Wednesday, February 06, 2013
I am on day 36 of trying on the vegan lifestyle (well, as it relates to food.) Some days have been better than others but I am still committed to reducing the amount of meat and dairy in my diet. In fact, I had my first piece of meat last week. It wasn't "all that" so - for now - I am okay without it.
Chicken is another story. At first I didn't miss it. Then I made Orange Chicken for my daughter and couldn't resist. Since then, I've had little bits and pieces here and there and that kicked in the cravings. The good news is they aren't overwhelming and it has been pretty easy to say no or to eat just a small amount. As a very wise Sparkfriend noted, it's the taste that I miss. It's all the salt, herbs, flavoring that go along with meat or chicken that I miss. In some ways I can duplicate that in other dishes.
Oh, and I miss cheese. That one is tough right now. There is no duplicating that for me.
If I lived alone, vegan wouldn't be difficult but with two kids and a husband, it is downright challenging at times. My husband likes meat. My daughter likes chicken. My son is a vegetarian. None of us are huge vegetable fans. But we all love pizza! I try to make meals that cover all the bases but sometimes it is exhausting. I am learning. And they aren't complaining.
Sometimes I beat myself up because I don't have this food thing down-pat. I don't have a sure-fire plan for dinner on most nights. I do come up with a menu each week and usually have the ingredients but life interrupts and I find myself leaning on old favorites. I have veganized most of them but it is not routine just yet.
I think food has been such a crutch for me for so long that I am in a weird food-anxious state. Food has been comfort to me. A good cheesy lasagne is like home to me. Add crusty bread and I am in heaven. Wine and coffee bring a sense of peace every time I see or think about them. Brownies just make me darn happy. Vegetables don't do that for me. At least not yet.
But I will keep trying.
I have made a lot of progress since January 2008 when I started on this journey. In the years prior to that, Taco Bell for lunch and ice cream after dinner were standard. I loved Big Macs and fries. When I was younger I used to treat myself to milkshakes from Arby's. Of course there were months of diets to undo my many food misadventures. Is it any wonder I put on so much weight?
Since 2008, my diet has improved greatly. And exercise is a big part of my life.
I might be frustrated because this isn't a linear trajectory. It is a bumpy ride and is taking forever to reach my goal. But I have made progress. And for today, that is enough...