6 weeks in - feeling awful - any help?

Alice Everett

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Hi All,
Just joined here, I've been vegan for 6 weeks and I'm feeling really exhausted. I started off well eating homemade chilli and curry, fruit, lots of spinach, lentils, beans etc.

What's gone wrong recently is I've started to eat lots of carbs, I've gained weight (and hit the peanut butter, jam and corn thins in a big way) and having way more sugar than I want to! Totally comfort eating in the evenings as work's a bit stressful.

I feel really stuck in a rut.

I need to get back on it and I'd appreciate any tips, I'm not confident about what I should be eating to make sure my diet is nutritionally balanced. I've done lots of googling but the information online isn't always that consistent. I don't want to go back to eating fish etc but my body felt much leaner when I did. I just feel bloated, heavy, my mood is dropping.

I want to get back into a healthy mindset and want to eat to feel energised.

Also I'm taking 25micrigrams of B12 a day, is that enough? Any other supplements?

Thanks guys,
Alice :)
 

amberfunk

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You should be taking more b 12. I've found that the liquid b complex works best for me once a day. Cut down on the carbs and eat more veggies. If cooking is an issue for you with work invest in a slow cooker and prep for meals on your day off. I work 10-11 hour shifts 4-5 days a week and I've found that using the slow cooker twice a week and meal planning really helps. The way I meal plan is make a list of meals I can make for the week and decide which to make about a day in advance that way it doesn't feel as restrictive to me. I use the easy quicker cooking meals on my first and last day of work.

Getting a vegan cookbook for ideas might also help you. I really like the ones by Annie and Dan Shannon. Mastering the art of vegan cooking has a lot of budget recipes and tips to keep food longer and tips for shopping and saving money. I've been going through Betty goes vegan right now which is veganizing Betty Crocker. I find them to be helpful when I want something different than I usually cook.

There's nothing wrong with eating carbs everyday just don't do it at every meal and over do it. I find that I get the feeling that I'm bloated and constipated if I over do it on pasta. I hope some of this helps you. Good luck to you!
 

Emma JC

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hi Alice

Welcome to the forum and I hope you are more comfortable soon!

May I ask how much oil you are eating? Are you using olive oil or coconut oil in your cooking?

Emma JC
 
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Mangia Vegano

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Hi there! Lucky for me, I had a few people to help me out when I started. One of the things I learned early was the importance of a varied diet. Can't eat the same stuff all of the time because you need to gather nutrition from various sources now. As you and @amberfunk were getting to, multi vitamins are also great. I need to get better at taking those myself.

As far as what foods to eat , here is a common dinner rotation in my house:

Monday
- Beefless Tips with Onions, Mushrooms, and Mashed Potatoes
Tuesday - Salad with pan fried breaded Tofu, Cucumbers, Carrots, Red Onion, and a nice Vegan Dressing
Wednesday - Minestrone Soup
Thursday - TLT's (Tempeh, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwiches) with Avocado and a nice Vegan Dressing
Friday - Cheat day, baby! Some awesome pasta with marinara sauce, daiya cheese, and Vegan Crumbles

Throughout the week: Fresh sliced pineapple, various other fruits. Oatmeal and cereals in the morning. Etc.

So, that's a given week. Veggies, Proteins, fruits, and take a multi vitamin daily (with food). If you are interested in some recipes and how to videos, I started a YouTube channel to help my friends and family. It just launched, but content will be updated regularly.

Good Luck!
 
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Nekodaiden

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Hi All,
Just joined here, I've been vegan for 6 weeks and I'm feeling really exhausted. I started off well eating homemade chilli and curry, fruit, lots of spinach, lentils, beans etc.

What's gone wrong recently is I've started to eat lots of carbs, I've gained weight (and hit the peanut butter, jam and corn thins in a big way) and having way more sugar than I want to! Totally comfort eating in the evenings as work's a bit stressful.

I feel really stuck in a rut.

I need to get back on it and I'd appreciate any tips, I'm not confident about what I should be eating to make sure my diet is nutritionally balanced. I've done lots of googling but the information online isn't always that consistent. I don't want to go back to eating fish etc but my body felt much leaner when I did. I just feel bloated, heavy, my mood is dropping.

I want to get back into a healthy mindset and want to eat to feel energised.

Also I'm taking 25micrigrams of B12 a day, is that enough? Any other supplements?

Thanks guys,
Alice :)
It is unlikely the corn thins are making you fat (unless they are fried/contain oil), nor the jam. But refined fatless or near fatless carbs can hinder weight loss if they do not contain fiber or enough of it. Your gut flora will keep asking you to eat until you give it what it needs. If Prevotella prevails, that means fiber. If Bacteroides, that means animal flesh and fat. Part of becoming a Vegan that doesn't suffer from hunger means feeding the Prevotella strain - and that means fiber rich whole foods like you started eating. When you starve the fiber munching bacteria, they will keep sending signals for you to eat, more and more until they get what they need.

Eating too much fat (even plant fat) can make you gain the fat pounds if you're not working it off. Instead of focusing on reducing or eliminating carbs in general, increase whole foods that have enough fiber and carbohydrate, and lower in fat if you want to lose it. Fiber from whole foods is essential in feeding your good gut flora. They get enough fiber - you get propionate, which sends the signal to stop eating. This is one reason I can't stand most mock meats made up of oils and isolated proteins. Isolated proteins, to my knowledge do not feed either the Prevotella bacterial stain nor the Bacteroides one.
 
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new vegan

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We're on a plant based diet, to save my husband's life. And yes. Both of us felt the same way about 1 month into it. The problem was caloric deficiency. We weren't eating enough to sustain ourselves.

We're both pretty calm people.. but man.. once you're out of the "Pleasure Trap".. all bets are off. We both had to feel and acknowledge how it feels to eat "real food" to sustain life.

It's one heck of a transition..
 
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amber_ll

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Hey Alice,
congratulations on the change!
Something I learnt recently was that it helps to eat vitamin c with food high in iron, it helps your body absorb the iron. and that you shouldn't drink or eat anything with caffeine in it two hours before and after eating as this prevents your body from absorbing the iron. a lack in iron intake can make you feel tiered.
Hope that helps a bit!
Also, watching documentaries can keep you motivated to stick with the veganism.
Regarding fish, there is a great one called 'End of the line'
For health, 'What the Health'
For animal welfare, 'Dominion', 'Earthlings', 'Cowspiracy'

Keep up the great work
 
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veganDreama

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Hello and Welcome! I hope the above advice helps you stick to a vegan diet. There can be a lot of teething problems if your body isn't used to it but give it a chance to work and don't let anyone persuade you that veganism isn't healthy because it is.
 

Slonaut

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It can take a few months to find balance. Dried fruit like dates are a very sweet and healthy snack.
Eat fruits before a meal, not after. Always fruit first, then a salad or bread. Toasting your bread will make it a bit easier to digest too. Dried fruit and nuts are an ok combination, but fresh fruit and nuts will bloat you.
Try to avoid excessive amounts of rice, potatoes, bread, etc. Avoid processed foods like fake meat and tofu. Beans are a better alternative, and won't cause you much gass if you eat them in a salad, it's when you eat them with carbs that they ferment.
Keep it natural and simple. Spirulina is great too.

Also meditating only a few minutes a day will have a big influence on your life.
 
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Tomas

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It is by the way not forbidden to take food supplements. there are supplements (multivitamins, not just B12) specifically created to add some of the nutrients a plant-based diet might contain less off when compared to a meat, fish and dairy eating pattern.

Also if you keep being tired you can always have a blood test to see if you are getting enough nutrients. When you know which nutrients you are lacking you can change what you eat accordingly. I'd do a bloodtest after several months though.

Whole wheat in addition to comfort eating in the evening is probably what is creating the excess weight. If I were you I would find a (respected) website with a vegan meal plan for one week or longer and try to keep at it. These plans are mostly created to facilitate a balanced diet and make you get out of your comfort zone by adding perhaps unknown foods that might help you in your path to veganism. A short search on google immedeatly brought me to a site with a four week vegan meal plan called my darling vegan.
I can't post links though seeing I'm a new member so you'll have to search for a plan yourself.

Hope it helps.
 
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This is nothing to be concerned about. The more you stress, the worse your body gets. In time you will figure out what works best for you and what doesn't.
 

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