As we look forward to upcoming holiday celebrations, I have great news to share. Following a plant-based diet IS possible during the holidays and in social settings in general! For a long time I put off adopting a plant-based diet because I was worried what people would think and that I'd be left out. Now I know that those concerns were not valid. In this post, I'll take you inside my fully plant-based holiday party, which was a huge hit among all of my friends! I'll also address the issue of dietary changes and the social response.
Here are some tips to help you lead the charge, when making healthy choices around friends.
Focus on those who support your journey
It is understandable to be apprehensive about adopting a plant-based or even a vegetarian or vegan diet in light of how often we are likely to eat with people who are on the Standard American Diet. SAD (ironic acronym, right?) is a diet heavy in animal protein, largely incorporating toxic meat and dairy. This diet has been linked to many chronic illnesses and diseases that impede quality and length of life. (To learn more, please check out this New York Times article by Dr. Dean Ornish). While there could be people who are not very supportive, or just interested in your dietary changes, there will also be people who look positively on your changes, and that is the group that will be key to your journey.
Be the health warrior in your circle
Being a plant-based eater in my group of friends is a huge perk. Where I was once always compromising in going out to restaurants, concert venues, and outdoor festivals with poor food options, and often poor environments for overall wellness, I'm now approached for health-focused outings and events. My friends associate me with health, since they know it is now my passion. They send me links to new vegan restaurants and wellness events, and we go together. Everyone has their thing, and whatever yours is, your friends love it, because they're your friends.
The people around you may surprise you in meaningful ways
Many people in my life have gone out of their way to make special plant-based options when I come over for dinner, or check for vegan options at events and restaurants where I'll be attending. Some of them try the recipes on my blog, or comment on my articles when they see me. Going plant-based not only improved my health, but it made me realize just how lucky and supported I am. I always loved my friends and family, but I never knew just how much they loved me.
I encourage you to follow your heart. You'll find that what's on your fork, really does connect to love.
Share your amazing new food
So how do we start to change? The best way is to try new dishes, make easy substitutions (like almond milk for dairy milk, or tempeh for meat, or water for oil), and share your food with others so that they can learn how these foods taste and improve the way they feel. Here are a few quick and easy party dishes that are perfect for the holidays!
Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
- 2 over-ripe bananas (the softer and browner the better!)
- 6-7 large Medjool dates
- 2 cups organic oat flour
- 2 Tbsp flax seeds
- 1/2 cup or 1 packet of gluten-free oats
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp pink sea salt
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 heaping cup fresh raspberries
- 1/4 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chunks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with muffin liners. For best results I recommend muffin liners that do not use any sort of toxic dyes or coating. Cut open each date and remove the pits. Blend bananas and dates in a food processor. Mix the oat flour, oats, flax seeds, cinnamon, sea salt, and baking soda in a separate bowl. Add the wet mixture from the food processor into the bowl with the dry ingredients. As you stir by hand, pour in the 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk. Finally stir in the raspberries and chocolate chunks. If soft, the raspberries will break apart and create a lovely marble pattern! Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Click here to jump to the recipe. We suggest using pecans instead of walnuts for the holidays!
No Chip Chips
- 2 whole organic zucchini
- 1 half of a whole avocado
- Juice from 1/2 of a fresh lemon
- Seasoning mix or ground pepper
Wash and chop up zucchini horizontally into 1/4" wide chips. Slice up the avocado and place a small slice on each zucchini chips. Drizzle the lemon juice over the whole dish, once each chip is spread out on a large plate. If the lemon has a lot of seeds, squeeze the juice first into a mug and use a strainer to remove seeds. Grind pepper or a seasoning mix on top.
May you go boldly into the future and be your best you. We're on your team, and it is our goal to support you through this blog in whatever changes you make to incorporate more healthy, whole plant foods. We wish you health, happiness, and love!
Happy holidays from everyone at
Forkful of Love!