I'm back with another one of my Plant-strong Success Tips. The theme of this one is surround yourself with like-minded people. Before I get into the how of this, I want to mention the why.
The simple fact is that it is not always easy to eat a plant-strong diet. For some of us, it can be downright challenging (especially if you are a pioneer amongst your social group). So by surrounding yourself with like minded people you stack the cards in your favor. People who think and eat this way will provide you with inspiration to make the right choices day after day and they will be there as a reminder after you slip-up. They won't need to verbalize anything. Just their presence will put you back on course.
Now, I'm not suggesting that you abandon your current friends and family. Although if they are pushing bad food on you or encouraging your addiction in any way, you might want to limit your involvement with them while you get your bearings and your cravings subside. For example, if you go out for dinner with a group of friends on a regular basis to a restaurant where you typically eat burgers, fries and other non-nutritarian food, maybe you skip that for a few weeks while your body and mind adjusts. In the future, you will be able to resist that food and you will even have a plan for how to eat in just about any restaurant and walk away happy and full without indulging in all of the poison.
What I am saying is that there are many, many ways to surround yourself with the people that share your new mindset, and that doing this is extremely important to your success in this endeavour. Obesity is contagious like a virus and it is very important to understand why. Check out this blog posting from Debby at Happy Healthy Long Life to learn why. And just as you can be influenced to make bad food choices, you can just as easily be influenced to make awesome food choices by surrounding yourself with Plant-strong folks!
Here are some ways to do this:
1. Whole Foods Challenges. I personally know of The Engine 2 Diet 28 Day challenges and the 21 Day Kickstart challenges. They are happening all the time at more and more Whole Foods Markets around the country. Contact the Healthy Eating Specialist at your local Whole Foods Market for details.
2. Meet-ups. Are you familiar with the phenomenon that is http://www.meetup.com/? Meetup is the world's largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. More than 2,000 groups get together in local communities each day, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities.
Meetup's mission is to revitalize local community and help people around the world self-organize. Meetup believes that people can change their personal world, or the whole world, by organizing themselves into groups that are powerful enough to make a difference. There are vegan, raw vegan, vegetarian, no-added-oil vegan, etc. meet-ups happening all the time these days in Cleveland and if they are happening in Cleveland, I'm sure they are going on in your neck of the woods!
3. Like the comfort of your own home? How about inviting friends to your house for a regular Plant-strong pot luck?
4. You already know this one . . . Subscribe to and read blogs of other people living the plant-strong life. There is no other more certain way to surround yourself with like minded people than bringing their recipes and stories into your e-mail inbox on a daily basis! There is not chance that you will fall off the wagon and go into sleep mode when the reminders are flooding in.
5. Participate in membership websites. If you feel like you have a lot of questions and that you need more support that you have amongst your family and friends, membership websites (some free, some by subscription) can provide you with endless support. Three that I know of are Dr. Fuhrman's, PEERtrainer, and Dr. Barnard's organization.
6. Write your own blog. I cannot recommend this enough! There is no other way to be more accountable or more inspired than putting yourself out there as a Nutritarian blogger. You are literally surrounding yourself with like-minded people, but doing it virtually.
LIFE WILL MEET YOU HALFWAY! You will be amazed at how some (and in my experience, many) of the people in your life will respond to your healthy eating habits once they experience how great you feel. Many, many of my friends in Cleveland have changed the way that they look at food as a result of my enthusiasm.
Just last night my wonderful sister-in-law Ruth (along with her husband and my brother Joe) hosted a huge Plant-strong dinner for my entire extended family. I did not pressure her into this! The food was incredible! Thank you Ruth! Just a few short years ago, she was singing the praises of The Atkins Diet. But there is proof in the pudding and Ruth is very inspired by my Nutritarian ways. Tonight I will return the favor by cooking up my own Plant-strong dinner for the extended family at my brother Rick and sis-in-law Lori's house. I can't tell you how excited I am as I almost never get to cook for my own family (I don't live near any of them).
And now for a little kitchen renovation update.
After a harrowing experience and four broken countertops, the granite is installed.
The tile backsplashes are finished and the sinks and plumbing are installed.
We are in the home stretch now!