Monday, April 16, 2012

reflections on veganism

I decided to cut my vegan streak short by a week.

Guys, I'm just hungry.

I will fully admit that I was a bit of a vegan-fail. First, there was the donut incident. Then, there was a trip to New York where I decided not to be a vegan since it would be too hard to find places to eat and to convince my friends to go there with me (I'm dedicated, y'all). Then, there was that one weekend when I reallllly wanted something cheesy.

To my credit, I did really enjoy the first two weeks of being a vegan. I had time to plan and prep my meals. I tried new vegan burgers, experimented with curry recipes, and ate a ton of yummy fruits and vegetables.

Around week three, work, school, apartment hunting and student magazine publishing and other things dominated my life. I would wake up at 8, eat an English muffin with almond butter and agave nectar (love!), head to class and be there until 5, when I'd usually stay on campus to finish up on projects or go home just to come back an hour later. Planning was key here since it's impossible to find vegan food around campus (think Chick-Fil-A, bagels, Doritos or turkey sandwiches) and it's difficult to make satisfying food in thirty minutes with just the contents of your pantry (minimal) and your fridge (even more minimal. When did you go grocery shopping last?).

It was around this time that I was always hungry. When I got home at the end of the day, all I wanted was almond butter. I thought everyone was lying to me before. "Oh you're hungry? Eat a spoonful of peanut butter. It'll fill you up!" It wasn't until I wasn't getting any protein that I realized peanut butters and almond butters are so nourishing. I went through three jars of the stuff in four weeks.

Unfortunately, going vegan didn't "jump start" vegetarianism like I thought it would. If anything, it's made me want meat even more. The last two weeks of hunger have made everything I couldn't have look soooo goood.

BUT! That's not to say going vegan is a bad idea. I really wish I had done this at a point in my life when I had more time to plan and experiment, when I wasn't so distracted and could embrace the challenges. I still believe that a person can get all the nutrients he or she needs as a vegan and that there are many options available now.

I would love to make some vegan choices and habits a part of my lifestyle, but for now, I'm just trying to reevaluate my relationship with food. 

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