I agree, when you're out you have to be vigelant. Today I was at a cafeteria style eatery and specifically asked for the "vegetarian" penne (THE vegetarian option.) I was offered a side and chose spinach. When she gave it to me I could see chunks of bacon in it. Ok, I went out of my way to say the "vegetarian" penne and she didn't even think twice about handing me a bowl of pork. Good grief. As I said, ever vigelant. No one else is going to look out for us!
I hear you. I slipped up yesterday and had some crackers with whey in them, and my stomach was acting up like crazy! And of course I couldn't stop eating them.
I'm the only vegan, let along vegetarian, in my family, and I love to travel. It always seems to work out the the places I travel to are places that don't make it easy to be veg*n. I just focus on how good eating the way I do makes me feel, and I think about how yucky I feel when I'm not eating right. I also ask a ton of questions when I'm out to eat, like "is there cheese in the veggie burger patty?" or "what comes on that?" I can't tell you how many times I've had to try and scrape mayo off a veggie burger.
I tend to try and cook in advance, or at least cook parts of meals in advance. I made an entire bag of lentils last week, and I've been mixing them up with baby spinach, marinated olives, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, hummus, and fresh salsa (also made in advance with fresh tomatoes and jalapenos from my garden). I put in all in a large yogurt container (there's plenty of room to spare in the container) and bring it to work. I shake it up so that the hummus acts like salad dressing and eat it with a whole wheat pita.
I think that when you're eating vegan, you need to be creative. I also find that I can eat a lot more in terms of food volume because I'm making really good choices. I just have to watch the amount of oil in dishes when I cook.
Watch some cooking shows. Even if they're not veg*n shows, they have a lot of great tips about how to prepare food. I find that they really jumpstart my cooking creativity.
Violet- I think we've all been there. It's important to not beat yourself up and just get back to it. Maybe you can try to think about what caused you to fall off the wagon and then put in place some other solutions for when that might happen again in the future.
I agree that remembering your purposes for choosing a lifestyle like this goes a long way. For me, focusing only on health or weight loss was never a good enough reason to stick with a veg'n diet. I had to delve deeper, and remember the impact that my choices are making in the lives of other living creatures and people on the planet, not to mention the planet itself.
But I think it's also important to be your own person. No one is forcing you to be a vegan and no person can expect to be perfect all the time either. For some people, the pressure is intense. Anytime your actions disconnect with your beliefs it can cause some problems.
Anyway, hang in there. Focus on one thing at a time if it helps. And keep experimenting with new foods. I have to admit that even after 7+ years of this lifestyle, I get bored with my food too, so you've always got to change it up and find new things to suit your cravings.
Hi Violet - sorry to hear you're having a rough time. One thing that helps me keep my focus is reminding myself WHY I changed my diet. Look at the tempting food and remember WHY. (I recently had a negative off-the-wagon experience, you can read my SparkPage blog if you're interested.)
One thing I make that always makes me feel like I'm cheating is this Asian soup with shredded veggies, baby bok choy, mushrooms and tofu. It's also on my blog or you can search for it on Yahoo! Foods - it's called Vegetarian Hot Pot. (It's actually vegan, assuming you make it with vegetable stock.) Even my meat-eating husband LOVES it. Mmmm. Plus it freezes well so you can make a big batch and freeeze in portions for lunches or whatever. I've made it with and without the rice noodles - is great either way.
I also discovered this great blog that has some amazing looking recipes on it (haven't tried any yet but I will!) www.veganyumyum.com
Hey fellow vegans, I have fallen off the wagon, and of course I feel like crap. What are your fave meals or how do you cope with being vegan, attempting to loose weight, and living in a non-vegan world? I feel overwelmed and have been going back to comfort and junk food, which has made me feel guilty and eat even worse.
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