Steph and her vegan hell

From the mouth of the beautiful stephanie and her challenge to go vegan for a week~
Started off the day on the right foot with the usual steel-cut oatmeal, splash of soy milk (vanilla flavor) and raisins.  For lunch I had a snack-size bag of 100 calorie Reduced Fat Cape Cod chips and then had the leftover brown rice and stirfry from wednesday night.  It was delish, again.  I had a nectarine for an afternoon snack.  I walked through the shop downstairs looking for a treat around 3pm and was so frustrated that EVERYTHING has sugar or dairy in it.  Are there no good vegan snacks?  
For dinner I decided to try the faux meat in a wrap.  I was really excited because it looked good and lauren (yes THE lauren) had said it would taste just like meat.  I heated it up in the skillet for 5 minutes like the directions said.  They were cubes of what looks like imitation beef on skewers and they looked pretty tasty.  I put them on a lavash wrap with some soy cheese and a few squirts of mustard.  I took a bite and began chewing, but before I even swallowed I spit it out.

I tried.  I really tried.  But it tasted so gross i just couldn’t do it.  It’s so weird because I LOVE veggie burgers (which are not vegan, unfortunately they have eggs and milk in them) but this faux meat just was not edible.  At all.  So instead I threw about 15 tater tots in the toaster, sprinkled a little salt and ate.  It was the worst dinner, but I didn’t have time to figure something else out because I had to get to dance class. After, I had a few squares of the dark chocolate to make me feel better. 

Looking back, this has been a really mental week for me.  I’m constantly thinking about food – how I feel about it and what I’m putting into my body. 
First there’s sugar:
I recommend reading this:
The idea of eating something that was processed with bones grosses me out.  It makes me think of chalk, I don’t know why.  So I’m planning on permanently switching to sugar brands that use beet sugar.  By law sugar companies aren’t required to say whether their sugar is derrived from beet or cane (cane uses the bone char to process it) but apparently Whole Foods has a beet sugar in their 365 brand.  I’m going to search for it this weekend for the began cupcakes I’m going to make and have made before (delicious). 
Then we have milk (and I suppose dairy in general):
I actually stopped drinking milk about a year ago simply because I live alone and it always seems without fail to go bad before I can drink it all.  So I switched to soy milk because it lasts longer.  This week though I’ve really been thinking about milk and how unnatural it is for humans to drink milk past infancy, but also the milk of another animal.  Maybe it’s because I watch a lot of Animal Planet, but doesn’t it seem a bit odd that no other mammal species of earth drinks milk after infancy?  I understand the incredibly nutritious properties a mother’s milk holds for her child and I think breast feeding is great.  But why do we (humans) then continue to drink milk throughout our lives, milk that comes from a cow?  I’m struggling with it, these thoughts, and whether or not to continue eating dairy.  My doctor always asks me what my daily intake of dairy is because it’s important to my growrth.  I understand that.  And I love cheese like nothing else, especially mozarella and brie.  And Havarti Dill.  And just plain old sharp cheddar.  I love it on bread and crackers and in omelets and just by itself.  I’m really struggling here.  I don’t know what I think is right anymore and what’s not.  It’s a war of what my mind thinks is right and what my body (or cravings) wants.  Right now for example I would give anything for an everything bagel with veggie cream cheese.  I can’t have either and I know why, but my head is telling me I want it.  Badly. 
I’ve started to realize that really my issue is with the animals.  I don’t eat meat because I absolutely hate the idea that a life was brutally taken so I could have a burger or a a chicken breast.  I have realized over the past year I don’t want blood on my hands when humans are perfectly capable of leading completely healthy lives without meat.  I’d also like to point out that I’ve never seen a fat vegetarian, although I’m sure it’s possible there are some out in the world.  So I don’t eat meat, fine.  But my further struggle is with the cows who spend their lives hooked up to pumps being drained of milk.  And the chickens whose sole purpose is to produce eggs (they are called “layers” whereas the chickens raised solely for meat are called “broilers”).  I feel guilt, that’s what my issue is.  I hate that something as trivial as a bag of shredded cheese (that I might not use up and will have to throw out, I realize I’m actually a hug waster of food) came from an animal standing every day in a confined space.  There’s also my issue with humanity and playing God but that’s a whole other can of worms you probably don’t want me to open right now. 
See?  It’s been a really mental week.  There’s this huge tug of war going on in my head and I don’t know who’s going to win.  I am just so confused about all these thoughts. 
And I’m wondering if I’m going to even make it to Sunday when all I want is a brioche roll with butter and jam.  Or that bagel.

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