The Vegan View
I have been a vegan now for about six weeks. I take my supplements - B12, D3, omega etc. I feel like I am weak (maybe because I am 15 lbs lighter) but when I go to do something I have a lot of power and I last longer it seems. However, my bones in my feet hurt more and it does seem like my bones in the rest of my body hurt a little. At first my skin and mouth was really dry all the time. I also seems like it is hard for me to concentrate. I really want this diet to work for me but I think it may have some problems. What do you think is the problem?
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VegFamily readers reply:
Good lord! What ARE you doing wrong? I transitioned to vegan over a
year ago seamlessly, myself. I think if you've lost 15 pounds in 6
weeks, for one thing you're not eating enough calories, and chances
are, not enough protein. Eat more!
I can think of two main issues: 1) you are eating a lot of
something to which you have a sensitivity. Common triggers are
citrus, corn, wheat, soy. If you are eating a lot of any of these,
try eliminating them for a week or so and see if that helps. 2) You
are still in the transition phase in which your body is adjusting,
dumping toxins and rebuilding with new, stronger, healthier tissues.
A third option is that you are experiencing some of both. It sounds
like you are on the right track and that it is just a matter of fine
tuning the details. All the best!
When my husband and i made the switch over to
vegan, the soy in everything made him sick. Maybe try avoiding that
for awhile and see how that works!! :)
Victoria Bounteko has an amazing website and has done a lot of
research on green smoothies. If you start adding them to your diet
your energy level will peak. It's a way of getting a lot of protein
without the body using a lot of energy to digest.
It almost seems as though you are not getting enough water
and you are dehydrated. You should make sure you are drinking your 8
cups of water a day, and preferably filtered water. Without knowing
what you are consuming, make sure that you are adding back the fluids
in not only water, but also high water content foods. I would also
suggest that you go to your doctor and have them check your blood
glucose tolerance levels to make sure you are not experiencing
Scott:I've been a vegan for many years, and I run about 5 miles a
day, and I'm an executive at a large company (requires a lot of energy
and concentration). The changes you're experiencing may be nothing
more than your body adapting to new sources of fuel and nutrients.
Overall, I feel so much healthier than I did before I changed my
lifestyle. I never get more than a sniffle while others around me get
sick every year. Give it a little while, make sure you're taking your
B-12, and keep having new types of food to make sure you're getting
everything you need in terms of nutrients and variety. You'll be glad
It sounds to me like you're not eating enough calories.
Fifteen pounds is a lot to lose in six weeks! So many vegan foods are
naturally lower in usable calories because they contain more water and
fiber, so even if you feel like you are eating as much as before your
body may not be getting as many calories. That should help with brain
function and overall energy and endurance. Also make sure your diet is
balanced, including sufficient quantities of fruits, vegetables,
grains, and legumes, as well as water. If still no improvement,
consider consulting a dietitian. All the best!
I have been experiencing similar symptoms and I would love
to know what could be the reasons
A big problem when 1st going vegan can be lack of variety in the
diet, which can negatively impact your health & energy levels. My 1st
thought with your weight loss & low energy is "are you getting enough
calories?". If so, then look at what those calories are made of.It's
really important to eat a combination of carbohydrates, fats &
proteins. Fortunately, this is easy once you start eating more whole
foods. Unfortunately, our bodies & taste buds aren't used to whole
foods; we're used to processed junk.Make sure you're getting enough
fat & protein in your diet. Some great protein sources
are:SoySeitanBeans & other legumesQuinoaAmaranthMany vegetables have
protein too! So don't count them out.Also, if you are focusing on a
whole-food approach, don't forget to add in fats from nuts. Nuts are
super important for our Omega 3 fatty acids.The more your body & taste
buds adjust to vegan eating, the better you'll feel. But, if you're
still feeling drained, why not get some lab work done just to be sure?
Hi, I think your body is just detoxing. Give it some more time.
Success on a vegan diet depends on the type of diet you are
consuming. A vegan diet based on whole, unrefined fruits, vegetables,
legumes, whole intact grains, and a small amount of nuts and seeds
will lead to a healthy, sustainable diet.However if you are consuming
a vegan diet of white bread, vegan meat substitutes, vegan cheese
substitutes sugar, soft drinks, chips, crackers, white rice and other
refined processed vegan foods you are defininately going to experience
problems. The quality of your diet is important whether you are vegan
or not.Another issue I have repeatedly seen with new vegans is the
propensity to not eat enough calories. You must realize that meat,
dairy, eggs and cheese are very calorie dense foods so it doesn't take
much to consume enough or even excess calories. However, in a vegan
diet, most foods are less calorie dense and you may need to be eating
a lot more than you are in order to meet your calorie needs. Lack of
calories could certainly explain the symptoms you are having.It is
important to eat healthy foods, if your diet is based around vegan
junk or processed food you certainly will be deficient in nutrients.
It is also important to make sure you are consuming legumes, tempeh
and other healthy more calorie dense foods.If you are within the first
4 weeks of a vegan diet your body can be experiencing a detox from
metabolic waste and you can experience fatigue, weakness, dizziness,
aches and pains while this occurs and that is normal within the first
few weeks. If you consume animal products during the detoxification
of metabolic waste the detoxification will cease because the body will
then be overloaded with nitrogenous waste from the digestion and
metabolism of high protein and will no longer be focused on detoxing
from these wastes, so it does provide relief for a time. You have to
give it time, 4 weeks of eating healthy, whole foods and your health
will certainly improve.
Sounds like your body is still adjusting. Also, based on the
significant amount of weight loss it sounds like you went vegan cold
turkey and more specifically as a raw food vegan. What you described
is common in the beginning. Your mind and your body need time to
adjust. The best thing to do to make this process flow more smoothly
is to drink plenty of water, diversify your plant-based diet to ensure
that you are feeding your body all of the nutrients, vitamins and
minerals that it needs. Try eating more nutrient-rich fresh foods
like broccoli, flaxseeds, raw nuts, spinach, kale, carrots, apples,
ginger, garlic, red bell peppers, butternut squash, any of the
superfoods such as pomegranates, maca powder, goji berries or
wheatgrass. Try to stay away from processed foods (even the vegan
ones). Eating more raw foods will increase your energy as the cooking
process tends to destroy the nutrients, which results in the body
having to work harder to digest the food leaving you with less energy.
Transitioning to a vegan diet is at least 90 percent mental so right
now your mind is resisting because it has for so long been trained to
believe that your body needed meat for its sustenance. However, you
are always in control and over time the mind will catch up. So for
now relax and enjoy each stage of the transition and be assured that
you have made the right choice. Sooner rather than later you'll see
that by making this decision you will realize benefits far beyond any
that you have imagined. I've been a vegan now for 14 years and have
raised 2 healthy vegan children so I know from experience that it is a
very healthy diet. I hope this helps and if you need more information
feel free to contact me.Amirah Bhttp://www.AmirahBFit.com
It's hard to know what's going on without more specifics on
your diet. If you are relying on processed foods rather than whole
foods and lots of greens your diet will be no better than any other
conventional GMO-laden diet. If, on the other hand, you are eating
100% whole grains, and a variety of organic produce you may be feeling
the effects of a detoxification process in your diet. I would consult
a veg-friendly health professional if these things still concern you
after another 6 weeks have passed.
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