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Do you ever crave non-vegan foods?

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People ask me all the time: Are you ever tempted to eat non-vegan food?

Usually, the answer is “no.”

Well, if you read my vegan Greek yogurt post, you know that’s not completely true.


But in the case of the not-so-vegan Greek yogurt, it wasn’t a craving, it was curiosity. So I stand by the above statement.

I don’t get cravings for non-vegan foods any more.

But since I’m now “being real” with you, I’ll also tell you that this wasn’t always the case.

For the first month after I became a vegetarian, meat cravings definitely hit! In fact, I can remember one specific time where I had my nose right up to a hamburger, thinking “Maybe I should just give in and eat it. It smells so good.” But I knew that no matter how good that one burger would taste, I’d regret it later. (In other words, the enjoyment I’d have gotten from eating it wouldn’t have trumped the sadness I’d later feel from having given up my vegetarian values.) So I persevered. And, as the first month came to an end, something amazing happened. Suddenly, my mind perceived that once-appealing burger to be grotesque; the last thing I’d wish to consume. No longer was I enticed by the smell. In fact, the opposite was true: I didn’t like the smell at all! I’d survived the first month of being a vegetarian, and I knew it was going to be smooth sailing from there.

Same thing when I became a vegan. At first I craved ice cream like it was nobody’s business. And I had it harder than my vegan friends here in the US, because I became a vegan whilst living in China, where there was no such thing as So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream! (Of course, they also eat very little cheese in China, so at least I didn’t miss that all too much; I’d not been eating much of it anyway. Actually, my accidental situation with not eating much cheese right before becoming vegan is a piece of advice I often give to newbie vegetarians or vegans: Do NOT replace the meat or cheese in your diet with veg substitutes right away. Your mind will want to compare what your eating to its non-vegan version.  And if your mind wants a steak, it won’t be satisfied by Lightlife chick’n strips. That’s like eating a cocoa-dusted rice cake and expecting it to taste like chocolate mousse pie. It just isn’t going to happen! Instead, look to naturally-vegetarian foods that taste nothing like the steaks/fish/cheese you remember.

More on my personal story here: My path to Veganism.


(At first, look to naturally-veg foods, such as my meal from the 3000-Calorie post)

Once you stop craving the animal products (or when you forget what they taste like), then you can try those fake meat and cheese products. But chances are you won’t even want to, because you won’t crave these foods at all anymore. An exception to the above advice is vegan ice cream, baked goods, and non-dairy milks. They make such good vegan substitutes nowadays that you can easily find foods to satisfy your dairy cravings!


Or you can make your own vegan substitutes, as is the case with this PB-Banana ice cream.

Nowadays there are so many amazing non-dairy ice creams on the market that it’s easy to satisfy one’s ice-cream craving and live cruelty-free at the same time.  Soy not your thing?  No problem—you can buy ice cream made from a base of ricemilk, almond milk, oatmilk, or even coconut milk!  And if you’re not big on the first brand you try, don’t give up; the tastes (and flavors) of these non-dairy ice creams are as varied as the customers who buy them.  I did miss squirt whipped cream for the first few years after going vegan.  But now, thanks to Soyatoo, we vegans can have our whipped cream and eat it too!

Do I miss other non-vegetarian products?  Honestly, the first month was hard.  I had huge hamburger cravings!  But you know the saying “28 days to break a habit”?  It really seems to be true, because suddenly the thought of eating meat became revolting to me.  Same thing with cheese after I’d been a vegan for about a month.  Now I can’t even stand the smell of cheese.

Coming soon: Look out for a post about whether or not it’s good to eat a “perfect” vegan diet all the time, entitled “The Vegan Police.”

Sharing time:

Omnivores: What’s the one food you think you’d most miss if you became a vegetarian?

Vegetarians: Do you ever get non-veg cravings?

More advice here: “Help for Omnivores interested in Veganism.”

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. Brandi says:

    I have been a vegetarian for about 14 years now. I have really only ever had two cravings and they were both years ago. Strangely enough they were for pretty disgusting things lol. One was for frozen fish sticks and the other was for Arby’s Roast Beef sandwiches lol. I think I had them when I was maybe 18/19 years old and I’m 27 now, so it’s been a while! :) Other than that.. I am happily not eating meat and not craving it.

    1. LOL frozen fish sticks were the very last non-vegetarian meal I ever ate!

  2. Oh eeassyyy question! I would miss Greek yogurt and vanilla bean Talenti gelato extremely badly. Like post partum depression bad.

  3. Dianne says:

    I never really had the meat cravings when I first went veg, but cheese, candy and baked goods certainly called to me when I first flirted with veganism four years ago. Now I’ve 1) lost the cheese craving, because that pizza never tastes as good as I think it will, and 2) found all the AMAZING vegan recipes and convenience foods around here! Yay! But it was a several year process for me to really go vegan, so I think it’s okay for people to take it slow and teeter-totter for a while if they need to.

  4. Diana says:

    I’ve been vegan for about 7 months. A couple weeks ago, my fiance and I were given a gift certificate to a bar we like that has pretty good food, but not many vegan options. I really wanted to enjoy the evening, so I thought that a salad and flatbread veggie pizza would be okay, even though there was dairy cheese on the pizza. I did really enjoy our dinner but shortly after, I was SOOOO SICK!! I felt terrible for the rest of the night. So yes, cheese is really the only thing I sometimes crave. But after that experience, I will happily never eat it again!

  5. (M.S.)^2 says:

    I actually don’t know, because I don’t really miss anything! It’s not worth the cruelty that went into those animal products. If I were to say something, I WOULD HAVE said those dibs (the little nibblets of ice cream covered in chocolate), but now since rice dream and almond dream made their own version of it, I’m good to go! 😀

  6. jessica says:

    Cheese! I could be vegan if they would just come up with a good vegan cheese. All the ones I’ve tasted just don’t cut it :(.

    1. Melissa says:

      Have you tried Daiya yet?
      I use that for melting. EPIC.

      I also like Wayfare’s “We Can’t Say It’s Cheese” spreads on crackers or veggies.

      I’m a fan of Sheese as well – sliced on crackers or with an apple.
      Those are the only three vegan cheeses I would be happy to eat.

    2. erikka says:

      Daiya is a good non-dairy Cheese alternative. I went Vegan due to a neurological disorder and finding out I cant digest meat and dairy. Daiya is non-dairy, gluten free, and melts unlike other non-dairy cheeses. I barely use Daiya (I dont have a cheese craving anymore) but when I do Im very satisfied with the taste and how it melts. A lot of Vegan / Vegeterian Restraunts also use the product.

    3. sac875 says:

      You took the words right out of my mouth!

  7. Lauren says:

    Great post! Yes, sometimes I’m tempted to eat non-vegan foods, mostly out of convenience. If there is nothing available that is vegan, I might feel like taking the easier route. Or if something looks and smells really good, then the thought crosses my mind of just giving in. I never, ever have cravings for meat. I find it incredibly unappetizing and I always have…but I used to really love shrimp and sushi, so those are my weaknesses. It’s a good thing that there are vegan sushi options! And I’m very much allergic to dairy, so even if I crave it, I can’t eat it for my own health reasons. So a vegan diet is pretty easy and natural for me.
    I think that being an ethical vegan (or a vegan for the purposes of animal welfare and not necessarily health reasons) puts an additional motivation not to “give in” because it’s pretty difficult to ignore the info about animal cruelty. There is a big “gross factor” when you know where your food comes from. I know I get very disgusted and sad at the thought of eating meat from a factory farm.

  8. I still miss cheese sometimes. I mostly just miss eating pizza with cheese on it. But other than that, I don’t really crave dairy. And meat just grosses me out 😉

  9. Valerie says:

    I cold have written your exact story with cheese! I used to be a card-carrying cheese a holic, but after a few months of not eating it, my taste for the stuff completely went away. I don’t even care to try any of the vegan subs out there, because the truth is that I just don’t miss cheese. At all!
    This was a great, well-written post. I love hearing about your personal vegan journey, Katie.

  10. abby says:

    haha now i look at meat and just shake my head and wonder did i really ever want to eat something that seems to gross to me now? i can’t stand the smell or the look of it. just thinking about how my sister and i used to fight over who got to drink the BLOOD from the steak. i really used to do that? ewwww!!!

    1. Yikes, abby, I cannot believe you just wrote that… because my sister and I DID THE SAME THING! Seriously, I can’t believe you did it too! Now I am happy to let her drink all the blood. I’d rather have my chocolate… or well, basically ANYthing else besides blood. What did I think I was, a vampire? I’m grossed out just at the thought of it now.

  11. VEGirl says:

    I had a tough time with the dairy. It was, quite literally, my staple food. When I was very young, my mom will tell, I would have happily eaten only fruit, bread, and dairy if it was up to me. Yogurt, cheese, and cream cheese, you name it, I liked it! Eggs were my dad’s “specialty”, so that was hard, too. In my early vegan days, he would say , “Hey, want some of my egg?” and then go “Oh! Oops!”. It wasn’t his fault, but I know he was kinda irked by that choice :S

    Now I don’t eve think about those things anymore– heck, they aren’t even in the house! I do admit though, when I was REALLY sick last year, I got this massive egg craving. And when I was trying the raw diet, I wasn’t feeling very good at one point, and I was at an audition for a local play, and a friend was eating a hamburger that her dad had brought her (she never brings food in case she’s hungry!). I seriously contemplated eating meat– so the next day I stopped eating raw and introduced all the yummy food I like to eat! These things don’t ever happen though! In fact, I hardly ever think about meat, eggs, or dairy without also thinking about the bad health consequences of eating them, the environmental factors, or the animals themselves.

    Recently I made some oatgurt, a recipe by HEAB, and it is so amazing. When I stirred in canned blackberries and stevia it tasted JUST LIKE THE YOGURT BOWLS I USED TO MAKE! It was so comforting… my vegan life is officially complete.

    1. I never really liked eggs, so that one was easy for me. But I was just like you: dairy QUEEN! I went through a phase where I ate ice cream every single day. Ice cream was easy to give up, though, thanks to all the non-dairy alternatives out there. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a good non-egg substitute (in terms of the actual texture/taste of egg). But give them a few years; I’m sure someday they’ll come up with one!

      1. sac875 says:

        Google beyond’s gonna b awesome!

  12. i would miss bacon :) i don’t eat any grains or dairy so it’s like i’m a gluten free, meat eating vegan lol. sometimes i crave ice cream but then yeah..i have so delicious or almond dream vanilla and i’m set! so it really isn’t too bad at all sans dairy

    1. Hahaha it’s so funny how different people have such different tastes. I think bacon would be what my sister would miss most too. But for me, I’ve always hated bacon, even when I wasn’t a vegetarian.

  13. emma says:

    I’m weird I never got any meat cravings when I went vegetarian which was 8 years ago, I never liked it much though. But it was soooo hard going vegan! I worked at a premium icecream and dairy shop and loved yogurt, not milk or cheese though, not that I ate a lot of icecream but frozen yogurt was definatly my weakness. I’m very glad I discovered soy and rice icecream and yogurt, I think they taste cleaner and better than dairy!

    1. I miss frozen yogurt sometimes… not the taste, but the swirly texture. They used to have a place with swirly vegan soft-serve around here, but apparently the machine broke so often that they finally did away with it :(.

  14. I’m pretty sure I would be fine being a vegan. I don’t eat dairy anyway, but I would definitely miss eggs! I love eggs in the morning. I love omelets, breakfast burritos, egg sandwiches, poached eggs, hard boiled.

    But I don’t eat sugar, and after about a month, I don’t miss it either! It kind of disgust me, and I don’t really like the taste of “sweet” anymore!

  15. Lisa says:

    Soft serve fro yo!

  16. Mara says:

    i’m vegan now for almost two years or so, although i’ve eaten 2 eggs at easter last year and some vanilla ice cream, but that were the only exceptions. i have to admit, that i miss the taste of meat in general really really bad. i always was a big meat eater and giving it up was really hard, and i’m used to it now, but i still miss it. i miss fish in the sushi, miss my burger king hamburgers 😉 but it is really easy to stay vegan, because i have learned to subsitute most non-vegan products. sometimes i have baaaad cravings for a simple cheesecake, but maybe i will try to make some with vegan yoghurt. the last experiments with tofu gone sooo wrong 😉

    1. Oh Mara, I’m so sorry about your negative cheesecake experience. I’ve had a few lousy tofu cheesecakes too. Have you tried making one with Tofutti cream cheese? Using that seems to create a “cheesier” taste than just plain tofu.

      1. Mara says:

        thank you for the hint. i live in germany and the creamy cheese is so unbelivable expensive here. the receipes call for 500g curd (?) and so i would have to buy creamy cheese for about 8 euros. i think i’ll try it with yoghurt, so maybe it will get a more “cheesier” taste. the ones i’ve tried with tofu were like.. chewing some gum 😀
        oh and by the way, i read your blog now for about half a year and i love it :)

      2. Yuri says:

        I’ve tried if with yofu myself [also from Germany, so no Tofutti for me either] – it’s very easy if you ‘filter’ it [place in a coffee filter in the fridge overnight] one day prior to baking, so it gets a thicker consistence. Worked really well for me and is surprisingly easy!

        Good luck~

  17. Honestly, my body does not miss meat products, whatsoever. In fact, I’ve never felt so strong, healthy and happy.

    happy monday :)

  18. I had a dream about hotdogs the other night … they may have been vegan ones, although the point of the dream was that I couldn’t have one. So … I’m not sure what that means. lol

    I haven’t craved non-vegan stuff in forever. Sometimes, I want some kind of candy and I wish that I could just pull a bag off the shelf all willy-nilly (like gummy bears), but I have to stand and read labels. I don’t know if that’s a craving for non-vegan food so much as for convenience.

    1. I never liked gummy worms when I wasn’t vegan, but a few years ago, I got a sudden strange craving for them. I took care of it with a few Annies bunnies… but it was such a weird craving!

  19. Great post, Katie! I love hearing everyone’s path to veganism and what has tricky or not for them.

    For me, I came to my place b/c of food allergies and intolerances. I was always a vegetarian, from childhood on. But in my early/mid 20s became vegan b/c I cut out all dairy and eggs. Not that I was eating much of them (never really liked them) but once they were gone, I just naturally went from veggie to vegan. I actually just posted 2 days ago about my food allergies, also going GF, the whole bit. I talk a bit of my own journey there.

    But anyway, I never liked meat. Ever. In my entire life, so “giving that up” was a no brainer and I never even buy the fake meat substitutes. Didnt like meat, dont need those anyway! And dairy/ice cream, not a big ice cream girl. What do I love? Cookies and cakes! Making those vegan and GF has been my own personal challenge in the kitchen, which has been fun to undertake :)

    1. Haha you sound just like me! Who wants smelly, bloody meat when you can have sweet, chocolatey cookies/cake/dessert?!?

      1. Alyson says:

        I agree!!!! Yuckkk.

  20. Gail says:

    Awesome post, Katie! I had just about the same experience as you did when I became vegan. I had long before given up eating burgers and steak, but for the first month of choosing vegan, I craved cream cheese like crazy, because I was so used to eating a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast every morning. But each time I’d think of the dairy cows and their poor little calves who would become the veal (that I wouldn’t dream of eating) on someone else’s plate, and I resisted the temptation. At the end of a month, I was repulsed by the thought of eating anything at all from an animal.

    I give all of my clients precisely the same advice you’ve given here: to steer clear of meat and cheese substitutes for at least a month, for exactly the same reason you elucidated so well. And as you also said, with so many delicious alternatives, it’s easier than ever to be vegan. With Vegan Gourmet Cream Cheese Alternative and Tofutti Non-Hydrogenated Cream Cheese, I can even have cream cheese if I want to!

  21. I *sometimes* miss real chicken. Not because I crave it, but because eating out would be a heck of a lot easier if I ate chicken. It’s in everything- salads, sandwiches, soups..

  22. Tori says:

    Katie! I just got a Magic Bullet and cannot wait to make some stuff with it! I don’t know why but I thought of your blog immediately :)

    I know you’re a busy blogger, but it’d be great to get some of your ideas for recipes. Or maybe just direct me to a post you have about recipes I could use?!

    <3 Tori

    1. Hey Tori!
      Sooooo exciting you got a Magic Bullet! I use it for a TON of my recipes, including kabocha mousse, soy-free yogurt, banana butter, fudge babies, Christmas quiche soup, Magic Soup… Here’s where all my recipes are located, and many of them are Magic-Bullet-approved:

  23. Tori says:

    And I’d miss chicken definetly! But they make some pretty good knock offs these days :)

    1. sac875 says:

      Have you heard of Beyond Meat? It’s the best! So good even Tropical Smoothie serves it now!

  24. Angela Brunner says:

    I’d miss cheese and ice cream, but I recently just stumbled across coconut milk ice cream, and I am in love with it! The chocolate chip cookie dough is out of this world! So veganism doesn’t seem as impossible anymore. I’ll never be a full vegan, but I do think that cutting back on dairy (especially the full fat stuff) is good for my health.

  25. Demelza says:

    There has been one week where I have craved a non-vegetarian food…and that was about a month ago when I had the strangest craving for tuna salad. Ironically, I have NEVER liked seafood and the very thought of it freaks me out. Things from the sea tend to be what my nightmares are made of. In fact, one time in middle school I had my best friend over for a sleepover and when I woke up she was holding my hand and looking very concerned. She said she had debated waking me up because I was moving around so much and I seemed really frightened. I was thoroughly embarrassed because when she asked me what my nightmare had been about, I didn’t want to tell her I’d had a dream that my older brother had dumped a bowl of shrimp on me and they were crawling around everywhere.

    So it puzzles me that I had that tuna salad on the brain. :/
    I ended up making myself a “tuna salad” with all the components of it aside from the tuna (I think I used mashed chickpeas) and mayo (I think yogurt tastes much better) and just put it on top of a lettuce mix.

    1. Will you be mad at me if I tell you your nightmare story made me laugh out loud? Oh goodness, you are too funny! :)

      1. Demelza says:

        Haha, won’t be mad at all. I am used to it by now–I’m just glad my stories can put a smile on someone’s face. :]

  26. indiechic927 says:

    I agree! I don’t crave any of those things anymore, and I’ve been vegan for about two months now? I’d been vegan before, but I gave in to some of the peer pressure I received, but regretted it after the side affects kicked in. It’s definitely a hard transition. I know I craved ice cream, as katie said, “like no body’s business,” but after I continued to read about what was in milk and own up to the fact that I felt so much better after eating “Peanut Butter Banana Ice ‘Cream'” and it was JUST as good, I definitely knew this was a permanent thing. I’m learning so much everyday and am also starting to try out my own recipes, as hard as that is when you first start out. I find non-vegan food disgusting too. (: But, I totally agree with the faux meat/cheese thing. It’s better to stick to naturals before you go fake. It could make or break it for a beginner. (:

  27. Amy says:

    I have always liked seafood, but I very rarely eat it, so I don’t think I would miss it that much.

    When I am at home and buy my own food, I eat like a vegan.

    However, when I am away from home at school I eat meat because it is all that is offered to me. If I had more meal options I would continue to eat vegan. There are only so many ways a salad bar can be interesting.

  28. i tend to have meat cravings too sometimes! i used to even have very vivid dreams about eating meat. i suspect that when i crave meat its my body telling me that i’m really missing iron in my diet. and the funny thing is, when i eat a food containg alot of iron (spinach,etc) and i’m eating lots of other good nutrient rich foods i dont crave as much meat.

    1. Hahaha who knew you could satisfy a meat craving by eating spinach?!

  29. I couldn’t cope without eggs and yoghurt, thinking vegan… as far as meat goes, I don’t think I’d be too bothered… except for my mum’s Christmas dinner! Would being a 364-day-a-year vegetarian work?! :-)

    1. Ps, one of the really interesting things about this blog, and the comments on it, is that, in my normal life, the fact I’ve got coeliac disease really sets me apart. Other than me, I only know one person whose diet doesn’t include absolutely everything and that’s my vegetarian sister!
      I’m so used to being the “awkward one” who has to check menus and eat differently as people’s houses so it’s really nice to know I’m not alone… thank you!

      1. Aww you’re so sweet. Don’t think of your diet as being “awkward.” Think of it as fun and unique ;). People who are exactly the same as everyone else are so boring! :)

    2. Yuri says:

      Personally, I think that it’s worth a try. I mean, even if it might not be consistent on a moral base [but then again, who is?], it’s still better practically – concerning environmental matters and the genereal idea of avoiding suffering for other creatures.

      Also, I was really convinced that I couldn’t go without my favourite non-vegan dishes [hot chocolate and nutella], but I haven’t even really missed them since… so although this doesn’t mean anything for other people, I guess you never really know until you’ve tried.

      1. I used to love Nutella too! Then, after not having it in years and years, I just tried Justin’s chocolate-hazelnut butter. It tastes just like I remember Nutella!

      2. Yuri says:

        Never seen it before… probably because they don’t sell it over here. But I don’t really miss nutella anymore [although the vegan hazelnut/chocolate spreads don’t taste anything like it], so it’s okay.

      3. Yeah, I didn’t miss it either… there are just so many other foods out there that once you haven’t eaten something for a while, you kinda forget about it, ya know? There’s only so much time in a day; you can’t eat everything all the time! :) So a lack of nutella just makes room for other things!

    3. Hey, why not? Every little bit helps (the animals and the earth). My mom’s a “once a week” vegetarian :).

  30. When I was vegetarian I didn’t crave anything except the occasional minced beef pie, a NZ favourite. I have been eating meat for over 15 years now and still can’t get over the saltiness of bacon. Bacon just doesn’t do anything for my tastebuds and I feel icky after eating it.

    I have to confess I get a bit scared of trying non dairy ice cream…. maybe I should just give it a go???

    1. Oh you must!! (Oops, don’t take that to sound like a command; I was just excited because some non-dairy ice creams are so good.) Try a good one, though, first. In other words, stay away from the So Delicious fruit sweetened ones! LOL 😉

      1. Thanx for the advice… I am not sure if we have So Delicious in New Zealand. I shall investigate – my new mission.

  31. Love this post.

    The only time I find it hard to be a vegan is at work. I work in a gourmet bakery and deli. Not one bakery item is vegan but they all look sooo good. I guess its a good thing I’m vegan or else I’d probably gain 300 pounds working there!

    1. Hahaha that’s why I always tell people I’d be lousy at opening my own bakery (or chocolate shop). I’d want to eat all the merchandise! That would surely cut into profits :-?..

  32. Yuri says:

    I remember that shortly after I became vegetarian, I occasionally felt a craving for cheese when others had it [I’d only eat cheese with non-animal rennet, but trieds to avoid it altogether] – although I don’t even particularly like cheese in the first place.

    Since I’m vegan I didn’t have any such cravings, although I sometimes get an appetite for scrambled eggs. But it’s not as intense as the aforementioned case with cheese.

  33. Stefanie says:

    I miss being able to order anything off of a restaurants menu. Now, I rarely go out to eat and when I do it is either to whole foods or my local vegan restaurant. Both places are great because of the variety and I feel “normal” by going out to eat. The thought of eating animal products grosses me out when I stop and think about all that goes into making the food. Watching Food Inc. has really helped me support my decision for going vegan.

    1. LOL that’s actually one of the things I DON’T miss! I love how decision-making is so much easier as a vegan. There’s usually only one thing you can order. Not overwhelming at all hehe.

  34. tracey says:

    Hi Katie!
    I have question, a little of the topic, but in someways related… you say you don’t really have a sweet tooth, so did you ever have one and healthy eating just made it “fall out” or did it dissipate over time because of your healthy choices. I really don’t prefer processed sweets anymore- but I will always like a sweet treat!!!!
    Thanks :)

    1. Ooh fun question :). I actually never had much of a sweet tooth. My mom said I got three chocolate teeth instead. Come Halloween, my sister and I would trade: I’d give her all the sweet tarts and nerds, sprees, twizzlers, skittles, and other candy I LOATHED. She’d give me the chocolate. It’s all I ever cared about!

  35. Alice says:

    I’ve been vegetarian for the past 5 or 6 years now and haven’t craved anything really until this year. In recent months I’ve been thinking of fish, nice, oily, fishy fish, all sort of flaky and slippery and with lemon juice squeezed over the top… I feel like gollum. I even half wish I was stranded on a desert island so I could eat fish without troubling my conscience. It’s weird. Maybe I should eat more avocado to keep up my omega 3s?

    1. Lol I wish I could help you… I never liked fish (aside from fish sticks, oddly enough).

  36. Interesting facts/ideas here. I am not vegan, but I think it’s fascinating how far the vegan diet has come! Thanks for sharing.

  37. BroccoliHut says:

    I had really strange cravings when I first went vegetarian–I wanted tuna and hot dogs. I didn’t even eat those that often when I ate meat, so who knows what the story is there. Obviously, I came to find substitutes (my tuna salad with chickpeas) and veggie dogs until ultimately I didn’t even crave them anymore.

  38. Namaste Gurl says:

    That’s so right and thanks for the reminder to us veggies out there, Miss Katie :)

    When I first went vegetarian, bbqs were one hard event for me to attend. The smell of cheeseburgers were so strong, strong enough that I almost, *almost*, wanted to eat one. Not really though :) Others include chicken-pesto sandwiches, tuna, etc.

    I have found complete satisfaction in the abundance of wholesome, but yummy foods I consume now. They’re WAY more nutritious and my taste buds and tummy are a lot more happy, as am I :)

  39. Albizia says:

    Going vegetarian wouldn’t be a problem at all. Falafels and zucchini fritters can perfectly replace meat for me and I actually like the soy substitutes. But I don’t think I could ever become a vegan. I just love dairy too much.

  40. danna says:

    sweets… freaking sweets. cake, cookies, doughnuts. you name it, i miss it. don’t get me wrong. i only buy vegan sweets and at home i make vegan sweets. it’s when i’m out and about where i get in trouble. i’ve been veg off and on for years and pretty solidly vegan for a year. but sometimes, the sweets get to me. in fact, i caved and had ice cream the other day even though i could have chosen the sorbet. but i’m glad i did it because i felt like crap and had some, er, bathroom issues for a couple days. so i made a pledge right then to really remember how i was feeling and why i quit eating animals in the first place. the next day at work i could tell the universe was testing me. i work at a restaurant where i rarely eat the food (think dead animals on the walls) but sometimes the desserts and breads call to me. well one of the cooks is taking a baking class and he brought in a tray full of baked goods the class had made!! eeeeeek!! and then another of the cooks said, “we’ve changed our biscuit recipe. here, try one!” eeeeeeek!! but i just said no thanks. i’m vegan. and it was easy. and now i’m on fire with some of my own cooking. last night i made lemony sticky buns with lemon cream cheese glaze… VEGAN!! and it tasted sooooo much better than that ice cream did. i think i’m home free :)

    1. Oh my word, those sound good. I’ve been craving sticky buns/cinnamon rolls for the longest time, but I’m just too lazy to make them. I think your comment might’ve pushed me over the edge, though. I NEED to get my butt in gear!

  41. McKenzie says:

    I’ve been vegetarian for about 2-3 years now, and while I don’t get any cravings for actual meat, I get cravings for the flavours I associate with some meats, if that makes sense. So like I don’t crave ribs because of the meat, but because of the barbecue sauce, or I’ll crave the spice flavour of Italian sausage. But I can’t just eat barbecue sauce out of the bottle or lick Italian spice blends off my fingers, so I usually go with the fake meat products just so I can get those flavours onto something. 😛

  42. I would miss yogurt but I think I could figure it out. Chicken would be difficult but I could do it. Eggs would be my hardest. I think they’re the perfect food super good for you.

    1. sac875 says:

      Two good things to know:

      Beyond Eggs (google it)

  43. Pine Apple says:

    I went vegetarian when I was seven and hadn’t eaten too much meat to begin with, just the odd sausage or meatball marinara and other meatstuffs kids like, and I never craved anything really. I do think it’s easier to go veg at such a young age because my taste buds weren’t fully trained yet, whereas meat is a well-established staple food for persons who turn vegetarians at a later point in their lives.

    It wasn’t that different with veganism (I went vegan about a year ago), I had been eating vegan-ish for a few years (using non dairy milks etc., just to change things up a bit) and had an already broad vegan food repertoire by the time I actually switched to full veganism.

    Whenever I’m at my parent’s, however, I realise how much our lifestyles differ because their kitchen offers next to nothing for me! It lacks all the basics that turn plants into yummy vegan meals, I always do a grocery store raid before visiting, otherwise it’d be fruit salad day in, day out for me, lol.

  44. Sometimes the smell of meat gets to me – i.e. bacon, haha – but I’ve ALWAYS hated the taste of it, so I never actually want to eat it. I honestly never crave meat, probably because my taste for it dwindled long before I “officially” went veg. It’s the dairy (ahem, ICE CREAM!) that I have trouble avoiding, hence my reluctance to go fully vegan. Although, oddly enough, I don’t crave cheese either. Guess it’s just the ice cream. And yogurt. :)

  45. JV says:

    one reason i know i’ll never eat meat again is because i’m disgusted at the idea of the texture and consistency that meat always had for me. needless to say i was pretty surprised last week when i was craving meat for exactly those two reasons. i fought it for as long as i could but finally ended up at The Loving Hut for some “beef” and broccoli. their faux meats are exactly like the real ones, which is why I don’t normally order them but last week it scratched the itch and all is well and vegan in my body :)

  46. Nichole says:

    Great post Katie, I have been a vegetarian for almost 2 years now, flirting with veganism for the past 1 year so, when I say flirting it is basically I don’t purchase those items (dairy, eggs etc) but when there is nothing but those items when I am at a party etc I might indulge a little. However I totally agree with staying away from imitation meats, cheeses because it is harder to remove those from your diet if you are constantly looking for a subsitute.

  47. erikka says:

    Im a Nursing Student and the only Vegan in the class. Ive read so much on Nutrition and Veganism I feel like I could teach the class myself. The Professor emphasizes a plant based diet but doesnt believe in Vegeterianism or Veganism and is very blunt about that too. Even when I was little I would only eat 1/3 of my Steak / Chicken and give the rest to my dog to finish. They got more nutrients out of that meal than I did. I also started having digestion problems since I couldnt digest meat or dairy properly anymore. I know stick to natural foods and alternatives every once in a while.

  48. Tricia says:

    When i first went vegetarian, it was super easy because i didn’t miss meat whatsoever, and now, after having given up dairy for a couple of weeks, i don’t miss that all that much also. I guess i just forget what meat tastes like– kinda. I was never a big meat or cheese eater anyway 😉

  49. libraryscene says:

    Interesting posts all around! I have not had red meat for over 20 years and have been pretty much a “strict vegetarian” for at least 4 years (I cannot call myself vegan since I do wear animal products such as wool, silk and leather shoes.). I had a sports doctor actually recommend I stop dairy (I hadn’t had milk for at least 10 years by that time, but still ate cheese) to deal with a stomach issue. I was so amazed by how much better I felt after couple of weeks that the cravings didn’t outweigh the joy of not feeling icky after I ate. Ended up, I’m allergic to caesin (milk protein) which is used in tons of veggie “meat” products, so I ditched all the fake stuff, too. I think that all “diets” take time, but over the years I’ve become a firm believer in the mental and physical benefits of a plant based diet, so much so that I don’t miss the other no matter how good it may smell or look.

    As an aside, my biggest obstacle, refined sugar! I’m not a chocolate girl, but I love sugar bombs, like candy corn! This will be my first Halloween without my beloved candy corn pumpkins ~ let’s just say that I’m making a lot of raw energy balls (versions of your babies ;))! I’m better for it since I suffer from low blood sugar anyway and it went crazy last year with all my pumpkin stashes!

    Just to clarify that I’m not a food saint ~ organic popcorn with nutritional yeast, chili pepper, Braggs and fresh lime juice is my crutch! Not terrible for ya, but not a health food either! One big reason I could never go raw!

    1. Wow, over 20 years?! That’s seriously awesome. And lol I’ll give you all my candy/popcorn if you send the chocolate my way ;).

      1. libraryscene says:

        Lol~ I was going to try to delete my post as it is sooo long, but you’ve already been kind and replied! As for 20 years, not such a feat when close to 40! 😉

      2. Are you kidding? Long comments, where people really share about themselves, are the best! Makes me feel a little less silly for sharing so much of my life with strangers ;).

  50. Erica says:

    I’ve been a vegan for 7 months and a vegetarian for about 8 years before that, so I’ve had some experience in the ‘cravings’ department.

    I can legitimately say I’ve never had a craving for meat – I went cold-turkey (excuse the pun) with no preamble when I was 13 and never looked back. It was a long time ago, but I don’t remember ever having cravings for meat.

    However, dairy was a bit of a problem shortly after becoming vegan. I admit I had dreams about eating a veg cheeseburger – in all fairness that was probably because I spent the month prior eating nothing but cereal, toast and granola bars thanks to a brutal courseload and exam prep.

    Now that I’ve smartened up my eating habits, I don’t have any cravings. The only thing I miss in being a vegan now would be ease in ordering restaurant food and draught beer (easily solved by claiming allergies – at the suggestion of my twin – and ordering bottled beer).

    1. Erica says:

      It’s probably worth mentioning that now even the smell of meat is mildly nauseating. Cheese too is pretty gross now – especially when you consider what it is (fatty, moldy congealed dairy made using rennet, a stomach enzyme byproduct of the veal industry – ick!). I’ll stick with my nooch sauce (seriously, nooch is like crack for vegans) :) healthy and cruelty-free never tasted so good.

      1. Agreed 100%! I seriously think they are putting some illegal substance in nooch. Whenever I eat a little, I want more… and more… and more! 😉

  51. Sarah B. says:

    I think that I would miss fish the most. My family doesn’t eat red meat or poultry but we eat a lot of fish, especially salmon. I <3 salmon :)

  52. Sarah says:

    Hey Katie,

    I love your blog and your recipes. I’m from Germany and things like larabars are not sold here- thanks to you I can now enjoy them 😉

    I want to ask you one thing: You seem to use soy whip from soyatoo a lot. How do you store it? Because anytime I put mine in the fridge i have to throw the can away, because nothing comes out anymore. Do you store it somewhere else?

    Thanks a lot

    1. Aw thanks, Sarah!
      Unfortunately, those mean old soyatoos do the same thing to me! If you read the instructions on the back of the container VERY carefully and do EVERYTHING it says EXACTLY, you have a better chance of them working after the first time. So, in other words, take the bottle out 10 minutes before trying to spray, wash the nozzle as soon as you spray, etc. Read the directions and follow them to the letter.
      But I can’t say I don’t still have trouble every once in a while. Actually, I rarely even buy the stuff anymore. The one in my fridge now is a few months old. (Hmmm… perhaps I ought to throw that out lol!) And every now and then, even if I follow the instructions religiously, it still refuses to come out. That’s when I return it to the store. Hey, those things aren’t cheap!
      Good luck :).

  53. Lyza Muckler says:

    I never had any meat cravings period, oddly enough. I did however suffer through some extreme icecream craving/binging, which eventually stopped, and as of now I’m animal product consuming free for 3 months :)

    I have accidentally eaten things that I didn’t realize had dairy in them because it was hidden in the “natural flavors,” of the ingredients. Ugh :(

    1. Lyza Muckler says:

      I just realized though that I kind of gradually weaned myself off meat over a few year period though, just subconsciously through the process of selecting foods that made me feel healthier, before really deciding I might as well be vegetarian (and was starting my passion for the environment in this time period). So it’s not like I stopped “cold turkey” and suffered no cravings!! Just thought I would clear that up :)

  54. Good says:

    Honey. We have a friend Who has bees Who make the best honey. That honey is “home” for me. And I missed yogurt, and pavlova, and cream. And fish!
    All the substitutes for milk and cream where SO EXPENSIVE, there was no way I could have gone on. Now I just minimized the intake of meat to once monthly, and milk produce once weekly. All organic and local.

  55. trajayjay says:

    If I went veg, I’d definitely miss milk and cheese. I like oatmeal (with milk) and I really like melted, stretchy mozzerella cheese.