I have been vegan for a while now and I love every part of it! However, a few weeks ago I was really bad and ate some chocolate. I felt so guilty and felt really bad, but for some reason (I am guessing because of the addictive effects of sugar and chocolate) I have eaten it a few more times since and I have been binge eating on highly processed and high sugar foods. I feel terrible after eating these foods, and feel really bad about it, thought i continue to do it. I feel like the more I try the more I give in, its becoming a bit of an addiction. I feel as though I am loosing control, I am feeling down about myself and I am putting on weight. I really need to find a away to get back on track and be back in line with my values and beliefs, which is to eat a vegan diet of healthy and nutritious food.
Jessica, sugar is an addiction! First, know that you are not alone. On this site especially I have seen how hard it is for people to give up sugar. I still have it sometimes, but avoid it for the most part. Second, don't beat yourself up too much. Maybe go back to what made you become vegan in the first place and choose a healthful diet. Was it the Kind Life or other book? Or a movie like Earthlings? Whatever the initial trigger was, maybe go back and reread the book or watch the movie again. This might light that fire inside of you once more! Try to find alternative sweets that you can eat such as fruit or things made with dates to satisfy your sweet tooth until you feel the cravings leave. I know what you mean though, I just got back from vacation where I ate so much processed food that I usually don't eat. It was all delish, but now that I have gotten back to my more wholesome foods I feel so much better. Just because you slipped doesn't mean you can't make it back. Good luck!
Jessica, please don't beat yourself up. It's counter-productive. Concentrate on how food makes you feel rather than just how it tastes. Do you feel good after eating processed food (whether vegan or not)? And yes, as Catconsrv recommends, go back to the source. I re-read sections of Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals when I find my motivation flagging.
I weaned myself off of sugar using grain-sweetened carob or vegan chocolate chips. A spoonful of those with peanut butter will go a long way towards satisfyin a sweet tooth.
catconsrv - That is a good idea, it was the Kind Diet book and I will read it again. I also purchased some other great vegan books online which I am looking forward to reading. I havent heard of the movie Earthlings, I might try and get a copy to watch! You are so right, I do need to find alternatives and be strong really. It is crazy how addictive they are. I have always been such a strong and self motivated person especially when it came to my diet - its time to get back there!
Laura - You are totally right and I need to concentrate on food that makes me feel good not taste good! I feel terrible after eating processed foods. I must also look for the book you mentioned, it may give me a little more inspiration.
Thank you again so much for your advice and suggestions, it is great to know there are such "kind" and supportive people in the world :)
If you really crave chocolate, you may want to check out chocolate soy or almond milk. Yes, it is a processed product and contains more sugar than I would normally suggest, BUT it is vegan and most of the commercially available ones (like Silk) are fortified w/ vitamins that vegans really need, so if you are having a craving for chocolate, this is a possible option you could try and not feel so guilty about.
Binge eating is biological and natural. All of us will binge under specific circumstances because we are human beings.
Chocolate is mostly fat and sugar. It has little nutritional benefit despite what food lobbies say. Dr. Kessler (Former head of the FDA) explained how foods can be addictive in the clinical sense. For more information, go to your library and read:
"Breaking the Food Seduction: The Hidden Reasons Behind Food Cravings---And 7 Steps to End Them Naturally" by Dr. Neal Barnard
Mass media tells us that it is our fault and it is a lack of will power. The truth is, there are ways to break the food seduction that have nothing to do with will power.
The weight loss industry is profiting and failing miserably over the long term in its alleged attempt to help people maintain a healthy weight. (Gina Kolata)
I think that there is nothing wrong with having a treat sometimes. When I'm craving ice cream, I go for Larry and Luna's coconut milk ice cream. They are sweetened with agave except for the Mint Chocolate Chip which does contain processed sugar. Or Rice Dream bars and sandwiches...yum! Also no processed sugar. When I'm craving chocolate, I make my own. I put unsweetened coco powder in s bowl, add maple syrup, stir until blended (start with just a little maple syrup and add more if needed, you want just enough to turn the powder into a smooth and thick paste), then add a small scoop or organic virgin coconut oil, a pinch of sea salt and a dash of natural vanilla extract, blend and enjoy by dipping strawberries, banana slices, spoonfuls of peanut butter...whatever strikes your fancy. Lately, I've been buying cocoa nibs and just eating them plain. They're not sweet but for some reason they satisfy my chocolate cravings. Anyway, don't beat yourself up about eating something sweet. Sometimes your soul just needs (vegan) ice cream. My approach is that if I'm going to eat something, I'm gonna enjoy it and not feel guilty. And I think when I allow myself those treats and don't feel bad about them, I'm less likely to overdo it.
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