Glad you asked!
My dad thinks it’s great because I eat more vegetables.
My brothers think it’s annoying because we can’t go eat Pho…
My mom is vegan 5-7 days a week (this has been her lifestyle all her life stemming from Buddhism). She is concerned that I’m not “feeding my brain” enough and believes I should at least eat fish sometimes.
My grandma is very concerned and even though she’s vegan/Buddhist vegetarian most days of the week, she believes I need to eat meat for “strength.” I ease her worries and just tell her that I eat meat and fish sometimes.
My extended family have cultural beliefs about meat and fish being nourishing and nutritious food. These ideas stem from growing up poor in Vietnam where good meat was a luxury and something to covet.
Honestly, I don’t tell my family members about my diet much. I know that when they tell me to eat certain things, it’s because they care about me which makes me less annoyed.
About splurging: The last time I ate animal flesh (I know that sounds weird…) was on Labor Day. It was my friend’s wedding and the preset menu had salmon and shrimp. I’ve only focused on a Vegan diet for 2 years now…and I’ve had meat/seafood a couple times. I estimate I eat a non-vegan treat once a week (i.e. Birthday cake, shared baked cookies in a meeting, free sandwich that has mayo on it)
Confession: I really want some shrimp dim sum right now. Even though it’s all ground up with fat…
Confession 2: I’m in lecture and blogging…
Hi! I hope applying to grad schools is going well. You probably have made your decision already. I’m sure you’ll get into one of your top choices with all the activities you are doing. I agree that keeping a regular exercise regimen helps productivity and staying on schedule.
I eat vegan about 95% of the time, and I find it a very balanced nutrition plan! As for gaining weight, definitely make sure you are eating enough. Do you have time for meals? Do not deprive yourself even if you are busy. You deserve time to eat and to relax! Make sure you have a protein source at every meal. For example, I drink soy milk as part of breakfast, beans as a main part of lunch, and lentils as a dinner entree. Try and do 2-3 strength workouts a week in place of cardio. Some people are naturally underweight…have you always been thin and are your family members generally thin? Being underweight is big concern if it’s from recent weight loss.