What do you do when it’s Turkey Day but your diet doesn’t include turkey? What if your family and friends love meat and you’re a vegetarian or vegan?
We all probably have loved ones who can’t get enough meat on Thanksgiving, but who’s to say vegetarians and vegans also can’t eat themselves into a food coma and have just as good of a day?
No one, because they can! Here are six tips to give you the best veggie-based Thanksgiving yet.
1. Pinterest is going to be your best friend!
Eating a plant-based meal on Thanksgiving is easier than it sounds, my friends — at least with Pinterest on your side. You are not alone in this veg life, and there are so many people eager to share their favorite holiday recipes with you. You can find veg versions of any of your holiday favorites as long as you’ve got Pinterest on your side.
2. Make and bring your own dish.
With your newfound internet help and some recipes from your veggie-loving friends, you have all you need. Your family won’t mind some extra food, and your friends will appreciate the thoughtful gesture. Plus, you are guaranteed to have at least one thing to munch on. Some great alternatives to check out are veggie pot pies, lentil loafs (like meatloaf, but meatless) or even your favorite soup! You can’t go wrong with more food on a holiday like Thanksgiving.
3. Talk to your host about using substitutes.
If you are close to your host or spending Thanksgiving with your kin, it wouldn’t hurt to ask if they mind using some substitutes or making alternative options available. It can be as simple as making stuffing or soup with vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Another helpful hack is to use vegetable margarine or vegan butter while cooking. Substituting almond milk for dairy milk in dessert recipes is also an easy trick. There are plenty of ways to make a meal vegan-friendly, and it never hurts to ask for help.
4. Eat EARLY and take advantage of the sides.
If you have friends who you know don’t support your lifestyle, try eating beforehand. If just hanging out during dinner is awkward for you, refer to tip two! Also, remember, there are sides! Sides like green beans, mac and cheese and stuffing might be more accessible for vegetarians, but even if you’re vegan, there is bound to be something for you. Hopefully, there will be salad, fruit salad, grilled veggies or cranberry sauce.
5. Arguing isn’t in the spirit of the holiday.
We all have that one friend or relative that asks pointed questions and constantly tries to pick a fight. Remember, this is your life, and you don’t need to prove anything to anyone. Avoid arguments, because they tend to ruin the fun of eating. Try to be grateful for the people you love and are surrounded by, even if they don’t always have the nicest things to say about what’s on your plate.
6. Be CONFIDENT!
You know your body and what makes it feel good, so trust that. Show your contentment without contempt for others. Odds are, you’re happy with your lifestyle. That’s why you stick with it! Express your compassion and energy through your actions. Don’t apologize for who you are, because it gives the impression that you actually have something to be sorry for. And you don’t. Have pride in this life that you choose to live. Love your vegetarianism/veganism, and know that it will love you right back.