It’s been almost three weeks since I made the decision to eat more veggies, less meat, and no dairy. I have continued to eat my share of meat, which is a little disappointing. Sometime soon, I will need to set goals around eliminating meat and fish if I truly want to have a vegan diet.
I went two weeks without dairy. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. The first time I cheated with dairy was when I had hot cocoa one afternoon. The cocoa was delicious, but I’m guessing that the massive gas pains I had a couple hours later were due to the milk. I thought I would miss cheese the most. I picked up some soy cheese from Trader Joe’s and was turned off by it. It didn’t seem any different from dairy cheese in taste or texture. I just did not find it appetizing and it was a bit anticlimactic, considering that I had gone so long without dairy cheese. Speaking of cheese, I had pizza for lunch a couple of days ago. I have decided that if I am going to go rogue on my non-dairy diet, a slice of cheesy veggie pizza is worth it.
One item that I am really surprised I have avoided so far is the egg. I really like having eggs for breakfast because they’re fast and easy to make, and they’re versatile. But, at this point, I would prefer a tofu scramble even if I wasn’t trying to be vegan. Now, I’m sure eggs are in the baked items that I still eat, but I’m not too concerned about that.
I have some emotional reactions to share. I find that I feel defensive and patronized sometimes. I don’t like hearing, “Wow, good for you, you’re so good,” from someone as they eat a juicy cheeseburger. I also don’t like it when people ask why I’m eating healthy or what the hell quinoa is or remark that I’m being weird. It’s kind of a general annoyance when people feel the need to interrogate or poke fun at me about things they don’t understand. It’s also a little upsetting when someone whom I have told I am trying to be vegan offers me meat dishes and says, “it’s okay to eat meat this one time.” While I am sort of the worst vegan wannabe right now and I know veganism is not something everyone understands or agrees with, I do wish that the people whom I care about and who supposedly care about me will support me (or, at the very least, NOT shove meat in my face and tell me it’s ‘ok’ for me to eat it).
Overall, I have to say that I am learning a lot and I’m having a lot of fun trying out new things and experimenting in the kitchen. I see food in a different light. I’m so much more aware of what I’m putting into my body. I also have to say that, despite what sounded like a complaint in the previous paragraph, I am really grateful for the people around me who are supportive of this change.
Thanks for reading! -melissa
I definitely identify with your emotional reactions. I think people who are conscious on any level of what they’re doing when they eat meat will try to assuage their guilt, conscious or subconscious, by pushing you to engage in the offending act with them. It reminds me of when I was in high school and people would get nervous and assert that I would turn them in if I didn’t smoke pot with them.
I usually tell those people that I don’t want to feel guilty and anxious later. If they push I ask them why they would want me to feel guilty or anxious about something. Most people with any conscience might have an awkward moment of self reflection, at which point you remark on how lovely the vegan option is.