I was veg for about 1 1/2 years before going vegan.
Different times for different people, though. Just take it one step at a time :)
Try sticking to veganism for 6 days a week and have one break day. Then make that break day every other week, etc.
http://vegan.com/ultimate-vegan-guide/chap8/ <- discusses cheese
Let's see...Pescatarian 3 months, followed by vegetarianism straight for 8 months, followed by on again off again veganism for another 8 months, followed by just vegetarian for 4 months, followed by 1 year of (Vegan AT HOME and vegetarian ABROAD) aka I home cooked vegan but ate out vegetarian.
Now been 100% vegan since February 2012. I'd been chewing it two months and thought... Ya know, I don't really need the eggs. (dairy intolerant so not an issue, it made me sick.) and occasional cheese did not taste that great to me after I'd found good replacements.
So... 3.5 years is how long it took me to go 100% vegan.
How I get through restaurants? I always go to one with vegan options. If they don't have at least one vegan option, I won't go at all. But apparently, living in Louisville, KY, I'm in one of the most vegan friendly cities in North America.
And so long as I don't go out to eat, I'm never tempted. I enjoyed cheese but was never addicted. I mean, I loved me some muenster and hard sharp cheddar but it's so caloric that I think watching my figure nixed cheese far faster than my vegan goal did.
Also, Parmesan cheese has been easily replaced on pizzas by omitting it altogether, or Daiya brand. Sometimes I splurge for Daiya when I'm in the mood for "cheese." Otherwise, I live without. Have yet to find a good cheddar replacement.
Have you read The Kind Life? I love that book. It has great vegan ideas that you would never know the food isn't vegan. The rice krispy treats are incredible!!! Great book for those flirting with going vegan...get it out from the library...lots of fun recipes and it just makes you so proud to be vegan:) I'm no longer 100% vegan, but I eat vegan most week days and it's definitely when I feel best. Don't beat yourself up for a little cheese...
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