Cheese Tried to Kill Me For Being a Hypocrite
On Saturday April 20, my sister came to visit me in New York City to celebrate her birthday with dinner at an Italian restaurant in Little Italy.
This was her desire, so I agreed; even after thinking to myself, “Italian restaurants are the least vegan friendly of all.”
As the day progressed and dinner drew nearer, I bargained with myself and said, “I will allow myself to eat cheese just this one time.”
In 2013, I’ve had about three “just this one time” experiences. Two of the three occurred because I had a craving for pizza – which I literally used to dream about when I first stopped eating dairy.
The other time was at a networking event where I allowed myself to eat 3 mini veggie burgers that had cheddar cheese on them. Yes, three — they were each the size of my palm.
In case you’re new to this site, I removed all animal products from my diet in 2011 after learning about the importance of having an acid alkaline balance in the body and the truth about animal cruelty in factory and grass-fed farming.
Changing my lifestyle and adhering to a vegan diet wasn’t a challenge for the first year. 2013 is proving to be somewhat more difficult.
I believe my ego is to blame for this.
My ego tells me that I should eat whatever I want (in moderation) and that dairy cows don’t have that difficult a life.
My inner knowing, on the other hand, reminds me that I am trying to justify eating poorly because my desire for certain unhealthy foods is sometimes very strong.
The truth is, I feel my best both physically and emotionally when I’m adhering to a vegan lifestyle.
Which brings me back to dinner in Little Italy. I ate gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce for dinner.
I didn’t go for a simple dish of spagetti with tomato sauce and a sprinkling of Pecorino Romano. Nooo. I opted for the most cheesy plate I could get… and it tasted delicious. Memories of my mom’s incredible home cooking and family parties, where food was the 2nd most important centerpiece, flooded my mind.
I was in heaven… until I got home and felt sick. Several hours later, I realized that the cheese I’d eaten was definitely trying to kill me for being a vegan hypocrite.
I believe I got food poisoning from my gorgonzola gnocchi. I got ridiculously sick, but am finally feeling a bit better – which is why I am writing this blog post instead of curling up into fetal position.
What did I learn from this experience?
- Don’t preach about the importance of eliminating animal products from your diet and then go eat cheese. Even if it you only do it 4 times a year.
- Listen to your inner voice — it knows what’s best for you.
- If you have plans to go to a restaurant that doesn’t accomodate your dietary needs, eat before you go out.
- Never feel guilty about cheating on your diet, because negative emotions make the body sick.
If you are trying to convert your diet to become more vegan, but are having trouble resisting the temptation of animal products, know that it’s only natural.
Like most people, you were probably raised eating an abundance of animal proteins. Old habits die hard. Milk is even more difficult to give up, because it contains small amounts of morphine and is highly addictive.
If you find yourself feeling bad about your cravings, don’t. Try your best to not obsess over those foods you desire. If you really want something, eat it. Your body might be craving a certain nutrient that it needs. Listen to it.
Don’t listen to your mind when it tricks you into believing you’ll be happier after eating that last slice of cake or that cheesy bowl of gnocchi.
Leave me a comment and tell me about your experiences. I’d like to hear from you.
Do you know someone who struggles with their dietary habits? Do them (and me) a favor by sending them a link to this blog post. Thanks!