One Month Challenge: No Meat, No Dairy, No Problem, Week Three

So far, this hasn’t really gotten any easier – I have made some minor mistakes. Like when my sweet tooth craving hit during homecoming and I (drunkenly) ran to Dunkin Donuts for a chocolate glazed donut, but I’d say that’s been my worst slip up yet. What’s harder, though, is when I try so hard to resist a temptation for something non-vegan that I just end up ravenously chowing down on bread and crackers and anything vegan-friendly I can get my hands on. This has, unfortunately, been the norm lately. But I am trying to go easy on myself and not let this make me feel crappy: the name of the game is “meatless,” not necessarily “low-cal.” Suffice it to say, my body isn’t quite in Olivia Wilde shape just yet.
Also, social situations are proving to be way trickier than I anticipated. Even when my self-control is great and I know I won’t cave eating animal products, there are so many instances where I just feel like the only outcast in the group who isn’t munching on chicken fingers and wings at the bar. Or ordering anything besides a fruit salad at brunch. Or having a piece of cake at a coworker’s birthday celebration (it was almost definitely made with eggs). Basically, it seems to be a lot easier to manage this dietary challenge when I have the chance to prepare my own meal and plan ahead, but it’s hard as hell when I’m out and my next meal hasn’t been precisely planned.
But at the same time, I’m still really motivated to keep going. I recently read Skinny Bitch (which I’ve actually owned for a year or so, but never read fully because I was put off by its vegan “agenda”) and it resonated with me. It’s not that I’ve been an animal fanatic my whole life, but I’m learning the nitty gritty facts about the food industry and realizing I am fully capable of living without food derived from animals. Sure, soy cheese doesn’t taste quite like real cheese and I’ve probably eaten more bread the past three weeks than the past three months before, but the fact that there are alternatives make it seem almost like a no-brainer to keep up this lifestyle. Yes, meaning even after the four weeks are up. The benefits of being vegan – for myself, and for the environment, animals and economy, as I’ve been reading about – seem to completely outweigh the struggles.
So I’ll ride this wave of motivation as far as it takes me, because I’m sure going to need it for the coming week: Thanksgiving.

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