When I was a vegetarian simply for ethical reasons I gained weight like the rest of the country over the holidays. In fact, I probably ate worse than most, because rather than the lean turkey meat, I ate sweet potatoes with butter, cream, and marshmallows, noodle pudding, and pumpkin pie. Now that I’ve also cut out all dairy and eggs, and I’m limiting my sugar and fat intake for my health, the holiday pickings are slim.
Here are some of our challenges:
- Soups which sound vegetarian or vegan are often made with a chicken or beef stock and possibly milk, cream, or butter.
- Potato side dishes are usually made with butter, milk, and/or cream.
- Vegetable side dishes are usually made with butter.
- Gravy is almost never vegetarian or vegan.
- Desserts? Vegetarians would probably be fine eating the cookies, cakes, and pies, but vegans better stick to the fruit salad.
So how do we plan to eat? For one thing I always bring energy bars and trail mix with me for an emergency. My mom and brother have both said that they’d like to make something vegan for Tommie and me, which should make the Thanksgiving dinner great. But the other meals away from home? Gonna be tough.
If I may borrow Tommie’s famous Facebook status: Over the holidays I feel like “a vegetarian in a steakhouse.”