Getting Ready To Be Vegan for New Years

I have to be honest with you—I’m not always a great vegan.  I cheat.  I don’t eat meat, but I do eat cheese sometimes and things baked with milk or egg.  I’m not proud of it, but I will admit it.  Those occasional failures serve to remind me of why I went vegan in the first place.  After a week or two of tolerating failure I’m like to have a stomach ache, a general feeling of lethargy and tighter pants.  Then, I’m ready to knuckle down and clean out my food choices.

Well, that’s where I am now.  I’ve eaten one too many Christmas cookies around the water cooler at the office.  I’m ready to get back to normal!  I’m sure I’m not alone.  This is about the time of year when thousands of Americans start planning the diet that starts in January.  Would you like to join my family and be a better vegan in January?  Here’s how we’re getting ready:

  1. Gathering recipes.  I’m keeping my eyes open now for quick, easy ideas and making them as often as I can.  Why wait to feel great?  I can eat vegan today and feel good today.  Plus, in January, I’ll already have pulled together some ingredients and tested out a few things.
  2. I’m using up and giving away all my non-vegan food.  Friday I will be on a mission to bake and use up all the eggs, milk chocolate, hot cocoa, etc. that is taking up space and threatening to weaken my resolve in January.  I’m going to make hot cocoa, invite over my kids’ friends and serve the all the stuff I make.  What’s left is going home wrapped tightly on paper plates or is coming with me to my large family get-together on Sunday afternoon.  (My brother will eat it.)
  3. Everything I buy from here on out is going to be vegan.  The dish I bring to mother’s Christmas dinner?  Vegan.  Our intimate family gathering on Christmas Eve with just the kids?  Vegan.  I can’t control what everyone else serves (and wouldn’t even try!), but I can assure that I have a choice that I’m happy about.
  4. Visual imagery.  I don’t know that I can stress enough how helpful it is for me to rehearse situations in my mind before they happen.  Here’s an example:  When I visit relatives, we almost always put the desserts on the kitchen table, pour a cup of coffee and sit down around the table and talk for hours.  Inevitably, I pick and snack all afternoon.  I can’t just walk away or I’ll miss the conversation.  I can’t suggest that everyone move because they like sitting around the desserts.  This year I’m going to do something just a tiny bit different.  I’m going to fix hot tea instead of coffee (I associate coffee with dessert), hold the mug in my hands and lean back in the chair.  I’m going to make sure that the desserts are not in my line of sight and are more than an arm’s length away.  I’ve rehearsed in my mind how I’m going to look at the faces of my family instead of at the goodies on the table and how relaxed and calm I’ll feel when I’m sitting and talking and not cluttering my attention with food.
  5. I’m going to eat whatever I love.  The keyword is “love.”  I’m not going to eat something just because I like it or it’s okay or there’s nothing else.  I’m not going to eat it just because I felt obligated to or because it’s still on my plate.  I’m not going to eat it because it’s time to eat or because everyone else is eating now.  However, I will eat whatever I love.  And, I will eat it as long as I love it.  Which means, I may stop halfway through a slice of pie because it’s starting to get sickening sweet, or I may eat the whole thing.

I feel really good about the next 10 days, and I am really excited about starting 2012 feeling better than I did when I started 2011!

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One response to this post.

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