I can still remember very well when a few years ago my sister had revealed to us, her family, that she had gone vegan. At first, we didn’t quite know what she meant by that. However, after telling us about it we thought that this might just be a fancy diet mood of her and that she soon would become my little sister again. This was a few years ago and she has never looked back again. Her resolution impressed all of us and made us rethink our way of living and eating. However, in the beginning it was quite hard for her to avoid the food that her family had always been eating. So, she followed some advices that made it much easier for her to start her vegan journey. This was especially true at Christmas time. When vegans use to visit their families at Christmas time and thus are being challenged to stick to their vegan diet, the following tips are definitely worth considering. And in case this should be your first vegan Christmas, try to be as resolute as my sister once had been.
“The holiday season can be a hard time for someone who is new to veganism. Anticipating uncomfortable questions from family members about your decision to eat a plant-based diet and worrying about what you’ll be able to eat at Christmas dinner might be dampening your holiday spirit.
We’ve put together a list of the top 5 survival tips to help you get through the hardest part of your first vegan Christmas: the meal.
1. Talk to Your Host about Your Vegan Diet
Whether you will be celebrating Christmas with your family or friends, talking to the host about your vegan diet in advance will benefit both of you. Even if they already know that you are a vegan, they might not realize all of the foods that you can and can’t eat. Initiating a conversation gives them a chance to learn more about your diet and create a strategy with you.
2. Bring Delicious Vegan Dishes with You
Preparing vegan dishes that you know you’ll be able to eat and enjoy will ease the stress for you and your host. Think about what foods you look forward to most and hunt for vegan recipes for them or use your family recipe but utilize vegan substitutes for meat and dairy products. It is a great opportunity for you to share vegan cooking with your friends and family.
3. Be Confident & Prepared to Answer Questions
You made the decision to become a vegan for a good reason. To eliminate uncomfortable conversations, try preparing a 15 to 30 second explanation for friends or family members who ask you about it. Keep it simple and positive. For example, you could say, “I’ve decided to eat a plant-based diet because it gives me more energy and I feel good about supporting compassionate organizations.” Christmas dinner isn’t the time or place to have a debate with your family and friends about veganism. If someone is aggressively asking you questions, let them know that you will be happy to answer them another time when you aren’t eating.
4. Focus on Friends & Family More than Food
Spending quality time with family you rarely see or friends you enjoy is the most valuable part of Christmas dinner. After you’ve finished baking your dishes and arrived at the door with them in hand, remember to make your friends and family the focus of your attention not what you are eating.
5. Embrace the Holiday Spirit
Making time during the holiday season to alleviate the suffering of animals and your fellow people by donating to organizations like Mercy for Animals, dropping off food at food banks, or volunteering at a local organization will help you feel more confident about your decision to live compassionately.”
Source: Pure Hemp Botanicals