Vegan Cheating Confessional

Confession time: I cheated on my vegan diet the other day and had a little cheese in my salad. The aged cheese was a thoughtful gift from the travels of a friend and not something we bought, it should be noted haha. I felt as though I was a crazed animal with a newly found, hypersensitivity to my taste buds and palette. Oh the massive amount of guilt that consumed me. In the past, if a little cheese was on something I was eating I barely noticed, didn’t give much thought to before. But now, it’s a completely different story. It’s an once-in-a-lifetime treat in my mind. The thrill and happiness that I experienced from eating that cheese… I was disgusted with myself, how it could have this affect over me, leaving me feeling weak and powerless.

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         I was reminded of a story my mom had told me of one of her former students. The child in her class had parents that enforced very strict diets for their kids since they were born, forbidding any and all sugar. But once their children were old enough to enter school and have the freedom from their parents’ presence, they stuffed themselves sick with candy and sugary treats, going on a wild mission for it. The restrictions that were placed upon them made them hunger for it and crave the unhealthy food more than the average child, who was used to having treats fairly often. I worry about having a similar incident and the parallels that I feel to those kids and one day cracking, giving this up. Perhaps going cold turkey was not the best approach for me, too much all at once. Although “cold turkey” is not the best term of phrase when speaking about veganism, I have to admit.

My boyfriend nicely shook off my worries and advised that it’s best not to refer to my cheese transgression as cheating, perhaps to remove the “forbidden-ness” aspect out of the picture. Rather than dwelling on your cheating, you should accept your few weak moments and actions, forgive yourself, and move on. Allowing you to continue on your path and be successful and guilt free, without the all-hope-is-lost attitude that tends to spin you back to your old habits. It all sounds very similar to the diet tips for people trying to lose weight. No one guaranteed it would be easy. I must remind myself what I’m going through is normal and I am not alone in my feelings during this journey, as others before me have wrestled problems during their diet change. I also have the support and backing from my boyfriend, family, and other loved ones to help me along.

From the lessons I’ve gained from the matter, if you slip up, do not think that everything is ruined forever. You must have an optimistic and determined mentality. Just continue on no matter how many times you have to hit the “reset” button on your diet change and keep going in the direction of your goal. In fact, a lot of people go through a transition period on their path to becoming fully vegan, and it’s ok, as long as you remember the exact reason that led you to becoming vegan in the first place. That will help get you through the weak moments.

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         Because all of this is psychological, we must train ourselves, body AND mind, in order to undertake one of the hardest challenges we face on a regular basis with every choice we make; which is to delay our immediate joy/gratification, in exchange for a much greater benefit in the future. I’m forgiving my cheese offense and carrying on.

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9 thoughts on “Vegan Cheating Confessional

  1. I became vegan after almost two years of being vegetarian. It helped a lot to take time to transition instead of quitting cold turkey. But sometimes I do cheat. Yesterday the Bishop was visiting our school and they had donuts. I ate 1/2 of a donut even though I’m sure it wasn’t vegan.

    1. I can definitely see that a slower transition might be a more successful option for some and for others I’ve spoken with the exact opposite was true for them 🙂 My boyfriend (the Vegan Ninja) and I have those moments too every once in awhile where we’re pretty sure it’s not vegan, but we play ignorant… especially when we’ve been drinking and get the munchies hahaha 🙂 Thanks for the comment Rachel and reminding us that we’re not alone in cheating!

  2. I’ve been vegan for 10 years, and now I guess I’m only vegan-ish as I have consciously incorporated a couple non-vegan things into my diet. I’m happy with the balance, but it starts to make the line fuzzy. Like, I got some thai noodles the other day and they had eggs in them, but now that I eat local-chicken-organic-free-range etc.etc. eggs at home, it didn’t seem like a big deal. I totally felt guilty after that! Anyway, good luck on your vegan journey! It’s fun!

    1. Thank you Shaun! I have had a lot of fun learning more about food and discovering new options and recipes. I can see how the lines could get blurry for you. But since you’re happy with the balance and your body is feeling good, throw out the guilt. You don’t need to fit into a category or follow every rule for a specific diet. After 10 years, what made you decide to incorporate non-vegan items into your diet? 🙂 Good luck with your journey as well!!

  3. Do not feel guilty, instead, analyse and learn from the experience, so that you can foresee and avoid the situation that lead to you cheating.

    Remember that there is a serious implication for not eating strictly vegan. Not only to my own health, but for the health of the environment, and of course the life you have just taken, or at least made hell for that poor egg laying hen or milked cow. I will not go into graphic detail but I would not wish that kind of misery onto anyone or anything, especially not onto a creature that is not so different to a pet dog or cat.

    By cheating, you are justifying these atrocities to the rich people causing it, and it will keep the cycle going.

    The other side of it is to really think about what cheese is. The curds of milk from another species. Would you drink human breast milk or eat human breast milk cheese? Yuk! Of course not 🙂 So when you think about it, why would you do the same thing from another species. It just so happens you were raised to think it’s normal. But it’s not normal for any species to be drinking milk past a very early age.

    That and peer reviewed medical research (not the industry funded staged crap) shows you basically get cancer from animal products…..

    1. The animal rights aspects of it is definitely important to remember when you find yourself straying. My dog put things in perspective for me when I held her in such high regard and care and saw how intelligent she was and learning that pigs are far more intelligent than dogs. It is another bizarre societal tradition people don’t seem to realize… favoring the cat and dog and other pets over your traditional farm animals.

  4. If you are craving cheese or meat, try a meat or cheese alternative instead to tie you over 🙂 Such as Biocheese, cashew cheese spread, veggie burger, gardenia chick’n pattie etc Some of these are really good!

    It also helps if you have planned cheat days so if you know you have something to look forward to you will be less likely cheat in-between.

    1. Thank you so much for reading the blog Tom and for the comments! Really appreciate hearing what other people have to say 🙂 It really is truly amazing once you stop to think about what milk and dairy products actually are and how it has become so normal and integrated into so many products. Right down to “milk powder” on flavored potato chips. Growing up in a house where my parents really enforced the notion that milk is healthy and will make you grow taller and stronger bones and all of the other assumptions most of America have bought into… that was the hardest truth to face because that assumption was so ingrained in me. It’s quite remarkable how all of that works.

    2. Also, my boyfriend and I indulge in the fake meats, cheese, icecream, and other alternatives 🙂 definitely helps ease the cravings. I’m always surprised by what companies come up with next for vegan products that are usually tastier than the real thing! However, sometimes we feel a little less authentic in our vegan diets with these substitutes and can’t help but know that they’re still not that healthy. We were just wondering about “Daiya Cheese” for example. In the ingredients it states, “Titanium dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral)”. What are your thoughts on the health of these vegan alternative products?? And thanks for the advice and tips! 🙂

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