A huge challenge and set-back for this lifestyle for me is being in a relationship with someone who is non-vegan. I found this lifestyle after I was already 5 years committed with my boyfriend. We are totally in love, but its really difficult to be able to do things together when we do not eat the same things. It is really hard for me to make food for him, or even really hang out with him and have to fight the urge for cravings of junk food.
Does anybody else have a similar issue and have advice that they would like to share?
Not a good idea.. try and "make" him do anything will only make him resent and distance himself. not good for a 5 year relationship.
My non-vegan but vegetarian boyfriend and I LOVE and have always loved to go out to eat.
When I first started this lifestyle, I was determined not to make a big deal out of it. I have had low points, however, where I get discouraged that he doesn't eat and isn't yet interested to eat exactly like me. It's ok though! I always snap back.
What has been more important than eating the same food is whether he is open to hearing my occasional rants about SAD, inspiration from Durianrider or anyone else I watch online, and whether he supports me by offering to help me carry boxes of bananas or go to the produce shop with me. Those acts are far more important to me than whether he is willing to eat the same food as me.
Even though I am 811 and vegan, I still go out with him almost every time. Luckily, a lot of our favorite places are ethnic foods. (Plus, after a long day at work, I just want to be with him, whether it's eating or walking etc.) So he can get a coconut curry and I can have a huge salad (or rice) and then I always eat more at home (ALWAYS!). Some of our favorite places to eat are pubs/bars. So I just order a double sized garden salad and orange juice instead of grilled cheese and beer! It's a nice snack in a pleasant place.
Also, walking and going to the gym together has been really helpful. I will carb up afterwards, and sometimes he wants to have the same thing.
When we cook at home and I make my raw till 4 dinner, I just make him a separate dish with his wheat noodles and regular pasta sauce. If he wants some cheese, he gets it himself.
From the day we met though, I said I will not purchase meat or dairy to have in our house. Have you considered taking steps to discuss what's in the fridge and what you are willing to cook? I have always been unwilling to purchase/cook meat, so I was pretty clear that that was not an option. He was more than supportive.
If you explain calmly and kindly to him that this is something you are passionate about, perhaps he will see it differently. Once you have a vegan fridge, maybe it will be easier for you both to eat at home. If he wants animal products, then he will have to cook for himself? Maybe an option?
Such a hard circumstance sometimes! I just hope mine will go 811 some day, just so he can feel better.
I had the exact same problem. I was with my boyfriend for over 3 years (and living together) and I found this lifestyle, which he wasn't too involved with. At first I hated watching him eat all the foods I was giving up for good, but I made sure to stay carbed and stuff myself with low fat vegan foods. I stopped getting the cravings and had so many health benefits over a few months… Now he eats the same way as me because he wants the results.
Just give it time and stay committed to your diet. I'm sure that even if he doesn't go vegan, he'll start to want to have some of the same foods with you and you will learn to not care what he's eating. No matter what, there will always be a time when you are out with someone (bf, friend, family, co-woker) and they're having a big greasy slice of pizza. You just have to find it inside of yourself not to cave into that and be prepared by always carrying food with you. There are always rawtil4 options like rice, potatoes, steamed veggies, etc...
Also when you're hanging out, try using it as a reason to be active together! Go for a walk and you won't think about food!
I no longer bother too much with the social element of food as I don't have any vegan/ vegetarian friends. I do have a few friends who like to stay healthy though that really enjoy some of the vegan food I've offered in the past and also vegan restaurants I often go to. I feel that 80 10 10 has made me less awkward as a vegan as fruit, rice and potatoes are available pretty much anywhere. There must be some foods you include in your diet that your boyfriend will also love; call me ignorant but I can't imagine not liking banana smoothies. A raw apple pie I saw made by fullyrawkristina on youtube also looked like a proper universal treat.
Hello, I made that pie and it was delicious! And my boyfriend liked it. But then he eats anything that I give him!!!!
Let him watch all the documentaries and the movies about food. First film I got him to watch is FOOD INC, then FORKS over KNIVES and he is now more conscious about what he eats. I also love making him Banana smoothie, and green juices! Just be consistent with your diet/lifestyle, make him understand why you are eating this way, spend some time with him and respect his choices and in no time, he MIGHT be doing his self a favor by being more healthy like his gf :)
Thank you all for the responses! I am truly thankful to have people who understand my situation.
We don't live together (yet). I have been on and off vegan/vegetarian/811 for a couple months, so he probably doesn't think im entirely serious yet. I just recently made the decision to actually go for and stick to 801010, if not that defiantly vegan (I just watched the doc earthlings, and it changed me forever). And lately I've been finding myself not spending as much time as I'd like to with him, because I'm scared of the temptations.
With that said, I do think that it will take a little effort on my part to stay consistent in the realtionship, during this transformation of myself. And even more effort if I want him to understand my point of view as a vegan, because he is quite thick headed.
But thank you all for the kind suggestions and experiences! I will surely try them all out. It's encouraging to hear that others do have relationships with other non-vegans.
I think once you commit no one is going to be able to tempt you. My boyfriend normally eats whatever I make and If he wants a steak or something he buys it and cooks it himself. I have absolutely no desire for it.
I was in a mall food court the other day with a friend and the smells made me feel sick. They used to make me hungry. Smell of chicken, hotdogs and Cesar dressing(odd) make me nauseous.
I know someone earlier mentioned some documentaries, have you watched any? I would suggest Forks over Knives and Earthlings. If that doesn't help keep you motivated not much else will.
I couldn't ever imagine going back to eating how I was.
YES! I just watched Earthlings two days ago. I'll never be tempted by animal products again. Ive also seen many others like Hungry For Change, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, etc. But its many other prepackaged products and SAD items that tempt me when i'm with him.
I haven't seen forks over knives yet, maybe i'll watch that one with him :)
yes I very much understand this problem. I went raw vegan for serious health reasons. In the beginning my partner went in it with me and was excited by the results, but more and more his addictions had him going back to junky food until he was no longer remotely 8-1-1 (but now vegan). This was really hard for me. I diverged from the diet over and over, abusing my body again and again keeping myself from moving forward with my life. It wasn't until we took a break and moved apart that I was able to clear my head and move past food compulsions. We are going to be reuniting next month and I feel confident I can keep my choices separate from his.
Since our situations aren't entirely similar it's not a very relatable story but.. I think that if you show by your actions how serious you are and begin to have the amazing benefits he will become more interested. Also just time.. It will more than likely be difficult for a while, ups and downs seem to happen for everyone but the time will come when it's just not worth it! The clarity and joy that comes from eating cleanly is so much more than a taste sensation.
It also helped me to understand addictive behaviors by reading about the 'happy' brain chemicals dopamine and oxytocin. Dopamine is the addictive, non sustainable happiness chemical that most of the population seeks out. Various forms of compulsive stimulation be it food, tv, internet, phones, shopping or orgasm driven sex. Oxytocin is true, lasting happiness which comes from nourishing habits such as eating raw food, being in nature, spiritual practices, exercise, skin contact and love...
I first read about the relationship between these brain chemicals in this conversation about karezza, a very different way of love making. Which you may consider incorporating...
Me and my partner have been together three years and I am new to this lifestyle. Honestly, I have no issues at all. He is supportive and has even started to make healthier changes to his diet! I never would ask him to do anything and he would never expect me to give it up to make things easier. You just have to work it out- the cravings should go eventually. They must be pretty strong to make it hard to even hang out with him :/!