Received an update from our friend Susan. She’s really going through it these days. Here’s what she writes:
Chef Kess, I’m really struggling at this point. Here’s why…I just started working for a friend at her restaurant. There is NO salad foods in the restaurant. In fact, the whole menu is filled with meats and a few vegetables, but nothing that I could even make a side salad with for my break. Needless to say I have been giving in. The real problem is that not only have I picked back up the weight I lost, but I’m excessively tired, my body is achy (more than the norm), and I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m thinking of quitting the restaurant, but it does keep a little money in my pocket, so I don’t wanna do that, really. HELP! Should I just nix the vegan thing and try it at another time – when I can follow it more closely? I just feel like a failure at this point.
Dear, dear Susan! Don’t you dare give up! The fact that you are still writing and participating in sharing your story means that you really want to continue on this journey. I understand your plight, truly I do. But giving up is NOT the answer.
How about trying a “day off” vegan diet? In other words, if you implement a vegan diet on the days when you’re not in the restaurant, that would be a help…not the ultimate help that you’d benefit fully from, but at least it will keep that “vegan mentality” in your psyche to give you an added boost.
The other thing is this: you can always pack a lunch for days when you’re working at the restaurant. More importantly though you might want to mention to your friend that adding a salad dish is just plain ol’ good business sense! I can’t imagine any restaurant without some kind of house salad on the menu. Even folks who aren’t vegetarians or vegans want some kind of salad from time to time.
But back to you, Susan. You didn’t mention how many hours you work. If you work less than four hours, perhaps eating a light vegan snack prior to work, or eating just after your shift will help. On the other hand, again, packing a lunch for a longer shift will also do. The point is that you’ve already started your journey and need to do whatever’s necessary to keep it up. And don’t forget: there will be days when you might stumble a bit, and even give into temptation…that’s expected! Don’t be so hard on yourself. The best thing about it is that you can always ‘start all over.’
Remember to drink plenty of water, pay attention to your protein intake (with legumes, beans, etc), and if you can, get in a good brisk walk. Just starting out with a 10=minute walk will do you good mentally as well as physically.
I’m glad you wrote in, Susan. Please keep me post on your journey. We’re all rooting for you on this end.I’m Chef KESS