009: Fighting Pesky Cravings For Meat And Cheese
Cravings For Meat And Cheese
In the beginning weeks of going vegan, enjoying a lot of plants might shock your body a bit.
Your body will detox a lot of things out of it that it did not need, and you might also start to crave the things that you used to have.
Cravings for meat and cheese are a normal part of going vegan, but only in the very beginning as our body gets used to not having the addictive protein from dairy, and the umami flavors of meat.
The good news is, there is a lot that we can do to curve these cravings and stay satisfied! Let’s see what’s up.
The first thing to note is, it is possible to experience cravings for meat and cheese in the very beginning of the journey, and it’s important to know this before you go into it, so you are not overwhelmed and quit.
There is nothing wrong with you. It’s completely normal.
Why does it happen?
The addictive protein in dairy, known as casein can have a huge effect on us when we quit, and make us come crawling back for more.
Human milk has about 3g of casein per liter, where cow milk has about 26g per liter, proving that we are over saturated with the protein and it could have an addictive effect on our brains.
Casein contains something called cacasomorphins that act the same way an opioid drug would. The biological reason for this is to reward and put the baby to sleep while nursing.
It just so happens that a baby cow needs a lot more “drugs” to sleep than a baby human, and when humans drink a cows milk, we are easily addicted to it.
What to do?
People who experience cravings can first, substitute or create things that give the same delicious flavors as meat and cheese without the added cruelty.
There are many meat substitutes on the market, and recipes online.
There are also many nut based cheeses that taste delicious and are very versatile.
Second, recenter yourself in your WHY. Why did you go plant based to begin with? Why did you decide to be a hero?
Getting back to the reason that you made the change in the first place, especially in the beginning, can help you stick with it for the long term.
Tofu is one of our favorite substitutes, and an extremely healthy one made from fermented and pressed soy beans. When made correctly, it tastes just like meat.
Tempe is another valuable and healthy option which is fermented and a bit less processed soy. Create marinades and sauces to give tofu and tempe a delicious umami flavor.
We do not recommend most store bought meat substitutes for health reasons, but they exist, and if need be you can pull from those as well in the beginning.
Here is one super easy and outstanding tofu recipe:
What you’ll need:
Lemons or Lemon juice
Tofu Press or similar means of pressing tofu
- Press tofu until as much water as possible is released. A tofu press is the best way to do this.
- Cut tofu into small squares.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Mix all other ingredients in a small bowl.
- Add the tofu and the mixture to a large bowl and stir until tofu is evenly coated.
- Place tofu on a baking sheet. We use parchment paper as well.
- Bake for 20 minutes, flip, and 20 more minutes.
The result is a crispy golden brown tofu that tastes similar to chicken (says all our meat loving family members)
Almond milk, cashew milk, and soy milk are all great substitutes for milk.
There are also many vegan cheeses on the market. We have tried all of them and our favorite one is “Parmela” Nut cheese it comes in so many delicious flavors and cuts and they all taste amazing and have great ingredients.
You can add nut cheeses to sandwhiches, salads, soups, and crackers.
These dairy substitutes are delicious, versatile, and cruelty free, so you can continue to be a hero, and still let your taste buds enjoy!
Always reach out to us if you have any other issues, especially if you are struggling with cravings. We are more than happy to help you out and coach you through the difficult steps!