Inspire Others to Eat Plant Based: Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Plate + Plant Based Oil Free Chipotle Ranch Dressing
By Lyndsey Hafer-Williams
Aug 4, 2018,
I have a 10-year-old Dachshund. In typical sausage dog fashion, she is as short as she is long, and as round as a butternut squash. Affectionately nicknamed, Fat Wiener, she is a fierce tyrant that rules the roost with an iron bark from the comfort of her pillowy throne. Sturdy little legs and a long, curious nose never fail to assess the scene, sound the alarm, and immediately correct the situation. She is a veritable short stack of attitude, sass, and stubborn determination. I’m certain that if she were human, she would have what it takes to inspire others to eat plant based.
Fat Wiener is food focused. She will literally eat anything, enjoys it immensely, and absolutely doesn’t care what anyone thinks about it. As long as her meal is on time and her bowl is filled up, she is happy. Other than myself, I’ve never seen another soul enjoy food with such vigor and enthusiasm like she does. The girl loves to eat.
As with all of the animal kingdom, she lives in the present moment, and only requires that her very basic needs are met. As I stood watching her chow down this morning licking her bowl so furiously that it careened across the kitchen floor, I started thinking what a relief it would be to live that way.
What if we could all be like Fat Wiener?
Can you imagine just eating for the pure joy of it? Never worrying about what anybody else thinks as you mouthgasm over taste, flavor, and texture? How fun would it be to nosh on a handful of juicy seedless grapes, inhale a lovely bowl of quinoa, or snack on almond butter stuffed dates in unabashed bliss? How about endlessly dining on a bunch of gently wilted garlicky lemon kale, or gustily slurping a big bowl of savory miso soup with outrageous audacity? And, oh! The simple glorious act of licking your fingers after devouring a platter of sticky sweet potatoes without inhibition? Delightful!
When I decided to take the leap into a whole food plant based way of eating I knew I would face lots of questions and maybe even occasional ridicule. The word “Vegan” carried enough stigma, much less attempting to eat and cook without oil. I knew folks would have plenty of opinions and not be shy to express them, and I was ready for it.
What actually happened was more surprising…
I suddenly developed this palpable sense of urgency to inspire others to eat plant based by sharing my good news about plant based nutrition. I wanted to share everything that I was doing and all that I was learning and I chatted non-stop about getting Dirty! I was carried away on a rapturous wave of enthusiasm and effusive excitement.
Through all the snarky remarks, good natured teasing, silly jokes, and uneducated criticism, was the overwhelming and pervasive frustration of not being heard. My desire to share was met with rolling eyeballs, raised eyebrows, and remarkable replies.
So many times, I’ve seen CFDG community members voice their very-legitimate frustration regarding what friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers are doing (or not doing). I’ve read through multiple comments of anger, sadness, hurt, guilt, and feelings of failure when unable to persuade others to change.
I believe it all comes from a good place of helpful intention. We have found success and want others to share in the mighty benefits of plant based goodness. We care about these folks and want desperately to educate them about how to help themselves. For many of us, there are other concerns, such as beliefs about our moral, ethical, and environmental responsibilities. Animal welfare and climate change are also huge motivators in the vegan/plant based world.
It is so desperately hard to take a step back and close your mouth when you feel like you’ve found THE solution to so many problems. For me, it is almost untenable to watch my friends and family as they struggle with their own health and weight issues. I listen quietly as they express disappointment over their latest failed attempt at reclaiming their health. I feel how discouraged and uninspired they are to change. And I’ve learned to hold my tongue as they pull out medications to manage symptoms of chronic illness.
But what if we could release that worry?
What would happen if we let it all go?
What would it mean to focus only on my plate, my food, my choices?
Just stop, for a moment, and brilliantly imagine what we could accomplish if we all became magnificent billboards for change! We would be glowing, thriving, gorgeous, energetic, successful, living advertisements for this way of life. There is such glorious opportunity to impact so many souls and lives with this perspective. It absolutely blows my mind and sends my heart soaring at the implications of a such a societal shift towards this style of life.
So, this is what I’ve decided to do, and it’s what I encourage you to do, too:
Be a Fat Wiener!
Live in the moment. Live for your own joy with this way of eating. Keep your eyes focused on your health and your goals and your priorities. Dive in, head first, and enjoy the hell out of your life and your food choices. Trust the process and set the tone of your life by the journey you’ve chosen.
Lead by beautiful, shiny, and spectacular example.
And never, ever, be afraid to lick your bowl.
- 2/3 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 10 minutes (95g)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and left whole
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper (about 10 turns)
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or less if you don’t like spicy)
- 2/3 cup water (160ml)
- Drain the cashews and discard the soaking water. Place the cashews in your blender, along with the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed.
Wishing you a happy weekend. May it be filled with keeping your eyes on your own plate.
Fall in love with plant based cooking
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Great post, can’t wait to make the dressing! But….coolest cutting board ever!
Lyndsey, it’s like you looked through my eyes at my family with this post. I see so many health issues in family members that could be helped, or even reversed, by eating this way. But my husband opened my eyes a couple of months ago and told me I was going to alienate them by continuing to “preach” at them the way I was doing. I realized that was exactly what I was doing (thank you, hubby ?). Since then, I’ve continued on my merry way, listening to the compliments about my weight loss and seen the way they inspect my plate to see what I’m eating at dinners. I want to lead by example, not turn them off with my words, and your experience solidifies my belief that this is the best way. In the meantime, until they see the light for themselves, I will also continue being a Fat Weiner! ?
Oh Beth! So awesome to hear – yes, we shall lead by glorious example!
Where on earth did you find that cat cutting board? I need one!
Thank you Lyndsey we appreciate your post especially because we have our own fat weiner Sophie to guide us to keep our nose on our own plate.
So much love to you and Miss Sophie! Xoxo
It seems we all go through the preacher stage. Mine lasted a good three years. ? Alienated quite a few people but, I’m happy to say I’ve been embrassing the Fat Wiener this year and its about time too! People would mostly engage in conversation with me on topics of food and environment. Now that I don’t elaborate, the conversation has moved onto a variety of topics. It’s a good thing too as you mentioned that leading by example is far more effective than preaching. I don’t elaborate so, they ask where they can find the information that managed to convince me to make these changes. Bingo! I made the changes not because someone preached, but because I searched for the information. Thanks again for another engaging post.
Thank you so much – yes, let’s lead by beautiful example! Xoxo
I have been living a plant based life since 1969.
Never bring up my diet unless someone asks, or if someone says something so stupid or just plain wrong, then I jump in head first.
My partner of 27 years, Mike, is a carnivore. I wish he weren’t, but people should be able to live the life they choose. It breaks my heart because over the past years he has suffered major health issues that could be related to his diet.
He has stopped drinking milk, opts for my rice milk now. Small steps.
I agree, life is just too damn short not to be happy. No time for telling others how to live.
I made the dressing today and my kale salad was delicious topped with this. I will probably up the spice even more next time. 🙂
I needed the encouragement today! I’m absolutely loving plant based eating and I want the world to know how amazing it is! It’s so frustrating to have the people who won’t listen or even tease you. But nothing can stop is on our body healthy earth friendly animal loving lifestyle!!!
How long does this keep for? Thank you.
Hi Carrie, This dressing will keep about five days in the refrigerator. Thanks for checking out the blog! ~Karen
This dressing is amazing! Just made it and can’t wait for my salad tonight! I didn’t have lime so I used lemon and it turned out great! Thank you so much!
My son is allergic to tree nuts – do you think subbing the cashews with white beans would work?
Hi Melissa – Thanks for stopping by! White beans could definitely work. However, if you are ok with trying tofu, silken tofu has more fat and will more closely substitute for the texture the cashews would have added. Let us know if you try it! ~Karen