"Thanksgiving is not about the food laid out on the table before you, but rather those who are gathered around the table with you"
THAT exact mentality, is the reason why I am one hundred percent okay with making my OWN Thanksgiving dinner to bring to my host's house. Yes, you just read that correctly, I am making ALL my own food, Turkey included, and having a Tupperware Turkey Dinner.
So far, people have either looked at me like I was crazy or become angry at my host for not providing me with a gluten free feast.
But before you begin to berate me, or my host, (who graciously offered to learn more about Celiac and do whatever I needed) let me explain my logic, and why if YOU have food allergies, intolerances, sensitivities, or Celiac Disease, you may want to consider jumping on the B.Y.O.F. train for Thanksgiving as well so you can have a happy AND healthy holiday!
When it comes to Holidays, having issues with food can be difficult. Not can be, it usually is.
If you're the host, great! If not, you have to then be considered with a whole slew of worries:
- Educating your host about what you can/cannot have
- Cross Comination while the host is cooking
- Educating the ENTIRE table about Cross Contamination
- Watching the ENTIRE table eat to ensure there is no Cross Contamination
- Getting sick, and the reprecussions that follow
All it takes is a minute amount of gluten to make you sick and send your system into overdrive.
I can eat in peace and not be paranoid, but more importantly, I will be able to ENJOY the company around the table instead of worrying and watching everyone eat.
Here's how you can too without hurting any feelings or feeling overwhelmed:
Keep it simple and Say it with a Smile
- First, politely tell your host, that due to your Food Allergy/Intolerance/Sensitivity/Celiac that you will be bringing your own food to ensure that you can have a safe meal and enjoy the holiday without fear of becoming sick.
- Decide on WHAT exactly is most important for your dinner to feel like Thanksgiving. DO NOT GO OVERBOARD. Let’s be serious, you can only eat so much food as one person, and you have no one to impress but your own tastebuds. For most this includes turkey, but everyone else has their favorite side dish preferences. Make your own favorite or ask the host what she/he is serving, and replicate any dishes you know you are going to want/feel like you’re missing out on if you don’t have.
- Turkey Talk: Decide if you will make a whole bird or just parts (breast, thighs, drumsticks) You’d be surprised what is available to buy in smaller portions!
- Don’t forget dessert! Again, make your own favorite or ask the host so you can duplicate their options. If you're feeling spirited, bring a dessert to share.
- Be prepared to explain yourself if you are going to a larger gathering with people who don’t know you or your conditions. Do not become defensive, people are naturally curious, so keep it simple and explain with a smile.
ABOVE ALL ELSE, ENJOY YOURSELF. It does not matter that you're not eating the SAME food as everyone else, but what does matter is that you're at the SAME table with the people you love and care about. It may be more work on your part to make your own meal, but I would much rather be able to focus on the family and friends I am surrounded by then whether or not the food is safe for me or not.
This Thanksgiving, although I will not be with my Mom and Dad, I am thankful to be sharing it with my boyfriend and his family, who have taken me in as one of their own. I know they will not mind my Tupperware Turkey because they love and accept me for who I am, and I hope your friends and family do the same for you.
I am also eternally grateful for all of YOU who take the time to comment and read my blog!
Have a Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving!
- Do any of you B.Y.O.F. for holidays?
- What are YOU thankful for?