How to Get Through a Family Dinner With as Little Food Drama as Possible

So, you've made huge changes in the way you eat and your on a health high as a result.

Your skin is clear for the first time since you were a teenager, you've got heaps of energy, you feel 10 years younger and you've finally shifted the extra pounds that have been preventing you from wearing lycra all these years.  So what's the problem?

Noone else around you appreciates the sacrifices you are making to look and feel this good!!! :-(

You are already getting sulky conversations about what you will eat on Christmas day, and you are dreading the whole discussion at the dinner table around what you do and don't eat.  

Don't despair!  Christmas is about spending time with the family and if you can avoid conflict for one day by putting your feelings aside it will all be worth it.  

I do my best to avoid the whole food conversation, especially over the dinner table and should it come up I politely say something along the lines of:

'I choose to eat this way because I think it is better for my health, if you choose to eat meat/dairy/sugar that is your choice, I accept you the way you are and you should accept me the way I am.'

This quickly nips any potential conflict in the bud and puts an end to any heated discussions around food.  I'm not interested in other peoples view on why they think milk is good for our bones, as I am sure they are not interested in hearing the benefits of curly kale.  I am pretty sure that when people feel threatened (as they quite often do when faced with an unknown phenomenon) they become defensive.  My view is that if I lead by example and am as healthy as I can be soon enough it will spark curiosity and people will ask of their own accord (no pressure from me or anyone else)

For Christmas to go smoothly and to make my hosts life a lot easier I don't want to feel cheated out of a special dinner, nor do I want my host to feel pressured into making me something vegan to eat if they have no experience in this department.  Therefore I always make/bring my own and always ensure there is plenty for everyone to try too.  If in the event I am hosting Christmas day (it doesn't happen often) I always seek help from my meat eating family or friends to provide/cook the Turkey, if they want to have what they perceive to be a traditional tasty meal then they will understand that cooking meat is not my forte and will be happy to help.  

When thinking through my meal for the day the trick is to present a dish in such a way that even the most critical can't resist.  I've tried and tested many different vegan dishes in the past and as tasty and exciting as a nut roast is to me, honestly, it hasn't always gone down too well with everyone else at the party.  Not because it doesn't taste good but partly because it doesn't particularly look good.  Lets face it a big brown lump of ground nuts is not going to attract the most hardcore meat eaters when they've got their roast Turkey sitting on the table.  

Rule number 1 - Don't try to join 'em. Beat em!

And no not literally beat them with a stick (although you may feel like it at times) Forget imitating a roast dinner, noone wants a meat alternative, NOT YET ANYWAY!!!

Create something that looks fantastic and that isn't trying to convert people to the vegan/veggie lifestyle. Something that can be a main course for you and a side course for everyone else.  

My most favourite vegan recipes to accompany a roast dinner is mushroom strudel.  A large slice of flaky filo pastry wrapped around mushrooms and cashew nuts and accompanied by some veg will more then satisfy me but at the same time a smaller slice is great next to everyone elses regular roast dinner. 

Try it and see.

This tried and tested recipes can be found here.  And if you want it to be a success my advice it to get ahead of the game and trial it before the big day.  You'll want to get it absolutely right before taking it to Table.

NOT RAW!!! I hear you scream.  

Yep that's right sometimes you just have to bend the rules a little. And for 1 night come down a level to avoid ridicule and fit in slightly.  This is of course your choice but this works for me.

Therefore I do have a show stopper dessert which is 100% raw and incredible on the eye and on the health to boot.  Click here for my show stopper Raw Apple Paklava Flowers.  So good and so beautiful that everyone will be back for more.

Do you have a tried and tested family friendly meal?  If so please do share your knowledge and experiences below.

A problem shared is a problem halved.   

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