A colleague and I were hosting three business people at our company. We have an onsite chef, who usually makes a green salad and some plain fruit when we have guests, but this time we had meat sandwiches, fruit with a creamy sauce and potato salad. Zero options for me. Being prepared, I had brought a fabulous salad – mixed greens, roasted yellow beets, kalamata olives and my homemade herb dressing.
I heard one of the ladies say, “I brought my lunch” and I saw her pull a health bar out of her purse. To my delight, I quickly learned I was dining with another vegan. Since vegans make up only 2% of the population, it is rare and wonderful to meet a kindred spirit at a business lunch. But what was really interesting was the discussion that soon ensued.
The others at the table, especially the only male in the group, had lots of questions for us. What do you do about protein? We laughed and told them how full of protein vegan food is, how gorillas, hippos and elephants don’t have a protein deficiency and how spinach and broccoli have more protein than steak. I love that question and I could tell my dining partner did too!
Don’t you get hungry – only eating vegetables and fruit? No, we say. Of course we get hungry like anyone else, but we are very satisfied with our healthy diet.
What about cheese? Don’t you miss cheese? We have a chance to talk about how addictive cheese is and how the casein reacts in your body like morphine. So, yes, at first we both missed cheese, but we don’t anymore.
Alcohol? Can vegans drink? Here I learned from my new vegan friend that some wines and spirits are strained through animal intestines or ground bones – eew – but many are vegan friendly and you need to do your research. Guess I have some homework to do!
We also talked about the new movie, Forks Over Knives and how a plant-based diet has a profound effect on heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses. (See this movie and bring anyone suffering from the above illnesses – it could save lives!)
We moved our conversation back to the business at hand. But it was so refreshing not to be the only vegan at the table. And to have the genuine interest and kind conversation with our carnivore friends – who asked one more question on their way out the door.
Can you eat bananas? We both laugh. Yes, we can.