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Symptoms. vegan with non-vegan partner.

Discussion in 'Transitioning' started by smadams11, Nov 16, 2018.

  1. smadams11

    smadams11 New Member

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    (Please delete if not allowed.)
    Hi. I unexpectedly became vegan on Wednesday (14th November), as of awakening (I had decided the previous night after watching a shocking documentary). I have read the 'New vegans - read me!' post regarding B12.

    Two questions:

    1. Since beginning my veganism I have symptoms progressing throughout the days: slight depression and fatigue yesterday; today - hyper, restlessness, racing heart, almost a drunken feeling. I recognise these signs as I had an eating disorder many years ago, and the hunger would manifest itself in similar symptoms. Now, similarly, I am eating less - not through deprivation, but through lack of snacking choices (I am a sandwich girl, my eating habits have always been limited). I am not seeking advice as such here - I will contact my doctor first thing on Monday - but am wondering how to handle this in the meantime. Is it just hunger, or have others felt this way too? Again, I will consult my doctor ASAP. My children also became vegan when I did but say they feel perfectly usual, no symptoms, and to be fair they are eating a much more varied diet than I am in regards to fruit/vegetables/nuts/grains/'fake meat' etc. Also, will bu B12 pills tomorrow.

    2. As the 'housewife' I do all the shopping, cooking and pot-washing (which I am fine with), but am struggling as to how to handle my partner's food - should I still buy, prepare and cook his meat? I don't really want to handle it, but nor do I want him doing it himself and this possibly straining our relationship.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. Forest Nymph
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    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    1) If you've been eating plant based for two days the only possibilities are that either you aren't eating enough, or you're just psychologically psyching yourself out. I used to eat a lot of cheese when I first went vegetarian, and found myself eating a lot of potato chips at first as a vegan not realizing it's because I missed fat and calories. That's all that's happening in two days. It can take up to 3 years to develop a B12 deficiency and it takes a few months to develop anything other than a caloric deficit.

    2) I would definitely not purchase or cook meat. I find flesh particularly repellant and morally offensive. If your partner wants to buy or cook meat he should do it himself but you can explain it to him nicely. If him purchasing or cooking meat strains your relationship, something else is wrong with your relationship besides what you eat. The only reason I can begin to imagine that this is justified is if he does everything for you and all you do in the relationship is prepare food.
     
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  3. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    Probably just a calorie deficit. And sandwiches are a good way to solve it.
    Bagel sandwiches for breakfast. peanut butter sandwiches for lunch or a veggie wrap or just make your own version of Subway's veggie delight. you can also have a veggie pattie on a roll with all the fixings. Add a side of beans and a side of a green veggie and you are good to go.
     
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  4. amberfunk

    amberfunk Active Member

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    There's also vegan deli slices and vegan cheeses. You can make a sandwich with hummus, mushrooms and veggies. As someone who has also suffered from eating disorders for years it's best to have a game plan first of what to eat before diving right in.
     
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  5. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    It's sort of funny, before I started on my vegan journey, I used to eat sandwiches for lunch almost every day and one of my first struggles was coming up with alternatives. I guess in my mind you couldn't make a sandwich without a slice of meat. One thing I tried was making sandwiches with the vegan deli slices and vegan cheese slices. But I really didn't like the taste. So I would try to disguise the flavor by using spicy mustards, garlic aioli, and things like pickles, spinach, olives, avocado, lettuce, tomato, green pepper, onions, etc, (not all at the same time.) I really started liking these. and then one day I realized that the vegan deli slices and vegan cheese slices really weren't adding anything to the sandwich. So I just started leaving them off. Although I still use them very occasionally just for variety. Anyway, these are sort of like an improved Subway Veggie Delite.

    You can also put all these ingredients in a tortilla. Then it's a veggie wrap. or a hand-held salad.

    It's a little bit of extra work, and not so portable, so I just make these on weekends. I use chopped green pepper, onion, and mushrooms and saute them. I'll add them to my improved veggie delite.

    another good idea for the weekend is a tofu scramble sandwich or wrap. Go ahead and google "tofu scramble veggie wrap". There are dozens of good recipes. I just did and I saw one that was "freezer friendly". I'm going to try that one out myself.
     
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  6. smadams11

    smadams11 New Member

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    Thank you for your reply.
    Regarding your point 2 (above) - my partner has always been the bread-winner and I grew up wanting only to be a mother and housewife (outdated, I know, but a dream is a dream). After 12 years of being the cook (among many other things) in the relationship, asking him to deal with his own food now would be a huge change in the dynamics of our relationship. He works full-time and does his 'man chores' and I deal with the other chores and the children - and this is perfectly fine and works well for us. Importantly, it is mostly I who don't want this to change (although my partner would prefer it also). It is justified because that is the way our relationship works, and always has. I feel quite purposeless watching him prepare and cook his own food as it is a part of my job in our relationship.
    Also, and I hesitate to say this, but I personally have no strong feelings regarding eating meat - it is the treatment of the animals that caused me to make the decision to become vegan. I do not want to labour the point or spark a debate regarding this. I am just struggling with the notion that if I prepare and cook any meat I am complicit in the treatment of the animals. But then, I am not ingesting the meat myself so I should not feel guilt about this...I am just beginning this, it is all very new to me. I am not a leader in any way, nor a protester or an extrovert, I do not feel comfortable stating my feelings and opinions generally, and so all I can do is simply not use animal products for myself (or my children, as long as they are okay with it).
     
  7. Forest Nymph
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    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    Okay what you're saying makes sense and I respect your point of view as a person who desires to be a housewife and also an introvert.*

    On the other hand, if you're buying and preparing meat you are complicit, in fact you'd be less complicit in the big picture if someone else bought or gave you animal products. This is why say a homeless person or someone who is very poor who has little to no other choice to eat products with milk or eggs due to charity is less complicit than a middle class person who actively chooses to purchase animal products when they have plenty of other options.

    A big part of veganism is not just personal purity i.e. refusing to consume animal products, but the actual market impact of purchasing factory farmed products and other animal products, or the contribution to the market of increasing demands for items such as organic vegetables, vegan products, and cruelty-free personal hygiene/household items. That's just the reality of the world we live in. If you lived out in the wilderness with your family or a commune and farmed your own food, then you'd only be complicit in what you actively touched, but in a post-modern capitalist society you are complicit through voting with your dollars through what you purchase.

    If you aren't comfortable asking your husband to be vegan, is there a possibility that you could start by preparing vegetarian meals for him instead? It might be a less shocking transition for him than going fully plant-based right off, and would at least relieve you of any guilt of participating in the actual slaughter of animals.

    I mean there's no way to buy and prepare meat without being an enabler. I'm sorry if that offends you but it's just the truth.



    * On the other hand I'm also an introvert but I'm still an activist, technically speaking all "introversion" means is that you become overwhelmed more easily by people or external stimuli and need more time alone with your own thoughts or pursuits, while extroverts - depending on how extreme - depend on other people as the source of their "energy" and may easily fall asleep without adequate stimulation. We're born this way, it's genetic, and has little to do with how outspoken we are or if we can become actors or teachers or activists, that has more to do with the forcefulness of our convictions, our level of confidence, and other natural abilities we may or may not possess. Some extroverts actually don't wish to force their views on people, not due to shyness or getting overwhelmed, but due to wanting to be liked.
     
  8. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    How about this?

    Go for a very gradual transition for the whole family. You may want to make it a dinner table discussion, but don't get heavy handed.

    I learned this strategy from Colleen Patrick Goudreau. You may want to listen to her podcasts or watch some of her videos or check out some of her books. She also has an online course on veganism (which I think is on sale during November - November is a World Vegan Month)

    Anyway, the gist of this strategy is to make a list of all the meals you made last week (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). And see if any of your meals are vegan, vegetarian or at least meat free. It could be a breakfast of oatmeal. or a lunch of PB&Js. Those automatically go onto the next week's meal plan. Then you look at that week and see if you can find one meal that would be easy to make meatless. Something like spaghetti and pasta sauce - you just leave out the ground beef. Chili without meat, or split pea soup without ham. Burritos are pretty easy to make meat-free. And Taco night can have everyone make their owns. People who don't want to can choose not to put ground beef on theirs.

    The third week takes some more effort. You have to look up a vegan (or vegetarian) dish that looks like everyone would like it and then make it. If the family likes Aisan dishes, go for a vegetable stir fry. Or something like an eggplant parmesan. A trip to the library for a cookbook is a pretty good idea.

    If that meal is a success then it automatically gets added to next weeks meal plan. then take what you have learned and come up with a new one for week four.

    You get the idea. in a month you have gone from one or two meat-free meals to at least four, maybe even six. Next month it might be 12. and by the third month its almost every day. Gradual incremental changes.

    If you order some Chinese make sure one dish is vegetarian. If you order a pizza make one of them vegetarian.

    In the meantime you might also want to start a slow gradual indoctrination program. There are vegan movies for kids, and vegan books too. and some pretty good documentaries. Just one a week or even a month. there are pamphlets you can get for free from vegan organizations. Some you have to print yourself but some will be mailed to you. You can leave them in the bathroom or on the night stand.

    Good luck.
     
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  9. Emma JC
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    Emma JC Active Member

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    Wow, Lou, those are amazing suggestions and we are so lucky to have you here on the forum to help people that are transitioning and those of us that are full time. Your ideas make perfect sense and allow her to respect her husband and their relationship.

    My spouse occasionally falls off the wagon when he is subjected to temptation.. case in point, he went for beers last night after work with a friend who is also 'mostly' plant based and together they decided to eat chicken flesh. I did not nag or get angry or even express disgust, as I would like to have done. We are all on our own journey and we can be quite contrary if we are feeling "forced". None of us are perfect and for most of us we have transitioned over years and not in two days.

    All the best to you, smadams1, animals, the environment and your health are very important and your family and relationship is also important!!

    Emma JC
     
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  10. Forest Nymph
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    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    Well, there's quite a difference between slowly transitioning and then just obviously not being vegan (your husband is not even vegetarian). It's a very personal decision about who you share your life with, but people do get divorced over less, and it's not nagging to set boundaries about meat consumption IF that's important to you. Often this matters less to people who are plant-based for health reasons, and more to people who are activists.

    Personally I see continuing to cook meat as basically agreeing to spousal rape, like you can't revoke consent if you're already married or in a relationship. Refusing to cook animal products or purchase them is not at all like "forcing" someone else to do something on their own or when they're not at home. There are multiple couples who cook with separate pans or cook their own food.
     
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  11. Emma JC
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    Emma JC Active Member

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    That is a lot harsh, FN, and I don't believe it is encouraging, to a new vegan, to write that way. There are enough tough choices and decisions to make when newly vegan and having someone be that dogmatic could be very detrimental.

    Just my opinion.

    Emma JC
     

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