When Beyoncé challenges the girls to go vegan, the girls respond with kudos and applause but very few accept.
The simple fact is: lifestyle changes are hard. That's why we often praise and congratulate our favorite celebrities for pushing boundaries and making healthier lifestyle choices that break old habits. We commend Queen Bey for her diligence and flawlessly dewy skin. Both of which are a direct result of what we eat.
We have to keep that same energy and support our friends with the same enthusiasm. While veganism isn't something that's reserved for the affluent, it's also not for everybody. In which case, it doesn't hurt to a least support a friend that's trying.
It's a new year and your homegirl whose new year's goal was to go vegan is slowly slipping back into her old ways. Sometimes it's not just the eating habits that are hard to break, it's everything that comes with it. It's deciding on a place to eat when going out with a group of friends, it's navigating the grocery store with an entirely different intention, and unlearning everything you thought you knew, from what you put in your mouth to what you put on your body.
Here's how you can stan for your newly vegan homegirl like she's Beyoncé:
Congratulate Her on the Small Accomplishments
If your friend decides to "go vegan," what she really means is she's stepping into a transitional period. A majority of vegans go through a phase where they aren't entirely vegan but making more health-conscious decisions in an effort to achieve their goal. That said, you should absolutely be celebrating your friend anytime she chooses a salad over cheeseburger sliders. Acknowledge her efforts when she brings her vegan nail polish with her to her nail appointment or opts not to buy leather. After all, a great accomplishment is just a string of careful choices over a period of time.
Suggest Vegan Restaurants for Hanging After Work
For a lot of new vegans, it's not uncommon that friends will flat out stop inviting them out because of their dietary restrictions. Don't be that friend. It's hard to imagine there's a place where there are no vegan restaurants within a reasonable distance. If there is, suggest that you and your friend go for drinks and forward her the menu. This shows you support her decision while also helping yourself to a few half-off glasses of wine before 7 p.m.
Have a Girls’ Night In and Make a Vegan Recipe
And if you can't find a vegan restaurant nearby or you'd rather stay in, make it a vegan girls' night. Comfort your friend southern-style with vegan chicken and waffles or golden fried crab cakes and a movie. A common misconception is vegans only eat salads and everything tastes bland. But this is far from the truth. Veganism gives you the opportunity to explore other options, experiment with new flavors and expand your palate.
So the next time you hear your friend talk about her decision to go vegan, instead of giving her the side-eye, gas her up! And take her to the Slutty Vegan to commemorate her dope lifestyle change, 'cuz baby, she deserves!
Featured image by Getty Images.
You Need To Visit These Black-Owned Vegan Restaurants In Your City – Read More
How I Transitioned My Meat-Loving Family to a Vegan Diet – Read More
15 Vegan Soul Food Dishes That'll Make You Rethink Meat – Read More
- Talking to Friends and Family - Vegan Outreach ›
- My Biggest Vegan Challenge Was One I Didn't Expect | Kitchn ›
- How Ordering a Vegan Starter Kit for a Friend Can Help Save the ... ›
- Dealing With Non-Vegan Friends and Family | Gary Yourofsky ... ›
- 7 Ways to Encourage and Support New Vegans – The Vegan RD ›
- Here's How to Make Vegan Friends in Your Town ›
- How to Support Your Friend Embracing Veganism In 2019 ›
- HELP! My Friends Don't Like That I'm Vegan! | peta2 ›
DeJanae Evins is a certified cannabis educator, consultant and the creator of GreenGoddessGlow, a digital resource at the intersection of cannabis and wellness encouraging mindful cannabis self-care practices. Evins is also a freelance health and wellness writer often discussing topics around sexual health and women's empowerment. Since learning about the Plant Queendom and the many ways we can use plant medicine to heal ourselves both individually and on a global scale, Evins has been vocal in both the cannabis and wellness communities about integrating cannabis in her approach to holistic health. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @dejanaetanye.
Take Our 2-Minute Wellness Quiz To Up Your Self-Care Game!
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
Welcome to Black Girl Whole, your space to find the wellness routine that aligns with you! This brand-new marketplace by xoNecole is a safe space for Black women to activate their healing, find the inspiration to rest, and receive reassurance that we are one small act away from finding our happiness.
Want to discover where you are on your wellness journey? You don't have to look far. In partnership with European Wax Center, we're bringing you a customized wellness quiz to help you up your wellness game. Answer our short series of questions to figure out which type of wellness lover you are, what you need to bring more balance into your life, and then go deeper by shopping products geared towards clearing your mind, healing your body, and soothing your spirit.
Ready to get whole? Take our quiz now!
From Monogamy To Polyamory: 'I'm In An Asexual Poly Marriage With My Husband Of 7 Years'
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be asexual and in an open marriage? Relationship Coach Mikki Bey shared her first-hand experience with us as well as answered some of our burning questions.
Like a lot of people, Mikki met her now husband, Raheem Ali, online. As soon as they met, they instantly fell in love and got engaged on their first date. Just 90 days after they met, the couple tied the knot and have now been married for seven years. Raheem and Mikki aren’t your typical married couple, and despite being married for almost a decade, their marriage is anything but traditional. Mikki and Raheem have what she calls an "asexual polyamorous marriage."
Defining Her Sexuality
It wasn't until last summer that Mikki found the language to define her sexuality. "I didn't have the language for it until last summer," she explained to xoNecole. "Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing.”
Mikki always thought she was broken because she had no interest in sex. Mikki noticed after her friends came to visit and started discussing their sexual fantasies that she realized something was different about her. “At that point, I knew something was definitely different about me since I do not have sexual fantasies at all. It was truly news to me that people are at work thinking about sex! That was not my experience.” This led to Mikki researching asexuality, which she soon realized fit her to a T. “It felt like breathing new air when I was able to call it by name," said Mikki.
"Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing it."
Asexuality refers to people who experience little or no sexual attraction, experience attraction without acting on it sexually, or experience sexual attraction differently based on other factors. Like most things, asexuality falls on a spectrum and encompasses many other identities. It's important to remember, however, that attraction and action are not always synonymous: some asexuals may reject the idea of sexual contact, but others may be sex-neutral and engage in sexual activity.
It's possible that some asexuals will have sex with someone else despite not having a libido or masturbating, but others will have sex with a partner because it brings a sense of connection.
From a Traditional Marriage to Kitchen Table Polyamory
Although Mikki never really had a high sex drive, it wasn’t until after the birth of her son, that she noticed her sex drive took a real nosedive. “I never had a high sex drive, but about a year after my son was born, I realized I had zero desire. My husband has a high sex drive, and I knew that it would not be sustainable to not have sex in our marriage at that time.”
She was determined to find an alternative to divorce and stumbled upon a polyamory conversation on Clubhouse. Upon doing her own research, she brought up the idea to their husband, who was receptive. “It’s so interesting to me that people weigh sex so heavily in relationships when even if you are having a ton of sex, it’s still a very small percentage of the relationship activity," Mikki shared.
They chose polyamory because Mikki still wanted to be married, but she also wanted to make sure that Raheem was getting his individual needs and desires met, even if that meant meeting them with someone else. “I think that we have been programmed to think that our spouses need to be our 'everything.' We do not operate like that. There is no one way that fits all when it comes to relationships, despite what society may try to tell you. Their path to doing this thing called life together may be different from yours, but they found what works for them. We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us,” Mikki explained.
"We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us. We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sex partners to lifetime partners if it should go there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it."
She continued, “We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sexual partners to lifetime partners if it should get there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it. Our dynamic is parallel with kitchen table poly aspirations.”
Kitchen table polyamory (KTP) is a polyamorous relationship in which all participants are on friendly terms enough to share a meal at the kitchen table. Basically, it means you have some form of relationship with your partner’s other partner, whether as a group or individually. A lot of times, KTP relationships are highly personal and rooted in mutual respect, communication, and friendship.
Intimacy in an Asexual Polyamorous Marriage
Mikki says she and her husband, Raheem, still share intimate moments despite being in a polyamorous marriage. “Our intimacy is emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical, although non-sexual. We are intentional about date nights weekly, surprising and delighting each other daily, and most of all, we communicate our needs regularly. In my opinion, our intimacy is top-tier! I give my husband full-body massages, mani-pedis and make sure I am giving him small physical touches/kisses throughout the day. He is also very intentional about showing me his love and affection.”
Raheem and Mikki now use their lives as examples for others. On their website, thepolycouplenextdoor.com, they coach people interested in learning how to be consensually non-monogamous. “We are both relationship coaches. I specialized in emotional regulation, and Raheem specializes in communication and conflict resolution. The same tools we use in our marriage help our clients succeed in polyamory."
Mikki advises people who may be asexual or seeking non-monogamy to communicate their needs openly and to consider seeking sex therapy or intimacy coaching. Building a strong relationship with a non-sexual partner requires both empathy and compassion.
For more of Mikki, follow her on Instagram @getmikkibey. Follow the couple's platform on Instagram @thepolycouplenextdoor.
Featured image by skynesher/Getty Images