New vegan here. How long before the cravings go away? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-20-2011, 06:32 PM
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Ok, I've been eating a vegan diet for two weeks now. It has actually been way easier than I expected and I am discovering a lot of new delicious, healthy foods. However, today was really hard. First, I was craving cheese on my bean burrito super bad and was dying for nachos! Then, I was in a Cost Plus and they had all their summer stuff out so of course there were all kinds of bbq accessories, and I started thinking of steaks, burgers, etc. I had to get out of there!! So, I came home and made myself a BLT but with Tempeh, which helped, but still feeling the cravings. How long before these get less strong??
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#2 Old 05-20-2011, 09:45 PM
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I think it all depends on your attitude. I'm a new vegan, too, (just below three weeks) and I used to love cheese, milk chocolate, cupcakes and things made out of egg and milk, and I also ate a lot of meat in my diet. After seeing Meet Your Meat, I was strongly convinced to completely cut everything out of my diet. The longer I began to go without meat, dairy, or eggs, the better I felt, and I've been very excited and determined about becoming vegan. I'm in a very omni family and I go to a high school that has nothing but bean and cheese burritos, nachos, chicken sandwiches, etc. so I have to see and smell a lot of these things everyday because none of my friends or anyone else at the school are vegan or vegetarian. Oddly, though, I don't have any cravings still, after about three weeks. I think just trying to focus on your reasons for being vegan, and how awful and gross it'll feel to eat meat, or any other animal products or byproducts, then you'll be able to strengthen yourself against the cravings. Also, I was reading through a giving up dairy thread and I noticed many people said that after 1-2 months of eating completely vegan, then you begin to adjust to different tastes. For example, many said that when they try substitute foods, such as vegan cheese, they don't like it and it just makes them crave cheese more, but they said that after a month of being vegan they suddenly realized they didn't crave anything anymore, and if they tried a substitute food then they actually thought it was cheesy and good.
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#3 Old 05-21-2011, 11:12 AM
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I never had cravings, but many other members say that they go away after a while. What I think would help is thinking about the origins of the food item you want, and reminding yourself why you are vegan in the first place. Welcome to veganism, and the forums, by the way.

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#4 Old 05-21-2011, 11:24 AM
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hey and congrats! i'm a new vegan too. i don't know if you could really say how long you will have cravings, it really just depends on the person. i really didn't have meat cravings too bad, maybe for the first day. cheese however, that's a different story. just wanted to reiterate what has been said above. just think of the reasons you went vegan and that definitely helps. good luck!
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#5 Old 05-21-2011, 08:46 PM
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It all depends on the person but here are some tips to make it easier:
- While you're going through this transition, keep your belly full. It's harder to ignore cravings if you're hungry too. So drink plenty of water and eat plenty of veg food.
- Avoid eating with any friends, coworkers or family who are not supportive. Don't avoid those people entirely, just make sure that when you spend time with them it's not mealtime. Go for a hike, see a movie, just do something else with those people.
- Make yourself a list of reasons why you are going veg. Things like this: prevent animal cruelty, stave off heart disease and cancer, be respectful to the environment... and post that list on the fridge.
- Practice making new veg recipes to get your mind thinking about something else. Hopefully, you'll find a few new ones you enjoy.
- Find veg friends to talk to and eat with (try http://www.meetup.com/vegan/ )

Good luck! You're doing a great thing for yourself, for animals, and for the planet!
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#6 Old 05-24-2011, 09:32 AM
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Hi all. I am a new vegetarian- have just completed one month, and I would say 80% of the time I am eating a vegan diet. My goal is to eliminate dairy and eggs and am working toward that. These board have been so helpful for support and guidance, so thank you to all who have posted. One question, why do some people write veg*n instead of vegan?? I feel like I am missing something
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#7 Old 05-24-2011, 10:52 AM
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Veg*n = vegan or vegetarian.
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#8 Old 05-24-2011, 03:28 PM
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Congrats. I never had cravings. I might sometimes see a cheesecake and wish I could eat it but 1 minute later, the thought would be out of my mind. How long does the craving last?
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#9 Old 05-29-2011, 01:27 PM
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I am not a meat substitute person b/c I have never been a big meat fan. But, have you tried any of them? Some of them are very close in taste and texture. They might help satisfy cravings. Also, grilled Garden Burgers, faux meat patties, soy hot dogs and veggies on the grill might satisfy your cravings for grilled food. You have to ask yourself what the closest thing you can get flavor wise to what you want and try to replicate that. Alot of times just having the right textures or seasonings can really help fulfill that craving.
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#10 Old 05-29-2011, 01:29 PM
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Just watch Meet your Meat, and Earthlings.. mine have never come back.
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#11 Old 05-29-2011, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisMTL View Post

Just watch Meet your Meat, and Earthlings.. mine have never come back.

I got Earthlings from Netflix and sent it back before watching it b/c I knew it would tear me up inside. Just the thought of it was enough to keep my cravings at bay.
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#12 Old 05-29-2011, 02:35 PM
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Watch out with "meat subsitutes" Some are great- not really as if they're trying to simulate meat. Others just taste (to me) like really bad meat.
My favorites processed vegan foods are:
Gardein-seven grain nuggets, and chik'n scallopini
Boca chikn patties
Trader Joes soy chorizo
My sons like nomeat loaf with gimme lean ground.
Really find your favorite vegan foods to go to, even if it's oreos-I guess.

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good
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#13 Old 05-29-2011, 02:46 PM
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Remind yourself of the animals that suffer for those food items to be obtained. I remember when I became vegan and gave into cheese pizza, but that moment I made a discovery. I asked myself "Did I really want that cheese? In the end, does it really satisfy me?" and the answer was, I felt even worse after eating it because that cheese was not mine, it was a calf's which is suffering as a result of my craving. Since then I haven't eaten any dairy (I've never had meat cravings, there's something about the smell that bothers me now actually). The foods I eat now are so full of flavour that I'm way too satisfied to crave anything else.

Good luck!

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#14 Old 05-29-2011, 05:16 PM
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Ive been vegan for a little over a year and a half now. Honestly I dont even view non-vegan food as food now. If I DO start craving I just watch Meat your meat or Earthlings again.

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#15 Old 06-01-2011, 12:28 AM
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Mine never went away, but I quickly learned to tolerate them without an effort. It's very rare now that a craving is bad enough for me to be bothered by it.

It's kind of like grief, it never disappears but it gets so easy to bear that you don't notice it.
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#16 Old 06-01-2011, 08:58 PM
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I do believe it is a good idea to remember and watch what really goes on. I saw what i needed to and that did it. If I ever forget then I will watch again. For sometime I wished it weren't so bad but I realized and saw the truth and stopped completely.
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#17 Old 06-19-2011, 05:15 PM
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I had my immature little cousin hold a piece of beef to my face and even try to rub it on my lips, yet it did nothing for me. The only time I've ever "craved" meat is when I was high one time and hungry as hell lol, but I don't really crave anything I've stopped eating. If anything I think I'm actually craving the healthier foods I've been missing out on all these years.

"The reason that people are not vegetarian for the most part is convenience. That is it. They are raised in a society where it's so easy not to be a vegetarian."
- Ian Mackaye
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#18 Old 06-19-2011, 05:47 PM
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Everyone's experiences are different.

But, look at this this way. What does your mind do as you walk past the baby care section of a grocery store, the adult diaper section, or any other section that really does't apply to you. You just kinda glance past it... like its not even there. Eventually the meat isle, seafood counters, dairy shelves, etc... will all give you that same feeling, and you will no longer see those sections as a "food source."

As for cravings, you've spent your whole life teaching your brain what food is. Gradually, you will stop seeing meaty foods as a food source. Sometimes, the smell of a meat-based restaurant gets the same reaction as the smell I get walking into an auto parts store... Its just a nasty smell...not food.

I've been vegan for 3.5 years. I don't get cravings anymore. But, the smell of fried chicken, and the smell of a burning coal BBQ grill (regardless of whether meat is cooking yet or not), will make me very hungry. It's a craving that will hit me hard, but I deal with it by eating something else. Like... if I can smell my neighbors cooking outside, I might open a can of veg baked beans...maybe fry up some veg weenies and onions to mix in. The smell of my own food overpowers the smell from outside, it actually fells like I'm satisfying the craving by eating a large amount of food (regardless of whether or not it is similar themed), and then I'm so stuffed that I don't even want to think about food anymore.

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#19 Old 06-20-2011, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post

Everyone's experiences are different.

But, look at this this way. What does your mind do as you walk past the baby care section of a grocery store, the adult diaper section, or any other section that really does't apply to you. You just kinda glance past it... like its not even there. Eventually the meat isle, seafood counters, dairy shelves, etc... will all give you that same feeling, and you will no longer see those sections as a "food source."

As for cravings, you've spent your whole life teaching your brain what food is. Gradually, you will stop seeing meaty foods as a food source. Sometimes, the smell of a meat-based restaurant gets the same reaction as the smell I get walking into an auto parts store... Its just a nasty smell...not food.

I've been vegan for 3.5 years. I don't get cravings anymore. But, the smell of fried chicken, and the smell of a burning coal BBQ grill (regardless of whether meat is cooking yet or not), will make me very hungry. It's a craving that will hit me hard, but I deal with it by eating something else. Like... if I can smell my neighbors cooking outside, I might open a can of veg baked beans...maybe fry up some veg weenies and onions to mix in. The smell of my own food overpowers the smell from outside, it actually fells like I'm satisfying the craving by eating a large amount of food (regardless of whether or not it is similar themed), and then I'm so stuffed that I don't even want to think about food anymore.

That's exactly how it is for me, I was a picky eater as a kid anyway so I guess that helps.

Animal products totally don't seem like real food to me anymore, and I love that smoky charcoal BBQ smell too but it makes me crave veggie burgers

"If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others... why wouldn't we?" - Edgars Mission
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#20 Old 06-20-2011, 08:39 PM
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I really don't crave meat at all, but I guess that's because I was vegetarian for a long time before making the leap to vegan.

Most vegetarian things I crave, I find I can make vegan versions of pretty easily... it's just that I have to make them at home on my own. For example, the other day I was totally craving strawberry cream cheese so I made some myself using Tofutti cream cheese, strawberries and confectioners sugar. It was great, easily as good as any store-bought variety I've ever had.

When I crave something, I generally try to ask myself what it is I want (Creamy? salty? fatty? etc) and try to find something vegan that will match that. I usually can
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#21 Old 06-23-2011, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiegirl View Post

Ok, I've been eating a vegan diet for two weeks now. It has actually been way easier than I expected and I am discovering a lot of new delicious, healthy foods. However, today was really hard. First, I was craving cheese on my bean burrito super bad and was dying for nachos! Then, I was in a Cost Plus and they had all their summer stuff out so of course there were all kinds of bbq accessories, and I started thinking of steaks, burgers, etc. I had to get out of there!! So, I came home and made myself a BLT but with Tempeh, which helped, but still feeling the cravings. How long before these get less strong??

I can sympathize with you audiegirl.........going through the same thing myself right now.
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#22 Old 06-23-2011, 08:21 PM
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Animal products totally don't seem like real food to me anymore, and I love that smoky charcoal BBQ smell too but it makes me crave veggie burgers

Ha ha, the closest I have come to eating meat in the past 10 years was the picture of a guy grilling a steak on the bag of charcoal I use...lol

Funny story. I fired up the grill the other night and loaded up a bunch of corn on the cob, zucchini, sweet potato's and tomatoes for dinner...my nosy neighbor sticks his head over the fence and asks what I was grilling. He looked a the grill and somewhat unbelievingly asked "aren't you going to grill some food??" lol
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