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Amber O Schultz

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I have been attempting to transition for quite some time now. I will be doing very well for about a week and then just have a moment where I break down and start to binge. Then before I know it I don't feel well and then it starts this chain reaction with all of my other routines. I keep doing the best that I can but because my household does not wish to eat this way I end up failing. Does everyone have any suggestion for how to remain vegan when your house does not wish to transition? Also how do you manage to remain determined and self-disciplined enough to keep up the lifestyle. I am also struggling with cravings for food that I know is not good for me? Any suggestions?

Thank You!
 

Mbeth

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First, don’t beat yourself up. Doing something completely different from what you’ve always done isn’t easy. I don’t know if you’re the main food shopper and preparer in your house, but I can give you some tips as to what I do as the only one in my family who doesn’t eat meat or dairy.
I’m a huge meal-planner. I often have meals and shopping lists planned out two weeks in advance. This helps big time with making sure I know that I have what I want to eat. I try to make most of my meals in a manner that meat and cheese can easily be substituted out, or added later. For instance, I’ll make vegan chili or soup and then separate out my portions and add meat to the rest. I make a lot of tacos, burritos and burrito bowls, and I’ll make baked tofu as well as a meat, like ground beef or chicken so that people can put what they want in it. We also often have make-your-own pizza, where I make personal sized pizza crusts and everyone picks their own toppings. Some things, like mashed potatoes, or pancakes I just make dairy- free and no one even knows the difference. Some things are impossible to keep the meat separate from the rest of the meal- like lasagna. I make two lasagnas- one vegan and one non-vegan and freeze half of each for another meal.
My kids are teenagers and I did not feel like it was right to suddenly stop cooking for them the foods they like and are used to. They do eat meat and dairy, but overall eat very healthy- lots of fruits, vegetables and whole food and very little processed food. I figure they’ll figure it out on their own if they want to be vegan, and if I push it I’m just going to push them away from making that choice. They see what I eat, and I talk to them about it when the opportunity arises. I just found out this week that my older son’s prom date is vegan , and I think he’ll probably be more willing to hear the message from her than from his old mom. :)
As for cravings- they just take a while to go away, just like any time you try to cut out crappy food from your diet. I can’t even count the number of times I woke up saying I was going to start eating healthy, but couldn’t even make it until lunch without totally giving in. Get the junk food out of your house, and have a list in your head of foods you can eat if you find yourself away from home without a healthy snack. I’ll go into a grocery store and buy a banana and some trail mix and that usually gets me through. And find vegan treats that you like- and treat yourself sometimes.
 

Sax

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What's inspiring you to transition? Focus on that as much as you can. Read books and articles, watch videos etc. This forum can be really helpful too.

Think about what external factors might be triggering you to revert, and come up with a plan for how to avoid or deal with them.

If you're trying to eat healthy and fail, learn to fail the vegan way:

30 Junk Foods You Didn't Know Were Vegan

Surprisingly Vegan Candies


Check your local stores for vegan meat and cheese substitutes, too. They're kind of like training wheels until your mind and gut adjust to a new lifestyle.

After 2-3 weeks it just got easier and easier to not eat animal products. Good luck!
 
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Slonaut

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Like Mbeth said, don't beat yourself up. Your intent is there, it's a powerful first step.
Be patient with yourself and others. Refrain from judgement. Your body will need some weeks or months to adjust. The cravings will be temporary. Combine dried fruits like dates, figs, raisins, berries, with nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts for example, this will satiate and help with the cravings and will provide you with lots of essential minerals and vitamins and you don't need to cook them! Eating raw is healthy and extremely simple, no need for cooking. Washing and cutting veggies and fruit is quick and easy and there's not much cleaning up to do afterwards! Just keep it simple and natural.
 

Mbeth

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If you're trying to eat healthy and fail, learn to fail the vegan way:

30 Junk Foods You Didn't Know Were Vegan
I was completely shocked by some of these. Olive Garden breadsticks? And crescent rolls? And buttercream frosting really made me chuckle. I was happy to see Ritz on the list- I never even bothered to look at the ingredient list on those because I just assumed there was no way they didn’t contain milk products. I’ve been mourning having to give up my favorite snack cracker, Cheez-its, but Ritz is a good consolation.
 

The Master Of Design

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Hi Amber! My only and biggest motivation are animals. But I do understand sometimes life gets tough and it's hard to eat healthy if you are not surrounded by similar mind people. Personally, I am a loner and I don't have many friends so I don't share my meals with anyone lol :D (Made a transition much easier)

Here is my advice to you. You do what you believe is right and don't question it ever. You realized animals feel the same pain as we do, you understand that by buying meat you support the cruelty and you know that there are alternatives and you don't have to be a part of it. If you are an extrovert and more social kind of type then search for people who are Vegans at your town. Changing slowly the people around you can change your life for the better! (advice coming from somebody who's being alone for centuries :p) No, actually I have a few imaginary friends :D (they help me when I struggle) But seriously now. You don't have to eat healthy all the time just make sure it's Vegan and don't worry! Somebody above will reward you for your struggles and suddenly you will find yourself surrounded by a lot of smoothie bowls every morning and life will get better!

Trust me. You don't want to look back and think you could have done better.
Be patient with yourself and those around you. Blessings to you!
 

The Master Of Design

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First, don’t beat yourself up. Doing something completely different from what you’ve always done isn’t easy. I don’t know if you’re the main food shopper and preparer in your house, but I can give you some tips as to what I do as the only one in my family who doesn’t eat meat or dairy.
I’m a huge meal-planner. I often have meals and shopping lists planned out two weeks in advance. This helps big time with making sure I know that I have what I want to eat. I try to make most of my meals in a manner that meat and cheese can easily be substituted out, or added later. For instance, I’ll make vegan chili or soup and then separate out my portions and add meat to the rest. I make a lot of tacos, burritos and burrito bowls, and I’ll make baked tofu as well as a meat, like ground beef or chicken so that people can put what they want in it. We also often have make-your-own pizza, where I make personal sized pizza crusts and everyone picks their own toppings. Some things, like mashed potatoes, or pancakes I just make dairy- free and no one even knows the difference. Some things are impossible to keep the meat separate from the rest of the meal- like lasagna. I make two lasagnas- one vegan and one non-vegan and freeze half of each for another meal.
My kids are teenagers and I did not feel like it was right to suddenly stop cooking for them the foods they like and are used to. They do eat meat and dairy, but overall eat very healthy- lots of fruits, vegetables and whole food and very little processed food. I figure they’ll figure it out on their own if they want to be vegan, and if I push it I’m just going to push them away from making that choice. They see what I eat, and I talk to them about it when the opportunity arises. I just found out this week that my older son’s prom date is vegan , and I think he’ll probably be more willing to hear the message from her than from his old mom. :)
As for cravings- they just take a while to go away, just like any time you try to cut out crappy food from your diet. I can’t even count the number of times I woke up saying I was going to start eating healthy, but couldn’t even make it until lunch without totally giving in. Get the junk food out of your house, and have a list in your head of foods you can eat if you find yourself away from home without a healthy snack. I’ll go into a grocery store and buy a banana and some trail mix and that usually gets me through. And find vegan treats that you like- and treat yourself sometimes.


Cheers to the worlds best mom! (after mine of course :p )
I really believe you gave the best advice so far! <3

Ps. Just give them to watch Earthlings so you don't have to buy meat.
(That girl will definitely help him too :) )
 

The Master Of Design

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Nekodaiden

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I have been attempting to transition for quite some time now. I will be doing very well for about a week and then just have a moment where I break down and start to binge. Then before I know it I don't feel well and then it starts this chain reaction with all of my other routines. I keep doing the best that I can but because my household does not wish to eat this way I end up failing. Does everyone have any suggestion for how to remain vegan when your house does not wish to transition? Also how do you manage to remain determined and self-disciplined enough to keep up the lifestyle. I am also struggling with cravings for food that I know is not good for me? Any suggestions?

Thank You!


First, cravings:

It's important to remember 2 things:

1) They are part psychological habit.
2) They are part (temporary) biological need.

#1 everyone can understand. You do what feels normal, what others do, and what is marketed to you through advertising. Every indulgence strengthens a habit psychologically.

#2 is trickier. When one indulges in eating an animal product - no matter what that is (meat,eggs or dairy), something happens in your gut. You feed a certain set of bacteria and help keep them alive. As long as they are alive, they will scream to be fed. After a week they may be starting to starve, but still around. The ONLY way to get rid of them for good is never to indulge. Only after some time will they completely die and not send craving signals to your brain.

#2 is also tricky for 2 other reasons. They are: a) Not enough calories, and b) not enough fiber and/or resistant starch. Obviously you need to keep up the calories just to keep your body going, but equally as important is to keep up the fiber and resistant starch to feed the new gut bacteria that feeds on them. This, and get all the nutrition you need. How is this achieved? The answer is simple: Eat a variety of whole foods that satisfy both requirements. Lettuce isn't enough. Most of the time fruit isn't either, not for most people. A variety of fruit, vegetables, starchy tubers, whole grains, seeds and nuts help here. If you're hungry, tired and fatigued, it's very likely you're not eating enough, or if you are, the food chosen is too low in fiber and resistant starch, and may even be too low in fat. Natural fats are a great way to boost calories if you're lacking them. Some sources include avocado, coconut cream, tahini, peanut butter, flax and chia seeds and a variety of other seeds and nuts. The flip side is that if you're attempting to lose weight these will not be a great help, especially if used in excess.


For the family part - this isn't something I can advise on. Going vegan was easy for me because I live and eat alone, most of the time. This has caused some minor hiccups with work mates and friends, but nothing serious. Ultimately, though, I don't think anyone can blame societal or familial influence (if influence is all it is), because as long as you have freedom you have freedom to choose what you put into your body.
 

Catalin V. Manea

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If you binge, do it on vegan foods-no problems with that. You will usually binge if you eat too little during the day. Happens to all of us. As for the family, some people you will change, some will never change. You just keep doing your thing regardless. It's not a race, take your time if you need to. Good luck