I questioned my decision, then I reminded myself why I started in the first place…
I want to share with you that I adopted a vegan diet over a month ago, and even though it’s been great with me feeling much better physically and emotionally, just two days ago I began to have self doubts. My husband is amazing in that he always has a way of noticing my patterns and making them obvious for me, and this was definitely a pattern. Here I was asking myself if turning to a vegan diet had been the right choice for me, all because I had a craving that I gave into… a craving for red meat!
It all started a a little over a month ago in Turkey where we checked into a wellness center for 10 days to detox and reboot our bodies. This wonderful wellness center had us on a raw vegan diet for 10 days. Not only were we fed healthy meals but we were also educated on the benefits of an alkaline diet and how the way we feed our bodies can heal us from many ailments.
I already knew this as I got certified in holistic nutrition years back, but to go fully vegan was something I’d never tried, and since eating healthy alone was not granting me the total wellness I sought, I decided to embark on this plant-based “diet”. I don’t like to call it a diet because it makes it sound like a fad, but it is not a lifestyle either as I still have my car seats and purses made of leather, so yeah…
Anyhow, I got home after an exhausting day last week and felt so out of my element, tired, and just plainly in need of some comfort… comfort food, of course. I could have gone for a slice of my comforting homemade carrot banana bread or some peanut butter stuffed dates, right? But nooooo, that night I craved a juicy, tender filet mignon with french fries and ketchup. I felt bad deep inside that my mind was so set on this and that I was even craving it to begin with. How could I crave something that I had vowed to stay away from for my own wellness’ sake? I had been so committed! I was somehow disappointed in myself for having a weakness, so to speak. So much so that I even considered “falling off the vegan wagon” altogether. All just because of a stupid craving, and notice how I said “vegan wagon”, as if veganism were a state of recovery from some addictive disorder.
I was being too harsh on myself. I did have the steak that night, and then went straight to bed not wanting to keep re-visiting the “sinful deed” I had just committed. The next morning I asked my husband if maybe I should just go back to eating animal products again. Maybe this vegan choice was not for me? I loved his response. “Do you like sugary milk chocolate?”.. For the record, anyone who responds “no” to this has got to be lying, right? “Yes, duh!” was my answer to his silly question. “Ok, so then maybe milk chocolate is what you should be eating regularly.”
That remark was so powerful for me, and here’s my point: not just because you have a weakness for something and give into that weakness means that it must be good for you or that you have to regularly indulge in it. I have an extremist personality of the “all or nothing” type and I’m glad my husband pointed this out because sometimes we alone don’t notice the patterns that sabotage us. The only one thing thing I am proud of having been extremist in is with quitting alcohol cold-turkey, period. As for the other things in my life, I want to be more compassionate.
Was turning to veganism the right choice for me? OF COURSE IT WAS! My husband helped me remember why I started in the first place. I made this choice for my health because health is wealth. I did this for my cells, for my energy levels, for my digestion, for my skin, for prevention of disease in the future and many other benefits. I’m not saying that vegans don’t ever get sick because of course they do, but the incidents are lower. I did this because my instinct told me it was right, and the gut never lies. Like I always say: honor your truth.
I was about to give it all up and to go back to my inflammatory, acidic diet just because I had a craving. Cravings are normal, they are part of our nature. We have ups and downs, strengths and weaknesses, and we just have to be wise on which cravings we are willing to give into and which ones to deny. Some people do the 80/20 diet lifestyle where they eat whole foods 80% of the time and “soul foods” 20% of the time. Do whatever works for you but be kind to yourself. Always remember why you began something that is good for you in the first place and don’t let self-doubt derail you.