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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been veggie for over a year now...(though I'm not sure how much of that counts since I was oblivious to a lot of hidden ingrediants until recently...I don't do the cooking in my house)

and for the first time...ever, I'm having problems sticking to my guns. I really want to continue being a vegetarian, I can't stand the thought of eating or exploiting animals! But lately, I've really wanted to just be 'normal' again and fit in with everyone else. At the dinner table, I want to eat like everyone else. At school, I want to get the disgusting cheeseburger and eat like everyone else. I don't know where this is all coming from...I've never had cravings, and this isn't really a craving either...I mean, i still look at meat and wrinkle my nose...but I just feel really run down, and I want to be 'normal' again...I don't know what to do...or even if there is anything to do..

I would really appreciate advice on anything I could do to get back to my normal self...

Thanks in advance

~sb

PS- if this isn't where this goes, I apologize!
 

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There's no such thing as normal.

The only thing that matters is being who you are.

Sorry if that doesn't help, but you're better than normal. So why would you ever want to go back to normal.

Cheers!

TJ
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by steinbock View Post

I've been veggie for over a year now...(though I'm not sure how much of that counts since I was oblivious to a lot of hidden ingrediants until recently...I don't do the cooking in my house)

and for the first time...ever, I'm having problems sticking to my guns. I really want to continue being a vegetarian, I can't stand the thought of eating or exploiting animals! But lately, I've really wanted to just be 'normal' again and fit in with everyone else. At the dinner table, I want to eat like everyone else. At school, I want to get the disgusting cheeseburger and eat like everyone else. I don't know where this is all coming from...I've never had cravings, and this isn't really a craving either...I mean, i still look at meat and wrinkle my nose...but I just feel really run down, and I want to be 'normal' again...I don't know what to do...or even if there is anything to do..

I would really appreciate advice on anything I could do to get back to my normal self...

Thanks in advance

~sb

PS- if this isn't where this goes, I apologize!
Steinbock,

What you're experiencing is completely understandable. It can be really awkward when you don't fit in. What you will find, though, is that when you don't follow your own principles it is much worse than the pain of not fitting in.
 

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Just because something is perceived as normal doesn't make it right.

You said in your post that cheeseburgers are disgusting so why would you want to eat something like that...being fully aware of the process involved in changing a living animal into a lump of dead meat. Just so you can be 'normal',whatever that is.

If you are run down,why not investigate your diet and come up with a reason why instead of assuming that animal products will make you feel well again?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
it's not so much that...okay, i won't lie, I do feel really run down, not only do I not know enough about diet to find if there's a reason in there for feeling so run down, but I'm tired of being different...i know I'll be really upset with myself if i give in (and please don't say 'so why is this a problem?). I just want to eat like i used to (in that, I'll eat anything, i'm not paranoid about the ingrediants of food). when i'm hungry at ten o'clock at night, i want to be able to just grab a hunk of salami and throw it on a bun and eat...it feels like everyday i eat it's a struggle, and I'm tired of struggling.
 

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Are you full grown? i.e. about 20? or a teen? You very well could need to eat more protien and/or fats. Are you Vegan? or ovo-lacto? Sorry to say but I feel eating cheese and eggs is not evil-- Perhaps a few grilled cheese sandwiches will get you back on track, then later on, you could look into stricter vegitarian again. It might give you the feeling of normal you crave, and still keep you a vegetarian.
 

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I would recommend not giving in and educating yourself properly about nutrition.I'm sure you know that hunks of salami don't exactly have health giving properties and it really isn't worth sacrificing your beliefs for the sake of convenience.

How old are you? Can you cook? Maybe prepping meals in advance would help you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am sixteen, and physically capable of cooking, however, getting the ingrediants is another issue, as is time. I'm fairly busy and constant swamped with homework, so cooking myself dinner every night is simply out of the question.

yes, i'm technically an ovo-lacto, but i have a hard time eating cheese/eggs/dairy (though ice cream is my guilty pleasure) without feeling guilty (ie: i shouldn't be eating this)

though maybe i ought to have a grilled cheese sandwich, just to get my feet under myself again...thanks everyone!
 

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You say you're feeling run-down, and it's unclear to me whether you mean physically, mentally, or both. If it's a mental/emotional rundown, I think maybe getting yourself some good comfort food you can prepare easily and feel good about might help. Whether it's mashed potatoes, chips and guac, a big bowl of frito pie, or the junkiest, most decadent veggie burger and fries you can get your hands on, getting something that will really make you feel warm and fuzzy, regardless of nutritional value, can help you through those low spots.

There are plenty of quick & easy veggie meals and snacks that you can just grab and heat up when you're in a bind. Instead of reaching for a hunk of salami and bread, how about reaching for a smooth, creamy avocado and a tortilla? Or chips and dip? Or pita chips and hummus? Or PB and banana?

Being veggie doesn't have to be hard and draining as a practical matter, and as for the emotional pain of being different, try to embrace that difference and celebrate it. I know sometimes this is easier said than done, and it can be especially hard for teens. Learning who you are and then getting comfortable with that can be a tough process. I feel for you.

But you know you've got a whole community of supportive veggie friends behind you, right? We're here for you!
 

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Sorry for the double post, but it's easier to post a new reply than to edit the old one these days.

This may stir some controversy, but one of my strategies for maintaining sanity in a meat-infested world is that I just don't sweat the small stuff. I don't know what level of effort you put into label-reading and checking ingredients, but it sounds like that may be part of what's wearing you down. While I avoid the big stuff, like lard, chicken broth, and the like, I just don't worry about whether that hard-to-pronouce chemical is animal-derived or not. Maybe relaxing a little on the small stuff would help you toe the line when it comes to the big stuff.
 

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The way that you're feeling is totally understandable. I used to feel much the same way (and still do sometimes, on my bad days). I flirted with omnivorism for a little bit, but decided in the end that I simply could not bring myself to eat meat for the sake of being "normal." It's a personal decision, but it sounds like you really want to stick with vegetarianism. So my advice is the same as everyone else has said, pretty much...when you're feeling down, try going back to comfort foods that are vegetarian. Peanut butter and jam sandwiches, tomato soup and grilled cheese or nachos with salsa always do it for me. You can also sometimes find vegetarian "chicken" soup broth, which is awesome for sick days.
 

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Also-- hate to add, do you think you may be reacting to a food or lack of it? A lot of folks seem to be sensitive to wheat glutin. I think I am allergic to soy. fatique and brain fog can have links to symtoms to food allergies.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by steinbock View Post

i want to be able to just grab a hunk of salami and throw it on a bun and eat...
Salami?

Yes? No? Maybe?

I honestly don't find veg*nism that much extra work in the home. The only real difference from a practical standpoint is that you buy different ingredients.

There are tons of vegetarian "convenience" foods available today.

Instead of bread and salami, why not grab pita bread and hummus? I mean, come on-who doesn't like hummus?

What about peanut butter and jam sandwiches. Who doesn't have the ingredients for that in their home?

Fruit to snack on. Everyone has fruit in their home.

If you're eating milk and cheese then there's GOT to be some sort of pasta that you could eat out in public? Why wouldn't you feel normal eating pasta?

Do you have any control over grocery choices in your household?

I really want to be supportive, but saying that there is no time to cook sounds like a huge cop-out. Unless highschool has changed drastically since the 1980s? (God that makes me sound so old.)

There are people on this forum who have full time jobs and kids and houses and all the sort of stuff that keeps us really busy, and yet they still manage to find time to cook. I seldom cook anything that takes longer than 30 minutes to prepare.

As for feeling run down, exercise. Endorphins are a natural high.

Cheers!

TJ
 

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I know how you feel to, it can be exhausting to always be the one reading the labels and worrying about what is in your food. It would be nice to be ignorant and just eat burgers and fries with everyone else but it seems you will be unable to truly go back to that. I have stacked my cabinets fill of vegan snacks that are healthy and yummy so I have no problems at home, but going out it is tough, it really is. I found lacto ovo veg to be simple, there is always an option. Now that I don't eat dairy either it is tough when I go out but it is a sacrifice and it feels so good.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeezycreezy View Post

I really want to be supportive, but saying that there is no time to cook sounds like a huge cop-out. Unless highschool has changed drastically since the 1980s? (God that makes me sound so old.)
Actually, it seems high school HAS changed dramatically since the 80s. I am shocked at what I've been hearing about the amount of homework today's students are being sent home with on a daily or near-daily basis. It's like the schools have decided that assigning five hours' worth of math problems is the best way to keep roving gangs of teenagers off the streets.
 

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Here's my advice for being normal:

-if you're a guy, listen mainly to nu-metal, Eminem and maybe some other hip-hop

-if you're female, listen to Eminem and some R'n'B

-study closely the fashion advertising directed at your age-group and pick your clothes on the basis of that

-if you're a guy, you should prove your masculinity from time to time. Depending on your age, this may take the form of cursing a lot and telling about what you did when drunk, or telling jokes about how effeminate gays are.

-if you're female, wear a lot of make-up. And try to become a soccer mom who knows a lot of rumours about people in your neighborhood.

-don't wear tattoos or piercings, unless you're young and they're in appropriate places
 

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Can you keep more fruits and vegetables around? Raw fruit is quick and easy to eat, and so are vegetables. Do you like carrots and turnip? Cut up a bunch of them (raw) into sticks, and put them in a container with water in the fridge. Instant snacks for later, great with hummus, also very dipable in your favourite salad dressing.

Apple slices (and you can buy apple cutters cheaply that cuts them into slices in one motion) with peanut butter or tahini are very yummy, nutritious, and give you energy.

Like others said, there isn't really such a thing as normal. And really, although you may not see it actively, people do respect those with enough confidence to do what they believe in. You never know when you may be inspiring someone who sees you NOT choosing the cheeseburger.
 

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If you can establish habits for yourself, using some of the suggestions in this thread, I think over time it will get easier.

Sometimes the inconvenience of being a vegetarian is evident at certain restaurants or other places. If it's the people you go with who make comments or otherwise communicate that not being "normal" is a bad thing, you might want to have a talk with them. But don't do that at mealtime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
thanks everyone! you're really helping me...

as for what kind of run-down, it's definately both...i'm emotionally and physically exhausted...

"There are people on this forum who have full time jobs and kids and houses and all the sort of stuff that keeps us really busy" yeah, hi...i have way less free time than my mom (who is a teacher) and my dad (who got a typical 9-5 job)...so tell me about it...as for taking care of the kids...yeah, we take care of ourselves, thank you.

as for how much high school has changed, i don't really have a basis for that, but i have tons of homework in every class every night and i have a test at least every other day. plus i have a ton of activities...i'm not trying to make excuses, though it sounds like that. but making time for food is not how i was raised, you eat when you can, and you scrounge when you can't make something...however all the scrounge material is not veg friendly...so i wind up snacking a lot...mainly pretzels and apples...

do i have a say in groceries? minimally...about twice a month i go to the grocery store with my parents...and if it's cheap and relatively long lasting, i can get a few things that are in that store...but if i have to go to a different store, or if it's more expensive than the omni equivalent (soy milk v cow milk) it's only rarely i get what i want...

okay...so hummus seems to be a big deal...i admit, i'm yet to try hummus...though i'm also yet to FIND hummus...where on earth do you get it?? or do you have to make your own?

and the eating out thing- yeah...the last time i ate out, i couldn't find pasta...most places we go out to eat at don't have it.

okay...i know i'm sounding whiny, and for that i apologize...i guess i just miss being a kid, you know? you like rice? you eat the rice on the table, not worry if the taste you taste is beef, or 'safe' flavoring... your mom does all the shopping and you always find your favorites around the house...etc. and my mom gets upset with me if i ask for veggie foods...

"Also-- hate to add, do you think you may be reacting to a food or lack of it? A lot of folks seem to be sensitive to wheat glutin. I think I am allergic to soy. fatique and brain fog can have links to symtoms to food allergies." i haven't the faintest idea...but my diet has been relatively the same for a while (not very good...lol)

well, thanks again everyone...your support and suggestions have really helped me.

~k
 

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You can buy chickpeas and make your own hummus. Many stores also have little round tubs of it. Check the coolers or deli section.

I don't think you miss being a kid, because in many ways you still are one. Your house will still have food in it even if you don't do the grocery shopping; if you don't pay the bills, someone else will do it. Yupsounds like a kid to me.

You might miss eating whatever is in front of you, and that's something with which I can identify. Can you put rice in a steamer and do part of your homework while it's cooking? Then pull out a can of beans (or pull out the beans you put to soak the night before) and you have a meal. These are not expensive foods but they are quite filling.
 
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