Warning: Withdrawal Mode Activated

I should never be cocky.

When this project began I knew that there would be a withdrawal period. “It’ll hit David first,” I thought to myself. I mean lets get real, I’m a girl. I know what it’s like to diet or live off of unsweetened tea and steamed okra for two days in order to drop a dress size fast, or try and be ready for that emotionally-terrorizing time of year, that is swimsuit season. David, on the other hand, has been skinny his whole life and has no idea what it’s like to give up “fun food.”

Again, I should never be cocky.

Withdrawal mode set in on day two for me. Yes, I said day two.

Tuesday, I woke up with a headache. As I got to work I noticed how heavy and achy my arms and shoulders were. That was then followed by the inability to form complete thoughts, due to my pounding head and fuzzy thoughts. Yes, day two came a callin’ with a vengeance. Thankfully, after a filling lunch and a few minutes with my eyes closed, I was able to return to work feeling much more like myself.

Then Wednesday showed up. I began my morning with a cold shower. (While that has nothing to do with being vegan, it should’ve been a sign it was all down hill from there.) Hoping that it was just a bad coincidence, I crossed my fingers it would be miraculously cured when I got home from work. Other than my icy wake up call I was feeling pretty good, I worked through the Mountain of Doom, that is my email, and prepared to head to a Cattle Conference in Dewey, Okla. (Ironic huh?)

Halfway to Dewey I realized I hadn’t eaten yet. Obviously, I wouldn’t be able to eat anything at the conference so I had to find something quick. I could see nothing but pasture and crop land for miles… Then out of the nothingness I came across a gas station with a Subway. “I’m saved!” I thought. Inside the conversation went like this:
“Is your flat bread made with milk or eggs.”
“Okay, I’ll have a salad then.”
“What meat?”
“What cheese?”
“No cheese.”
“What veggies then?”
Salad in tow I headed to the conference. Two hours into discussing proper pasture maintenance and meeting your cattle’s nutritional needs in a drought, I realized my salad had worn off. Then things got worse.

The conference took a break and served cookies, pop and coffee. I was hungry, but I stood strong. Instead I sipped my bottle of water and glared at those chocolate cookies laying in the tray all smug like.

I was getting irritable.
That’s an understatement.

The longer the conference drug on, the crankier and more irritable it got. Everything was like nails on a chalkboard to me. Meet withdrawal mode stage two.

As the conference ended, I made a beeline to my car. It was safer for everyone if I just got away from populations of people in general. I made my way back to Middle-of-Corn, Kansas, but made a stop at the Dollar Tree to see if they had E.L.F makeup, a vegan line that is carried there. They didn’t have anything I needed, but I found a bag of vegan friendly pita chips. I could instantly feel my mood bettering as I munched on those delicious chips all the way home.

I got home at 7:30, and went to start making dinner. But low-and-behold, guess who was still hot waterless?! (Guess those things don’t miraculously fix themselves) I spent the next hour trying to fix it while My Someone assisted through FaceTime. Verdict: My hot water heater is a goner. So at 8:30 I FINALLY got to start dinner, I was tired so I made a quick meal of buffalo cauliflower (Yum!), and finished the evening by baking oatmeal muffins for today.

So here we are, morning four of Project Vegan. I woke up at five with the realization I didn’t have hot water. Since cold showers in January aren’t my cup of tea, things got western. Yes, at 5:30 a.m. I put all my big pots on the stove top to boil, filled my bathtub up part way with the cold water and then added all the boiling water to it. I then took two pitchers and filled them with the tub water.

I thought this was supposed to be 2013? Not 1813.
I thought this was supposed to be 2013? Not 1813.

The result? A quarter-way filled bathtub with luke warm water, and some very creative bathing/hair washing techniques. This morning was one of the few days I was SO thankful I live alone…
Despite the morning drama, day four has so far alluded no withdrawal symptoms, AND I even attempted vegan makeup today!

I took this literally walking out the door to work. Don't judge.
This is my vegan war paint.

Food Breakdown
Day 2
Lunch- Amy’s Organic Black Bean Soup, celery sticks with organic natural peanut butter. Water
Dinner-Baked potato loaded with vegan butter, guacamole, roasted corn and red bell pepper. On the side steamed broccoli and cauliflower, and grilled asparagus in lemon and olive oil.day2Day 3
Breakfast- Whole oats with sliced banana, coffee with organic sugar and soy milk
Lunch- Subway salad with vinegar and oil dressing. Water.
Snack- Sea Salt Pita Chips
Dinner- Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower. (YUM!) Water.buffaloDay 4
Breakfast- 2 Oatmeal/blueberry muffins. Coffee with organic sugar and soy milk.muffinCheck out our hashtag #DandDgovegan, be sure and follow along with David’s adventure at Farmingamerica.org as he talks about our email from PETA and fake bacon.
Until next time!!

39 responses to “Warning: Withdrawal Mode Activated”

  1. Buffalo cauliflower — I can get on-board with that! I’m glad no one was harmed in the making of this blog post, though!

    1. High Heels & Shotgun Shells Avatar
      High Heels & Shotgun Shells

      Lol you and me both. However, a meal and some quality sleep helped restore my mood to “pocketful of sunshine.”

      1. Great job on the blog posts and pictures – I love asparagus. I especially like making my own nut based cheese and blending raw cashews in a blender w/some water for a creamy Alfredo Fettucino – yum! Keep it up for 30 days and you’ll notice improvements in your skin and hair

  2. You are so brave and tough! I couldn’t even attempt veganism – I don’t know what I’d do without dairy products. I hate most all other veggies – keep going. You can do it!


    1. High Heels & Shotgun Shells Avatar
      High Heels & Shotgun Shells

      Giving up dairy products has hands down been the toughest part, I didn’t realize it was in pretty much every part of my usual diet before. Thank you! You don’t know how much I’ve appreciated the constant support from you and Kelly, I feel like you two should be equipped with vegan pom-poms!

  3. David's friend Lauren Avatar
    David’s friend Lauren

    Terra chips are great fillers, I did a detox where I essentially went vegan and those absolutely kept me from killing someone when the withdrawls hit. They will hold you over when the hunger cravings hit hard.

    1. High Heels & Shotgun Shells Avatar
      High Heels & Shotgun Shells

      Thanks for the tip! I will check those out! My dollar store pita chip find did a pretty good job of filling in, I just wish I had thought of it sooner!

  4. Good luck and you’ll see through Twitter I connected you with someone I respect who’s vegan. Jamie aka @skepticalvegan and Dave @PythaCrank can help with tips too.

    My personal advice? Give serious thoughts to keeping snacks with you. I recommend loading up on nuts for those times when you get hungry. Almonds, pistachios, etc are filling and can help me focus when I’m hungry. I keep a jar of them on my desk and a ziplock of them in my backpack or purse.

    1. High Heels & Shotgun Shells Avatar
      High Heels & Shotgun Shells

      I’ve been driving most of the day, (so I’ve been unable to respond) but I did see through my phone notifications where all they (and you) had tweeted at me. Thank you for the new info sources!

      I actually have a big bag of pistachios, and after yesterday’s fiasco, they are definitely in my car.

  5. Love your truthful and honest approach here! I can imagine the withdrawl would be super tough! I struggle as it is just to eat healthier, let alone give up dairy and meat products! And then y’all work in agriculture and meat related fields! Talk about willpower!! I have thoroughly enjoyed following you both in this journey! Keep it up! I can’t wait to see more posts from you both!

  6. But hunger isn’t “withdrawal.” You don’t physically withdraw from anything when you go vegan. You’re getting all the same nutrients–just in different packages.

    But yes, for vegans, the secret is to never leave home without snacks. I always have energy bars in my purse, and if I’m going to be gone for any period of time, I take peanut butter and sliced apples on bread. And a bag of nuts is good, too, because you can put them in a Subway salad to make it a little more robust.

    Have you checked out the “Yes to…” products at Walmart? (Yes to Carrots, Yes to Tomatoes, etc) Most (or maybe all) are vegan and they’re really fun.

  7. Well, it’s only two weeks. You can survive anything for two weeks. I’d like to quote Nietzsche about whatever doesn’t kill you will make you stronger, but I’m afraid that doesn’t apply to a vegan diet.

    I’m a born and raised city guy, but “beef is what’s for dinner” at my house. They’ll pry that steak from my cold, dead fingers. Besides, I prefer to be able to taste my food. If there’s anything in the world blander than vegan cuisine, I haven’t had it.

  8. I applaud your efforts to attempt a cruelty free diet and lifestyle, though I wouldn’t go so far as to call it Vegan. Veganism is a commitment made to the animals being exploited, not to ourselves. If you aren’t doing it out of love for them, then it’s not Vegan. That said, I predict that you will come away from this with a sour view of a plant-based diet, because you are not eating in a healthy manner, or doing what you need to support that healthy eating. I mean, you use Splenda for goodness’ sake. Just detoxing from that will take weeks, if you’ve been using it long-term. Not to mention the coffee, the incomplete and unbalanced meals, the lack of preparation that you admit to causing you to skip a healthy lunch, etc.

    You aren’t giving this diet and lifestyle a fair chance, and will end up blaming it on the faux “veganism”. That’s the equivalent of my deciding to become a “carnivore” and just eating barely cooked and unseasoned meat for two weeks. The truth is, when you make a commitment to not exploiting animals, and transition your life guided by that philosophy, you slowly realize the incredible benefits of it, which are just a bonus, not the goal.

    1. I beg to differ, and so does the Merriam Webster dictionary, which defines vegan thusly: “a strict vegetarian who consumes no animal food or dairy products; also : one who abstains from using animal products.”

      There is no “love” requirement, or philosophical test. You could hate the darned critters, and “exploit” them, but as long as you don’t eat them or wear them you are a vegan. And there’s no time requirement, your attempt to impose one notwithstanding. Tell me, are all vegans so insufferably and unbearably self-righteous, or is it just you?

      1. It’s not self-righteousness when you’re doing it for the sake of someone else.

      2. You might not approve of what she’s doing, and disapproval is certainly your right as a free American. But you don’t get to rewrite the dictionary, or at least you don’t get to do it without someone noticing. You have a point in criticizing the brevity of the author’s exercise, but the fact is that she’s going vegan for two weeks.

        Her motives are immaterial, and so is the rest of her behavior, whatever it might be. There is no definition of “vegan,” other than the one in your own head, that includes the love of animals. There are plenty of people who follow some form of vegetarian, and even vegan, diet who otherwise fail your (or my) humanity and/or morality tests.

        I’d mention an old German dictator who was a vegetarian, but I don’t want to run afoul of the famed “Godwin’s Law” of the Internet. Come on, the author figured she’d at least do the honor of conducting her experiment, and in you come to stomp on her because she didn’t also meet your idiosyncratic test that has nothing to do with the definition of “vegan.”

        I genuinely don’t care what someone else eats. I feel free to have a chuckle about “tofurkey,” but this is America, and if freedom means a single thing, it ought to mean that we’re free to eat or not eat whatever we choose, for whatever reason. Or no reason at all. Your attempt at thought control is irritating, and I consider myself quite free to say that, too.

      3. It doesn’t matter how many times you type it Jake, you’re still wrong. Veganism is a practiced philosophy, as put forth by The Vegan Society, who coined the term. If you don’t follow the philosophy, you are not Vegan. Just like eating Halal doesn’t make you a Muslim, and eating Kosher doesn’t make you a Jew. The motives are central to the lifestyle, and inform everything you do. I can’t magically become a Jew for two weeks because I choose to keep kosher and go to temple, there is a belief involved. How insulting would it be to an actual Jewish person were I to tell them I am having a “Jew for two weeks” experiment? I’m sorry you can’t grasp this concept, but that does not invalidate it.

        And as for your old German dictator, well, you’re wrong about that too:


        Even were that true, it would only work in against your argument, because then you’d be admitting that even he, monster that he was, realised that eating animals is wrong.

      4. If you want to argue with the dictionary, then there’s really nothing more to say, is there? I’ll meet you next time the sun rises in the west.

      5. p.s.: I didn’t realize that vegan is a religion, same as Judaism. I think my Jewish friends might find the idea a little comical, but who knows? In any case, as much as I might joke that eating steak is my religion, I don’t take it as seriously as you take your diet. Or as righteously. Or as self-righteously. Or as laughably. But you know what? Please avoid meat, etc. The alternative is that you’d be out there with your dollars, competing with me. I’d much rather have you bidding up the price of quinoa than fighting with me for that last T-bone!

      6. Since you can’t seem to wrap your mind around the comparison between Veganism and Judaism (simple concept, but whatever), I’ll make a different comparison for you, another -ism, namely, feminism.

        So, let’s say I were a typical “guy”. I catcall women, believe that men are somehow superior and should be paid more, go to strip clubs and watch degrading porn, etc. Now, let’s say I decide, for two weeks, I’m going to act like a feminist. No more catcalling, respecting women as equals, etc., but, the whole time, I know I’m going back to being a non-feminist when this is over, and I never actually believe that women are equal, I just act like it. Am I a feminist?

        The answer is no. I am not, for those two weeks, actually a feminist, just a person acting like a feminist. To be an actual feminist, you need to believe that women are equal, not just act like it.

        Same for Veganism.

      7. Anthowy, I have read both you and Jack’s pointless bickering. I think it is safe to say that some followers have lost an understanding of what Danielle is trying to achieve with this project. It’s easy to see you are both are set in your ways, and appear to lack the ability to look at things from “the other side,” for the lack of a better term. I commend Danielle for her willingness and ability to try and have a better understanding of a way of thinking very different from her own. We all have our beliefs, it takes all kinds of kinds to keep this world turning. That said, it would make for a better world if we had more people in it like Danielle and her partner in crime, David. People who are humble enough to admit there are different ways to do things and different ways of living. Maybe they aren’t going about this whole process the “right” way in the eyes of some, but at least they are giving it a shot, and trying to go about it as open minded as possible, that is more than can be said for most. Instead of hashing out at one another, shouldn’t we just observe, give positive feedback and suggestions, and maybe learn something from this ourselves.

      8. tom, I have nothing at all against veganism. True, I chuckle at the idea of a tofu steak, but I do enough laughing at the guy in the mirror so I don’t feel bad. I’d never be a vegan, but I don’t require everything to contain animal. Who knows, I might be more vegan than I know.

        My only “beef,” pardon the pun, is with this supposed requirement that to be vegan you have to sign on to some elaborate philosophy, and meet some minimum (yet curiously unspecified here) minimum time, or you’re a phony. I think the blog author is giving it an honest try. Nothing more, nothing less.

        Unfortunately, we have someone in the High Church of the Vegan who has landed from the Planet V to inform the blog author that she’s a fake. Maybe she is a fake, but for two weeks she’s not eating any critters, and she’s even going so far as to not wash with critter parts or critter juice, and to avoid critter in her cosmetics.

        That meets the dictionary definition of “vegan.” That’s all I’m really saying, with (admittedly) some sparks off the wheel aimed at those who want to rewrite Merriam Websters because it’s not pure enough, or something. Or maybe not extra-virgin enough, as in the olive oil?

      9. p.s.: Feminism is a philosophy. Veganism is a behavior. The latter can be motivated by all kinds of things, but there’s no requirement to hold a particular philosophy to avoid meat and animal products. Darn that dictionary! Someone’s got to set Merriam Webster straight!

      10. Wrong again Jake. Veganism IS a philosophy, a moral code, that informs behaviour, not the other way around. You can tout your dictionary all you want, but the man who coined the phrase says otherwise, and since it is his invention, he gets to decide what it means.

      11. Well, okay then.

        My advice to the author: Forget your experiment. It will never be accepted. Vegan isn’t just what you do, but it’s what you think. If you don’t accept a certain style of thought control, you can eat all the lentils you want but it won’t matter.

        The truth shall set you free: Beef, it’s what’s for dinner! LOL

      12. One does not “experiment” with compassion. Once you widen your circle of compassion to include all sentient beings, going back to exploiting them is unthinkable. Once again, I congratulate and encourage her in her attempt, but wish she would be honest and not call it “going Vegan”. “Attempting to live like a Vegan” would be a more apt description.

      13. The definition of Veganism from the people who created the word:

        “Veganism is a way of living which excludes all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, the animal kingdom, and includes a reverence for life.”

        That last part is very important. Includes a reverence for life. So, where does that reverence for life go after two weeks? Does a person have reverence for life for a two week experiment and then suddenly turn it back off? This is why it is inappropriate to label this as “going vegan”. Without the inner moral guidance, the reverence for life, it is not and never will be Veganism.

    2. I am with Jake J on this – science doesn’t involve emotion and the way we treat and raise animals does. Being a vegan is a science thing – you’re eating foods that have no animal products involved in the preparation. By not eating animal products for two weeks, Danielle is a vegan. I have seen several people try to go vegan or vegetarian for a few days but have never seen the opposite; a vegan try to be an omnivore for a few weeks. That’s very interesting to me.

      1. To be fair to vegans (and why not be fair — this is America, and we try to be fair), I think it’s likely (with a probability that rounds up to 100%) that vegans have tried being carnivores in their past. I really don’t think it’s fair (to use that weasel word) to ask vegans to “try” meat in the way that we carnivores might “try” vegan.

    3. Nicely done!I look forward to foilwolng and reading more of your great ideas and fun posts.From a Vegan/veggie triathlete Kiwi in South Korea,j.w.

  9. You should try eating vegan recipes that are high in protein and fiber. Avocados, chickpeas, etc…

    Like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMGbDz-Vgxw&list=PLJIo2iMSn3Yopr_awe9zpmM5qHWcratev&index=4

  10. […] Happy to have hot water, but fed up with the Baking Soda and Vinegar hair routine, we headed later that evening to Walmart to find Loreal Ever Pure (100% vegan and inexpensive!) and groceries. I of course, was trying to stay in a vegan “safe-zone” of stereotypical foods I knew were, without a doubt, vegan. “You could have so much more than the type of foods you’re sticking too,” My Someone muttered while reading the label on a bag of Fritos. Next thing I know, Daniel, armed with his iPhone as his source checker, was putting name brand foods in the cart. We left with salsas, chips, ice cream and frozen vegetable spring rolls, all vegan-friendly. “See. There is no reason for you to be hungry during this,” he said matter-of-factly. […]

  11. […] Happy to have hot water, but fed up with the Baking Soda and Vinegar hair routine, we headed later that evening to Walmart to find Loreal Ever Pure (100% vegan and inexpensive!) and groceries. I of course, was trying to stay in a vegan “safe-zone” of stereotypical foods I knew were, without a doubt, vegan. “You could have so much more than the type of foods you’re sticking too,” My Someone muttered while reading the label on a bag of Fritos. Next thing I know, Daniel, armed with his iPhone as his source checker, was putting name brand foods in the cart. We left with salsas, chips, ice cream and frozen vegetable spring rolls, all vegan-friendly. “See. There is no reason for you to be hungry during this,” he said matter-of-factly. […]

  12. Jake J – good point. But what about a child who was raised in a vegan household and had never had meat or animal products before? They essentially could try being an omnivore for the first time. Other than that situation, I believe you are correct. Since eating meat and animal products is the norm, you wouldn’t really try it unless you had never done it. Makes sense.


    1. You’d be correct about people who were vegan from birth, the poor things! I’d also suggest that, even there, the equation would be more complicated than it first appears.

      Not to throw the doctrinaire vegan above too big a tofu bone, but I’d be willing to bet a thousand bucks that someone who’s vegan from birth and now an adult vegan is doing this not just out of habit but also out of ethical conviction. If I’m correct about that, then it would be a much bigger deal for this sort of vegan to “try” eating meat than it would be for the author of this blog to try a vegan diet for a couple weeks.

      The proof would be that this blog deals entirely with the practicalities of the diet, not the ethical issues. The author sidesteps all of that. In her mind, I’m sure she thinks she’s respecting vegan ethics by leaving the fight over the ethics out of it. And if I’m correct about that, it’s a sentiment I’d agree with. The author is saying, essentially, that she sees nothing wrong with slaughtering a beef and eating it, but that she also isn’t going to argue with anyone who takes the opposite view. Instead, she’ll at least try out the diet for a little while and satisfy her (and our) curiosity.

      But let’s be frank here. After giving this some more thought, I’d have to say that, as grating as I find “Anthonwy,” (s)he has a point when (s)he says that the blog author didn’t become a vegan for two weeks. The author adopted a vegan diet, but not the ethical stance that, even if it’s not in the literal definition of the term, is common enough among the vegans to round up to 100%.

      Sheesh, I should have been on the high school debate team. Here I am, arguing both sides of the question. Ha!

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