First Week of Veganism – Thoughts

Well we didn’t make it to District for dinner so no review for you, but it was a blessing in disguise to end up at La Briciola, an Italian restaurant a few blocks down from District in SOMA. Everything at La Briciola is made to order so when I requested no butter in my Tagliatelle ai porcini e tartufo  (pasta with mushrooms, truffles, white truffle oil) the friendly staff was able and willing to oblige.

The experience got me thinking about what I’ve learned one week into the month-long vegan experiment. In no particular order:

1. I still crave meat. KFC commercials for their grilled chicken buckets are starting to look good to me. But most of all, I miss oysters and crab. We’ll see how I feel later on, but for now I’m planning on adding (some) seafood back into my diet almost immediately.

2. I recognize that it might have been easier to transition slowly (maybe adding one vegan day a week for example) but that wouldn’t have worked for me. I’m an all or nothing person and knowing I can just have meat the next day isn’t going to make me choose vegan today.

3. Planning ahead is the key to being vegan. I’ve been spending more time in the kitchen cooking and less money picking things up that may or may not be vegan. I actually love coming home from work and discovering new recipes every day.

4. Contrary to how I felt on the South Beach Diet (tired, sluggish) I feel more energized throughout the day. Also, I feel less hungry and more satisfied than when I did South Beach. However, my stomach flattened almost immediately on South Beach – can’t say that’s happened for me yet.

5. Getting enough protein has not been an issue, which is something I’ve worried about in the past since I don’t like beans (except lentils!). In fact, the biggest problem has been making sure I’m not overindulging in natural fats (oils, avocados, nuts). Still working through that.

6. If nothing else, switching cold  turkey tofurkey to eating vegan has forced me out of my comfort zone and helped me explore new foods and recipes I might not have tried otherwise. It’s easy to get caught in the same meals/routine and drastically changing your diet gets you out of the rut. For example, I love mushrooms, but I never really eat them because it just doesn’t come up that often. Suddenly, I’m finding all new ways to enjoy mushrooms and finally getting my fill of them.

Anybody else make a diet change? Switch to vegan? Any tips for making the transition?

6 responses to “First Week of Veganism – Thoughts

  1. oooh! Please try to stick it out a little longer before adding back the seafood! Cravings are natural as soon as something becomes forbidden. It’s a mind game. I love seafood and still crave shrimp but I just think of all the better reasons not to eat it and the craving passes within seconds. It does get a lot easier.

    (Did you every try vegetarian, or did you jump straight to vegan?)

    • I knoooow, I’m hoping this passes. Skipped right to vegan but I was already doing almost no dairy so it’s really the lack of meat part that’s affecting me the most.

  2. Sounds like you are really committed and doing great! I can do close to vegan most of the time, but eating out is when I have the most trouble. I rarely make fish at home so I usually always order shrimp or salmon or some sort of seafood when we go out to eat. I never crave meat or seafood though which is weird, I used crave chicken when I used to lift weights. Cheese is really the only non vegan food I really LOVE . But even then I can only eat aged cheese, goat cheeses or “fancy” cheeses or I get sick.

  3. i think that it’s great that you are trying things outside of our comfort zone, but you know that pasta is generally made with eggs, right?

    • I will be completely honest and let you know that the fact the pasta might have eggs in it TOTALLY slipped my mind. Definitely something to keep in mind when eating out in the future. I know the pasta I used when cooking at home didn’t, but you’re probably correct that the delicious pasta at the Italian restaurant would certainly have been made with eggs! Thanks for the comment.

  4. Hey Lauren,
    How’s the diet coming–almost a month into it, right?
    I went vegan last November and I have to say that the meat craving was not the problem for me, it was the ice cream craving!
    I’ve noticed that the more natural my diet is, the less food I crave. The more I let slip–even if it’s still vegan, like sugar and oil–the more foods I crave!
    Being vegan is definitely time consuming though, and if you’re too busy to cook you can easily become malnourished… January was a really chaotic month for me, and I’ve had to ease up on the restrictions.
    It does make you feel healthy and energetic, though, huh?

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