Veganaut-onHello veganauts!  I had a very relaxing vacation from the ole’ blog but I am excited to be back at the keyboard.  Like most of my vacations, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I was taking a break from.

What was I doing at EPCOT?  Thinking about the perfect vegan entree for Micky Mouse to add to the different restaurants at each country in the World Showcase.  What was I doing while hiking?  Thinking about how much easier it is to be vegan instead of omni when being outdoorsy.  What was I doing at the poker table?  Thinking about how vegans stack the odds in their favor with a healthy lifestyle.  And winning.  Always winning.

When I first started writing this blog back in 2011 I was documenting my transformation as I joined the strange and confusing cult of veganism.  I was prepared for almost any bizarre thing that was thrown at me.  However, what I never anticipated was how quickly the new lifestyle would seem normal and the old lifestyle would seem foreign.  The jaw dropping changes and horrific sacrifices that I feared have become so commonplace that I can’t remember what I was afraid of before.  Except for Brussels sprouts… I’m still terrified of those.

One of the blog related topics that rattled around in my head during my break was focus.  It came to me while I was mowing the lawn.  [Side note: Eat your heart out snow covered veganauts- I was even mowing in shorts!]

My new focus: I want to help the veggie-curious.  I don’t want to talk people into anything- I’ll leave that up to the massive vegan propaganda machine that is already in place.  What I’m more interested in is being a guide for the people that have decided it is time to kick the meat, dairy, and eggs.  I am an expert veganaut now and I’d like to use my skills to help guide people through the rocky patches and around the quicksand.  I’m like a Saint Bernard with a cask of quinoa around my neck.

My desire to help others find the Vegan Golden Fleece isn’t new but my desire to focus on helping them is.

We are at the time of year when recently overcrowded gyms are beginning to empty out, nicotine patch sales are plummeting, and forgotten gratitude journals are collecting their first of many layers of dust. Since a lot of people made plant-based resolutions for the new year, I thought it might be a good time to reach out and offer some advice and encouragement before it’s too late.

Advice: It’s never too late. If you tried to adopt a plant-based diet or a vegan lifestyle you do not need to give up just because you ate a cheese pizza. You are not a failure.  You will not be shunned.  We don’t revoke your card.

Many vegan explorers feel that a mistake equals failure.  It is not failure.  However, using that mistake as an excuse to stop trying is failure.  If you are sincere in your desire to stop eating meat and animal products then nothing should stop your march forward.  If a fish dinner gets in your way, don’t beat yourself up over it.  Put it behind you and carry on.  If you eat a ham-n-cheese omelet, don’t follow that up with years of cheeseburgers to punish yourself for a mistake.  You follow it up with years healing plant-based foods to reward yourself for trying.

You have the power to forgive yourself and to shield yourself from excuses.  It isn’t easy being an herbivore at first but after a while you start to wonder what all the fuss was about in the first place.  Just stay calm… and veganaut on.


About jasongillett

I'm Jason Gillett, 2 year VEGAN, and a 41 year old family man. My wife & I teach in a FL school. I am using a blog to chronicle our family's new life. View all posts by jasongillett

13 responses to “Focus

  • Annmarie Brennan

    Hey – There’s a new vegan restaurant in Gainesville “Vegan-2-Go” and the owner is looking for people to open franchises in other places. The food is delicious and he’s a great guy –

    • jasongillett

      That sounds exciting! I’d love to own a restaurant~ I’ve made daydream plans to create a fleet of vegan food trucks that sell “this can’t be vegan” junk food. I can’t wait to get to G-ville and try out the new grub~ Thanks!!

  • narf77

    I sometimes get the feeling that we veganauts are people who have a tendency to thrash ourselves a bit whenever we “fail”…Thomas Edison failed a heck of a lot of times before he had success…he just kept trying and I think that is what success is all about…being determined to ignore the stuff-ups and get back on that horsey. Life is way to short to be thrashing ourselves with guilt and as you and I both know, there is an amazing world of possibilities out there for people who learn to channel their inner determination and ignore their demons. Try it folks, ignore the naysayers (on both sides to be honest!) and just give it a go…test it. Try customising it where possible to your own lifestyle because if you do that, you are setting out on a pathway to success. 🙂 Great post Jason and glad to see you back blogging…and by the way…we are mowing our lawns in our underpants it is so hot here! 😉

    • jasongillett

      You rock!! You’re right about that vegan guilt- it can be a burden if you don’t allow yourself to move on. We can be our own worst critics- or we can be forgiving and understanding with ourselves. One leads to healing and the other doesn’t. And the best part is we get to choose which path we take. Veganaut power!!

      • narf77

        Indeed sir! The power of the veganaut is a bit like the power of Voltron (you might be too young to remember Voltron but I am unashamed in using him for this analogy 😉 ), it takes a whole lot of us to counteract the pointy people that have invaded veganism and given it a bad name. We aren’t pointy… most of us were round! How could we ever get to be pointy? Not too sure why the pointies are that attracted to veganism but food elitism is my guess coupled with a desire to be “better” than everyone else. A bit sad really as some of the hugest animals on the planet are vegans ;). I love that veganauts don’t consider themselves to be a race above humanity and that they are flawed. Nothing takes guilt away from you so fast as not having to prove yourself every 5 seconds and not having to hold yourself in high esteem. Veganauts rock! (and unite like Voltron…but sort of more sustainably and with yoga pants and R.E.M. music blaring out of the top of his head…hippy Voltron! There HAS to be a market for him!… 😉 )

      • jasongillett

        OK- Hippy Voltron seals the deal- when I finally get around to getting t-shirts, you are getting a free one. No joke- remind me when you see the post about it being T-shirt day. Welcome to the crew! : )

      • narf77

        lol cheers Jason! I would be very proud to sport it in Tasmania Australia and it would give me LOTS of chances to explain what the hell I was wearing and why…I SHALL convert this island! 😉

  • Karin

    Thank you Jason for this inspiring blog. 🙂 I almost feel as if this post were written just for me! Haha. I am a fairly new veganaut (since September), and I will admit that I did slip and eat cheese pizza over the Christmas holiday. Not too bad, but then I slipped even more and ate cheese pizza AGAIN when I got home from vacation… TWICE. Ugh. At first, I was really disappointed in myself and was tempted to throw in the towel and go vegetarian, thinking I just don’t have the “willpower” to manage the perceived pressures and endless temptations of dairy. However, instead of worrying too much about this minor transgression (which was only realized in retrospect), I am happy to report that I was able to look, instead, at what I might learn from it. First, I learned that I do not actually want cheese as much as I thought I did. I seem to have lost that “craving” for cheese that I once had for so many years. What happened, I think, was a kind of reaction based on an old pattern. Being around family somehow triggered some old emotional eating patterns that, as it turns out, no longer serve me. Who would have thought! Second, I learned that I feel much, much better and not as bogged down when eating vegan than when not. Maybe absence really does make the heart grow fonder, but I found that I love my veggies, and I love the way I feel physically and emotionally after eating them. I also found that I would much rather have the vegan version of pizza (or mac-n-cheeze) than the animal-based counterpart. Somehow eating vegan is both completely satisfying and light. I found that I really do prefer that lightness, and I really am more satisfied eating vegan! So, I am actually kind of happy for my transgression because it turned out to be an opportunity in disguise. I was able to see the cheese as my teacher instead of my conqueror. Thanks again…

    • jasongillett

      I knew that cheese pizza would hit home for someone : ) It is so easy to fall off the wagon without expecting it- I love that you mention the cheese not being the glorious magical food that you remembered it being. I’ve had my own collection of slip-ups and found this to be true almost every time. The deviled egg that evoked memories of joy, bliss, and rainbows tasted like pasty/rubbery egg and didn’t come close to living up to the emotions that made me grab it and shove it in my mouth. I believe that our palates have matured and we have created new mouth watering happy foods to replace the old versions. So glad you shared this- you are awesome!

      • nomeatbarefeet

        Great post, dear Jason. The notion of vegan-guilt is easy to succumb to, but as soon as we realize that we are not perfect and that being *anything* (be it a vegan, or a runner, or a cook, or…a human being) does not require perfection we can move on to accepting ourselves for who we are, where we are.

        I feel Karin’s pain on the cheese. That was one of the toughest things to give up (freakin’ casein and its morphine-like properties!). But my wife and I have been veganauting for over a year now and we just take it one day and one meal at a time.

        Be the best you can at whatever you do, but allow yourself the understanding that you are not perfect.

        PS: Love the “Keep Calm and Veganaut On.” might have to borrow that for our blog 😉

      • jasongillett

        First- I’d be honored if you used the image on your blog- consider it copylefted and free to use!

        Second- I think about the addictive casein all the time and wonder if there is a distant future with cheese being made and sold on the black market. It could be a great sci-fi story about a future of bootlegged dairy products. Tee-hee.

        Third- You are Hella cool! : )

        Plant power~**~

  • You know

    I’m going to call the tall red head that lives in your house and see who really mowed the lawn! (Don’t feel guilty!)

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