Eleven days (going on 12) in now and let’s just say it’s been an interesting and fun ride! I didn’t realize how tricky (I don’t want to say hard because I like a bit of a challenge) a plant-based diet was going to be until I actually started the entire process. Let me start by saying; don’t judge a book by its cover. Unfortunately, there are misconceptions to all sorts of food out there. Just when I thought I was progressing in my new game called “cut out anything and everything that comes from an animal” I was slapped right in the face with a reality check when I threw back a bag of Back to Nature crackers during a meeting last Friday. All of a sudden someone blurted out (of course after I completed the entire bag) that what I had just devoured actually contained dairy. Stupidly my response was, “no it doesn’t, it’s just crackers.” Yes, this is the point in monopoly where I would get the card that says “Go to jail: go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.” What a complete fail! I felt completely dejected.
The problem is, anyone would have realized this but when you’re learning new habits, when you’re in the process of adopting a new lifestyle, you’re bound to make mistakes. We live in a society where everything is compounded on our already stressful lives by the idea that having more is okay. Eating more, doing more, wanting more, without any consequences. Until you actually give a damn and want to make a change!
Now, I am HUGELY consciously aware of everything I consume and super interested in what I now dub “the label game.” Which consists of the following: does this product contain any animal products, are there odd trade names for which I need to do homework on to see if its another type of “no no ingredient”, what’s the protein count, and while I’m at it, what’s the calorie count? It’s been challenging since I also keep a fit lifestyle but as I slowly peel back the leaves of the artichoke, I’ve found that there are numerous options out there and now a completely new way of being creative with my approach to food. Albeit, I’m human and I’ve made a few blunders along the way (more than just the cracker incident mentioned above), like purchasing cream of tomato soup. The most ridiculous, obvious moment, of what I like to refer to as a “brain fart.” The word “cream” would have given anyone in their right mind the idea that they’re about to purchase a product with dairy in it. I mean honesserry (my lingo for a frustrated honestly)!!! Then, the purchase of a salad that contained feta cheese but I didn’t notice the ingredient at the bottom of the ingredient declaration until after I got home, and lastly the realization that my coffee creamer (which by the way states NON DAIRY) actually contains a milk derivative (that means, although it’s okay for those who are lactose intolerant, it is not okay for vegans!).
So where does that leave me now, as I come to the close of Day 12? Well, I’m a fighter and don’t give up easily when challenged. I’m standing proud with my new herbivore cape and finding new vegan-friendly products to consume on a daily basis (like Lotus Foods Rice Crackers, Soyrizo, YES bars, Beyond Meat burgers, CHAO cheese, Mary’s Gone Crackers and of course fruits, veggies and beans). The plight is strong with this one (yes, geeky Star Wars reference) so I’m bound to make more mistakes but I’ll learn from them and gain more knowledge towards building new, better (HEALTHIER) habits.