How to be Plant - Based and still survive holiday get togethers
It’s that time again. As we inch closer to December 25th, we as vegans need all the help we can get to survive family get-togethers this holiday season. Although the number of people eating plant-based has risen dramatically over the past decade, we still have the challenge of enjoying time with friends and family while maintaining our commitment to eating for our health, the health of the planet and all its inhabitants.
So how do we pull off dealing with Uncle Ed’s snide comments about your diet of “twigs and bark”, your brother’s gobble-gobble noises as he shoves turkey down his throat, and disparaging looks from your grandmother who’s probably never tried tofu or soy in her life.
We at Asanté feel your pain and offer these easy-to-follow 5 tips to stay on a plant-based diet and maintain your Christmas cheer this season.
TIP 1 – Thanks for The Invite, BTW I’m Vegan
Your holiday dinner experience probably won’t get off to a flying start if you walk into the house proclaiming you’re vegan and asking what they’ve made in your honor. If your host is unfamiliar with vegan food then ask what’s on the menu and work with them on creating a dish that is vegan friendly while still being delicious for the entire family.
TIP 2-Bring a Dish or Two
This one goes hand-in-hand with Tip #1. Make it easy for your host by offering to bring a dish that fits into your diet. One suggestion we have is to bring something that won’t already be found on the dinner table (Christmas Tacos, anyone?). That way there won’t be the inevitable comparison (“The real stuffing tastes much better than yours!” or “Mashed potatoes without butter just aren’t mashed potatoes!”) plus it may prompt them to give yours a try, if only for something different.
TIP 3-Stick to Your Principals
Aunt Marie will try to push “just a taste” of the apple pie (made with sticks of butter) but your commitment to going vegan in your family’s eyes may be devalued if they watch you sample foods made with animal products. There will be a very real sense of accomplishment if you get through Christmas dinner with your plant-based diet fully intact.
TIP 4-Bring a Recipe
Tying into Tip #2, be ready when friends or family members are impressed with the vegan dish you’ve brought. Showing them how easy and delicious plant-based dishes can be might get them to at least try to add animal-free products into their diet
TIP 5-Don’t Push It
There’s probably going to be a point where family members will try to goad you into having a discussion/argument about the benefits of going vegan. Just remember, holiday celebrations are just that, celebrations. They aren’t a replacement for Speakers Corner or a place to get into a knock-down, drag-out about animal agriculture. It’s the place for casually mentioning Meatless Monday or the upcoming Veganuary and how most vegans don’t expect carnivores to suddenly switch to a plant-based diet overnight. We understand it’s a process. Make sure your family knows that without hitting them over the head with it.
Good luck, have fun, and from all of us at Asanté, Happy Holidays. Salud!
- 4) Dinner,