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Thanksgiving Help!!

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Well, last thanksgiving i was not a vegetarian. within the past year i've converted (and love it!), for both health reasons and animal rights! i get plenty of protein every day and i believe i have a well balanced, healthy diet. i am also a recovering anoretic, so i do obsess over what i eat (carbs and sugars and such). so here's my problem.

i allow myself one "cheat day" a week, i dont go over my calories, but i dont obsess over carbs and sugar. of course i am already planning on thanksgiving day being my cheat day. now, i will be going to my boyfriend's grandparents house for thanksgiving and they definately arent vegetarians. also everything i COULD eat is soaked in butter (vegetables), marshmallows (yams), or calorie LOADED. without offending them, how can i eat? i dont want to bring my own food! lol! but i also am concerned his mother (who is very outspoken and who i am very close with, so she doesnt have a problem being honest with me) might worry out loud that i am not eating "enough". suggestions please!!

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Its only one day out of the year, so I say pick what looks the healthiest and just eat that.  If it has too much butter or whatever, just accept that for that one day you're allowed to have it and then just go back to your normal diet the day after.  You can't do that much damage in one day.  Just eat a normal meal, and enjoy the day.  :-)  
the thing with eating disorders that you dont seem to understand is, its not that simple for us. you say "just eat a normal meal"? thats not quite right. i dont know what normal is. a "normal meal" to me if i had it my way does not consist of any of these foods to begin with. that is why i made a post. i dont eat stuffing, potatoes, butter, sugar...if it was that simple i dont believe i'd be asking for help.
I'm sorry.  I really wasn't intending to be flippant or anything.  I guess I just posted without thinking.  I really am sorry.  :-(

Can your boyfriend talk to his grandparents and find out what they are serving? And ask for the veggies to have any sauce/butter on the side? And perhaps speak to his grandmother about adding a healthy dish for you? (Perhaps some sort of flavored beans? Or tabouli?)  Or could you offer to bring a vegetarian dish for everyone to share?  Then you could eat your dish, and some of the healthier vegetables, and maybe the salads, and skip the turkey, stuffing, gravy and other non-vegetarian items.

(And I always just scrape the marshmallows off the yams ... ick!)

I know that a few years ago, we had a few vegetarian guests for Thanksgiving ... so I called them up ahead of time to see if they wanted me to make them a main dish alternative or if they wanted to bring one to share.... and they thought it was really cool that I asked. I made sure that there were plenty of side dish options that were vegetarian-friendly, and we served oven-roasted garlic-onion-parmesan red potatoes rather than mashed potatoes and gravy.  To me, part of hospitality is doing something to make a guest feel welcome ... even if it means making them their own, separate entree. Chances are, maybe your BF's grandmother feels the same way!

=^..^= MOLLY


I recommend the first thing you do is relax.  If you stress yourself out about it, you will probably overeat or just be too sick from worry to eat anything.  Just pick the healthiest things you can for Thanksgiving dinner and stay away from the desserts.

I decided that I can't let my eating habits dictate my social settings, sometimes you just have to suck it up.  I love hot dogs at a cookout but opt instead for a lean burger, hold the cheese, lots of veggies and mustard on a wheat bun.  Not a perfect analogy but sometimes you just have to think on your feet.

I say bring your own stuff! Ask the family if theres anything they need you to bring, and then just add in your own stuff. Often times they'll ask you to bring some dinner rolls.

Also opt to have fake turkey opposed to the real stuff. Since you are a veggie, they can't complain too much about your choices and selections. Arrive early and help out in the kitchen! Take apart in the cooking and try to avoid heavy items and to see what's going into the food.

But yes, don't stress too much. You'll get through the day, and the scale will be good with you the next. It's okay :)

I'm actually allowing myself to gain 5 pounds over the holidays so I don't get my head into a tizzy. I know I most likely wont gain since I stick to my guns, but I'm going to allow myself that cushion just in case sodium happens.

What I'm bringing:

Low cal deviled eggs
Low cal dinner rolls
Low cal corn bread
Big fruit salad
White meat of the turkey (or fake turkey in your case)
Opting for a baked potato opposed to mashed

:) Happy Thanksgiving to come! 

And just remember, the "meal" is your 1 meal for the whole day most likely. At least it is at my moms. We wake up and cook until around 4 when we eat. Just try not to pick at everything all night :) and go for a walk after.

Lots of stuff. 

to be fair, in your initial poast you didn't mention post that you had an eating disorder, only that you are now vegetarian with concerns about thanksgiving dinner at your boyfriends' grandparents house, so wildflowers01 didn't know you were struggling with that too.  harsh of you to condemn her for 'not understanding' when you didn't fully disclose your situation.  she was just trying to help (which i will not attempt because i recognize that i don't understand eating disorders & therefore cannot offer you any advice you will find applicable).

but i will wish you luck & say that it's better off not to stress out over one day; and that anything that happens on that one day, at that one meal, can be un-done by getting back on track the next day.

thanksgiving is such a pain in the rear for vegetarians. why can't people just let us eat whatever we want without being all pushy & judgmental?

i know exactly what you mean. last thanksgiving was my first veggo thanksgiving and my mom didnt really make anything special for me. the stuffing came out of the turkey (ew), so i couldn't eat that. i basically had cranberry sauce, which i love, and green bean casserole, which is ok, but LOADED with cream and butter.

basically you should just call up your BF's grandma if you guys are close and ask if she needed you to bring anything. most people are thrilled to have people bring over dishes. if you arent close, ask his mom. she can relay the message. just be like im a veggo so im gonna bring an extra veggo dish for everyone to try.

i also think helping in the kitchen is a good idea, although i don't think i would be able to mess with other people's cooking. lol 

so basically just pick what you think is the healthiest and eat it. and ENJOY IT. maybe get up earlier and go for a run/work out/some exercise so you will allow yourself to eat a little unhealthy.

if you need any ideas of what to bring feel free to ask! 

wildflowers01- i am sorry i posted a rude reply to you, that was unneccessary. i hadn't eaten enough that day and i was tired and cranky. i appreciate you offering help, which is what i was looking for! im sorry.

carrihound- i was going to apologize to wildflowers before i saw your post, but im glad you pointed out that i was rude anyway. but, i did say in the original post that i am recovering from an eating disorder. but it doesnt matter, either way i was rude and i apologize.

everyone else- thanks for the suggestions, but i've always heard my mother and so many other hosts/hostesses complain when guests try to help in the kitchen, and i completely understand! doesnt that get on people's nerves? as for the vegetarian dish/healthier veg dish, i just feel sor of stupid thinking to bring one because im afraid it will be something that only i will like, and then it will be quite obvious when im the only one enjoying it that i brought it because i knew they wouldn't have anything i'd like, and then in turn they'd be insulted! uggghhh im so stressed out!!! 

I think everyone has cranky days! :-) And I really should have thought about ED recovery more. I honestly just didn't even think about that at all. But I"ve been trying to think of other solutions to thanksgiving, andI know you said you didn't want to bring your own food, but what about if you told them that you're a part of the family and you really want to contribute to the dinner. Then make the same traditional dishes that they would make, but then you substitute ingredients? Like I use soy milk and earth balance butter and my roommate who claims to hate soy has never noticed when I've done that. That way you'd bring a dish you know they would want to serve anyway, but now you just know exactly what is in it because you've modified it some to make it healthy. Just don't tell them its healthy and no one will notice hehe. You could do that, and then for another dish make your own fruit salad kind of thing (for everyone of course) just stuff you know people like. I think most people like fruit, but you know, make it so you know whats in it. Just make the excuse be something like you know Thanksgiving is about family and contributing for everyone and so you really want to prepare some of the meal... play on emotions and family and then they wouldn't want to say no to you. And it wouldn't be obvious why you're doing it if its traditional dishes you bring. And if you make it at home, all you have to do is heat it up once you get there, and then you're not in anyone's way in the kitchen? I don't know. I really can't think of many other suggestions, but if you are afraid of people not liking the dish, I think something like fruit salad, I know people put mayonnaise in it, but frankly I like fresh cut fruit much better, just all mixed together. I am sure people besides you would eat it. You could make some kind of salad or some kind of veggie friendly casserole. Even if you want to make something traditional there are probably lots of sites that say how to make healthy versions. Then no one would know, and even if they noticed it was different they'd just think you had a different recipe from what they are used to. I really can't think of anything besides providing part of the food. If you did more than one dish then it wouldn't also be some variety of things that you could safely eat. Good luck, and let us know how the day turns out for you!
thats a REALLY good idea, telling them i feel like i should contribute because i feel like part of the family! then it doesnt look like it has anything to do with food! hmmm i really like that idea alot.
Good luck!
12 Replies