What to do when you are the only plant-based eater in the house
It’s done. You’ve made the decision to eat a plant-based diet and you're pumped. You buy a couple Kindle cookbooks, you make a trip to the grocery store to stock up on all the must haves, and all the junk food and frozen animal bits have been donated or tossed out.
You're ready… but what about your family?
Many people face this hurdle; they want to live a new way of life but the people closest to them narrow their eyes in suspicion and turn away, murmuring, “over my dead body” as they leave.
Well, maybe it's not so dramatic in your pack, but you catch my drift. It can be a hard transition that when done poorly can lead us right back to the greasy cheeseburger we are so desperate to get away from.
Here's a list of 5 suggestions that may make your transition to healthy eating easier.
1. Look them in the eye -- Take the time to sit down with your people and let them know this lifestyle change is important to you. Give them the “why” and walk them through the steps you took to get to this conclusion. Even if they don’t fully understand yet, make sure they know that you are serious and would like their support.
2. Attraction rather than promotion -- Don't be pushy! Let the results of your new diet speak for itself. No one likes a sales pitch. If I go around slapping chicken nuggets out of my significant other’s hand, I don’t think he will be apt to cheer me on when I eat a kale salad.
3. Make something delicious -- Show your fam how delicious eating plant-based food is by cooking a meal at home and sharing it with them. A lot of the time people's reluctance to new things comes from a lack of understanding. Who knew veggies taste this good?!
4. Talk it out -- As you learn more about the benefits of plant-based eating, share your knowledge with your loved ones. My partner struggles with maintaining his weight and is always looking for a new solution to a consistent problem. When I see a before-and-after post related to weight loss, I send it to him. A new study comes out about maintaining blood sugar and I talk to him about it (kindly). You never know what will strike a chord and change their perspective.
5. Make it fun -- Appeal to their sense of adventure and curiosity by exploring new restaurants and events centered on plant-based eating. Show them how eating this way expands their world instead of limiting it. Since starting this journey a year ago, my family has been to two vegan festivals, tried five vegetarian/vegan restaurants, and even attended an underground plant-based dinner party (more on that later).
Above all else, remember to be kind and patient with your family and most of all, be kind to yourself. Change in any form is hard and requires diligence and a lot of self-love.We are not out to do this thing perfectly -- only to do it at all.