I thought I’d introduce myself by saying first and foremost I am a baby “vegan” or in other words I am living a plant based lifestyle. It is all new to me, quite the adjustment I suppose but I am hanging in there. Since it is the summer I thought, well why not address what it is like being what it seems like the only one in the room who is a vegan or the only one at the barbecue who is not biting on a burger or a rack of ribs. What about being in that weird conversation where you have to explain to someone without sounding rude why you chose not to eat their food. What about the weird stares people give when you tell them you don’t eat meat and dairy. There will be supporters, there will be doubters, and there will be ambushers; that seems to be what anyone has to deal with when you seem to be the minority among any group right?
So what are some things that we can do to prepare ourselves as being the only vegan at the barbecue.
1. Eat before you go
This is definitely something I had to do this past fourth of July; I made me a veggie burger prior to leaving my home for the festivities. If you know eating at the festivities is not an option, prepare a meal beforehand, that way you can focus on the entertainment instead of the food at the event.
2. Eat the healthy choices they may have there
If you so happen to eat at the barbecue check out the salad selection or fruit trays first if the option is even available, you know people don’t like to eat healthy at these shindigs. If not corn on the cob is a good choice that is typically served at a barbecue. Anything else you might have to be prude and ask what is in the food to be on the safe side.
3. Pack you a few healthy snacks along with you
This past holiday having a few snacks like apple sauce, nuts, and fruit came in handy when I worked up an appetite. It’s as simple as carrying it in a lunch bag, bring the essentials that you can always grab at your convenience.
4. Don’t let people ambush you into eating meat or anything unhealthy for that matter
It’s definitely something that can happen especially when you are so new to this lifestyle and your loved ones are not used to the “new you”. Just politely explain to them that it is your lifestyle and they should respect it.
5. Don’t be the ambusher
Just like you would want others to respect your life decisions, you should respect others as well, don’t try to ambush others into being a vegan. First of all you’re being a kill joy and no one likes the kill joy and second you’re not doing any good trying to force others or conform them to have the same beliefs and life choices as you do. If they ask, inform and encourage NEVER AMBUSH.
6. Last but not least enjoy yourself
Remind yourself why you are really there, of course it may not be to pig out on the food but more than likely you’re there to spend time with your loved ones and enjoy a little entertainment. Don’t even think about the food, just think about the moment and you’ll be fine.
The summer isn’t over folks, what will you do to prepare yourself for the next barbecue?