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Celebrating Thanksgiving as a Vegan/Vegetarian

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful, look over our lives, remember how blessed we are to have the things we do, and be humble about what we don’t. The holidays are also a great time to give back to those who are less fortunate. Volunteering is always good, and to be honest, it makes you feel good knowing that you have helped. Before you go running off to the nearest homeless shelter or soup kitchen to volunteer, stop and think about the local businesses in your town that could use some help this time of year.  Look to churches, gyms, spas, and boutiques that could use extra services like cleaning the bathrooms and floors. Hand out fliers for their holiday sales. There are so many ways that you can give back, and the sky is the limit.

Kindness will get you everywhere and can change a person’s entire day. One of the biggest struggles that people find during the holidays is food and how much there is. If you are a person who struggles with your weight, this can be dreadful. Check out the article on how to stay healthy at Thanksgiving. One of the other problems with food at Thanksgiving is being a vegetarian or vegan. If you do not eat meat, this holiday can be dreadful with all the turkey around. Never fear; there are many ways to enjoy a holiday without meat. Below you will find five ways to celebrate and survive Thanksgiving as a vegan or vegetarian and some yummy recipes to try.

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Being open and communicating is the first thing you want to do with all your guests. If you are going to have a house full of gest for Thanksgiving, you want to make sure that they are aware of the menu and that there will not be a turkey served. It is also essential to let them know if you do not want any animal products in your home. Some people don’t care, but if you have strict no animal products in your home, be sure to share that with everyone to avoid a side dish being brought that you do not want. By doing this, you will help keep the peace between you and your loved ones.

It is important to remember that the holidays are about the people you are with and being thankful. It is not about the food, so remember when someone suggests bringing an item you might not want on your table. If you attend someone else’s traditional Thanksgiving, it is a good idea to bring a side dish and a dessert that you will eat so you are guaranteed there will be food for you.

Halt the Judgement
Just like anything else, there is a time for expressing your personal views, and time there is not. The holidays are not the time to tell someone why they should or should not eat meat. Unless a person is raised as a vegetarian or a vegan, then it is safe to bet that they were a meat-eater at one point in their lives. It is crucial to think of how you felt when you were judged for your choices, and even if you disagree with someone’s point of view, this is the perfect time to hold your tongue.

Be Prepared
If you have meat eaters over for the holidays, it is essential to be prepared for the many questions that can come from people curious about why you made this lifestyle change. Generally, these questions aren’t spiteful: they’re questions the uninformed have about veganism, so it’s best to be ready to answer them as accurately and patiently as possible. Unfortunately, some people can be judgmental so consider who you invite to your holiday get-together. You might think it rude not to ask your Aunt Ruth to the holidays, but if Aunt Ruth has a habit of blurting things out and speaking before, she thinks it might be more admirable for your other guest not to have her there and less stressful for you. Remember it’s ok to let your aunt go to another relative’s house.

Enjoy Delicious Food
There are many fantastic thanksgiving recipes for vegans and vegetarians. Plan your meal ahead of time to ensure you get all the ingredients you need since most stores are closed on Thanksgiving, and you do not want to be running around last minute. Here is a list of some great recipes that will make your holidays magical.


Sweet Potato Casserole

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Vegan Stuffing

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells

Pomegranate Rice Salad

Apple Crumble

Green Beans and Mushrooms With Crispy Shallots

Vegan Turkey Roast

There are many great ways to enjoy Thanksgiving as a vegan or vegetarian. Still, it is essential to plan and think of the company you will be around if you will be attending a home where there will be turkey and other animal-based products, be sure to talk with the host about different food options that will be there.

If you are not a vegan or vegetarian and attend a dinner of someone who is, then it is vital to be open-minded and try new things; you might be surprised and what you like.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach/Advanced Nutritionist

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