Deviant Eater

Musings on becoming vegan and the changing perspectives it brings.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

First big holiday dinner with the family

This weekend was my parents 30th anniversary, and Easter Sunday as well. It was also the first time that I was together with the family since I've started my new diet, and it was more difficult in some ways than I had expected. It is still funny to me that people struggle to understand what I can and can't eat on a vegan diet - although I had many similar discoveries starting this myself, it's easy to forget those. I found myself having to explain what I could and couldn't eat, mainly based on the misconception that I'm trying to lose weight - many people have trouble separating "diet" from "weight loss" and a vegan diet is much more of a lifestyle change than anything. That I've lost weight probably serves to complicate things somewhat.

After the visit, I've found that I feel fortunate that I'm in Atlanta, and have access to many wonderful markets and restaurants. My parents live in the low country in South Carolina, just outside Beaufort. The selections there for "health foods" are somewhat restrictive (non-existant really), and the restaurant choices seem limited as well. I know that it would be more difficult for me to pursue a vegan diet there than it is here, but I still feel that it would be possible - I might just have to do a bit more shopping on the internet.

One thing that I noticed is that I don't do lunch on my own very well. I tend to eat most lunches out at restaurants here, or have leftovers. I had brought the makings for a wonderful African sweet potato and peanut stew that I made on the first day I was there. I ended up eating it for lunch most days, just because there wasn't a lot else around that appealed to me.

I've not been repulsed by meat since I've stopped eating it, I just don't want to have it. But old habits do die hard. When the big easter dinner was served, I did feel the urge to serve myself something, and when everyone talked about their meal from the anniversary dinner, I did have some pangs for when I could have partaken myself. But I really didn't want the meat, I just wanted some of the tastes and sensations, without having to eat of animals flesh to enjoy it. This may have been the first time since I gave up meat that I was at all aware of the lack of it in my daily life, while not having any desire to add it back in.


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