My eating choices are like a toxic relationship

Limuray

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Hey, everybody!
I am putting this thread under "Health" topic as this is related to both mental and physical health.
I've been yo-yo-ing between vegan and vegetarian diets for quite a while and have come to a realization that vegetarianism is the toxic ex to who I am always going back to. It is like a toxic relationship. Whenever I am on vegan diet ( I hate to say "diet" as I think of it as a lifestyle choice, but don't know how else to explain my thought) I feel very good. I feel comforted and quite happy about everything. I feel like I've found my true self. BUT when there is a harder time in life, more stressful one, I keep going back to being vegetarian. Then I start to hate my life choices, feel more down, give up on everything, feel like it is sucking the life out of me, but I can't get out. This is so much like a toxic relationship. Toxic relationships hurt a lot and so does vegetarian diet (as I am lactose intolerant dairy is literally causing me physical pain).
I am in so much pain because of this and don't know why I keep doing this? And why do I keep going back to this horror of dairy industry? How can I be so selfish and put my gluttony above those poor sweet souls that are being tortured and murdered?

There are a lot of good people in this forum that could give me some rough motivation. I am so weak and there is nobody around that could just shake this stupidity out of me.
 

Sax

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Hey, take it easy on yourself. Your heart's in the right place, just do the best you can.

I think everybody slips up a little on nutrition when they're feeling down. Sweets and salty snacks are my weakness.

What is it exactly that you eat when you slip up? I'm sure there's a good vegan substitute you can learn to lean on instead.

You're right to want to quit dairy permanently...but being hard on yourself won't help, it'll just make you feel worse and more likely to backtrack. Practice self-compassion and give yourself credit for what you're doing right...not eating meat, cutting way down on dairy, not giving up on your goal even when you slip up. Most people don't even care or try.
 
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Lou

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I'm with Sax. And I also want to know what food you keep going back to. It sounds like it is a dairy product but you didn't say.
 

Forest Nymph

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This is part of why I am really happy vegan products and plant based products exist.

What do you eat? Cheese? Eggs? Your favorite dessert? Pizza? There's probably a vegan substitute or recipe that would end this guilt. From ranch dressing to grilled cheese sandwiches, there's something we can help you make or find in the store.
 

Limuray

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Hey, take it easy on yourself. Your heart's in the right place, just do the best you can.

I think everybody slips up a little on nutrition when they're feeling down. Sweets and salty snacks are my weakness.

What is it exactly that you eat when you slip up? I'm sure there's a good vegan substitute you can learn to lean on instead.

You're right to want to quit dairy permanently...but being hard on yourself won't help, it'll just make you feel worse and more likely to backtrack. Practice self-compassion and give yourself credit for what you're doing right...not eating meat, cutting way down on dairy, not giving up on your goal even when you slip up. Most people don't even care or try.
I keep going back to cheese and a dairy drink that is popular in slavic countries. It is called kefir in my country, but don't know if it has the same name internationally. I have tried many alternatives as I cook a lot at home, like to experiment and I am very good at cooking. I have made many different types of vegan cheese. They are tasty, but that is not cheese. Dairy cheese feels like a drug to me. I can eat a whole block of it and then spend all evening having awful stomach cramps, but still thinking the taste was worth it. For the slavic dairy stuff there is no alternative taste wise. Haven't found yet.
But I don't think it is really the taste that is calling me back. I read somewhere that dairy cheese can be addictive.
 

Forest Nymph

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I've read that cheese craving can actually be nothing more than stress, because you're craving the comforting addictive chemicals in dairy.

Maybe you could try other things, like supplements, herbs, oils or teas that have relaxation properties.
 

Jai

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Why not ferment your own kefir, using non-dairy milk? It's not an easy thing to get pre-made in my country, so those that do enjoy it often make it themselves.

Fermenting foods/drinks is a great hobby too (well I am fascinated by it anyway, but I'm a bit of an amateur organic biology nerd, ever since I started yeast ranching)
 

Lou

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But I don't think it is really the taste that is calling me back. I read somewhere that dairy cheese can be addictive.
Yes, we have Kefir here too. I have made it myself. and I make it with Soy milk. I read somewhere that I should eat more fermented foods. :)

And cheese is addictive.

I read somewhere else where some grad students got a hold of an old MRI or ECG or something and tested peoples reaction to foods. Lattes were as bad as cocaine. Finally, the long lines and high prices at Starbucks explained.

I think just knowing that you are addicted to it should help you. Change your mind set. Next time you feel a craving for cheese you just have to tell yourself that it is just the casomorphins talking. I bet it will only take like 3 days to get over it. Well ... no longer than 3 weeks. You CAN Do It!

We are rooting for you!