Embarassing problem once going vegan

CorpsePose23

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Hey, I'm hoping to find some advice. I went vegan in May of this year because I had a bit of a health scare regarding my heart. While laying in the hospital bed, I decided to make changes and that was one. I also did it for ethical reasons. I felt great being vegan. I felt like I was accomplishing something, I felt like I was doing good for myself, animals, and the planet.

Then the problem started...basically, I feel like I have to have a bowel movement ALL the time and I can't hold it. There's no like, "oh maybe I need to use the bathroom." It's "Bathroom now!!" It was so bad that I get worried about leaving the house which exacerbated my anxiety. Then I started getting acid reflux really bad. It was painful bad and I went through an entire bottle of TUMS that I've had in my medicine cabinet for a long time and never touched previously.

About a week ago, I was hungry and I could not stop the feeling. I ate every vegan thing I had (I had a tempeh BLT, a salad with chick peas, a bowl of spinach soup, and then a sleeve of crackers) and I was still hungry so I said forget it, and I ate my daughter's sausage breakfast biscuit and I immediately felt better. I started reintroducing meat products back into my diet and the immediate urges to use the bathroom are gone along with the acid reflux.

Even though I'm feeling better, I wanted to remain vegan for the ethical reasons. So my question is, was I doing something wrong? That was May until a week ago having those issues, how long could I possibly wait for my digestive system to adjust? Is it possible that some people just can't be vegan? Possibly a protein issue? I was getting protein from a combination of legumes and grains, tempeh, and tofu. I wasn't tracking though so I don't know exactly how much I was getting.

Even though I've gone back to having some meat in my diet, I am not near the amount I used to eat. I probably an animal product once every other day. So it's not often but it's back. Any advice on trying it again?

Thank you
 

amberfunk

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Your stomach just might have been upset. I notice that if I eat too much of the same things constantly then I have stomach issues. It seems like it's mostly a fat issue for me. If I have too much stuff with gravy, sauce or other things that I make with earth balance it makes my stomach upset. I vary my diet more now and don't really have an issue. You could also just have a stomach bug that's trying to get out of your system. As for being hungry just up what you are eating. Try having more carbs at your meals and have snacks. Drink more water as well. Sometimes our bodies will be hungry when in fact we are just dehydrated. You also could just be having too much fiber as well.
 
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CorpsePose23

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Thank you for replying. I was thinking about it and I was making a lot of meals that were bean based. Black bean burgers, beans on salads, cannelini bean dressing, etc. I'm wondering if too much fiber was a big part of the problem.
 

amberfunk

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Try switching things around in your diet. I know when I eat too many beans I get really bloated and gassy. It helps a little if you soak the beans for a few hours or over night first. Most of the time I cook my beans in the slow cooker. Alternate your bean days with other foods. Try seitan, tofu, lentils (they don't make me gassy so try them out for you), rice with tons of veggies. To top your salads cook some quinoa in some veggie stock. Try out over night oatmeal for some meals. Try some pasta recipes if you like pasta. I think if you alternate you might find some relief of your stomach issues if it was caused by too much beans. Best of luck to you!
 
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Emma JC

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Great advice, Amber.

We mostly follow the starchivore way of eating which is 75% starch/carbs, 10% fat, 15% protein. When you eat this way and if most of your foods are whole foods, you can eat tons, without gaining weight, and therefore rarely feel hungry.

Beans are great and we eat them regularly - Dr Greger suggests 3 servings a day, a serving being 1/4 cup hummus or bean dip, or 1/2 cup cooked beans/peas/lentils/tempeh or one cup of fresh peas or sprouted lentils.

If you were not used to eating beans in the past then easing into them might be a good idea too and when you eat them be sure to eat lots of other starch and veggies like potatoes and corn and carrots and all those good things. We need lots of glucose for energy and for our brains and that comes from starches. Some nut butter on good sprouted whole grain bread is a great filler also, good old PB&J!!

Good luck, CP23 and I hope you make your way back to a whole food plant based lifestyle soon.

Emma JC
 

Forest Nymph

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Hmmm...I had several bowel movements a day for the first month or two I was vegan (I think two things are going on here: adjusting to a higher fiber diet but all the gross things you could have rotting in your gut from say dairy or meat and they're being swept away by God's little **** shovels) but then it regulated to usually a once a day - in fact at one point I was so regular I went at nearly the same time every day.

Things which cause me major gas are eating too much cruciferous vegetables - I mean like eating them in excess, like broccoli, cabbage or cauliflower in unusually large amounts (such as eating the same dish all day long or eating left-overs for three days in a row).

I wish I knew what was causing your acid reflux and indigestion. I don't know your exact diet vegan diets may vary. Some people have problems with peppers or tomatoes, or you could be eating too much of one food which would be fine in more moderate amounts. I've heard excessive bananas can also cause bathroom issues.

The only time I'm extremely hungry is when I've been working out or hiking a lot, a few days before my menstrual period and maybe the first day or two, or if I have been eating a very minimalist restrictive diet for several days (by that I simply mean no oil, very little fat, beans and rice, oatmeal and fruit) ....but I can usually rectify these issues with tofu, whole grain bread, peanut butter in my oatmeal or in Asian noodle dishes, a hearty falafel wrap with hummus, or eating some Tofurky roast or "sausages." I'm a big fan of Tofurky but your mileage may vary. I have a friend who loves tempeh but doesn't care for tofu or Tofurky. You get the picture though, get your fats and proteins to feel more satiated when very hungry.

I'm actually surprised that you would go straight from vegan to pork though without perhaps trying some Gardein products, a veggie burger or even just having dairy cheese pizza rather than diving straight for the meat. I'm continually confused by people who go from vegan to eating meat again, though lacto-ovo vegetarian seems less of an extreme jump.

If you are naturally one of those people who always liked meat, I strongly strongly suggest you try incorporating products like Beyond Meat into your weekly plan. Beyond Meat was created for ethical vegetarians and vegans who genuinely liked the taste of meat. I am personally not a fan, but it was made for people who share your particular struggle. I would also suggest that you snack on nuts or seeds, try nutrition bars like Clif or Luna, and make sure your fat consumption is adequate. You need some fat. I am not oil free, but if you are, you still need things like avocado, flax, coconut and walnuts.

Good luck.