Yesterday made one month vegan wooot!
It was also the first time I knowingly hopped off the plant-based wagon.
You see, the past week has been the most difficult for me. I’m not sure why, but I started to crave things like pepperoni pizza, cookie dough ice cream, cheese. My mouth watered when I made Goo a turkey hot dog for lunch one day. What was wrong with me? I’d never been a *huge* fan of meat, so I figured going vegan was going to be as simple as cutting out the things I didn’t care for. So why was I craving it? Ravenous for things like pepperoni when I barely gave it a second glance when it was “allowed?”
Was that it? Was it because I was telling myself “no”?
It got worse. I started to make mental lists of all the foods I would never eat again: ice cream on a cone at the fair, root beer floats, baked potato soup, marshmallows roasted over dying charcoals.
It doesn’t help that it’s summer, that fairs are in full-bloom, that a BBQ happens once a week, that every amusement park I go to–even just the pool–has nothing but cheese and fried meats on their snack menu.
But I also thought back to when I was pregnant. I was told that when you crave something, it’s your body telling you that you need something. That you’re deficient.
I thought about all of the foods I wanted, and I began to see a pattern. They were loaded with fat, grease, calories.
While craving these things, I had also begun to notice a constant “woozy” feeling. Plant-based food had begun to nauseate me. All food had begun to nauseate me. Which made me eat even fewer calories. It was a vicious cycle.
That had to be it. I simply needed more fat in my diet.
I listened to my body. I ate gobs of peanut butter on crackers and added oil and butter to foods to get more fat. But it just didn’t seem like enough. Was this diet really better for me? After all, the evidence on both sides of the argument is contradicting. Is there anyone I can trust to tell me the truth?
Yesterday, I wrote in my journal:
It’s a tough diet, full of foods I don’t know how to cook, and it takes a lot of work to make sure you’re getting enough of everything…I could just go vegetarian, but the whole reason I gave up milk and cheese was because I don’t agree with the practices to obtain those things. My morality, can I handle it? Can I push aside that feeling and go back to using eggs and cheese, even when I know I’m harming others to do so?
After a short talk with my husband, and a discussion on Twitter, and after reading this blog article, I began to see that vegan is only a title. A label. A word. Removing the title would free me to listen to my body, to say “I could, but I don’t want to.”
And then I did it. I pouted and said “I want baked potato soup.” So that’s what I had. Baked potato soup with a bit of cheese, and a salad, also with cheese, and ranch dressing.
I thought I would feel better afterward physically. I thought I would be able to handle it mentally. After all, I was taking care of me and that’s what’s really important, right?
But I didn’t feel like I was taking care of me. In fact, after I ate it, I just felt gross. The food wasn’t as great as I remember it tasting. Certainly not as fresh as the foods we’ve been eating. There was nothing “rewarding” about it.
And because of it, I doubled my sodium intake for the day. I just felt bleh.
I went vegetarian for a meal, and I hated it.
While I am annoyed at myself for letting the weakness get to me, I am glad I did it. I know now that plant-based is exactly where I want to be right now. I don’t really want cheese or pepperoni, I just want the freedom of knowing I could if I wanted to, but that I don’t want it. I also need to get a little more salt and fat content into my diet. Time to buy some trail mix and chow down!
And seriously, Lina, they do make vegan marshmallows. I could totally roast some on our if-it-ever-happens camping trip.
So I made it one month vegan and gave myself the ultimate test. I won’t beat myself up over it. All I can do is accept what I’ve learned and move on.
And I’ve got to remember my initial goal. It wasn’t to be a “perfect” vegan, but to be a better me than I was yesterday.