For many people, a big part of celebrating this time of year centers on food.
But if you are vegetarian, vegan or have food allergies, sometimes the food-centered activities are not so fun.
Listen to this recent Green Divas Health & Beauty segment—I shared strategies for keeping healthy through the busy and fun holiday season. Then read on for more details…
Here are a few tips along with a favorite recipe of mine…
Bring something that you can eat to share.
This is a great opportunity to let people know that being vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free doesn’t equal “weird” or gross food. I’ve often found that people are surprised that something is vegan or gluten-free, since they associate those terms with something bland or just plain vegetables. It can lead to some great conversations, but…
Don’t make a big fuss or speech about what you can and cannot eat at the meal.
It’s rude. It’s annoying when people are doing it because they are doing Atkins or whatever diet-of-the-month, and it’s also annoying when you are proselytizing about your way of eating. Skip it. As a general rule, I don’t tell other people what choices they should make—it’s hard enough to figure out my own!
If they aren’t already aware, talk to your hosts ahead of time.
If the hosts are close friends or family members, they probably already know what your needs are. If they don’t, the polite thing to do is to call at least a week ahead of time and let them know, while also offering to bring a dish or two. This is also a great time to check in and make sure there isn’t anything you should avoid bringing, for health reasons or cultural beliefs.
If you aren’t sure what’s in something, ask!
When I was first diagnosed with Celiac, I didn’t want to make a big fuss or put anyone out. If something seemed like it would be gluten-free and I was at someone else’s house, I would often risk it. I would also often be sick for the next few days. The last thing your hosts want is for you to be ill because of what you ate at their party. You can be discrete about it, but ask or skip questionable items rather than spending your holidays feeling ill.
Say “thank you” for any and all efforts made by your hosts to accommodate you.
This should be a given for all guests, regardless of dietary restrictions, but we often forget to show our gratitude. Go old-school about it and send an actual snail mail thank you card the next day.
One of my favorite things to make and bring along? Gluten-free vegan gingerbread!
Although I am not completely vegan, I like to make at least some of my Christmas baked goods vegan so that I know friends who are (or those who have dairy or egg allergies) can enjoy them too.
(Adapted from an earlier article on elephant journal) images via shutterstock.com
Listen to the latest episode of The Green Divas Radio Show…
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