Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The 7 Day Vegan Challenge

So why not jump into the fire?

I read about the 7 Day Vegan Challege through the Zen Habits blog. I like a good challenge, and Dave and I are working in the vegan direction, anyway. So why not give ourselves a week to explore our options?

So I signed up for the challenge. It's only a week.

I should have checked my fridge first!

First, though, a bit of information. I'm a cheese-aholic. Dairy-holic, honestly. I like yogurt and sour cream and cottage cheese and cream cheese and even a big ol' glass of milk now and then. I'm working on transitioning out of this addiction. Like any addiction, though, there are withdrawal symptoms. Thinking about the cheese I can't eat, the glass of milk I can't drink. Longing. Despair (How can I survive for a week without creamer in my coffee?). Desperation. Bargaining. It's like the phases of grief, only it's only for a week.

So I looked in my fridge to see what I could have for my first vegan breakfast of the challenge. The container of sour cream stared back at me. In my mind, I could feel its cool silkiness, the tang. My heart dropped. Not like I was planning on eating sour cream for breakfast and this challenge foiled it. It was simply a revelation. No sour cream for a week.

Which is odd, because that sour cream had been in the fridge for at least a week before we used it for dinner recently. It's not that I couldn't go a week without sour cream. It's just the sudden realization that, should I want to eat it, I can't

Which brings me to a little tip that I will be using quite a bit in the next few days, until I settle into this vegan thing. Substitute "I can't have it" with "I don't want it." When you feel like you're deprived of something, the not having makes the desire stronger. But if you can convince yourself that you don't want it, even if you have to lie to yourself for a while, you can beat the urge.

Next time the Daisy container stares me down, I will tell myself that I don't want sour cream, I want the satisfaction of completing a challenge. I want the health benefits of cutting out dairy foods and beating my addiction.

And I'll hide Daisy in the back of the fridge.