Dietary Needs

Business people eating dinner at private event special diets

Top 10 Ways to Advocate for People with Special Diets

Ensuring a safe meal boils down to the importance of communication and advocating for guests with special diets. Creating and delivering memorable events is the plan. But, if an attendee becomes ill due or food poisoning or a meal being contaminated with listeria, the likelihood of return engagement evaporates. Food safety aside, another way attendees can become ill is by being served a meal unsafe or inappropriate for their health condition. Equally concerning is serving a dish which contradicts a religious belief system or health choice. Food allergies, celiac disease, and diabetes are a few health conditions that require personalized…

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fruits-and-vegetables-in-female-hands-with-medical-equipment-on-blue-background diabetes

Demystifying the Diabetes Dilemma

Sugar, like caffeine, is a go-to picker-upper for most meeting attendees. Hang around the edges of any meeting break buffet table and I guarantee that, sooner or later, you’ll hear someone half-jokingly talk about learning how to ride the caffeine and sugar highs just right to avoid jitters on one end, and the inevitable crash on the other. But it’s no joke for attendees who live with diabetes, for whom soaring or guttering blood sugar levels can be potentially life threatening.

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Healthy Food – What Attendees Want

  The results are clear – our guests want to eat healthier. Multiple 2018 studies indicate that consumers are showing a growing awareness of the importance of eating healthy. The Dietary Disconnect While Americans want to start eating better, there seems to be some confusion and different opinions about what “eating healthy” really means. For some, it’s choosing to eat high-protein diets. For others, it’s reducing their gluten or dairy intake. According to a 2018 study conducted by the International Food Information Council (IFIC), one in three Americans follow some type of diet or eating program that they deem to…

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Chef Alain

Eating Vegan – A Hotel Chef’s Perspective

As few as five years ago, hotel kitchens weren’t as prepared to satisfy the needs of a vegan, and planners struggled to meet the nutritional requirements of their vegan attendee. Now in 2019, we’ve seen a great shift in education and accommodation for this group. I spoke with Alain Vergnault, pastry chef at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, to understand how hotel banquet staff have made changes to ease what was once seen as the vegan burden. “The frustration [in cooking for vegans] was here because we were not prepared,” Vergnault says. “If you prepare, and you have all the documentation…

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year of the vegan

Welcome to 2019 – “The Year of the Vegan”

Many of you may know that nine years ago, I started thrive! meetings & events after realizing that it was very hard to eat at the hundreds of events I planned and attended each year because I have a food allergy. While I had made significant dietary changes, and felt renewed in all aspects of life — certainly physically — I realized, perhaps more importantly, that I needed to educate the meetings and events industry on how to feed me and the millions of people like me. I attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and took other nutrition and food…

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June Dietary Restrictions Calendar thrive!-sized for blog

June Religious Dietary Restrictions Calendar

In keeping with my commitment to bring a helpful monthly dietary restrictions calendar to everyone, here are June dates to keep in mind as you plan menus for June events. May 16th - June 14th   Observance & Dietary Restriction Ramadan - is an observance in Islam. Muslims have significant work restrictions and fasting during the entire month. Not only are the usual religious dietary restrictions in place, but Muslims must refrain from eating and drinking during daylight hours. Even smoking is prohibited as food and water particles passing through the nose and mouth are prohibited. Worshipers break the fasting…

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thrive! birthday, food allergy awareness month

Celebrate Food & Beverage Inclusion & Awareness

  As I sat down to write this month's newsletter with a focus on Food Allergy Awareness Month (#FAAW18) and Celiac Disease Awareness Month (#CDAM18), I remembered that May is also the anniversary of my company. Happy 8th birthday to thrive! How apropos that I officially opened thrive! in the month that also celebrates and raises awareness of food allergies and celiac disease, two of the many dietary needs that I advocate on behalf of so individuals with them can eat safely and feel included where they eat. Eight years ago I wasn't aware of the annual celebrations, I just knew I wanted and…

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Thrive March religious dietary restrictions calendar

March Religious Dietary Restrictions Calendar

In keeping with my commitment to bring a helpful monthly dietary restrictions calendar to everyone, here are March dates to keep in mind as you plan menus for March events. March 4 - Mahāśivarātrī (Shiv Ratri) Observance & Dietary Restriction Mahāśivarātrī (Shiv Ratri) is a Hindu festival. Followers of Shaivism, which is one of four Hindu religions, worship Lord Shiva as a Monotheist Lord. The festival is a vigil in His honor and is observed with a 24-hour fast from food and water. How to Include Participants While we will still be feeding our guests and employees on this day,…

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Try These New Year’s Resolutions for Event Planners

When thinking about resolutions for event planners, we are probably just like anyone else in a lot of ways. We want to be healthy, happy, and finally finish that book we’ve had bookmarked on the nightstand. But professionally, there’s a lot we can do, and I’ve got a few manageable suggestions for anyone looking for a few meeting and event commitments to be more inclusive in 2018. Embrace New Technologies There are plenty of ways to do this. We can implement a new event planning software. We can manage our to-do list with a new app. We can experiment with…

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