SOCIAL Q'S OF BEING VEG

WITH KATHY FRESTON
I'm out all the time. So I've had to learn how to navigate a meat-eating world while sticking with my great love of vegan food. Here are some situations I find myself in, and my usual way of handling them:

DINNER PARTIES
I call my hosts in advance and let them know I'm vegan. "How about if I bring a dish or two so you don't have to worry about me?" This way, they don't get stressed out and they can try some of the food that I love! I also bring a gift of some non-dairy ice cream or vegan chocolate truffles; that way all of the guests can see vegans can be decadent too!

BIRTHDAYS
I bring vegan cupcakes or cookies, or a stack of bittersweet chocolate bars to pass around and enjoy!

FAMILY OCCASIONS
I serve really traditional meals that I grew up loving so nobody feels like they're missing out: veggie chicken and non-dairy mashed potatoes; pizza with soy cheese and mock sausage; chili made with black beans; and tacos with veggie protein crumbles rather than meat.

TRAVELING
I bring a sandwich on the plane, and always have nuts or trail mix with me. When I land, I pop into the local grocery or health store for some apples, peanut butter, and non-dairy yogurt for the hotel room. I order oatmeal for breakfast, and find a coffee shop that offers soy for my lattes. (Can't live without them!)

RESTAURANT WITH FRIENDS
I suggest japanese, thai, or mexican, as there are always things like rice, tofu, veggies, beans, or avocados at those ethnic places. I also check one of my vegan apps for a place that has vegan options on the menu.

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