As the holidays are just around the corner, now is the time of year where vegans can tend to become a bit...introverted. Why? Because wherever you go, or whatever you do, you're surrounded by typical holiday fare – high fat, high sugar, and full of meat and other animal products. This year, take our advice and get out, mingle, enjoy, but avoid all the guilt with these tips:
Tip #1: Plan Ahead
The number one way to enjoy being vegan over the holidays is to plan ahead and know what you’re getting into. It's okay to ask the host what she or he is serving, and it's perfectly fine to offer to bring a dish or two. If you're unable to ascertain the dishes on offer, feel free to have a snack or two stashed away, just in case.
Extra Tip: Don't compete with the host – find a dish that's not already on the table.
Tip #2: Don't Apologize
You don't have to feel guilty about your choices; they're your choices. Don't let others make you feel bad about choosing to be healthy. At the same time, a social gathering around the holidays might not be the right time to espouse your choices, although you can certainly let people know how great it makes you feel, should they ask.
Tip #3: Have Some Holiday Favorites
What's your #1 favorite holiday dish? Is there a vegan option? Find out how to make your favorite dish in a plant-based form and get ready to indulge...a little. After all, it's the holidays! For example, if a good chocolate mousse is your Achilles heel, find a good plant-based recipe that you can rely on.
Tip #4: Eat Early
If you're combining plant-based eating with weight management, then you might have to up your game a little over the holiday season. Before heading out, have a healthy snack. It will cut your hunger and help to manage cravings, so you don't overindulge.
Tip #5: Don't Feel the Need...
. . . to commit to every invitation. We feel like we're letting people down, but odds are that your office Christmas party or your neighbor's Festivus party aren't going to be too upset about your absence. If you found yourself run down last year, consider paring down your parties and stay home with a nice vegan meal to avoid the extra stress.
Holidays are supposed to be fun, stress-free, and involve some of your favorite foods – that doesn't have to change just because you choose not to eat animal products. With a bit of preparation you too can have a happy vegan holiday season.
Wishing you a Happy Holiday season!