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Vegetarians, a question


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Our family has pretty much transitioned to a vegetarian diet, though the rest of the family occasionally still has fish. (And I'm pretty sure hubby sneaks out for a burger every now and then.)

 

We are going to the inlaws house for Christmas and staying 5 days. You probably know what is coming next.

 

1. They don't know we've gone vegetarian.

2. They will think it is incredibly stupid.

3. My husband grew up on meat and potatoes so these people are serious meat eaters.

4. No one in my family is going to care except me. They'll all eat meat or not. They only reason they are vegetarian is because mom cooks that way, we save money, & it's yummy.

 

So do I just keep my mouth shut and eat what is served (but as small a portion of meat as I can get away with & it's only 5 days)? Do I say something? I don't want my personal choices to be a huge inconvenience to my husband's family.

 

Sigh.

 

How do you tackle this?

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Eat what is served, sans the meat. If the stuffing or side dish is made with chicken broth, you'll have to decide if it's something you want to tackle. I've dealt with this for years; my ILs actually will make special sides (same as the others, but without ham or something), but I'm not the only veg in the family there. My own parents won't/don't/couldn't because they don't get it, and I'll end up just eating canned carrots and rolls or something. I would strongly urge graciousness without going against yourself, and packing a big bag of "goodies" so you can get what you need, and, if the Queen of the Kitchen will allow, offering your help so you can make some of your favorite things to share, too.

 

:grouphug: - It is tough being the only vegetarian in a group of omnivores.

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Depends on how good of a cook your inlaws are! ;)

I used to be a hard-core vegetarian. It saved me from my MIL's lasagna (made with ketchup :tongue_smilie:) many times. :lol:

 

DH and I are not strict vegetarian, but do try to eat a plant-based/raw diet. When we go 'home' we hit the grocery store right away and stock up on fruits and veggies. I always offer to take a fruit or veggie salad to any family gatherings so we have something healthy to eat.

 

It is hard, though. Our families have a heavy meat and potato diet. :tongue_smilie:

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We're a veg family, but once at my sister's house, my ds11 (then 5 or 6) wanted to try the bbq chicken pizza. Well, I told him it was a dead bird, all cut up, but if he wanted to do it, it was his own decision. He tasted it, decided it wasn't worth it, and was done.

 

I eat a veg diet because I think it is healthier. But, ultimately, my family members have to make their own decisions. They're familiar with the arguments for vegetarianism, and certainly know the logic of it, but human nature is weak. Their bodies will suffer the consequences. Sometimes you have to let people learn on their own.

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I used to be a hard-core vegetarian. It saved me from my MIL's lasagna (made with ketchup :tongue_smilie:) many times. :lol:

Ewww!

 

I'm not a vegetarian, but I do have a vegetarian sister-in-law, so I always make sure there's choices for her. (my lasagna is my specialty, and I always make a meat one and a veggie one--no ketchup!)

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Ewww!

 

I'm not a vegetarian, but I do have a vegetarian sister-in-law, so I always make sure there's choices for her. (my lasagna is my specialty, and I always make a meat one and a veggie one--no ketchup!)

I know! :tongue_smilie:

My MIL is the World's Worse Cook, honestly. But her lasagna? I have never tried it, but can't get past how -- plain -- it looks. And greasy. :001_huh: (She never drains hamburger.)

I remember one Christmas where all my husband's cousins were telling me how lucky I was to have a valid excuse (being vegetarian) for not eating the lasagna. :D

Ironically, my MIL used to own a restaurant. She went bankrupt in less than a year.

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LOL. Well, I already secretly pack snacks because my inlaws seem to have no understand at all of how often or how much kids eat. They usually cook meat and one veggie side. At my house I cook multiple veggies with every meal.

 

The Queen of the Kitchen comment had me seriously cracking up b/c I think you completely GET IT. :lol:

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I have made comments to my kids like this so many times that now they just tune me out. :001_smile:

 

My daughter asks for the "dead pig meat" (aka bacon) when she's visiting my inlaws. She always finishes with, "I don't care if pigs don't sweat!" :tongue_smilie:

 

Oh well LOL.

 

At your kids' ages, and given they haven't been veg*n since birth, I'd probably let them choose. Once my kids hit 4-5ish, I let them decide what they want to eat outside of the home. This wasn't My Plan, it was a compromise between myself (veg*n since in utero) and my meat-n-dairy-lovin' farmer inlaws. I had bigger fish to fry, and a different hill to die on.

 

My son still abstains, but isn't strict (he's more concerned with being a good guest than he is a strict vegetarian - with my blessings). My daughter LOVES visiting my inlaws because she gets her meat fix. She knows I won't prepare these foods at home, and that they're strictly "vacation foods" (as are Fruit Loops LOL).

 

My kids are vegetarian because I grew up that way (religious reasons). I'm more lax now than I used to be, following my son's lead at being a more gracious guest where possible. At this point I'm veg*n because I have no taste or desire for meat; religion no longer factors in. I do think it's healthier (if done right) but if that's your primary reason for being veg*n -- and if they're generally compliant at home -- it's reasonable to let them cut loose on holiday :D

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My daughter asks for the "dead pig meat" (aka bacon) when she's visiting my inlaws. She always finishes with, "I don't care if pigs don't sweat!" :tongue_smilie:

 

Oh well LOL.

 

At your kids' ages, and given they haven't been veg*n since birth, I'd probably let them choose. Once my kids hit 4-5ish, I let them decide what they want to eat outside of the home. This wasn't My Plan, it was a compromise between myself (veg*n since in utero) and my meat-n-dairy-lovin' farmer inlaws. I had bigger fish to fry, and a different hill to die on.

 

My son still abstains, but isn't strict (he's more concerned with being a good guest than he is a strict vegetarian - with my blessings). My daughter LOVES visiting my inlaws because she gets her meat fix. She knows I won't prepare these foods at home, and that they're strictly "vacation foods" (as are Fruit Loops LOL).

 

My kids are vegetarian because I grew up that way (religious reasons). I'm more lax now than I used to be, following my son's lead at being a more gracious guest where possible. At this point I'm veg*n because I have no taste or desire for meat; religion no longer factors in. I do think it's healthier (if done right) but if that's your primary reason for being veg*n -- and if they're generally compliant at home -- it's reasonable to let them cut loose on holiday :D

:iagree:

My mom was a vegetarian for years, but was always a gracious guest and would eat what was served her--maybe not much, but would eat it. I think that in this case, it's better to be a good guest than a good vegetarian. My 2 cents, YMMV. :001_smile:

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Depending on how good your relationship is with them, I might tell them that you are all eating more vegetables and less meat and ask if they could add an extra vegetable at dinner. Or offer to cook the extra veg dish for each meal.

 

Or offer to cook a meal early in the visit and make a very big vegetable dish that will provide you with left overs for the rest of the week.

 

I would also try to eat as much of the ILs food as you can and let them know it isn't there food, just that you are eating more veg.

 

Alot depends on how sensitive your ILs. If it is too uncomfortable to bring it up, then you'll just have to eat what vegetables there are.

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If you've been totally vegetarian for awhile you could get really sick. Transitioning back to meat is not easy. Since the rest of your family eats fish, they will be fine.

I do not eat that much meat or poultry, maybe once a week for each, but when I do, it does a number on me! Dh and dd eat fish usually less than once a week. I know if they were to eat poultry or meat they would get really sick. Dh has safely eaten a bite of meat and turkey and didn't get sick.

I would be very cautious, but I would also take a fantastic substitute for the main course.:001_smile:

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Personally, unless it is for religious or serious health reasons, I think being a gracious guest is more important than sticking with your diet. That being said, you don't really need to eat the meat yourself, or at least not much. You can mostly fill up on sides. Also, you can offer to make an extra salad or vegetable dish.

 

We are mostly vegetarian, but if someone makes a big meal and is excited to host me, I would not tell her "no thanks." Of course I could let the host know ahead of time, but I rarely do that. Every now and then a host will call me ahead of time and ask if anyone in our family is on a certain diet, and then I feel I can be honest.

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I think part of the problem is that I'm going to be there for FIVE days. One day or a big family meal wouldn't be a big deal. I wouldn't say a word. Just wondering if I can handle 5 days of meat and potatoes. I'll try offering to make side dishes. She usually kicks me out of her kitchen.

 

I'm probably not going to say anything. I hate creating conflicts. Maybe they'll just think I'm dieting if I eat less.

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1. are you a vegetarian for financial/health reasons

or

2. are you a vegetarian for moral/religious reasons

 

If you fall into category 1. I would think that serving some meat while your in laws are present shouldn't pose a real issue. You can still serve a vegetarian entree. Your entree can be your in laws side dish.

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LOL.

 

1. I have NO problem with my kids or hubby eating meat while at the inlaws. Actually I hope they do or they are going to starve.

 

2. They are not coming to my house. I'm going to theirs so I can't cook whatever we would eat. If they were coming to my house I'd cook meat and just cook enough sides to fill me up.

 

3. We went vegetarian for health reasons (husband's psoriatic arthritis) and for ethical choices (nasty factory farm meat) but not necessarily because we are anti-meat altogether.

 

Okay. here's what I mean by what they eat at their house.

 

Cook HUGE ham. Expect it to be eaten at dinner and for every lunch as sandwiches. The side when the ham is served for dinner is boxed au gratin potatoes. That's it. I'm just going to have to find the guts to offer to make salad. His mother is very prickly.

 

AGHGHGGH. FIVE DAYS. My hubby wanted to go for over a week and I said, "No way." Guess I'll just stash carrots in my luggage.

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Oh, I misread. I thought in laws were coming to you. As a guest, I wouldn't tell people what to make. If you are ok with your dc eating what in laws serve, I think I'd go with bringing my own food to supplement.

 

Yeah, that tends to be my response too. I don't want to be rude.

 

I just wish people were more approachable about stuff like that. I would want to know if someone was eating vegetarian or whatever when they come to my house.

 

Obviously that isn't the case here. If my inlaws were approachable, my children would feel like they could go ask Grandma for a snack versus sneaking upstairs to my room to get a granola bar out of the luggage. :glare: Why can't we just have normal grandparents. Both sets are not my idea of a cookies and milk grandma. Okay, sorry, now I'm just whining.

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I think part of the problem is that I'm going to be there for FIVE days. One day or a big family meal wouldn't be a big deal. I wouldn't say a word. Just wondering if I can handle 5 days of meat and potatoes. I'll try offering to make side dishes. She usually kicks me out of her kitchen.

 

I'm probably not going to say anything. I hate creating conflicts. Maybe they'll just think I'm dieting if I eat less.

IMO, you should say something- not anything rude, but just say that your stomach gets upset when you eat meat. That would give you an out. Are you going to have your own transportation while you are there? If not, is there a store within walking distance? I just don't think it's healthy at all for you to be there for five days, sparingly eating meat and potatoes. Blech. You'll already be a bit stressed from being away from home, you're body will need nutrients- you don't want to get back home and be very sick because you didn't eat well while you were away (you'll be much more susceptible to catching a virus during travel if you're not eating).

 

:grouphug: I would suggest that you just go to the nearest grocery store and get some things that are ready to eat, that way you won't be fighting the kitchen queen for kitchen time.

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Yeah, that tends to be my response too. I don't want to be rude.

 

I just wish people were more approachable about stuff like that. I would want to know if someone was eating vegetarian or whatever when they come to my house.

 

Obviously that isn't the case here. If my inlaws were approachable, my children would feel like they could go ask Grandma for a snack versus sneaking upstairs to my room to get a granola bar out of the luggage. :glare: Why can't we just have normal grandparents. Both sets are not my idea of a cookies and milk grandma. Okay, sorry, now I'm just whining.

 

Of course, now that I think of it. Maybe they are wondering why we can't be normal. Instead they have these weird California grandkids who'd rather eat hummus, tofu, and Thai curry.

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i'm the only veggie in my family ~ and when we used to go to the inlaws for the big holiday things, i just ate around the meat. turnip & carrots & taters & salads ~ my MIL was a sweetie and always made me a pot of 'meat free' stuffing (because HERS was made in the bird) ...but overall, i didn't really care if other people didn't like what i chose to eat or not eat. still don't. i'm just sorta pig headed like that. :D

 

(summer bbqs - i brought my own veggie burgers & put them on the top grill thing so they didn't get dead cow bits stuck to 'em.)

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:grouphug: I would suggest that you just go to the nearest grocery store and get some things that are ready to eat, that way you won't be fighting the kitchen queen for kitchen time.

Sometimes it is better to beg forgiveness than ask permission.

 

Show up, get settled, go to the market. Don't ask if she minds. When you start hauling grocery bags in tell her the veggies/fruit are to help with her son's medical condition.

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Sometimes it is better to beg forgiveness than ask permission.

 

Show up, get settled, go to the market. Don't ask if she minds. When you start hauling grocery bags in tell her the veggies/fruit are to help with her son's medical condition.

 

Oooh, this might be BRILLIANT.

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If the dietary change was made because of your DH's medical condition, can't you just blame the doctor? :confused:

 

It isn't doctor ordered. We are just trying it to see if it helps (which is has!). Hubby will eat meat while he's there though so I can't totally use him as an excuse to avoid meat. But I think I can use him as a good excuse to stock up on raw snacking veggies in the fridge. Seriously, I think this may be the ticket.

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It isn't doctor ordered. We are just trying it to see if it helps (which is has!). Hubby will eat meat while he's there though so I can't totally use him as an excuse to avoid meat. But I think I can use him as a good excuse to stock up on raw snacking veggies in the fridge. Seriously, I think this may be the ticket.

 

In this case, I would put in a quick call to ask the doctor if he/she recommends continuing a plant-based diet with limited meat consumption. Presumably the answer is "yes" and there's your convenient excuse. :D

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If just getting along is the most important thing to you, then go ahead with the suggestions already given.

 

But if the improvement in your dh's health is something you want to share with others, then be honest, set your boundaries, go on the trip, and accept dealing with the fallout.

 

You basically have to set your priorities.

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LOL.

 

1. I have NO problem with my kids or hubby eating meat while at the inlaws. Actually I hope they do or they are going to starve.

 

2. They are not coming to my house. I'm going to theirs so I can't cook whatever we would eat. If they were coming to my house I'd cook meat and just cook enough sides to fill me up.

 

3. We went vegetarian for health reasons (husband's psoriatic arthritis) and for ethical choices (nasty factory farm meat) but not necessarily because we are anti-meat altogether.

 

Okay. here's what I mean by what they eat at their house.

 

Cook HUGE ham. Expect it to be eaten at dinner and for every lunch as sandwiches. The side when the ham is served for dinner is boxed au gratin potatoes. That's it. I'm just going to have to find the guts to offer to make salad. His mother is very prickly.

 

AGHGHGGH. FIVE DAYS. My hubby wanted to go for over a week and I said, "No way." Guess I'll just stash carrots in my luggage.

 

Well, I'm not a vegetarian (we did that for 9 months one year though also for dh health reasons), but regular ham (not uncured) and boxed potatoes would be really hard for me too. I can sympathize, Daisy.

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Sometimes it is better to beg forgiveness than ask permission.

 

Show up, get settled, go to the market. Don't ask if she minds. When you start hauling grocery bags in tell her the veggies/fruit are to help with her son's medical condition.

 

Chucki,

You are VERY clever! I think this one's the winner. And it's all for her son. What a great wife he has! :D

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I visit my sil in FL frequently and her love language is cooking. So she cooks. But she also knows I love to cook, and she chuckles when I bring my own eggs from my own chickens, and a couple of my own frozen chickens. I also travel with my large All Clad skillet. ;) Yes, what can I say? I visit farmers markets wherever I am, whenever I can. My SIL also lives near a gourmet food 'warehouse' and that is always fun!

 

All this yammering to say that my SIL- who also loves to cook, remember-- is totally ok with this. I don't leave her kitchen messy, and I don't do it every day. I pick my days to cook and she picks hers.

 

If I were going to your Mom's, I would have this conversation with her-- You want to help, you want to cook. She might be a little miffed, but unless she is totally unreasonable, it's not like she is going to have a physical show down with you in front of the kids. Is she? lol

 

Maybe you can whip up a soup or quiche while she takes the kids out with dh (which you set up for him to do). Clean the kitchen before she gets home. :)

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Well, I'm not a vegetarian (we did that for 9 months one year though also for dh health reasons), but regular ham (not uncured) and boxed potatoes would be really hard for me too. I can sympathize, Daisy.

 

No kidding. That's basically salt with a side of salt.

 

ETA: And fat.

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