Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 71 Too Much Wiggle Room

Here I am 3/4's of the way through this 100-Day Vegan Challenge and I find myself slipping and sliding all over the place. 

I think it started with that Japanese dinner the other night.  We ate at the same restaurant my husband and I ate at on New Year's Eve.  I requested that my friend meet me there because I knew they had that one vegan dish: Stir-fried Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables.  When I went there with my husband, the hostess must have heard me speaking and automatically handed me the English menu.  There was no description of the dish except that title.  When I went with my girlfriend the other night I got the Hebrew menu and there, clear as the nose on my face, it said "egg noodles" and had a symbol indicating the sauce contained fish sauce.  "Oh well"  I thought.  "I've already eaten it unknowingly once and I didn't turn into a pumpkin or anything.  What's one more time?"

Well, that would have been fine.  But as often happens on the Slippery Slope, that two-time oops translated into a taste of this and a bite of that and I find myself not quite as vegan as I'd like to be.

It would have been easier and a lot less personally embarassing, to keep this bit of info to myself.  But because I'm using this blog as a chance to allow people to get to know me and to understand my health counseling work, I felt this was an important thing to walk through in public.

You see, I work with people making behavior changes around their diets and their personal habits.  Often this pattern will occur where the excitement of the new beginning carries a client through for a month or two.  Then they have a test or a slip and they can find themselves beginning to slip more and more often.  This is the point where I am in danger of losing them and they are in danger of losing everything they have worked for to that point.  For those that don't run away from their programs, I walk them through the following strategy:

1.  Re-visit your goals.  Why are you doing this in the first place?  Do those goals still speak to you or do they need to be updated?

2.  Go back and review your early results.  This is why I am adamant that my clients keep journals and/or food logs.  Otherwise it is too easy to forget what you were doing when things were good and how much better you were feeling.

3.  Take a look at the path you have currently stepped onto and take it out a few more miles in your mind.  Will your current path take you to where you want to go, or do you need to make a course correction?

4.  Were you trying to be too perfect before?  Sometimes when we aim for 100% pure perfection, one little mistake sends us to "Nevermind-what's-the-point-anyway Land".  The goal should be just to do the best you can.  Are you doing the best you can?

5.  My approach is to focus on what you CAN DO, not what you can't.  What can you do today to get yourself back on track?

That's it really.  It's not difficult, but it IS really important to do before the little course deviations become giant, difficult direction changes.

So, back to ME:

I looked back to the earlier days of this blog and I see a lot more interesting variation and food experimentation.  Perhaps I was getting into boring food ruts lately and that led to stepping off my path.  So, my plan for tonight is to curl up with some vegan cookbooks and plan out some dishes I'd really love to try. 

Tomorrow I'm listening to some of the free Compassionate Cooks podcasts on itunes.  Colleen Patrick-Goudreau could probably convince a tiger to go veg.  Her website is:  and her excellent, inspirational podcasts which can be found for free on itunes, are called "Vegetarian Food For Thought".


  1. Em - Thanks for keeping it real! It's actually comforting to see that you are vulnerable and have slip-ups too. I'm so glad you shared that with us. Thanks for sharing the steps for getting back on track too. Now, I'm off to Amazon to take a look at that cookbook you just recommended.

  2. Hi Em! You are keeping it real indeed. I am so impressed with how well you've done. You've lasted longer than I have. And I would have freaked out over the fish sauce. Ick.

    I second the Colleen Patrick-Goudreau podcasts! They are really great! Christy, you should download them. They are pretty short too.

  3. Thanks as always for your support, ladies.

    Jenn, I think this is it, for keeps. I'll probably eat dairy and eggs if there's no other choice, but after 73 days I am pretty much done with them. Yay!