Transition Log: Day…aw, crap.

Well, my intentions to log my transition daily have clearly not worked out. Oh, well. I haven’t abandoned all intentions for my blog, however! I’ve just had to accept that I don’t have the time to post every day…at least for now. And that I don’t have the time required to commit to a cold turkey transition like I had wanted, either. I have one more month that I must dedicate to my current show, and then my life will be my own again. Until then, I’m just doing the best I can. That said, I feel like I’m doing pretty well! I just haven’t been able to be 100% vegan 100% of the time. I’ve had good days and bad days, but overall, I’m happy with my progress.

I’ve had friends in town for the past two weeks, finalizing plans for their wedding (in which I am the maid of honor.) So there were several parties and get-togethers (including a high tea bridal shower and a bachelorette party! Neither of those were vegan days…) BUT, I DID host my first VEGAN DINNER PARTY! I made sweet potato enchiladas (my best recipe. I make it constantly.) They were a huge hit, even with the meat-eaters! So that was a big win in my book.

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I’m discovering lots of yummy snacks to replace non-vegan items in my daily routine, like this rice cereal, to which I added almond slivers and Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chips:

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Speaking of Trader Joe’s, I’m surprised I haven’t seen their beauty and hygiene products mentioned around the blogs I frequent. They have several vegan/cruelty free items that I’m really coming to love (the citrus body wash is divine!) and they’re so much cheaper than some of the more popular vegan brands! Less than $3 for a bottle of body wash/shampoo/conditioner, etc…it’s seriously been a life saver.

So, all in all, I’m feeling good about my progress. I’ve had to let go of any notions of perfection and just deal with things as they come. That’s all a person can really do, right? The best they can.

 

Transition Log: Day 2/3

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I’m gonna be honest with y’all (remember how I swore I was gonna be honest?) Yesterday was ruhl rough. I didn’t plan well enough ahead for the fact that I’d be away from home from 7 am until 11 pm and was left with nothing to eat for dinner. Completely my fault, and in my hangry state, I resorted to a processed dinner that was definitely Not Vegan (TM). It was vegetarian! But no, definitely not vegan. And since I was already disappointed in myself, I indulged in a homemade chocolate chip cookie that a friend gave me at rehearsal.  Because this is what I do. I punish myself (with chocolate…yeah, yeah…my unhealthy relationship with food extends well beyond the omnivore/herbivore dilemma). It’s a huge character flaw of mine, and something I am working to overcome.

But guys, today is a new day. I decided to forgive myself and even get myself a bit of a treat this morning. A skinny soy vanilla latte (no whip) from Starbucks, which, based on my internet research, I am about 98% sure is vegan. But ya know, given the nature of the internet, it’s hard to know for sure…conflicting information and all that. Anyone know for certain?

Still finishing off that bag of pre-vegan granola for breakfast (it’ll be emptied tomorrow, any delicious vegan granola suggestions? I definitely don’t have time to make my own right now!) and I’m about to mow down on some avocado and tomatoes for lunch (I’ve been looking forward to this avocado ALL MORNING, guys.) Peanut butter sandwich with lentil soup for dinner and then off to rehearsal again, armed with the willpower to resist any treats brought in by cast members. I can do this.

Transition Log: Day 1

Well, I’m about halfway through Day 1 of my new vegan life! It’s going pretty well so far. Except for the granola I ate for breakfast (with almond milk), which had honey in it. I’m on the fence about honey because I use it for medicinal purposes (I’m a singer, and it’s a miracle at soothing overworked vocal chords.) I’d love to find something vegan to replace it for this purpose, but until I do, I’m afraid this is going to be something I’m going to have to hold onto for the time being. I’ll phase it out of my food and beauty products (once I finish of this bag of granola, I’ll look for a vegan alternative), but for now, I’ll continue to use it (especially my beloved honey loquat syrup in Throat Coat tea) for my vocal health. On that note, does anyone have any suggestions for an alternative? This is definitely something I’m going to have to research.

For lunch, I had this lovely hodge-podge of salad, tomato slices, avocado, mango, and iced tea:

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It was divine! I’m pretty sure the raspberry vinaigrette wasn’t vegan, but there again–finishing off a bottle! And speaking of avocado, I could eat an avocado a day…at least.

Around 2 pm the afternoon cravings hit…and of course, those cravings were for chocolate. I decided to try one of these Vega One bad boys that I won in a giveway over at Carrie on Vegan:

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While it definitely didn’t satisfy the chocolate craving, it was still pretty tasty (I shook it up with some almond milk), and these things are packed with protein and nutrients. So it was an okay tradeoff, I guess. Or maybe not, since I then spent a good thirty minutes Googling “best vegan chocolate” and eating a pear.

Dinner is also going to have to be consumed at the office today, since I head straight from work to rehearsal tonight. I’m currently in rehearsal for a production of Little Shop of Horrors, which is of course, somewhat ironically, a musical about a man-eating plant. Great timing, right? Unfortunately, my weekdays are pretty much going to be like this for the next month (until the show opens), which means I won’t be getting to cook much, except on weekends. It’s a bummer because I’m dying to try out all of these amazing-looking vegan recipes that I’ve been pinning like crazy. But alas, that will have to wait. For now dinner will be a peanut butter sandwich along with this yummy soup (I tried this yesterday and it was surprisingly spicy and delicious:)

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Normally I’m completely ravenous after rehearsal, which kinda sucks since I get home around 11pm. Not really the best time to whip up a snack (especially since I’m also exhausted) so I usually end up grazing from the cupboard, which is a terrible habit, I know. My fridge is stocked with lots of yummy salad fixins today, so here’s hoping I make good tired choices!

So, despite the honey…ish…and the chocolate cravings (which I resisted) I’d call Day 1 a success. Hurrah!

Welcome to Ready, Set…Veg!

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Welcome to Ready, Set…Veg! This blog will be a chronicle of my journey to veganism. I guess the only good way to start a blog about a personal transition to a plant-based and cruelty-free lifestyle is to give you a little background about myself and why I’m doing this. So, here we go…

My name is Jamie. I’ve been an off-and-on vegetarian for somewhere around 15 years. I first became a vegetarian in college, and basically by accident–I shared a house with some of my fellow theatre majors, all of whom were vegetarian. So it sort of just happened out of convenience (and admittedly, there was probably a certain amount of wanting to “fit in” involved, as well.) I carried on with a vegetarian diet for several years after that, often saying I was doing it “for the animals” without really knowing what that meant. Then came periods of time where I decided to eat meat again, mostly giving in to cravings. I went back and forth from omnivore to lacto-ovo (and sometimes pesca-) “vegetarianism” for several years after that.

Then, one day, I was watching a documentary about Ingrid Newkirk. I can’t even remember the name of the documentary or anything Ms. Newkirk even said. What stands out in my mind is the footage of wolves being killed for their fur. The humans at this horrific fur farm would stand on the heads of these animals until blood came pouring out of their eyes, noses and ears, and they eventually died–so as not to blemish the pelts they were after. Even worse, some of the animals were hung on fences and skinned alive, then thrown in a pile to bleed to death. I decided to go vegan that very moment.

Unfortunately, I only lasted about six months as a vegan on that first attempt. There were a lot of reasons that I allowed things like cheese and eggs to slowly creep back in to my diet…a partner who was extremely unsupportive was a big part of it (that relationship eventually ended), but also I just started to make all the usual excuses–it’s too hard, I’m too busy, I’m craving Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Brie! I’m not proud of it, but there it is.

What I’m even less proud of is the fact that I even started occasionally eating meat again…then not so occasionally. Then I went on a high-protein fad diet where I was eating almost nothing BUT meat and dairy (and lost 20 pounds, by the way. I know…I KNOW.)  I didn’t like it, but I did it anyway. And that’s how I knew that my priorities were severely out of whack…because I didn’t like it, but I did it anyway.

So that’s why I’m here. I’ve re-committed myself to transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, and this time I’m going to make sure I succeed. My current partner is on board and is even planning to go (mostly) vegan with me! And this blog is my way of holding myself accountable and connecting with the vegan community online, since another large reason why I failed in my first attempt was that I just felt so alone. So what you’ll see here in the coming weeks and months are daily postings of what I’m eating, the process of slowly replacing items in my home such as cleaning and beauty products with cruelty free versions (hey, I’m not made of money. I can’t just chuck everything out today and buy all new stuff! I plan to replace things as they run out.) I’m committing myself to full disclosure on this blog–mistakes (which are bound to happen) and cheats (which hopefully won’t, but I guess you never know) WILL BE recorded here with brutal honesty.

SO. Starting tomorrow, I’m going vegan, to the best of my ability, taking things as they come. What I mean by that is that I know that mistakes will happen along the way. I’m sure there is food in my cupboard and products in my medicine cabinet that aren’t vegan. Once those things are gone, I’ll search out vegan alternatives. All of my mistakes will be recorded here. This will be a true chronicle of the process of one woman’s journey from omnivore to vegan.

So…Ready? Set? VEG!