So I should preface my holiday cookbook guide with perhaps unstartling news: I've been told by my endocrinologist that it's time to give up being a vegan. One of the major reasons that I have, as you have possibly noticed, been sick for months, is that my thyroid has been in parlous condition. This wasn't exactly unexpected, because I have an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis that slowly kills your thyroid. Because of that, I was very careful about supplementing my soy intake with iodine, because soy can interfere with thyroid hormone.
In my case, the supplementation wasn't enough. I should stress that this is not a problem for normal people; your thyroid just ups its production a little. My thyroid, however, couldn't cope. My blood levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone shot up, I gained fifteen pounds in four months, my voice dropped half an octave, and I could barely get out of bed in the morning--I literally had to take naps two hours after waking up. I've had to cut my soy intake way, way down. Like, to "amounts so small they're not on the label".
After a little over a month, it's clearly working--I'm almost back to normal, though I'm still tired. (And I still can't fit into any of my clothes.) But it's not really possible, at least with my job, to be a vegan without consuming soy; almost all the meat substitutes are made with it, and in DC, there are basically no restaurants serving seitan. I tried to go on soy-free, but I was getting sicker, unsurprising since I was basically living on Fritos and peanut butter every time I left the house. So, the year-long experiment with veganism is at an end.