Depression, food addiction and veganism


Feb 28, 2017
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Winnipeg, MB, Canada
  1. Vegan
Hi, so I wasn't sure where to go with this but I knew I needed to talk to someone.
I went vegan in June 2015 and its been rocky since the beginning. I know this is the way I want to live and in general, I live a cruelty free vegan lifestyle. But, when it comes to food, there seem to be way too many times I just can't control myself. This was a problem before I was vegan as well. I'm 5'2 and weigh 189 pounds. I've had issues controlling my cravings for a long long time and I absolutely hate it. I was diagnosed with depression around the same time as when I went vegan (no correlation, just as a time reference) and when I'm at my lows it's impossible to eat healthy. If I let myself eat utter junk food I can manage vegan but when I force myself to eat healthy I end up turning to non vegan foods. I really need to change this and I've been trying for so long I don't know what to do anymore.
I've tried many medications and such for depression but none have helped. I've been off medication for several months now and it's definitely better than being on medication but it's still sub par. I also tried medical marijuana but I had a 'bad trip' that I haven't been able to get over enough to try again. (The spouse is also very against marijuana because of his past so that does have an impact on how I feel/felt using it)
Im just wondering if anyone has experienced/is experiencing the same things as I am and if anyone could please please help me.

Thank you
Hi Brianna, you do sound like you are up against it. Just a few questions:

Is your spouse vegan?

What foods do you crave that aren't vegan?

What do you consider vegan junk food?

Really we should be vegan simply for the health of the animals so keep that in mind, and I know you can have unhealthy vegan foods but even those will be healthier than the non-vegan variety. I really don't think you can eat healthily if you are not eating vegan. I've lost lots of weight without dieting, just eating what I want that is vegetable based foods. There are an awful lot of vegan foods that we don't realise are until we read the ingredients. However in Canada I don't know if they have to list the ingredients like we do in the UK.

You should feel really proud of yourself making the move to veganism at such a young age. That shows real compassion and understanding and courage. You are at the front of a movement that is gathering momentum and it's young people like you who will change the world for the better.

Looking forward to hearing from you. :)
Hi Sally,

No my spouse isn't vegan, we was transitioning with me, then went to vegetarian then back to omni. I'm still working on him but trying to to push too hard.

I crave pretty much everything I used to have growing up, and things I wasn't really allowed to have. Junky stuff like chocolate bars, pizza pops, cheese strings, pizza.... and I work at a burger place that has good vega option sbut I still found my self craving and trying the meat burgers which disgusts me but I can't seem to ignore it.

I consider vegan junk food to be mostly the chocolates, candies, cookies and snacks that are 'accidentally vegan' and take out food you can get vegan.

I agree with you that I don't think I can be healthy while eating non-vegan, and I definitely want to be vegan. I know that however I end up helping myself I know I won't be happy if I go back to eating animals. I just don't know how to get round these cravings.

Thank you, I only wish I had grown up vegan. I'm betting it would've been easier to avoid these foods if i grew up knowing how bad they were.
Oh yes, I agree. I've only been vegan for about a year and a half, before that I was vegetarian for a few years, but didn't manage even that until I was in my fifties. I so wish I had grown up vegan. No wonder you have difficulty if you work in a burger bar. When you are hungry meat and cheese is a really quick fix and often I have nothing substantial to put in a sandwich, although today I was really hungry and happily had some vegan sausages which I grilled (only took ten minutes) and had in a sandwich with tomato sauce, it was lovely. Are the vegan options at the burger place tasty and filling or are they a bit healthy, when you want something comforting. You need oil every day too to keep your skin supple and it fills you up and makes stuff taste nicer.

So it's finding a vegan version of a burger with the oil, salt, and texture that you would get with the meat version. Maybe get a vegan burger, put lots of sunflower oil spread on the bun, add salt and pepper and a big dollop of tomato sauce or whatever the relish is and/or salad and you would probably not realise that it isn't meat. The trouble with getting a vegan burger in a McDonald's over here is that I just get given a veggie burger in a dry bun, no salad nothing, it's dreadful. Maybe take some condiments with you to work to make the vegan option a bit more palatable. It's funny but not having eaten cheese for so long I find the smell of it now is horrible, so tastes do change. You are doing really well, and we are not all perfect.

You probably don't realise it but you are very likely inspiring others, you might not know about it, but someone might come in and you say you are vegan and they think, "wow if she can work in a burger bar and be vegan, then I can do it." :)
I've perused that shrooms effectsly affects the client however do you folks have any thought what solid advantages does therapeutic cannabis gives? I've perused this article about a marijuana strain ilovegrowingmarijuana,com/rare-darkness/ and it says that it has a few advantages as well. I dont know whether this is altogether valid. I need to ask you all who has some individual experience about this strain thing. Because of the individuals who will reply!
Jason, while I don't dispute the positive effects of medicinal marijuana, I don't promote smoking in any way shape or form. Yes, even marijuana smoke has nasty carcinogens. I don't smoke, myself, and do not recommend anyone doing so. If you are going to use marijuana medicinally, use edibles.

While I am no expert on the subject of individual strains of marijuana, I can say that I do know a little about it. For example, indica strains generally cause increased appetite (the munchies), and help induce sleepiness. Where sativa strains are more alert, and can sometimes cause mild anxiety, if not properly dosed.

Smoking and eating marijuana produce fairly different effects. There's also the CBD factor in medicinal marijuana. It is known to help with a plethora of conditions, ranging from anxiety to serious seizures with epileptics, etc.

One thing I know for a fact is that when you buy a particular strain of marijuana, even from a legit vendor, the strains vary all the time. What you know as bubba kush one day will not be consistent with the next batch of bubba kush the store orders in. At least not always. The same vendor might get the same strain over and over, but what you call babba kush at one store, might be entirely different at another vendor. This is a huge problem with regulating it for medicinal usage.

Oddly, marijuana falls under several drug classifications. It is listed as a depressant, a narcotic, and a hallucinogen, depending on the strain, and dosage. It can't be put into one neat little category. It is extremely diverse in its effects, and uses, both medicinally and recreationally.

If it helps you, great, but for me I choose not to smoke, period. Lastly, I think it is possible it could help the original poster, but it would have to be carefully researched. Just grabbing any old strain is not a good idea. The 'bad trip' could definitely have been a result of the wrong strain.
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Hey Brianna,

I've experienced a similar thing. I went veggie to boost my health, both physical and mental in the hope it would help my problems with depression but I ended up becoming really obsessed with what I was putting into my body. It's so hard because veganism/vegetarianism is linked so much with being healthy, it's like we're forced to eat healthily which takes away from actually wanting to be healthy! That's how I feel anyway.
What I have found with my depression is writing my thoughts down. I'm a student right now doing journalism so I love writing anyway so it might not work for you, but I read so many different articles online to get a fuller picture, almost as if veganism is more of a hobby and interest rather than completely diet orientated, I connect more with the ethics and I talk to bloggers. It made me more impassioned by the lifestyle and I'm slowly moving back towards the person I once was. I also found solace in the gym, and I know there are problems there for a lot of people but I found working out meant my body starting feeling good on the inside, which helped me to eat healthier, and it meant when I did eat less healthy foods I didn't get the "guilt" that's associated with them.

I hope this helps!
I’m sorry about what you are going through.
There are many reasons to choose the vegan lifestyle. Maybe I can help you come to terms with how you feel and the reality of your situation.
Being vegan is more than just a term thrown around to describe what you want to be. Being vegan is acting in a way that does not support the cruelty of animals in any way shape or form. If you act in a way that does support cruelty to animals at any given time, you are simply not vegan at that time. This is something you need to come to terms with. You either are vegan or you aren’t. Choosing any lifestyle out of societies norm takes a considerable amount of focus and mental discipline.
Cravings. I can empathize with you on this feeling. It is simply a mental feeling caused by an addiction to sugar. Sugar is more addicting than any drug known to man. (There are many resources to prove this.) I defeated this addiction by using my logical mind. I removed all artificial sugar from my apartment as well as all processed carbohydrates. This makes it more difficult and harder to access this drug. You need to come to terms with these facts then decide whether or not you want to defeat it and change your life for the better. A good tool to make sure you are getting proper nutrition is an app called Chronometer. It will break down the foods you eat to the specific vitamins, minerals, fats, and proteins. It’s important to not only eat well to feel well, but also to make sure you getting proper nutrients.
You can do this.