While pregnant, I made a decision: if I had a craving, I would go for it. This decision mostly came to be when I made a quick-whim choice to have a croissant. Things were hard (very hard), when everything went down, and I found myself alone. I was a mess, in an even messier situation. Between stress, tears, and morning sickness, I found it almost impossible to eat. In the first few weeks of pregnancy, I lived mostly off: (vegan) cream cheese with cucumber on toast… and pasta with red sauce. Well, one day, after a morning full of tears, I found myself at a farmers market near my house. I saw a table covered with pastries and breads and said “f*** it, I’m hungry, I’m pregnant, I need to eat, and I’m eating a croissant”. It was good, but not everything I had hoped for. I thought “whelp, I guess I’ll have to try another one later”. It felt good to give myself an excuse to not think too much about ingredients. Of course, I still over thought ingredients, but It was nice to not think of “milk and eggs” as a no-no ingredient. And there it was, my decision to eat what I want, when I want, while being pregnant (well, in healthy moderation of course). I stayed vegan through-out my pregnancy with the exception of: three croissants, two pizza outings, and one mini kit-kat bar. All of the experiences were kind of, well, bummers. Kit-kats were nothing like the amazingness I had remembered from childhood, they just tasted like sugary garbage. And one of my pizza experiences had caused the one of two puking incidents I had through-out my entire pregnancy. I never really craved much else… or anything at all for that matter. Not one real craving the whole entire pregnancy. I was surprised that I didn’t want more. I imagined myself wanting cheese or getting a good whiff of bacon (the gateway meat) and running to the kitchen in a mouth open attack. But no, I was perfectly content in my vegan pregnancy… and not just content, but incredibly healthy. I mean, I don’t have much to compare my pregnancy to, but from what I can tell, it seemed pretty high on the easiness scale.
Anyway, fast forward to now. My hormones are very much out of whack, (but I guess they were never in whack between breast-feeding, weaning, and a miscarriage… but whatever), and I am definitely not pregnant, but now, for the first time, in a very long time, I find myself almost craving wanting non-vegan items. And I occasionally find myself questioning if I want to continue being vegan. I really do LOVE being vegan. I love how healthy I feel… and everything else (you can read my “why I’m vegan post: HERE“), but I wonder… what if I changed my mind? Obviously, the world wouldn’t end. And well, animals wouldn’t die. But then what? What really changes? One. the obvious, I don’t call myself a “vegan” anymore. Two. I have brunch options. But where does the line get drawn? Would I become like that crazy couple on Portlandia asking if the chicken was happy when he died? I mean, I wouldn’t be eating chicken, or any meat, but you know… am I going to hunt down the chicken who gave me eggs for brunch? I would like to… because I wouldn’t want to eat eggs or cheese without knowing the source and the treatment of the animal… but then, is it even worth it? It seems like a lot more work than its worth. It almost seems easier to be a conscious vegan than a conscious vegetarian. If I let my rambling thoughts focus on health, then I know the answer, I’m staying vegan. If I let my rambling thoughts over flow into the world of experimenting with new food and recipes… then my taste buds take over and say “but think of how that brie would taste with honey on toast!” My mouth and mind always seem to know what might pair well together, and my curious side just wants to let that part play. I would like to see if I’m really as good as I want to believe I am.
Once a week or so, I ask Alex “Can you bring me bread?”. Half the time he does. (To those of you asking what bread I use for “Things On Toast“, it’s the bread Alex makes for work, and if not, then it’s from Whole Foods bakery). Well, this week, while telling me about work, he mentioned spending two days on perfecting croissants for the restaurants mother’s day brunch. I responded with: “I want to try one”. He didn’t take me too seriously, he hardly does when it comes to my attempting vegetarian statements, because well, I’m usually not very serious. A few days later, I ask him to bring me bread, and he shows up at my house empty handed. “Where’s my bread?”. He reaches into his bag, and pulls out two of the croissants he had made. Part of me was disappointed… and part of me was happy and excited. I said “well, that works!” and brought them to the kitchen.
The next morning, I ate a croissant.
I’m not sure where to go from here, it’s been almost six years since making the jump from vegetarian to vegan. I hate the term “mostly vegan”, but I don’t mind the term “strict vegan”, because it gives a little grey area to having to choose between “vegan” or “not”. I could coin a term for a vegan, non-vegan croissant eater (I’m kidding). Or I could just give myself room to play, experiment, and enjoy food without thought… maybe for just a moment, or maybe for a bit longer. I love being vegan, but for now, I’m unsure.