Thursday, November 24, 2011

Challenge Results: Vegetarian Thanksgiving

I am not a vegetarian, but I have reduced the amount of meat that I eat. I have really enjoyed discovering vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts. In response to the Food, Inc. movie I recently watched (the awful commercial farming practices also apply to turkeys), I decided not to eat any turkey, ham, or meat on Thanksgiving.

What I Avoided:
  1. Turkey
  2. Ham with preservatives
  3. Salad with bacon
  4. Green beans cooked with bacon
  5. Bread with preservatives
What I Ate:
  1. My cranberry sauce
  2. My Toasted Almond and Butternut Squash Tart (Source: Whole Living magazine)
  3. Stuffing (afterwards, I realized that the bread used had preservatives in there. Fail!)
  4. Mashed potatoes
  5. Broccoli casserole
My Thoughts: Eating vegetarian was not as difficult as I thought it would be. To be quite honest, I did not miss the meat at all. I actually found it harder to avoid preservatives because I did not know all of the ingredients in the sides (ex: mayonnaise, cream of mushroom soup, etc.).

I was prepared to answer any questions from family members who would be curious why I am not eating meat. I cannot say that I am "vegetarian sometimes" because they would look at me like I was crazy. So, I decided that a simple, "no, thank you!" will do it if I was offered turkey. Now, for the ham and deli meat, I am prepared to say that "I cannot eat preservatives." I could say that I cannot eat deli meat and cured meat, but I brought salami with me (preservative-free), so that answer would not fly.

Here are some of my canned responses:
  1. No, Thank You!
  2. I am allergic to ...
  3. I cannot eat ... 
If you find it difficult to explain your food preferences to your friends and family, think of a few responses beforehand. No need to go into detailed and lengthy explanations. No need to be sorry for your preferences. Be prepared with a canned response.


12 comments:

{K} said...

Hi, I'm a new follower here from the blog hop. Hope you'll follow back!!

Redheaded Daybook said...

OMG.
You're amazing!
I wouldn't be able to pull this off.
KUDOS!
And thank you for your sweet comment
And I'm your newest follower :)

Small Footprints said...

Excellent job! Responses are the hardest part because sometimes the reasons we have for not eating certain things will come across sounding judgmental ... and that only serves to alienate people rather than "bring them around". For me, being vegetarian full time, I can just say that I'm vegetarian. Typically, the next question is why and then I simply say that I believe, for myself, that it's a healthy option (most people can't argue with someone who is trying to be healthy). Sometimes they want to know more but often they just accept the answer. I rarely talk about the treatment of animals or the affect on our environment of producing meat ... most people find that hard to hear and, in my experience, will come to those conclusions on their own (if at all). Thanks for sharing your experiences! :-)

All Natural Katie said...

Small Footprints - I like the answer that I'm trying to be healthier. I can always say I'm trying to reduce the amount of meat I eat to be healthy! Thank you for your experience and ideas!

Chelsea Art Designs said...

Thank you for the lovely response and for following too! hoping you have a great weekend. I really love and admire what you stand for!!!! we need more like you.!!!! Vote Katie for president!!!!

Zaira said...

that butternut/almond tart sounds wonderful! I have both waiting for me in the pantry... new follow from Super Blog Hop :)

All Natural Katie said...

Chelsea - thank you for stopping by and for your wonderful comments! :)

Zaira - the butternut squash went over very well at Thanksgiving. I would highly recommend it. I used pre-made crust (Trader Joe's or Whole Foods' brand) instead of making it myself. A lot quicker!

Conservamom said...

My sister in law is Vegan and she is always forwarding great ideas and recipes my way. Once year we tried something called a "celebration roast"which was a meatless vegan sort of loaf which tasted almost like a meat. It's amazing all the options that Vegans/vegetarians follow. I am by no means vegetarian but we could all follow some of their habits. Thanks for the post and I love your blog!!

ohkeeka said...

I love this post! Your Toasted Almond & Butternut Squash Tart sounds absolutely delicious. :) Although I'm a vegetarian, I'm the same way about dairy--I eat it, but I try to avoid it when I can because reducing my consumption is better than just throwing my hands up in the air and saying, "Well, I like cheese, so I'm not gonna give it up!"

While our families know about our dietary preferences, it can be hard with people you don't know as well. Even when you have your prepared responses, there will always be that person who wants to push things on you or question you. :(

All Natural Katie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
All Natural Katie said...

Conservamom - I also have discovered so many great vegan recipes! It is funny how a lot of stuff I made is vegan, but we never place that label on the dishes. If only people who stop stereotyping and say that some people eat meat and dairy and others don't.

All Natural Katie said...

Ohkeeka - My vegetarian Thanksgiving post was right on time with your ramblings about people making a big deal about not eating meat on Thanksgiving. We should get away from labels like "normal" and "not normal." Some people don't eat lamb because it's heavy. Some people don't eat meat at all for other reasons. Big deal! :)

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