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Two and a half years later, now that this once extreme lifestyle now feels familiar, I have just enough perspective to wish I could go back and give my pre-vegan self (or someone else in my shoes) a few pointers. Laugh them off, or take the opportunity to explain how important your diet choices are to you. I thought I’d miss cheese as an appetizer, with a glass of wine or a beer.
So whenever they give us the promised time machines and jetpacks and I get the chance to go back and talk to that guy, here’s how I’ll help him prepare: 1. So get used to them, and understand that they don’t necessarily indicate a lack of respect. But it didn’t take long to discover that when I replaced the cheese with nuts or crackers, these foods were just as satisfying for their saltiness between sips, and I felt a lot better ten minutes later. I quickly found that cheeseless pizza wasn’t nearly as good as the real thing, but it did the job, and over time, I came to tolerate (and even like) Daiya.
So if you just replace it, say, with beans that cost a dollar per pound, you’ll bank some serious coin.
And yet, I now spend one and a half times or twice as much as I used to on groceries. Because being vegan has led me down the ultra-health-foodie road.
The need to be an example goes beyond fitness, of course — for instance, I try hard to be the opposite of the stereotypical “preachy” vegan, too.
Many vegans find their identity in being preachy, which is cool, but it’s not for me. No matter how much you try to not make it a big deal, it’s gonna be a big deal.
I shop at farmers markets and co-ops and Whole Foods more than I ever did before I was vegan, and I pay extra for organic.
Going vegan led me to learn more about food, to the point that I’m scared to be hyper-selective and skeptical about what I buy. Believe it or not, this has been the toughest part for me — I lost a lot of my interest in cooking when I cut meat and then dairy out of my diet.
But when the time was finally right, there was no question about it. Giving up the cheese isn’t nearly as hard as it seems. Life without cheese takes some adjustment, especially if you rely on it as an essential part of the few vegetarian dishes you can order in “normal” restaurants.But over the past two years, there have been a few points where I felt like I was alone in the way I chose to eat, and those moments were tougher than any fleeting desire for gustatory pleasure or convenience.I’ve gotten through those times by reminding myself that I’m not at all alone.Thanks to the connections technology affords us, there is a huge and supportive community that will make you feel ecstatic about your choices, whatever they are.You only have to look for these people — and sometimes, you don’t even have to do that.