We all want our loved ones to succeed with their goals. But what if those goals are beyond our understanding? If you’re of the belief that everyone should work a 9–5 job, it’s challenging to get on board with your entrepreneurial daughter, for instance. The same is true of someone who has a different way of eating. What if your spouse, child, parent, sibling, or friend is ready to embrace a plant-forward diet? How can you support them in this new change and let them know that you’re cheering them on?
Maintain an Open Conversation
Generally speaking, most people like to talk about themselves and the challenges and successes they’re seeing. This is true, as well, for people who are taking on a lifestyle change, such as a plant-forward diet. They welcome your curious questions and are eager to engage in a give-and-take conversation about why they’ve chosen veganism and the variety of things they like to eat.
What they don’t want is to be attacked or accused of missing something. “Are you sure you’re getting enough protein?” is a question every vegan has been asked—repeatedly. If you’re truly curious about protein intake, present your query in a more supportive way: “I’m sure you are getting all the nutrition you need from your food, so what does a typical day’s worth of meals look like for you?”
When you are supportive and not accusatory, you’ll open more doors. You may even find you learn a thing or two.
Be Open to Trying New Foods
If you don’t follow a plant-forward diet, you may not understand what it entails. You may think your friend or family member is living on “rabbit food” and may wonder how anyone can be happy with just salads day after day. The truth, for most vegans, is that they enjoy a rich, varied diet with all kinds of amazing foods. The only thing their diet is lacking is animal products.
To effectively support your plant-eating loved one, invite them to dinner and suggest their favorite restaurant. Then ask them to order your meal for you. Or if that feels like too big of a leap, commit to trying a few bites of whatever they order. You may be surprised at the variety of options available and how much you like them!
Refrain from comparing a vegan option to “the real thing.” Vegan bacon isn’t the bacon you’re used to, so it will taste different. Saying something like, “This isn’t nearly as good as a real burger” is neither supportive nor helpful.
Consider Their Plant-forward Diet When Planning
Having some of your vegan friends or family over to your next BBQ or dinner party? Be sure to accommodate them with your food planning. These days, there are numerous plant-forward diet options available at the local grocery store, and the internet is full of recipes you can try. Plus, the likelihood is you’ll have all kinds of diet needs at a party, so asking everyone is just good form. Obviously, you can’t create full meals for everyone’s tastes, but having at least something substantial to offer will go a long way in creating goodwill and showing your support for your loved ones.
Celebrate Healthy Choices
People choose a vegan lifestyle for one of three reasons: their health, the environment, or animal welfare. All those choices are worthy of celebration. Instead of thinking that your sister is on a plant-forward diet to annoy you, consider that her choices have nothing at all to do with you and everything to do with her health. And as such, you should be applauding the fact that she is putting her health first. The same would be true if your best friend gave up lactose or gluten because they made him sick; you’d support that without question. Why not give your vegan loved one the same courtesy and respect?
Your Go-to for a Plant-forward Diet
Whether you want to try some delicious plant-based foods for yourself, you’d like to have something at the ready when your vegan child comes home from college this summer, or you want to provide a go-to option for your vegan friend who hates to cook, Vegan Taste has you covered. With a bevy of options that tempt your taste buds, you’ll wonder why you haven’t considered a plant-based diet yourself! Plus, you can even gift a subscription to someone you know who might be interested in trying a plant-based diet. Remember: The Vegan Taste isn’t just for vegans!