I was chatting on the phone with a fellow plant-eater today, catching up about Thanksgiving, and we both agreed that it is a challenging time on many levels. When you eat the way we do, not just vegan or vegetarian, but clean, unprocessed and plant-based, what may seem super normal to you on a daily basis all of a sudden becomes the glaring minority during a holiday gathering.
Your way of eating makes many people uncomfortable despite their best efforts to mask it. It‘s important to remember that people don’t like to feel that their way is wrong or that they need to change—we are pack-like, us humans. We like to fit in so when you are “different,” curiosity can sometimes make you the target of many questions, eye rolls for some, and blatant ridicule for others. At this stage in the game, while momentum is growing for plant-based awareness, many people still see it as a radical existence. And I forget this until the holidays roll around. Honestly, I think having your chest sawed open and your arteries cut up to deal with heart disease, or daily shots and lifetime medication to “treat” diabetes is more radical than enjoying a delicious life filled with healing, energizing foods, but I digress.
So my friend and I discussed all the ins and outs of the holiday gathering from both perspectives. We realized that we are all nice and comfy most of the time, surrounding ourselves with other like-minded folks for dinners out and other interactions in-person or online. But what to do when the holidays bring the other folks we love (and the strangers, co-workers and acquaintances) into the equation—the omnivores? Or for the omnivores, the herbivores? How do we keep them and ourselves from being offended or feeling defensive? How do we all embrace the differences and turn awkwardness into opportunity for understanding?
This holiday season I want to help, because I know I’m not alone in this. I will, of course, be sharing all sorts of tasty recipes all season long—the kind that will make omnivores and herbivores happy and jolly. But I want YU to ask us your holiday questions.
Do you have a family favorite that you’d like “veganized”?
Do you have a family member who challenges your beliefs?
Would you like to share a plant-based recipe at a party for friends, but you aren’t sure how?
Well, I have been doing this for a while now and if you ask, I will do my best to help you sort it all out.
All you have to do is use the hashtag #AskYU with your question via Twitter, post on our Facebook page, or comment below and don’t be shy, your question may help someone else. Your tips are welcome, too. I will answer questions and share your suggestions with tweets, posts and short videos as much as I can.
Let’s make this holiday season the best ever—let’s help eachother. #AskYU!