045 Vegan Holiday Survival Guide!

Are you a newbie vegan who’s heading towards your first holiday back home with your family? Are you a veteran vegan dreading the meat-fest and micro-aggressions? No matter what phase of veganism you are in, Callie and Nichole got you covered in our vegan holiday survival guide!

In This Episode

Callie and Nichole break down how to survive the holidays as a vegan visiting non-vegan family and friends: Having “The Talk”
It’s important to prep your family and yourself ahead of time. Have a talk well before the holiday and the visit to set the expectations and give them time to acclimate and prepare.
  • Be firm and unapologetic
  • Set boundaries and keep them
  • Don’t be confrontational, but do be strong and proud
Surviving the Meat Fest
If your family won’t eat vegan with you, make sure to have enough food for the entire trip so that you aren’t hungry or stuck with unsatisfying food. If it works for you and your family, you can volunteer to cook or suggest recipes for them to make, but no matter what your situation, make sure you can eat!
  • Give your family a shopping list or go grocery shopping when you get there
  • If you are traveling a long way, make sure that you will be able to eat getting off the plane/train/car
  • Get something special for the holiday so you have something to indulge in while others are indulging
  • Don’t try to replace family favorites with vegan versions, at least the first year or two
Making it Fun
It’s important to take the focus off of food and make sure to have fun with your family. We get so wrapped up in the food traditions of the holidays, it’s easy to forget that the holidays are really about being together and doing things we enjoy together.
  • Make plans to do fun things before your trip so you all have things to look forward to
  • During card games, movies, puzzles, sports games, try to contribute vegan snacks for everyone to enjoy
  • Find an ally who can help you keep the excitement over non-food activities high
Not Going Home
If you just aren’t feeling it this year, it’s totally ok to not go home for the holiday. If you don’t go back, make sure to have fun!
  • Say what you are doing, don’t focus on what you’re not doing (i.e., going home)
  • Be firm, non-apologetic, but kind
  • Make possible travel plans for the future on a non-holiday
  • Do something fun: potluck with friends, take a trip somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, stay home and veg out
If you follow our tips, you’ll have the best holiday possible in weird circumstances. Please reach out to us for support or to share success stories, we’d love to share them on the show!

Links and Information

News Mentioned on the Show
We talked about my friend Jonathan Levy’s blog, Zero Waste Guy, which has great easy vegan recipes and tips on living a low-to-no waste lifestyle. Jonathan is a freshly minted vegan, so go check him and out give him some support and encouragement! Recipes
Here’s the list of our favorite, tried-and-true holiday recipes! The meal suggestions below are to make one amazing holiday meal that is a full, satisfying plate of food and includes a dessert. Omni-friendly Appetizers/Snack Ideas
  • Chips, guacamole, salsa
  • Popcorn – homemade popcorn mixed with pesto is amazeballs
  • Hummus, veggies and crackers
  • French onion dip and chips (mix Lipton French Onion Soup mix with Tofutti sour cream – SO GOOD!)
Holiday Meal Suggestions
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    • Hey girls, Just popped on here to say how much I am loving your show!! I’m a vegan 23year old girl from London, England so if you ladies are ever in my neck of the woods I would love to meet up! Jess xx
        • Jess! Hello! Thanks for reaching out! Miss Callie and I WILL actually be in London in May, we’re doing our European tour next year, LOL. We should meet up and have a drink or a green juice or something! We’d love to meet you! <3
    • Thanks for doing this episode! What a great discussion. This was my 4th vegan thanksgiving and it seems like every year I get in a funk because its just not the same as when I was a kid. My husband and I spend all this time and effort to make some pretty amazing vegan food that people avoid because they are so busy gorging on turkey carcass and stuffing with more carcass in it. My dad didnt even touch a vegetable, it literally makes me super mad every year. This year we brought 100% of our own food and I tried really hard not to let it get me down when people snubbed our food. The good news is we made vegan pumpkin and pecan pies which they did eat with the so delicious whip cream and they loved it. Nxt year about a week before thanksgiving we are hosting a friendsgiving and I think that will really help me get that holiday feeling of everyone enjoying the same kind of food together and also enjoying the company of each other
        • Friendsgivings are so good! That will definitely help you a lot. It’s very hard to make amazing food and have no one eat it, and it’s really hard to feel like you are having two separate holiday celebrations at the same time with people you love. I’m sorry your family hasn’t come around yet. It’s very hurtful to feel like food is more important than providing a welcoming space for family. Congrats on the desserts – vegan treats are always an easy win! Thanks for reaching out, we love to hear about everyone’s experiences. Happy holidays!
    • Pingback: Anticipating My First Vegan Thanksgiving | the feminist yogi

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