Yesterday my dh and I attended our first ever Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinner. Many people think "healthy" when they think vegetarian. However, I know better. There is sugar, salt, fat, bread, bread, bread, cheese and more bread. All the things that meat lovers eat, except for me.
Going in I was certainly concerned. My normal eating consists of lean protein, fruits and veggies, with small portions of whole grains thrown in several times a week. I had never even heard of a green bean casserole or broccoli casserole before moving to GA (I'm from Chicago).
To me casserole is the equivalent of no veggies at all, laden with cheese, fried items, salt, fat and breading...YUCK! I like simple vegetables..no toppings necessary. I thought to myself, it's vegetarian but you've still got to be careful about what you put on your plate. Portion control is still important.
Whenever, I go to a friends house for a gathering, I always take a salad. If all else fails I've got my yummy salad to munch on. Once the food is served I scan the offerings, seek out the veggies and then make a plan to simply put a dab of the things I want to try on my plate. Afterall, I don't want to have to get up and throw the entire plate away! LOL!
Anyway, here is what was on the menu: Tofurky with potatoes, corn with tomatoes and olives, carrots and onion, broccoli casserole, dressing, meatballs(non-meat), biscuits and of course, my salad.
Now, I must tell you that everything I tried was quite tasty. So the vegetarian part was not bad at all...not having turkey was weird but we survived! However, portion control was on the menu because I knew that these items could still be quite fat and calorie dense.
My choices: plenty of salad, a spoonful full of carrots and onions the equivalent of maybe 3 bits, a fork full of dressing perhaps 2 bites, 1 veggie meatball, 1 mouthful of Tofurky, 1/2 mini potato and 1 biscuit. I did not eat the corn, or the broccoli casserole...I couldn't even see any broccoli????
To my surprise, as stated earlier everything was tasty, including the Tofurky! Whoa. The meatballs were made of Tollhouse Crackers, cheese, butter, eggs and then fried and topped with a tomato sauce. Wow! Glad I only chose one...but it was worth the try. The carrots and onions had been soaked in sugar..tasty but again glad for that portion control I go in with!
I topped it all off with a 1/2 slice of 5 flavored cake, 1/2 slice of pumpkin pie and a chocolate truffle! YUM!
Now, I say all of this to say, enjoying yourself doesn't mean you have to gorge yourself. Be careful of fancy words and what you may "think" they mean, like vegetarian. Practice portion control, always. And be prepared, plan, plan and plan. Knowing that I was going to indulge on Thanksgiving, I planned to put only 2-3 bitefuls on my plate of the items I wanted to try and I also went to a 1 hr Cardio Resistance Training class on Thanksgiving morning. I enjoyed myself and went to bed...GUILTFREE and feeling good..no tummy aches in sight!