Healthfully Vegan's Sophie Scott gave up dairy after suffering from unpleasant side effects like chronic headaches. She discovered vegan eating to be easier and tastier than expected, and now she's sharing her tips on how to enjoy a proper Christmas dinner without meat or dairy.
Transitioning to a vegan diet
As someone who had grown up eating anything and everything, changing my diet was never something that had been on the cards. It wasn’t until my late teenage years that I realised eating dairy was no longer working for me.
The thought of ‘cutting out’ foods sounded daunting but I quickly learnt that it is about finding substitutes and alternatives, without feeling like you’re missing out. I love cooking at home from scratch but it’s great to see so many diverse vegan options appearing on menus and out and about, which makes social situations a lot easier and more enjoyable!
Inclusivity at Christmas
In my mind, Christmas is all about spending time with loved ones and enjoying good food! Learning to enjoy the festivities without the turkey was something I thought would be tricky, especially as the rest of my family aren’t vegan. Often, I spend a lot of time outside of my own environment over the Christmas period, so I always make sure to do a bit of preparation and think ahead. I think it’s so important to make others aware of any dietary requirements and cook with them to make them feel at ease. At Christmas I still create old favourites (with some tweaks) and enjoy all the trimmings!
Bring food along to social gatherings. This works even better if you make something you know is bound to be a hit with everyone! Be sure to make enough for others to enjoy too.
Also, plan ahead! Preparation is key, especially at Christmas…pick up a free-from Christmas pudding or dessert ahead of time (or make your own) to make things easier on the day. It’s so important for everyone to be able to eat together, regardless of their preferences.
If you’re catering for multiple dietary needs, it’s a good idea to use vegetable oils to cook your roast potatoes and veggies (instead of goose fat, for example).
Just me and my pastaaa ❤️Best few days away in Rome with my boyfriend������was pleasantly surprised at how many vegan options that were available in most places ����lots of ice cream was consumed����this was some garlic, chilli and olive pasta, wasn’t as plain as it looks ���� #spaghetti #pasta #rome #italy
Christmas stuffing hack: If you love Christmas stuffing like I do, it’s easy to make your own, vegan version at home. Simply omit the sausage meat and use free-from butter and some dairy free milk!
Did you know? Asda’s mince pies are vegan! This means they do not contain animal products including milk and eggs. So, there’s no need to miss out on these particular Christmas favourites.
Involvement in the campaign
I am thrilled to be involved in Asda’s Inclusivity Campaign this Christmas which aims to open the conversation around the diverse dietary requirements and choices many of us manage today. It highlights the importance of ensuring that no one is made to feel ‘different’ or excluded due to their dietary needs. At such a family oriented time, I think it’s great for such a big brand to be promoting this message and catering for everyone! I want to show that it is easy to cater for a vegan diet at Christmas and all year round.
For more information on catering for all dietary requirements this Christmas, check out our handy online guide