For many of us, this week begins a period of time that is blessed with extra time with family & friends, more events not related to work and a lot more opportunities for indulging. Before all this happens, take some time to think about how you can make the most of it without it making the most of you …

I’ve written up a few tips from my Vegan Athlete Diet perspective that I hope help at least a few of you approach the holidays with more awareness, preparation and enjoyment without guilt! And, no, it does not require you suddenly becoming vegan in order to survive the holidays.

  • Focus on hydration prior and during the event. Even mild dehydration can pose as hunger, headache or irritability so protect yourself from that with plain, filtered water
  • Use a small plate if possible for the appetizers or pre-meal grazing. With lots of people and food options, it’s easy to get distracted with how much you’re actually eating. Bring some awareness ahead of time with a small plate. And if you need to go back for more healthy options, at least you’re getting up and moving when using a small plate to serve yourself.
  • Take the time to actually sit down with your small plate of food, talk with someone else, really chew your food, etc. Yep, more awareness brought to your eating!
  • Start off with the fiber-rich, high-volume yet low calorie things like raw or cooked vegetables. You’ll be starting off your body fueling with the basics it can easily use without fake stuff or compromised nutrition. Your base has been built now
  • Dairy Awareness. Most folks have at least some issues with dairy whether they’re conscious of it or not. Not to debate the good or bad but bring some awareness to this, too, if you plan to have some. Do you really need all the heavy cheeses with the crackers AND all the heavy dairy desserts?! Perhaps you can decide which one you really want to taste and enjoy. And make other healthier choices to balance out your chosen indulgence

These are all pretty basic but sometimes we need reminders of the basics prior to going into battle. And since Thanksgiving here in the US is in a couple of days, this is timely for many of us.

If you’re able to use any of these Vegan Athlete Diet tips successfully for navigating your holidays, I’d love to hear that in the comments below!