I've been challenged this week. My extended family was here for a birthday party (my baby is turning 3!) and we had a luncheon. I had 15 people to feed yesterday. Also, my mother is staying with us for a few days and I need to decide on a meal plan while she's with us.
So what would you do? Would you continue to cook and eat and serve vegan to guests? Or would you go back to your old ways and cook something that you know will make them happy? It would be easier if I felt a little more supported. But I'm having a hard time deciding since most of my family thinks I've gone completely off the deep end now, as was proven by some of the quotes I've heard this week:
"Well, that just can't be healthy."
"What are you thinking?!"
"That's a strange phase for you to be going through."
"Your poor kids and husband must be miserable."
"It's really good, you would like it if you'd just try it."
And there were a mountain of jokes about tofu cake, tofu cookies, tofu meat, etc. Who knew I was related to so many comedians?
I'll be honest. I wasn't very strong. Actually, I totally caved. I ordered up pulled pork for sandwiches, ordered cookies and made a "normal" cake. I just didn't eat any of it. But I did make a big fruit salad and a platter of veggie dippers (and others brought salads and chips) so there were plenty of healthier food choices. I chose to eat those healthier options and just not partake in the meat and treats. And it was easy to do since I don't crave any of that.
But it was difficult for me to see everyone else eating all that. I understand now how that food affects my body. I understand the uncomfortable fullness, the bloating, and the tummy issues that go along with eating all that crap. I understand the need to sit down after a meal and take a nap because my body feels worn out. I wish you could understand the way I feel just by changing a few small habits. I wish you could feel the energy and the "lightness" that I feel after a meal, instead of the dragging fullness. It's very hard for me to watch people I love doing that to themselves. I promised not to pressure anyone into "this vegan thing" that I'm doing. So I kept my mouth shut. I just watched and worried and said more than a few passing prayers.
From now on, I'm not going to give in. I'm going to cook the foods I would cook normally even when I have guests in my home. I'm hoping that you will visit me, will try some of it and think, "It's not so bad." Maybe a meal or two of eating vegan won't change someone for life, and that's not my goal. But if I can expose someone to some new recipes that are good, tasty, fulfilling and easy to prepare, then maybe it will inspire just a little bit. (Worst case scenario is you stop for a burger on the way home, right?!)
I just want to reassure all of you that I'm not crazy (well, not about this anyways). And, most of all, I LOVE YOU! All of you. I care about you and your health and wish more than anything that you would try to make some simple changes in your lives that will help you to live your life more fully. I want you to be as healthy and happy as you can possibly be. I want you to want it for you and for your own loved ones. And I want you to be around for more and more birthday parties!!