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 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 will power , you are absolutely positive you can stick to your goal, stand behind your ambitions, (etc 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 on 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, 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 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 teenaged 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 any where 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 non fancy “real steak” options- are available in my online supermarket.
I made these from vegan minced meat substitute, and it tastes ok.
I think the trick here is to treat yourself excessories -wise.
I made a vegan sauce from soaked cashews grinded with lemon juice, some water, nooch, paprika , cumin and a date (the recipe is from 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, duip 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 droole 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 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 favourite 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.