Rich's Corner

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Keep A Healthy Weight and Still Enjoy the Holidays!

I had four different Christmas parties that I needed to attend. There are so many gatherings with family and friends, and food is everywhere! It's very tempting to slip into unhealthy eating if you are unprepared.

When I first went plant based (and vegan) last year, I had a lot of anxiety over gatherings, when there would be food around. It's tough wondering if others will accept your new way of eating and worrying about what choices of foods there would be.

Eventually, I figured out that the worrying wasn't necessary. At least with my family and friends, no one responded negatively to my healthy eating. Yes, I heard a few off comments last year, initially, but this year, people have become accustomed to my healthy eating.

I also have started cooking holiday cookies for friends, just to show them how tasty the food can be! I made some peanut butter quinoa cookies, some date cashew cookie dough cookies and other healthy treats and everyone seemed to love them. I think people don't believe they can live without meat until they taste for themselves how good the food tastes.

It's even gotten easier in restaurant gatherings. At my Christmas parties at work, there were plant based options. The first party I went to had stuffed acorn squash. When I attended the second party, I was prepared and looked at the menu ahead of time. Little did I know that the meals were pre-ordered and it was buffet style. The waitress asked "aren't you going to eat something?" To which I responded, "I'm plant based". She then went on to ask why didn't I say anything? Well, I thought we would be ordering individual dishes. She was really nice about it. She brought in a giant plate of steamed vegetables and some eggplant. A lot of people will be accommodating if you ask.

As far as Christmas cookies that others offer you, filled with eggs and other foods you don't want if you are vegan, I found I can politely refuse and no one minds. They all know I'm into healthy eating... and I think it makes a difference that they know I lost 150 pounds.

So don't stress this holiday season over what foods to eat. Whether you are vegan, plant based, or just on a diet, don't worry so much. Stick to your plans of what you will eat and just go with that. Your family and friends will most likely understand.

I wish all my friends who read this blog a happy holiday season and a Happy, Healthy New Year!

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