You’ve decided to not only start the summer off right but finish it off right as well.
It really doesn't matter if this is your first time at the vegan rodeo or if you've attempted this before, you know my favorite quote (or maybe you don't)...
"Anything worth doing, is worth doing poorly until you figure out how to do it well." Les Brown
Now that doesn't mean we're going to approach this thing with the intentions to do it poorly.
No not even close, but it does mean that since this is something YOU are committed to and something that means something to YOU, failure is irrelevant.
When you set an unwritten intention to give your health and your life everything you've got, you, by default, commit to restarting as many times as necessary to get the results you desire.
Let me repeat that, to get the results YOU desire. Remember, this is about you.
No one cares if you are or aren't committed to your health or your health goals. And they damn sho' don't care enough to allow your new lifestyle to impede on theirs.
So if you're serious about staying committed to a vegan lifestyle (sans meat and diary) throughout the summer, I think it would be wise to have a plan.
The biggest challenge will indeed be mental, but I'm confident that if you can keep the following tools in your summer survival arsenal, your experience as a vegan will end in your favor.
One more time for the people in the back, no one cares (other than maybe the vegan nazis you follow on twitter) that you're a vegan.
That means the cookouts will still be going down the same way they always have, unless of course you're throwing your own (and in that case you may end up there alone
Know this, embrace this, and chill the hell out.
As you putting your strategy together, you have several options:
Eat before you go (which will probably cause a conflict if you care about such things as others thinking you're acting bougie or "thinking you're better" than everyone else)
Stick to the safest selections available, at your own risk, i.e. salad, fruits, veggie platter etc
BYOS (Bring Yo Own Sh*!)
There are different types of vegans. Some heavily processed, some mostly faux meat and cheese, and some strictly fresh fruits and vegetables. You know where you fall better than I so get in where you fit in.
If you know you would like to partake in "regular" cookout styled foods but just in a vegan version be prepared to find some vegan cookout recipes and fix your own. There are tons!
Here are a few:
Traveling is not the time to panic. I honestly like traveling because it's a great opportunity for me to fast.
But that may not be a viable option for you if one, your travel activities are centered around eating or two, you simply want to eat!
Not to worry, workarounds are available, for the most part.
If you're traveling by car of course you have quite a bit of control because you can pack food and snacks.
But if you have to get down with the airport life, knowing what you will or won't eat before you leave home is the best option to prevent you falling into the "well I gotta eat something" trap.
Research the area you will be visiting. I usually use good ol' google maps to put in my location and search healthy options nearby.
If you're able, you'll want to make a grocery store or market stop as soon as you get where you're going. Don't expect anyone else to accommodate you. Cool if they do, but you shouldn't expect it.
For restaurant options, the HappyCow app is a good locator to find food spots with vegan options.
If you have trouble finding options, don't blow a lid, usually if you let the waiter or chef at the restaurants you visit know that you're vegan, most will offer accommodations.
I know many of us avoid the dreaded L word BUT creating lists such as what to pack, what to get upon arrival, restaurant options, grocery options, etc can also be a life safer and a stress reliever.
Checkout the Checklist - Travel Packing List app on itunes.
Dumbass People Repellent
This probably should have been first.
And I'm not referring to a physical repellent either but a mental one.
Translation: Get the hell on with all the vegan crying.
"Can you believe what my friend said?" "My parents are shaming me and not respecting my choices." "My homies only brought along things I don't eat on our trip." "My coworkers said I look unhealthy."
YO! This is your journey so stop being a punk and caring about what other people think.
Yes people will have something to say about what you're doing especially because it comes across as if you're under great distress.
Interesting because most people attribute "fun" to doing things that are detrimental to their health.
The first question you should ask yourself is why you even need others to understand or cosign your lifestyle?
The next time you expect someone else to make you feel comfortable in your vegan lifestyle, take that as a huge indicator that you need to focus more on you and your own self development.
Get some boss about yourself for goodness sake.
Lock in on your goals and focus.
If you know why you chose this lifestyle, then that's all that matters.
We can be creatures of habit so change can be challenging but you should be having fun it this is something you really want to do.
This is key because you will never experience complete wellness when you're uptight (aka stressed) about what it is you're doing and why.
Put your food strategy in place, plan for travel success and stay in your lane.
Now go and have some vegan fun in the sun, damn it!
1. Always have a plan. Know where you're going and what the atmosphere will be like. Be prepared to carry your own snacks if need be.
2. Envision a life of thriving and consistent health. Think success. Think about what you can do. Think about how easy it will be.
3. Man and woman the hell up. Stop looking or needing others to support your vegan lifestyle. Stay in your lane and let them stay in theirs.