One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to post on this blog more often. I owe it to the masses (“masses” means 15 people, right?) to make more regular posts. And, since I am desperately avoiding my responsibilities and school work, now seems like a great time.
I have been doing the (mostly) vegan thang for five days. People always say that the first week of a large dietary change is the most difficult. That your body takes a little while to get used to the changes. Luckily, I have not made too many drastic changes. I was already a vegetarian so all of the other details were not hard to adapt to. I guess the only thing that makes my situation more challenging is the fact that my graduate assistantship comes with a wonderfully delicious, award-winning meal plan. I would be an idiot if I didn’t recognize how lucky I am to be on this meal plan. But, as an American, I reserve the right to complain about something perfectly glorious (and free).
The biggest complaint I have about my awesome meal plan is that I am constantly tempted. Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t be a (mostly) vegan if I didn’t believe in what I was doing. I just can’t help but think that most people who start eating vegan have the opportunity to switch everything in the kitchen to vegan, go to vegan-friendly restaurants, and request that meals are cooked a certain way to accommodate the restrictions. Most days, I have one or two items from the main line to choose from, but I have to overlook all of the most delicious looking food. I’m talking about some really tempting shit, here: macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, non-vegetarian french fries, fresh veggies unfortunately cooked in bacon grease, freshly smoked meats, fried [insert anything you can imagine because I live in Georgia], casseroles galore! And, for my last complaint, I will address a personal problem I have with the sandwich line at one of our dining halls:
All of that being said, I repeat that I am a lucky, lucky girl to have this meal plan and I am determined to make it work. With my exception of being able to eat cheese still, I am able to eat a large selection of vegetarian items and I can always grab a sandwich if I’m in the mood for burned food. I just need to get over the temptations. I have read that our bodies and brains are highly adaptable to changes, so I look forward to being a natural at resisting temptation.
This week I also made some more decisions related to specific foods I can and cannot eat. I noticed that my original list covered a lot, but not everything. Here are some more rules:
As I may have mentioned before, I turn into Chuckie Finster during the Spring. In Georgia, everything is covered in a thick blanket of yellow pollen and more pollen we can’t even see is released every two seconds (the timing is most likely a large exaggeration). For that reason, I will continue to eat Georgia honey throughout pollen season and beyond. It may be psychological, but I think eating a spoonful of honey during pollen season helps keep my puffy face and red eyes slightly subdued.
For now, I will not be eating yogurt. This decision was a challenge because I whole-heartedly believe in the nutritional benefits of yogurt. When I consume yogurt on a regular basis, I can almost guarantee that other things become regular too (think: Jamie Lee Curtis commercials that awkwardly talk about poop). Jamie isn’t lying and Activia isn’t the only brand that keeps things in my mid-section functioning properly. When it comes down to it, I honestly don’t eat yogurt regularly enough to justify leaving it in my diet as another dairy product I am “allowed” to eat. If I was using it to regulate my body, it would be a different story. But, since it is a non-essential, I can live without it while I explore this (mostly) vegan thang.
True vegans do not even wear anything made from animals. This includes leather, silk, wool, and fur. While I support the efforts of the true vegans for being so committed, I can’t be too picky about hand-me-downs and I don’t really feel right getting rid of clothes and shoes that I already own and fit me perfectly well. I have some lovely wool sweaters that my mom gave me, some nice leather boots that I shopped for hours to find, and I probably have some thrift store items that don’t quite fit the vegan clothing requirements. I try not to shop for new things unless I need them (which is a huge improvement over the impulse buying that used to happen). So, if and when I go shopping in the near and distant future, I will consider the vegan clothing rules and make wise purchases. This doesn’t mean, however, that I need to spend $100 on “vegetarian shoes” or “vegan sweaters.” Let’s not get crazy, people.
I thought I would set this apart to prove how shameless (and mostly unrelated) it really is: my birthday is in fact coming up soon. For those of you who wish to get me a present or bake me something, please consider my new dietary restrictions and try to support me. I will gladly accept vegan treats, vegan clothing, and items from places that support the same environmental love that I do. Otherwise, I will be more than happy to accept hugs and well-wishes. After all, we are only celebrating the fact that I lived one more year (which may seem like a miracle to those who know how clumsy I am). Oh, but cash works too. #Gradschoolisstillcollege