I am in my fourth month of my vegan journey. I call it a journey because as you know this wasn't a decision I made overnight and my successes aren't manifesting themselves without deliberate measures. In fact, there are many areas in my life that I am still working on in regards to going vegan. Eating is just ONE facet of living a vegan lifestyle and the one that I have chosen to concentrate on first and foremost. That doesn't mean I am not making strides in other areas at the same time, such as seeking out cruelty-free cosmetics and clothing.
So, while I am thrilled with how the process is going for me, I wouldn't be honest if I said there aren't some challenges. Most of these "challenges" have stemmed from the simple fact that my family is not vegan and I am, therefore, surrounded by temptations on a daily basis. However, the point of me blogging about this lifestyle change is to help others not only make the change toward veganism themselves, but also to learn how to cope with the transition as painlessly as possible.
Let's take a look at what has been my nemesis the last few months.
I can virtually sum up my struggle with one word - NUTELLA, which I buy for my older son. Several times a week I am having to spread that insanely indulgent chocolate and hazelnut spread over croissants for him - all the while staring longingly at it, occasionally stealing a sniff to help satisfy my craving.
Unfortunately, it all proved too much for me to bear and one day - about a week ago - I succumbed to the pressure and engulfed two heaping spoonfuls of the stuff. I felt awful afterwards, and honestly, sick to my stomach, but I vowed to learn from this setback.
Besides this "Nutella incident" I have only had one other time in these four months when I have fallen off the wagon. It was earlier on and I was baking sugar cookies. I'm not much of a baker, but my mom gave me the mix leftover from the Christmas holidays and thus compelled me to make them for my sons. When the first batch came out of the oven, the smell of freshly baked cookies enveloped the air surrounding me and I crumbled. Before I could say "DROP THAT COOKIE!" the cookie was in my mouth. UGH, don't judge me - again it's about being less cruel, not perfect, but even I was disgusted with myself.
The good news is that unlike the Nutella that I have to learn to deal with, I don't see myself baking in the near future. So, this temptation can easily be avoided in the future.
The truth of the matter is that I am going to have to learn to deal with these foods being in my reach without allowing them to sabotage my goals.
There are tons of vegan dessert recipes out there. I just have to get over my aversion to baking. OR, more likely, just learn to live without these sweet-tooth concoctions. I also need to go to my local health food store when I'm not in a rush and really look around and see what vegan alternatives are out there.
I have discovered a very yummy vegan chocolate which helps during those high-crave moments.
I am discovering that the more primitive the food item is as an animal product or by-product (meat, cheese, eggs) the easier it is to resist. But when the ingredients are masked (like the milk in Nutella or the eggs and butter in the sugar cookies) it is a bit harder to resist.
Other than the two stories above, I have been overwhelmingly surprised with how little temptation I am experiencing. I have had little to no temptation for any kind of meat and have found that the meat alternatives are plentiful and delicious. I don't even miss cheese and omelets like I imagined I would. When my mom made homemade manicotti a couple of months ago, sure it looked and smelled fantastic, but I wasn't chomping at the bit to shovel some in my mouth - like, yeah, you guessed it - Nutella.
Read my complete Going Vegan in 2015 series here.
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