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




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 vegetarian foods, such as fruits, beans, and vegetables. 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 if you want. 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.



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

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. (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! 😀

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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 😉

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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 :(.

  12. Lisa says:

    Soft serve fro yo!

  13. 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 🙂

        1. 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~

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

    happy monday 🙂

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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:

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

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