The holidays are almost here! While it is certainly an exciting time, there are some challenges that anyone with food allergies will be navigating over the next few weeks. I have been having many conversations with family and friends about get-togethers: Should I bring my own food? What are you preparing and what ingredients are you using? What ingredients to I need to substitute to make a dish that is safe for me?
I have three main issues that I am personally dealing with right now:
1. This is my first Thanksgiving without soy, and watching others eat traditional Thanksgiving food that I can no longer eat is more than I can handle at this point in my journey.
2. I am severely allergic to poinsettias (the red flowers you see during the holidays) and cannot go near a grocery store, shopping mall, restaurant or someone’s home that has poinsettias. Yep, that means that hubby has to do all the grocery shopping and label reading. (He’s definitely a keeper!!) Side note: poinsettias can sometimes be cross-reactive to latex, so be aware if you are allergic to latex.
3. I have no time to think through how to make alternative dishes with substitute ingredients that are safe for me, not less cook that much food.
The thing is, instead of getting me down, I remind myself constantly that:
The reason why the holidays are important is not because of what is on the plate but because of who is sitting at the table!
I am very excited to be spending time with my family, and I am also very thankful that they are so supportive and also recognize that the food is not what is important. We have decided to have a spaghetti dinner with homemade banana pudding for Thanksgiving. I am supplying the spaghetti sauce (Whole Foods 365 Organic Pasta Sauce), and I will be bringing my own pasta to go with it (Whole Foods 365 Organic Spaghetti.)
Here are some other ideas for Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Meals that everyone can eat. (Place each ingredient in separate bowls with separate spoons, and prepare each ingredient with clean utensils and cooking surfaces.):
- Build Your Own Tacos (Try Garden of Eatin’ or Bearitos taco shells.)
- Build Your Own Salad
- Build Your Own Pasta (With a couple of sauce, pasta and veggie options)
- Build Your Own Baked Potato or Sweet Potato Bar
- OR, invite everyone over for a build your own Sundae or Fruit Salad bar. So Delicious and Haagen-Dazs have some soy free ice cream options, although not all are soy free. You could also make delicious banana ice cream from just a couple of ingredients. Google “one ingredient banana ice cream” for ideas.
Calling All Soyvivors: How are you handling the holidays and what are you eating?