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Monday, May 06, 2013

Fourteen months ago, I went vegan. It didn't happen overnight (it never does) but I lost 20 pounds between March and December.


From December-May, I've gained about 10 pounds back. Here's my post-mortem of why.

1. Emotional Stuff. I went through some bad !ish in December, and the aftermath of dealing with all the emotional eating took its toll. I am a million times better equipped to handle this stuff than I used to be, but still, when there are cookies and potato chips and all sorts of things around, I indulged 'to feel better'. Truth be told, it really wasn't to feel better, but because it was an excuse to eat things I know I shouldn't be eating. It got out of hand.

2. Complacency. I've said from the beginning of this journey that I'm about 90% vegan. I knew that with the way I travel and the places I go that a pure vegan diet would be extremely difficult, so I allowed myself some leeway to go vegetarian should veganism prove too difficult. Instead what happened was 'well it's Paris, of course I should have a croissant.' 'It's Brussels, of course I should have that chocolate.' 'Sure, I'm home, but everyone else is having pizza.' I'm proud that that last one only happened once, but still, it was proving to be far too slippery of a slope. There are times when vegan = iceberg lettuce, and I'd rather have a veggie burger that uses egg as a binder than starve to death. But I can do better here, when 90% vegan turned into 80% vegan. I'm doing this for my health, for the animals, and for the environment. I need to keep that in mind.

3. Vegan Junk Food. In the beginning, it was easy to be healthful and vegan. So many veggies! Fruits! Beans! Whole grains! But then I discovered that Oreos are vegan. So are potato chips. So are Justin's dark chocolate peanut butter cups. This list kept growing and I took advantage of every 'loophole' I could find. That needs to stop.

I just got back from two weeks in the Caribbean, which is far from known for being vegan-friendly. I did the best I could, but I did have quite a few vegetarian meals. Now I'm home and in the US until July. I have one trip to the Outer Banks in NC where it will be difficult to stay vegan, but otherwise I'll either be home or Chicago, both of which are totally doable on the vegan scale.

I went to the store Saturday just after I got home and bought tons of vegan food, transformed some of those yummy ingredients into a mushroom and spinach strata and a delicious lentil salad to eat all week, and I'm sitting here snacking on my hummus and pita bread.

I sometimes forget how much BETTER I feel putting solid fuel into my body instead of a bunch of processed crap. There's a physical difference in my energy level, my quality of sleep, etc., and a mental difference in knowing what I'm doing is good for me, good for the animals, and good for the environment.

IOW ... I'm back. I'm re-dedicated to plant-based living. And I'm ready to tackle these 10 pounds, and work on the next 10 after that.
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    I have been driving back and forth to class three nights a week, so I am basically living off fast food right now. I can not WAIT until next week when my classes are over so I can get back to eating the healthy way my body likes to eat. I get the excuse thing - I did really well at first with bringing my own food to class and stuff, but I used the school travel thing as an excuse to get frozen mochas and chips from Wawa... sigh... cheers to getting back on track!
    2261 days ago
    2263 days ago
    Well, I have to say, good for you being vegan! I couldn't do it. I know myself too well. Plus, I would never convince my husband, who has enough trouble going meatless 1 day a week.

    Next, other commenters are right, processed foods, they are so bad. I mean, I have some occasionally. I like pizza and such. But it is a rarity now, with so many whole foods out there!

    You can definitely do it. And before you know it, you will be down those ten, plus more!
    2264 days ago
    I hear you. It is so easy to convince yourself that you are only going to eat something once, but once becomes 3-4 times and then there you are, eating croissants regularly.

    I am gearing myself up for another run at veganism--I kind of hated it, but I have to say, I felt really great and my skin looked amazing. I'm too stressed out about my stupid knee and the end of the year to do it now, but it's in my plans.

    You're my inspiration of non-annoying vegan; know you can do this!
    2264 days ago
    I have a friend that is vegetarian. She eats things that I just wouldn't. She has some pretty good recipes - but then she goes all overboard with the sweets and treats. Recipes calling for 2 sticks of butter - no problem! I couldn't do that - but that's me.

    I am not vegetarian - although our foods rely heavily on vegetables and grains with meat added as a flavor component - not the main ingredient. We just don't eat slabs of meat here. I do, however, try to stay away from all processed foods as much as possible. To me, they just aren't meant for human consumption.

    So glad you are back in the saddle and ready to ride. It's not easy - but at least you know what your triggers are. Just keep working on it and at some point you will be ready to write your own book on how to successfully travel as a vegetarian!

    You can do this!

    2264 days ago
    You can do this! I feel like regardless of whether you're vegan, vegetarian or omnivore, those seemingly healthy processed foods wreak havoc on us all. I'm sure that if you switch back to primarily fruits, veggies, beans, legumes and whole grains plus soy protein, you will lose the ten pounds very quickly.
    2264 days ago
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