Before I continue I just want to say he had no idea he was keeping me from being vegan, it was my choice, but I realize now that holding onto our customs and rituals kept me from making the changes I wanted to see in my life.
Let’s go back 18 years to when I met my husband. My daily meal plan looked a lot like this…
Breakfast was almost always cereal during the week and French toast on the weekend.
Lunch included a cheese sandwich, bean and cheese burrito, pizza, cheese quesadilla, or something along those lines.
Dinner was typically pasta bar which consisted of cheese ravioli, cheese lasagna, pesto pasta, and garlic bread. OR if American Idol was on we would order pizza and/or cheese bread.
Snacks were string cheese, chips, French fries, and chocolate milk.
When I was out late, an XL McDonald chocolate milkshake was a standard.
And then of course there was the Sunday night ‘pan of brownies and gallon of skim milk’ ritual.
As you can see, I was what they call a “junk food vegetarian” relying heavily on cheese and dairy in my daily life.
My hubby and I would eat out 4-6 meals a week, our faves included Italian, Mexican, Indian, and of course Dairy Queen.
For the first few years of our relationship we had so much in common, we shared several hobbies and in the summer we would be rock climbing, mountain biking, or roller blading daily. In the winter we would snowboard a couple times a month and would climb in the gym almost every day.
But as the years passed, our interests began to change and after a while it seemed like the only thing we had in common was going out to eat and of course our Sunday ‘milk and pan of brownies’ night!
One of the first things I started avoiding in my diet was gluten. This starting limiting pizza and pasta, and we stopped going to Rick’s favorite restaurants (Italian) because of it.
Then I starting eating less sugar so our fun trips to DQ and McDonald’s during the hot summer days also started waning.
In fact, one by one our few things we still had in common were disappearing as I began making more and more changes to my diet. So the one thing I refused to give up was our Sunday night brownies and milk.
And so it continued. For years I would eat less and less dairy all week long, even ordering my pizza and burritos with no cheese, but always holding tightly onto that damn pan of brownies.
Every Sunday night I would go to bed with a stomach ache. I had stopped chowing Tums when I found out how bad they were for me and replaced them with a shop of Apple Cider Vinegar to settle my gut. I hated the taste of it, but I would rather shoot ACV than give up brownie night. DUH!
I didn’t want to give up the one thing we had left, even if it meant being 99% vegan instead of 100% vegan. My relationship is one of the most important things in my life, and in my mind, this was the last thread of hope, holding us together, keeping us married…brownies and milk!!
Then in 2010 I decided to get food allergy tests and realized my body liked NOTHING about weekly brownie night. My doc had me give up everything I was sensitive to for 4 weeks, and then extended it another 4 weeks. In that time, I did find brownie recipes that didn’t include any of my food sensitivities, but they weren’t really that great tasting, and they were kind of boring without milk anyway. By the time I could add some of the foods back in, I was over it, the habit was broken.
Our marriage survived.
We found other things in common (read about them here!) and we are eating most of the same foods now again. I am proud to say I am 100% vegan and my hubby is vegan at home. It took me about 10 years from when I WANTED to be vegan to ACTUALLY being vegan, so a reminder to be patient with yourself.
Our priorities are constantly changing and at the time, although I “wanted” to be vegan, it was more important to me that we had our weekly ritual. I am glad we did. I loved every single Sunday. And I am glad now I don’t drink milk. And I’m sure in a year I will be someone different again and I am fine with that. I think it’s OK to change your mind on who you are and what is important to you as often as you feel necessary, with no judgement by yourself.
A super fun side note: Whenever I visit my sister (I’m here now), her kids always ask when I am going to make vegan brownies for them…LOVE IT!! See…I can have my cake and eat it too!
If you have considered “trying” the vegan thing, join our 7 Day Vegan Challenge here…
If you are just looking for recipes, I have hundreds of veg and vegan recipes here…
See you next week!!