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11 Tips for Successful Navigation of Non-Vegan Socials


A celebratory gathering of people is usually a challenging event for anyone with a dietary preference, especially Vegan.

Here are some tips to get you through with your health and your personal relationships still intact.  Maintaining our health can be a constant challenge in today’s food culture.  Equally, maintaining healthy relationships with the people in your life can be just as challenging when you choose to shift your diet for health or ethical reasons.

No need to lose your relationship with loved ones over the subject of food or throw aside your vegan choice.  You can keep both for a social gathering if you use a combination of these food and diplomacy tips for non-vegan social outings.

Below are 11 tips that will help you navigate socials.  Share tips that work for you.

1. Always offer to bring a dish or two to share.

Contact your host, thank them for the invitation and express your excitement about coming to their home. Then share that you have been doing really well on your vegan (or plant-based) eating plan and didn’t want them to go out of their way for you. Ask if you could bring a dish or two to share.

2. Don’t launch into all of your knowledge and education about vegan benefits.

Even if someone asks or brings up veganism, you should be brief. Say some thing like, “I’d LOVE to tell you all about it, but now might not be the time. Let’s go to lunch.” or “Briefly, I do it for my health (or conscience), we can talk more later if you are really interested.”

3. Use Dr. Doug Lisle’s “seem strategy.”

If someone is insistent in asking about what your eating preference simply respond, “It seems to be working for me.”  Avoid getting into a debate at a friendly party if you don’t wish to be uninvited or never invited again.

4. Compliment the host.

Even if you don’t eat any of the food served still compliment the host on how nice everything looks and for inviting you.

5. Eat before you go. 

When you have no idea what kinds of food might be served, eat a healthy vegan snack or meal before you go to the gathering.  Pre-eating will hopefully keep you satisfied and prevent you from eating foods you may regret later.

6. Bring dessert! 

Everyone loves dessert!  Bring your favorite vegan desserts.  For desert help consult Engine 2 Recipes most are super easy to make!

7. Sometimes the host will offer to make a dish that you can eat.

If the host has asked it will probably be okay to give them some simple suggestions informing them what vegan is. Many times hosts think dairy and eggs are okay.  Make sure to thank the host for their time and consideration for your eating preference.

8. Drink water and skip the booze.

“Naughty food and a tipsy head make for a bad combination! Be sure to keep yourself hydrated with water during parties. This way you can not only be the designated driver but also the responsible eater!”

9. Remember that it’s not all about food! 

Hanging out with family and friends is the main treat. Sometimes social gatherings seem more focused on the food, when the focus should be on the people who are there! Another bonus is that the longer you stay with your vegan eating preference, the more friends you will find in your life who are also vegan or supportive.

10. Plan to exercise before and/or after.

Exercise feels good, even a short walk, and it reminds you why you eat for health. If you know you are going to physically exert yourself in the morning you may be more aware of what you eat the night before.

11. Remind yourself why you choose a vegan food preference.

Whether you are vegan for health, animal welfare, or environment impacts be true to your decision. Then again if you slip don’t beat your self up or quit. You can re-start at the next meal. Be prepared for that one person who will probably make a comment about the non-vegan thing you ate. Be nice, smile and say something like, “Oh thanks for letting me know and for being concerned for my health.”

Enjoy your social for the people and reason for the celebration!


Easy Vegan Recipes Cookbooks:

Plant-Strong: Discover the World’s Healthiest Diet–with 150 Engine 2 Recipes

Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year

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