Thanksgiving and the holidays in general can be a challenging time to eat a healthy, plant-based diet. Especially if you just started improving your diet this way. What we don’t want to happen is that you throw your hands up and say screw it from Thanksgiving Day to January 1st amongst all the holiday gatherings and unhealthy food.
So today I’m sharing with you 3 critical steps you need to take in order to successfully and enjoyably eat plant-based over Thanksgiving.
STEP 1: Set a realistic goal for what you want to eat on Thanksgiving and write it down multiple times, multiple places.
Do you want to eat vegan on Thanksgiving and not worry about oil or the amount of high-fat plant foods you eat? Maybe allowing yourself to eat vegan treats that have oil or high fat plant foods in them, will save you from eating butter laden pies.
Maybe you’re still transitioning to eating plant-based and you want at least 75% of your meal to be tasty and healthy, plant-based.
Or, maybe you want to eat the healthiest and most delicious meal of your life on Thanksgiving day.
Whatever your goal is, you have to be very specific about what that goal is and how long you’ll stick to it. More importantly, you have to write your goal down AND tell other people.
Saying your goal in your head and only to yourself will make it less likely you’ll actually achieve it, than if you write it in your planner, take a photo of it and save it as your lock screen on your phone AND tell your husband and your kids your goal. Get specific and get very real with what you want.
STEP 2. Tell your host your dietary needs.
This is a crucial step. Don’t skip it.
If you don’t tell your Thanksgiving host what your food needs are, one of two shitty things will happen...
1. They’ll cook something you don’t want to eat and you'll eat it to be nice or out of guilt. In this scenario, you've compromised what you really wanted to eat for Thanksgiving and your goals.
2. They've cooked you something and you tell them you can't eat it. In this scenario, you'll piss the host off and now instead of finally getting to sit down with a glad of red wine and enjoy the holiday, they'll scatter around the kitchen trying to figure out what they can feed you.
If you're nervous or not sure how to tell your host about your dietary needs on Thanksgiving, here's a script to help you...
“Hey (name). I want to give you a heads up about my dietary needs for Thanksgiving. I’ve recently started eating plant-based meals and it’s important for me and my health that I stick with it during Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving day, I’m avoiding all meat and dairy. I’m more than happy to bring a dish to share and a meal for myself, so you don’t have to worry about it. Thanks for understanding and I’m really looking forward to seeing you.”
STEP 3. Have food for yourself to eat.
Whether you make it, you buy it or the host cooks it, know what you’re eating and where it’s coming from before you sit down at the dinner table. If you don’t have a plan, there’s a good chance you won’t have enough to eat and then you'll say screw it and eat anything on the table (lol I've been there!).
If you’re in Columbia, South Carolina, my husband, Chef Erik is cooking plant-based Thanksgiving menu items you can buy at our new healthy meals to-go service, Trisha’s Healthy Table. And yes, it's open to the public. If you’re interested, please sign-up for email updates at www.TrishasHealthyTable.com The menu will be posted and emailed in the next 2 days. You can buy oyster mushroom gravy, cinnamon kale salad, roasted butternut squash soup, green bean casserole and apple pie.
Now I want to hear from you. I want you to take action now on the information you just learned. Here’s what I want you to do….
Take Control Now
Give yourself 5 minutes and think about what you want for yourself on Thanksgiving day. What’s the healthiest way you can eat and still enjoy Thanksgiving? Who will you tell your goal to once you've decided? Write your goal and who you’ll tell it to as a comment in the blog.