5 Tips For Staying Vegan During The Holidays as You Feast with Carnivores

Hello. It’s me. I was wondering if after all these days you’d like to read… Okay I’m done. Adele rocks but it’s time for some real talk. Holidays. Specifically, enjoying holidays as a plant-eater in a world of primarily meat-eaters.

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Thanksgiving already happened. Black Friday (if you consider it a holiday) already happened. Hanukkah is happening. Christmas is in sixteen days (!!!!!). Then it’s New Year’s Eve. Wow. With all these important holidays coming up, I thought I’d make a little list of tips to help you survive the holidays as a vegan/ vegetarian/ pescatarian/ veggie-lover, etc.

Enjoy this list and enjoy your holiday season!

1. Don’t freak out if your family is basically the opposite of vegan.

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I went to Kansas for Thanksgiving to visit my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins, and they are, for lack of a better word, carnivores. They’re not actually carnivores as they do eat a few vegetables (namely potatoes)… but they’re close. I love them, but our lifestyles are very different.

I walked into my uncle’s house to find… this (see left). Welcome to the Haun crib indeed.

Don’t freak out if your family’s house looks like this. Don’t freak out if your family doesn’t know what kale is. Don’t freak out if your family doesn’t have any food for you to eat. I repeat, DO NOT FREAK OUT. If the above sentences sound like your family, just make sure that you prepare ahead of time! This leads me to my next point.

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This was my uncle’s dining room table centerpiece. To the right is the dining room table all set up for Thanksgiving lunch.

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2. BE OPEN-MINDED AND READY TO ANSWER any QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR DIETARY CHOICES.

You may meet people at a gathering who have never heard the word “vegan” before. Refresh yourself on some key points about veganism so you can let dear Aunt Sally know why you’re not eating the ham! Also be open-minded about the fact that not everyone will understand your choices. As much as you might want to, don’t be too pushy or forceful about your beliefs (vegan or otherwise). We’ve all met those people, and they kind of give their cause a bad rap. Just remember that everything will be okay if you are kind and openminded. 

I found this on Google Images when I searched “be nice.” It made me smile.

3. Prepare ahead by making a few veggie-filled dishes to pass.

Make a few veggie-filled dishes to share with everyone at whatever gathering you attend. As my friend Hannah from Bittersweet told me, that way you “have something delicious to eat, and [you] can share it with anyone willing to give it a try. It’s a great way to open the conversation up about veganism as well, while showing everyone just how delicious it can be. There’s no pressure on the people stuck in their ways about having turkey, but no one is going hungry or feeling left out either.” Great advice. 

Below are a few of my favorite holiday potluck dishes.

[From left to right: Pesto Protein Bowl, Pumpkin Bread, and three delicious holiday sides.]

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4. Veganize Family favorites

Show your family that vegan food can be delicious and nutritious by bringing a vegan version of a family favorite recipe to a gathering. If you don’t want to veganize a family recipe yourself, just Google (or Yahoo or Bing) whatever recipe you want to make + “vegan” and you will find multiple vegan versions of it! Yum.

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My mom veganized one of our favorite family recipes this fall: apple crisp.

5. Drink lots of water and eat lots of veggies during this season of giving and getting (heavier).

This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you feel hungry, drink water. Your hunger might actually go away because you were probably thirsty instead of hungry.

Load up on the veggies as they have fewer calories and are more nutritious than carbs (like dinner rolls, pie, sweet bread, potato casserole, etc.). The carbs are yummy, but having too many won’t make you feel so yummy the next day.

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Load up on veggies, especially leafy greens, during holiday meals. These are veggies from my family’s garden this past summer.

Some of these points might be pretty obvious, but I thought I’d put them on the world-wide web to provide you with help if you need it. If you have dietary restrictions, you can follow these guidelines to have a happy holiday season. Or, if you have family members (or friends or neighbors or colleagues) who have dietary restrictions, use these tips to help ease their food fears!

Spread the love, share food, and have a very merry holiday season!

xx Ellie

Questions of the day: How was your Thanksgiving? Do you have any other holiday tips and tricks to share? Does your family have a favorite holiday recipe?
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22 thoughts on “5 Tips For Staying Vegan During The Holidays as You Feast with Carnivores

  1. Ellie says:

    I agree with all these tips. Your Uncle’s house is kind of terrifying! That would be awful to eat next to, vegan or not. My Thanksgiving was relaxing which is just what I needed. I brought a dessert to my parent’s house and then just ate the sides.
    A tip I have is to be relaxed about your “diet” this time of year. It’s supposed to be a fun time so stressing out about little things is silly. It’s ok to eat cake instead of cake or egg nog instead of water. Enjoy the few weeks and be grateful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Arkenaten says:

    Frak! That is one over the top centre piece.

    I recently mentioned at dinner with carnivore friends that to help reduce their huge feral cat population the Australian government in conjunction with a very large dollop of Chinese capital and a dozen specialist chefs was offering large financial incentives to people to open up small restaurants serving wild cat and they could have the cat stuffed as a memento.
    You can imagine the reaction!

    Animal is animal but people just don’t get it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • peanutbutterandellie says:

      Wow! I had no idea that the Australian government was doing that. And you eat the cat meat and then stuff it as a memento!? Freaky!!
      Haha I would love to see that reaction. I’m sure they will check to see whether or not they are eating cat next time they go out to eat! Or hopefully it will persuade them not to eat meat next time they go out because they’d be afraid they’d accidentally eat kitty cat meat. But at the same time, it IS just meat like you said… I wonder what it tastes like?
      The centerpiece was quite over the top. Thank goodness they moved it for the Thanksgiving meal!
      Thanks for the comment! xx

      Liked by 1 person

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