Mom laughed out lout as she remarked, “Wow, you like all that skin and dark meat, huh? I guess that’s good…no one else eats it!”
“Yes, Mom, yes I do…it’s the best part!”
My parents are still a little suspect of this whole “Caveman Diet,” but they let me do my thing (probably because it’s easier than having to listen to me try to explain why grains/legumes/vegetable oils are the devil). When it comes to holidays and family meals, no one seems to object to my eating off a plate piled high with nice, fatty cuts of meat…my parents are clean-your-plate kinds of folks who never give me a hard time unless they think I’m not eating. Mom was completely scandalized when I told her I no longer ate bread but seems to have accepted it when she realized that she didn’t have to change up her menus much if I was coming home–Lithuanian cuisine is replete with fatty cuts of meat, root vegetables, sausage, butter, nuts and berries, leafy greens, and full-fat dairy. Seriously, all I have to do at family functions is pass up the bread basket and the occasional side of macaroni salad. Unless I actually open my yap and try to explain or get preachy (intentionally or not)–which in my humble opinion is NOT something to do at a holiday gathering–nobody will notice.
Obviously, everyone’s situation is going to be a little bit different. If I had an Italian mother who put out a spread of pastas, for example, I’d probably be under a little more scrutiny for the choices I made at the table. Unfortunately with all the inherent stress of the holiday season, too many people just add to it with anxiety over diet and body image. That’s why I’d say if there was ever a time to cut yourself a break, it’s now. Instead of beating yourself up for weeks for having a slice of pie or fresh poppy seed roll (*drool*), just chill. You’ll probably be back home this time next week living your life, getting your Paleo and Crossfit on, and have some great memories that make you smile–or thankful that you made it out alive, depending.
Sit back, have a glass (or five) of wine, and remember that this only comes once a year.