You may be someone who mended your ways and have started to imbibe the true essence of healthy eating. Cut out all of the hydrogenated oils, animal products, and artificial refined sugars. The obvious aftereffect of all this is, you feel energetic and youthful. For most people, when something good happens to them, they would want to share the same with their loved ones and family. Nevertheless, there is no short of roadblocks there.
It could be holidays, sporting events, vacation, weddings, or anniversaries – no matter what the occasion is, a lot of the interaction and fervour is centered on what is set on the table. Sharing a meal and cooking together has been always seen as a tradition rooted deeply in our society. To call someone over for dinner or offer them a meal is seen as a way to extend one’s arms in a form of embrace. Certain foods are expected and are etched into it – like a roast turkey for thanksgiving or a game of Super Bowl with a bowl of peppered chicken wings sitting by the tableside.
When you are making drastic changes in your dietary habits, it is sure to affect others around – for good or for worse. However, the truth is that, with communication, planning, and healthy intentions, you can enjoy a family gathering, irrespective of whether they agree to a plant-based diet or not. We shall take a look at some of the dos and don’ts when you are communicating with your loved ones about where you stand with nutrition. Read on…
- Do tell your family where you stand when it comes to healthy eating. Tell them about it in an insouciant tone. Remember to not get emotional or take things to heart when your family is judgemental on your eating antics, and neither should you be judging their nutritional preferences.
- Do expect family members to not hold the news well. Change is necessary, and children and your parents may feel that you are not participating in the family event, and they may be hurt as a result. However, you need to calm them down, and keep doing what you need to do to eat healthily – this will eventually become the new normal.
- Do try to convert some of the family recipes into plant-based meals. If you feel you won’t do a good job then, get the help of a local vegan chef or check through the innumerable plant-eating blogs online.
- Remember to participate in helping with preparing and planning the meal. Read the vibe of the group, and then decide if you should offer to prepare plant-based dishes for them. You can’t change what they eat, so it is up to you to make yourself more involved with the cooking and helping aspect.
- Start a couple of new traditions, it ain’t always bad. Rather than having things centered around food, have games or activities. This could be anything – a family movie, a family talent show, or even a gift exchange. Make it unique, and make it enjoyable for everyone.
- Don’t expect them to eat your plant-based foods. No doubt, you will face disappointment if you expect them to accept plant-based eating in one go. You may be surprised if there are more takers for vegetable soup and tofu rolls. Even if that is not the case, remember more leftovers for you!
- Don’t start a debate on the dining table. There may be snarky remarks or insults on your eating ideology, but be the bigger person and make witty comebacks to ease the tension. Don’t let your emotions get the better of you, and you begin to rant off.
- Don’t give up on transitioning towards healthy plant-based eating – it is a journey that can take months or even a couple of years. You need to sit tight and keep perfecting your nutrition, and not be influenced by what others have to say. There is a high chance that those who resisted you, might come to you for guidance and advice on the same.
- Go easy on giving ultimatums. The transition for you is hard on you and your family too. If you were to give an ultimatum, that no meat is allowed past your front door, then you are plain daft and short-sighted. This is so a way to introduce your healthy lifestyle.
Putting The Forks Down
The journey to healthy eating has its fair share of ups and downs. It is just as hard as it is for you, as it may be for some parents and families. The thing to keep in mind is to have an open mind and be consistent in your efforts. You started this journey with a dream in mind – remind yourself what it is, when you are in times of doubt. Stick to healthy eating no matter what…you will do just fine!