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Suggestions on best way to deal with Easter/holidays with family

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 14, 2011 at 6:52 PM

I just found out the menu for Easter lunch: lasagna and salad. What's worse, I've been asked if I'd make this mushroom lasagna I used to make back in the day. Not only does that thought of making lasagna make me sick, but now I'm trying to figure out what do eat. On a side note, I'm frustrated that my husband (who hasn't fully embraced paleo yet) will be eating all that pasta!

The event is not at my house... I'm thinking of eating beforehand and/or taking a snack with me, in case I get hungry.

I need help dealing with:

  1. How to address my food choices (and why I won't be eating the main course). Usually I get away with eating whatever protein is there. It will be obvious I'm avoiding it. There seems to be a fine line between sharing what I'm doing and making people feel bad for their choices (if that makes sense).

  2. I was thinking about bringing a side of protein and veggies for everyone, but cooking for 12 would definitely strain my budget.

  3. Has anyone been asked to buy/prepare food they no longer eat? Did you do it, etc?

Thanks in advance for your input!

015ff48bd8777cff800640777d46b080

(65)

on July 06, 2011
at 08:51 PM

Thanks took me forever to find this I forgot it was here. I'll be making it will all organic items and a grass fed beef/goat meat mixture, and won't be telling all the regular non paleo/healthy folks who'll be eating it!

9c215d66a663fbae3a16cf5515889d7f

(260)

on April 15, 2011
at 07:17 PM

Along the same lines, I was thinking about how much easier passover will be this year - i.e. I don't eat grains or legumes anymore.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on April 15, 2011
at 06:09 PM

the kardashians.....the pride of my people....the face of a nation...ugh!

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on April 15, 2011
at 04:06 PM

Yes, it's easy to kick into evangelist/lecturer mode. I try not to do that unless someone asks me questions. Then I try to keep it simple ("Wheat just doesn't agree with me"), and emphasize that it's what *I'm* doing, and I'm not telling them to do it. If they insist on getting into specifics and asking me what's wrong with wheat, for instance, then I say, "Okay, if you really want the long version, buckle up, here we go."

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on April 15, 2011
at 03:53 PM

Armenian? You're a kinswoman of the Kardashians! Which makes me wonder: if Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney decided to go paleo, how many Americans of all stripes would drop everything to gladly, blindly follow? (facepalm) :) And how many Easter celebrations nationwide would suddenly be grain-free? ;-)

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on April 15, 2011
at 03:01 PM

Crazy, right? My mom keeps asking how long I'm going to do "this goofy diet" and I keep explaining to her that "this goofy diet" is what made my high blood pressure disappear and I don't want it back.... so FOREVER? I'm healthier than I have ever been, why argue with me about it?

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on April 15, 2011
at 02:26 PM

yeah, my family doesnt buy that diet really has anything to do with health- we are all just victims of our type II DM! but, they humor me. sometimes i just say, "i dont eat grains anymore, and i feel so much better!"

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on April 15, 2011
at 02:21 PM

I can see having a health issue making it easier to explain. I kind of have that with my high blood pressure, but they haven't really bought into the fact that Paleo really fixed that.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on April 15, 2011
at 02:20 PM

At Christmas my mom informed me that I would be eating her lasagna and whatever else she put in front of me. It was just easier to do it because I don't have celiac and it wouldn't hurt me too much. It did take me two weeks to recover from Christmas afterward, but I did recover and get back to my own personal "optimal".

0841e74f5f393fa77a8c5df5ec3a9a74

(65)

on April 15, 2011
at 01:27 PM

I haven't made the recipe yet, but it is definitely on my to do list.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on April 15, 2011
at 05:42 AM

Yep. I try to cook little bit of everybodys favorite food, then i cook something favorite of mine, which has always been pan fried salmon, been loving it since from a kid.

1b85b7649707eb07f26bb0fb0dc874c1

(125)

on April 14, 2011
at 11:20 PM

Thank you for this idea! The more I think about it - I'm leaning towards making the requested dish PLUS the zucchini one and then picking through the zucchini one and devouring the meat and just a bit of cheese. Thank you so much for the recipe!

1b85b7649707eb07f26bb0fb0dc874c1

(125)

on April 14, 2011
at 11:02 PM

I definitely want to enjoy food with my loved ones, especially for the holiday. What I don't want to do is make anyone feel bad, because of choices I've made.

1b85b7649707eb07f26bb0fb0dc874c1

(125)

on April 14, 2011
at 11:01 PM

This is great! I haven't been eating a lot of cheese, but I'd be able to pick around it and eat a little. If you've made the recipe before - did you follow the steps to reduce the moisture in the zucchini? or if not, was the moisture an issue for you?

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on April 14, 2011
at 09:28 PM

thanks for that recipe!!

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on April 14, 2011
at 07:55 PM

yes always, so I bring it and I generally bring another dish to share that I can eat. Everyone knows that whatever I make will be good (in most cases)....it happens occasionally so I dont mind and I know I'll have something to eat then. I like to bring dessert alternatives as well and they always eat it up without much thought how much better it is for them. They think I'm weird but they love whatever I bring so most times I dont get much grief ..... Do what makes you feel good and enjoy!!

1b85b7649707eb07f26bb0fb0dc874c1

(125)

on April 14, 2011
at 07:29 PM

re: telling people I'm avoiding a specific foods: that's exactly what I'm concerned about - sounding like a know-it-all and a food elitist. I guess it's all in the delivery of how I talk about it. I'm SO passionate about the freedom I have in the way I currently eat, it's hard not to get overly excitable. :) Thanks also for the lasagna/spinach noodle idea!! Didn't even consider doing something like that!

1b85b7649707eb07f26bb0fb0dc874c1

(125)

on April 14, 2011
at 07:24 PM

I had considered being honest about it (beforehand), but didn't want to be high-maintenance to the host (there's a strained relationship I desire to mend). I can't change the format to pot-luck (some out of towners staying with the host and a stated 'don't bring anything' to the other group of guests. So, it's me and the host involved in food contribution. I don't think the host would be opposed to me bringing in a roast or some other dish - but it would like need to 'go' with the lasagna theme.

  • 1b85b7649707eb07f26bb0fb0dc874c1

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11 Answers

3
0841e74f5f393fa77a8c5df5ec3a9a74

on April 14, 2011
at 09:17 PM

If you're okay with eating cheese, maybe bring two lasagnas: one with traditional noodles; and one with zucchini noodles. http://nourishedmeadow.com/2010/07/zucchini-lasagna/

1b85b7649707eb07f26bb0fb0dc874c1

(125)

on April 14, 2011
at 11:01 PM

This is great! I haven't been eating a lot of cheese, but I'd be able to pick around it and eat a little. If you've made the recipe before - did you follow the steps to reduce the moisture in the zucchini? or if not, was the moisture an issue for you?

0841e74f5f393fa77a8c5df5ec3a9a74

(65)

on April 15, 2011
at 01:27 PM

I haven't made the recipe yet, but it is definitely on my to do list.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on April 14, 2011
at 09:28 PM

thanks for that recipe!!

015ff48bd8777cff800640777d46b080

(65)

on July 06, 2011
at 08:51 PM

Thanks took me forever to find this I forgot it was here. I'll be making it will all organic items and a grass fed beef/goat meat mixture, and won't be telling all the regular non paleo/healthy folks who'll be eating it!

2
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on April 15, 2011
at 02:14 PM

im in the same boat. i have it a little easier because of my MS (never thought i would say that). i play the MS card and say, "im actually on a pretty strict grain-free diet because i find it helps me best manage my multiple sclerosis, but i would be happy to bring my awesome deviled eggs/flourless chocolate cake/salad etc." then at dinner i load my plate up with all veggies and some meat. if anyone asks, i tell them but mostly people dont look at what im eating because they are busy drowning themselves in their own meal.

i find it extra hard at easter because im armenian and easter is a huge deal and armenian food is AWESOME!!

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on April 15, 2011
at 03:53 PM

Armenian? You're a kinswoman of the Kardashians! Which makes me wonder: if Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney decided to go paleo, how many Americans of all stripes would drop everything to gladly, blindly follow? (facepalm) :) And how many Easter celebrations nationwide would suddenly be grain-free? ;-)

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on April 15, 2011
at 02:26 PM

yeah, my family doesnt buy that diet really has anything to do with health- we are all just victims of our type II DM! but, they humor me. sometimes i just say, "i dont eat grains anymore, and i feel so much better!"

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on April 15, 2011
at 06:09 PM

the kardashians.....the pride of my people....the face of a nation...ugh!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on April 15, 2011
at 02:21 PM

I can see having a health issue making it easier to explain. I kind of have that with my high blood pressure, but they haven't really bought into the fact that Paleo really fixed that.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on April 15, 2011
at 03:01 PM

Crazy, right? My mom keeps asking how long I'm going to do "this goofy diet" and I keep explaining to her that "this goofy diet" is what made my high blood pressure disappear and I don't want it back.... so FOREVER? I'm healthier than I have ever been, why argue with me about it?

2
03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on April 14, 2011
at 07:23 PM

We make a lasagna that uses spinach (or other greens like Swiss chard) instead of noodles. Surprise them!

Or, if it has pasta and you don't want to give a presentation on your food choices, just claim you're not feeling well. Use the words "bit of stomach flu" and most people will drop the subject. Another option is to say you're allergic to wheat. That's not as accurate as explaining gluten sensitivity and so on, but it's not really a lie either. Whatever reason you give, as long as you don't go into a "Why You Shouldn't Eat Gluten Either" lecture, if someone feels bad about his food choices, that's his problem.

Funny thing is, most people wouldn't bat an eye if you told them you were skipping a meal because you were on a standard starvation diet and trying to lose weight. They'd probably give you a round of applause. But tell them you're avoiding a specific food (other than fat) and many will take it personally.

1b85b7649707eb07f26bb0fb0dc874c1

(125)

on April 14, 2011
at 07:29 PM

re: telling people I'm avoiding a specific foods: that's exactly what I'm concerned about - sounding like a know-it-all and a food elitist. I guess it's all in the delivery of how I talk about it. I'm SO passionate about the freedom I have in the way I currently eat, it's hard not to get overly excitable. :) Thanks also for the lasagna/spinach noodle idea!! Didn't even consider doing something like that!

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on April 15, 2011
at 04:06 PM

Yes, it's easy to kick into evangelist/lecturer mode. I try not to do that unless someone asks me questions. Then I try to keep it simple ("Wheat just doesn't agree with me"), and emphasize that it's what *I'm* doing, and I'm not telling them to do it. If they insist on getting into specifics and asking me what's wrong with wheat, for instance, then I say, "Okay, if you really want the long version, buckle up, here we go."

1
34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on April 14, 2011
at 06:58 PM

What if you are just honest with whoever it is that has asked you to make this dish that you no longer want to make. Tell them you don't eat that type of food anymore but could you prepare an alternative that everyone will love anyway? You could do a roast or something instead. Or ask if they could make it a pot luck where everyone bring their favorite things so it isn't so much of a financial burden on just you? That way you could bring something you love and not feel weird about it.

1b85b7649707eb07f26bb0fb0dc874c1

(125)

on April 14, 2011
at 07:24 PM

I had considered being honest about it (beforehand), but didn't want to be high-maintenance to the host (there's a strained relationship I desire to mend). I can't change the format to pot-luck (some out of towners staying with the host and a stated 'don't bring anything' to the other group of guests. So, it's me and the host involved in food contribution. I don't think the host would be opposed to me bringing in a roast or some other dish - but it would like need to 'go' with the lasagna theme.

0
9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

on April 15, 2011
at 02:09 PM

Try using zuchinni noodles instead of lasagna noodles, leave all the other ingredients the same. Should be DELICIOUS!

0
6a4fd73b4ae4761eefec8e0d38e6f224

(1008)

on April 15, 2011
at 02:05 PM

I asked my Mom to make her Passover sponge cake - which contains wheat - for the post-seder dessert because I CAN'T eat it, whereas weat-free almond cake or flourless chocolate would have been a genuine temptation. (I'm bringing barely-sweetened coconut-almond macaroons.)

9c215d66a663fbae3a16cf5515889d7f

(260)

on April 15, 2011
at 07:17 PM

Along the same lines, I was thinking about how much easier passover will be this year - i.e. I don't eat grains or legumes anymore.

0
61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 15, 2011
at 01:55 PM

I cook food that I don't eat at my husband's request. I don't eat it and, somehow, it always surprises him when I avoid it (even though he knows I'm specifically avoiding gluten/wheat).

My husband and I went to dinner at my moms and before we got there she let us know she was cooking lasagna. She knows I'm avoiding wheat, but was surprised and seemed confused when I told her I really would rather not eat lasagna. She ended up cooking a few chicken breasts to go with the lasagna, but still, even during dinner she seemed annoyed that I didn't even try the lasagna (which looked delicious).

I didn't bother trying to explain to my mom during dinner why I wasn't trying the lasagna. I felt she already knew (or had been told) my reasons and saying anything at that point would just make the rest of the evening awkward. Plus, it's impossible to argue with her as she always falls back on "everything in moderation." I was just happy she didn't make too big a deal over it.

I also made sure to thank her for cooking up those chicken breasts. 8)

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 14, 2011
at 09:53 PM

Unless you have a very ACUTE health problem, enjoy your friends and family, don't be a stick-in-the-mud, and EAT EVERYTHING THEY PUT ON YOUR PLATE. It won't kill you and probably will do you a world of good.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on April 15, 2011
at 02:20 PM

At Christmas my mom informed me that I would be eating her lasagna and whatever else she put in front of me. It was just easier to do it because I don't have celiac and it wouldn't hurt me too much. It did take me two weeks to recover from Christmas afterward, but I did recover and get back to my own personal "optimal".

0
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on April 14, 2011
at 09:06 PM

Eat. Fast, go 100/0 for a week but don't be unsocial with family. Pick more ham, less carbs but be part of ther family.

0
Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on April 14, 2011
at 08:36 PM

Some good advice here about navigating the food/family social minefield in a considered and forthright way.

Alternative cheat's option; just make the lasagna with gluten-free pasta. A little safe starch should fit well within your 80/20, although admittedly it won't deal with the problem in the longer term.

1b85b7649707eb07f26bb0fb0dc874c1

(125)

on April 14, 2011
at 11:20 PM

Thank you for this idea! The more I think about it - I'm leaning towards making the requested dish PLUS the zucchini one and then picking through the zucchini one and devouring the meat and just a bit of cheese. Thank you so much for the recipe!

0
44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on April 14, 2011
at 07:24 PM

I cook things that i dont eat anymore, i have been thinking about it. But for me i think most important thing is to have a meal with family. I dont spend enough time with them. I think food should be enjoyed with a company of loved ones. So many people just fuel themselfs up front of the fridge, I think the whole meal should be prepared with care and sit down to chat and enjoy the company. Maybe it is even paleo.;) Whocares. Its always that things taste better with family dinner :) When i am eating alone dinners that i prepared, its not just the same.

1b85b7649707eb07f26bb0fb0dc874c1

(125)

on April 14, 2011
at 11:02 PM

I definitely want to enjoy food with my loved ones, especially for the holiday. What I don't want to do is make anyone feel bad, because of choices I've made.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on April 15, 2011
at 05:42 AM

Yep. I try to cook little bit of everybodys favorite food, then i cook something favorite of mine, which has always been pan fried salmon, been loving it since from a kid.

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