Water with lemon or juice. Organic grape juice in a nice wine glass.
water with ice and a lemon wedge on a rocks glass. itll look like an alcoholic beverage.
It can be isolating but if you always bring fruit to share, eventually others will start having fruit ready for you. I still attend family events pretty regular and always bring my fruit, always eat it while family eats other stuff, we share fruit and salad. I am the only vegan I know, outside of two of my kids. That's why I like coming here for support .
I've always been an odd-ball when it comes to diet: first going soda and processed food free; then going vegetarian, then vegan, then raw vegan, then back to vegetarian but maintaining the raw with all of my veg. I was mostly hippocrates institute style raw as well -- lots of greens, not a lot of fruit. Now, I'm adding in more fruit.
I have no problem socializing, honestly, with a wide variety of people. Most ofmy friends and family eat a SAD, in varying degrees of healthy/unhealthy. The healthiest of that group is on weight watchers. Beyond that, I have a few raw friends, a few vegetarian friends, a few paleo friends, and so on. So, we're all a little weird in that group.
I find that the easiest way to get along is: 1. never judge others and their food choices -- just be their friend; and 2. do your own thing unapologetically.
So, if it's a dinner thing, say, for work -- then I'll eat ahead of time and often order a salad or similar without dressing. Or whatever may be vegan overall. The other day, my ILs took us out to a steak house. Before going, I had a lovely smoothie. Then, I had a salad (no dressing), water with lemon, and a sweet potato (nothing on it). It was great, and no one seemed to notice or mind.
If it's a dinner with friends -- like on thursday when they held a party at a pizza place for pizza and beer -- I basically had my meal before hand, and then had water/lemon while there and no one noticed. :)
If it's dinner with family, then I make big salads, roasted potatoes, big fruit salads, and so on -- which go along with whatever else they're having. Just yesterday, MIL made mac n cheese, DH made fish, and I made two green salads and one fruit salad and finished up with some beautiful raw ice cream. So, it was easy enough.
I never did drink, though, so it's never been an issue to me. I always just have water with lemon or lime.
You can still eat WITH others, just probably not the same food that they're eating.
It's not really "isolating," just different. Others might isolate you, or vice-versa.