Have you tried going to a vegan restaurant,
or having a home-cooked vegan meal with
Though everyone agreed, I could
still tell that everyone was bummed out about
going to a vegan resautrant. So they presented
me with some restaurant ideas, and guess what?
I still chose everyone's favorite Brazilian
All free and fun... awesome!
And as a bonus, being more flexible with the
restaurant choice helped everyone be more
open and curious about vegan diets!
#2: What about my birthday cake? Is the
cake at least going to be vegan?
from my sister that says "Happy
Birthday!" is vegetarian, NOT vegan.
And this event was for my cousin Neto and
I, as we have the same exact birthday. :)
No problem! Let's have 3 cakes.
- My cousin had a vegetarian
- I had a vegetarian cake
from my sister, for all the guests.
- Plus a vegan chocolate cake
that my vegan cousin made for me.
#3: Let's hang out, play some music and
enjoy some snacks! Can the snacks be vegan?
We asked each other, what
snacks do people enjoy the most? Well, don't
they usually things like french fries, pizza,
pastries, cake plus some "Pão
de Queijo" (cheese bread puffs)? Yes,
this is for sure.
No problem! My cousin Mariana and I easily
made everything in vegan form, and everyone
still enjoyed them!
Remember when we grabbed
some vegan cheese at the local
grocery store? We used the vegan
cheese for some home made pizza,
and heated up some pastries from Mercado
And my cousin baked some vegan
chocolate cake plus some vegan
"Pão de Queijo",
cheese bread puffs.
Here is a Vegan
Pão de Queijo recipe from The
VSG which you can try and make at home
anytime! They're super, super yummy! Seriously...
#4: Talking about my diet choices and lifestyle.
Why are they are asking so many questions?
It's natural... everyone asks
about what you are eating and what you are
NOT eating... What to buy, and what NOT
to buy for a vegan.
This is funny, but I came back with copies
of my book, "The
Vegan Survival Guide", and shared
many of its chapters. It was also easy to
explain my lactose intolerance since lately,
Brazil started playing tv commercials of
enzyme supplements to help with milk digestion.
There are also some milk-free cooking shows
that are becoming popular on tv, which helps
people understand. But most of my Brazilian
friends and family used to ask questions
- Is lactose intolerance a "fashion"
or "fad" (in Portuguese, the
word for this is "moda")?
- Meaning, is this just a consumer
preference, or something like a custom
- Is it for people trying to lose
- Is it an allergy to milk?
- What is it?
Now they understand!
The thing is, common signs
and symptoms to lactose intolerance
often happen 30 to 60 min after
eating lactose containing foods. And it's
usually hard to debate symptoms like diarrhea,
nausea, and sometimes even vomiting.
But my symptoms were often
just nausea, rather than
stronger symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting
... so my mom thought everything was ok.
It took a few years for family to understand
that being vegan is ok, and how to feed
me a proper vegan diet!
The awareness of lactose
intolerance in Brazil really made things
easier for me. So we ended a fun day with
some rice and beans, potatoes and avocado
dressing. Thanks to all my cousins!
#5: The final challenge was leaving town.
I loved the time that I had
with family! I hadn't seen some of them
in over 10 years... plus my birthday at
the BBQ place was also my 1st birthday party
I'll be back! ;)
Have you encountered
social challenges as a vegan? Which
one was the hardest for you?
Be sure to share with
all of us below!
share your thoughts and comments
check it out
Vegan and Vegetarian Survival
Guide to Brazilian Grocery Stores
look at 12 unique products
Plus at trip to Mercado
Central, Belo Horizonte, Br