April 7, 2013

How To Be the Only Vegan In the Room. ~ Heidi Templeton

The first few holidays and celebrations you attend when becoming vegan can be tough.

Usually, your dodging questions on how you get your protein or you’ll hear the phrase “I could never be vegan because…” followed by some ‘scientific’ reason they made up as a defense mechanism.

But it does get easier, I promise.

Soon, the spotlight won’t be so much on the lack of decomposing flesh on your plate—and eventually, you’ll be able to float around the party just like your carnivore friends!

Here’s a couple tips to use next time an Evite shows up in your box:

Eat before you go. Have a meal that’s going to sustain you for a little while. This will take the focus off you not eating meat by simply saying, “I ate a big lunch.” Then, you can graze on salad, fruit or any other vegan friendly side dish.

Speaking of side dishes, bring one. The easiest way to guarantee that you won’t be eating tofu out of the box when you get home like a famished beast is to bring something to eat! Get creative! I always bring a dessert with me, as there are so many easy and delicious vegan desserts to be made.

Try not to draw attention. Going vegan in today’s society is really tough, especially in a group comprised of family or friends. New ideas and new behaviors can feel threatening to a small group. The fear is that traditions may change, or worse yet, end.  It doesn’t need to interrupt happy families or end friendships—but, that will take some work on both ends. Going back to, “I ate a big lunch” will help detract the attention.

Be compassionate. That’s a natural trait for a lot of vegans—not all, but a lot. Veganism is a compassionate choice and it takes a lot of passion to follow a Vegan lifestyle. So if someone does want to discuss your choice try not to get too ‘heated.’

Remember, this lifestyle works for you, but perhaps, not them. It can be draining at first and you might feel flustered leaving parties—but, eventually everyone will catch on.

You might even plant a couple of seeds, you never know!

Heidi Templeton is a Tampa Bay Area yoga instructor specializing in vinyasa, hot and standup paddle board yoga. When she’s not practicing asana, you can find her in the kitchen cooking up vegetarian dishes. Heidi is sharing her love for all things health and wellness on www.facebook.com/HeidiFit.


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Ed., T. Lemieux

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