People make life-changing decisions all the time.
I’ve read “inspirational quotes” that are adamant that “the hardest part concerning these decisions is getting to the point of making them”-as in being aware of the fact that change is needed and what form that change will take.
Well. I can tell you that in my experience, this is not only not true- but also misleading and discouraging.
In my experience -making the grand euphoric statement itself- is a piece of the pie.
Another piece of that pie is when you get accustomed to the change, and it becomes your new comfort zone, the no-brainer, a part of your body, you get my point.
What definitely is no pie, is the evil part that stretches between that hopeful unrealistic moment when you are full of determination and willpower, you are absolutely positive you can stick to your goal, stand behind your ambitions, (etc AKA “new year’s high”)-and actually sticking to those resolutions, despite the fact that life seems to make a point of getting in your way.
7 years ago, I after watching that famous Gary Yourofsky speech,I turned vegan. this post is dedicated to whoever is contemplating turning vegan, has turned vegan, has a vegan family member, and, of course- all the animals out there.
The short answer to the above question- the Bon Jovi one- is, well, no. I am not “laying on a bed of roses”.
I did expect to by the way.
I thought that by now my body would have adapted to eating only plant-based food, and crave meat and dairy no more.
You see- I became vegan not because I despise the taste or smell of meat and dairy- but despite the fact that I love it.
My whole family eats meat and eggs- though thankfully like soy milk and rarely consume other dairy products, and since I do the cooking -this is a daily challenge.
Sure- I could have said- people- eat whatever you want- leave me the f&*% alone- I am not doing this- but I didn’t.
At first- it was the beginner’s vanity- “I am the powerful vegan goddess, my cause is right and nothing can take me off my route!”
Yes, I know.
Then- I convinced myself that big wars are won with Witt and not force and that by continuing to be in charge of household cooking, I can introduce vegan food to my family’s diet, and win them over by how tasty and nutritious this food is.
The truth is- I mean the complete and honest truth is- that some of the above
excuses reasons are valid- the absolute truth is that my huge ego -translated into my control freakiness -was acting up time and again.
I couldn’t stand the thought of my partner and my kids getting their food from anyone other than ME.
Again- this really wasn’t much of a problem -I somehow disciplined myself -maybe conditioned myself to avoid all meat, eggs, and dairy -and didn’t mind cooking it.
But- for the past few months- the meat craving started creeping back on me.
If- by any chance- you are thinking that my body is signaling me some kind of protein deficiency- due to the common misconception that vegan protein is more difficult to come by- then- no.
The thing is- whereas in my first year as a vegan I really wasn’t educated on the important subject of macros and nutrients, and ate a lot of carbs and veggies, as I progressed on my vegan journey- I incorporated a lot of protein -mainly from legumes, tofu, chia, flax, oats, and some protein powder.
You can scroll around my previous posts and see for yourselves- I know the academic stuff and implement it on a daily basis.
I do yearly blood works that so far have stellar results, which made me very proud of myself I can tell you that.
So???I eat a very balanced, nutritious, and healthy diet- and -all of a sudden- for the past few months- am dealing with the return of meat craving.
The only thing I can think of in terms of change- is that for the past months I upped my workout game, and incorporated a lot of strength-focused workouts- weights and bands joined my usual routine of pilates, swimming, running, and yoga. I do each of these at least a couple of times a week. (yes it does mean that on Tuesday for instance- I swim, do 2 pilates classes, and do 30 minutes of strength training at the gym -a total of 3.5 hours straight. on Friday I swim and then do a yoga class, on Saturday I run and weight lift-etc).
I have a strange feeling that this sudden craving for meat has something to do with that, and I think my body is feeling entitled, for the first time ever, and sadly- this entitlement has taken the form of meat craving…..
I know there is a hype concerning “intuitive eating” these days, and I am sorry- but I have a hard time believing my conditioned body ( mainly mind) knows intuitively what kind of minerals and vitamins it needs– as opposed to craves.
I can totally understand that my body feels that this game change means it deserves to go wild- again- for the first time since adolescence and the usual body cruelty almost every teenage girl goes through-
The strange thing is that the cravings are not in the common form of doughnuts or pizza- but in the form of meat.
This is not only strange but also- as a vegan- very very disturbing.
Suddenly I find cooking meat for my family a very difficult task, I find myself looking for meat substitutes, (yes- those strange “I have no idea what they put in it but it looks like a bleeding steak” things), not finding anywhere I live (rural is beautiful, but you know, a bit more difficult to find vegan steaks), and generally- for the first time since becoming vegan 7 years ago- I feel a bit deprived.
At first, I was pissed at myself, and let myself have a piece of my mind too.
But that didn’t help. at all.
So I did 4 things:
#1: I started searching what meat and dairy substitutes -the nonfancy “real steak” options- are available in my online supermarket.
I made these from a vegan minced meat substitute, and it tastes ok.
I think the trick here is to treat yourself accessories -wise.
I made a vegan sauce from soaked cashews ground with lemon juice, some water, nooch, paprika, cumin, and a date (the recipe is from a vegan YouTuber called “simnet nutrition”- check him out he does like to talk (a lot) but is very knowledgable and focuses on health, nutrition and exercise-what more can a girl ask for).
I added preserved lemon I made myself:
wash and thinly slice lemons, dip each slice in a mixture of salt and paprika, then put on the counter in a sterilized mason jar for 24 hours till it starts to drool juice, then add lemon juice to cover all the slices, wait another 24 hours -only then cover the top with a bit of olive oil and store in the fridge.
That helped. a bit anyway.
#2: I started cooking meat for my family on a full stomach. full of a hearty bean stew preferably. I know- sounds lame. but works.
#3: I got my partner to cook his favorite meat dish: (rice pilaf, cooked with meat chunks and carrots). he got really good at it- which is a double win (more nap time for moi).
#4: Just to get me back on track -I watched Gary Yourofsky’s youtube channel, and wham! in my face.
I made the right decision 7 years ago.
Love to hear your intake on this- the cooliflower.