Holiday overeating can really drag you down and put on the weight you’re going to try to lose starting on January 1st. This cycle happens every year! I came up with some tips to help smooth this transition from overeating and crash dieting to celebrating Veggie Fairy style.
1. Enjoy yourself.
Again, I’m not the food police. I’m a big proponent of pleasure. Maximizing pleasure while minimizing damage.
For example: I’d rather have one scoop of really good quality vegan chocolate ice cream that I really savor, than eat a whole box full of sugar free packaged cookies. I’d rather have full fat deliciousness in a small portion, and really be present with it than mindlessly watch tv while eating an entire box of oreos. Mindless snacking equals mindless weightgain. But on the other hand, rather than pushing down stress with overeating, I like to fully feel my happiness from a delicious dessert.
My husband lost 25 pound being married to me: eating delicious food until he was full, AND he insisted on eating dessert every meal! How did he do this? Would you like to feel full, lose weight, and increase your energy?
2. Eat what you really like in small proportion.
It’s been shown that the more you deny yourself of your craving, the more it comes back with a vengance. Have a little. Enjoy it. I don’t believe in guilt as a tool for health. I don’t believe in self control. I believe in giving yourself rewards and treating yourself nicely. If you eat real meat: eat a little bit and really enjoy it. If you eat tofurky: eat a little bit and really enjoy it. Just make the bulk of what you eat unprocessed vegetables.
3. Bring a vegan side dish.
Whether you’re the “weirdo” vegan in your family, or just trying to be healthy: offer one potluck dish to bring to dinner. Make sure it’s something that will be a home run. It’s should be something yummy you’ve prepared in the past, and something that has been non-vegan taste tested and passed. It shouldn’t TASTE healthy. It should be healthy. Hopefully something that tastes so good, it would fool someone who isn’t vegan. Vegetables are magic if you prepare them correctly. Try my Party Salad.
Also, the plus of bringing your own food with enough to share, is that you can be full mostly on your healthy food, which will leave some room for your “sometimes” food: like processed soy products or animal products.
4. Bring an awesome attitude.
I’ve gotten teased for making healthy choices. I have a very “in your face” family that tries to make each other feel embarrassed. My mom would always say, “They only tease people they like.”
I never tell them what to eat unless they ask me.
I have an uncle who’s had multiple heart attacks but still smokes and eats McDonald’s. Doesn’t everyone have an uncle like this? I’ve never tried to make him feel bad about it or given him a lecture. I just treat him lovingly. I’m always happy to see him. He’s such a good present giver-we (me and my forty cousins) call him Santa sometimes. But it’s his life and he makes his own health choices. I respect his ability to choose. Do I wish he’d make different choices? Yes. Do I bug him about it? No. He knows where to find me if he wants my help.
I’m not the type to say, “look at the poor turkey you slaughtered” or “that poor piggy-smarter than a three year old human, and now we’re eating him.” I never use guilt or scare tactics. I just happily eat my alternative foods and try to be cool about it. Not all vegetarians agree with me- obviously.
I try to be understanding to those who criticize my eating choices. Change can be very scary for people. They don’t mean to treat me like a personal threat: but they treat me like a threat with a preemptive attack on me. I try to say things that aren’t defensive, like “If you have questions about my food choices, you’re welcome to call me later in the week when I have more time to talk about it. I just want to enjoy time with my family right now, including you.” Anything that defuses the situation. I often say like a broken record, “I’m not a preachy vegetarian,” as a response to people trying to bait me into an argument.
I don’t like arguing. I don’t like conflict. I just like gently beckoning. It’s not everyone’s style: but it’s mine.
Thanks for reading!