Romantic Life Lessons, Shameless Promotion, Whining

Post-COVID Vegan Not-Success

It seemed to happen all at once. Sam said, “I don’t feel right” one Sunday night. We took tests, did another dance with the COVID fairy, and reset ourselves after a week of isolation. When you’ve recovered, the first thing you want to do is delve into the joy of wellness.

We watched The Game Changer* the next Sunday night, learning things we obviously knew before (eating plants = healthier) but this time it felt different because athletes modeled supreme health while chowing down on legumes. Sam and I are intense athletes ourselves so we thought, why not?

Sam was particularly affected by the doc’s showing meat-based-diet plasma compared to vegan plasma. Having survived e.coli and norovirus, he’s hyper-aware of his insides. I, too, am aware of my insides since cultivating a duodenal ulcer in my teens and 20s and, of course, the stomach flu of 2007. There’s also that I like to do drastic things and relish the self-loathing once I fail. Going vegan was perfect for us.

Our habits changed at once! I culled memories of the unintentional veganism of my 20s, mostly due to fear and paranoia. One can’t control traumatic events, but one can control what one eats. I only trusted things like potatoes, bread, cigarettes, and Sprite–from the beige, tar, and transparent food groups. These were trustworthy foods, and I didn’t feel bad at all. Surely I could avoid animal products thirty years later.

Sam and I discussed how veganism would support our cat, even though he himself is not vegan. Clearing out the fridge was a gradual chore. Wasting half and half is worse than drinking it. Somehow, I choked down unsweetened oat milk, which I would still drink if on a deserted island. But what would I do if the plants were poison and a rotting boar was the only thing to keep me alive? Would my stomach acid be strong enough to break down the boar so that I could survive? At the very least, I could clutch my new fake pearl necklace from J-Crew.

My week of veganism wound up being a topsy turvy voyage of feeling great, thrilled by my moral high ground, then a rapid plunge into despair. Even though I could skip a few meals, the idea of hunger reminded me of a darker time when I did not eat because I was afraid of what it would do to me. I’d been coping with the immediate aftermath of trauma and a lot of this involved learning to eat, sleep, be out in the world again. Going vegan wasn’t about giving up ice cream but putting hyperfocus on an issue that pushes my buttons.

There is a happy ending, one I know I can carry to the end of my days. As my vegan adventure ended, I started watching The Kardashians on Hulu–a never-say-never event. So maybe I could go vegan a few times a week, nudging me into healthier habits as I trudge toward the coffin. In the meantime, I can watch a matriarchal family do their thing and remember that I’ve spent my some of my 30s, 40s, and 50s watching them without suffering for it. It is a blessing to choose more vegan options and to find something that whisks me out of circular thinking — and COVID.

*An amazing documentary on Netflix

2 thoughts on “Post-COVID Vegan Not-Success”

  1. I have never gone vegan, but I was a vegetarian for eight years back in my 30’s (you know, the Dark Ages). I actually didn’t find it all that difficult, although there were certain things I missed (ribs! bacon!) Then my body started wanting to eat meat again, and I went back to it. I’d say that about half my dinners are still vegetarian, simply by choice. I do eat a lot of dairy products. They’re going to pry my cheese out of my cold, dead hands. I do try and eat organic and/or locally raised meat when I can, and I’m pretty mindful both of the treatment of the animals and the effect of raising meat on the world ecology (hint: it’s not good). Plus, of course, my post-menopausal high cholesterol numbers. So I may be cutting back even further. It’s easiest in the summer, when I’m getting so many yummy veggies out of the garden.

  2. I have never tried to go vegan or vegetarian. I had a vegetarian friend many years ago who had stomach issues because of her chosen diet. I thought back then “Not for me”. Eat everything in moderation. That’s my motto. If I cut something totally out I find I crave it more. So I cut back on portions and try to venture into new tastes and new recipes so we don’t get bored. Been worse since Covid because I lost my sense of taste and smell. Cooking is a real challenge since I did it using those two senses more than a measured recipe. I do use a ton of garlic now. It’s one of the few things I can taste…sorta. Lol. I have cut back on how much red meat we eat. I am not fond of most fish but I do like chicken. So we try to eat healthier meals and smaller portions, and I really try hard to cut back on bread. My fav of all foods, esp sourdough which I have found out is one of the better breads for you. We only live once and food is a big part of our survival. Can’t live without it. đŸ™‚

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