|WELCOME TO DAY TWENTY-EIGHT!
Clare's advice for day twenty-eight:
The Good News, Bad News, Good News Sandwich
You’ve reached Day 28 and clearly taking the Challenge seriously. It’s about now that family members and friends realise that your vegan choices aren’t just a diet fad. It’s likely that you will never return to your pre-Challenge days. Because certain foods that may have been shared at traditional events or outings are no longer on the menu for you, they may feel uncomfortable and look for ways to get you to revert to how you were before. If you haven’t received it before, now may be the time when you get criticism, ridicule or cynicism. Refer to Days 7 and 10 and remind yourself of effective ways to deal with these issues. Today let’s look at how to respond to the overly concerned friend or family member saying things like ‘I am really concerned that you will become ill on your new diet’ or ‘I’m only saying this because I love you but…’ and complete the sentence with something about you being unpopular or causing offence to others. How do you respond to this, especially when you probably are (or should be) proud of completing your intended goal and living your life according to your values?
ISSUE & AVOIDING CONFLICT
Whilst comments about your health or popularity may be an entirely healthy concern, they most likely relate to the impact your choices are having on your relationship with the person commenting. For example, the other person may lament the fact that you no longer share certain meals or are likely to avoid going to certain restaurants. They may feel challenged by your choices, at some level realising that what you stand for is something they should sit up and listen to. Thus when someone voices concern about your health or popularity, your response may meet with resistance because of the challenge your choices presents to them or your relationship with them.
THE GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS SANDWICH
This technique is useful to minimise conflict. Imagine a sandwich with two pieces of bread and a filling. The bread represents something positive (good news) and the filling the information (or your response) that may be resisted or cause potential conflict (bad news). By putting good news forward before the challenging piece, you minimise resistance. Adding something positive at the end reinforces the importance of your relationship with them.
EXAMPLE: In response to concerns about your health, the sandwich technique would work as follows: ‘Thank you so much for your concern about my health (good news). ‘ I have chosen veganism because I strongly believe that it is a compassionate choice and great for my health. (Potential information that the person will resist i.e. bad news). I will most certainly continue to take good advice and will keep you up to date with information as it become available. (Allays their fear and invites them to be part of the solution). Would you like me to do that? Again, thanks so much. Your concern really means a lot to me (good news)’. In response to concerns about your popularity: ‘Thank you for your concern about me potentially offending people and therefore being unpopular. (good news). However, I have chosen veganism because I believe it is a compassionate choice and true to my values. It is unfortunate if people become offended, but it’s not my intention to do that (bad news). Could you tell me more of why you think this is happening so I could avoid it without being untrue to my values? (invites the other person to work with you to improve how you come across – good news). Note: The above words are examples to demonstrate the principle of the technique. Choose words that suit you. The techniques are also valuable when discussing non-vegan issues.
TIP: Use the Good News, Bad News, Good News Sandwich when you sense criticism or an underlying concern that is not being clearly voiced. The techniques softens a response and minimises conflict as you invite the other person to work with you and reinforces the importance you place in your relationship with them.
Robyn's advice for day twenty-eight:
How to tell ‘toxic hunger’ from true hunger
As discussed yesterday, many people have trouble distinguishing ‘toxic hunger’ – the discomfort generated by physiological withdrawal from addictive substances in food such as caffeine, sugar, salt and flavour enhancers; and by detoxification of the by-products of digestion, including nitrogen wastes from protein digestion; and free radicals – from true hunger – the set of sensations that alerts you that your body needs refuelling.
Many people experience toxic hunger when first transitioning to a vegan diet, and unfortunately some interpret the unpleasant symptoms as indicating that the diet doesn’t suit them.
Here are the classic indicators of toxic hunger:
True hunger, on the other hand, has these characteristics:
- Bloating and gas
- Rumbling stomach
- Loss of concentration
- Mood swings
It’s important to realise that it may take weeks or even months of healthy, high-nutrient vegan eating before your toxic hunger symptoms go away and you begin to experience the pleasure of true hunger. Hang in there and don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a vegan diet isn’t right for you!
- Mouth and throat sensation – tingling, buzzing, gnawing
- Increased salivation
- Food tastes better!
- Strong but not unpleasant, can still function while experiencing it
I recommend the use of a good vegan probiotic if you’re still experiencing excessive gut discomfort after a few weeks of healthy vegan eating. The right probiotic helps increase the population of fibre-digesting bacteria in your gut, reducing bloating, gas and rumbling.
Cassies' recipe idea for day twenty-eight:
Thai Sweet Potato Soup
Makes 4 serves
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 brown onion, roughly chopped
1 birds eye chilli, thinly sliced
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground ginger
500ml vegetable stock
2 tsp flaked salt
270ml can lite coconut milk
Juice of 1 lemon
Crunchy Sweet Potato Pieces
½ cup canola oil
200g sweet potato, peeled, diced into 1cm pieces
1 tsp pink rock salt
- In a 2 litre pot, heat the oil over a medium heat and saute the garlic, onion, chilli and brown mustard seeds until golden brown.
- Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and ginger and allow to saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the vegetable stock, salt, water and sweet potato and allow to simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk and simmer for a further 1 minute and blend until smooth, using a stick mixer.
- Using a frypan, heat the canola oil over a medium heat and then fry the sweet potato pieces until golden brown and cooked through. Allow to drain on paper towel and sprinkle with salt.
- Serve soup with sweet potato pieces. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the soup bowls just before serving.
Kym's advice for day twenty-eight:
Know how to handle restaurants who don't know what vegan means.
TODAYS ASSIGNMENT: Memorise the typical concerns listed above in relation to Indian and Asian restaurants so that you will remember what to look out for next time you eat out at these kinds of restaurants.
WANT MORE INFO ABOUT THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF GOING VEGAN?
Go to this page and check out some short videos about the benefits of a plant diet for arterial health!
CAN'T BE BOTHERED COOKING TONIGHT?
Check out our directory of over 100 eateries in Sydney with vegan options! --> click here
QUOTE FOR THE DAY:
Congratulations making it through DAY TWENTY-EIGHT of your 30 Day Go Vegan Challenge!
As vegans we don't want to accidentally eat animals products, both for the thought of the cruelty involved, and also - perhaps more so the longer you are vegan - we can become more and more repelled by the taste of animal products in food, we might even feel a bit sick if we accidentally ate animal products. Here are some common things to watch out for:
INDIAN RESTAURANTS: Often use ghee (clarified butter from cows milk) in their curries
ASIAN RESTAURANTS: Fish sauce is a staple in numerous cultures in Southeast Asia especially thai and vietnamese cuisine. Also oyster sauce is often used in dishes.
What to do? Simply tell the waiter that you don't want your food cooked in these things, or ask if there are any dishes that are not cooked in these products. Mention that you are vegan, but don't assume that they know what this means, or that they understand how important it is for you that there are no animal products used in your meal - you need to communicate it clearly to the staff. Although they may be confused what vegan means, they are used to getting requests for ingredients to be omitted or specific diets or allergies to be catered for, so as long as you clearly communicate your needs, it should be fine. Often you will even be surprised how willing they are to cater for your needs, after all its good customer service that brings people back!