The only Thanksgivings I have ever known have been huge where everyone contributes something to the meal. This year was no exception although it does seem to be growing as there were forty-two family members who were able to make it. Since everyone brings something to the meal, there was no way I was going to be able to enjoy the different foods everyone had brought especially since I only had four weeks to add Thanksgiving foods back into my diet.
I had decided the only way I could enjoy a true Thanksgiving meal was to bring my own dinner plate with the foods I had added back in which would not have any unknown ingredients in them. During the four weeks, I tried to get prepared for the parts of the dinner which would mean the most to me. I decided to add back turkey, another vegetable and I really wanted stuffing. I already had plain potatoes in my diet. I knew I wouldn't be able to have a fancy stuffing, but a basic one would be enough to fulfill that Thanksgiving dinner craving I would have.
When I added in the vegetable, I also added in butter and salt. I really wasn't concerned about any of these items, but I want to add back everything carefully on this elimination diet. Luckily these items passed as well as the turkey the week before.
The problem came with the stuffing. Stuffing has so many different ingredients in it. I ended up finding a recipe with the most basic ingredients so I would not have many new ingredients to add back. Onions was one item I needed to add back in and knew I needed to be cautious with especially since it is a trigger for several people I know even though I didn't really suspect it for me.
I had a big surprise when it turned out to not only be a food trigger, but also an allergy! It didn't matter whether the onions were raw or cooked. This really stinks! I ended up making a stuffing that had extra celery and no onions which was good.
Bringing my own plate really worked out great and I suspect I may need to bring some of my own foods in future years especially because of the onion thing. I know I wasn't ready and did not plan on bringing my own dish from the beginning, but I know this was the only thing that helped me eat a Thanksgiving meal with my family this year and keep my head mostly in check. You can only imagine the noise level with sixteen kids under the age of fifteen there!
As I continue on my elimination diet, I know I am going to test different onion variations to see if there are any that are safe for me to eat. Luckily, my allergy is not an anaphylactic allergy that I can do some more of this testing. I want to at least test onion powder and dried onions. This is where I find the elimination diet takes a little more time for me - when I find something that triggers a Migraine, I feel I need to dig in around it to find out as much as I can about that particular trigger and believe the testing pays off in the end. This is the same process I followed when I did my first elimination diet and was able to find alternate ways to enjoy a food if a specific ingredient caused me problems.
I know right now I am still matter of fact around the onions and that it is going to hit me soon that I am going to have to check everything I eat for onions. This is something I am not ready to add to the list I already have to deal with, but is exactly the reason I started the elimination diet again. Urgh.
I am happy I was able to enjoy my traditional Thanksgiving meal and was able to spend the day with my family. I hope you had a happy, healthy and pain free Thanksgiving!