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One New Thing for the Holidays

Candies, cakes, pies, turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows or sugary pecans, fruit salad smothered with whipped cream, more pies, and cookies, oh my. My mouth is watering just thinking back over the week. This is probably the first time EVER that I did not gain weight during Thanksgiving week. I took my own advice and ate just one bite, not one serving. It was also the first time I did not sleep away Thanksgiving afternoon due to allergic reactions.

I also did One New Thing this year while travelling. I scoped out restaurants beforehand. It didn’t take much planning and my family graciously made decisions ahead of time. As soon as I knew where we were going, I checked menus on-line. Knowing my options beforehand made a huge difference. There were times we ate out and I didn’t have a chance to scope places, then I simply ordered a salad. Only one time did the waiter have to ask about substitutions with a manager. I’ve learned to ask for the chicken (or other proteins  to be cooked plain, or to ask for fries without extra seasoning salt. It’s just easier to phrase it that way instead of telling the waiter lists of allergies and asking them what they think. There are too many “hidden” allergens. Many places have meat that is pre-seasoned. I stay ask if they come that way and just order something else. The simple phrases “gluten-free” and “food allergies” capture people’s attention and just about everyone was gracious about helping us with menu items. Whether you are  concerned with food allergies, gluten, or calorie counting, don’t be afraid to just ask! Before you even have to ask, look on-line! With menus posted on-line, it’s easy to count calories or watch for troublesome foods before you even step foot into a restaurant!

While at my sisters, I encountered one tea room that went out of their way to accommodate my gluten-free daughter. They told me that if I call the day before, they will make sure some menu items (since it’s a small establishment without a set menu) are gluten-free or safe from whatever allergies we have. We will make sure to visit that restaurant the next time we are in town! It just takes one question to realize how accommodating establishments are. The gracious ones will receive my business. In the past, I didn’t want to make a fuss, or cause any trouble. Then I would end up sick. Not anymore.

My One New Thing for the Holidays is to scope out restaurants beforehand!

What are your favorite holiday tips?

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About Kimberly Vogel

I am a mom of four beautiful daughters, a writer, and a certified Early Childhood and Elementary Teacher who recently made the switch from teaching in a classroom to teaching her children at home. I am often found in the children’s area of my church where I volunteer and lead a children’s program. Writing is a natural outpouring of my love for my Savior. Follow along while I share my journey as a bridge builder with you. My prayer is that you start building bridges too!

3 responses »

  1. Yes, contacting restaurants beforehand is practically essential with food allergies or celiac disease/gluten intolerance. I find it’s much easier than putting them on the spot, especially if you visit during a busy time.

    Reply

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