Deciding to change your diet is a huge and amazing journey. Going raw and vegan will completely change your life for the better, but the transition may not always be easy. It can be so frustrating to commit to something and then not have support around you during the process. Even if your friends and family mentally support your journey, they may not realize when they are surrounding you with the temptation meat, dairy, and unhealthy processed foods.
Here are a few strategies you can use to continue your raw/vegan journey even when your friends and family don’t make the change with you.
- Explain to your friends and family why you’re making this change in your life. They may not understand the reasons why going raw or vegan is so important to you. Once they truly understand your personal motivations, they will get a better grasp on how important the change is to you and will give you more support. Showing them articles, websites and documentaries can also be very helpful.
- Create a meal plan that satisfies everyone. Create a weekly meal plan that contains foods that everyone loves, and choose options that can be made both traditionally and also raw/vegan. Seeing that you can still enjoy your favorite foods can help people become more open minded to making a change. It may be a little bit more work when it comes to cooking to provide both options, but you cannot force someone to join your own journey, especially if they aren’t ready.
- Make your grocery run together. This is a tip that I personally learned the hard way. The one time I didn’t make a grocery run with my roommate (and we also did not make a list), she came back with only frozen, processed, non-vegan meals. Now, I always make sure we make our grocery together. It has become a fun bonding experience that we both look forward to and it also helps her see that there are many vegan friendly options available at the supermarket.
- Don’t judge someone for following a traditional diet. The quickest way to make someone uninterested in what you have to say is by judging them and making them feel inadequate. Just because you are making this lifestyle change doesn’t mean everyone else if your life has to either. Sure, it would make your life easier, but that’s just not how it works. Try the best you can to stay open-minded, and ironically, being open to their current diet choices may be a factor in why they decide to ultimately join you.
- Check restaurant menus before going out to eat. Being prepared before going out to eat is extremely important. It will help you make better choices and be prepared ahead of time for any special requests you’ll need to make. If there are any raw or vegan restaurants near you, chose those when possible. Taking non-vegan friends and family to vegan friendly restaurants is the perfect way to show them that vegan and raw food can be absolutely delicious and beautiful.
- Lead by example. Over time the changes in your diet will begin to become apparent, especially to those who are living in close quarters with you! You may lose some unwanted fat, you’ll have more energy, your skin will begin to glow, and your positive outlook on life will shine through. All of these things will be noticed and your diet choices will become more appealing, even to skeptics!