when you eat vegan but your significant other doesn't - 1 plate has steak, mashed potatoes, and roasted squash, 1 plate has a portabella mushroom, mashed potatoes, and roasted squash

When You Eat Vegan But Your Significant Other Doesn’t

“Is your boyfriend vegan?”

“How do you make meals?”

“Isn’t it hard with your boyfriend not being vegan?”

biking with grapes in artic zone bowls
photo: Marcus Catlett

Nic has been my partner for over 5 years. And in that amount of time, I have been constantly changing my diet to get to where I am today.

He was there four years ago when I decided to cut out red meat.

Three and a half years ago when I wanted to just be pescatarian.

Three years ago when I cut out all meat.

And he was there two years ago when I jumped into the fully plant-based diet.

And I’ve been so lucky with how supportive he has been as I have influenced our diet and lifestyle over the years.

But here we are… a vegan and a non-vegan happily cohabitating and in a relationship.

So how have we made it work?

Health And Support Come First

About three years ago when I made the change to cut out all meat from my diet, Nic naturally started eating a very similar diet because we eat most meals together.

vegan charcturie board with crackers, cashew cheese, greenbeans, blueberries, carrots, avocado, olives, and vegan panini
I only prepare vegan meals at home, such as this veganized “charcuterie” grazing board with homemade cashew cheese.

However, after only a short couple months, he decided to get back to eating meat. But not because he didn’t care about how I was eating. Not because he didn’t support my decisions. But because he was concerned with his own personal health. He didn’t have energy, his face got thin, and he looked very pale. And on the other hand, I was thriving. I felt great about my new herbivore diet!

When I look back at pictures taken during these months, I feel awful. I was too busy worrying about my new way of eating, that I didn’t realize how much it had negatively affected his body.

Since then, Nic has been on a better track for what works for him, but that doesn’t mean he still didn’t change his diet to be more plant-based.

Cooking together is easy when you make sides you can both eat.

Daily Meals

Just because Nic eats meat, dairy, and eggs doesn’t mean that we have to cook two completely separate meals every single night for dinner. I would even go as far as to consider him to be following a primarily plant-based diet when we eat at home.

And it’s as simple as making every recipe we put together at home vegan. For instance, we only use use oils for cooking. And everything that we are both eating is only prepared with plant-based ingredients.

But then where does the meat come in?

Nic always prepares his meat exactly how he wants, and then adds on top of the recipe. Or keeps it on the side.

For instance, pasta sauces are cooked vegan. But then he might add ground beef to make his famous spaghetti sauce. Or leftover sliced chicken on top to compliment a vegan pesto sauce.

He wants a steak? We make some side veggies like roasted squash or mashed potatoes, then he has a steak while I prepare a portabella mushroom in a similar way.

It’s honestly easy as that. We make everything together, aside from the meat/meat substitutes (I don’t like meat. He doesn’t like meat substitutes. It all balances out).

homemade vegan sushi
Our friends invited us over for vegan sushi, and Nic isn’t complaining at all…

He knows he’s in charge of buying and cooking meat if he wants it, and this method couldn’t work any better…because would he really want a vegan choosing and preparing his prized steaks?

Eating Out

Luckily, we live in a metropolis area that understands the wave of vegetarianism and veganism.

When we go out to eat, we always find at least one vegan option.
Here is BBQ Cauliflower from Emigration Brewery in Salt Lake City, UT.

So when we go out to eat, we have a couple great go-to restaurants that offer multiple vegan options:

Sushi Groove

Spitz

Freebird Burrito

Kathmandu

The Pie

Trolley Wing Co

And even bars like:

Ice Haus

Piper Down

I honestly have so many more options, so maybe I’ll revisit this and make a guide to eating out in the Salt Lake City area later…

But either way, he always makes sure I have at least one option whenever we are looking for a restaurant.

Celebrate Changes

I’m not a failed vegan just because I haven’t convinced everyone close to me in life to completely change their diet.

We started noticing more veggie options we could try together, like camping and backpacking meals!

I want to respect other’s choices, just as they should respect mine. And honestly, I have helped people rethink choices not from standing on a soapbox and preaching the word of veganism… but from showing I come from a place of respect. And I always 100% will share my food to anyone that wants to try it, because I know that most of the vegan food I make hits it out of the park!

Nic has even evolved into choosing almond milk over dairy milk. He eats it with his cereal. With hot chocolate. In his chai. He prefers it, and chooses not to buy plain dairy milk. I personally prefer oat milk, so we end up getting our own cartons, but hey! We deserve it!

And for sweets? Our go-tos have become Big O Doughnuts and City Cakes and Bakery… both completely vegan local shops. And I’m gonna quote Nic on this “The raspberry lemon bars taste better than any non-vegan ones I’ve had”

nic and AJ - a non vegan dating a vegan
Just a non-vegan and vegan vibin’ ❤

Prioritize Your Relationship

If I had met Nic today with the diet that I have, I honestly don’t know what would happen. Would we still be together? Would it be hard to adjust to a new relationship with someone who doesn’t eat the same as you?

Luckily, that’s not the case for me. And luckily, he has been with me every step of the way.

Long story short, your relationship is yours. And as long as you are able to respect all aspects of that human, then do what makes you happy.

If you need someone that follows your same diet, then don’t be afraid to set that standard for yourself. You deserve someone who will respect your choices, just like how Nic respects and loves me.

Your full-time plant eater with a part-time plant eating partner,

AJ

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