• Walking into any restaurant, popping open the menu, and navigating to the plant-based diet items. And even better, vegan and vegetarian choices starred with ‘no added fats or oils’. And you don’t have to ask “Is there lard in the beans?” Heck, there’s even an asterisk for ‘dairy-free’ options.
• You are invited to a dinner party and your host includes, with the invitation, the easy and courteous question of, “We will be serving a plenty of veggie dishes, too, along with salad, rice and beans with no added fats, would you like to be in for the plant-based menu count?” Um, yeah!
• You’re at a social event, noshing and conversing with new acquaintances, and when the term ”plant-based” enters the conversation, no one says “What does vegan mean, anyway?“ Instead, you just launch into some enthusiastic recipe sharing and menu ideas.
Now, it’s time each of us take action that will benefit us all. No doubt you’ve done some of it already. I’m talking about taking a plant-based stand by asking for what you want.
How to help grow the plant-based diet movement by asking for what you want.
Plant-based eating is a grass-roots movement. It is growing stronger every day because more and more of us are taking a stand with our forks and moving plant-strong mainstream.
It is precisely because those who have gone before you have asked for veggie burgers, oatmeal, and salad with dressing on the side that these eats are easier and easier to find on restaurant menus. Continue the tradition and make it easier for those who follow you. Help grow the plant strong movement by simply asking for what you want.
I believe that the ‘imagine plant-based’ scenario above is entirely possible. Yet we will have to work together to make it happen. Here are 3 simple ways that you can hasten the day:
1. When ordering in a restaurant, if what you want is not on the menu, politely ask for it. In person, over the phone, or both. For example, it’s breakfast, and you order a bowl of oatmeal. Simply ask, “Do you have almond milk?”, or “Do you have soy milk?” Even if you are not a big non-dairy milk drinker, and you just like a splash on your early morning oats, stating the question brings the issue into the public eye.
2. When invited to dine at the home of a friend, enthusiastically and graciously offer to bring a healthy plant-based dish to the table. Click here for a simple recipe idea.
3. At your local supermarket, ask for items that you’d like them to carry. In a local market near where we leave, there are even tagged items on the shelf that carry the message “by customer demand”. And don’t ask just once and let it go. Ask each time you are in for quinoa, brown jasmine rice, you favorite sweet potato. Vendors respond to customer demand. Their desire is to please you so that you remain a loyal customer. But how is your supermarket manager going to know what to get for you if you don’t ask? As an example, I am writing this while on an island in Micronesia. There is a breakfast buffet that comes with the hotel room we have booked for a couple of nights in transit. There’s fruit, salad, bread and and then a long line of eggs, bacon, some kind of other meat stirred in with some veggies, and of all things cocoa puffs and sugar-frosted flakes. We asked for soymilk and meusli (which we’ve seen in the market) and guess what the staff proudly presented us with the next morning?
Don’t apologize for what you eat. Ask for it!
Patiently explain what you mean, if needed. Remember, a plant-based lifestyle, like any other change, is caught more than taught. You will win more hearts by attraction via your own success, kindness, and courtesy. Like it or not, we are each ambassadors for change and how we speak and conduct ourselves makes a huge difference. Deportment!
Have you a suggestion for other ways to take a plant-based stand, to help move plant-based further into the mainstream? Please share your “ask for it!” brainchilds with us in comments – and inspire others to action.
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