“Feeding This Family is a Full Time Job!”

In a moment of frustration earlier today I uttered the words in the title to a friend.  Even if I seem perky on here, moments hit me where I am very very frustrated.  When the reality of trying to change a lifetime of eating habits for a family of 4 hits me.  When I realize that, as hard as it seemed when “vegan” was the only food change we were making, having added another is making me crazy (or crazier depending on your definition).

In an effort to hide from the frustration (and the house cleaning!) I laid down on top of my freshly made bed (Yes!  It did happen!) and pulled out some cookbooks.  I opened up an older one I found at the thrift store called “Vegetarian Cooking for Working People” by Debra Wasserman & Charles Stahler.  (The author is the founder of The Vegetarian Resource Group.)  I turned to the section entitled recipes and found the following quote:

“The toughest barriers to quick and easy vegetarian cooking are the habits we have developed through our lifetime.  Once you break that mental resistance, ideas for meals will come to you naturally, and meal preparation will become routine and go much faster.”

As odd as it sounds, that quote gave me a tremendous feeling of relief.  So ok, it may be difficult now to figure this out but it will come.  I *will* get used to this and our meals will go back to the delicious level they were at before we went vegan and wheat-free (plus a lot of other frees).  In fact, let me be a Pollyanna for a moment, they will be even better!  Phew.  Ok.  I feel better now.


5 responses to this post.

  1. I have definitely had this feeling before, but I promise you it will get better. You’ll find a few recipes that you & your family love and that are quick and easy and use things you have on hand. When I first made the shift, I found it really difficult to figure out what to cook if it wasn’t based around what meat to thaw out for dinner. I ended up falling back on a lot of convenience foods, and in times of stress, this still happens for me, but I have begun to work on ways to change that.

    My first favortie strategy is to always have ingredients for a favorite meal on hand so that when you are totally ready to crack, you have something to fall back on. The second strategy is planning ahead. I am a terrible planner, but something that has recently worked for me is to pick out a few meals that use basically the same ingredients and work from there. I cook a few batches of dried beans on Sunday and use them throughout the week in different recipes, and pick up some veggies that are versatile and can be added to different preparations.

    When you are just starting out vegan, it can be really confusing and stressful, but I would say, take it easy on yourself 🙂 You are making a big lifestyle change that is totally worthwhile, and over time, you are going to become a pro!


  2. Thanks so much Georgia! I too do not want to rely on a bunch of convenience foods because I made this change for health so I want to actually be eating healthy food. I am so glad to see that you have successfully been able to transition and are finding ways to make it work for you. I too am a bad planner, but I’ve been trying to come up with some menus to give us an idea of what we will be eating. This is my crunch time at work and by making a menu it lets Mark know what to cook when he gets home before me, and makes things a little less stressful. And by the way, now I *have* to find some black salt! 🙂


  3. Haha, glad I could help out a little bit. I think the menu planning is a great idea. I try to do that too, and sometimes I succeed 🙂 The most important thing is to have the intention, which you do, and hopefully everything else will fall into place!


  4. Posted by doodi on January 20, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    We have vegan meals about 200 days out of the year. It’s a church thing. (Coptic Orthodox Christian.) My latest vegan food trip is to do a modified version of the famous cabbage soup diet. Making a big pot of hearty vegetable soup and adding new ingredients to a few servings every night. Add beans and pasta and it’s minestrone! Add some fish and dill and potatoes and it’s Greek fish stew. Rice noodles and lime and chili and coconut milk, it’s thai soup! I got this plan out of an old good housekeeping mag, if you can believe it! We’ve had soup for dinner all week, but the variety is there.


    • That sounds really good, doodi. Does your original soup have the basic base of cabbage and carrots and onions etc? That might be a method for me to make my lunch more easily. I get bored of the same thing every day, but that sounds like it could definitely give me options. Thanks!


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