View Full Version : Holidays and SAD family members
09-17-2005, 10:13 AM
Oh, it is only September and I am concerned about the holidays already.
My mother in law is a HUGE SAD cooker and we go to her house for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Do we have to though?! ;) :eek:
How do you all handle family that does not understand eliminating certain foods from your diet?
I was vegeterian then a strict vegan and she was not understanding at all, but kept quiet.
But, it's a different story when it comes to the children. One time (before she was eating high raw), she refused chocolate because it made her feel sick. My MIL came to me and asked me why my daughter can't have chocolate. I said she chose not to because it makes her feel sick.
Anyways, how do we handle my kids not eating what she fixes, which is very fried and greasy.
If my kids get upset at all when they can't have a particular food, she will consider that we are depriving our children.
So, my question is do we just let the kids have it to keep harmony and not get her eyebrows raised, or just kindly tell her that for health reasons they are avoiding fried foods?
I've thought about even having our family eat before we go and take fruit and such over there.
What do you all think? Ideas?
09-17-2005, 10:28 AM
Good morning Pam!!
I am thinking about this myself. Even though my family knows that I am doing it for health reasons(with of course weight loss in total mind :) )) they still will feel that for just the holidays surely I can splurge.They see it as "just go back on your diet on Jan 1st~~ They just don't understand that one bite sends me into a series of weeks of binging on cooked.
My extended family situation is often strained so I have to be careful how I handle this, at least for the holidays. Seems my parents don't care if they see me any other time of they year but if we are not at the holiday events,,wheww,,,, I am in trouble.
So, I figure I have a few ways to go about this.
1) I can actually just plan go out of town for the holidays and therefore my family(hubby and children) can eat a delicious raw food fest(staying at home would warrent HUGE trouble with extended but going out of town would be good way to say sorry, we had made other plans.)
2) I can attend our extended family meal and bring my own raw food for me, but I just don't see how my DH and children can eat my raw when all the smell and sites of cooked food are surrounding them. OK, as I type I realize that #2 plan isn't going to fly around here....
Alrighty then, I"m gonna stay home I think. Well,, oh no,, what am I going to do!!!!
This is a dilema Pam!!! I"ll be eagerly waiting to hear responses,,, though I could be of help :rolleyes: Guess NOT!!!
09-17-2005, 10:36 AM
You crack me up! I am so very glad that I am not the only one concerned about this!
Yes, my extended family (my husbands mom) is the same way! Who cares the rest of the year, but come holiday time it is her house and no where else, unless like you said, we are gone out of town.
My extended family sound similar to yours. We have not seen them as a whole family since the holiday time last year. That's actually pretty sad.
But, the time my dh went over to see them with my son, the first thing they said when he walked in was, why are you here, what do you want?
Maybe we can just do an out of town for that day type thing! :)
Oh yes, it would be very hard for my husband and children to say no to all the cooked foods.
Anyways, I sure hope you wise people have some advise on this!
09-17-2005, 11:10 AM
THese family dilemmas are so difficult because each relationship, family dynamic is unique (and some of us have whacked families ;)); but it rests with you, really. It's up to you to take control of how others treat you.
Whatever my family members say to me, I know how to handle them. Often, each one requires a different response. My uncles tease; my aunts critique :rolleyes:. But no one, no one, degrades or disrespects me: I don't allow it.
How I approach a situation depends on the people and the environment. But for holidays I always bring my own food. There is usually a couple things I can eat that are there, which is nice because it looks like I'm involved and not totally "rejecting" them, as they see it.
Another effective approach, I've found, is to bring as little attention to my diet as possible. Food is not my life and I refuse for others to make sweeping judgments or define me by my meals. It's ridiculous to me. I don't comment on others' food and I don't make a scene over what I'm eating.
I refuse to get into diet wars with my family or friends over gatherings. If someone tries to stoke me into one (and I can always tell when it's coming), I cut them off immediately; in a nice way, though :) before it goes too far.
For example, I say, "Oh, geez, I don't feel like talking about these issues today! It's Christmas (or insert event)!" If someone is genuinely interested, I'll tell them something like, "I'll call you on Monday and tell you all about it!" or "Give me your email and I'll send you some great info!"
And anyway, when I bring my food, most want a taste of what I'm having; so I usually bring a lot and sometimes a few items more.
As for those who accompany me -- I don't control anyone and I don't want anyone controlling me: it's up to them if they want to eat the SAD foods. It's best to let people come to choices on their own anyway. If I had children and they were too young to make food choices, then I'd bring them food; if anyone made a scene over it, I'd take them aside and discuss it. If this didn't work with this person, I'd probably leave; however, I've never come across anyone that horrible. I would leave without regret though.
09-17-2005, 11:25 AM
Thank you so much for your response!
I know that if I do try and control my daughter (10, almost 11) and my dh, they will regret the raw way of eating.
My daughter knows that if she eats certain foods, she will be clogged up and can't breath at night. She has been so clear this past week. So, yes, it has to be their decision. Thanks for pointing that out!
My son is 3 1/2 and will eat anything in site! BUT, I am sure if I brought some of his favorites that were raw (which has been everything I've made), he should do just fine.
My other son is 12 months and not eating real foods yet, a bit here and there, but nothing like a plate of food, so he's no worry.
What you said, about "It's best t let people come to choices on their own anyway". I know that is so true. My husband has chosen himself to cut out meat, caffeine (almost all the way), junk food and eat a very high raw diet. If I would have pushed him to do it, it would not have worked like it is now.
Anyways, thank you so much for your post.
I try and not make a fuss over what I'm eating, but it seems others do. I hate bringing attention that I am eating raw when we are with a whole group of people, but after you order only salads every time we go out with the same people, they start to ask.
I just say that I love salads! :)
Again, thank you for your post.
Keep your ideas coming! :)
09-17-2005, 11:47 AM
What you said about allowing your family to come to decisions on their own is what seems to be the general consensus. Some people wait years for their partners to change! I suppose some have to resign to them never changing :( .
You did the right thing!
One more thing about the holidays: Levity! Make sure to not take it all so serious and/or get irritated and upset (at least, if it gets really bad, try not to show it!).
I like to make jokes to diffuse a situation or stop the direction of the conversation.
For example, self-deprecation goes a long way! People like those types of jokes because it's not focused on them AND when it comes to food choices (people eating a SAD, always feel defensive) they don't feel judged. Many times people think you're looking down on them.
Keep smiling and move on.
One time I had to bite my tongue as others decided to discuss diet. I just stayed out of it. They were obviously doing it because of me and my hoices, but I stayed quiet and didn't allow them to drag me into it even though I was *dying* to comment :D I didn't feed the fire and it petered out pretty quickly.
09-17-2005, 12:01 PM
I'm having the opposite problem:
I'm the one with people coming over!
I don't live around immediate or extended family - so I won't have to put up with that pressure - except, I'm pretty sure once they would realize that we're doing this because we HAVE to, then they'd lay off.
Drinks: won't be a problem
Apetizers: no problem at all
Side dishes- easy
deserts: a piece of cake ( whahahaha )
It's the ENTREES.
What do do with the entrees....
rawgourmet.com has a video on entertaining crowds with raw.
09-17-2005, 12:12 PM
I have to take a dish or two or three!! :) To our church anniversery coming up in November! My daughter has requested that I bring the Cappellini Pomodoro (by Sweetgoddess...and I never know if I am spelling it right!)
But, it is so good and it got a big thumbs up from my husband as well!
It is so easy and cheap to make and can be made for a big crowd. I can't wait to take it and be able to chow down and it look like it's the "real" deal!
It is exciting to see my daughter find things she is in love with. Yesterday at the store she wanted a grapefruit. So, I picked her up one, not knowing if she'd like it or not, she loved it!
I told her that if she comes shopping with me more often, that she could get something new to try when we go.
Anyways, Renee, don't know how you are going to do a whole crowd raw!
I'll be looking forward to what you will be fixing! Please keep us updated! I like getting ideas from this board!
09-17-2005, 12:28 PM
There are so many factors involved with a Holiday (holy day) and families.
This used to be a time of harvest, of feasting before the long dark winter sat in, of eating to our heart's content, and celebration of a bountiful harvest of fruits, vegetables and nuts, of all kinds of delicious mouth watering fresh and natural foods, not over cooked, processed brown vegetables.
So, it is up to you how you handle it.
My husband and I have chosen many routes, we have told them we are coming, but cancel at the last minute because one of us was ill, not very nice, but effective, avoiding all explanations.
We have brought our own RAW food, again the biggest challenge, as they just don't understand, and aren't even interested, mostly they wave cooked turkey under our noses, and say, "Don't you want just one little bite?" I of course, do not, as dead flesh smells like poop to me, but I am sure that my Darling Hubby would take some if he wanted, as he still eats meat on occasion.
We have simply brought some raw food, and eaten some cooked veggies too.
This was awful, as I was sick for a week.
We have finally decided that we are not interested in the cooked food, or our families, who don't care enough about us, to consider our feelings.
If there was an alcoholic in the family, NO ONE would even think of having wine or drinks there, if there was a heroin addict, NO ONE would even think of talking about it. If there was a diabetic, NO ONE would have any sugary type things around, but a cooked food aholic, they don't understand, nor do they want to.
We have simply gotten to the point where we have made the choice, that either we don't go at all, or we go after the dinners are finished, and show up only for the presents, and conversation, or the visiting.
We have made this clear to them, and they can either accept it or not.
We are being as open and honest as we possibly can, and we respect their right to celebrate the holidays, as they wish, as we expect them to respect our right to celebrate as we wish, with fresh ripe raw produce, nuts, veggies, fruits, from our own harvest, and celebrations, dancing and singing, and not sitting around a dead flesh carcas, belly aching about our big guts, and watching TV then falling asleep in the easy chair.
But that's just what we are doing this year.
09-17-2005, 12:29 PM
Once my kids' pallets were cleansed ( still being cleansed ), they're discovering 'new' foods again.
When I was a kid, I used to eat my grapefruit smothered in straight cane sugar.
Yeah, and I wanna know where these bad habits came from? I wanna know where the diabetes came from?
The harder thing for us will be having these get-to-gethers ON an actual holiday. If the people we'd invite wish to experience traditional holiday foods, well..... I could just pick another day to invite them, so that they can find other people to celebrate with the "old fashioned" way.
I don't want to disappoint them in that regard, since many of them are still very fascinated with American culture, but since many of them are from countries where raw foods are MORE than acceptable, I won't have a problem on any other day.
As for what WE are going to do.... The people who would be inviting us to eat anywhere for any reason all know we've changed diets. Either they're going to ask us out of politeness and niceness - knowing it would be a problem, or they'd allow us to bring our own food - and we'll just be there to fellowship and enjoy the company; which, REALLY IS the reason we're supposed to do these things in the first place.
As it stands now, we have opportunity to meet at a banquet for over 120 people every Friday night. We have no control over what food is brought or cooked or served. So, two times now we've succomed to eating what they've so GRACIOUSLY prepared. However, now that I've been there a few times, I know what is expected, and we're bringing our own food from now on.
This is a potentially sticky situation.. with volunteer cooks, making meals out of their own pockets, and international students who do not understand our culture, or who came over here with their own culture still ingrained.
I agree with "J", just don't "engage" in any arguments.
I don't have a mother-in-law nosing over my shoulder to see if I've eaten all of my plate, so I really feel for you there!
You're going to need wisdom and grace for that one!
09-17-2005, 12:57 PM
RP, I talked with my husband about this briefly last night as he was falling asleep and asked if on Christmas we could go over after dinner is served and just show up for fellowship and presents?
He said, half asleep, we will see.
But, Thanksgiving, maybe they will be busy and I can just have my mom over here!
You are so right about the whole addict thing. People can see that I've got an addiction to cooked foods, or I would not have gotten the size I did!
But, I am getting down there now! So exciting! I tried on a pair of pants that used to not fit and they fit now! Yeah!
Anyhow, I think it's hard for people eating a SAD to see the changes we've made for the good and not feel somewhat concerned about their own eating habits.
Even without me saying things to people, they say, I really need to evaluate my way of eating. I don't ever expound on it unless they are REALLY interested. I can tell if they are.
You all are right about not engaging in any type of argument. like where do you get such and such, or when they start talking about diet and how to lose weight the fastest etc.
I think we will do fine, it's just finding what will work for us.
We have a strained relationship anyways with my in-laws, it's not like we need to be adding fuel to the fire ya know?
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.4 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.