When the weather gets nicer, many of us head outdoors more often. Whether it’s to family gatherings, summer parties, concerts or festivals, many of us are on the go throughout the season. But getting out to more events also brings with it an unexpected side effect: LOTS of questions about what it means to be plant-strong.
Maybe you haven’t seen some of your friends and family in awhile, or perhaps you’ve brought some plant-strong food to the party. They can be inspired from any number of things or come from any number of places, but how you respond to questions about your plant-strong life can make a big impact.
Keep this advice in mind when answering questions about your amazing plant-strong life:
* Know that not everyone is going to jump on board. This one can be tough to swallow sometimes, but even though you feel great and have gotten some amazing results since going plant-strong, your friends and family may not want to immediately hop on board. If they’re asking you questions, that’s a great opportunity to provide insight or help, but resist the urge to try and “convert” anyone. Focus on educating, not debating. Progress, not perfection.
* Be positive, not defensive. This one can be pretty tough to follow. You feel great, your health is great, and someone comes along and points out that “So and so says that she eats a dozen eggs a day and feels great.” Or, “But you must not be getting enough protein?!” Focusing on the positives of how you feel, rather than coming to the defense of something negative may not change anyone’s mind, but it’s also less likely to put a negative impression on whole food, plant-based living into the minds of your friends and family. A short, “That may be so [regarding the eggs comment above!] for her, but I have never felt better since going plant-strong, I’ve lost XX pounds and I’m off my blood pressure medicine for the first time in 15 years. I can’t complain!” Or, “This might sound surprising, but there is protein in plants! I eat a bunch of beans, grains and other plant-based foods that give me all the protein my body needs.” Offer to share a recipe or if you’ve brought a dish to the party, scoop up some and share. Your positive approach is likely to leave a positive impression.
* Let the conversation wrap up once your question is answered. Short and sweet is the way to go when asked questions about your plant-strong lifestyle, unless others come in and ask more questions. Resist the urge to ascend the podium and turn into the prophet of plant-strong living. It might be tough, but remember – you’re at parties and gatherings to…party and gather! Particularly if you’re not the host or hostess, you don’t want to give the impression that you’re “hijacking” the party for your own personal agenda. It can be hard to not talk about the great foods you’re enjoying, health benefits, weight loss, activities and events, books, and more surrounding a whole food, plant-based lifestyle, but try not to make the party about you and your lifestyle. Once you’ve answered questions to the best of your ability, try to steer the conversation back to the party, the great weather…all the wonderful things that come along with summer (or whatever season it happens to be when you’re reading this post!).
Although the word is most definitely getting out through major media outlets and social media, many people are still new to the idea of “plant-strong living.” Chances are you will get questions about your diet and lifestyle this summer – following this advice can help enjoy the season while still talking about the great things you’ve achieved since going plant-strong.
Looking for others who are at various stages of their plant-strong journey? Join several hundred of your closest plant-strong friends from across the world at the Esselstyn Family Farm in Claverack, NY for the sixth annual Plant-Stock. This year’s event is going to be a game changer, and we cannot be more excited! This year’s event is August 18-20: You can find details, speakers and an agenda for the weekend here on our website. We’ve heard that many of the hotels in the area are booked, but here’s a list of Airbnb rentals nearby as well.