Hey Catered Fit Fam,
Adam Friden here, founder and CEO of Catered Fit. Last month, I introduced you to my methodology, my passion, and my love. This month, I wanted to share more with you about my transition to veganism and how I navigate the waters of being totally plant-based in a meat-lover’s world.
This story starts 35 years ago, growing up in Providence, Rhode Island, meat was the center of every meal. My mother (much like everyone else’s at the time) thought animal protein was key and critical for a growing boy and that meat was always best served up with a tall glass of cow’s milk. This school of thought stuck with me for years, almost all of them, and while I have always had a passion for healthy eating, up until recently, I thought a diet of meat and animal byproducts was the healthiest way to eat.
After reading a dozen or so books on the subject, and being inspired by my vegetarian fiance, we decided to take the vegan plunge. It started out slowly but before we knew it, we were full blown vegans and there was no looking back. Breakfast probably changed most of all- no more eggs, zero processed meats, no dairy cream in my coffee, but let me tell you, I have never felt better! I start my days with more energy and general wellness than ever before.
With Thanksgiving upon us, I find myself preparing to navigate the trickiest meal yet. Here are some of my tips for a new vegan who is looking to tackle Thanksgiving:
Image by Kiersten, ohmyveggies.com
Don’t try and substitute a turkey. Tofurkey? Who are we kidding! No need to pretend something is turkey when it isn’t. Giving up meat was a decision, so why have a plate of fake meat? Instead, check out one of my favorite recipes: Apple, fennel, Sage Lentil Loaf. It’s like your favorite meatloaf and stuffing, rolled up into one plant-based dish.
Legumes! Legumes! Legumes! Have you heard? Legumes are pretty incredible. They are the most concentrated source of plant-based protein that you can get and they are delicious. You can’t go wrong with a classic chickpea hummus plate, piled with fresh veggies and warm pitas for an h’ordeuvres.
Plan a menu that is vibrant in color and diverse in texture. A plant based diet doesn’t mean a plate of roasted veggies. Mix it up! Your taste buds will thank you. Try a casserole, grain based salads (perhaps flirt with farro), or even root vegetable patties. There is no shortage of creative ways to build a menu sans animal products and the proof is in this lengthy list of colorful vegan comfort foods.
And of course, red wine. Red wine is a great addition to any meal, but there is nothing as satisfying as sitting around a table with friends and family for the holidays and enjoying a glass of flavonoid-rich red. Wondering what flavonoids are? Check out last month’s CEO Note.
I’m looking forward to my first vegan holiday and I hope I’ve inspired you to try out a plant-based dish at your table this season. Share your experience (and your recipes) with us! Use the hashtag #CFITFAM on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram so that we can stay inspired, too.
Health is wealth, my friends! Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!