Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Lovettsville, VA and Portland, OR
Hey, hope you're having a smooth transition. It's a lot easier for some than for others, and good for you for making the effort.
Awkward social situations: This got better by itself for me. With friends and family, they got quiet and accommodating once I'd been doing it long enough they knew I was serious. Some of my fears proved unnecessary once I realized nobody really cared what was on my plate. And if they were offering me something I don't eat, a smiling No Thanks was all it took to change the subject. Or if this was someone I'd be running into in the future, No thanks, I don't eat that anymore. Just know when something's coming up and plan in advance. Bring vegan food to share, tell your inviting host "Thanks, I'd love to, but I have to warn you I'm a royal pain to feed." Try to be charming, like the last thing you'd want is to inconvenience anyone. Put it on you, and they'll either be grateful you're bringing something, or they'll take it up as a challenge to feed a vegan while also providing "normal food for their normal guests." Have your lines down before you get there, for if and when anyone asks you why you don't eat animals anymore. I have three different spiels ready, depending on the asker's age and anything I know about them: One if they're animal lovers, another if they drive a Prius and keep a garden, and another if they're old enough to be on Lipitor and Coumadin. For that last one, since I'm 65 myself, I work in something like "My numbers have gotten so good lately. I'm third-born of six kids, and right now I'm the only one of us who's on zero medications." At that point, people sometimes will think you're absolutely fascinating.
I don't know your best way of dealing with any boredom or cravings you might experience. Meat substitutes and nondairy cheeses can be a short-term coping mechanism and a long-term occasional treat. But I think I eat more different kinds of foods now than I did when there was meat and cheese on the menu. So I have no boredom to deal with from lack of variety. Also, over time my tastes changed and I came to look forward to meals more than ever.
Getting enough to eat: Just add enough nuts to whatever you're already doing if you're dropping pounds or spending too much time hungry.