It’s a day early, but I’m officially ending vegan week. Like a bad relationship, a promising start fizzled into something where my vegan diet and I sat sullenly in the same room and stared at opposite walls. Up until about Wednesday, things were great. I had fun trying out new recipes, enjoyed the moral clarity, didn’t miss dairy or eggs, and really thought this had long-term relationship potential.
Then on Thursday, I started to feel tired, headachey, and a little dizzy. I wanted an omelet. Instead, I made and ate a nutritious vegan dinner, complete with barley, spinach, wild mushrooms, and whole wheat focaccia. I popped a vitamin, which I almost never do. Friday: bleah. No energy, dragged myself to work, no appetite for my lunch (last night’s leftovers), so I ate a handful of berries. I got home with no energy (surprise!), didn’t want to cook, couldn’t think of anything I wanted to eat, didn’t have anything fast that I could eat. So I finished off the last 1″ of a bag of Fritos, had some almond soy milk, and ate a bowl of strawberries. I put on Ratatouille, which exacerbated my omelet craving. Finally, egged on by Kevin, I got up and made a perfect omelet, a golden crescent of gooey awesomeness, and ate it with new appreciation for the role eggs play in my wellbeing.
I know I messed up on the last day, but I’m saddened to have to come to either of these two conclusions: 1) I don’t know enough/didn’t plan well enough to keep my body healthy on a vegan diet; or 2) veganism isn’t right for my body at this time. The first is more probable, but the fact is that I did plan this week and ate lots of beans, vegetables, and whole grains. I spent more time planning my meals this week than I ever do as a vegetarian who eats eggs and modest amounts of dairy. And I ended up feeling pretty crappy. Maybe I should have eaten more tofu.
I don’t really know what I did wrong, but I do know that continuing would have made me feel worse. I tried on my tight jeans that were still in their super tight phase just after being washed. They felt distinctly looser than usual. As someone who isn’t even three digits soaking wet and fully dressed, I can only afford to lose so many pounds and stay healthy.
This week wasn’t a total loss. I found some fun new recipes and got over the assumption that vegan cooking was any different from regular cooking. I’m very open to trying more vegan recipes and incorporating more meals without eggs or dairy into my life. I learned that almond milk smells divine when warmed and will probably try baking with it at some point. I feel a lot of gratitude for the egg-laying chickens that made my omelet possible and will make a renewed effort to get eggs only at the farm where I can visit the chickens and know that they’re well treated and happy. And in a little while, after I read up more on nutrition, I may try again.
But today, I’m having yogurt for breakfast.