Often friends and acquaintances will want to try a plant-based diet. Here are some tips to help them as they start their journeys.
1. Congratulate them.
This is the most obvious and easy step. Let them know that you are excited for them and willing to help every step of the way. Celebrate their decision at a vegan restaurant, or have them over for dinner and show them how you do your thing!
2. Introduce them to ChooseVeg.in.
ChooseVeg.in has all the information they need to transition to a plant-based diet, including advice about nutrition and tips for building meals. Encourage them to download the FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide.
3. Send recipes.
If they’re comfortable in the kitchen, suggest recipes from ChooseVeg.in or plant-based food bloggers, like VeganFirst, Vegan Richa, and so on. If cooking isn't their thing, recommend the meal planning section of ChooseVeg.in, which lays out seven days of fast, simple meals that will help them feel more comfortable in the kitchen and better understand how to eat veg.
4. Remind them it is not about perfection.
Assure them that eating vegan is not about perfection, and you are there to help. Let them know that they shouldn’t beat themselves up if they slip up and accidentally eat something that is not vegan. Tell them that it is OK to make mistakes and that their objective is to reduce animal suffering.
5. Keep checking in.
Check in regularly. How often depends on their personality. Ask them if their diet is going fine or if they want help. You can WhatsApp or text pictures of some of your meals as inspiration.
6. Don’t overdo it.
Be in the background, and let them know that you are just a phone call away. You’ll be excited to help someone, but refrain from sending the PDF of that exciting book or latest article. It will only overwhelm them.
7. Keep it upbeat and positive.
As much as possible, ask positive questions to keep things upbeat. Something like “what was your favourite veg food you ate this week?” will make them recall the happy feeling of eating something delicious. This will help them associate their new diet with positive thoughts and motivate them to continue.
8. Introduce them to vegan groups.
Introducing them to vegan groups and events where they will find a lot of support and guidance is a good idea.
9. Share your stories.
Sharing your successes and failures will go a long way in helping them stick to their decision. Also, tell them about how vegan eating has impacted and changed you. But remember: Don’t be preachy.
10. Recommend books and movies.
As they progress, recommend books and movies that will not only answer a lot of their questions but also inspire them.
11. Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate.
Celebrate every little milestone—first week, 30 days, and so on—and encourage them to reach the next one. Celebrating is positive reinforcement that makes them feel good about themselves.
12. Be patient with reductionism.
If they want to start eating less meat or reducing dairy intake, encourage them. A reductionist approach helps them along that path and still alleviates animal suffering.
Signing up for the FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide also subscribes them to a series of emails that provide invaluable advice, encouragement, and support.