Last year I became a Vegetarian 3 days after Thanksgiving so this will be my first Thanksgiving without having any turkey! In fact, since May I have also stopped eating dairy products so saying this year's Thanksgiving is going to be different will be an understatement.
But change is good especially when I am loving my new lifestyle.
Change can also be tricky though! How will I make sure I have enough to eat? How do I stick to my beliefs without making my host feel responsible for my meals? How do I stay respectful of everyone else even though I'm going to be the "odd duck out"? How does it all work out??
As you can see I have been a bit worried about my first Thanksgiving as a Vegan/Vegetarian and I am very focused on being polite, respectful and a good guest as I'll be celebrating at my boyfriend's Grandparent's house. After thinking about it for quite awhile I've come up with a game plan to make sure that I stick by my beliefs without being a pain in the butt.
So if you also have a dietary restriction that can make the holidays a little more challenging listen up!
Erin's Game Plan for Holiday Eating!
- Talk to your host before the event and give them a head's up!
Hosts like to know if someone has any type of allergy or dietary restriction before the day of the event. Even if they don't have to do anything special for you it ensures that they feel like they're in the loop. If you're uncomfortable talking about it just be vague and brief but still let them know that you can't have the mashed potatoes because you're lactose intollerant. This is particularly important if you have any food allergies!
Bring your own dishes!
Since I don't eat any animal products there won't be much at Thanksgiving I can eat since most dishes have meat, butter, cream, cheese or milk in them. So, rather than getting my panties in a bind I am just bringing my own food and making sure I have plenty to share. This way I know that I'll have a full and healthy meal and will be able to share my favorite dishes with everyone else.
I'm planning on bringing a bunch of Vegan dishes:
Glazed honey carrots
Green bean casserol
Butternut squash stuffed with quinoa
And maybe stuffed mushrooms!
Try not to make a big deal about it
Now this is just my opinion but I do not think Thanksgiving is the time to get into your awful IBS symptoms, your allergy to nuts or why you've become a Vegan. Thanksgiving is meant to be a time to relax and connect with friends and family, not make them feel awkward because they eat meat. That's why I think it's best to keep your opinions, dietary issues and restrictions to yourself.
If someone honestly asked me to tell them why I became a Vegetarian on Thanksgiving I would say that we could talk about it another time. Not when they're eating meat!
Always carry snacks that you can eat on the go!
If your holidays are anything like mine you're going to be running around from house to house and event to event and sometimes it doesn't leave you with a lot of time to make a nutritious lunch that you can actually eat. So make sure to bring lots of snacks with you. Fresh fruit, veggies like carrot sticks, nuts and granola bars are great choices.
This is how I'm ensuring to have a stress-free, meat-free Thanksgiving!
But I would love to hear what you think - do you have any food restrictions that make the holidays a little bit more stressful? How do you deal with them? Be sure to comment below because I'm always open to suggestions, anything to make life easier!!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!
*** If you found my tips helpful be sure to check out my blog at www.CreativeSoulinMotion.com!! Thanks for reading! ***
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