Minding Your Vegetarian Manners
We've said it before and it's worth repeating: it's skinny bitch, not bitchy bitch. Your diet lies in your hands and yours alone. If you’ve recently become a vegetarian, you may have some uncertainty about how to dine out or how to have meals with family and friends. Rest assured, you can still be a vegetarian and eat the foods you want to eat, socialize and enjoy meals wherever you go. Depending on your personality (and how close you are to family and friends) you can share as much or as little as you want about your dietary preferences. One thing you should understand and accept is that it is not anyone’s responsibility to make sure that you stick to your diet; it is your responsibility. You can be polite when speaking to people about your diet and do some planning to make sure that you have a good meal.
Know Your Diet
Before you even think about talking to anybody about your diet, make sure you know your diet and why you’ve chosen it. Know what foods you will not eat and know which foods you will make an exception for. For instance, will you eat a spoonful of your Mom’s famous casserole that has meat or cheese in it? Or a bite of a dessert that has eggs or dairy in it? Being clear about what food you do and don’t eat will make life easier on yourself and everyone around you. It will also help you reach your goals if you know what they are.
If you have plans to dine at a restaurant, call ahead or look at their menu online to see what types of vegetarian options they offer. Vegetarian diets are increasingly popular, so chances are good that there will be options. But be realistic. You can probably not expect much more than a salad or some vegetables if you are eating at a steak house or a fast food restaurant.
Dinner Parties, Potlucks & BBQ’s
If you’ve been invited to a dinner party or other social event where food will be served, talk to the person who invited you and tell them about your diet. You can take a vegetarian dish to most informal dinners. If you’ve been asked to a formal dinner speak to the hostess, remember that while vegetarian diets are popular, not everyone will know about your specific preferences. Be specific about what you don’t eat. Remember, the word vegetarian means different things to different people. Be polite and explain your dietary restrictions and ask how you can make it easier for your hostess to feed you and still have a great dinner party.
Holidays and Vacations
If you’re planning a holiday or vacation get away, you are going to have to plan for your meals. If you are staying at a hotel, call ahead and ask about vegetarian options for meals. If you are renting a condo or house, find out about the local markets and restaurants. Talk to the people you are staying with about how you can make meals together so that everyone is happy with the food selection.
Create a Vegetarian Community
There are many vegetarian groups who meet to discuss vegetarian recipes and exchange ideas, if there is one on your area, join it, or start a group. You can also join groups online to learn from others and exchange ideas.