My Adventures in Veganism: Week 1

Overall I’m enjoying this lifestyle change.  There have been fewer moments of desperation concerning cheese and cream sauces, and I think that eating this way will soon become a habit rather than a concentrated effort.  There has been a bit of a struggle to find the balance between “BUT YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE EAT THE PIZZA” and “but eating that pizza will make you feel awful, the $11 gluten and dairy free frozen pizza will eventually satisfy you!”.  These feelings will go away once I become more creative in the kitchen.  Eating vegan doesn’t mean eating bland.  It’s just a different approach.  An approach that so far has involved putting salsa on EVERYTHING.

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The Good:

1.  I usually bloat very easily but since starting this diet I’ve had virtually no bloating.  I accidentally had dairy one afternoon and felt the wrath of Thor later on in the day, but beyond that I’ve never felt better.

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2.  I found fake cheese that melts easily.  It tastes just like the beloved american cheese slices of my youth.  I’d ultimately like to steer clear of processed “fake” products like this, but it’s shark week and grilled cheeses are making this transition more bearable.   There’s also a bottle of vegan ranch in my fridge…

3.  I feel like I’m slimming down.  I’m not adopting this lifestyle in order to lose weight, but I’m not going to lie and say that I’m not excited to see more definition in my stomach.

The Bad:

1.  I’ve been resorting to snacking unhealthily when I’m out and about and dying of hunger.  It’s frustrating to stand around in a gas station reading labels when you didn’t plan accordingly and your level of hunger resembles that of a 16 year old boy after a workout.  It is in that moment that you will discover that everything contains dairy….apart from chips.

2.  My alcohol tolerance has been obliterated.  I want to list this as a good thing, but it’s been a lesson learned by experience.  According to a random forum I found on google, a diet low in fat and high in simple carbs can make the stomach ill-equipped to digest liquor (don’t quote me on that).  For whatever the reason, I just can’t handle my booze anymore.  Which is fine by me, now that my body has clearly gotten the message across.  I’m much more distraught over the thought of a life without cheese than I am about the thought of a life without vodka.

3.  It’s more expensive.  Especially once you start buying speciality vegan items at the local co-op.  I needed those vegan chocolate chip cookies though.  I really did.

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So I became a vegan.

24 hours ago.

Now I know all my friends are rolling their eyes at me right now, but hear me out.  I want to do a better job of honoring my body and it’s needs.  While my body does some really cool stuff like run 20 miles, it can’t do one of the things I most want it to do in life:  digest dairy.  My digestive system throws a tantrum similar to that seen on Toddlers and Tiaras if I get too close to anything that came out of an udder:

It’s come time to make an admission to myself that hurts more than admitting that the cute boy I made eye contact with on the sidewalk two weeks ago isn’t actually in love with me.  I have to break up with dairy.  No more cheese enchiladas or greek yogurt.   Seeing as I was a lactose-intolerant vegetarian to begin with, I didn’t think becoming a vegan would be that hard of a transition.  If I’m giving up dairy there isn’t that much left to lose in terms of animal product……right?  RIGHT?

So far it hasn’t been hard, kind of.  I started yesterday off empowered by hours of research and motivational YouTube videos.  Confidence can only overcome hanger for so long, however.  I underestimated how hungry I would be after practice and while the kids were putting their gear away I started dreaming about the Jimmy John’s sub I was going to become best friends with on my way home from the pool.

And then I remembered.

Suddenly I had tunnel vision.  I felt like my life was spiraling out of control and I started picturing all the things I wouldn’t be able to eat anymore.  Things like that new pizza from Dominos that uses popcorn chicken as a crust.  I quickly became overwhelmed with dread and immediately decided that I would fail at becoming a vegan.

Stellar attitude, right?  Thankfully my disposable income is laughable right now so calling it quits and going out to eat isn’t an option.  I don’t want to be a quitter.  Especially not after 10 hours.  I’m not proclaiming that I’m going to be a lifetime vegan, but it’s something that my body is asking for right now and I need to be respectful of that.  I don’t predict being too strict with this diet for the time being.  I need time to court it before I decide to get down on one knee, so if I accidentally eat something with an egg in it I’m not going to throw a hissy fit.  I’m going to focus on eating thoughtfully and being nice to myself.  Even if this doesn’t pan out (what works for some people won’t work for others obviously), I think that the lessons I learn from the experience about self control and focus will be invaluable.   Just because you want something doesn’t mean it is going to be easy.  And just because it’s covered in cheese doesn’t mean it’s your friend.

And now I’m off to unfollow all of my friends’ food related boards on Pinterest.

Author’s Note:  writing this post made me crave crab dip.

Images from http://leelipman.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/some-important-lessons-from-toddlers-tiaras/ and https://www.readysettroll.com%2Farticles%2F%3Fp%3Dthe-art-of-trolling%26pp%3D50&ei=1MFOU-y2H8evyATu_oK4Bg&bvm=bv.64764171,d.aWw&psig=AFQjCNFFuR2Ci9rMvX9LVuVN_IrUKF8uAA&ust=1397756754194467

5 Things Yoga Has Taught Me (Part 1)

1.  I ALWAYS miss a spot shaving.  When was the last time that two inch forest above the inside of my left ankle was visited by a landscape artist?  I wonder how many times I’ll notice that spot before I remember to shave it.

2.  I need to sweep and mop more often.  Seriously, I live alone.  How did my floor get so dirty?  I understand that I live in the desert, but this is unreasonable. I totally mopped like last month.

3.  People love Instagram pictures of yoga poses.  It doesn’t even have to be an impressive pose, people are suckers for spandex yoga related snaps.  I’ve posted at least three Instagrams of myself in tree pose in vaguely different sceneries and they always get 20+ likes.  I’m curious to see what’ll happen when I achieve scorpion.

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“How you like me now, Instagram?”

4.  You can’t always touch your toes.  Your body doesn’t care that you could do it yesterday, so you shouldn’t either.

5.  Staring at your fat rolls is really distracting.  And it’s hard not to fixate on them.  My main purpose of doing yoga isn’t to become more physically fit, it’s to find a spiritual closeness to myself.  It’s only natural that things will look weird when you’re bent in half trying to grab your opposite ankle while breathing deeply.  Those rolls don’t make you obese, they make you human.

 

Image from yogaposeweekly.com

Let go of that which does not serve you.

Breathe love in, exhale that which does not serve you.

For the first time in weeks I was drawn to my mat.  I had been sitting on my couch thinking about those who had scorned me, who had made me doubt my worth.  How awful a thing to sit and think about when you “weren’t good enough”.  And what absurd a notion it is that you are not enough.  I am not the right fit for everyone, but I must honor who I am.  Instead of wishing that I had never met these people, I want to fill myself with positive energy.  Fill myself with so much love that there is no room for their negativity.  I am love.  I have everything to offer, and I must first give to myself.

When did I allow others’ thoughts to become more important than my own?  It is only your life to live.  It belongs to no one else.  How can you achieve happiness when your psyche is consumed with self contempt?   Intend to live with love.  Love yourself, love those around you, love what has created you.  Treat yourself with kindness.  It is necessary to believe in your self confidence- to inhale deeply and have it fill you up from head to toe.   Intend to care for yourself and celebrate the divinity that is inside of you.  Own it.

Namaste- the divine in me honors the divine in you.