I used to be a vegan. Then I added in seafood again. Then I transitioned to strict vegetarianism with seafood thrown in at times. During pregnancy I was mainly vegan, gluten free, and sugar-free in my diet. Lately, I’ve been concentrating on unprocessed foods and not worrying too much about vegetarianism. Throughout these stages, as neurotic as it may seem to change one’s diet every few years, I was doing what I felt was best for my body at the time. Ergo, I know all too well the plight of the holiday eater when confronted with opinions that don’t match your own concerning food.
I’ve put together a few helpful responses to common holiday food conflicts. And by helpful, I mean that you may not be speaking to certain family members after using these lines. You’re Welcome.
The Critical Comment: No [insert food you're not eating here] for you, Lidia? Are you sure you’re eating enough lately?
Kind & Honest: Thanks for your concern, Aunt Margie! I’m sure your stuffing is as delectable as it’s ever been. I’ll be passing on it for now, though.
The Lie: Gee, Uncle Troy, you know, I completely forgot about the green bean casserole! I’ll go back and get some as soon as I warm up with this plate-full!
Factual: No, no stuffing for me. Boxed stuffing contains a lot of preservatives and processed ingredients that tend to give me a headache.
Snarky: With the rate of obesity in this country, Pap, I’m pretty sure your annoyance at my avoidance of canned crescent rolls is a first-world problem.
The Intolerant Comment: C’mon. Just eat some meat! People eat meat! I think being a vegetarian is dumb.
Sensible: (giggle) I understand that people enjoy meat. But at this time in my life, I don’t. I’d appreciate it if you stopped pestering me about it so we all can enjoy our favorite dishes of this meal!
Factual: Even if I decided that eating an animal suddenly sounded appealing, my body isn’t used to digesting meat any longer and I would surely feel sick. I’d like to experience this holiday without vomiting, so I’ll be avoiding the animal flesh, thanks.
Snarky: I’ve been a vegetarian for 15 years. Please understand: I’M NOT EATING MEAT. I’ve never asked you to stop being an ass, as appears to be YOUR lifestyle choice.
The Guilt-Trip Comment: I don’t understand why you won’t eat my __________. I worked so hard! Just try a little? Please?
The Gracious Lie: Sure, Mom. Put some right here on my plate.
Loving: Aw, Larry, it has nothing to do with you or your food! I’m sorry to hurt your feelings. I just don’t eat seafood.
The Plug: You know, Viv, I’ve been reading this helpful site called Healthful Mama, about eating and living healthier. She recommends not eating something just because someone guilted you into it.
Snarky: I don’t understand why you keep trying to get me to eat mayonnaise-based salads. What is your obsession with creamy white stuff?
My Favorite Overall Response: “No, thanks.”
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