How Are You Going To Cope Being A Vegan This Christmas!!
Year on year on year the Vegan community grows and strengthens with new people wanting to change their old bad ways of eating by switching to a natural, plant-based diet. And is if that was a challenge in itself (especially in 2017) December comes along, and new Vegans realise that arguably their hardest challenge has arrived. If you’re somebody who is the only vegan in their family then grab a smoothie, sit back, get your reading glasses and enjoy this blog, because we’re going to give you some top tips on how to survive Christmas as a Vegan :) … oh yeah and don’t forget to share this blog to help out a fellow newbie vegan!
Now, if your families are anything like mine, they’re filled with “real foodies” as they like to be called, chefs, butchers, and hunters. And they probably can’t resist the odd vegetable joke every time you pass on on a bit of meat that’s being handed out.. Just as I’m sure everybody experienced me going vegan was HUGE news! It doesn’t help that my heritage African which as I’m sure you know has a diet predominantly bombarded with meat. Understandably I was asked a million questions, which I always proudly answered “Humans aren’t supposed to eat meat, our body struggles to break meat down which is why we always get tired and lazy after eating meat etc etc…” Or some other fact I had stored up as ammo. Sometimes I’d stumble over my words because I couldn’t remember all the facts, I constantly felt like I had to defend myself. It was kind of the worst, but I made it through, and I made a mental note to be more prepared for next time.
Whether you are a new vegan, or you have been vegan for many years, or probably the hardest of them all which is thinking about becoming a vegan but don’t think you have what it takes! The Christmas holidays can be tough if not the toughest time for us ALL. You’re out of your comfort zone, and into the festivities with relatives and friends who are bound to be curious and feel the need to take it upon themselves to raise their noses at you because they feel somehow threatened by your choice to stay away from meat and all meat/ dairy related products. Not to mention that there will likely be a large meal centered around a turkey, ham, or a roast of some sort… RIP
Good news! There’s light at the end of the tunnel it gets easier! As time passes, your family will start to see your veganism really isn’t just a phase, you haven’t died of protein deficiency (and are likely looking and feeling better than ever), and that you really don’t crave meat #GoodTimes Anyways… here’s how to survive Christmas moving forward and all other holidays that include being around a table with a bunch of uneducated meat eaters a.k.a family :)
BRING FOOD EVERYONE CAN ENJOY
You don’t want your family/ friends to feel like they really have to bend their back (just for you) especially when cooking up a Christmas meal in itself can be a chore and a half! To then have to worry about cooking vegan can be challenging for someone who isn’t used to cooking that way. Don’t expect the host to make everything vegan. I’d suggest you bring a hearty dish that everyone is welcome eat (who knows, it may even turn them Vegan), and if all else fails you will be able to eat it all on it’s own and still feel more than satisfied. If you want to go all the way out and you feel like putting in the extra effort bring a dessert as well!
BE EXTRA HAPPY ABOUT THE SMALLEST ARRANGEMENTS/ CHANGES PEOPLE HAVE MADE ON YOUR BEHALF
They’re NOT going to eat bacon for breakfast this year.. That’s amazing news thanks guys!!!!
They’re only eating chicken when they usually go all out and have gammon, hog roast etc… That’s great!! The cows will be happy to hear that :)
They purposely didn’t put cheese on the salad so you wouldn’t feel left out? Take a huge serving and be ever so thankful (even if it tastes disgusting).
Reason for this is If you begin telling people what they are doing isn’t good enough, they definitely won’t try any harder. Any little step is still a step in the right direction. Always be encouraging and supportive and you’ll find yourself surrounded by awesome vegan cousins. (Trust me, I’m talking from experience here!) haha
HAVE SOME ANSWERS READY FOR THE STUPID QUESTIONS YOU’LL BE GETTING ASKED AS YOU EAT! LOL
If you are a new vegan (this is for you), but even if you aren’t, there is often an endless stream of silly questions and passing comments that float around the dinner table, not all… as some are in fact totally reasonable, but mostly pretty ridiculous. While you don’t always have to know the answer to everything, it’ll be handy to prepare in advance for some of the questions you are likely to be interrogated I mean asked.
Common questions are: How/ Where do you get your protein? Iron? Calcium? Why did you go vegan in the first place? What about “humane”, “organic”, or “free range? blah blah blah…
The truth is, there is no right answer for you to give! They will respond with silly stupid comments just to get on your nerves, don’t feel like you have to try and recall some statistics you heard from podcasts or read in books as most likely you won’t relay this information correctly and that will give them the ammo they are looking for, instead just direct them to reliable information sources where they can seek the information themselves. Try saying “I don’t remember exactly, but I highly recommend watching “What The Health” & “Cowspiracy or recommend what movie, book, or person influenced you, or tell them you can send them more information later.
SET NEW TRENDS!
Your family and friends might take it to heart that you wont be taking part in some of the usual festive traditions. Be empathetic about it, for example If your big sister, mother or grandmother always makes a huge centrepiece turkey, ask if she can help you make a vegan alternative! This way everybody is still having fun in the kitchen together and you’re not excluded from the usual activities.
It’s never too late to start new traditions, don’t feel like because you’re the only Vegan you have to exclude yourself from all the usual festivities, you want to do the exact opposite and show that being a Vegan isn’t a big deal at all and you’re still able to join in the fun as usual.
VEGAN TALK AT THE TABLE IS A SUICIDE!!
I’d never suggest boasting about the health benefits veganism has brought you at the table at any time fo the year but definitely do not make the mistake of doing this at Christmas especially. For some reason as soon as you sit down to dinner, this is the same moment that people love to ask you why you don’t eat meat. Naturally you’ll be eager to talk about it and enlighten others about the health benefits you’ve experienced and also enlighten them about the ever so dark side of the dairy and meat industry, however, this is not the time to bring up slaughterhouses, heart disease, or deforestation. When they ask, just tell them you would be happy to discuss it with them at another time if they’re still interested.
When it's all said and done, Christmas is about getting closer to family, catching up with family friends, forgetting about working life and more importantly creating moments you wish to cherish for the future. After you've eaten and everybody is in their respectable food comas, why not take this opportunity to put on a educational DVD such as 'Cowspiracy' or 'What The Health' for everybody to enjoy! haha ... You never know, it may lead to another family member joining you with the Vegan option next year ;-)