The Daily Beet

26 Nov Adventures with Ami: Traditions

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First we have 5 winners from our giveaway on Friday! Each winner will get one month of Engine 2 Extra! Please e-mail info@engine2.com if you are one of our lucky winners:

Madalyn Crawford
Nina Barbieri
Jennie Gibbs Smit
Lorrie Knox Malone
Kyle Plattner
Congratulations! And we hope to see more of you on our support site, Engine 2 Extra. This Holiday season we have a plant-strong holiday cooking series, an Ebook with over 80 pages of recipes, stories, tips and more, a 28 day challenge to get you through the holidays, contests, live chat and lots of support as always! In 2013 we’ll start off the year with a new 28 day challenge and a healthy start interview series which will include: Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Neal Barnard, Jeff Novick, RD, Dr. Esselstyn, Ann Esselstyn, Doug Lisle, PHD and more!
Adventures with Ami: Traditions

With the holiday season upon us.  Navigating family traditions can be tough.  Whether it be baking cookies with your sister or a traditional gift of candy in your child’s stocking, the opportunity exists for a moment of pause – is this something I want to continue? Can I modify it somehow?  What part of it is the most important?

If the special date that you have with your sister is REALLY about the outcome of trays and trays of cookies, then bake some plant-strong cookies to share with your family.  Happy Herbivore’s Butter Bean Cookies come to mind.  But if the special date with your sister is about spending time together, why not spend it wrapping gifts, filling out holiday cards over tea or making a holiday craft together?  Sometimes change can be uncomfortable, other times welcomed.  Explaining that what you really enjoy most about this special date is spending time together, more than the baking itself, can help ease the way for a new tradition.

Stockings used to be filled with small items often including fruit.  Getting an orange in your stocking was a rare treat when oranges weren’t in every local grocery.  Dating back to St. Nicholas and representing gold, this was an exciting gift to receive.  When looking up the reference for this blog, I stumbled across a plethora of holiday lore and tradition that I haven’t thought about in years, some I had never heard before.  Start a new tradition by letting each child pick out an exotic fruit to give to another family member on Christmas morning. Enjoy the adventure of tasting these new fruits at breakfast.

Sharing the history and traditions of the holidays with your kids is one way to start new family traditions in your house. Whether it is a day making ornaments with your kids, like orange clove pomanders or making personal gifts to share with Grandma, there are many opportunities throughout the holidays to step outside the commercialized era we are steeped in. Stringing popcorn to decorate the tree for example, can be a great activity for older kids, while younger children can make bird feeders out of peanut butter covered pine cones rolled in bird seed.  At times throughout our history, food was a bountiful gift.  These activities involving whole nourishing healthy food is one way to celebrate the holidays plant-strong style.

Many of us have countless parties to attend each holiday, from the employee party to the neighbors down the street, the opportunity exists to over-indulge in food and alcohol.  No one wants to be remembered for having one too many at the holiday party.  Having a plant-strong meal at home before the party starts is one way to avoid over eating at the party.  Taking a plant-strong dish to share is another.  Offering to be the designated driver for your group or for others is a great gift to give as well.  This thoughtful but sometimes thankless position is much needed during the holidays.

It’s the little things that you can do to tweak an old tradition or start a new one with your family that can make the difference.  Make this years holiday season an adventure with a new outlook on staying healthy, appreciating the little things and sharing the simple ideas of giving and thankfulness with your family.

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Ami Mackey for Engine 2
Ami Mackey

Ami Mackey is the Curator of Creative Content at Engine 2. She is also a food coach at Engine 2 and has been plant-strong since 2011. When she isn't attending to all things Engine 2, she is the Program Director at St Louis All City Boxing a nonprofit youth program. She has earned certificates from eCornell in Plant-Based Nutrition & Fitness Nutrition from NASM.

  • louiseb
    Posted at 13:11h, 26 November

    even though I grew up in FL and we had easy access to oranges, Mom always put one in the toe of our stockings along with walnuts in the shell. She also put out a big bowl of both. To this day the smell of oranges makes me think of Christmas.

  • gpteach
    Posted at 18:17h, 26 November

    I always received an orange in my stocking. You just made me think of my mom and this tradition. I also heard that Jackie Kennedy used to do this too.
    I just had a baby in August and plan to continue the tradition.

  • Vicki Welty Spradling
    Posted at 20:55h, 27 November

    I am so very thankful for this new life style and to the Engine 2 team and all I have learned from them Vegan since April E2 strong since june and it has been amazing my goal is to help my friends and Family change too, In that regard I share all I learn and lthey are making little changes expecially since the see the obvious difference in my life.

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