Love You For Trying…
Let me tell you, we have tried everything, but sometimes you have to settle for less…
Well, let me start from the beginning. We are spending a wonderful week skiing in the Alps- on the southern side of the Alps, to be precise.
This Italian part of the Alps, also called Alto Adige or Südtirol, used to belong to Austria and has plenty of Tyrolean heritage and is famous for its delicious cuisine. We chose this part of Europe to ski because firstly and most importantly we used to love this fusion of Italian and Tyrolean dishes (now I am looking for inspiration for new plant-based recipes). Secondly, the weather is way better on this side than on the northern side of the Alps.
Our hotel is great, the weather couldn’t be better (well, there could be a little bit more snow- we haven’t seen this little snow in years!) and we are so happy to spend a week of quality family time. My husband and I are actually having a hard time pulling the children off the slopes at the end of the day! They sure seem to have inherited my Austrian skiing genes 🙂
Now, here comes the tricky part of our week: Imagine this wonderful hotel right on the slopes of a beautiful mountain in the Dolomites…Do you think that finding plant- based food there would be an easy task?
Big time NO!! It is almost impossible to escape the omnivore’s delights! There is a somewhat decent salad bar- great! Then there is a huge antipasti (appetizer) buffet set up that takes up an entire room- sounds great, but only a couple of the dishes are plant-based. Even when I spotted my beloved beans I soon discovered bits of tuna mixed with the beans. Every evening the guests get to choose the menu for the following night. Luckily, there is always a vegetarian dish among the mains- but as usual, the yummy veggies are topped off with melted cheese or eggs. At least the kids get to enjoy different types of noodles cooked to perfection (we love you, Italy!) with tomato sauce or vegetarian ravioli (noodles filled with different vegetables). For dessert, there is ice cream for kids and various sugar laden delicacies for the grown ups.
For breakfast, there is a large selection of cheeses, sliced ham and regional salami (special type of sausage), a very small selection of cereal (with bits of chocolate inside or sugar laden flakes) and sugar laden juices. Help! What are we going to do?
So, my husband and I decided to compromise. How can you walk two children through a breakfast buffet alley with tempting foods left and right that they are not supposed to eat? I find it almost cruel and feel like the bad witch from a Disney movie making kids unhappy saying no to pretty much everything.
In the end, we followed our motto “Love you for trying” (from an Adam Sandler movie) in order to enjoy our vacation. In other words, we tried but couldn’t succeed in sticking to our plant-based diet. Our compromise therefore is that Ben and Vivian get to eat the kids’ ice cream as long as they eat a big salad as an appetizer. For breakfast, they can eat a bread roll with an egg or a slice of cheese or a slice of ham every other morning (although I am having a hard time getting over the ham part!) as long as they are having fruits with it. On the other mornings, they have cereal.
Lunch is a whole different ballgame… there simply is no healthy dish on the entire menu anywhere!! So we had to decide: staying hungry or eating unhealthy? I don’t know about you, but as soon as our son’s blood glucose levels drop, we all suffer!! And what about the crankiness of our daughter? No, that was definitely not an option so we had to pick option number two and went with whatever was on the menu, trying to order the least damaging food.
The result: two happy kids with full bellies, wonderful afternoons and relaxed parents. What a wrong world!! Well, we tried everything, but sometimes you have no choice but to settle for less.
Next week we will be home again and I will be happily providing my family with healthy, nutritious and delicious food.
On a different note, our children are seemingly looking forward to our usual dishes and made comments like “we know it’s not good for us mom, but next week we’ll eat the good stuff again” or “it’s OK for only a short time mom”- I think that’s incredible given their age. So I guess we are doing something right guiding our kids to a healthier and more nutritious life.
Sometimes you just have to love you for trying.
Soy Latte? Nope, no soy here… but I had to have a coffee!! Hope I won’t have a horrible belly ache 🙂