4 Steps for a Vegan Thanksgiving to Remember (Forget Surviving… Thrive!)

Vegan Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and if you’re newly committed to a healthy vegan lifestyle, you may be a bit stressed about surviving Thanksgiving surrounded by omnivores!

Amanda, a client in my 6-Month Plant-Empowered Coaching Program came to me with some concerns about the upcoming holiday season, and maybe you are thinking it too… “How am I going to tell my mom I won’t be eating her infamous sausage & cheese casserole?” Or “Everyone is going to give me the 3rd degree when I turn down turkey this year!”

Here are the 4 ways you can make this a vegan Thanksgiving to remember…

1. Plan Ahead

Don’t wait until you show up for the big dinner to talk to your family/friends about your food choices! Talk to those planning the gathering as far ahead of time as possible to let them know you’ll be having a vegan Thanksgiving this year. Be equipped with some ideas and recipes that you could suggest in case they ask, and offer to either bring a few plant-exclusive options, or be a part of the cooking process. Here are some links to help those of you interested in cooking up your own delicious, healthy dishes to share:vegan cranberry-sauce

Healthy Recipes for Thanksgiving Dishes

Create Your Own Vegan Loaf!

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie

2. Keep a Positive, Upbeat Attitude Throughout the Holiday

Instead of focusing on what you “CAN’T” eat, make the choice to ENJOY exploring new vegan Thanksgiving dishes that are in line with your values and will make you feel good from the inside out!

Thanksgiving is all about gratitude, so focus on how thankful you are for your health, and how making new food choices embodies that. Also share (as in have an actual conversation) with family members how much you appreciate their support in your venture to live a healthier, more conscious and compassionate lifestyle. If you set it up in this way, your family is more than likely going to get behind you on your decision.

3. Bring Top Vegan Swaps to the Table

vegan roast

There are certain holiday foods or drinks you may feel you just can’t live without. Fortunately for those of us who aren’t interested in spending lots of time in the kitchen, there are great vegan substitutes for almost everything these days! These swaps may not be whole foods, but they will allow you to stay consistent with your vegan lifestyle, and you can think of them as your special treats and indulge a little while eating clean otherwise.

Click on the links below to see some kick ass options!

Egg Nog Options

Cheese Options

Roast Options

Ice Cream Options

4. Lead by Example

The most effective way to make a positive impact on others is to let your actions back up your words consistently. You may have recently learned a lot about all the benefits of a vegan diet (and all the negative consequences of consumption of animal products) and would love for your friends and family to all just jump on board the vegan bandwagon as soon as you tell them about it! Well be prepared… that’s probably not going to happen.

On the other hand, if you simply practice what you preach (and by that I mean “talk about” not really “preach”), and those around you see the positive changes in your body and your life, they will automatically want to know how to move in the same direction and you will be there to help guide them! Sharing delicious vegan Thanksgiving dishes that everyone can try is a perfect way to start!

Photo Credit: Gardein

*Interested in learning more about how to make the transition to a healthy, fit, vegan lifestyle? Click HERE for more info about our life-changing Plant-Empowered Coaching Program!

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A passionate vegan for the last 28 years, Ella Magers, MSW is a leading voice for revolutionary transformation in the fitness industry. Ella connects people with the information, tools, support, and guidance they need to develop holistically healthy habits, claim mental and emotional well-being, and live more fulfilling and fiercely compassionate lives. Ella is a professional speaker, published author, and coach. She is the spirited host of the inspiring Rise & Thrive Podcast and the Vegan Life Coach Podcast, founder of Sexy Fit Vegan®, and creator of the 22Reboot total transformation system. As a plant-based athlete and former bodybuilding champion, Ella was recognized as one of the world's top personal trainers by bodybuilding.com and Shape Magazine. Having healed from her own struggles with disordered eating, Ella Magers shows people that there are alternatives to crash diets and excessive workout regimens, and how to align their lifestyle with true health by using compassion as their compass. Ella is on the founding board of Hogs & Kisses Farm Sanctuary, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with the mission of creating the best possible life for farm animals while inspiring compassion for all living beings.

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