Your Very Own “Cheat Sheet” for Social Gatherings, Family Holidays, Work Events, Dating, and Travel!
Quick Tips Before You Go:
- Eat before you go.
- Stay hydrated to reduce temptation.
- Bring your own food (and enough to share with others).
- Skim this raw vegan cheat sheet before you go – or print it and have it in your pocket and sneak to the bathroom to brush up on your answers. 🙂
- Deep breath before any challenging comments so you stay in a loving heart space. 💕
Be ready to answer the following questions when they find out you won’t eat their food.
How Do You Get Your Protein?
Every whole plant food contains all of the essential amino acids that we need to build protein. As long as we eat sufficient calories from various whole plant foods, our protein requirements will be easily covered.
Vegans can obtain protein from plant-based sources such as legumes (lentils, chickpeas, black beans), tofu and tempeh, quinoa, nuts and seeds (almonds, sesame, chia, and flax), and whole grains (such as brown rice, quinoa, and oats).
And one thing I personally say is, “I get my blood work done every year, and my protein levels are stellar!”
Raw vegans get protein from sprouted lentils, buckwheat, and quinoa, along with bloomed rice, whole fruits, vegetables, green juices, raw nuts, and seeds.
Check out my tasty recipes for some great protein-packed ideas!
You don’t need meat to be strong.
Elephants: Elephants are one of the strongest animals on earth and are herbivores.
Gorillas: Gorillas are known for their incredible strength and are the largest living primates. They are herbivores whose diet consists mostly of leaves, stems, and fruits.
How Do You Get Your B12?
I take a B12 supplement since farming and sanitation practices have wiped out much of the B12-producing bacteria in the water and soil. This is one of the reasons farm animals are supplemented with B12 as well – either in their feed or through injections.
Vegans only make up maybe 3% of the US population, yet more than 20% are either low or deficient in B12. So, while it is something vegans should pay attention to, non-vegans should also.
Anyone concerned about B12 can simply take a blood test once a year. If they’re low, supplementation is inexpensive and easy. If they don’t want to pay for a blood test, then proactively taking a supplement from a reputable company once or twice a week as insurance is probably wise.
Here are some communication tips to help you navigate such situations:
- Be Firm but Polite: Clearly and assertively express your decision not to eat their food while maintaining a polite and respectful tone. Use “I” statements to communicate your preferences without sounding confrontational.
Example: “Thank you for offering, but I have already eaten, and I’m not hungry at the moment. I appreciate your gesture, though.”
- Offer an Alternative: If appropriate, suggest an alternative solution that shows your gratitude while politely declining their food. This can help redirect their focus and show that you value their effort.
Example: “I really appreciate your offer. How about we enjoy a cup of tea or coffee together instead? It would be lovely to spend some time catching up.”
- Explain Dietary Restrictions or Preferences: If you have specific dietary restrictions or preferences, politely explain them. Providing a valid reason for declining their food can help them understand and respect your decision. You can say you’re on an “elimination diet” to rule out some allergies, or your doctor has you on a special diet or anything that helps them understand without offending.
Example: “Thank you for thinking of me, but I follow a specific diet for health reasons. I’m unable to eat certain ingredients, but I truly appreciate your kindness.”
- Express Appreciation: Even if you decline their food, express genuine appreciation for their thoughtfulness and effort. Acknowledge their gesture while reaffirming your decision not to eat.
Example: “Your kindness and generosity truly touch me. It means a lot to me that you thought of me. However, I have to pass on the food this time. Thank you again for your consideration.”
- Offer to Take Food Home: If the situation allows, offer to take a portion of their food home with you. This way, you acknowledge their effort and show that you value their cooking, but you can enjoy it later.
Example: “Your food looks absolutely delicious, and I’m sure it tastes amazing. While I can’t eat it right now, would it be alright if I take some home to enjoy later? I don’t want it to go to waste.”
- Stay Calm and Positive: Maintain a calm and positive demeanor throughout the conversation. Avoid getting defensive or engaging in an argument. Focus on maintaining a pleasant and respectful atmosphere.
Example: “I understand how delicious your food must be, and I’m grateful for your offer. However, I really can’t eat anymore.”
Remember, each situation may vary, and it’s important to assess the dynamics and adjust your approach accordingly. These tips can help you navigate such conversations while maintaining positive relationships.
When you have a special diet but don’t want to draw attention to it or make your date feel uncomfortable, here are some dating tips to consider:
- Research and Choose Suitable Restaurants: Prior to the date, research restaurants in your area that offer menu options aligning with your special diet. Look for places that have a variety of choices that cater to different dietary preferences. By suggesting suitable restaurants, you can avoid drawing too much attention to your specific needs.
- Be Prepared and Plan Ahead: If you have dietary restrictions or preferences, it’s helpful to plan ahead and communicate them with the restaurant staff discreetly. You can call the restaurant in advance or quietly mention your needs to the server when you arrive. This way, you can ensure that your meal will meet your requirements without making it a big topic of conversation during the date.
- Frame it as Personal Choice: If the topic of your dietary preferences comes up, you can frame it as a personal choice rather than a restriction or inconvenience. Emphasize that you have chosen this diet for your own well-being and health. This can help your date understand and respect your decision without feeling uncomfortable.
- Focus on Other Shared Interests: Instead of solely discussing your dietary preferences, shift the conversation to other shared interests or topics. Find common ground and engage in meaningful conversations that create a connection. By diverting the focus away from food, you can foster a more enjoyable and comfortable atmosphere.
- Offer to Share or Compromise: If your date suggests a restaurant that may not cater directly to your dietary needs, consider suggesting a compromise. Offer to share appetizers or side dishes that align with your diet while allowing your date to enjoy their preferred choices. This shows flexibility and consideration while maintaining a positive dining experience.
- Bring Snacks or Eat Before the Date: If you’re uncertain about the available options or are concerned about being hungry during the date, you can eat a small meal or snack beforehand. This way, you can focus on the social aspect of the date without feeling pressured to find suitable food options. Even sneaking a few apple slices in your purse will make a big difference in staving off hunger when you’re having to eat smaller portions at a restaurant.
- Maintain a Positive Attitude: Regardless of your dietary choices, maintain a positive and relaxed attitude throughout the date. Radiate confidence and self-assurance, and don’t dwell too much on your diet. Your positive energy and enthusiasm will help create a comfortable environment for you and your date.
Remember, open communication and mutual understanding are key in any relationship. If your special diet becomes a more significant topic over time, it’s important to have an open conversation with your partner about your needs and find ways to accommodate each other without sacrificing your well-being.
If you’re going on a trip where you’re flying, you’re limited on the appliances you can bring. But I usually pack a portable mini blender or a shaker cup and dehydrated food powders such as organic Barley Juice Powder and Coconut Powder and anything I can mix with clean water when in a pinch. Chia seeds are another filling option to add to a smoothie, make pudding, or simply add to water and drink between meals.
You can certainly pack dates and other dehydrated fruits and veggies, although dehydrated food can affect your digestion, especially when flying, so I only use those as a backup. And I always drink extra water when I arrive at my destination.
If it’s an option, hitting up a grocery store when you land so you’re stocked up is also ideal. Same if it’s a road trip.
I also like to buy a lot of apples before I leave on any trip since they hold up well during travel and won’t spoil for weeks. Snacks for the win! 🍎
You can also use vegan-friendly apps on your phone, such as Happy Cow to find plant-based meal options wherever you are traveling.
You Can Do It Anywhere When You Know WHY You’re Choosing Health!
In general, it’s fairly easy to accommodate our plant-based choices since most restaurants and events have a salad or fruit or vegetable, or avocados. Sparkling water is another fun drink when we’re socializing. The backup snacks in your purse or pocket ensure you’re covered either way – and you can focus on the conversation and the fun.
And who knows, you may even inspire your loved ones when they see you thriving!
Download The Raw Vegan Cheat Sheet
You can download this Cheat Sheet as a PDF file: