Getting Through the Holidays as a Vegetarian or Vegan

How does a choice to eat vegetarian or vegan fit into holidays centered around animal-based foods?

The holidays are filled with family, celebrations and lots of food. Delicious meals and traditional dishes are an important part of cultural heritage and customs. So how does a choice to eat vegetarian or vegan fit into holidays centered around animal-based foods?

The good news is that being vegetarian or vegan doesn’t mean you can’t partake in holiday celebrations with meat-eating family and friends. With a few strategies and open communication, you can enjoy the holidays and get your fill of tasty celebratory food as well.

Know Where You’re Going

First and foremost, have a plan of where you’re going and when.  Are you hosting? Is your family? Is your partner’s family? Know if the gathering will be centered on a meal or not. Remember that it’s always an option to eat ahead of time or after the event.

Talk with the Host

If you’re going to someone else’s home for a holiday get-together, communicate with the host as soon as possible. Ask them what is on their menu. Explain your dietary preferences. If they offer to make a dish that suits your needs, let them know you’d be happy to share a recipe (that way they know exactly which ingredients are OK).

Sweet Potato Crisp
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Offer to Bring a Dish to Share

Oftentimes it can feel burdensome to ask a host to make a special dish (or sometimes they may offer without even being asked) so it’s nice to bring a delicious dish to share that suits your dietary preferences. If you’re not sure what else is on the menu, bring a dish that will keep you satisfied for a few hours, I suggest a casserole with grains and beans and veggies.  (Try a recipe on this website.)

Bring Your Own Food

If all else fails, you can always bring your own container of food to heat up at the party and enjoy. That way you know you’ll be getting enough food to keep you satisfied and not feeling deprived, and you won’t be putting any pressure on the host to make a special dish for you. You might get some questions, which is an opportunity to share about your plant-based deliciousness.

Remember the Purpose of the Day

Yes, food is amazing and is the center of many celebrations, but quality time with friends and family should be the focus of your time. Eating before or bringing you own food will ensure you aren’t distracted by hunger and will allow you to focus on gratitude and joy with your loved ones!

 


Taylor Wolfram MS, RDN, LDN

Intuitive Eating Dietitian. Empowering you to prioritize self-care and make peace with food. Body acceptance, social & food justice, eco-ethical lifestyle.

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