Monday, March 19, 2012

2nd Half and Closer to Cheese

(Background: For Lent this year I decided to try Vegan eating.
You can read more about my reasoning and decision

At the end of last week I hit a milestone, one I hadn't marked on the calendar or anything, but one I realized as I made G a grilled cheese sandwich: The Half-way Point.

I write it in all caps because it is a big deal for me: I've passed The Half-way Point of my Veganism and with every passing day I inch closer to the finish line. And just like a marathon runner who gets a burst of energy when they realize they're closer to the finish line than that start, being in the second half of the Lenten Vegan Challenge gives me hope.

I have to tell you, there was a time or two or okay, maybe 58 in the last three weeks or so that I thought:

"There is NO way I can do this."

Followed quickly by:

"What was I thinking?"

You see, I always knew I loved cheese, but I didn't realize how deep my passion for cheese ran until I decided (of my own volition, mind you), that I wouldn't eat it for 6 1/2 weeks. 46 days to be exact. But who's counting?

For all you full-time, committed Vegans out there, you have my utmost respect.

Lest you misunderstand me, I don't usually consume gobs of cheese at every meal. I know it isn't the healthiest thing in the world and so I use it sparingly, but when I do, I savor and love every bite.

Goat cheese crumbled on my salad.

Parmesan sprinkled atop some pasta.

Sharp cheddar melted on enchiladas.

Oh my, I have to stop, I am starting to salivate (no joke).

This Lenten Challenge feels different than when I tried Vegetarianism two years ago. When I cut out all meat, I felt renewed, rejuvenated and enlightened. I never felt deprived and I discovered new ways to cook healthy food.

I still feel great eating Vegan, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit my cheese longings and the fact that at times I feel like my friend's newborn baby, needing to eat every 2-3 hours.

Let's face it: Veganism is not easy. I don't regret trying this eating experiment, and I do think I will walk away on Easter with some great new recipes and techniques for reducing our overall dairy consumption.

I am now convinced I will persevere. But please note, if you see me on Easter, I'll be bypassing all the chocolate bunnies and jelly beans and heading straight for some goat cheese.

Until then, 20 days and counting...

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