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#1 Old 08-04-2015, 11:03 PM
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desperate and trying

can some one please please PLEASE help me with my transition to being vegan?? i didnt even think it would be that hard but ive been craving snickers bars like ***** and end up giving in every time. i feel AWFUL. can someone give me some words of encouragement, tips, or anything?? i just dont want to feel like im so alone in this
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#2 Old 08-04-2015, 11:21 PM
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First welcome, and second, you've already taken the first step in admitting there is something seriously wrong with the factory farming industry. Going vegan cold turkey from a SAD is difficult and many people fail because they go all in too quickly for their own personal ability to maintain. Many of us became vegetarians first (eggs and dairy) before going vegan. If you feel like veganism may be too much ATM, why not use vegetarianism as a stepping stone for a while as you adapt to a healthier, more plant-based diet? You can strive to eat vegan foods, but if you slip up in the beginning, you don't have to feel like a failure because your current goal would be vegetarianism, not veganism. I think you will start to find over time that plant-based comes easier and those old foods you liked so much become less appealing. I'm positive new favorites will come. You will still be making a difference and in the LONG TERM, transitioning at your own pace will likely lead to being able to maintain a cruelty-free lifestyle for the rest of your life.

"The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you but yourself"
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#3 Old 08-04-2015, 11:24 PM
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This might be a little specific, but have you tried Jokerz? They're an all-vegan Snickers bar knock-off. If that's really the one thing that's causing you to fail, try ordering a box and parceling them out when the cravings get too strong.

More generally, I would say the best thing you can do is to not beat yourself up when you do cheat and have a Snickers—and more importantly, to not let your slip-up become an excuse to eat something else non-vegan later. Don't think of it as an all-or-nothing, because then when you fail, you'll keep failing. Instead, think of it like one of those "Number of Days Since Last Accident" signs. Every time someone slips up, that sign goes back to zero...but that doesn't mean that people should run around having accidents that day because hey, it won't affect the sign! No, it's just the start of the new day, and you try your best to get 24 hours from your last Snickers so you can write a big "1" on the board.

If the goal is to minimize animal suffering, "vegan except for Snickers" is qualitatively better than "not vegan." Master that first, and then work on weaning yourself off Snickers.
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#4 Old 08-04-2015, 11:49 PM
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Welcome! Transitioning is HARD! But it can be done.

Like Kiwi said, some people find that it is helpful to give up things slowly, like go vegetarian, then give up eggs, then milk and other products. Others might find it easier to go cold turkey. You just need to find what works for you! Whatever you choose to do going forward, it can be helpful to find vegan alternatives to your favourite foods. You said you were craving chocolate bars, for example. Try finding some vegan chocolate, like dark chocolate or allergy-friendly chocolate chips - most grocery stores have them in the health-food or allergy sections. Just remember to check the ingredients. You could also try making some chocolatey vegan desserts, like cake or brownies- there are plenty of recipes online. Finding alternatives to your favourite non-veg foods or things you crave is one of the best things you can do to help the transition process.

Personally, I went vegetarian for a few months and then cut out eggs/dairy/etc. That made it much easier for me because I already had some easily-veganized or vegan recipes and I figured out where to find alternatives in my grocery store. Shopping, as a new vegan, is not easy. I must've spent hours standing in aisles, looking ingredients up on my phone! It is helpful to have a forum, like this one or a local veg*n group (check sites like Facebook for those, I'm sure you can find one!). Try to read as much as possible as that is mostly how you will learn the ropes, so to speak. If you need encouragement, write up a post here. Most of us don't bite!

Finally, remember that we all make mistakes. When I was first going vegan a few years ago, I had an big impulse cheat day, and made my share of mistakes. I regretted them immediately, as you are. You might find it helpful to use that feeling to motivate you next time you feel as if you will slip up. And remember, making a mistake doesn't mean you are back at square one, so to speak. Mistakes and impulses don't make you non-vegan, provided you don't completely give up. Remember, you are human and we all make mistakes. The key is not letting them discourage you.
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#5 Old 08-05-2015, 02:12 AM
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as previous people said it's not all or nothing. That's one of the most important points to keep in mind
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#6 Old 08-05-2015, 02:49 AM
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If Snickers bars are your only (or biggest) weakness, I say stock up on vegan candy! Is there a specialty health food shop near you, or even a Whole Foods? You'll be surprised at the wide range of vegan sweets on the market. You can also order them online and have a box of goodies delivered to your door! Let me know if you need help finding some online shops.
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#7 Old 08-05-2015, 03:30 AM
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http://vegetarian.about.com/od/shopp...nchocolate.htm

http://minimalistbaker.com/5-ingredi...snickers-bars/

They always say, if life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I can see all kinds of possibilities for a vegan version of snickers. Just the thought of melted vegan chocolate over peanuts is making me hungry right now. Chocolate sauce can be made with just pure baking cocoa powder (naturally vegan), plant milk, sweetener, vanilla extract heated over the stove or in the microwave. I have even made chocolate pudding this way with the addition of a starch (cornstarch, tapioca starch or another type of starch).

Changing your lifestyle is a huge deal and there is a big learning curve. Patience is key while you learn to navigate being vegan in a still largely omnivore world. Spend as much time as you can reading vegan books and visiting blogs. Keep vegan friendly ready to eat snacks around so you don't get too hungry or feel too deprived. I like the occasional cliff bar or larabar and those are getting easier to find just about everywhere (at least in the U.S.). Gas stations, drug stores, groceries all stock them now. Though Cliff bars are marketed as a "health bar", they are really more like a candy bar and they can really hit the spot when you crave one. Best wishes!
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#8 Old 08-05-2015, 06:08 AM
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I think the biggest question here is: How do you learn restraint?


...I think conviction should suffice, but beyond that... I'm at a loss.

I just see it as cause and effect: If I eat that, I'll contribute to the problem I'm trying to avoid, ergo I won't eat that.

It seems obvious to me that you shouldn't allow impulse to override reason, but how do you instill that in somebody without something as barbaric as a shock collar?
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#9 Old 08-05-2015, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Dogma View Post
I think the biggest question here is: How do you learn restraint?


...I think conviction should suffice, but beyond that... I'm at a loss.

I just see it as cause and effect: If I eat that, I'll contribute to the problem I'm trying to avoid, ergo I won't eat that.

It seems obvious to me that you shouldn't allow impulse to override reason, but how do you instill that in somebody without something as barbaric as a shock collar?

It's not that easy. Cigarettes, drugs is an easy example of how you want to stop doing certain things but you can't.
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#10 Old 08-05-2015, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by rasitha.wijesekera View Post
It's not that easy. Cigarettes, drugs is an easy example of how you want to stop doing certain things but you can't.
Those are highly addictive though, and there's little to no moral imperative to stop.
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#11 Old 08-05-2015, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by wannaBvegan View Post
can some one please please PLEASE help me with my transition to being vegan?? i didnt even think it would be that hard but ive been craving snickers bars like ***** and end up giving in every time. i feel AWFUL. can someone give me some words of encouragement, tips, or anything?? i just dont want to feel like im so alone in this
If you are craving snickers, my guess is that you are not eating enough calories in your new vegan ways. It is very common for people to get too few calories when transitioning to a vegan diet.

Maybe try one of the online calorie trackers and see if you are eating enough. Most vegan food is high in bulk, low in calories.
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#12 Old 08-05-2015, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Dogma View Post
Those are highly addictive though, and there's little to no moral imperative to stop.

I think personal health is still a very motivating reason. but still people can't seem to do it. Not being able to stop something even when you want to( like op) is what I would call an addiction
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#13 Old 08-05-2015, 09:49 AM
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There's research about will power which shows that it can get used up over the course of a day. If you've used up a lot of your will power on eating vegan and making the transition it's hard to resist a treat ... it's like any diet really, it's the treats that get to us.

However will power is also like a muscle - the more you use it the better you get at it. The next time you get a craving for a snickers try a distraction technique - a couple of examples

1. I will eat this handful of peanuts - one by one and then if I still want a snickers I'll get one (keep small bags of peanuts with you for this exercise)
2. I will just go make myself a cup of tea / coffee and drink and then I can have a snickers
3. I will just play this one game of (lawks what's popular these days) candy crush saga(?)

Often a craving goes away if you distract yourself - a lot of cravings are a reaction to boredom or to an associated action. So if you always have a snickers with your cup of tea - well then don't use tea as the distraction.

I prefer blanket rules. Like :
No cake during the week days
All vegan meals at work

This helps me feel like the decision was already made and I don't need to exercise extra willpower to make the decision again.
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#14 Old 08-05-2015, 10:10 AM
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The following 20-minute TEDx talk profoundly changed the way I think about willpower:
. The title of the talk is, "Change anything! Use skillpower over willpower." The speaker, Al Stwitzler, has developed a model of the "six sources of influence" which impact one's ability to make a profound change in one's like, like quitting smoking, for instance. This model makes a lot of sense to me. Switzler uses the analogy of a tug-of-war in his talk; typically, when a person tries to make a big change in their life, it's like a six against one tug-of-war: the person is almost guaranteed to fail. In this talk Switzler explains how to get the six sources of influence "pulling with you" to help you win the battle. I highly recommend this video.
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#15 Old 08-05-2015, 10:27 AM
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Thank you Bob, I am going to watch that tonight.
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#16 Old 08-05-2015, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by wannaBvegan View Post
can some one please please PLEASE help me with my transition to being vegan?? i didnt even think it would be that hard but ive been craving snickers bars like ***** and end up giving in every time. i feel AWFUL. can someone give me some words of encouragement, tips, or anything?? i just dont want to feel like im so alone in this
Don't restrict yourself eat the vegan foods that you want, transition is key, eating enough is key, of course I recommend whole foods, but if eating oreos is going to help you stay on the wagon do it.
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#17 Old 08-05-2015, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by rasitha.wijesekera View Post
I think personal health is still a very motivating reason. but still people can't seem to do it. Not being able to stop something even when you want to( like op) is what I would call an addiction
Plus, cheese is actually physiologically addictive due to concentrated casomorphins. That's why it's often the hardest thing for vegans to quit.
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#18 Old 08-05-2015, 02:03 PM
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An occasional Snickers is much better than an occasional 10 ounce steak. Make it a weakly cheat, then a monthly cheat, then a yearly cheat. You can do it!

If you really think of it, and please do, the bi-products of animals are used in tire manufacturing, road manufacturing, the foam that will save you if you are ever in an air plane crash...You can only do what you can do. You can't block a road because someone used some animal bone derived anti foamer in the cement mix. I have never seen anyone actually do a survey of all the materials and methods possibly using any kind of animal products in the creation of a car or jet. Anything carbon is used, it is often bone char. Painters use bone derived "black " colors in paint and you would not know.

Oh jeepers, I can't buy the house that will be the only house I will ever be able to afford because they may have used fish oil in the paints. Gahhh!
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#19 Old 08-05-2015, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rasitha.wijesekera View Post
I think personal health is still a very motivating reason. but still people can't seem to do it. Not being able to stop something even when you want to( like op) is what I would call an addiction
Sure sounds like it. People kick harder habits than that every day though.
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