After a handful of months of eating soy nuts and drinking rice milk, I have come to the realization that being vegan is something that not everyone is able to do. I know what you’re thinking, -HA! SHE’S GIVEN UP! Well, no I haven’t given up, though there have been times where I’ve thought about throwing in the towel.
When I start to feel weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeak, I take a moment to really think about what my body needs to be the best it can be. Sure, it was easier before I went vegan to grab a quick Timmies bagel with cream cheese; but, I would never feel good after scowling it down. It took me awhile to get used to preparing my own food before leaving the house, but it also took time for my body to get used to being vegan.
Lately, I feel as if my body is lacking something…and before you say that it is cheese that I’m missing, it isn’t. I wake up a few times a week with a with sore stomach or a headache. I know that my body is trying to tell me something, but of what I am unsure of. I’ve never craved a steak, never in my life… so why would I feel the need to eat one now? Will a piece of meat rid my migraines and lethargia? I doubled up on my supplements and still wasn’t feeling up to par. Maybe my body just isn’t capable of living off of a plant based diet.
By labeling yourself as “vegan”, you are backing yourself up into a corner in some way or another. I know that is a strong accusation to make, but it’s true. When I became vegan, I didn’t realize that people would pay such close attention to what I would be eating. Whether or not this is because they are genuinely curious or are just waiting to catch me cheating, I am unsure of.
I personally found myself avoiding certain annual events because of my dietary choices. This year, like every other I went to Ribfest. I told myself that it would be fun just as long as I don’t think about what the event is actually about: which slaughtered animal tastes the best smothered in signature sauce. At the time, I was going strong. I had a strict vegan mentality. I sat and watched everyone around me lick their coated fingers clean of rib sauce and fill their stomachs with corn dipped in molten butter; wiping their mouths with overused napkins. I felt disgusted. I definitely was grateful to be living a clean, vegan diet.
There are different kinds of craving: healthy vs. unhealthy. Emotional, physical and nutritional deficiencies can cause cravings.
There is a difference between craving a cupcake and craving salmon. Sure, at times I crave cupcakes, and if I really want one, I either head over to Kelly’s or I make vegan cupcakes myself; but, cravings like salmon and steak aren’t as easy to satisfy. Denise Minger’s blog Raw Food SOS has a great post about cravings here.
A strict vegan diet can become dangerous if you aren’t listening to your body. If you are stopping yourself from eating certain foods because of you are afraid of what others might think of you, then you’re being vegan for all the wrong reasons! If your body is unable to keep up with a plant-based diet, thats OKAY!! I don’t know about you, but I would much rather listen to my body than slowly watch it shut down. It’s important to find the right balance for YOUR body.
- Cravings: What Do They Mean, and When Should You Listen? (www.rawfoodsos.com)
- I’m Not Vegan Anymore (www.alexandrajamieson.com)