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Tis the season to be jolly… and tempted by unhealthy foods galore!
If this is your first Christmas as a raw vegan, don’t panic. It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the time to get together with family and friends, exchange gifts, and indulge in some festive foods! With a little preparation, you’ll be munching on so many marvelous merry little (healthy) treats that there’s no way you’ll be tempted by toxic, processed junk.
From stocking up on delectable, yet life-giving foods, to celebrating in style at the best vegan establishments, here’s my guide to staying raw this Christmas, and making it your best yet! Just call me Santa…
1. Remind yourself of the benefits
You probably already have a very (very!) long list of benefits in your mind, ready to whip out and mic drop on anyone who questions the validity of the lifestyle. But during the festive season, when everyone’s filling up on toxic junk, it’s worth reminding yourself of why you’re not. The benefits of veganism and raw veganism to your health, the animals and the environment are truly endless, given that animal agriculture involves needless killing, is the biggest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions and consuming meat and dairy can lead to an increased risk of cancer.
Eating vegan food full of living enzymes, packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, on the other hand, can lead to lower blood pressure, a healthy digestive system, preventing bowel disease, and reduced risk of cancer and heart disease.
Not bad for a lifestyle that involves eating beautiful food in abundance, with no calorie counting! It’s a Christmas miracle!
2. Stock up!
The first step to staying on track during the season of self-indulgence is to stock up on your favorite raw foods. We might be healthy, but this lifestyle, in its infinite amazingness, allows you to ‘treat yourself’ to sweet, creamy, delectable treats, yet still feel amazing afterwards! It’s a gift in itself this Christmas, I think!
As well as your favorite fruits and veggies, stock up on the raw vegan staples, like cashews, almonds, dates, maple syrup and larabars. Then, when you’re wanting something a little fancier, you’ll be snacking sensibly, or whipping up a terrific raw vegan sweet treat in no time, keeping you on track, and giving you plenty of energy for all that Christmas shopping.
Or if, like me, the thought of tackling a mall in December gives you palpitations, try my vegan gift guide, for great gifting from the comfort of your own home. No pushing, shoving or queuing required!
3. Get the right equipment!
The right equipment is essential for getting the best out of the raw vegan lifestyle at any time of year, but especially at Christmas. Creating culinary perfection will require some equipment that you might not find in your average kitchen, such as a dehydrator and a high-quality blender. Suffice to say, it’ll make Christmas a somewhat stressful time if you attempt to make a beautifully smooth raw cheesecake or soup in a $30 dollar piece of rubbish, and end up with a completely inedible car crash of a dish, all because your blender can’t hack dates. This may have happened to me… on several occasions.
So make creating beautiful dishes super simple, and avoid calling Lapland to cancel Christmas, with the right tech, a guide to which I’ve put together here! For sure, a Vitamix and this Excalibur dehydrator will have your Christmas (food) all wrapped up!
4. Experiment in the Kitchen
Once your fridge and pantry are choc full of the good stuff (raw chocolate included), and you’ve got the right equipment, you’re ready to experiment with some of the fanciest festive food. There are so many delectable raw vegan recipes to enjoy this Christmas, you’ll be making your non-vegan family and friends jealous!
As usual, Fully Raw Kristina’s got our backs with her handy guides. Take a look at this video where the raw vegan Queen explains what she brings to Christmas dinner, including a giant rainbow salad with a very creamy salad dressing and a raw strawberry chocolate mousse torte.
Serve it up with a main of this hearty raw nut loaf, jam packed with vitamin and mineral-rich vitamins and minerals, alongside this genius ‘mashed potato’: made with cauliflower and cashews! This vibrant festive pomegranate kale salad will taste just divine on the side, and end it all with a swig of this super creamy eggnog, to get right into the Christmas spirit.
Whip up some of these simply divine raw mince pies and pair with this super creamy vanilla cashew cream, for the ultimate festive treat! Serve after Christmas dinner and you’ll be the talk of the town! Or your family, at least. ‘But I thought you couldn’t eat mince pies?’. Try to avoid the urge to *eye roll*.
If the strawberry chocolate mousse torte and mince pies aren’t sweet enough, knock their socks if with this epic orange blueberry cheesecake, from Rawsome Vegan Baking, one of my fave cookbooks! And wow them even more (if it’s possible at this point) with this luxurious white chocolate peppermint fudge. A batch wrapped up with a festive bow would make a fabulous stocking filler. Or eat them all yourself, of course. It is Christmas! Couple them with this luxurious raw vegan hot chocolate, sure to baffle any skeptical loved ones, and get you right into the festive spirit.
So have fun in the kitchen! Try a range of recipes, and give your favorites pride of place on the dinner table this Christmas Day. I’m sure your family will help you to munch your way through the testers… if they absolutely must!
I would also be available for taste tests, if my services are needed, especially for cheesecake. Have I mentioned that I enjoy a raw cheesecake?
5. Get social!
Once you’ve got a festive menu (or three) practiced to perfection, it’s time to share the Christmas love! Invite your family and friends round for festive celebrations, and wow them with raw vegan goodness. If you already stunned them at Thanksgiving, they’ll be waiting eagerly for the next invitation. If they haven’t tried proper raw vegan food yet (not the bowls of rabbit food they imagine we munch all day), then they’re in for a treat.
Cue open mouths with your stunning creations which fill them full of energy, unlike a typical Christmas dinner, which leaves you unable to use your legs.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to go out on the town to celebrate, why not find your local raw vegan, vegan or veggie restaurant? Loads of veggie restaurants have at least a couple of raw dishes on the menu and some, of course, specialize in it! Sun Cafe in Los Angeles has some stunning dishes on offer, such as the Raw Fiesta Burger, served with guacamole, pico de gallo, nacho cheese, cashew mayo and jalapenos (yep, all raw!). New York boats the beautiful Caravan of Dreams, serving up a range of raw entrees, like a stunning pizzetta, with a pumpkin seed crust and cashew cheese.
Wherever you are in the US, or around the world, find your nearest raw vegan, vegan or veggie restaurant with the brilliant website Happy Cow: your guide to veg-friendly restaurants around the globe! I’ll be right back. Taking a quick flight to Los Angeles for that Fiesta Burger.
The last thing you want to feel during the festive season, and especially on Christmas Day, is left out. If eating a smoothie bowl, whilst delicious, will leave you feeling somewhat annoyed when everyone around you is filling themselves with ‘treats’ (although toxic), then let go. Christmas is a time for self-indulgence. And giving… but mainly self indulgence!
Now I’m certainly not saying eat loads of fat-laden, sugar-coated, processed rubbish that’ll leave you with headaches, crashes and zero energy. In fact, stay well clear. But I am saying, treat yourself. Raw vegan is about giving your body what it needs. And on Christmas Day, I need a raw festive platter fit for a raw vegan Queen!
By all means, start the day off with a beautifully creamy banana and date smoothie, to get you ready for celebrations ahead. But then, delve into your meal full of raw vegan goodness. Load your plate with whatever you fancy, and stop when you feel full. Then go for round 2 later, when you’re still feeling super energetic!
Everyone else will be taking a nap at this point, experiencing what can only be described as the Christmas dinner hangover. This is the time to hide all the remaining mince pies, raw truffles and gingerbread cookies from their greedy mits! After you’ve offered them round and shocked them with their deliciousness, of course.
7. Request vegan gifts
If there’s anything more awkward than receiving a gift that you’re not a huge fan of, it’s receiving a gift that isn’t vegan, with one of your family members proceeding to tell said unfortunate gift giver that you’re ‘one of those raw vegans’.
I’m sorry to say that this has happened to me, and it is as excruciating as it sounds. Worst of all, it appears on the surface that you’re ‘missing out’, when in fact, there are thousands of amazing gifts out there for vegans and raw vegans, just waiting to be gifted this Christmas!
So to avoid all potentially awkward encounters with family on the big day, send the feelers out that you’d really appreciate, if they’re going to give you a gift, that it’s vegan-friendly, which means no animal-based foods or toxic, chemical-filled, animal-tested cosmetics.
And do consider some of these for anyone who’s vegan or raw vegan-curious. I gifted a Yonanas to a friend of mine 2 years ago, and she’s now a raw vegan aficionado, rid of headaches and energy crashes she used to experience daily! Sometimes, the seed just needs to be sown…
8. Channel your inner zen master
If you’ve perused my ‘How to Make this Thanksgiving the Best Yet’ article, you’ll know about the questions you may be asked by skeptical family members about your lifestyle. Despite your boundless energy, glowing skin and diet abundant in life-giving vitamins and minerals, you may encounter such questions as, ‘Are you getting enough protein?’, ‘Are you eating enough calories?’ and, my ultimate favorite, ‘Are you sure that’s healthy?’.
I don’t need to remind you again about the health benefits, but, suffice to say, it may be tempting to disregard the inner peace you inevitably find when going raw vegan, and carry out what can only be described as a Hulk-smash on the table, to show just how annoyed you are at being asked such a ridiculous question.
But, of course, we won’t. We’ll politely thank them for their concern, and explain the infinite benefits of this incredible lifestyle, followed by offering them a taste of your chocolate torte. Come on inner zen master, don’t let me down!
There we have it. How to stay raw vegan at Christmas, and make it a cracker! Whether you whip up some raw vegan feasts to rival the pros, or head out to celebrate, simply remind yourself of the epic benefits of this incredibly lifestyle, indulge, and have fun!
What are you hoping for this Christmas?
All I want for Christmas is raw cheesecake! Okay, I think I’ve hinted enough now.