Plant-based meal events, ideas for Thanksgiving

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One of the exciting things that I've noticed since going whole food, plant-based is the number of new options and events that continue to pop up for those of us who eat plant-based.

Over the past four years, I've written about many of these as they developed. This month, I'm pleased to tell my readers about another such offering.

Sippin Cow in Old Town Bluffton is offering monthly plant-based dinners as a special event. The meals have become so popular that, for several months now, there has been a waiting list of people wanting to attend them.

Each month has a separate theme around which the meals are based. For example, in July, the theme was Thai food, and the menu included Thai Cucumber Salad, Corn Fritter over Pineapple Fried Rice, Pumpkin Coconut Soup, Grilled Vegetables, and Peanut Thai Sauce over Rice.

This past September the theme was Cajun Night and the menu included 15-Bean Soup with Plantain Cakes, Gingered Collard Greens, Jackfruit Jambalaya, Cauliflower Etouffee, and Peach and Raspberry Crumble.

It's worth checking out. In addition, Sippin Cow has a separate whole food, plant-based menu for any day of the week that a person might choose to go there. This is the first area restaurant I am aware of that actually labels its foods as whole food, plant-based.

November begins the holiday season, and Jeff Taraday, a plant-based fitness coach and blogger at Breaking Muscle Newsletter, offers some excellent advice that I have followed through the holidays and throughout the year.

First, he suggests eating a hearty breakfast on the day of a big meal, such as on Thanksgiving Day. By "big breakfast," he means something like a large bowl of oatmeal topped with some omega-3 fats like chia seeds and berries.

That will keep most people filled for a large portion of the day. It also cuts down on hunger so that you don't feel the need to eat as much at the big meal.

He also suggests holding the event at your own house. That way, you control the menu. I did that my first Thanksgiving on the whole food, plant-based way, and I found it worked really well.

If you don't object to having meat in your house (I didn't then, but I do now), then ask your carnivore friends to bring the meat. But you control everything else.

If you are going to someone else's house, take your own dishes, but take enough to share. That way, you know that you will have something to eat, but you won't be frowned on if you share with others too.

J Lanning Smith is a local freelance writer focused on healthy lifestyles.

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