How to Deal With Your Dietary Restrictions at a Holiday Dinner
Being invited to someone's home for the holidays is the ultimate treat.
It saves you a huge mess and a bunch of time cooking, and it's always nice to be included by others. That said, being hosted by someone else also means you lose your food freedom.
Whether you follow a vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or some other meal plan, the holidays can throw a dent into your routine. You don't want to offend the host, but you also shouldn't have to starve or feel rude for not indulging in their dishes.
This is such a common issue during this time of year that we asked for expert advice from Dr. Ryan M. Greene, DO, MS. As the founder of Los Angeles' brand new members-only health and wellness gym, Monarch Athletic Club, Dr. Ryan knows a thing or two about tackling this tricky situation tactfully.
"Depending on where you are, especially on the east coast or the west coast, where these types of diets are a little more frequent, I think if you just say, 'Hey, I'm vegan or vegetarian, I probably won't eat some of these foods,' most people are relatively tolerant," he tells Sweety High. "If you know you're going to a place where there won't be any reasonable options for you, perhaps discuss it ahead of time and either offer to bring your own food or ask if they can prepare something that fits your eating style. Lastly, you don't necessarily have to broadcast that you're this, this or this—just choose things that fit your program."
Unless the people hosting you are super uptight (and yes, we get that some folks are more easy-going than others), they should respect that not everyone has the same eating habits.
"I've found in the past that communicating with whoever is hosting tends to allow for people to prepare for you coming," Dr. Ryan says. "And, in this day and age, in 2019, most people understand that a lot of people have dietary restrictions or may choose not to eat certain foods. It's really not much of a stigma anymore. It's relatively well-accepted."
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