The Holiday season is such a beautiful time of the year, spending time with the family, having fun conversations and enjoying food together. However, when you tend to eat differently from the other people, the Holiday season can be a little hard. You don’t want to feel like the odd one out, but want to feel uncomfortable at the party too.
In the beginning eating with a large group of people caused me A LOT of stress. Don’t get me wrong sometimes I still feel very uncomfortable being the one that eats differently from the others. Hoping that no one reacts weird or start asking me questions. But through the years I have come up with different things to make eating together easier for myself and the people around me. The Holidays should be fun and shouldn’t cause you stress.
Make your own food and bring it with you.
When your main problem is that there won’t be any food that you can or want to eat, I highly recommend making some food for yourself and bring it with you. When going to a restaurant this isn’t really and option, but when you go to a friends house this is great. This way you can have your own food and people don’t have to worry about you.
Make some food to share.
The one problem with making food for yourself and bring it with you while other people are eating something else is that there is a chance that people will comment or ask about it. Especially when you are at the beginning of your ‘health journey’ this might make you stressed or uncomfortable (or when you are like me and you have been on this journey for longer you still feel this way). So my favourite thing to do is just make a very large portion of food and share it with everyone. This way you don’t feel like the odd one out and you let people experience some of your favourite recipes. I like making large salads, a casserole or a sweet dessert.
My favourite meals to bring are:
- My Favourite Mango Quinoa Salad
- Christmas Cranberry and Kale Salad
- Black Rice Halloween Salad
- Vegetable Casserole with Sweet Potato Crust
- Raw Apple Pie Energy Balls
- Healthy Fruit Cone
- Sweet Red Fruit Baked Oatmeal
But there are a lot more, which you can find in my recipe index.
Be involved in the group.
Talk with people, participate in conversations and be enthousiastic. Eating differently doesn’t make you a different person. Don’t go and sit there by yourself, not talking to anyone, hoping that no one comments about your food. If you do this you make it so much harder for yourself and the people around you. They probably think that you changed in a negative way now you made the choice to eat differently., which might not be the case. (I personally think that a lot of people think that veganism is weird because people eat ‘differently’ and make eating out hard for others, while veganism is actually a very positive thing.)Participating in conversations was something that was very difficult for me in the beginning, especially because eating in social situations was very stressful for me. That made me act differently from before and probably made people worried about me. Lately I have been working on this, I started accepting the situation more and I am not stressing about as much as before. This way I can enjoy my time and I act a lot more positive.
Come with other suggestions.
I know that is very hard to stand up for yourself, especially when you don’t want to feel like the odd one out. In our family there was a kind of ‘tradition’ to go out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant every year. But at the restaurant they had almost no options for me to eat, so I came with a suggestion to go to another restaurant where they have a lot more variational options that all of us can enjoy. Let me tell you, that was very hard to say, because I did not want to make them feel like they had to adapt to me. However I am so happy I stood up for myself and said it in a polite way. We are still going out for dinner every year and we can all enjoy the food and have a great time together at that different restaurant.
Make your favourite recipes with the other people.
Cooking is an activity on itself and is such a great why to get prepared for a fun evening. While cooking you can have to most interesting conversations but also share recipes, techniques and other little tips to make the best meals. This way you can make your favourite recipes or change some ingredients in other recipes to make it acceptable for you too.
I still have difficulties when eating with a group of people and I hope to find even more ways to make it easier for me. Eatng out with a large group of people is the only thing I don’t like about living this lifestyle. However, I am so grateful for the things I have already learned over the years already and I hope that these tips can help you too.
As you might know this December I am sharing recipes that you can enjoy with the entire family during the Holidays. I wanted to share these recipes with you not only because they are delicious, but also to make the Holiday season a lot less stressful for you.
What are your favourite recipes to share with your family and friends and what helps you to make eating in these social situations easier?