How to Avoid FOMO as a Vegan
By Dani Taylor
Fear of Missing Out, commonly called FOMO, is a huge factor when people go vegan. They go from eating whatever they want without a thought to having to check the ingredients in every bite and snack. It can get tiring! Food is a significant part of many cultures, as well. When holidays or family gatherings roll around, it can be hard to feel like you're on the outside looking in. When the fear of missing out rears its ugly head, these thoughts will help you sidestep the pain.
Focus on Your Goal
You decided to go vegan for a reason. People only make such a big lifestyle change if they really want to. When you wish you could chow down on a tasty treat, take a deep breath. Slow down. Don't think of what you're missing out on; think about what you're getting by living your vegan values.
Think of the animals if animal rights move you. Think of the planet if you're motivated by climate change. Animal agriculture is one of the top three contributors to climate change. Think of how good your body feels when you feed it nutritious fruits and vegetables if you're doing this for your health.
Make Your Treats
Of course, you have to fight fire with fire now and then. Cooking and baking aren't for everyone, but if you can manage an excellent vegan recipe, you'll thank yourself for years to come. Bringing your own desserts to parties and gatherings ensures you won't have an empty plate while everyone else is enjoying the food. This method has the added benefit of letting others know that vegan cooking isn't all broccoli salad and tempeh -- the vegan diet can include a mean chocolate chip cookie or pumpkin pie.
Being able to whip up delicious treats at home also helps you avoid feeling deprived. Deprivation is why most diets don't last. Veganism is more than a crash diet. However, it can still fail for the same reasons. If you know you can have something good at home, you're less likely to reach for non-vegan comfort food in a moment of weakness.
Find Your Tribe
One of the main reasons that new vegans feel alone is because….well, often they are! Many people go vegan without knowing any other vegans and that can feel quite isolating. Utilize social media and meetup groups to find your closest vegan group and try to join in and make friends. You can also look for local vegan festivals like Veg Fests to find other like-minded vegan people. Once you have a handful of vegan friends, you will feel much less alone.
Make it FUN!
Vegan stereotypes say that vegans are stanch, angry, and judgemental. But in actuality, that’s seldom the case. There is a lot of fun to be had in the vegan lifestyle. One of my favorite ways to make veganism fun is always being on the hunt for delicious vegan food. You would be amazed by all the places you can find accidentally vegan treats! And when you find one, it’s like you won a treasure hunt. It’s a blast!
Avoiding FOMO as a vegan comes down to being prepared. Be mentally prepared by focusing on your goal, not on what you're avoiding. Be physically prepared by making sure you have a delicious vegan treat with you at gatherings and parties. A little prevention can bring joy back to food-based celebrations.