I agree totally with Dolores. I have been vegan for a little more than a year. While I love how good I feel I do really miss cheese. That was the hardest thing for me to give up. I have recently decided that I will begin to add some fish back in to my diet but I haven't decided about cheese. I feel like cheese will be the slippery slope for me.
I, too, became vegan for health reasons first, and animals second. You have to decide what makes you happy and what you can live with. Good luck to you...it's a never ending challenge.
I would never want to preach to someone, but I find it ironic that you guys all became vegan for health issues but don't think it is adverse to your health to go back to eating dairy and fish. If you realized before that it was bad for your health (for numerous reason listed in this book and well supported studies in the China Study) I would think that this would help to keep you on your path. Possibly eating these things only infrequently would not be too much of a health problem, but like Christine said, it is a slippery slope and you might end up indulging everyday. Whatever you decide, I wish you all good health in the future!
I hit a "food slump" about 3 months after becoming vegan (eight years ago). Nothing tasted good, I missed my old comforts, and I was feeling really deprived - not physically - just psychologically.
What got me through my slump was going on a binge of trying new recipes - things I had never eaten before. I found new foods that satisfied my cravings for certain flavors or textures, I subscribed to a vegetarian/vegan cooking magazine so I had constant sources of inspiration, and I just kept cooking new things.
The slump passed, I stayed vegan, and I finally opened my eyes to way of eating that didn't try to mimic what I was missing, but focused on TRULY delicious and hearty foods from around the globe.
For me I guess it was easier because my primary motivation was not my personal health. I went vegan after visiting a dairy farm that made me so sad (I've written about that before, it still chokes me up). So, for me, going back wasn't an option. But still, the depressed slump I hit at three months was my only really rough patch, and when I made it through the other side, everything had changed about my cooking, eating, and attitude toward veganism.
Now I don't focus on the small number of foods I gave up (I was already a vegetarian), but on the vast amount of flavors and cuisines I gained.
I agree with both catconsrv and Beary, but also say that being vegetarian is better than being omni for you, the planet, and the animals, so if that is what you choose there are still positives, just not as many as being vegan. So be happy being vegetarian. I would only urge you to not go the route of crap cheese that is mass produced. Also, I know health may be your focus, but even 'free-range' and organic have very little meaning in terms of the well-being of animals, and the environment. But again, I would urge anyone who had been vegan to be vegetarian rather than going back to omni. Though I believe that eating dairy is not the healthiest, in terms of ethics a vegetarian is still estimated to contribute to saving up to 95 animal lives a year. If that is the path you need to be on to keep from slipping all the way back, then maybe that is just what you need to do.
(By the by - a great documentary about the effects of fishing: End of the Line.)
Absolutely I would rather people be vegetarian than omni too! I suppose it is hard for me to understand because I never was that into cheese or bad food. So, it is much easier for me to resist. I also have a type A personality where I am very strict with my schedule, diet, and exercise. Most people think I'm crazy, inlcuding my husband. :o) It's just who I am. It is interesting to me Dolores that you were able to kick the cigarette habit (so glad you did!) but you can't totally get rid of or deny your cravings for cheese. Nothing wrong with that (I'm so not trying to be rude), but it is interesting. I have never smoked but I know how hard it was for both of my parents to quit and I just can't see cheese being that hard to say no to. But again, I was never that into it so I can't totally relate.
It's hard for me to understand, too, but would rather people go the vegetarian route than omni. I actually used to love cheese - all kinds, especially the specialty ones that were expensive, the stinky cheeses, goat cheese, etc. I really did love it. But my mindset just totally flipped. Learning more about the health aspects of it, and the effects of casein and how it acts as a morphine type of thing in your body (being casomorphine), I came to actually have an indifference to it at times, to an aversion at other times. Even if I raised my own goats humanely and only used them for milk and cheese, I still wouldn't eat it. But like I said, my mindset just flipped - I don't ever feel deprived or like I 'can't' have something, some things I don't want anymore (like dairy) and other things I choose not to have (like desserts very often). So I don't live in a state of look-at-what-I'm-missing, which goes a long way in personal happiness. Anyway, just wanted to share because I too don't really understand it but it's not because I never liked it, it's just that my mindset towrd it changed and I no longer even want it.