The other day, we were talking about our favorite foods, and laughing about how much my favorite foods have changed over the years. For example, I used to love Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (Kraft dinner here in Canada)- so much I would eat it two or three times a week. Now I am just as happy with spicy sesame noodles for creamy pasta comfort, or crispy kale chips for a cheesy salt fix.
It’s funny how our tastes change over time. I used to crave cheese and ice cream like no tomorrow- now just the thought of a big hunk of cheddar cheese makes me gag. However I would happily down a pint of Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss. It’s all a change in taste.
Recently, my husband proclaimed he was going to stop eating meat, though keeping in small amounts of fish, eggs and cheese. I was shocked, to say the least. I’d like to think it was due to my healthy influence- more likely it was the book I gave him for his birthday- but really, this was all him. I didn’t ask him to become vegetarian (though his meat consumption did naturally decrease living with an almost-vegan natural foods chef) nor did I express distaste with his occasional meat consumption (okay, maybe once in a while- but really I’ve gotten much better). He made this choice completely on his own- a choice I am very happy to support, but I had to ask: why? He told me simply that he wanted to be healthier. I restrained myself from physically jumping up and down in happiness, and listened as he confessed he thought the one challenge he would have would be his occasional cravings.
I told him this is normal; it happened to me when I first stopped eating meat, quite frequently I might add- but slowly faded over time. Now, even though I don’t like to label myself as a vegetarian- I don’t eat meat simply because I don’t crave it anymore. I don’t feel like I need it and I know I am much healthier without it (as a quick note- this is what works for me, I encourage everyone to do what feels right for them). I simply lost my taste for it. This didn’t come easily, though. I had to allow my tastes to change.
When I first became veg in high school, I had to find amazing substitutes for my old favorites so that eventually, my cravings for meat and dairy would fade away, and they did. I now happily munch on Cheezy almond crackers instead of the Cheez-its I used to down when I was sixteen (I wasn’t always so into nutrition) and a really great homemade veggie burger on top of a crunchy salad satisfies my burger craving much more than a slab of greasy mediocre ground beef on a spongy white bun. But as I said, it all takes time.
My old favorites (age 12)
-Ocean Spray Grapefruit juice
-Kraft macaroni and cheese
-Wendy’s chocolate frosty
-Fried falafel wraps
-Egg noodles with loads of “butter” (margarine)
-Ice cream, ice cream and more ice cream!
-Bagels with cream cheese or ham and tomato
-Oreos dipped in peanut butter
-Cottage cheese and ritz crackers
-Philadelphia sushi rolls (salmon and cream cheese)
My favorites (now)
-Fresh vegetable juice
-Green smoothies (with lots of raw cacao)
-Kale chips with raw “cheeze” sauce
-Chickpeas in all forms, especially hummus and baked falafel
-Coconut milk ice cream
-Spicy Sesame noodles
-Raw almond butter chocolates
-Massaged kale salads
-Gluten-free coffee cake
-Veggie sushi (favorite: shitake and pickled daikon!)