It’s the holiday season and nobody wants to be a Scrooge by turning down Aunt Linda’s pie. At the same time, however, I’ve made my diet choices for many reasons and I intend to stick to them.
Since going vegan, I had to work at finding a balance between pleasing myself and others. While I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, I also don’t want to disregard my diet choices. ‘Tofu’ isn’t in my grandpa’s vocabulary, while ‘heavy whipping cream’ has been removed from mine. Somehow, I have managed to keep our dining room table a welcome area rather than a dietary war zone.
Caroline’s Five Mealtime Manners
- Give a heads up. If you’re going to a dinner party, make sure the host knows about your diet before and offer to bring a dish.
- Don’t give it a fancy name. Use food vocabulary everyone knows and it is suddenly less ‘weird,’ and more inviting.
- Supplement, don’t replace. If you’re making a healthier/raw/vegan version of something, offer it along with the original recipe. Always give your guests options – they may choose yours in the end, anyway!
- Implement a ‘No thank you,’ taste policy. This one is for kids. If they say they don’t like it without trying it, ask them to give a taste test to make sure. Then, give them they option to say ‘No thank you,’ if they don’t like it afterward. Getting kids to eat a wide variety of foods early is important.
- Choose people over food. This one is probably my most important rule that I repeat to myself throughout the holidays. Yes, the food is great, but the people surrounding you should be the focus of your festivities. Kiss your significant others, embrace your family and laugh with your friends.