Food Panic

23 11 2009

This is the week of Thanksgiving, and I think that it is safe to say that I panic at this time of the year…for food-related reasons. I don’t have any special love of Thanksgiving food…I hold no special place in my heart for the fixin’s due to being a vegetarian and abstaining from the consumption of turkey, stuffing made with animal broths and I don’t get all excited about pasty mashed potatoes or cranberry sauce. I usually make do with whatever is there but usually end up getting the short end of the stick. For this reason, I usually make myself (when I am at my dad’s house) a vegetarian entree to enjoy on my own so I get something special to eat, as well, but it isn’t related to Thanksgiving food on a normal basis.

This year, I am making vegetarian stuffed shells and I am bringing green bean casserole makings just in case the shells don’t turn out. I know it isn’t the healthiest but I splurge once in a while to enjoy the holiday just a little bit. It helps to have something special to look forward to because it takes the attention away from the nasty turkey everyone is chowing down and it makes the day a little special for me without me having to guess what animal product is lurking in the food. Something as innocuous as mashed potatoes might have been made with chicken broth and stuffing, sides and some salads are out due to hidden chicken broth, bacon bits, bacon grease (my dad likes to cook stuff in bacon grease for “added flavor”, not to mention calories). The veggie entree is something I can enjoy and hopefully discreetly consume without people making a fuss about me not eating the right stuff.

Most holiday parties are easy for me if they are cocktail parties since I can avoid buffet tables, passed appetizers and snacky stuff lying around. Dinner parties are a little bit more anxiety-ridden for me but buffets and big fam gatherings are panicky stuff for me because I don’t like to sit there and have people critique me for not eating meat or the sides of whatever (I don’t mean to insult you, I just cannot eat the things made with meat products, and yes, broth counts). I get panicked and uncomfortable eating in front of people in general but always feel as though I am being judged…so I need to focus on the positives this year.

I am going to focus on the pleasure of eating simple foods, savoring each bite and thanking God that I have food on the table. I am going to enjoy being around fam and seeing people I don’t often get to see. I am going to focus my attention on the joy of a holiday and all that I have to be thankful for. I will eat intuitively and listen to my body…I will eat for fun, balance, health and nutrition.

I will not agonize over food. I won’t worry about people judging me by what is on my plate. I will not worry that I am eating too little or too much. I will not sit there and pick because I am scared people are staring at me while eating. I will handle comments on being a vegetarian gracefully. I will enjoy the day and stop worrying…That’s the plan…depending on how the day goes and how I feel, I may or may not post on it and reflect on my choices and how they made me feel. I don’t want to put pressure on myself and be worried about the food issue on a day when I should be giving thanks for the many blessings in my life.

Happy Thanksgiving! Have a wonderful day!

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