option, and rice noodles are often an option.  Avoiding starch altogether is an option.

People who have a slight soy sensitivity may be able to tolerate sauces which contain them, but may still need to avoid larger amounts of soy, such as tofu, tempeh and natto.  Smaller amounts vs larger amounts may also help manage reactions.

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I entered the working world not drinking.  I would opt for a mix of tonic water and cranberry or pineapple juice, soda, or water.  I never found this difficult to do.  I adjusted my foods and beverages in social and professional spaces. Sure, there were some who were uncomfortable with that, but their discomfort never made me uncomfortable.  Their awkwardness never made me feel awkward, because I knew it was a ‘them’ problem and not a ‘me’ problem.  I was still successful in my networking and friendship-making endeavors.

If someone sees you being health conscious in a work setting, it may actually work in your favor because a person is noticing that:

  • You care about your health > which can be seen as progressive or admirable
  • You have no problem doing so in front of others > which can be seen as bold, being comfortable in your own skin, not being a ‘yes’ person, and being relatable when it comes to real life.  They can find out you are smart and a good business person without being what some would consider ‘perfect’ – though a food sensitivity being a downgrade to anyone’s perfection score of you is just plain weird.
  • Through the rest of your interaction with them, they can see you being a great person for the team despite them perhaps initially ignorantly thinking you may not be ‘man’ enough because you don’t have a ‘tough stomach’ that can handle anything you put into it.  For those who can handle anything they put in their stomach, it doesn’t mean they should, and you never know how that may show up for them later in life.  Improving digestion can potentially improve health throughout the entire body.  People sometimes come to me without digestive symptoms, but their digestion may still need to be worked on to improve the other things they are seeking help with.

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Sometimes when you show this type of dietary vulnerability, people may actually feel more comfortable with you.  One thing people love to say at the end of their networking speech introductions is they have kids and a dog.  You do not all of a sudden become a better, nicer, or more relatable person to me by saying those things.  As far as I know, all you did was perform a biological function.  I have no clue what’s going on with your family dynamics.  But if you show me your ability to care so much about your health that you will avoid things in front of me without knowing me very well, I think those are potentially signs of strength, commitment, and self-love.

There are various supplements and herbs you can take while on trips to avoid reactions to foods that you are sensitive to.  I still encourage avoidance as well:

  • Activated charcoal – binds toxins.  Often also used in detox protocols and for food poisoning.  Take several hours away from medications, as it can reduce their effectiveness.  Especially if you are on medications, it is best to only take charcoal when you really need it.  Consider working with a Naturopathic doctor for more direction.
  • Probiotics – enhance digestion, reduce gas and bloating
  • Digestive enzymes – enhance digestion, reduce gas and bloating
  • Teas made from peppermint, ginger, cardamom, licorice, dandelion – enhance digestion, reduce gas and bloating

The one positive thing that can happen from lack of avoidance in another country is that you find out the same foods that cause you reactions back home cause less to zero reaction in that other country.  It can be a testament to the toxins in your nation’s food, air, water, and/or how your body functions with less stress and more walking.

To help get toxins out of the US, go to EWG.org and join their email list.  They will send you emails asking you to petition for various types of toxins to be removed from food, water, various products, and the overall environment.

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