Independence Day Eating · 5 July 2013

Potlucks, eating out, and feasting can all be tough when you are eating almost vegan. But you can still enjoy the food and the fellowship that comes with Independence Day eating.

Independence Day is a day of celebrating and feasting. Fireworks and barbeques are the staples for most people. That means lots of booming. And lots of meat, potatoes, chips, dips, cookies, pies, and other foods that are not on the main menu for people eating a whole food, plant-based diet.

Still, that does not mean you cannot enjoy the day. It just means you have choices to make.

Some people go to barbeques and ignore their dietary standards and just eat whatever is available. Others take it as an insult to their sensibilities that there is little they can eat and sulk or whine that there are so few choices for them. Still others take it as a challenge and decide what they are going to eat based on what is available. Many take their own food to make sure they have something to eat.

I have been to several potlucks since starting my whole food, plant-based eating plan and have successfully navigated the choices. In fact, I tend to do a little of each of the choices I just described without feeling insulted or offended and without completely ignoring my dietary standards.

Since I have never given up fish, I will have a small portion when it is available. I usually have a little junk food even though I know it is just junk. If a dish has unknown ingredients but none of them look like animal products, I will try it. Then, I will pick out the bits of meat if I am wrong and deal with it if there was dairy, especially, if I have already eaten it. When everybody is grilling burgers or hot dogs, I might take my own veggie version.

So in the end, with the exception of junk food and possibly the unknown foods, I stick to my self-imposed dietary restrictions. And I have fun doing it.

There are many ways to navigate potlucks and barbeques. (Including ignoring them or being offended by the food choices.) But even though it can be tough eating almost vegan, I choose to enjoy the feasting and fellowship that come with Independence Day eating.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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