I’m Going to a Friend’s House for Dinner-What Do I Do? — A Case For Plant Based

Edit: when I first wrote this article many weeks ago, life still hadn’t changed for many of us. We were going to our various jobs, hanging out with our friends, and life was still pretty normal. However, as the coronavirus continues to spread and we adjust to the ever-changing circumstances before us, life is anything but “normal” right now.

Most of us are working from home or have been laid-off from our jobs. We haven’t hugged our loved ones or seen our friends in what seems like forever. In these trying times, we need each other now more than ever, even if it is only through an iPhone screen or computer monitor.

This is temporary, and we will get through it. Eventually life will start getting back to some sort of new normal, and when it does, just imagine how happy that first get-together with your friends is going to be. How sweet that hug from your elderly grandmother is going to be. I think we all are going to appreciate life a little bit more. I’m already looking forward to the next girls night with my girlfriends! Now, here are some tips for when these much-anticipated dinner parties resume ❤️

That dreaded dinner invitation right after you’ve converted to a plant-based diet. It’s inevitable. And now, the panic sets in.

What am I going to eat? What do I say to my friends? How should I approach this situation?

Honestly, the answers to these questions all depend on how you feel. Are you ready to tell your friends you switched to a plant-based diet? And are you good enough friends that you want to tell them? Will they be understanding or will they make fun of you? Are you planning on just going along with it and eating the food that’s available? These are all things you need to consider.

So many questions to address, so let’s get to it.

If you feel these are your good friends and they’ll understand and be supportive, then by all means tell them about your new dietary changes. Most people, especially when they are true friends, will be understanding and will likely go out of their way to accommodate you.

That being said, don’t expect your friends to cook a completely separate meal for you or to make the entire meal vegan. Here are some ways you can address this:

(Years ago before I went vegan, one of my best girlfriends was making a trip to Australia to spend a week with my husband and me. She is a vegetarian and has been for many years. Before she came, I called her because I was panicked and had no idea what to cook for the three of us. She calmly told me I was making it a bigger issue than it really was and suggested multiple meal options and helped with all of the cooking when she arrived. She could not have been sweeter and more gracious about the situation, and I always remember this experience when I get nervous about revealing to friends about our new vegan lifestyle.)

Overall, just make sure your friend isn’t going to stress out over how to deal with this. Tell them you don’t want to make a big fuss about it, and you want to make it easy and convenient for everyone involved.

That’s ok! Don’t feel bad. This doesn’t make you all any less of friends if you’re not comfortable telling them yet.

There are a number of ways you can approach this:

This totally depends on your stance. If you don’t want to be a strict vegan or simply want to cut back on the amount of animal products you’re consuming, that’s completely your choice.

You can try picking all meat and dairy products out of dishes or eat around them. Or you can eat the meal as prepared if you’re not planning on following a fully plant-based diet.

Maybe you don’t foresee yourself becoming a strict vegan and prefer to be more like a flexitarian.

Maybe you think “It’s just once, it won’t be a big deal.” And that’s fine. Just keep in mind, if you do it once, you’ll likely have to continue this pattern for any additional parties or get-togethers. So make sure you choose whatever you’re comfortable with.

I know sometimes it’s really difficult to be vulnerable, even with those people we are closest to. Just remember, whatever you decide, it’s your life and your choice. Be respectful of others and they will in turn respect you. And if they don’t, they probably weren’t that great of a friend in the first place.

Originally published at https://acaseforplantbased.com on March 20, 2020.

Nurse, Blogger, and Vegan advocate.