A Vegan Thanksgiving?
Is that even possible? I mean we're talking about Thanksgiving!
There's the social gatherings. The Food. The trips to grandmas's house. And grandma's food! And the work parties. And even more FREE food. How do you expect me to stay Vegan through all of that?
There's no doubt about it - being Vegan at Thanksgiving will be one of the hardest things you'll have to do.
Thanksgiving for many of us has been a lifetime of tradition, with the parades, the football, and especially the food. And even though this year you may have an entirely new set of ideals, our beloved family members will probably not understand.
After all, Turkey's healthy they will tell you (as they proceed to deep fry it in a vat of bubbling oil). Even if it's roasted traditionally, with all the typical side dishes, the national average for calories consumed on Thanksgiving Day alone is close to 4,500 calories. THAT'S not healthy.
So what's one to do?
If you really want to enjoy the holiday this year, AND stick to your values and avoid the fat and calories, here are
5 Ways to Have a Happy Vegan Thanksgiving
1. Don't bring up the V Word. Trust me, this is one argument you will not win. Not now anyway. And - it's really not the place. It is Thanksgiving after all. A time to be with family and share what we are thankful for, NOT to debate the cruelty of factory farms.
2. Keep the debates to yourself. You may get a lot of heckling for not even looking at the bird, and some people may even want to know why, but to keep the peace you probably want to keep your thoughts to yourself.
Be courteous, be polite, and simply say you are trying to get a head start on your New Year's Resolution. No one will fault you for that, and some may even be envious of your willpower.
3 Bring a dish. No one will be offended if you show up with a side dish of healthy veggies, or a nice big salad. I just posted a recipe for a Thanksgiving Green Bean Casserole last week. No one will be able to tell it's vegan.
4. If you're at work, don't make a fuss about the meal. There's usually something there you can eat. Last week we had a big BBQ for the maintenance staff. I ate the mashed potatoes, and the beans. No big deal. And I took a lunch also, just in case I did get hungry later.
And with a Thanksgiving Meal - I guarantee there will be plenty of good stuff you can legally eat. Mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, rolls, salad, cranberry sauce etc.
True, some of these may have small amounts of butter, or oil. Just be mindful of your servings. And always bring a lunch anyway - just to be safe.
5. If you're having your first Vegan Thanksgiving at home this year - go ahead and try the Tofurky. You know you want to, so go ahead. It may be the one and ONLY time you buy one, but at least you've tried it and got it out of your system. (It's not THAT bad either - but there are better alternatives.)
If you're not brave enough to try the Tofurky loaf this year (although the expression of the checker will be worth it), maybe a nice Hippie Loaf Recipe will do the trick. Add some mashed potatoes, and this Awesome Vegan Gravy, a Vegan Bean Casserole, a big salad, and maybe some dinner rolls and you got a Vegan Thanksgiving Feast fit for a king.
Thank You All and Happy Holidays
The idea behind this post is that as Brand New Vegans, you WILL be forced into situations you cannot control. I know I have many times.
Don't sweat the small stuff.
Enjoy yourselves and your families. It's Thanksgiving! Like I said, now is not the time or place to debate health issues or animal cruelty.
Just enjoy yourselves and have a happy, healthy, and joyous Thanksgiving 🙂
Speaking of Brand New Vegan…..
Just a shout out to all of you who have made this blog what it is today. Thank all of you so much for all your kind comments and words of encouragement. I started this little blog exactly 1 year ago today, and I am simply amazed as to how much it has grown in such a short amount of time.
So to all my McDougall friends, my Facebook friends, my Pinterest fans, and anyone else who has stopped by to visit.
Wishing you a very happy holiday!
Photo Source: Flickr/Steve Voght
I hit send before I was ready. Your topic is timely. I was talking with a group of friends discussing ways to avoid overeating on the holiday. Someone said of course we'll all have white meat turkey (as opposed to the really fattening dark meat) and I said "No! I don't eat meat" and they thought I must be filling up on all those "side dishes." It was not an environment conducive to explaining why. Nor was anyone interested. I am glad to be sharing the holiday meal with like minded vegan friends.
Happy Thanksgiving to you too!