Tis’ The Season - To Say No!
Before you stop reading, please know this is NOT about us getting on our high horse, and telling you what to eat and drink this holiday season. We are not about that life, and we would never guilt someone over their choices. You do you, foodies!
I was actually inspired to write this post after visiting no fewer than 100 holiday parties, and family gatherings in the last month. Being in all of these social situations got me thinking about the way our culture peer pressures us around food and drink.
Now, I live my life by the 80-20 rule, most of the time. What this means for me is that 80% of the time, I am making clean, healthy choices that are right for my body. Then 20% of the time, I indulge in treats and choices that aren’t as good for me, like a glass of wine, or some sea salt dark chocolate. Mmmmmm! #treatyoself
However, sometimes my diet looks more like 60-40, and sometimes it’s more like 90-10. But that’s MY choice and MY choice only. No one should be telling me how to eat, and how to indulge. Guidelines are great, but they are just that. Guidelines. Maybe you do great with grass-fed dairy. Maybe you tolerate grains with no problem. At the end of the day you have to find what is right for you and your body. No one else can do that for you.
However, around the holidays, we have more food and drink pressure than ever before. People want you to indulge 100% of the time because they are too. It feels like there is always that ONE guy (or girl) who just INSISTS you need to have a drink, even though you’re not drinking. Or the cousin who INSISTS that you need to have a slice of her cheesecake, even though you’re lactose intolerant.
Well, I am here to tell you it’s okay to say no.
Our culture has normalized drinking to the point that people honestly forget they don’t have to drink to have a great time. Whether you are not drinking for your health, or you just don’t like the stuff, you absolutely don’t have to drink just because the holidays are here.
The same thing goes for any food you don’t feel like eating. If you have food sensitivities, don’t let someone make you feel bad because it’s just “one bite” or just “one meal”. They aren’t the ones who have to deal with the side effects of bloating, gas, fatigue, brain fog, and the list goes on and on. It’s okay to be a food snob, and not feel guilty about it.
So here’s how you can avoid the party pressures, and drop the anxiety around holiday eating.
- Bring your own food and drinks with you. I know this is a repeat of advice you have already heard, but that’s because it’s good advice. Bring something to the party that you can enjoy so that you aren’t left without options. And if you aren’t drinking, you can bring La Croix or some Apple Cider with you so that you have something to sip on.
- Have the tough conversations. Sometimes you have to let your friends and family know that if they are going to give you a hard time for not eating and drinking (insert anything), than you just can’t come to their party. It’s that simple. Now, because they care about you, they are going to say that’s no problem. If they still give you a hard time, then you let them know you will be enjoying your holiday party of 1 Netflix and Chill in your Christmas onesie - with your approved snacks of course. (Again, we really don’t think it will get this far though!)
- Say NO. Say it loud. Say it proud. Say it so often that it just becomes second nature. And then, this part is very important, do not, I repeat DO NOT, apologize for saying no. You can add a “thank you” to the end for politeness, but there is zero reason to apologize for your eating and drinking choices.
Whether you eat and drink everything, or have to be pickier, that is okay. Just remember to support other people’s choices, including your own. And enjoy yourself this holiday season in whatever way that feels best for you!