Day TWENTY-SEVEN: Learn to Say No

Hopefully this won’t be a big issue. One month (or more) in, your friends and family should all know about your diet and lifestyle choices. This means that for the most part, you shouldn’t have to say no to things at home, because your loved ones probably won’t buy or make things for you that they know you can’t have. That being said, perhaps today is a good time to make sure those that are close to you are clear on what “vegan” actually means. This doesn’t have to be awkward, it could be as simple as talking about how good you feel since omitting (insert specific foods here) from your diet. Or just post your definition on Facebook or Twitter.

The one place where I am saying no over and over again is at work. There has been a potluck since I made my official switch, and one of our admin. assistants is always bringing nummies in for everybody. You may feel pressured to at least try something that is out on display at work. Luckily, I’ve found that it is so easy to say, “No thanks, I don’t eat meat/eggs/dairy/etc.” From what I have observed, a lot of people don’t know what “vegetarian” and “vegan” mean, so it’s easiest for me to just say plainly the exact things that I do not eat. Then, if they follow-up by asking if I’m vegetarian/vegan, I say yes. I don’t feel like that’s a cop-out.

As for the potluck, I played it safe and packed a lunch (chili) that day. This was insurance in case there was nothing I could eat at the party. In addition, I brought a vegetable tray (not so creative). So, I knew for sure from the very start that I would be having some awesome meatless chili and fresh vegetables for lunch that day. With the pressure being off, I was able to graze on a few items at the food table without my stomach growling and trying to get me to eat everything.

Remember, even the most awkward situations can be negotiated with tact. Just remember to always be both HONEST and KIND and to never apologize for your diet choices.