Let’s Talk About It with Jane Maulucci: A Vegan, a Teetotaler, & a Ketonian walk into your Party

Jane Maulucci by Erin Smith

What to do when a Vegan, a Teetotaler, and a Ketonian come to your party


We are deep into the December party season and some of you are still stung from the battle we call Thanksgiving. The conversation got a little heated because you wouldn’t eat your mother-in-law’s traditional pressure-cooked bacon grease covered mushy green beans. But fortunately, the family got distracted by your niece who wouldn’t touch the stuffing since she is off all carbs.

People have various reasons for eschewing a particular food or beverage aside from its color, taste, or texture. Frequently it is health considerations, selected or prescribed, that can make holiday dinners and parties a gastronomic mine field. But they don’t have to be.

As a guest with special needs, understand that what you usually eat will not be on the menu. You can likely graze around and find something to munch on if it is a casual event. If it is a formal dinner, consider bringing a dish that will serve as your repast and that you would share with the rest of the diners. That way you still get to enjoy a meal with a convivial group.

This scenario should work with friends, but it is not likely to be successful with family because they will push back. They have known you forever and this diet that you are on is something new and weird to them and they think you should just give it up for the holidays. Families tend to be a little dense. So, brace yourself for their ignorance and maybe eat before you get to the party.

And, if you are one of those folks who has found remarkable health from a trending diet, your job is to lead quietly by example. You can recruit at another time, now just bring tidings of joy.

Then there is the issue of the non-drinker. If someone requests a soft drink rather than an adult beverage you can almost hear the heads turn. People get nervous around teetotalers for no good reason. Those who avoid alcohol have personal reasons for doing so and you don’t need to know what they are.

Be the perfect host and provide the soft drink without question, humorous comment, or the suggestion that a little drop won’t hurt. It could. Like asparagus, some people just don’t like it or the after-effects.

By being kind and considerate about peoples’ dietary needs you will keep the season merry and bright.

By Contributing Author, Jane Maulucci, The Reactive Voice