Eschewing the guilt

Hello there and happy Monday! The sun came out after all today which made for an awesome Sunday treat and a stellar finish to the week. Here’s to hoping the [not as awesome] weather forecast for the next days is totally off. Contrary to my assumptions in my last post Sunday turned out to be gorgeous. Sunshine, around 60°F and just perfect for a nice long walk. I wouldn’t mind this marvelous weather to stick around for a long time.

Flowers_April 2014

On another note and explaining this post’s title it’s about time I spill the beans about the allusion to another ‘C’ food I made in my Currently post: Cheese. There it is, the mysterious last current food. Not an unusual one for many but for me it is significant. If you’ve been reading for a while already you might remember me using a term Sarah coined and calling myself a vegan with benefits. Up until now the benefits had been limited to dairy in the form of Greek yogurt [or Quark for all Germans]. Which seemed semi-okay to me because there’s no vegan equivalent and my diet was [and is] still largely plant-based. The reason why I decided to start eating cheese again after mulling it over for a while was finding what had caused me to eschew it before: Fear. And:

Guilt.

The latter is worth looking at a little more closely. Why guilt? Because I felt eating cheese would mean I’d failed at being vegan. Disappointed others. Really, though? Nobody expects me to be vegan. It was also relieving for me to see a number of other previously vegan bloggers listen to their cravings and reintroduce eggs, dairy or at times fish and meat back into their diet. In order to practice what I preached – congratulating others who didn’t let their diet keep them from listening to their cravings – it was only consequential for me to do the same. Not only stop beating myself up every time I ate dairy before but go that step further trying cheese [seeking out vegetarian ones only] again.

Cheese

A recent meal at a friend’s – cheese included.

… and the world truly kept spinning.

For me, true recovery means letting go of food rules and guilt around eating.  As well as not letting the label I’ve put on my diet keep me from satisfying my cravings. Yes, there’s vegan cheese, delicious kinds even, but I’d still been feeling a lack of satisfaction with my diet lately. It might be due to the lack of cheese, it might be something else. I’m leaving the outcome of my little diet experimentation open for now. And isn’t that the beauty of experimentation? We can never tell the results in advance. It’s a journey of trial and error.

Ratatouille cheese bake

To make this a point here: I don’t in anyway think veganism in itself is a sign of eating-disordered behaviour for everybody following it. In fact, eating vegan made me get more creative in the kitchen that I’d been during my previous years as a vegetarian. Experimenting with vegan dishes has been exciting for me and I plan on continuing to do so and eat largely vegan. Just throwing in the odd bit of cheese here and there when I feel like it. What I’ve noticed during these past first weeks was that I craved cheese one day, had it and was satisfied. The next time I’d use a bit more [too much] and not think of it or miss it for days. Maybe I’ll be fed up by cheese and dairy in a few weeks or months. Maybe I’ll keep eating them. What I know, though, is that whichever way I go I want to eat without guilt. Because living without food guilt is a marvelous way of living.

MiMM_new

Happiness inducing today: Walking my favourite longer route again for the first time without hip pain. Do I sound like an old lady saying this? Maybe. Was it a great feeling? Definitely.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Have you ever dealt with a similar situation of reintroducing foods that you’d previously escheweded?

Do you label your diet?

 

 

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18 thoughts on “Eschewing the guilt

  1. swissfitchick says:

    Good for you to honor your cravings girl!! And you’re right – we would all still love you just as much if you would eat meat and cheese and dairy and whatever the heck you want all day. Do what is best for YOU! I stick to my paleo with benefits diet, also in honor of your Dad 🙂
    PS. That pink sound system in the picture. I want it.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      I’ll let my dad know you keep going against the grain 😉 .
      And yes! I’m so tempted to steal the stereo every time I visit her. Though I’ll admit it matches her overall interior colour better than mine.

  2. Ms.J says:

    Oh yes I feel you on this. And I also find it wonderfully weird that I’ve been dealing with cheese cravings recently too; cheddar to be specific. Back to the point however – previously I would find it very satisfactory to be able to ‘exclude’ certain foods. There was some sick joy in believing I do not eat eggs, I do not do cheese, white flour etc. etc…all of which I’m happily consuming now because I want to. Cheese held a scariness for a looong time for me..even now I am sometimes wary of the amount I eat in one meal. Well done you 🙂 ..if anything I love you all the more for being honest and taking a brave step to conquer a fear.

  3. Ashley @ KickAshMom says:

    You should have red my blog when I first started. I went to paleo, felt guilty for “failing” then went to vegan…. I wanted to label myself. I finally decided that I don’t have to label the way I eat. If I don’t want to eat a lot of cheese, meat, ect… then I don’t have to. But I also don’t have to label myself. When I did I felt as if the food police would come knocking at my door if I decided to have a slice of pizza or a granola bar that didn’t fit the diet. Congrats on taking another step!

  4. apples2abs says:

    I’m actually reintroducing gluten into my diet after being gluten free for over 5 years. It’s tough, and I was so used to people dealing with my “picky diet”. It’s kinda nice now, but I totally get that guilt feeling you’re talking about! So strange… it’s all up to what we want in our own lives! haha

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Good to know you had positive experiences with reintroducing gluten. I’ve been having cheese for a little while now and I agree it’s nice. There’s still some guilt but I’m mostly embracing the new cooking possibilites. It’s so true what you said: we make the choice of what we want our lives to be like – and non-restrictive is a good way of living.

  5. lovenataliemarie says:

    I totally agree with you when recovery means letting go of the past thoughts and honoring your cravings. Eat what makes you happy. You don’t have to follow any specific rules. I love the creativity you bring to the blog world!
    I also love the flowers. Beautiful.

  6. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli says:

    “As well as not letting the label I’ve put on my diet keep me from satisfying my cravings.” <- A to the freaking MEN!!! I've told you this already, but girl, I am so so SO proud of you for listening to your body and experimenting with new foods! And seriously? Vegan cheese will never EVER compare to the real stuff! 😛

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