14 years ago, I began my journey with type 2 diabetes. My experiences with increasing dosages of medication, a decrease in my quality of life and the lack of choices for healthy food in my community urged me to find a better way to live. I discovered the healing benefits of a plant-based way of eating and it saved my life. As a result, I have lived a medicine free life for almost a decade. I began to ask questions about what I ate and how did it affect other living beings.
After reading studying the teachings of Dr. Sebi and reading The China Study by T. Colin Campbell I decided that what I was putting into my body was hurting more than helping. In particular, medical research can greatly benefit from a better understanding of the relationship between food and medicine.
Have icebreakers ready.
As you walk into your next party, it’s important to be prepared for the questions that will inevitably come. If you don’t have an answer ready, the conversation may stall, and no one wants that! To help keep things lively and interesting for everyone involved (including yourself), I’ve compiled a few icebreakers that can serve as conversation starters:
- Have some facts ready to share. For example, did you know that more than 20 billion animals are killed every year for food in the US alone? Did you know that 1 out of 6 people on earth are vegan? It’s also important to understand how many people are currently living off-the-grid or in poverty around the world—this information will likely come up at some point during any holiday gathering. The more knowledge about veganism and animal rights issues we have access to, the better equipped we’ll be able to defend our lifestyle choices if push comes to shove.
- Share some recipes with anyone who is interested in learning how they could incorporate more plant-based foods into their diet. Try making something like a simple soup or salad with ingredients like tomatoes from your garden; beans from last summer’s harvest; greens picked right before cooking; or starchy root vegetables such as potatoes or sweet potatoes (or both!). You’ll impress everyone by showing off just how delicious vegan food can actually be! And if nothing else works except showing them how tasty these dishes are…well then maybe they’ll change their mind after tasting something delicious!
Know that you don’t have to be completely perfect.
The holidays are a time to gather with friends and family, so it’s okay if you don’t have everything exactly right. The most important thing is that you do your best to be kind and compassionate towards yourself and others.
If there is something in your pantry or refrigerator that has dairy in it, but you didn’t know about it until now, then don’t worry about it! You don’t have to throw out the whole thing! Just pitch the dairy-containing product into the garbage and keep using the rest of what’s left in there – unless someone who wants that exact same food item might get upset if they find out that one of these products contains dairy (in which case maybe let them know before eating).
It’s also okay if you accidentally eat something with dairy on top of being vegan or vegetarian (or whatever else). It happens sometimes; we’re only human after all! If this happens frequently enough then maybe consider making some changes while still enjoying some of your favorite foods at home though – because why would anyone want their favorite food dish ruined just because someone accidentally added butter/eggs/milk?
Be proud of yourself for the ways you’re reducing harm in the world.
If you’re already vegan, pat yourself on the back for making such a positive impact on the world. You are likely doing more than most people to reduce harm in our society; it’s just not always obvious from day-to-day. Take pride in the times when you make choices that help animals and the environment: buy cruelty-free makeup; use nontoxic cleaning products at home; participate in Meatless Mondays at work; share facts about factory farming with friends and family.
Take pride as well in knowing that your choice to avoid animal products is saving lives every day—animals like cows who would otherwise suffer inside industrial farms and die prematurely because they are bred to be unnaturally large, or chickens who would be crowded into dark cages where their feet never touch soil or sunlight before being slaughtered by machines designed for efficiency at any cost.
By taking time each year to reflect on these things instead of only focusing on what we still have left to do (such as try out new recipes), we can celebrate our victories over cruelty while also focusing our energy on improving this world even further!
Holidays are about love, not guilt or perfectionism.
The holidays can be a stressful time for anyone. If you are vegan and someone in your family doesn’t share your views, it can be even more stressful. You may feel like they are judging or criticizing you, but remember: they mean no harm by their actions or words.
The most important thing to keep in mind during the holiday season is that it’s about love and not guilt or perfectionism! Focus on being with the people who matter most to you, whether that’s family, friends or colleagues—not other guests at the party who might be eating meat (or something else). Don’t worry about what other people think of veganism; celebrate how far you have come as a vegan; celebrate successes along the way; celebrate that your veganism is making a difference; and celebrate trying to be better every day!
You are not alone, and you are not the only person who has ever felt this way. Take comfort in knowing that many people struggle with being a vegan during the holidays. It’s important to remember that holidays are not about perfectionism or guilt; they’re about love and connection. Keep your focus on those things, and remember that your actions are helping create a better world for all of us!