Yes, yes, and yes to all three questions! I have changed so many things with my meals and recipes and favorite foods. I figured out how to make a lot of our favorite dishes healthier and still taste great. There are some dishes that just don't taste as appealing in a lower fat/healthier version so I've learned to live without those foods. But with all of the new favorites I've discovered, I don't miss those foods at all.
I experimented by trying a lot of vegetarian inspired foods and have discovered I love veggie burgers, lentils, quinoa, beans, etc.
I stopped eating red meat, saturated fats, anything deep fried, and anything with dairy (because I discovered I'm sensitive to the protein in it). I used to love a big juicy steak, french fries, cheeseburgers, ice cream, cheesecake, etc. but those foods no longer appeal to me like they did before. And I discovered early on that anything greasy just doesn't sit well in my stomach anymore.
Making a slow overhaul on my diet has made the changes easier to take than a drastic shift. I know I can eat this way for the rest of my life and not feel I'm missing anything.
IT NEVER GETS EASIER - YOU JUST GET BETTER.