The Daily Beet

19 Nov Plants to Politics: What to Say (and What NOT to Say) at Thanksgiving!

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We asked Dr. Doug Lisle, Engine 2’s favorite psychologist and author of The Pleasure Trap, to help us prepare for what might be a precarious position as we gather for Thanksgiving.  Specifically, we wanted to know how best to avoid the giant pitfalls of discussing a plant-based lifestyle (and politics!) over holiday dinner.  He delivered a heaping serving of sage advice on both fronts – to no surprise.  Dr. Lisle’s expert ability to navigate sticky social situations and to disarm any confrontation is the reason we have him on our team.  Enjoy this entertaining script for right-answer/wrong-answer dialogue.  We recommend practicing the right answers as your drive over the river and through the woods to your family gathering this year.

Dr. Doug’s Holiday Tips:

What to Say (and What Not to Say) at Thanksgiving!

Q:  “So, are you still doing that crazy diet?”

WA:  “You mean the one that is making me thinner and healthier, and is the only diet shown to reverse the #1 health problem in the western world?  THAT ‘crazy’ diet?”

(Wrong Answer)

RA:  “Pretty much still a little crazy – I’m still working with it and seeing how it goes – so far, not too bad.”  (Right Answer)

Q:  “You don’t get enough protein on that diet – it’s not healthy like you think.  I saw a whole program on this on CNN.”

WA:  “I saw that program. The moderator is an idiot.”

WA:  “I get plenty of protein – a lot of world class athletes are using this diet.”

RA:  “Could be – you’re probably right.  But my doctor says that for now, my protein levels are totally fine, but he will make sure to check them again in a year.”

Q:  “Hey, you should have some turkey – everything in moderation is the best way to do things.”

WA:  “Really.  Should we go out and score a little bit of heroin for each of us after dinner?”

WA:  “I’m headed to the store in a little while, do you want me to get you a pack of cigarettes for you – I’m sure a few of those will help you lose some of those wrinkles.”

RA:  “I hear you.  You’re probably right – but I’m just seeing what happens in the next 6 weeks if I do this thing 95% or so.  So, I’m going to pass.  It looks great though!”

Q:  “Hey – You’re not having any of the gravy – how come?”

WA:  “I’m on a healthy diet and I’m avoiding gravy – too high in fat.”

RA:  “I’m trying a new diet and they recommend avoiding gravy.  Probably too extreme for me, but I’m going to try to do this until New Years and just see what happens.  So far, not too bad!”

Q:  “It’s my special pie, and I made it just for you!  You’re not going to have a piece?  You can start your diet tomorrow, can’t you?”

WA:  “I could start my diet tomorrow, but I already started it last month – so I’m still on it.  And your pie isn’t on the approved list.  It looks pretty good, though. Lotta fat in there!”

RA:  “It looks fantastic.  Thank you, I’m going to pass just for today.  I made myself a little promise to eat lean (NOT “CLEAN”) this week, so I’m going to have some fruit instead.  It sure looks great!”

And no matter WHAT they say about the recent election, I know I can always say:

“Every four years, somebody is celebrating and somebody else is all upset.  At the end of the day, it all seems like it works out ok.  What a country!”  

Which is true.  What a blessing to be in such a country.

The great motivational speaker E. James Rohn was once asked by a group of elite businessmen, worried about the impact of a recent presidential election, how the future would be.  

“I know how it will be,” said Mr. Rohn.

Startled at his confidence, they pressed, “HOW will it be, Mr. Rohn?”

And Mr. Rohn replied: “It will be…..about how it’s always been.”

Disappointed, the businessmen shook their heads in disgust.  Mr. Rohn then explained what he meant.  

“The future is always the same,” he said,  “It is forever a mixture of adversity and opportunity.  That is how it has always been, and that’s how it is now.  Your job is to not focus on the adversity, but to find the opportunity.”

And that is how to look at the future in front of us all.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Douglas J. Lisle, Ph.D.

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Laurie serves as director of all Engine 2 programs including week-long immersions, Plant-Stock, and the Seven-Day Rescue. She is also responsible for cultivating corporate partnerships and exploring new business development. Born into a dairy-farming family in Western New York, Laurie worked seventeen years managing events, then seven years as a high energy lifestyle director for Del Webb. She founded Plant-Based CLE, a support group in Northeast Ohio dedicated to helping people find the joy in plant-based living. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her husband Todd, their three active kids, and one snoring dog. Her favorite vegetable is broccoli!

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