Its holiday time! Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and if you have committed to healthier plant-based eating, you could be getting a bit stressed about now. Maybe you are thinking, “How am I going to tell my mom I won’t be eating her infamous sausage & cheese casserole?” Or “Everyone is going to give me the 3rd degree when I turn down turkey this year!” It’s for you that I created this survival guide!
1. Plan Ahead
Don’t wait until you show up for Thanksgiving dinner to talk to your family about your food choices! Talk to those planning the gathering as far ahead of time as possible. Be equipped with some ideas and recipes that your would like to suggest and offer to either bring a few plant-based options, or be a part of the cooking process. Here are some links to help you:
2. Keep a Positive, Upbeat Attitude Throughout the Holiday
Instead of focusing on what you CAN’T eat, have fun exploring new dishes you CAN eat! Thanksgiving is all about gratitude, so focus on how thankful you are for your health, and how making new food choices embodies that. Also share (as in have an actual conversation) with family members how much you appreciate their support in your venture to live a healthier, more conscious and compassionate lifestyle. If you set it up in this way, your family is more than likely going to get behind you on your decision.
3. Bring Top Vegan Swaps to the Table
There are certain holiday foods or drinks you may feel you just can’t live without. Luckily for you, there are great plant-based substitutes for almost every one of these! These swaps may not be whole foods, but they will allow you to stay consistent with your vegan diet, and you can think of them as your special treats and indulge a little while eating clean otherwise. Some of my favorite holiday swaps:
4. Lead by Example
The most effective way to make a positive impact on others is to let your actions back up your words consistently. You may have recently learned a lot about all the benefits of a plant-based diet (and all the negative consequences of consumption of animal products) and would love for your friends and family to all just jump on board the vegan bandwagon as soon as you tell them about it! Well be prepared… that’s probably not going to happen. However, if you practice what you preach (and by that I mean “talk about” not really “preach”), and those around you see the positive changes in your body and your life, they will automatically want to know how to move in the same direction, and you will be there to help guide them!