Saturday, December 19, 2009

2009 Holiday Survival Guide for Vegans

I must admit, I have mixed feelings when it comes to holidays. While it's great to get together with family and friends we don't often see, it can be difficult to be seated at a table overflowing with pot roast, sliced ham and meatballs. I often find that this can add to the typical stresses of shopping, wrapping presents, gift giving and driving around from party to party.

To keep upbeat this holiday season, I've prepared a few simple party tips for vegans. Let's call it the "Holiday Survival Guide for Vegans." Whether it's your party or someone else's, the most important thing is to think like a Boy Scout and always be prepared. Oh yeah, and try to have fun, too.

1. Plan ahead. You might want to call the host or hostess to let them know ahead what you can and can't eat. Ask if there's a special dish you can bring to share with others. This will help make it easier on your host/hostess and also ensure there's at least one thing you can eat.

2. Eat ahead. If you don't know what will be on the menu, eat a full meal ahead of time so you won't wither away at the dinner table.

3. Grab a snack. I always pack a snack in my pocketbook just in case hunger pangs strike before, during or after the party. Fresh fruits like oranges and apples, dried fruits and nuts travel particularly well. Larabar makes a great raw snack that keeps well, too.

4. Drink plenty of water. Hold onto a glass of water throughout the evening and take a few sips here and there to help hydrate and prevent headaches. This will also make you feel less hungry if you haven't found much to graze on.

5. Breathe deeply. Think of the delicious meal you're about to enjoy or the one you've already eaten at home as you inhale and exhale deeply. Visualize a pleasant dining experience of good conversation, a bounty of food and peaceful contentment.

6. Take small bites. If you're lucky enough to be gathered at a table which includes an array of veggies among the offerings, don't hesitate to take a second serving. Then make it last as long as you can.

7. Compliment your host/hostess. Enjoy what you can, and let the chef know how much you appreciate that they included some yummy foods you can eat.

If you'll be hosting your own holiday party this year, BRAVO! Make it a healthy and compassionate one for all to enjoy. For tips on creating the perfect vegan holiday celebration, check out these links:

Celebrate a Vegan Holiday – Great recipes and entertaining ideas from VegWeb.

The Vegan Holiday Table – A festive holiday menu from VegFamily magazine.

The Savvy Vegetarian’s Traditional Holiday Recipes – The benefits of eating vegetarian, along with some great holiday recipes!

Ask Your Family for a Vegan Christmas – The perfect gift for Christmas!

How to Cook a Vegan Christmas Dinner – Seven simple steps to take all the stress out of the holiday.

Happy holidays!

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