So yesterday I stumbled across a short article by a blogger who used to be vegan, found the "diet" too restrictive, and now considers herself a clean eater, eating any food as long as it is a whole, clean food. The article didn't go into a lot of detail about her diet, but it did mention that she is still mostly plant based, she just wanted the wiggle room to have animal products. I think when vegans fall off the wagon so to speak, it's people who became vegan, or plant based for some reason other than a love of animals. For the most part, when I read about someone becoming vegan for any kind of weight loss, anti-aging, detox kind of reason, I always hope for the best, but I don't lose my mind when they go back to their meatier ways. I just wish they would go away quietly! I hate to think of someone reading that and just assuming the vegan diet is restrictive, so why bother looking into it. In my opinion the vegan diet is the opposite of restrictive. I eat a much wider variety of foods now than when I was vegetarian. I used to rely on cheese ALOT! I didn't experiment with nearly as many different fruits and vegetables as I do now, and I certainly didn't cook with as many different beans and grains. And I never knew the beauty of a creamy, dreamy cashew cream sauce! I ate more fast food type of foods such as subway, Burritos from various Chipotle type places, cheese pizzas, and other junk. I ate a lot more processed foods as well such as various frozen veggie burgers, things like Amy's mac and cheese, and other such tasty but processed stuff. When I first made the vegan plunge, I definitely had an adjustment period. I remember I hated soy milk in my coffee, it just wasn't the same. I missed the hell out of cheese. I had to battle some serious cheese cravings. And soy yogurt has come along way, but back in the day, it left ALOT to be desired! For probably a good year I struggled with my choice to be a vegan. I felt great, and felt great about my choice, but I did feel jealous of my friends with their cheesy nachos, and grilled cheese, and delicious yogurt. This was before Daiya, and certainly way before my beloved Chao, and vegan cheese was not good. But, after awhile, those feelings just went away. It kind of just happened without me noticing. I just stopped feeling bad about not having these things. Daiya came along, there are now thick and luscious vegan coffee creamers, and yogurt tastes delicious when it's made out of coconuts! When I serve people greasy, animal product heavy foods at my job, I don't feel bad for myself, I feel bad for the people who are eating that stuff, and think that's what life is all about. I don't crave, or desire it at all.
Everyone is different, and everyone does things for different reasons. I just want to really encourage anyone who has just become vegan, or is thinking about it to stick with it, and really give it a serious go. It might take close to a year for all of the urges and cravings to really go away. But they do go away, and your taste buds do change, and adapt. You will discover foods you probably never knew existed. You will learn the art of when to add a little coconut oil to give your dish that unctuousness you might crave. Vegan food has come so, so far, and continues to grow, and improve that you can still have any kind of ooey, greasy, fatty food you could ever dream of.
I truly don't feel restricted at all as a vegan, I'm curious how other vegans feel?