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Q: How can I stick to my vegan diet when I am around friends and family all eating the foods I used to love? I really want to be able to stick to my vegan values, but am struggling not to give in to the temptation. Help please. - Tempted
Hey there, I hear you. This is a difficulty that a lot of people face. When you start out vegan you are trying to change habits of a lifetime so don't beat yourself up if you are finding it a bit tricky. It is completely normal to feel tempted and is not at all a reflection of you or your values. Change is hard and it can take time.
You don't need to be perfect from the start, you just need to do your best and keep moving forwards. Don't let the odd slip put you off your long term goal.
Some people are able to go cold turkey and never touch another morsel of animal products, others take a more measured step by step approach. Both work in the long run, you just need to decide what works best for you.
There are many techniques to try to get past temptation. A lot of people suggest trying to avoid it, but you don't want to have to avoid being out with family and friends. It is so much better to find a solution.
Planning ahead works well. If you are going out, choose to meet friends at places that you know are vegan friendly. You can even call in advance and make sure there will be something tasty for you to eat. If you are going to a friend's house, take a dish along with you.
If you know you are going somewhere that might not cater to your new diet, make sure you are NOT hungry. Eat before you go and you are far less likely to eat something you don't want to.
And at the end of the day, temptation for food is just a craving like any other. And cravings are just feelings in your body, they can't hurt you. You get to choose whether you give in to them or not. The more times you ride them out, the easier it will get. So maybe don't fight or avoid the temptations, welcome them as a practice in sitting out your cravings. And before you know it, those temptations will be gone. Try it. See how many times you need to be tempted before you feel temptation no more.
You've got this. Georgia xx
Georgia Bamber is a vegan success coach based in the Southern Highlands NSW. Certified in coaching and plant based nutrition she knows a thing or two about embracing a vegan lifestyle. You can find out more about Georgia and how she can help you at www.georgiabamber.com.