Two vegans walk into a butcher shop…….
I’m sure there is a joke out there with a punch line at the end of that sentence. It popped into my mind as I started to write, “Two vegan’s surviving Turkey Day without a Family Feud”. Oh, the holidays……
My sister Aimee and I eat a whole food plant-based diet (it’s vegan, but different. I’ll explain that one in another blog). We had a great time with family in Florida for her first plant-based Thanksgiving, although she’s behind the camera in this picture.
So, if your considering eating this way, or are new to it, but your family or partner isn’t onboard, how do you do it?
First, know that it doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. And for the record, there was no concern about us having a family feud on this or any other holiday. Our family has been very supportive of the way we eat. Especially since my sister’s transition to a whole food plant-based diet. Why? Because it probably saved her life. Who would argue with that? She was able to avoid the second heart-bypass surgery, lost 30 pounds, is managing her type 1 diabetes better than ever with a current A1C of 5.6, healed hashimoto’s thyroiditis, liver & bladder disease and is no longer chronically depressed. There’s more, but you get the idea. The only area that may not improve is cognitive function. At one point she was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s, but the diagnosis was downgraded to cognitive dysfunction. The years of seizures and uncontrolled blood sugars took a toll on her brain and it may not regenerate, however, she will be able to stop the decline and is so happy with her progress.
Why am I writing about Thanksgiving this time of year? Well, it will be here before you know it and the picture inspired the thought because we don’t have many of us sitting together for a meal. Plus a friend recently sent an email asking “How do you deal with the switch to a vegan diet when the rest of your family is not onboard? I think that is a huge stumbling block. What a pain to have to make one thing for me and something else for the rest of my family.”
That’s a great question! So, we’ll talk about it today and in the coming weeks, talk holiday strategies in more detail. The good news is that there is a simple formula for eating plant-based when your family does not. This issue usually presents at dinner more than other meals, so that’s where we’ll focus for now.
There are amazing plant-based recipes out there such as: sweet potato & black bean enchiladas, stuffed portobella mushrooms, bean chilis, lasagnas, soups, stews, casseroles, pizza’s, falafels etc. I have served up these dishes to the most die hard meat eaters without complaint. There are also great transition foods such as plant-based burgers, sausages, chicken-less tenders and cheeses. Veganizing comfort foods is not difficult once you learn about the ingredients, substitutions, methods and the nice to have kitchen tools. That’s where a coach comes in and can make the transition more comfortable. You don’t have to have a coach, I didn’t. But, boy if I had known that was an option, I would have signed up right away and saved myself time and frustration.
You’ll most likely not get away with serving your loved ones vegan meals every day. What to do? Make staple foods that the household will eat as side dishes along with their protein of choice that you’ll eat as your main course. What would that look like? Starches like potatoes, rice, pilaf’s, lentils, quinoa, beans, tortillas eaten with highly micronutrient vegetables raw or cooked/roasted, eaten plain or as salads, slaws or dishes. You can make old standby’s like mac & cheese vegan, no one will know, and make buddha bowls or poke bowls and explore spices and cuisines from around the world such as Indian, Thai, Japanese, Caribbean, Mexican, Italian, French or Spanish. It’s amazing how your palate and creativity opens when you go plant-based. You could opt to have more simple meals like broccoli & rice, quinoa stuffed potatoes, or bean burritos with a big salad or steamed veggies. Need more ideas? This is what I did with one giant pan of mushrooms one recent week:
1) Portobello burger
2) Stuffed with fava bean puree
3) In a massive salad
4) Made into a meatless loaf
Your options are endless and the portions, LARGE. This is about quality of food, not quantity. No calorie counting. Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full. How does that sound so far? If the formula doesn’t seem simple to you, reach out to me at Vegsetter.com for a complimentary” confidence boosting” consultation. I’d love to support you in eating plant-based, even if your family doesn’t.
I am passionate about helping others reach their best physical and emotional body. Are you ready for a supportive, interactive approach in taking charge of your life and health? Are you ready to rewrite your story? If the answer is a resounding YES! Contact me HERE