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Navigating a plant-based holiday season

As we inch closer to the holiday season I become more aware of the limits of a vegan lifestyle.

Though I maintained a vegetarian lifestyle for several years, this will be my first holiday season without many of the usual dairy-filled treats.

As a lover of comfort food, at first I was a bit conflicted -- no more creamy hot cocoa, chocolate chip cookies, or macaroni and cheese. But then I felt inspired to create my own vegan-ized meals and desserts.

I used to think that being vegan meant limiting meals to bland salads and leafy greens. That is far from the truth, as there are countless resources for vegan recipes and ideas. So far, my homemade favorites include vegan-ized apple crisp, pumpkin pasta, and zucchini brownies.

To my surprise, there are plenty of vegan-friendly junk foods. Oreos, Nutter Butters, and Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos all lack dairy.

I avoided switching to veganism for a long time because I did not want to give up some of my favorite foods, but I learned that there are options for everyone. There is a freedom in trying new things, and I look forward to more recipe-experiments and discoveries this winter.

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