Trying to Convince Someone to Eat Plant Based is a Waste of Time + Garlicky Beet and Kale Salad


I’ve never eaten meat in my life and I haven’t had dairy in over a decade.

It’s not as frequent as it used to be, but I’ve gotten plenty of sideways glances because of how I eat. And that’s okay. Not everyone is on the same page.

I’ve never tried to convince anyone to eat this way. If someone needs to be convinced, it won’t work because they go into it looking for reasons to stop doing it.

So I simply share.

I share my experiences eating plant based, I share yummy plant based recipes and meal plans, and I share stories about people who have gotten healthier since changing to a plant based diet.

Whatever someone does with this information is entirely up to them.

Maybe they will be inspired to eat more beans and less beef.
Maybe they will give tofu another shot.
Maybe they will go one day a week without meat and dairy.
Maybe they will get in their kitchen and try cooking their own plant based meals.
Maybe they will eat a salad from time to time.

Or maybe they won’t.

It’s none of my business either way, and I know that I will never be the reason why someone changes. I might be able to give some direction, but everyone, and I mean everyone, will only ever change because in their heart of hearts, they are ready to change. That is the only way.

When someone is truly ready to eat more plant based, they will do anything and everything it takes to eat more plants and less of everything else.

And it won’t matter what anyone else on the entire planet has to say about it.

And it won’t matter what anyone else on the entire planet has to say about it. It won’t matter if people look at them like they just walked into a fancy dinner party wearing nothing but a unicorn tail whilst blasting Kenny G from a rainbow-sequin boombox just because they’re munching on quinoa and kale instead of pizza.

They will dig into that tofu.
They will make that hummus.
They will eat that broccoli.
They will get chia seeds stuck in their teeth.
They will choose beans over beef.
They will ask their server to hold the cheese.
They will get excited when they spot a Dirty in the produce section.
They will start doing funky shit, like eating lentils with their oatmeal.

And if I’ve done my job at all, they won’t try to convince anyone to follow in their footsteps, because even though they are really fucking excited about what this way of eating has done for them, they will think back to a time not long ago when, in their heart of hearts, they weren’t ready to change.

So instead of convincing, they will simply share.

Have you had someone try and convince you to change how you eat? Or, have you tried to convince someone to change the way they eat? Talk to us in the comments below.

Garlicky Beet and Kale Salad

Makes about 6 cups
Author: Molly Patrick


  • 2 medium-sized beets, cut into quarters, no need to peel (about 0.9 lb / 400 g before cooked)
  • 4 lightly-packed cups chopped baby kale (120 g)
  • ½ cup grated carrot (50 g)
  • 1 ½ cups white beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup chopped raw walnuts (25 g)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (about 10 turns)


First, let’s cook your beets. You can steam them in your Instant Pot or simmer them on the stove, in a regular pot.

    Instant Pot Directions

    • Place 1 cup of water into your inner pot and then place the trivet on the bottom of the pot. Place the quartered beets on the trivet and lock the lid into place, making sure the nozzle is in the sealing position.
    • Use the Manual (or Pressure Cooking) mode and set the timer for 10 minutes. Use the natural release method when the timer is up. When all the pressure is out of the pot, carefully remove the lid and, with a pair of tongs, transfer the beets to a cutting board or a large bowl to cool.
    • When cool enough to handle, cut the beets into bite-sized cubes. Note: Beets can stain countertops, cutting boards and hands, so you may want to wear gloves and be cautious when cutting them.

    Stove Top Directions

    • Add the quartered beets to a large pot and cover them with water by 1 or 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, or until you can easily pierce them with a fork. (Simmer time will vary based on the size of your beets. They should be fork tender but not mushy.)
    • Drain the beets (discard the water), then rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process and transfer them to a cutting board or large bowl to cool.
    • When cool enough to handle, cut the beets into bite-sized cubes. Note: Beets can stain countertops, cutting boards and hands, so you may want to wear gloves and be cautious when cutting them.

    Now, let's put it all together!

    • In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked beet cubes, kale, carrot, beans, walnuts, garlic, vinegar, parsley, mustard, salt and pepper.

    Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with sharing.


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    1. Celeste W on February 15, 2020 at 10:50 am

      5 stars
      Beautifully said! Thank you!
      This applies to so much in our lives.
      I was born and raised vegetarian. My parents had us fish on occasion but I am now vegan for 7 years. Going through some really hard stuff in my life right now. My adult daughters bring me joy and also I have a few sweet understanding friends that keep me afloat in my current turmoil. Reminding me my hurt and frustration and panic attacks will eventually heal.

      I just want to say I may only follow a little bit because my girls and I have always been big on cooking but your words of wisdom really help me and some days light my day back up. Thank you for that! You are an awesome person!
      Celeste W

    2. Georgina on February 15, 2020 at 12:00 pm

      Confession time. A work colleague used almond milk and I quickly googled how it was made and told her how much water it took to make that milk. She just nodded and said ‘ok’. That was probably 4/5 years ago. I certainly wasn’t ready and her response was brilliant. Now I have people do similar things to me and I am gentle with my responses too.

    3. Lesley Nicol on February 15, 2020 at 3:32 pm

      Love your blog posts and look forward to your weekly emails which always contains some pearls of wisdom. I especially love the photos of the food and the ingredients all displayed. It’s extremely helpful to see them all laid out but I imagine very time consuming for you guys to prepare and photograph each shot so thank you for that.

      • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl - Steph on February 15, 2020 at 7:19 pm

        Thanks for the kind words! We have a great team and it’s so nice to feel the love.

      • Dan on February 16, 2020 at 11:57 am

        Well said. Me too.

    4. June Childrey on February 15, 2020 at 4:11 pm

      So…my wonderful daughter was vegetarian most of high school and college and I absolutely gave her no support. I ate the way I grew up eating and fixed the meals that I had always fixed. She had a hard time when she was younger because she depended on me to buy food and cook food and I did not go out of my way to help. Years later, she was eating the standard American diet again and I saw Forks over Knives and became an overnight vegan. I apologized to her so many times for being un-supportive. Shortly after, she became vegan with me.
      I don’t try to get others to eat the way I do, I just bring my lunch to work every day and answer all of the questions about what I’m eating…why I eat the way I do, “what smells so good” etc. And it has an impact without my having to convince anyone of anything so that’s cool. Otherwise, I don’t push it on anyone because like Molly said-they aren’t going to change until they are ready to change:)

    5. Tammy Snowden on February 16, 2020 at 6:52 pm

      Your words of wisdom are so what my mothers heart needs from time to time. My boys don’t live at home and have both worked in fast food places. They eat like shit and their health is going downhill. It scares me. Especially for my oldest as he has an eight year old son. He was going to be here more now because of a job situation. I really saw us exercising and his eating healthier. It isn’t going that way. He is just fighting it more. I truly need to follow your example. They know going out to eat bothers my stomach because of the oil. So I have started to stand my ground for me though. I will try and find recipes that they might like. If they do great. If they don’t. Then at least I will and one meal will have more plants in them. The same as they no longer go to church with me. My husband and I have stopped bowing our head and whispering our prayers. They hear each and every visit how thankful we are for this time with them and they see how much effort I put into the food for them. They see my love. If they accept the love in my food. That has to be up to them. The grandson LOVES it!!! My son will sing praises this week with the bang, bang tacos again though. ❤️ Thank you for how you helped my physical health and my mental health. I keep trying to help all I love who are ailing by eating crap.

      • Molly Patrick on February 17, 2020 at 11:41 am

        You have such an awesome attitude, Tammy.
        We all need reminders of this, even me!
        You have set such a fine example for your kids and grandkids.
        My dad was not fully vegan until last year after he saw The Game Changers, yet my mom and I have been eating this way for ages and reminding him of the benefits.
        You never know when it will click or why.
        Keep setting an awesome example by making the best choices for YOU.
        Keep us posted on those tacos!

    6. Wendy on February 17, 2020 at 3:54 am

      I shared a video on Facebook today of what happens to male chicks from mother hens used for eggs. This stirred one friend up asking me not to share animal abuse. I said more people need to know what happens in the animal industry. Turns out she doesn’t eat meat any more either.

    7. Ruth Prokesch on February 17, 2020 at 8:42 am

      Thank you for sharing the pictures of your childhood home. It is very quirky, and I can see and appreciate that a LOT of work/love went into making that place their/your home. It would be a hard decision to give it up, I’m sure, but it’s always good to be closer to family. You are so blessed that you have your parents, Molly. Cherish every minute.

      And thank you for your words of wisdom about the way we eat. I’m not 100% WFPB, and don’t want to have to explain. I try to eat healthy as much as possible for me, but do remember a time when I absolutely could not imagine giving up milk/eggs/cheese. Meat was easier, but I still am tempted sometimes. But I truly do feel better when I eat better.

      You’re awesome Molly, and I love reading your words. You have so much wisdom.


      • Molly Patrick on February 17, 2020 at 11:34 am

        Thank you for the kind words, Ruth.
        I really do cherish my parents. I call them everyday and don’t take a second of it for granted.
        So much love headed your way, and yes, we all started somewhere.

    8. vicky H on February 22, 2020 at 5:40 pm

      when i read your beet kale salad i just KNEW I must make it. Did tonight with canned white beans rinsed well huge red beets (i like the orange ones better) and lucinato kale which mad me realize I might like the curly better?? Added lemon juice olive oil and NM crushed red pepper and a big spoon of tamari. It hit the spot and I could not stop! It occurred to me if you simmered it for a while in the beet water it would be a delicious vegetarian borsht!!! Thank you dirty peeps so much for a wonderful salad!

      • Molly Patrick on February 23, 2020 at 3:56 pm

        So glad you liked it!

    9. Sue Swiecicki on February 27, 2020 at 11:10 am

      OMG. I needed to read this. It is sooooo true. When I discovered how great I felt and how my body responded like a chorus of angels on high when I ate WFPB, I felt like I had to save my friends and family from all of their illnesses by convincing them to eat this way. WRONG. No one gives a fuck about what I am eating. They will rip my face off if I suggest they put down their animal food. Then I remembered a vegan friend of mine who approached me many years ago preaching. I would run when I saw her coming. You are absolutely correct. I will never preach again unless I am asked for knowledge. Thanks for setting me straight — not my job. Love you guys, love your recipes. Please keep doing this forever! xoxo

      • Molly Patrick on February 27, 2020 at 11:32 pm

        I love your comment, Sue!!!
        Yes, yes, yes! We must focus on what WE are doing and leave everyone else alone, unless of course they ask.
        Thank you for sharing your words!

    10. Ruth Landelius on March 20, 2020 at 5:32 am

      This blog post is everything! Your message is precisely how I feel about the subject! I run a Facebook group (very tiny one) for those wanting to transition to a plant-based/vegan way of eating, and I get super frustrated at times. I feel as though I’m just talking to myself! Today, I’m sharing this post with the group. Hopefully, something in them will spark. Thank you for the beautiful way you arrange your thoughts and words!

      • Molly Patrick on March 20, 2020 at 2:20 pm

        Thank you for your kind words!
        So glad it found you.

    11. Tracy on June 3, 2020 at 6:59 am

      5 stars
      This salad is very delicious!! One of my favorites!

      • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on June 3, 2020 at 7:50 am

        This is such a yummy salad – we are so glad you like it and thank you for sharing! ~Karen

    12. Autumn Lewis on June 13, 2020 at 8:31 am

      I have everything but balsamic vinegar on hand after my trip to farmers market. Could I use something mixed with ACV possibly instead? I also have tahini and lemon and most WFPB staples ?. ?

      • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on June 13, 2020 at 8:42 am

        Hi Autumn, ACV will work just fine in this recipe in lieu of balsamic. Different flavor but will still be delicious. ~Karen

    13. Yulca on May 10, 2021 at 12:04 pm

      My dad had prostate cancer and has been suffering from gastric reflux for decades. My mom is pre-diabetic, but skinny, so she thinks it can’t be because of the tons of dairy she’s eating. I know they would thrive on a WFPB diet.
      They know how we eat and mainly pity my “poor husband, who can’t live a little and have a steak if he wants to”. (He totally can btw, but I won’t cook it for him. He simply doesn’t want to eat it anymore.) At least they stopped worrying about the kids, who are thriving (SURPRISE!).
      I sent them Dr. Barnard’s awesome book on diabetes with lots of post-its (read this! this sounds delicious! etc.). My mom’s reply was “I’m underweight, so none of this applies to my special type of diabetes” & tossed it aside. She does the cooking, if she were on board, my dad would be, too. It’s so frustrating. I’ve given up, as you said, it’s a waste of time. The day she announces she has to go on insulin, however, I will bring it up one last time (as in: really, a life on drugs forever? Sure you don’t want to at least try it for a month?).
      Anyways, several friends of mine have adopted a vegan diet now after seeing how we are doing & learning things at their own pace & that’s beautiful.
      Great blog, btw, I just discovered it & will become a regular reader for sure. All the best to you guys!

      • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl - Steph on May 10, 2021 at 12:15 pm

        Aw, Yulca,

        That’s so frustrating. Wanting to help your loved ones thrive is natural and it’s heartbreaking when you can’t do more.

        It’s good, though, that you’ve decided to give yourself a break. Ultimately, the best way to convince them is to live by example. Focus on what you can control and hopefully the rest will follow. And if not, know that you did what you could.

        Wishing you and your beautiful family health, love, and empathy.

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