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Going Vegan: It Doesn't Have to be Weird
Going Vegan: It Doesn't Have to be Weird

Eating raw or vegan doesn’t have to be lonely, or obsessive, or weird to our friends, co-workers, or loved ones. It can be very inclusive and non-judgmental. If you find you are getting made fun of or teased, just hold your head up and keep your heart strong. If you find yourself getting emotionally engaged with animal rights and activism while your co-worker or lover is eating a turkey sandwich, relax! This is not the way to approach our meat eating loved ones. Let go of the judgement. It will just cause discomfort, disconnection, and turn others off. It is hypocritical, if we are choosing this diet to become more peaceful and then allow ourselves to get all worked up.

Yes, going vegan is great for the environment and sustainability. Yes, it is a more peaceful lifestyle. Yes, being vegan can provide the body detoxification. It is also a yogic path. Yet, eating raw vegan, vegan, vegetarian, organic doesn’t have to come with the stigma that intimidates our meat eating loved ones. It is all about how we present it. Stay positive and excited when going vegan. It is not our business to judge or preach to others. If they ask about it, great! Tell them how you feel, and offer to share your raw vegan meal with them. Step by step, without any judgement ever.

When going to a dinner party, you can bring a colorful fruit salad, or a raw corn and sauerkraut salad, which will be great at the pool party or somewhere fun to share with your friends. People may ask you questions but how we answer them doesn’t have to be stoic talks about factory farming, pollution, or the chronic disease epidemic. Just share with them how good you feel, or better yet bring extra to share, or invite them over to share a meal with you.

Some of the best advice I have gotten has been from my teachers David Life, Sharon Gannon founders of Jivamukti yoga, Dr. Gabriel Cousens and Shantih Cousens founders of The Tree of Life, and Dr. Robert Morse founder of the International School of Detoxification. 

They all share that we should just mind our own business.

We are responsible for ourselves and the busyness within our own minds. Don’t worry about if people feel uncomfortable about how you eat. Your confidence will grow as your body heals from inflammation, immune disorder, etc. 

People in your life will become inspired when they see your life working for you.

The healing and health benefits of eating a vegan diet will over time become noticeable to your loved ones. They will observe your weight loss, clear skin, clear eyes, increased energy, and your more relaxed state of consciousness. This will then spark their interest. Allow them to ask you more about your lifestyle and share with them your experience, and all the delicious recipes you enjoy.

At first it may be overwhelming when becoming vegan, to create a menu, learn how to shop and store your produce. You will get the hang of it and really begin to enjoy the whole experience of preparing and feeding your body. There are several of us who are sharing recipes, and tips on how to maintain the lifestyle, as well as, tons of published peer reviewed journals and books confirming the healing and health benefits to motivate you on this journey.

You don’t have to feel alone. There are many of us who have transitioned to plant based and vegan diets that are sharing tips, recipes and encouragement. If your friends and loved ones really care about you they will support you and your decision. It will open up other ways to connect to your social network. Instead of going out to dinner, you can explore other activities, like going for a hike, watching the sunset, going swimming, skateboarding, to an art class, etc. 

Our social connections do not have to be focused around eating. 

This may create greater connections with your friends and loved ones as you get to know more about each other and shared interests. Have fun! Eating raw and vegan foods is colorful, flavorful, and provides the body with enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and incredible energy to support the purification of the nervous system, which like the practices of yoga inspires consciousness and joy. There are so many textures and tastes and beautiful recipes to engage your senses. When we are enthusiastic and positive about this lifestyle, and non-judgmental our friends and family will accept and continue to invite us to the dinner table, especially if we bring vegan and raw recipes like this ones below to share!

By Shannon Connell

Shannon is a certified Jivamukti, Power, Hot Yoga, and Mindfulness Meditation Instructor, Usui and Karuna Reiki Master Teacher, and Registered Psychotherapist. She honors the interconnectedness between All-beings and All-things and is passionate about participating and supporting her community in physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Visit her at her website www.shannonconnellhealth.com.

Enjoy more vegan recipes here & practice the Yoga for Detoxification, Cleansing, & Vitality, program, to complement going vegan!


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