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It’s a very vegan holiday season!

Nothing strikes fear into a new vegan’s heart more than having to go to that first family dinner. And when that dinner is a holiday dinner like Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa, you might be feeling extra pressure. Of course, there will be the inevitable questions about why you chose to be plant-based, what you eat and where in the world do you get your protein, plus people might be wanting to debate you on your choices. This short blog will help you to navigate these social situations so you can have a great time and not be stressed.


About the food


Everyone deserves to enjoy delicious food, and lots of it, especially during the holidays. Depending on your relationship with the host, they may be willing to provide plant-based options for you to enjoy, but a better approach might be to offer to bring a dish or two for the table. This will ensure that you have something yummy to eat while also showing off how tasty plant-based foods can be for all the other guests. Try to make your contribution something with mass appeal rather than something that will draw a lot of attention and questions, like the disgusting, jiggly tofurkey from that classic episode of Everyone Loves Raymond! This is also a great chance to show off “accidentally” vegan foods so the other guests can see how being plant-based doesn’t mean eating weird things.


Some recipes you might want to try that are real crowd pleasers include a butternut squash galette, a spiced spinach and lentil salad, or vegan wild mushroom stuffing, and don’t forget baked goods like sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies.


About the conversation

Be prepared. There are going to be questions, but that doesn’t mean that you have to spend the entire party justifying your dietary decisions or engaging in a debate about health, nutrition, climate change, or animal rights. Regardless of what you are asked, you have the right to not answer or to offer to continue the discussion at another time.


If you choose to talk about being vegan, talk authentically about what becoming plant-based has meant to you. You can talk about the positive things that a vegan diet has brought to your life like having more energy, feeling healthy, cutting down on your grocery bill, weight loss (if that has happened), etc. You can also offer to send questioning people links to informative websites like vegcurious.ca or 10 Weeks to Vegan, for example. And, if you are in the process of transitioning to plant-based eating, or if you are just trying it out for now, let people know that, too. Often, being vegan is seen as an all-or-nothing proposition and, while there are many who would happily debate me on this point, I maintain that being 100% vegan is not possible, so it's always a process and a matter of making choices that are right for you on your journey.


Remember, you are not going to change anyone’s mind about their eating habits at a dinner party and you probably shouldn’t try.


Wishing everyone a very happy holiday season and all the best for the coming year!

Sheryl


3 Comments


Guest
Dec 03, 2023

Thank you. I try not to make my food choices so obvious that it becomes a topic of conversation. During the holiday season there are usually many dishes to choose from. Sides offer a variety.

Thank you for support for those of us that do not worry about whether the green beans have plant based butter on them or the real thing. ✌🏼❤️🤗

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Unknown member
Jan 09
Replying to

I know I don't worry about that! If I had to worry about everything I'd probably do nothing. Every little bit helps.

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Guest
Dec 03, 2023

Great post - very helpful topic. Thank you.

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