I’ve been vegetarian for almost two years now, and the transition from eating meat-based meals to plant-based meals was unbelievably easy–probably because I didn’t really eat that much meat in the first place, which was probably because I found its muscle-y texture incredibly off-putting. The fact that it was easy to stop eating meat didn’t mean my diet didn’t change. On the contrary, it changed dramatically. This is when I first started paying attention to what I was using to fuel my body, adding more vegetables and actually researching how to get protein when it didn’t come from an animal.
It’s easy to eat cheesy pasta and bread for every meal and still call yourself a vegetarian; the difficult thing is eating in such a way so that you are still getting all the nutrients that meat supplies. Over the past few years, my meals have revolved around a balance between vegetables and plant- or nut-based lean proteins.
Last year, I also found out I was lactose intolerant–or at least lactose sensitive. Because of this and the fact that I do not like meat, I thought this new transition would be a piece of cake. But once I actually cut dairy out too, I started to realize how a little sprinkle of goat cheese on a salad or the runny yolk on toast actually play a major role in my diet. And then I craved.
Never have I wanted creamy Artichoke Basille’s pizza more in my entire life, though that stuff completely screws up my digestive tract. With eggs gone, I was at a loss for what I was supposed to use to get my quick fix of complete protein. Luckily, I had the dining halls to supply me with a constant stream of vegan edibles, but that stuff gets old very quickly. I started to feel like I could not live another minute without dairy or eggs, and after four days I called it quits, vowing to never go vegan again.
However, a few weeks ago, I started following a Ashlae Warner’s vegan baking blog, and somehow it seemed rational to me to go vegan again. She just made it seem so easy, you know?
This time I came prepared. I went on Pinterest and found a couple vegan recipes to make for the week. I ended up choosing a sweet potato and kale rice dish and falafel for my dinners, salads for my lunches and cinnamon buns and oatmeal for my breakfasts. This time around, going vegan was tasty and enjoyable.
Creating a menu and following through with it can make veganism easy for even the most dairy-loving person. Just remember to listen to your body and your cravings!
Thinking about going vegan? Try the recipes I did!