It’s been 37 days since I officially committed to a vegan diet. I think the thing that has shocked me the most is not how great I feel, not how much better my skin looks (it looks more glowy – it’s my blog, it’s ok that I just made glowy a word) and it’s not how much weight I’ve lost (only like a pound, you guys. Damn).
It’s how easy it is. I really expected this to be so hard. I’ve attempted before and I caved. I made loopholes before like ‘well, I’ll only eat fish and dairy at people’s homes, you know to be polite and I’ll only eat dairy at restaurants when there is nothing else for me to order.’ All that loopholing (yup, made that a word too) turned into my year long pescatarian status.
It took me a year to come back to a vegan diet. This time, I did more research. I really took the time to think about why I was shifting to a completely plant based diet. The first time, it was strictly for health reasons after reading The China Study. Yeah, animal rights were there too – but those reasons actually fell far behind environmental reasons and even further behind health reasons. Personally, I think this was why it was so easy for me to cave – just like cheating on a diet and “starting again tomorrow” it was so easy for me to justify eating just a little bit of fish or cheese at a dinner party because this was really just about me and my health – nothing really greater.
This time, my focus has completely shifted. While all three beliefs are intertwined (health, environment, animals) – now my main focus is the animals. By realizing that the reason that I am going vegan is less about me and more about others (animals and the environment) – it’s made it about 10 billion times easier to not even consider cheating. Health is still a huge concern of mine as well, I’m always striving to be healthier and be kinder to my body – but it’s really invigorating to take a stand and do something that is bigger than myself.
I have to say that I haven’t even been tempted by animal foods. Not even slightly. I had a friend come over the other day to spend the afternoon with me – he’s one of my favorite people and I spending time with him is really special since we don’t get to do it nearly often enough. I know that his favorite ice cream is Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns. I know this because we have spent countless hours talking about ice cream (ice cream is probably my favorite dessert) and Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns used to be one of my favorites too (despite not liking actual cinnamon rolls, weird, I know). So, knowing that he was coming over and knowing that while he fully supports my lifestyle choices – he wasn’t embracing veganism himself and really has very little interest in trying soy or rice based ice cream (although, he did express some interest in coconut ice cream) – I ran to the store down the street and picked up Cinnamon Buns ice cream for him (I’m seriously the greatest friend ever, I know). He ate some (not much) and it’s been sitting in my freezer ever since. I haven’t even thought about it, much less wanted to eat it. 37 days and it doesn’t appeal to me anymore. Not even slightly. I thought I would have to toss it so I wouldn’t be tempted to dive into it one night, but really, it’s ok being there – he can have more next time we get together.
The smell of meat is starting to make me want to vomit a little. I think this has surprised me the most. I’ve never had a problem with anybody eating meat in front of me and I did not give up eating meat because I didn’t like the taste. I loooooooved meat. LOVED. I was a steak and potatoes girl since birth. I walked into my parents house this morning to get ready for work after my workout (their house is close to my workout group and office – super convenient) and the smell totally hit me the second I walked in. It reeked. Which is odd because my parents house totally smells awesome all of the time. I honestly thought one of my parents dogs had gotten sick. I found out that my mom was making chicken stock (sorry mom!) for matzoh ball soup. The fact that the smell really got to me completely floored me. I love my mom’s cooking – she’s probably the greatest cook in the world and matzoh ball soup is amazing and I look forward to it every year (I found a vegan version that I will be trying asap). But, guys I couldn’t handle the smell.
It’s been easy. Really.