Saturday, February 19, 2011

poor little tasty crustacean

I struggle. My struggle comes in the form of seafood and dairy. *insert visual of a prawn and cheese wheel in arch-nemesis regalia here* Yes they are my enemy. My enemy in the battle of waxing towards veganism. WAIT! Don't click off this page just yet. I'm not a crazed, militant animal rights coo-coo for cocoa puffs type. Nor do I preach what other people should or should not eat.

Okay, good. You stayed and I know, I know. "Why the heck would you want to do that? Become a vegan???? Bleck! Vegans eat weird food and stuff." Years ago, I never thought I'd want to ever give up animal products in their entirety. Yum, vegetable lasagna with gobs of melty mozzarella and happy sprinkles of parmigiana cheese on top. Why WOULD I want to give that up? Trust me, part of me doesn't. Part of me would jump in a vat of warm gooey cheese and do a few laps before dipping crusty bread into the fondue fabulousness if I had the chance.

"Isn't being a vegetarian good enough? Why deprive yourself some more, Missliss? Wait, you're not a 'real' vegetarian anyway!" True, I am technically a pesca-lacto-ovo vegetarian. My diet for the past eight years has consisted of mostly of veg fare, still including dairy eggs and cheese, and the occasional seafood dish. (I never said I was a good vegetarian.) I started eating this way as an experiment: How would I feel if I cut most meats out of my diet? Survey says: Vastly better. Lots of aches and pains I carried in my joints most of the time dissipated. I lost a little weight and my energy improved.

"Well, why didn't you go full vegan then?" (See the first paragraph, reinsert arch-nemeseses...arch-nemisii? arch-neme...the prawn and cheese guys.) First off, I never wanted to give up sushi and cheese...cheese really didn't seem like a thing to bother giving up.And sushi? No way! Too yummy. As I continued with a poultry, beef, mutton-free diet (alright, I never ate mutton) I realized I really didn't miss any of it. Plus, keeping seafood in my diet made finding things to eat at peoples' houses or restaurants much less of a chore.

"Sooooooo, vegan now? Why?" Mostly for health reasons. If I cut cheese out of my diet there is no doubt I'd be healthier. I am a cheese junkie for sure. (Wait, can you mainline Gouda?) Additionally, I am starting to think about all those little lives that needlessly die so I can have Cajun-shrimp wraps. It kind of seems unnecessary.

My dilemma? Each time I contemplate trying a full vegan diet, my subconscious stomach starts demanding shrimp dishes and everything smothered with cheese! I wonder if it is the thought of being so strict that makes me panic? A few years ago, Groovy and I did a 30 day raw foods diet which was vegan (except the pasteurized cows milk in my morning coffee. Yeah, it wasn't raw either) and I didn't even bat an eye. My cravings and hunger were completely satisfied and I didn't waver one bit. It was amazing and delicious, and I felt great.

Perhaps I am being too hard on myself. Perhaps I just need to put myself to the task of giving it a try and seeing how it goes? Do I smell another 30 Day Challenge? Mmmmm perhaps...but let me finish this calzone first.

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