One of the best things about being a veg on Thanksgiving: it’s a lot harder to overeat. Well, that’s at least true for those of us who don’t do much of the cooking. I envision a day in the future when I’m at the helm and all bets are off. For now, though, I will eat veggie sides and be grateful — thankful even — that I’m making healthy choices, helping the planet, and keeping the post-prandial guilt away.
I don’t tend to buy into the “it’s a holiday, so eat whatever you want” mentality as a whole. The exception is my birthday and vacation. While I always say no to meat, sometimes there are many yeses to baked goods and deep-friend pertaters. But Thanksgiving is not one of my favorite holidays, food-wise. I could eat my weight in mashed potatoes (as long as they’re vegan), but otherwise, it just doesn’t feature my favorite foods.
Nonetheless, I have a keep-it-healthy for T(of)urkey Day and all other food-related occasions. Here’s what I do:
1. Start the day with a tasty, filling, nutritions, and maybe-slightly-special breakfast.
Before you is a banana (that normally I wouldn’t touch with all those brown spots, but I needed some fruit), a bowl of Creamy Dreamy Oats, and Italian coffee. I was inspired by Heather Eats Almond Butter‘s recent post, so I decided to try making Creamy Dreamy Rees’ Cuppage Oats.
- One serving of Creamy Dreamy Oats
- 1 tablespoon creamy natural peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 3 pinches vegan sugar or to taste
Make Creamy Dreamy Oats according to the original recipe. Instead of topping with a sliced banana and brown sugar, top with peanut butter, nooch, cocoa, and sugar. Mix it all together and devour.
These weren’t spot-on candy imitators, but the oats were still quite tasty.
2. Ask questions.
Most hosts and hostesses are happy to tell you what’s in each dish as long as you don’t ask aggressively, so don’t be shy. “Can you tell me if there’s butter/chicken broth/rubber/whatever in the mashed potatoes?” or “Can you show me what doesn’t contain meat or dairy?” Just make sure to follow up with a “Thank you!”
If you discover that what you’re about to eat is not cool with your diet, then just don’t eat it. You’ll probably be one of 10 or 20 or another integer I’m scared to think of, so no one will care what you do and do not eat. Just don’t make a big deal out of it, and neither will they, unless you have one of those obnoxious relatives who like to pick on you for your eating habits. If you do, just ignore him or her.
3. This one’s my favorite — Wear tight pants.
If you’re worried about will power, just let your wardrobe do the work. You can only shovel so much into your belly if it’s encased in a tight layer of denim. Resist the urge to unbutton — it’s just icky.
I hope you all have a happy, cruelty-free Thanksgiving!