The Daily Beet

21 Dec Plant-Strong Holiday Survival – YOU EAT WHAT?!

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*Uncle Swanson wants to know why there is kale on your plate! The audacity!

We are probably picking on Aunt Mildred too much these days. She means well, she just wants you to be happy and she just wants you to EAT. Goodness, is that so bad? It’s the holidays, you should treat yourself, you should eat until Santa looks thin standing next to you, right?! That is what Aunt Mildred thinks anyway.

So what do you do when that inevitable moment comes, when a relative or friend discovers that you are not diving into the cream cheese smothered bacon wrapped turkey? It can feel like time stands still, all of a sudden, you are going along just fine, happily eating delicious plant-strong sides you brought along and all the veggies on the veggie tray and then, out of nowhere Uncle Ron Swanson looks at you with disgust. “Son, where is the meat on your plate?” Suddenly the entire table is looking at you, Aunt Mildred has dropped her ladle right in the bacon grease gravy! And you look up and try to say something, all at the same time thinking things like “I can’t seem like I think I’m better than everyone else” or “I can’t offend Aunt Mildred” or “I could fake pass out!”.

Fear not! While these situations can be awkward and sometimes hard, you can survive them!

Option 1: Make a joke. “I was abducted by vegetarian aliens, and I must eat strange food.”

Option 2: Tell the truth. “My health was in pretty bad shape and I changed my eating habits, I’m trying to be good during the holidays so I don’t slip back into old habits.”

Option 3: From our favorite psychologist, Doug Lisle – use the “seem strategy”. “It all looks good, but I stay away from certain foods, it seems to be working for me.” The seem strategy seems to diffuse a lot of situations.

Option 4: Stay home. This might not always be an option, but if there are situations in which your health will be potentially jeopardized or you will be made to feel terrible about your health decisions, it might be best stay home, or leave early – before the meal starts or even get to gathering after everyone has had their big meal.

Option 5: Host a plant-strong holiday potluck! And if you live in Austin, be sure to come to our potluck this Thursday! https://www.facebook.com/events/330434836967827/

Remember that no matter where you are, we are here for you! Get on your smart phone and post on our facebook or twitter pages! We’ll be around throughout the holidays to help you out or to just listen!

Special note for those of you on twitter: Join us tonight for a twitter party! https://www.facebook.com/events/194093660680707/

It will be a great night to ask questions, hang out, chat, and win prizes!

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Natala Constantine
  • http://www.myopenworkplace.com Patty Tanji

    Oh my! Perfect timing. I ate some french silk pie last night….and I didn’t enjoy it like the good ole days. And, yesterday, I brought soy milk to add to the coffee at an event I attended so I would have a plant strong choice. I provided oranges in addition to the traditional, high fat, animal based holiday fare. Its all a work in progress. I’m also working on my alcohol intake. I would rather avoid it all together. So, that’s where I’m headed. Wish me luck! I need a strong supportive community. I wish all my plant strong friends the best of the holiday season. And, for God sake lets not cower behind our healthy choices. Joy to the world! The plants have come! To hell with Uncle Swanson.

    • Engine 2 Team

      Patti – you can do it!
      and you made us laugh – thanks for that! :)

  • pauline waterreus

    Go!! Your influence might help someone. Cook a dish that you can eat. Stand your ground. Friends took me to Cheesecake factory and I had a delicious salad and then had to fight them off over sharing a piece of cheesecake. Oh well, they think they mean well and sorry to say I used to be one of them that was loving you by feeding you.
    I have made it through my birthday, potlucks, Thanksgiving successfully but have not sat at my mother’s table yet…..she knows how I eat but don’t know if she understands it is all the time.
    35# since Sept with wonderful labwork. Can’t go back.
    Uncle Swanson has to mess with someone. You just saved someone else the agony!

  • Mary Jo Zerr

    Thank you for this. I didn’t think my eating plan would affect so many people and attract so many negative reactions, it does. I am glad to have your support, I know I am doing the right thing by being plant strong. I was one of them before I became plant strong, and I am embarrassed for my own past behavior towards the plant eaters. LIVE and learn.

  • Annie

    I have started to say I have a dairy allergy that I didn’t know about. I never liked meat so people don’t hound me about that. The truth is that I have psoriasis and ever since I stopped dairy my skin has cleared up and looks great- it’s unbelievable. Thanks for all of the “plant strong” info, recipes, and motivation. I wish my family was on board with this life style!

  • Allison

    I was invited to my cousin’s house -they’re having Honey Baked Ham cater and she said not to bring anything. I’m going to bring something anyway and just say I felt bad about not contributing…..

  • http://antidoteforego.com Heidi

    Yesterday, my new DOCTOR gave me this…suggesting I put a teaspoon of skim milk in my coffee for the calcium then saying that Vegan diets add up to “alot of calories from beans and stuff.” Um…what?

  • Rain
  • Jen

    LOVE THIS POST!!! Right on.

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