Living with non-vegans
When we are living with non-vegans who have very different way of eating – how can we still manage to transition to healthier meals?
Shortly after going vegan, I already moved in with my boyfriend who was on the same journey. Therefore I only got occasional exposure to the family meal clash. On top, my family was pretty supportive, I guess part of this was because they could see my enthusiasm and loved my vegan muffins!
But I know the challenges many of you are facing. Here are a few tips that can help you navigate through them:
Practical Tips to Living with Non-Vegans
OWN KITCHEN SPACE
Organise your own cupboard or fridge space so that you are less confronted with non-vegan foods all the time and reduce the risk of giving in to transition temptations. This way, you might also need to do less explaining over the ingredients you eat (out of sight out of mind).
PREPARE YOUR OWN MEALS
No need to argue with your family over what ingredients they can or can not add to your dishes (this makes things so much easier for all of you). On top they see how important this new lifestyle is to you, how you take responsibility for your meal choices.
SHARE PART OF THE MEAL
For example, make a big raw salad base for the whole family and everyone can add their vegan or non-vegan toppings to it. This way you still get to connect over a meal and you can inspire your family to share this journey a little bit.
CHOOSE DELICIOUS ALTERNATIVES
Make similar foods your family eats in a vegan/raw version so that you can share the same meal experience and don’t feel like missing out on something.
MAKE IT EXTRA TASTY
For yourself but also in case your family wants to try your new creations. They might even end up liking them even more than their conventional choices.
If you could use some delicious raw vegan recipes to show your family and friends how amazing healthy food can taste, check out my ebook Raw Vegan Abundance filled with great recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and sweet treats.
Social Perspective in a non-vegan household
With a new diet lots of questions come up for the people around us. Finding answers to the most common ones not only helps you to remain confident whenever others are questioning your choices. This also helps them to understand your motives and have more tolerance for your new lifestyle. On top, it strengthens our own confidence in this lifestyle.
Food is often very emotional and discussions about different choices can easily become heated. I myself am very passionate about it and know how easy it is to fall into heavy arguments. But I also learned this is not the way to help others see our point or even get inspired. Nowadays, I only talk about my vegan lifestyle when somebody is curious and asks about it themselves. This leaves more space for them to explore and build their own opinion.
Everyone is on their own journey. Although we often want to help everyone see this amazing new lifestyle we discovered – not everyone might be there yet. When we accept that others live a different way right now, we also make it easier for them to accept our journey.
Some family members might find it hard to understand our choices and even get offended. Communicate that you simply want to eat healthier and feel better and would be grateful if they respected your path.
When your family is open for that, watch documentaries together that explain more about the vegan life. They get to see that other people are doing it as well which can lighten their concerns and also make them better understand it.
Find a friend/family member who wants to join you – it’s always easier when we have a partner in our mission. If that’s not an option, meet like-minded people online, at potlucks or festivals and connect with them.
If you are living with non-vegans and intent to switch to a plant-based diet, I hope these tips are helpful to create a peaceful and supportive environment. An environment that gives everyone the space to experience the particular way of eating they choose for themselves right now.
Have a wonderful day,
Puerto Escondido, Mexico