3 Tips For Eating a Fruit Based Vegan Diet Around Others
– Without Making It a Big Deal! For a lot of people, the greatest challenge of eating vegan and especially a fruit based diet, is dealing with the social aspects of it. Eating is such a central part of our social structure and it’s usually all about sharing the food, which makes it a little bit more difficult for someone who’s dietary preferences fall outside the norm. Whether it be a family gathering, dinner with a friend or lunchtime at work – here are three powerful tips on how to deal with these situations like a pro!
Tip #1: Bring Your Own Food! It’s usually best to bring your own food, rather than relying on your host being able to cater for your exact wants and needs. If you’re eating exclusively fruit, chances are that even if they did have fruit on hand it wouldn’t be ripe and there wouldn’t be nearly enough of it to satisfy you calorically. Save yourself, and the host, a whole lot of awkwardness and just bring your own food! No big deal!
If you’re eating some cooked foods in addition to the fruit, things get easier, but not a whole lot. Most people will probably be able to serve you up some potatoes, but there’s always a risk of them being drenched in oil, and there’s probably not enough potatoes for your carb strong appetite anyway!
In the end it boils down to this: If you have any preferences whatsoever when it comes to what you put into your body, chances are you’ll be better off bringing your own food. First of all you save yourself the stress involved in having to ask for special food and try to explain the details of it to someone who does not understand why you are so particular about it. Secondly, you save the host form having to worry about it at all.
The downside of bringing your own is that it becomes the center of attention once everyone notices that you have your own, personal plate – full of fruit! But if you think about it, being served special food would probably draw even more attention. Just bring your own food and stay relaxed about it. If people ask, give them simple answers like “I just prefer to eat fruit” or “The mangoes are just too good this year” – no need to defend yourself.
Remember that if you want to be in control of your health, you also have to be in control when it comes to what you eat. If you constantly have to leave it up to others to provide what you need, you’re at the mercy of the circumstances, and let’s face it – most circumstances these days aren’t in favor of optimal health!
Tip #2: Mind Your Own Business! Eating is very personal. It’s kind of like sex, religion and politics – everyone has their preferences and that’s the way it is. Just like how you’re hoping that everybody else will respect your choices in terms of diet – you also have to respect theirs. This means that even though someone around the table might be eating something you don’t, that’s their choice. This is often difficult, especially in the case of animal products, since vegans are very passionately against animal exploitation, but in the name of compassion, respect and empathy – core ethics of veganism – we shouldn’t attack out fellow human beings for doing what they believe (knowingly or unknowingly) is right. Doing this will only lead to isolation and loss of health. Community is an essential part of a healthy and happy lifestyle.
An important strategy in this regard is to answer diet related questions at the table, in a positive way rather than a negative. What I mean by that is that if someone asks why you’re eating only fruit, tell them why fruit is awesome, rather than why cooked food and animal products are less ideal. If you tell them why eating meat is bad for you, you’re essentially criticizing what they are doing – right when they are doing it! This will usually prompt them to start defending themselves and their choices, and before you know it you’re in the middle of an intense debate. Leave the “educational and informative” comments for later and focus on the main reason why you’re there in the first place; to connect with friends and family in an effort to transcend the differences and enjoy each others company!
Tip #3: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Whenever you do something that’s different from what everyone else is doing, it’s bound to draw attention. In the best case scenario this might be nothing more than a friendly question about what you’re eating, but sometimes it might even be a case of loud ridicule. Here’s the thing though – how people react to things, is a reflection of them, not you! If someone ridicules you for being different, it’s because they are insecure about themselves and they don’t know how to react to the situation. My best advice is to let it slide. Most of the time, it’s just a quick remark, maybe a direct question. Responding in a sharp and defensive way will only prolong the situation and make it worse. Stay cool!
Another thing to realize is that you are strange – at least in their eyes! Compared with most people, eating a fruit based, or even a standard vegan diet, is very different. I’m sure most of us, including myself, didn’t grow up as vegans, and I clearly remember, back in the day, thinking that vegans were a little weird. The first time I heard from a friend of mine, who was a raw vegan, that he ate 8 bananas for breakfast I was shocked! So cut people some slack and let them react. If they are part of your family or inner circle of friends, they will quickly get used to it. Before you know it, no one’s going to lift as much as an eyebrow, let alone their voice, next time you bring out your bowl of peaches.
There’s More To Life Than Just Food Don’t get me wrong, food is a big deal, but let’s face it – if the diet we eat makes it impossible for us to socialize and enjoy the other aspects of a happy life, it’s not worth it! Find your compromise! Yes, you have to endure a little bit of social awkwardness if you wish to eat healthfully in an unhealthy world, but get over it 🙂 As a matter of fact, you’ll get used to it! When questions invariably arise, use the opportunity to show people how happy you are about what you’re eating and how awesome you feel doing it! Enjoy the best of both worlds by eating your food, and still enjoy the company of your fellow human beings and the glorious “pleasures of the table”.
Don’t forget to bring a little extra to share – you never know when some of those other, unrealized frugivores, might suddenly get a craving for some of that sweet and juicy deliciousness on your plate!
The information in this article reflects the views and opinions of the author and is intended for educational and informational purposes only. This is not medical advice. We are not responsible for any action you may take based on the information given in this article. For medical advice please see your medical professional.