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[personal profile] eljaydaly
I knew this would end up being a trial-and-error sort of process, but I'm a person who's much happier with immediate gratification.

So, I confess here: I failed! Well... I did some things that were 'fail,' anyway.

The problem is that apparently I can't handle three food issues simultaneously. I didn't really think of it in those terms until they were competing with one another and I failed at all three.

First, my weight. It goes up and down. It doesn't so much yo-yo as undulate, in 3- or 5-year cycles. It had been going up for a while, it reached a point where how I look was stressing more more than I was enjoying my pretty much steady diet of sugar, and... oh... two months ago or so, I went onto my usual calorie-restricted meal plan. Call it 'portion control,' if you will. But counting calories means not eating sugar, so that might push it into 'diet' realm. Anyway. That's issue one. Calorie control.

Issue 2 is health. Eat more veggies and less sugar! Check.

Issue 3 was the more recent attempt to switch to a more animal-friendly way of eating. And I cannot tell a lie, that was pretty much all about feeling guilty.

So: restricted calories, eating veggies (which take an INSANE amount of time to prepare and clean up, if that's the bulk of your food), and the sudden switch to a bunch of brand names I've never even heard of.

Can you guess? Yes, FAIL!

It was the calories. I got too hungry over the course of one particular week, and I still had some non-vegetarian food in the house that I wasn't going to throw away... so, yeah. Long story short, it started last week with finishing up the fish in the freezer, and it's culminated in eating pizza (pepperoni!) and also a vast amount of cake. With icing. Which can't be good. Ayep. Complete and utter binge. For a week.

I'll get back in the saddle tomorrow. I've got pretty much all veggie stuff in the house now.

Lesson learned: I have to be gentle with myself on this. I can't do a completely fresh-food way of eating, at least not right away. It just takes too much time! If I'm going to restrict the calories (which I'm going to, because... well... because), then I have to compromise and find prepared foods I can eat. I have to assume that frozen vegan pizza is going to be just fine. I don't have to chop up all those damn vegetables myself.

Another lesson learned: I was pretty much already eating vegetarian. The meat was no problem. I realized I ate very little of it anyway. Fish? Somewhat of a problem. Eggs and dairy, though, have been a huge challenge, but I'm on it now. And the eggs hidden in things were insidious! I'm working on that, too.

I still have some non-veg food to clear out, but I'm making slow progress.

So the question is this: Vegan pizza, with no meat or egg ingredients. The label says "Produced in a facility that processes milk, eggs and soy." What do you think, vegetarian and vegan folks? Would you buy that? (Allergies aren't an issue. I'm blessed to say that I haven't yet met anything I'm allergic or sensitive to.)

Date: 2011-03-18 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vegan-vulcan.livejournal.com

I am personally totally down with "produced in a facility that blah blah" because lots of little vegan companies can't afford their own production facilities and therefore use the shared equipment, and I like supporting little guys. Also, to my understanding, they hose down everything crazy-thorough, and the warning is for allergen (legal) purposes.

Next: don't be so hard on yourself during times of change! It's the easiest way to fail at anything. And you sound like you're making a lot of changes at once. When I went vegan, I ate the stuff in my house that I couldn't give away because I hate being wasteful!

Just figuring things out is a big part of change. I use plenty of frozen stuff (flash frozen fruits, veggies, beans) because I am busy and it's convenient. Just prepping a head of kale is a ton of work! Mixing fresh and convenient options is totally valid (and still good for you).

I also calorie-count, and giving yourself a range is a good idea, if you're not doing that already. I try to eat to the low end, but some days. . . you just need pizza! But there are a few good veg-friendly frozen pizzas out there (Amy's?), and I think either Yves or Lightlife makes veg pepperonis that will likely satisfy your cravings. I mean, I can't even tell the difference, but I haven't had "real" (whatever that means) pepperoni for like, 10 years. So grain of salt. But still. They're good! I have omni friends that like them a lot.

So yeah. I'm not trying to stalk your progress (!), but I just wanted to let you know that I've had a few friends, online and otherwise, transition to veg*nism, and everything you've posted here is totally normal, and even expected! Big changes are big, yo. And just being mindful is so positive to begin with.

Good luck!

Date: 2011-03-19 08:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eljaydaly.livejournal.com
Hey, I want you to stalk my progress! How else will I get my stupid questions answered? =D

I'm glad to hear that you don't have a problem with "processed in a plant that also processes..." yada yada. I wasn't at all sure how to feel about that. But your explanation is a great way to think about it. I love your recommendations.

In fact, I have some veggie bacon down in my fridge. I haven't tried it yet, though. Maybe this week!

Date: 2011-03-19 01:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vegan-vulcan.livejournal.com
Aw, good! I just don't want to come on too strong. It's just, when my husband and I went vegan, we did it pretty much from books/the internet and I think we would've figured some stuff out more quickly had we known someone to answer our questions. I got on some ca-ray-zee vegan forums in my quest for knowledge, let me tell you! But that's what the internet is for, I guess.

I realized the other thing I wanted to say--but forgot in a mad rush to get to the post office--is that I understand completely the "feeling guilty" aspect of desiring to move to a plant-based diet. I'd gently recommend, though. . . and please don't think I'm being all lecture-y. . . moving (at some point) to a place of celebration! Just by being less of a part of the system, you're making a difference! I mean, I hate how "food" animals are raised in this country; I think the environmental devastation that comes with raising so many animals to feed so many people is horrifying and unacceptable. That's what moved me to switch to vegan in the first place! But from my experience, feeling "guilty" is often a dead end, psychologically, with anything (veganism, weight loss, exercise. . . um, getting writing done. . .). So, you know, just make sure to cheer your successes, and be kind to yourself when you deviate from your ideal notions of how you should be eating/acting/whatever.

Do you have good veg cookbooks? That's often super-helpful, esp. if you buy a few that are aimed at being quick and easy. Appetite for Reduction, Isa Chandra Moskowitz's latest (and it's low-fat, with all the calories counted for you!) has a ton of super-easy, super-fast recipes. I think many are marked as "weeknight friendly." I can't shut up about that cookbook. I've cooked from it 4-6 nights a week since I got it!


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