During this time of year, we open our homes to friends and family, open our hearts to those in need and open our mouths to delicious food. However, as a vegetarian, the holidays tend to be somewhat of a question mark in more ways than one.

1. All Meat, All the Time.

This truly speaks for itself, as the majority of holiday meals are centered around a large bird or ham.

2. It’s a hassle to cook and prepare veggie-friendly foods.

Vegetarianism can be inconvenient for the host or hostess because, most of the time, their idea of a holiday meal does not include dishes with tofu.

Even side dishes are a struggle because more often than not, they incorporate some sort of meat or meat-related item in them. For example, gravy tends to have turkey or ham bits in it and is usually made with the broth from whatever meat your feast features. The same goes for the universally favored side dish, stuffing.

3. Explaining why you’re not eating the turkey or ham to extended family.

Every. Time.

It starts with a simple question, “Do you want any turkey/ham? No? Why not?”

Que the downward spiral.

This conversation should not be so stressful, but someone always gets uncomfortable or worried that they are “insulting you” by eating the meat.

Time for the 30-second awkward pause.

4. Then explaining why you’re a vegetarian in the first place.

Whether you are a vegetarian for moral reasons, health reasons or you simply do not like meat,  explaining why you are one can be cumbersome.The conversation usually ends with awkward shifting eyes and someone saying, “I don’t know how you do it. I could never give up meat.”

5. Eating “healthy.”

While eating healthy is a general dilemma for virtually everyone during the holidays, us veg-heads face a particular difficulty because while there are certainly plenty of vegetables to chew on, we will most likely fill up our plates with the more mouth-watering vegetarian-friendly treats such as yams, mashed potatoes and rolls.

Or in other words: carbs, carbs and more carbs.

6. Seeing the meat right in front of you and rethinking all your life decisions.

“Mmm, that looks good.”

“It smells delicious too…”

“Maybe I can sneak a bite. Just a bite.”

“No one needs to know.”

“I mean, the animal is already dead… What’s the harm in it?”

“No. No. I must stay strong. Just keep eating your tofu casserole. You’re fine.”

7. Food FOMO.

FOMO is real, y’all. This “Fear Of Missing Out” can be especially tempting at the holidays. Oftentimes, you’re the only one at the table not eating meat. While the vegetarian dish you prepared may be delicious as well, there is no escaping the fact that you are the only one enjoying it. No one will even try it.

And as a result, you have a plethora of leftovers from your dish alone. But hey–no need to cook for the next week!

While being a vegetarian is difficult during the holidays, it can also be delicious. There are plenty of veggie-friendly recipes that are perfect for any diet. So whether you’re a vegetarian or not, best of luck finding something to eat and happy holidays.