I've been vegan for about 3 and a half months now. I have no urge for meat, but I've never been much of a meat eater anyway. I've also never been much of a dairy person. My problems were finding things to eat that didn't have hidden animal products in them as I veered towards giving up processed foods entirely. I've never been much of a cook so making recipes/coming up with my own recipes has been a new experience, but I am trying. I've done a good job staying on track. Until last night when I ate pizza. Real pizza with cheese, mushrooms, green olives, and green peppers. I've never had an amazing pizza since being vegan (even the one from Whole Foods with Daiya on it), so I'd been craving real pizza. And now I feel miserable because I succumbed to the urge. I feel like a total loser; a disgrace to vegans! I know it isn't SO dramatic, people mess up sometimes. I'm just mad at myself. Does anyone else have any falling off the wagon stories?
Tiffany, I think you are worrying way too much. You ate some cheese. Now you feel terrible. Lesson learnt. There's no point beating yourself up about it and saying you're a 'disgrace to vegans' - you are not. Vegan is just a label anyway and everyone deals with this lifestyle change differently - it's not straight forward or black and white. My main struggle has been with wine - it's taken a while but I'm now able to forfeit that non-vegan glass of red, for my own piece of mind as much as anything else. It's not been easy but I'm getting there - thankfully many wines are now labelled and I've been able to get hold of some lovely vegan wine.
Anyway, know that you are doing a great thing and the fact you are stressing about this little bit of cheese proves you are on the right track. Tomorrow is another day as they say. You have made a brave, bold decision and you should congratulate yourself for that. Some days will be better than others and that's why this forum is here.
Thank you so much, Aine. I appreciate your response. It makes me feel better. I do tend to worry too much! You're right, I have learned my lesson. I am feeling icky physically and I definitely think it is because of the cheese! It's so not worth it to feel gross because of pizza. Who needs it anyway? And that is awesome you have been able to find vegan wine. I need to look around for some as well.
Sure, it's okay. I think it happens to a lot of people at one point or another - Alicia mentions in her book that she'll sometimes have cheese at a party, or try a piece of sashimi.
I give into Greek yogurt or omelet urges sometimes. At first, I felt bad about it. Now, I buy a half dozen organic local eggs and a container of organic yogurt and store in my refrigerator. I may have them 3-6 times a month when I get the craving. Since 95% of my diet is vegan (and I have almost zero processed food now), I know I can't feel too guilty!
At corporate lunch meetings, I sometimes have something with cheese in it since it is sometimes the only non-meat item - even the salads have cheese all over them. I actually haven't missed cheese too much since having a mainly vegan diet though so I feel no need to have any on stock at home since cravings don't happen.
It's great to be vegan, but what I love about this site is that the whole point is to have a kind diet. If your whole life revolves around what you can and can't eat, the kind part gets lost in the shuffle. So, in my opinion, it's best to do the best you can and keep improving, but not panic if there's one meal in a great while that doesn't fit into the vegan box.
Anne, I love what you said about this being a kind diet and the point is to be kind to yourself. I myself have a sugar hangover today from eating chocolate cake! Was it worth it? OHHH YEAH! There was no way I could have watched my husband eat that and not feel deprived. I'm paying for it today and feeling alittle bad about my choice but that sugar hangover sure did get me right back on track in a hurry. I'm back to being a good little vegan and proud that I didn't eat any of the icecream that went with it!
I totally have a falling off the wagon story. Let's just say our band is selling candy for a fundraiser and my Achilles Heel is chocolate. Now I like dark chocolate, but sometimes Hershey's just does it for me. I totally caved and scarfed 2 of them down in one sitting all because I didn't have anything healthy and sweet to eat in my office. I try not to beat myself up over it and cause any mental drama, but I always feel a little guilty. What I find that combats these out of control cravings and guilty pleasures is to always have something tasty prepared. I find that when I stop cooking, I get lazy and eat out all of the time.
Also, I've realized that its OK to do the best I can when I can and that no one is perfect. The macrobiotic police aren't going to come and get me! Its the process that is beautiful. The fact that you are even taking this journey and are conscience with what goes into your body is amazing! You can do it!!!!
God bless all of you and your stories. I have always been a veggie, I went vegan 3 months ago. I have not fallen off the wagon yet. I DID however attend a few functions that had NO vegan options. I didn't get to eat, and I came off as "snobby" to other guests. I even over-heard 3 girls talking about me in the corner of a birthday party! This made me feel JUST AS GUILTY as if I had eaten the cheese or meat!
It is all about the journey. Try your best, if you eat cheese once in a blue-moon, the "vegan police" will not show up! I know this now. Just get back on the wagon the next day. Just went to my cousins bridal shower last week. She had some vegan choices just for me and one other veggie! I was so touched that I slipped even more cash into the card I gave her!
You know what I love about falling off the wagon? FEELING what the "bad" food does to your body and reminding us why we need to take care...you lived, you learned, you know better for next time! I had a WONDERFUL piece of pizza at Whole Foods last week! Tasted heavenly! Felt like I ate lead for a day...bleah! I think it just helps us tune in better! Consider it serendipity.
I went vegan last Thanksgiving, succeed for ~5 months & felt GREAT! THen, i slipped and indulged in a lot of dairy. In fact, I am still eating dairy and can recognize the addiction that cheese can cause in your body, I totally get that concept now.
Well, I've added 25 more lbs to my frame since falling off the wagon. But now, some foods have such a hold over me that it is hard to cut them out (well, duh) and I feel crappy. I don't want to feel crappy and I know that eating vegan is the perfect antidote, if you will, and yet, I am having a hard time transitioning back to vegan.
Anyway, that is my struggle ....you are not alone.
Thank you guys!! I really felt horrible about eating that pizza. And my stomach felt REALLY horrible for the next day or two. I told my fiance it was because of the pizza and he disagreed, but I KNOW that's what did it. It's true, falling off the wagon did make me realize how great being vegan is. It definitely happens sometimes and we don't need to beat ourselves up about it. I honestly feel like the pizza wasn't worth it though and yes, I was in that "I'm starving, it's easy, I miss it" phase.
I got the eye the other day at my friend's baby shower because I passed on the cake. Some people just don't get it. I wish I'd realized how great being vegan is years ago. I used to think it was something I could never do even though I was never huge on meat/dairy.
Ramble, ramble. Thanks for responding guys. Good luck to everyone! :)