It seemed like the very thing I promised myself became null and void. I gave myself permission to not stress about the holidays. I wasn’t going to run myself ragged, give task lists which exceeded my strength, or gnaw away on worry like it was chocolate. I wish it was chocolate.
Yet, two weeks before Thanksgiving my stomach began flips at the thought of our menu. Off-limit food can cause issue with the big day. Many grain/soy/processed sugar free options require hard to find ingredients which throw off my budget – anyone else hear me on this?
I have my favorite arsenal of almond flour, coconut amino, and pure maple syrup ready to go – but do you know the difficulty of purchasing cassava or tiger nut flour without issue or extravagant shipping? (No, I don’t have Prime and I don’t plan on getting it.)
So, there I was, allowing Pinterest to whisper alluringly of all I could do with $50 worth of flours and natural sugar.
After realizing what was happening, I remembered the beauty in simplicity. Actually, I remembered a few simple items made well are worth more than a table full of dishes which cost me my sanity!
If this sounds familiar,worried about hosting or attending a meal while you have a dietary limitation, let me speak some peace into your ear for a moment.
When that relative asks if your need for different food is necessary: wish them a Happy Thanksgiving!
As the table looks on in horror when you bypass the gravy made with white flour: shoot them your best smile.
If that feeling of being left out creeps in as others eat their pie: remember that amazing dessert you made which fits your needs and fill up on it.
The reality? Not everyone understands, not every trade is easy – but stress will not solve any of it.
Practical Questions I’m asking this year:
What is one item I can make and really enjoy at the meal? For me this is dessert, which you probably already guessed.
What can I do with the ingredients I already have? Sometimes it is tempting to throw away the budget with all those amazing yummy recipes we see through AIP, gluten free, and grain free groups on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Reality: this is only for a few meals through the holidays. Once January comes will I still need these products in my pantry? Will money be wasted as the year goes on? The answers will help you balance!
Am I allowing others attending the meal to determine how I cook, share, or eat? We don’t always realize it, but there are unspoken rules at the holidays. We learn them as we grow up, or as we graft into our significant others’ families, or create friendsgiving in our circles. No one should influence how you manage your dietary habits through the holidays. You know your body best – listen to it. Can your body cope with eating something as a “treat” or occasional indulgence? Ok. Do you know that you are going to be massively sick after eating Great Aunt Thelma’s stuffing? Your answer is already there! You can’t allow the crowd to speak into your health. You live the nightmare of flares or illness associated with your diet – don’t permit others to pressure you into conformity.
Have I told those around me about my diet? I realized this year, telling people I have autoimmune doesn’t tell them what my food needs are. Many individuals manage their symptoms in different ways, it isn’t going to look the same for every person. Telling your dietary habits to friends and family doesn’t mean they will cook to suit you, but they may be less likely to ask awkward questions or be offended when you bring additional food to a celebration. (Although, if they are offended, remind them as lovingly as possible you need to eat, too.)
I hope you will enjoy your holidays – and stay tuned over the next few weeks as I share some of my favorite items to swap out that are easy and stress free. Blessings!
*This article is not meant to be taken in place of medical advice.