Sunday, November 25, 2012

My First Vegan Thanksgiving

I survived! I should have a tee shirt made! Even though I am completely committed to my new plant based life style, I was worried I might have a minor setback, after all I was going to be surrounded for the first time in months, by all the food I once loved and enjoyed all in one place all at the same time. Talk about sensory overload!

A Type A Vegan: Since making the transition I have limited myself to eating at home or taking my home cooked food with me, if I do eat out, I select the restaurants in advance making certain they have vegan options and since I am a creature of habit, I have spots that I frequent often. 

The Turkey’s are coming, the turkeys are coming! As some minor anxiety loomed, I did a little research, during my discussions with people that were like me, former meat eaters, now Vegan or Vegetarian, some admitted they failed the first time they were stuck in a meat - a - thon. Others said all that meat did not tempt them at all. For me it was a mixture of success and challenge. Let’s start with the positive; being only about 8 months into this process I must say I was pretty proud of myself. I was not tempted at all to taste or eat the meats that surrounded me, in fact a funny and unexpected thing happened to me, I became a little nauseous from the smell of the cooking meat and had to step out for a while. The former meat eating Christine would have been salivating!  

Now the confession: I did have a desire to "chew" something meat like (if that makes any sense) so my husband was ready, he made some baked fish and shrimp just in case I did want something else. When I first made the transition to a plant based lifestyle, I kept fish around as a part of my diet, then, when I was ready, I cut the umbilical cord. It was comforting to know it was there for me if I needed to turn to it. And, I found that I did so, I had a small serving of fish and a few shrimp on my Thanksgiving plate. The remainder of my plate consisted of wild rice and many assorted yummy veggie options. 

There's something different: Ah the post Thanksgiving bloat! I must say, I did not miss that Thanksgiving bloat that often results after the big eat and, I was still awake long after everyone else fell into the deep, deep tryptophan induced slumber. :) 

Sleppy Kitty

Success! I successfully avoided all the sugar loaded desserts and drinks, instead opting for my own stash of vegan baked goods and treats and sticking to water as my drink of choice. I also made sure I got my work out in and I juiced the morning and afternoon before dinner was served, so I was full and ate less. I don't drink alcohol so that was a non issue for me. Because all of the people I was surrounded by were well aware of my new lifestyle and why I adopted it, they are very supportive. In fact there was quite a bit of concern for my comfort (were there enough "Christine friendly" options no veggies cooked with meats etc.) and I appreciated that. Ultimately, I was very proud of the way I handled my first Thanksgiving as a Vegan. Bring on Christmas dinner, I am so ready! :)

How about you? Are you a new or seasoned Vegan/Vegetarian? How did you handle your very first Thanksgiving? What advice would you give me the next time I am tempted to reach for the fish as a pacifier? Leave your response in the comments; I would love to hear from you.

Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner? Don't Forget These Recipes for Guests with Special Diets

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Mia said...

Congrats. Lady thats awesome, It can be pretty trying. But, I make a meatless meat loaf or some type of loaf for holiday dinners. I love taking my own dishes and deserts because it gives others a chance to try it out. So when I'm invited out whether it's a cookout, birthday party holiday or even business meetings. I always walk in with my own food. With no disrespect, I just have to know that I'm putting only plant base and dairy free items in my system. I even eat sometimes before hand, if I don't feel like drag a bag with me.

I'm on an every three hour eating schedule so I tend to stick with that also. But I do explain that before hand. Good job if I can help you with ideas or recipes hit me up

C.I.P. (Christine In Progress) said...

Great tips Mia! I am still new to cooking Vegan and Raw Vegan foods so I only have a few dishes I do well but I do them really well so it makes perfect sense... why not bring something I am proud of, something I made for all to share! It will be a great way to share my lifestyle with others and they just might enjoy the experience. I did have my own vegan, sweet treats, fruits and juices on hand so I could deal with my sweet tooth in a healthy way. I did not want to fall victim to the pies and cakes! :) I will take your advice, the next time I am invited to a cookout, birthday party etc I will offer to bring a dish. :)

Caitlin Grace said...

I was a vegetarian for four nearly five years but due to some health related issues I reverted to meat eating. I still have a lot of vegetarian meals and recipes I reularly use and I eat minimal processed foods as I am a "from scratch"cook.
No biscuits, tins or packets in my pantry!
I have a lot of vegetarian and vegan friends and know how to cater for them when they come for meals!!
I know for me I feel better eating meat and when I looked into the blood type diet I discoverd do better on meat and I also discovered that my vege friends are the right blood type for their dietary choices.
whatever works for you to be healthy and happy, keep it up!!!

C.I.P. (Christine In Progress) said...

Hi Caitlin so glad you found what works for you! I agree we need to find what works for us and stick with it. Whatever keeps us healthy and strong. When I discovered a plant based lifestyle might be the beneficial solution for my needs, I decided to give it a try, in the first 30 days I responded so well I knew I was on the right road for me. Its been quite the adventure! I am so happy I made the change and I am sure I will get through the growing pains. My hubby and children are still meat eaters, we just make sure to only purchase organic hormone free meats for them. Absolutely no tins or packets here either fresh is best that's for sure! Thanks for joining me here!