You’ve made the plunge.  You stopped eating all animal products.  You have been successful. And then…..

The holidays arrive.  Friends, family and oh those questions.  What DO you eat? So…do you have tofu at every meal?  Where do you get your protein? Do you miss meat? Why aren’t you skinny? How do you live without cheese?  Isn’t it more expensive? Can you go out to dinner with us? What can you eat?  Doesn’t lettuce get boring?  

And the list goes on.   

Here are some tips on how to not only survive the holidays, but thrive.  Remember YOU made this choice. Congratulations! You have committed to yourself – your health, your impact on the planet and your impact to animals.  Own your decision and be true to yourself.

Here are some things to consider :

Treat others with compassion

Consider your approach when talking with others about how you eat.  How can you be most compassionate? Most people will not respond positively if their choices are judgmentally questioned and challenged.  Help family and friends connect the dots between what they eat and animals, the planet and their health. Be kind with your words. Share your convictions firmly, without judging others’ choices.  Remember, you ate meat previously. Be gentle in your approach. Not everyone is ready to dive into the atrocities of factory farming. Encourage others to do their own research. Be compassionate.  Respect where others are on their journey. 

Bring food

The number one way I have positively impacted others opinion of plant based food is to let others taste it.  Create a go-to repertoire of recipes you can prepare on short notice that are crowd pleasers. Share these dishes with others.  Be ready to share recipes too!

Let your host/hostess know up front that you are plant based.

I always let people know I am plant based and offer to bring a dish.  I also tell them to not worry about making something special for me. Be ready to explain what you don’t eat.  Don’t assume that your host will know what vegan/plant-based means. I like to describe it as I don’t eat anything that had a mama.  

Offer to host

Are you up for the challenge?  Yes you can! My best activism is hosting dinner parties.  Ok, I’m not going to lie, I love to entertain. Throwing a dinner party is my idea of fun!  Don’t judge me, to each their own! Many times my guests don’t even realize that there isn’t any meat; or should I say, they don’t miss the meat.  I am convinced that if you provide dishes that taste good, people will enjoy the food. No need to advise people ahead of time. Just create the magic and let them drool!

These are a few ideas when celebrating with family and friends at home.  Look for my next blog post on tips to survive dining at restaurants and how to answer those pesky questions.