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Calling All Vegetarians & Vegans

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TOPIC:   When visiting other's homes? 


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ENKSATSUMA
ENKSATSUMA's Photo Posts: 410
8/22/13 12:22 P

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when I used to eat an omnivore's diet and had vegetarian/vegan friends over, I'd always make sure I'd cook something they could eat. Maybe that's just me/my family, but when we have guests over, we want them to feel welcome and happy at our home. However, you can't accommodate what you don't know about, so I think it is very important you let your in-laws know about your eating choices. Sure, it may mean you're filling up on side veggies, but hey, you won't know unless you tell them. Also, if you're staying there for a while, offer to cook as well. That way they can experience delicious food you like and maybe get hooked on something new


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PTREE15
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8/21/13 5:10 P

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I am vegan and I always offer to bring a dish I can share with people. Most of my family and friends have gotten used to my eating habits, but there are a few who just don't invite me for dinner anymore. They are of the opinion that you are a guest in their home and you should abide by their preferences. I have the opposite view. If people are coming to my house, I want them to enjoy what I'm making, though I will not prepare animal-based dishes, so I guess I really am the same, lol. I can see their point, but I think their opposition mostly stems from their having to think about where their food originated. They get defensive, as if my choices are a personal affront/insult. I make it a point to emphasize that I'm not judging anyone for their choices, that what I choose is good for my body AND mind. I do get annoyed when they asked questions and then stop me when they don't want to hear any more. That's tantamount to sticking your head in the sand, but whatev.

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RWILKE2000
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6/22/13 2:59 P

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I take my own food to outings or just eat what I can at a function. I have even ate before going somewhere so I would not have to worry about it. How about have a movie night and show them Forks over Knives and have a discussion afterwards. I always get asked "what about your protein, where do you get it. From the research I have done at the maximum a person should get is 40 grams of protein, and that may be to high. Any extra goes through the kidneys and makes them work extra hard and can damage them. Then I ask the person "when was the last time that you met or knew a person that is protein deficient?" I get no answer.
:)

Thus the days flee away in like manner and in like manner follow each other, and are always new. For that which was previously is left behind, and that takes place which never was; and every moment of time is replaced by another.
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CHERRY666
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6/21/13 11:40 A

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"I think the key is to not take up much conversation on what you are choosing and why. It makes people uncomfortable."

I've run into the problem of people getting defensive or turning into the food police when it comes up that I'm vegan. Suddenly, they're terrified I'm not getting proper nutrition (like I necessarily getting the right nutrition before? This mostly came from my boyfriend's mom and a few family members--and of course she didn't listen when I listed several things I eat that are good sources of calcium, etc, whatever she was worrying about) or that they don't think it's a bad thing to eat x, y or z (I didn't say it's bad! I just said I'm choosing not to!). Or if I admit I had some cheese or something the other day, it's like, "OMG! I knew it! You DO eat like me!" When did I ever say I'm perfect? I'm just trying to do the best I can. I guess I don't know how to express this well enough to people.

Honestly, the hardest part of this for me is dealing with people. The actual food part? Not so hard. There are lots of good cookbooks and I've been changing the way I eat slowly. I'm not perfect, but most of the time I do manage to avoid dairy and eggs. (Meat is non-negotiable.) What's most frustrating is that I never even bring it up that I'm vegan, THEY bring it up and then get defensive and, honestly, sometimes rude about it. For example: my boyfriend's mom acting like I'm just difficult and ignoring me when I try to explain what I do eat, that it's actually pretty easy, etc. No, I'm just being difficult and I'm going to kill myself by not eating meat, dairy and eggs -- this while she has a cupboard loaded with processed junk that she always likes to give to my boyfriend.

Sorry for venting. I don't know any other vegans let alone vegetarians so I don't have anyone to talk to about this specific frustration.



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2SNOWCRANES
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6/11/13 12:22 A

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HEALTHYLU1
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6/9/13 10:47 P

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I agree with everyone here. I think the key is to not take up much conversation on what you are choosing and why. It makes people uncomfortable.
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AUNTIEANNE22
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6/7/13 2:05 P

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When my siblings and I get together the vegetarians bring dishes they can eat and the others have their food. They often will try the vegetarian food.

Success consists of getting up once oftener than you fall down. ANON.


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D09AISY
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6/7/13 11:16 A

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Thanks, that's very helpful. I like just saying I like how it makes me feel. Also, very funny about the stinky fish!



DESERTJULZ
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6/7/13 10:43 A

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I always let people know that I have special food requirements. This is courtesy, as otherwise, they have purchased and prepared something that they love and hope you too will love it! I also offer to help with the cooking, bring food, etc.

I'm with IMVEGAN, I always make sure people realize that the way I choose to eat is not a judgment on the way they choose to eat.

I laugh when I eat out with my daughter & her family though. She and the kids are vegetarian and their whole family eats vegetarian at home. When they eat out though, my son-in-law usually orders fish. My 4-y.o. granddaughter has no problem telling him his meal is very stinky and smells totally gross. She also makes comments about it being a dead animal... He just laughs at her and tells her he likes it. :D

Julia
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Joyfully owned by two retired racing greyhounds.
Happily vegetarian for 39 years.

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IMVEGAN
IMVEGAN's Photo Posts: 2,845
6/6/13 8:18 P

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I never talk about the benefits of the diet with family unless I am asked. It can be an uncomfortable situation so I just say I like the way it makes me feel and then stop. If you think it is going to make them uncomfortable, tell them ahead of time that you don't want to convert them and that you have no problem with the way that they eat. (even if you do.)


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D09AISY
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6/6/13 7:47 P

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Thanks, everyone. I should add that I think part of the reason this is hard for me is that I get the feeling that people get defensive about the way they eat when I start talking about the way I eat. Like, when I talk about the health benefits to my inlaws they think that I think that they way they eat is bad. So, I don't like to make people feel bad, especially them because I really do love them!



KAT321123
KAT321123's Photo Posts: 147
6/6/13 1:49 P

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I would say something like, "I'm now following a vegan diet. I don't want to impose at all and am happy to bring/prepare my own foods while I'm at your home!".

Before I go to someone's house, I let them know what I won't eat and if they ask give them an idea of some easy-to-make things. It isn't typically an issue. Just in case I usually bring some things that are easy to travel with -- nutrition bars, dried fruit, nuts, etc.


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DS9KIE
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6/6/13 10:39 A

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in your case of staying with your in-laws for the week, give a list of typical foods that everyone eats that is just happens to be vegetarian like apple, oranges, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, lettuce, bag of brown rice, can of beans, tomato sauce, veggie broth, ect. They still wont understand (and don't try to explain why) but they will see its easy enough to cook for you. And offer to help. Oh yea it wouldn't hurt to get some recipes.

Your goal is not to explain why you eat this way but to show its easy to eat, cook and shop this way.

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THE SALAD IS THE MAIN DISH

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SWEETYOUNGTHING
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6/6/13 5:41 A

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I let people know I'm a vegan and bring food along with me - enough for others as well. If we're eating out and the menu is tricky, I stick with a big salad. I really don't find it tricky at all in my case. You just have to plan ahead. Good luck. Pat

I believe in myself, I am a strong woman. I will reach my goals, NOTHING & NOBODY will hold me down. I will live my life with integrity and intention. I will set a good example for my daughters and my son. I will be a woman that makes my grand children proud when they look at pictures of me long after I've left this earth.


MADSCRIBBLER
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6/5/13 9:49 P

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I'm a vegetarian with food allergies so eating anyplace away from home is EXTREMELY tricky! Gently explain to your in-laws your dietary preferences but be prepared for certain resistance. I have been vegetarian for seven years and, unfortunately, got into an argument with my mothers boyfriend at Christmas because both of them felt I should eat the turkey despite the health issues, etc involved. My husband and I still have issues when eating at our friends house. They are of Romanian origin and their diet is mostly meat. However she does make lots of vegetable dishes for us.
You are going to have to bring food with you that you can keep in containers in their fridge. Once again explain gently to them your dietary preferences and why. Encourage her to make lots of veggies dishes.

I hope it goes well! Let us know what happens! emoticon



IMVEGAN
IMVEGAN's Photo Posts: 2,845
6/5/13 9:43 P

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When I visit with friends I tell them of the way my husband and I eat and I offer to bring a dish to share or I offer to help make the entire dinner. When I visit with folks for a longer time. I premake a lot of food and take the food in a cooler to keep in their fridge for us and then go to the store a few times when I am there to add to the food I brought. It is easier once you are are used to cooking and living the lifestyle for a while. You find recipes that travel well and things you really like to share with folks that are meat eaters.


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D09AISY
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6/5/13 8:13 P

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I started eating a whole foods plant based diet (eliminating meat, dairy, and eggs as much as possible) but now am interested in going all the way -vegan - with my eating habits. How do you deal with this when you are away from home - say, visiting your inlaws for a week? We just got back from my in laws house and I don't think they are super understanding of what I'm trying to do. I don't think I could ask my mother in law to cook differently for me, but I'm breastfeeding so I can't just pick around the meat and "go hungry" either. The times I've waited too long to eat something I end up shaky and dizzy and I don't want to risk losing milk supply either. I also don't think I could bring enough food to last me that long at their house and they live in the country so it's a trek to run out and get food. What would you do? Also, how do you deal with being a guest at someone's house just for a meal? Do you tell them in advance, or just eat what you can eat while there?



 
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