We get it, you have dietary restrictions. But don’t worry, Emyrald Sinclaire, one half of the dynamic Earth Girls Goodies duo and a holistic nutritionist/chef, is here to tell your vegan ass how to make it through the holidays without getting punched in the nose.
The holidays are here and that means office parties, desserts and treats in the break room, and all sorts of visitors. What’s a vegan to do?
Okay, you can totally get through it, it’s not hard. The trick is the same one your mother always taught you: Don’t show up to a party empty-handed. The hostess is going to love you for relieving them of some stress, and it’s just good manners. I also suggest inviting everyone over to your house and making it an evening of celebration and trying new dishes. There are so many recipes out there. A quick Google search results in an alternative for pretty much anything – gluten-free stuffing, vegan casseroles. A little research goes a long way.
Say you’ve got visitors in town who may not understand the crazy things you eat. They want meat, they want bread. How do you get them to try what you cook without raising holy hell?
My family is from Illinois, and their palates are all about Hamburger Helper and pizza on Fridays. It helps to be a good cook, but the most effective strategy is simply to let them be naïve. No news is good news. I make a raw vegan pumpkin pie made with carrots and I just set it on the table like it’s a normal pie and let people have at it. They say, “Man, this is really good!” and never expect that the filling is carrots and coconut milk, and the crust is dates and almonds. If they say, “What spice did you use?” or they ask for the recipe, then I take the opportunity to tell them about what it’s made of and why. It also helps to not be too uptight about it. Remember that it’s the holidays and that you’re giving your family a delicious meal, but that everyone’s tastes are different.
What have been the benefits of being vegan and gluten free for you?
I became a vegetarian in college and was surprised by how much better I felt. That’s not everyone’s experience, though. Some people go vegetarian and become anemic or just don’t feel very good. We’re all different, and I really think it’s a matter of “to each their own.” I’m not here to say that everyone should go vegan, but I will say that quality of food matters and can make all the difference. Just because it’s “gluten-free” doesn’t mean that it’s good for you. James Ranch? The Ore House? These are places that produce and serve amazing meats and seafood. I think it really comes down to being conscientious about what you’re putting in your body. So for me, I feel better. I sleep better. I have better energy. It’s the same reason I exercise – because I feel better afterward.
There are plenty of memes, blogs and YouTube videos about what assholes gluten-free/vegan people are –
Oh, you mean the girl who sticks her nose up in the air and says, “I’m 80 percent raw, and I’ve been gluten-free for 4.5 months, and I attend hot yoga for 90 minutes, six days a week?”
Those are the ones. Can you help to save them from themselves?
Well, stop being a jackass! It’s judgmental, it’s ... it’s the ego saying, “I’m better than you!” Ultimately, how to avoid pretention is to just not talk about your lifestyle unless you’re asked. If someone says to you, “I’ve noticed that you’re looking really well, and that your energy is up. What gives?” Then yes, of course, tell them about your diet, but not before – it’s too preachy and too I’m better than you, and let me tell you why. That’s no different than the people who go door-to-door trying to save your soul. Do your own thing and if people want to know about it, they’ll ask. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them go gluten-free. Get over yourself. Hopefully the choices you’re making are good for you, but I would rather eat a steak prepared by a happy chef than a raw vegan meal made by an asshole. Be good, eat how you want to eat and the rest will figure itself out.
Cyle TalleyCyle Talley is pretty excited about the Cubs’ offseason – and that’s all he has to say about that.