Going vegan and obtaining the support of friends and family is a common struggle for many who make the choice to live a vegan lifestyle. In the September episode of The Vegan Life Coach podcast, Stephanie shared her story of going vegan and broke down the 5 stages that family and friends go through. Today, Stephanie is giving 10 tips for transitioning that will save your relationships. If going vegan has put a strain on your current relationships or you want to avoid ruining your relationships as you transition to a vegan lifestyle, these ten power tips are sure to help.
Stephanie discusses these tips in-depth in this episode:
1. Define your boundaries in a vegan lifestyle.
Once Stephanie committed to veganism, she decided she was no longer going to or cook meat.
2. Talk about vegan lifestyle and answer questions.
Stephanie decided to use a lot of I-statements to demonstrate that she was taking responsibility for her own choices. Oftentimes, talking about veganism can challenge the way people see themselves as ethical, whole, compassionate human beings. So she plans ahead for these moments when she will be asked questions.
3. Have a sense of humor about your vegan lifestyle.
Because Stephanie is able to laugh at herself, she believes that really rebukes that stereotype of the angry, raging vegan. And thus laughing about these things becomes easier for her family and for her relationships. “Most vegans will be the victims of malicious jokes,” Stephanie says, “but generally, the people in our lives are really just poking fun.”
4. Get educated about nutrition for yourself and your kids.
This program was the foundation for Stephanie’s nutritional metamorphosis for her family. There are tons of great cookbooks and resources out there. Getting educated about nutrition is not only good for you, it’s good for your kids. And it’s good for that mom guilt, too. When Stephanie knows that what she’s putting in front of her kids is nutritionally sound, then she knows that, without a shadow of a doubt, that mom guilt cannot creep in. And if it does, she can challenge it at every level.
5. Keep your vegan lifestyle it simple.
Especially if you’re cooking for a family. When Stephanie’s family got curious, she started with breakfast smoothies. Now everyone gets a smoothie for breakfast.
6. Stop preparing two completely different meals.
You are not a restaurant. When Stephanie went vegan she started preparing one dish and it was always a vegan main dish. She was okay with them adding animal protein to the side themselves. but she stopped saying she was going to prepare what everybody’s dish was. She wasn’t a short-order cook.
7. Veganize your favorite dishes.
Stephanie suggests exploring new dishes with familiar flavors. Some of her family’s favorites? Stir-fry and Mexican food.
8. Honor others’ gestures and be flexible without compromising values.
Stephanie says to be appreciative of the steps that people take that might help you feel included and comfortable. Make a really big deal out of it. The one gesture Stephanie does that has never failed her? Telling her friends and family how much she loves to cook and offering to bring whatever they’d like her to bring.
9. Connect with other vegan lifestyle families.
Stephanie has a great Facebook community in her local area that has meetups, and she suggests finding one in your local area to connect with others who are like-minded and whose beliefs are similar.
10. Promote vegan lifestyle role models, especially if you have kids.
Stephanie sees the importance of introducing her children to people that they can look up to in all aspects of their lives.
We hope these 10 tips are useful for you and your family. We encourage you to take an honest account of where you are in your own journey and where your loved ones might be on theirs. Accept where you’re powerless and challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening because that’s really where your power is in your own response to what’s going on around you. Use these tips as you transition to navigate the tough terrain of relationships with family and friends.