I am looking to make another leap into my health with becoming a Vegan. In the past six years, I have gone from being Pescatarian (fishatarian), to lacto-ovo veg, to lacto veg and then finally to 99.9% full vegetarian. I haven't been purposely "flirting" over the past six years, it just seems that every time I eliminate something, I feel content at first, but then feel its time to eliminate something else. The Kind Diet helped me realize that I want to make the commitment to now being a Vegan. I blame dairy products, in particular - cheese (not big on sweets), for my problems with keeping my weight in check. (I often treat myself once a week to a platter of nachos, block of cheese, cheese sticks, jalepeno poppers, large cheese pizza, etc.)
Long story short, as a Vegetarian, I am easily able to function amongst my meat eating friends at outings, dinner parties, etc. They are always considerate in choosing restaurants were I can eat something other than salad, or ordering a cheese pizza when I'm hanging out at their homes. I'm afraid of the backlash I'll receive when turning Vegan, becoming that guy no one can cook or order for. One friend in particular I know will give me a hard time, because he LOVES food, and is always introducing me to new restaurants with things like pizza, nachos, burritos, calzones, etc. All things that include cheese - my health arch enemy.
Any suggestions on how I can deal with the certain people in my life that I know will try and make this transition hard on me? I've started again as of yesterday (tried last year and fell off the wagon due to this very reason) and haven't told anyone but my sole Vegetarian friend, who's considering the "flirt" into Veganism here soon due to me. :)
Good for you! :) I would say to be kind in your responses, but eventually, if your friend doesn't stop hassling you, he might not be your friend after all. :( Keep your head high. In light of self-confidence, people have no choice but to respect you. Also, being consistent is the best thing. They will see the health benefits and will want to capture some of that for themselves. Lastly, try to find some friends that do understand and eat like you. :)
Hi PeaJay! Good for you! I will agree 'foodie' friends can be tough on you. They always are afraid that you will be missing out on something really delicious. You might want to let them know that you like them for WHO THEY ARE, not what the eat! If you end up eating salad when you all go out together, tell them you can just focus more on actually enjoying their company!
Maybe you could say, "Oh, I'm giving up dairy for awhile just to see how it makes me feel." By making the situation seem like a temporary experiment, they will feel less threatened. Also, if they say, "But won't you miss cheese!?!?!", just say, "Maybe, we'll see", or "I thought I would miss meat, but instead, I feel great!"
Like Carl Lewis said in his cookbook, 'you're not giving up good food, your focusing your diet on THE BEST food the earth has to offer.' (That's a paraphrase - Carl no doubt said it better!)
PETA just released a memo in regards to vegans sweating their ingredient lists on which items may or may not contain trace amounts of animal byproduct and to sum up: DONT WORRY. Even PETA says that the point isn't to become a 5th degree vegan (eat nothing with a shadow) - as long as the primary ingredients do not contain animal ingredients then we're all doing the best that we can.
I'm really glad that PETA has come out on this issue - as this has been my personal take on the matter since becoming vegan many moons ago. :)
I'm switching from vegetarian to vegan as well, and am concerned about the same thing! My suggestions - eat before you go out if it's appropriate not to eat where you're going; bring your own food; order something vegan that everyone can enjoy (e.g. garlic bread)...
I too recently made the switch from vegetarian to vegan. I would recommend picking Thai or Indian restaurants when eating out with your veggie friend, because it's pretty easy to find vegan food at either. Sushi is also a good choice if you stick to veggie rolls. You can always call ahead to restaurants to see if they can make something vegan for you. Your friends might also be surprised by how much they enjoy the food at your favorite vegan or vegetarian place.
Bring your own vegan dish to dinner parties. It will take the pressure off of the host.
Congratulations! Dairy is a big hurdle; now that I'm off it I no longer miss it. I'll echo Smurfy: Asian restaurants are great. Most Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, or Thai restaurants that call themselves vegetarian are very vegan friendly as those cultures do not use dairy (though you do have to watch for egg). There is dairy in Indian food but it's not difficult to avoid. I've also found that even some non-vegetarian restaurants are offering non-dairy cheese; my local non-vegetarin Mexican restaurant uses Daiya upon request. If I'm going to a place I wouldn't normally eat at with a bunch of friends I call ahead of time and ask them to veganize a dish. I've never had a problem. The same goes for volunteering to bring a vegan dish; most people appreciate it. Good luck and remember you can always vent here!
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