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Reader’s Request: When Food and Family Collide

Hey everyone! Hope your weekend is wrapping up beautifully 😀

I’ve received quite a few requests on what to do when your eating habits differ from family and friends and how to nourish your body the way you see fit, when others verbally disagree.

Before we get started, a little disclaimer that I post on sensitive topics:

If you are currently struggling with ED or in recovery and think that reading about this topic may result in a trigger effect or is a sensitive issue, please skip this particular Reader’s Request. I don’t ever want to offend or influence others, just share my experiences and what has worked for me and what hasn’t. Everyone is different and knows how certain things affect their bodies and minds—it’s up to us to use our best judgment.

I also want to add that genuine concern (vs unnecessary nagging) when friends and family are worried about your health should certainly be warranted. Please seek help from a counselor if you are not giving your body the proper fuel it needs to flourish.

MY OTHER RECIPES


That all being said, here we go 😀

The family dinner table:

private-dining-room  (source)

Scene of delicious eats, time with those you love, and sometimes controversy.

I’m very fortunate to say that my family, for the most part, has always been 100% supportive of the way I chose to eat.

Of course, when I first changed my diet, they wondered why I skipped on the white rice and pasta, and later on, when I stopped eating meat, but soon it became second nature to them. Now, my family expects me to eat something different from what the rest of them are dining on, and I’m so fortunate that they’ll usually cook something for me that I’d like to eat, as well. For example, when we go to madre’s house in Tucson, she and my nana keep up with the blog and always have the kitchen stashed with my current fave foods, and when we go to my dad’s house, they always ask what I’d like to eat for dinner. Also, when we went to the cabin this past week, the in-laws expected me to bring my own food since they would be dining on hamburgers and the like. It worked out perfectly 😀

I understand for many, that family dinners can cause a lot of stress, particularly if you follow a different lifestyle, such as vegan or vegetarian.

Friends also have a knack for openly discussing their disagreement with the way you choose to feed yourself, which is pretty strange if you think about it 😉

The dietary choices you choose to make are personal. Only you know what foods best suit your body, what you’d like to eat, and how much of it. No one else can tell you what you’re craving, what you need and how you should eat (unless, of course, it’s a doctor). Stick to your guns, and use the following tips if you find yourself in a sticky situation.

1) Before dining at a friend’s or relatives, offer to make a side dish/dessert/appetizer that you would like to eat.

2) Always have emergency snacks with you. There were quite a few business meetings in my life where I would break into the emergency bar or homemade trail mix in lieu of whatever they were serving.

3) Load up on all of the things you would like to eat. Usually at big family gatherings, people don’t even realize I’m not eating the meat or pasta because my plate is so full of other things.

4) Remind yourself that the naysayers are usually insecure about their own unhealthy eating patterns. They’re picking on you to make themselves feel better.

5) Prove them wrong. When others tell you “there’s no way you could get enough protein”, let them know about the plant protein sources and leave it at that (even though it’s hard for me to not get into the whole meat industry and inflated protein requirements shebang but I try to keep things short and sweet). Usually I don’t get a lot of flack from others about protein because I have a lot of lean muscle that I’ve been able to maintain on my quasitarian lifestyle. I prove them wrong by not looking frail and malnourished.

6) If you’re offered something you don’t want to eat, just say “no, thank you”. It took me a long time to realize that turning down someone’s food will not hurt their feelings. Even if they act a little miffed, they’ll forget about it by tomorrow and just make up for it by spending time with them and having fun..that’s all that really matters anyway.

7) No preaching. No one wants to hear about why you don’t eat meat as they dive into their ham or turkey dinner. Just tell them it’s a personal preference and it doesn’t appeal to you as much anymore. Then ask them where they got their shirt 😉

8) Laugh at yourself for being weird 🙂 When I worked as a retail sales manager, a lot of store associates were bewildered with the lunches I brought to work. They borderline made fun of me, but when I laughed and said “I’m just weird, I guess”, they gave up on it.

Are there any other tips you’d like to add to the list?

How’d it go with the recent holidays? Were you able to eat what you wanted in peace or did confrontation arise??

 

Happy feasting 😀

xoxo,

Gina

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62 Comments

  1. Katie (Sweet Tater) on December 27, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    high five!

    • Fitnessista on December 27, 2009 at 9:12 pm

      LOL. was that in a borat voice??

      • Katie (Sweet Tater) on December 27, 2009 at 9:13 pm

        haaaa, i’ve never even SEEN it. and i can’t high five in real life. (i always miss.) but i’ll be damned if i don’t use it to express enthusiasm online. 😉

  2. Danielle on December 27, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Fortunately, my mom is totally supportive of my “unusual” eating habits, which are not unusual to me. However, my extended family teases me a little bit about eating “hippie food”, but I don’t let it get to me. I eat what is healthy and sustainable, and it works for me.

  3. Katie (Sweet Tater) on December 27, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    it’s so sad to me that healthy food is considered “weird” these days. what does that say about our society’s eating habits?

    • Fitnessista on December 27, 2009 at 9:50 pm

      for real

      • Priya on August 12, 2013 at 11:07 pm

        this is obvioussly very late reply, but today on food network, a chef was cooking kale and her comment was (to try and convince peiple to make it?),
        “I dont mind eating healthy food as long as it doesnt taste health!y!”

        what the heck?!

  4. Kara on December 27, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    While I wholehearted agree with your choice to eat whatever you like, your list does have a lot of parallels to living with a borderline eating disorder. I know because I had anorexia for years. When I go to family functions or dinners at friend’s houses, I purposely don’t ask what they are serving and I don’t bring other food. It’s important to me to not focus on the food ahead of time and I need to push myself to eat foods outside my comfort zone, even years into recovery.

    My family does understand my healthy eating preferences (my in-laws actually started serving brown rice, which is huge for them), but now that I’m pregnant it is harder to eat at other people houses due to my “do not eat list” from the doctor and my strong pregnancy-induced aversion to chicken.

    I have read your blog for a long time and I know that you have a healthy approach to food and exercise, so I’m not in any way saying that you have a problem with food. Reading your list just struck a chord with me due to my past experience, so I guess that it’s good that you included that disclaimer 🙂

    • Fitnessista on December 27, 2009 at 9:50 pm

      choosing to eat a healthy and nourishing diet might seem to parallel an eating disorder in the sense that you do have to hold back from some things. someone may want to eat chocolate cake all day, but they choose not to because they know the implication it could have on their body and health.. while that thought process may appear to you as an eating disorder, it’s really taking the steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
      thank you for your comment and i’m so happy to hear you are winning the battle with your eating disorder.

  5. Becky on December 27, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Totally love this post! My family has finally accepted that I won’t be partaking in the scalloped potatoes or ham dinner…and it’s completely fine. I can always find something I like to eat, and while it sometimes feels a little awkward having to deal with random questions and critiques, I’m much happier eating something that I like and I know my body will like as well. 😉

  6. Jessica @ How Sweet It Is on December 27, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    It drives me batty when people discourage others from eating food they want. Luckily, my family has never been pushy with food, so it hasn’t been a problem. But we aren’t yelling at people for eating big macs, so why yell at us for eating fruits and veggies! I agree – man times it’s due to an insecurity!

    • Priya on August 12, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      ” But we aren’t yelling at people for eating big macs, so why yell at us for eating fruits and veggies!”
      –thats SO true!!

      • Fitnessista on August 12, 2013 at 11:32 pm

        seriously! but the other comment- what in the world?? haha

  7. Gloria on December 27, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    My mom was a little cranky when I took over the oven to bake my green bean casserole right before 20 family members arrived, but besides that my family is completely supportive of my lifestyle. My cousins saw the lentil-nut loaf I made on my plate, begged to try it, and went back for seconds even though they had an entire Italian feast catered for them! After sampling my cookies and muffins for dessert they even said “Wow. I could be vegan!” Definitely brought a tear to my eye 🙂

  8. Jordan @ Salt Sweat Sugar on December 27, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Honestly, I try to avoid discussing my eating habits with my family, because they usually have something to say about it. I was raised in a really Southern family, complete with the deep fried EVERYTHING and two-sticks-of-butter-per-dessert types. It’s very difficult for them to understand… so rather than arguing, I just feed myself and avoid most discussions.

  9. Danielle (Coffee Run) on December 27, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    I feel lucky that my parents are very supportive of my choices. I also think they’re slowly starting to understand where I’m coming from. The only akward moment I find myself in is when someone (in a public/social situation) asks “Why are you vegan?” It’s like…I don’t know how to answer that without offending anyone or getting into the whole health/political shebang.

  10. La on December 27, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Over the holidays I once went to two friends’ families for meals. Most of my closest friends already know about my vegetarian preferences, these were two of them. My first friend told me her family had a few vegetarians, so I wouldn’t have much trouble finding something to eat at their table. My second friend’s family is a whole bunch of carnivores and every time I go over to their house they love to discuss my vegetarian habits. It’s not so much that they like to discourage me or try to get me to eat meat. I find they’re genuinely curious. I don’t take a defensive stance, I answer all their questions, and I make sure to eat full plates of all the vegetarian options available. My friend’s mom looked at my plate and exclaimed over the complete meal I was having, between the quinoa, vegetarian chulent, steamed broccoli and spinach, and sweet potatoes. She had made so much food that night! Including about four meat dishes. But all the vegetables and grains were more than enough for me. I really wanted to point out how she had made a complete meal that would have nutritiously fed the entire family even without the various meat dishes she served, but it was a holiday, and it’s they’re always so open and welcoming about my dietary preferences I didn’t want to be rude. Another time…haha.

  11. BethT on December 27, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    I appreciate this post – thanks for sharing. You’re definitely right when you say people question others’ eating habits when they’re defensive about their own.

  12. Paige (Running Around Normal) on December 27, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Great tips, Gina! I’ve actually found that now that I’m a little more vocal about my enthusiasm for healthy food and fitness, people just assume I’m going to eat the healthier stuff, and they don’t really pay attention when I don’t…finally. Or perhaps I’ve just phased out the people that were in my life who were rude enough to make those comments.

  13. kirsten on December 27, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Great post Gina! I can totally relate to coworkers making fun of foods I’ve brought to work, I’m definitely going to use the “I’m just weird I guess” response! 😀

  14. homecookedem on December 27, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    These are great tips! I want to stand up for myself a bit more this year than I did in 2009. I think I ate a lot of “junk” just to please people and this post has inspired me to eat what’s best for me. If I don’t want a slice of cake at a b-day party, I’m not going to eat a slice just to be like everyone else. Well done and I really appreciate that you began your post with a disclaimer. 🙂

  15. Erica on December 27, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    I go to college in Colorado, where it’s very easy (and in my opinion, much tastier AND healthier!) to eat vegetarian or vegan foods. So I’ve been cooking and baking nonstop this week, and my family’s been super happy. I’m introducing them to a whole new world of vegetarian entrees (moroccan chickpea tangine? mushroom frittata? roasted brussels sprouts?) while satisfying my need for food experimentation that I can’t fulfill at school!

    Plus they’re happy that all they have to do is sit back and be fed 🙂
    Works for me!

  16. Jessica (fit and clean) on December 27, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Hey Gina, Thanks for posting this. I loved this one the most: “4) Remind yourself that the naysayers are usually insecure about their own unhealthy eating patterns. They’re picking on you to make themselves feel better.”
    How TRUE! I had a rough holiday this year, because of the comments. But at the end of the 12 days that my parents were here, (for crying out loud, I’m 36 years old!) I think they realized that it’s not just a passing phase..even though they know I’ve been eating this way (clean) for the past 8 months. Knowing that others go through what I have been going through helps. 🙂

    • Aletheia on December 27, 2009 at 11:04 pm

      Amen to that! After 7 years of being a veggie, my parents still attack me left and right whenever possible – (ie. can you really live without meat? you can’t possibly be well. Your hands look frail and weak. etc.) – and have been increasing the intensity of the attacks (naturally) when I became a high-raw vegan just this past summer – even when it’s clear that my health (mental and physical) have been improving. I just have to keep reminding myself that there are others going through this same dilemma, and that despite what others say (ironically, friends and family especially!), we need to take a STRONG stand for our health and overall sense of well-being! Thanks Gina for this post and for inspiring us gals to live up to the best that our bodies can be! 🙂

    • Kristie Lynn on December 28, 2009 at 7:10 am

      My mom will do the same thing! She will talk to her friends at church about how she is so worried I am not eating healthily or in a balanced way (because wow, how could not meat or dairy be balanced?!), but if you open her fridge/freezer/pantry at home here is what you find: toaster strudels, frozen pizza, ice cream sandwiches, cheese, Hershey’s syrup, milk, Stovetop stuffing and boxed brownie mix. At least I can be thankful that one of her friends is a nurse who has been assuring her that I’ve done research and know what I need to do to eat in a balanced way. It just cracks me up when I know she doesn’t eat balanced meals and has never cared about the way I eat before!

  17. Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) on December 27, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Great list, Gina. And I’m of the mindset that I no longer try to “convince” or “explain”. It just is. Period. This is the way I feel best, so this is what I eat. If someone asks, I keep things very short and sweet, never try to “transform” them, bring them onto my path, preech, etc. It took me 25 yrs to figure out my food intolerances and why high raw and all vegan is best for me. But that’s not everyone’s path, and that’s great. To each her own and I just show respect to other’s choices and hope they do the same for me. And the less said, the less “explaining” or “justitfying”, the better.

    Like in parenting, I have learned not to have to “explain myself” for the nonmainstream choices I make; rather, I just make them and inform people, only when necessary, what the deal is. And let it be.

    Rambling. Sorry 🙂 I bet you’ll get tons of comments on this post, can’t wait to read the feedback!

  18. Molly @thevegandorm on December 27, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    I think having an open mind is the best way to go about it.
    I’m a vegan, and my entire family is quite the opposite, but if I don’t pick at what they’re eating, they don’t pick at me (except for some good-natured teasing).
    Of course, if they ask me questions, I’ll answer, or if they start a discussion, I’ll give my side, but for the most part we happily coexist.

  19. Jenna on December 27, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Great post Gina!!

  20. Allie (Live Laugh Eat) on December 27, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Thanks Gina for your realistic tips. I can totally see myself using them when need be.

    If only people could realize how delish our foodgasms are 🙂

  21. Heather @ The Joyful Kitchen on December 27, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    Thanks for the tips girl! I’m so lucky that my parents are extremely healthy eaters too, something that made this holiday really easy for me. I would just say that around my in-laws (who eat less healthfully), the biggest thing is offering to make something, and then doing a healthier version of it. That way, I know what I’m eating and am OK with it, and I get to see the surprised looks on their faces when I tell them that delicious food they’re eating? it’s actually good for ya! 🙂

  22. Maya on December 27, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Well said. It’s something i’ve list aightnof a bit lately and today I remembered how great it feels to do what feels right fir my body despite what others alums me are doing. Alwhn we stay at my grandparents house for the holidays, everyone is fine sitting around all day, but I went for a long walk and it felt glorious. I made my lunch of sweet potato, kale, and tofu which definitely strayed from the family mainstream and it was delicious. Plus your family might pick up your habits if they see how happy and healthy you are (even more effective than any kind of preaching, not that anyone appreciates that anyway!)

  23. Joelle (The Pancake Girl) on December 28, 2009 at 1:24 am

    Thank you so much for your post Gina! My fam is traditional Italian, and a lot of my food choices and habits (like whole wheat pasta, for example) were originally scorned and everyone looked at me like I had 5 heads every time we would sit down to a family dinner. Over time, though, they’ve come to understand that yeah, I really like veggies haha and have grown to accept the way I eat and even contribute to making it easier for me to be full and happy.. Clearly they’ve seen me when my tummy’s growling haha.

  24. Alice on December 28, 2009 at 1:28 am

    Having moved back home after living away for a year (which was fabulous, and let me figure out what *really works* for my body(, I can honestly say my family is not very accepting of my eating habits, and I have to compromise if I ever want to eat with them.

    This, despite the fact that I am meant to be cooking. I either cook two meals, and get comments, or just suck it up. I’m moving to america (NY!!) for 2010, so should be able to take care of my own needs and preferences a bit more.

  25. pen (pen at peace) on December 28, 2009 at 2:16 am

    Great post! I normally don’t have friction with the fams, but I do feel bad when they feel the need to obsessively ask (over and over and over) if there is enough vegetarian food for me to eat. The thing is, after being a vegetarian for nearly a decade, you can figure out a meal anywhere.

  26. Busted Kate on December 28, 2009 at 2:26 am

    Missed you cousin!

    • Fitnessista on December 28, 2009 at 8:52 am

      missed you too, coz. hope you drank a lot of egg nog for me 😀

  27. Ashley on December 28, 2009 at 2:32 am

    Great post Gina!

    I’ve currently been in the midst of this, as I’ve been in Northern Ontario with my partner’s family for the last 5 days. Since coming up here last year, my eating has changed entirely (gluten free & vegan) so I couldn’t partake in the treats, cabbage rolls, perogies, stuffing and turkey as I did in prior years.

    My partner talked to his mom (who we were staying with) before we got here and I made sure I brought a lot of stuff with me. She even called a local place called the Meatless Gourmet to try and see if she could get me something for Christmas dinner. Turns out their items all contained gluten, but I really appreciated her efforts. She made the effort to pick me up some gluten free cereal when she went grocery shopping and set aside some potatoes and turnip at Christmas dinner before adding milk or butter.

    I ended up making my own Christmas dinner (quinoa, festive salad and steamed broccoi with turnip and potato) and everyone was fine with me eating differently! They even commented as to how healthy and delicious my meal looked. I think it really worked for us because we set up the “expectations” in advance and I made sure that I was taken care of.

    I’m really happy that it was a successful visit!

    • Fitnessista on December 28, 2009 at 8:51 am

      you’re totally right– usually others are intrigued by a veggie meal because they’re so colorful and beautiful 😀
      glad your visit was a good one!

  28. MizFit on December 28, 2009 at 6:22 am

    You nailed it.

    perfectly and precisely and ENTIRELY.

    nada to add 🙂

  29. LindsayRuns on December 28, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Great post. What I’m struggling with more than anything right now is remembering to balance feeding my husband his normal diet as I change mine to lean more vegetarian.

    • Fitnessista on December 28, 2009 at 8:50 am

      it definitely takes some time and planning, but you’ll get the hang of it 😀

  30. Naomi on December 28, 2009 at 8:53 am

    LOVE this! sometimes if I go to dinner parties I struggle and just keep thinking there will be NOTHING healthy for me to eat so I do exactly what you said which is always offer to bring something so I know there will at aleast be one dish that I will eat 🙂

    I also never preach about why I choose to eat a certain way and if someone asks me why I am not eating it, I simply say I am not in the mood, but LOVE what you said to say back “where did you get that shirt” LOL

  31. Bridget on December 28, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Great post! The biggest challenge for me is staying at my in-laws for a few days. They eat a lot of processed foods and a lot of meat – my MIL will not even eat a single vegetable! She was a little offended once early on when I brought some of my own food to her house, but I just don’t know what else to do when I would rather eat oatmeal instead of biscuits and gravy for breakfast. I talked to my husband about how to approach it a little better this year. More than anything, it makes me sad that they are unwilling to be more open-minded and even try things that would be so much healthier for their bodies.

  32. Jenny on December 28, 2009 at 9:42 am

    This is a good post! And I appreciated your disclaimers at the beginning.

    I noticed this year that my mom was more attentive to my needs (rather than disapproving), like she would ask before she made certain things if I “wanted” this or this. However, I have a father who thinks it’s funny to “annoy” me with his unhealthy choices and I do know that it’s more difficult to not preach in these types of situations.

    You give me so much confidence to eat well and not be ashamed of how I eat. Yes, I’ve recovered from an ED, but I know that I DO eat right and healthfully now, and most importantly, I enjoy it. These are the things that matter.

    • Fitnessista on December 28, 2009 at 10:20 am

      those are exactly the things that matter. i’m proud of you, lovely <3

  33. Sana on December 28, 2009 at 9:45 am

    One of the best posts on your blog! Thanks for the support and encouragement 🙂

  34. Nicole on December 28, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Thanks for the great post! I don’t have trouble with my family because they are used to the way I eat..it’s more co-workers that don’t understand why I don’t eat pizza multiple times a week and think I am weird because I’d rather have a salad with ezekial bread.

  35. Krista on December 28, 2009 at 10:07 am

    My family is generally used to the way I eat. My Mom can be a real snoot about it sometimes but I just remind her that at 35yrs old I know what’s best for me and my digestive track. 😉

  36. rhodeygirl on December 28, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Gina is that your family’s table? If so it is stunning, if not, whose is it?!?!

    I am lucky in that I am part of a family that loves healthy foods. Every function has lots of fresh veggies and healthy dips (homemade hummus- the real Jordanian way) and always at least 2 or 3 cooked veggies and a salad. For example, New Year’s Eve at my aunt’s will have: crudite with hummus, mozzarella with tomato, crackers and cheese, then roast filet mignon, fettuccine alfredo with peas, grilled vegetable assortment (unfortch with lots of olive oil but they are amazing), good bread, a huge funky salad, and for dessert fresh fruits and a couple of cakes. I can fit right in with my plate stacked high with veggies, 2-3 bites of pasta, and lots of salad, and in fact that’s what most of my aunts plates look like.

    • Fitnessista on December 28, 2009 at 10:19 am

      oops, scatterbrained over here forgot to source the photo. fixed it!
      you’re very lucky your heritage enjoys such fresh, delicious and healthy foods 😀

      • rhodeygirl on December 28, 2009 at 11:52 am

        Thanks!! It is such a beautiful room. I want one!

  37. Melanie (I Dream of Tahini) on December 28, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Great post as usual!

    This was my first Thanksgiving and Christmas as a vegetarian. My hubby is so supportive, and Thanksgiving was easy since we spent it at our house. Christmas was tougher since we eat at my Mother in Law’s who lives about 90 minutes away. I made some roasted carrots, turnips, beets and sweet potatoes ahead of time and heated in the microwave. I also brought the ingredients for a green bean casserole and made a triple batch at my Brother -In Law’s house who lives next door. I had asked for two vegan cookbooks from my Mother In Law for Christmas and I talked to her before dinner and said Oh I gave up meat and she said “Yeah I heard”. Luckily that is all she said. I sometimes feel that his family always thinks I’m weird because I eat healthier and do things just a little differently than normal people do, lol. All in all it worked out well. I had two huge plates of yummy food on Christmas, so I wasn’t lacking on food by any means. I find for the most part that eating out is pretty easy and people at work don’t think I’m weird because our job tends to have a lot of healthy eating people anyways -plus it’s a huge company and very diverse so most anything is accepted here.

  38. K on December 28, 2009 at 10:21 am

    I think all of those tips are fantastic. I don’t like to draw attention to my dietary preferences because I don’t want people to bend over backwards to try and please me. Instead, I offer to bring things that I would eat (like you said), have a small snack before hand, and make due with what’s there. This was my 3rd Christmas as a vegetarian and, I have to say, it gets easier every year. People are now asking me all about tofu dishes, hummus, ways to prepare vegetables, etc. My family has been nothing but supportive from day one so I feel very blessed.

  39. AmyJoGo on December 28, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Please ask the Pilot to put in a request for ya’ll to move to Fort Worth. I need you as my trainer! LOL

    Seriously. You are inspiring me to try new options. I watched Food, Inc this past weekend and was so disgusted. I don’t want to be a pendulum swinger, but it really is sad and frightening to see how altered our produce, poultry and meat sources have become. I am morbidly obese and although I own my actions in getting to this place, I can’t help but wonder how all the toxins have effected my body’s ability to process food.

    I like the tips you mentioned in today’s post. It can be embarrassing to explain yourself to everyone when you’re trying to make healthy changes. Thanks for sharing what works for you. 🙂

    ~amy

  40. JenSanders52 on December 28, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Great post! It made me chuckle a bit to read all of the comments. My mom and dad absolutley support my decision to become a vegetarian. My mom even goes out of her way to purchase vegetarian options and healthy choices for me when I come to town. This year for Thanksgiving she even roasted me my very own tofurkey!

    However, my in-laws are quiet the opposite. They make everything, and I mean everything, with bacon fat, chicken stock, and two sticks of butter. Sometimes there really are no meatless options for me. The green beans share the pot with the pig! I think you are right, though. They probably don’t even notice when I just eat the sliced tomatoes (covered in sugar to make them sweeter), and the butter drenched broccoli. I can always have a bite or two, then eat a Larabar on the way home!

    And I love the point you made about people just being insecure about their own eating habits. My sister-in-law proceeded to tell me that she has a friend who is a vegetarian simply because she likes the attention she gets. Hmm… I almost took this as a low hit, but next time I’ll just laugh and point out how much I love her new shirt!

  41. Brigid on December 28, 2009 at 10:53 am

    My grandmother needs her hip replaced, so her cooking a big meal this year was out of the question. Instead, the rest of us all brought a few dishes. It was perfect! Somehow we ended up with a totally vegetarian Christmas with tons of great snacks.

  42. Courtney on December 28, 2009 at 11:25 am

    I was never a huge meat eater growing up (despite the fact that I live in Iowa!), so my family is never surprised when they see my plate loaded up with salad, veggies, etc. However, it has been easier to explain why I’m not eating meat since having a baby. I blame it on the meat aversion I had during pregnancy (especially the smell – ick!), and say that aversion has mysteriously stuck with me post-pregnancy 😉 It’s much easier than explaining the real reason, and it avoids offending those I love.

  43. Emily on December 28, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Great relevant post! I love your blog – especially since I eat very similarly to you.

    Anyways, no confrontation at my holiday dinners.
    Only a slightly awkward moment when my father tried some of the mocha/vanilla cream pie I made and then said, “Wait, is this vegan?” When I said yes, he looked slightly dissapointed like, “Oh, I wish this had more animal products in it.” Hehe.

    Anyway, the pie was a big hit with vegs and non-vegs alike. Cheers!

    • Fitnessista on December 28, 2009 at 1:09 pm

      it’s so awesome when they realize that vegan does not indicate whether or not it will be delicious 😉

  44. Heidi @ FightingwithFood on December 28, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! This past week, I was a bit hurt by my family’s response to my eating habits – they scoffed at my egg whites and crock pot oatmeal for Christmas breakfast. I truly appreciate the tips and love knowing that I am not the only one who deals with this issue.

  45. Lauren @ Eater not a runner on December 28, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Really great post. One of the hardest things for me to learn was that it is ok to say no!

  46. Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather on December 28, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    This post is great. It’s funny how other people always want to impose their own way of eating on you, whether it be good or bad.

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