Something that comes to mind during this time of year, which can cause some stress, is your diet or eating lifestyle. Eating healthy can create stress! It’s great if you have supportive friends and family, but if you don’t, it can be a challenge.
I deal with this each time I go to a family member’s or friend’s house for dinner. If you are like me, I try to eat real, organic, whole foods on a regular basis. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for everyone. Like them, I remember there used to be a day in which I didn’t give any thought to the food I was eating. Yes, it was SAD – the Standard American Diet. Fortunately, I learned the connection between what I ate and my health.
I think if you’re healthy and don’t eat like this for medical reasons, you shouldn’t stress over having one meal that is processed. You are doing the best you can when you cook at home for your family, so one meal here or there is ok. Give yourself some grace. You might not physically feel the greatest afterward, but it’s only for one day. If you are going to a family or friend’s house for Thanksgiving, I recommend taking a healthy dish to pass, but other than that, graciously accept what they are offering and be grateful.
Food Allergies Make for a Whole Other Problem
If, on the other hand, you’re like me and deal with life-threatening food allergies, that’s another issue. You just can’t eat what they serve. I simply bring a lot of my own food or eat beforehand. If I’m going to eat something they made, I make sure to ask them every ingredient they used. I know it’s a pain, but I’d rather not make it a memorable Thanksgiving by ending up in the hospital!
I don’t expect family members to make anything special according to my dietary restrictions. I know how difficult it is for me to eat like this, so I don’t want them to go through it. Most of my family understands this and is now used to me eating something different than they serve. It works out because they can plan for one less person to feed, right!
Eating Healthy Real Food While Not Sounding Like a Weirdo
I had someone write a guest post about eating real food. She titled the article “How to teach others about real food without sounding like a weirdo.” I think that’s actually how we sound sometimes. Everyone is so used to eating their processed Stovetop stuffing and canned cranberries during this time of the year that this is a new and foreign concept to them.
Here are some suggestions she mentions when it comes to eating at someone else’s house:
- Resist the Urge to Preach – You can explain that a food doesn’t sit right for you. Then, stop. Don’t say anything more. Wait for more questions or for the topic to change. If anyone really wants to know more, they’ll pull you aside and ask for more information.
- Respect the Deaf Ear – You can talk and talk about how amazing you feel now that you’ve changed your diet but if the person on the other end of your speech isn’t interested, you might as well be talking to a wall.
- Lead by Example – The next time you’re invited to a social event that involves food; prepare enough real food so others can try it too. Having a special plate just for yourself sets you apart and makes your difference stand out. Preparing healthy food for others makes them feel included and may make them more open-minded to listening to what you have to say.
Real Food Bloggers Tell it Like it Is
I interviewed 2 Real Food bloggers, Kristine from Real Food Girl: Unmodified and Julie from Whole Food, Real Food, Good Food. If you haven’t listened to that episode, you can do so here. I asked them if they found it difficult to eat healthy around others. Kristine said, it hasn’t been too difficult, but to avoid any awkwardness, she invites people over to her house. If she goes to someone else’s house, she eats something before she goes. She would be polite and have a little, but not much.
Julie with Whole Food, Real Food, Good Food says she uses it as a talking point when she gets together with others.
Good advice from those who eat real, whole food! Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal and the fellowship to be had around the table with your family and friends!
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