Since going vegan many people have shared their belief that it was too bad that I was going without so many wonderful things. “Oh, you are missing out on so much,” or “You are missing out on the good things in life.” The first few times it hurt my feelings because it felt like I was being judged or that people I cared about were looking down on something that means so much to me. I don’t want to go without fun or tradition or the types of experiences that create memories. I am a vegan not a recluse. But, I realized that their commentary had little to do with me, but really reflected their feelings about food, themselves and their own choices. For Easter, Sandy I were going to be sure that we were not “going without”.
As I shared in an earlier post, this was our first vegan Easter. Lots of changes would have to be made. For example, dying Easter eggs has always been a tradition for us. In fact, one year we had an egg dying party with martinis, a house full of friends and about 12 dozen eggs. Yup, things would have to change. So, I found paper mache eggs at a craft store and we painted them on Easter. We laughed, drank champagne and ate organic, gelatin free jelly beans.
The experience was beautiful and as soul satisfying as any tradition I have ever been a part of. Moreso in fact, because the paper mache eggs are reusable and a lasting part of a celebration of rebirth and Spring. The new eggs made my heart smile and I am confident that when I pull them out next year to display they will have the same effect. No hard boiled egg has ever done that for me.
What About The Candy?
In many ways, I am like a very old, stubborn man. I may not come across that way because I am an advocate of change, but there are certain things that I want to remain the same and peanut butter eggs are one of those things. I don’t think it was happenstance that we went vegan after Easter last year. My subconscious needed to give itself an entire year to (stock up on the PB eggs) erase the memory/craving/need for peanut butter eggs. But here is the thing….when we hunted and found our Easter baskets yesterday…yes we hide them, they were both overflowing with the most decadent dairy free delights ever assembled.
There were jelly beans, a hand crafted dark chocolate egg, raw macro bars, dark chocolate peanut butter cups and more. Neither of us were going without or were going to be deprived of special treats because of our choice to only eat products that were free of animal products. When we talked about our shopping experiences after the fact we both agreed that purchasing these vegan treats did not require a Herculean effort or extraordinary searching. It was not much different than filling our baskets in the past, only with a more compassionate outcome this time. We still went to stores, just a few different stores.
Lastly, our Easter feast was second to none. We had my beloved Hazelnut en Croute with roasted sweet potatoes and minted peas. Even though we are now eating oil free, low sodium and mostly unprocessed, both the candy and the en Croute were a fantastic vegan splurge. Decadent and processed vegan foods didn’t lose their place in my life, they just lost first place. The result is that I have felt an enormous difference in my health and have gratefully said goodbye to insane cravings for sugar and salt.
Nothing was hurt, exploited or killed for our joyful, delicious memory-making Easter and I really like that. We didn’t go without. I felt more abundant and alive then I can ever remember feeling on Easter and that is a wonderful way to welcome Spring.
Have a delicious day and a happy Meatless Monday. What are your plans for a meatless meal today or this week? Please share.
Tags: compassionate eating, dairy free, going veg, Hazelnut en Croute, Meatless Monday, plant based diet, trying vegan, trying vegetarian, vegan, vegan challenge, vegan craft ideas, vegan Easter, vegan egg dying, vegan experience, vegan holiday traditions, vegan holidays, vegan transition, vegan wannabe, vegetarian transition