Vegan Failure

donsabi

Newcomer
Joined
Mar 10, 2018
Reaction score
5
Age
56
Lifestyle
  1. Other
Last year I tried a few times to become vegan. Each time I became so fatigued I could barely function. Members here were very supportive but returned to my past diet. Recently I have realized my body is rejecting butter. I am also having issues eating any kind of fat. I want to try to go vegan again. I would appreciate any and all suggestions.

In the spring I met with an allergist and to my surprise also tested for food allergies. I was more surprised to see many of my favorite foods were also mildly allergic to me. The doctor asked if I had stomach problems. I told him I have IBS. He said that if I give up the foods he listed my IBS would subside. I gave them up and my IBS was gone. I have also lost ten pounds in the process. The foods I gave up were oats, peanuts, strawberries, egg yolks, onion, cantaloupe, oranges, and bananas. Beans weren't on the list but I do have problems digesting them.

Recently I read an article by a woman who went vegan for eight weeks. She said for the first week she was extremely fatigued and did not think she would last on this diet. However, after a week she said she woke and felt much better and fully energized. Perhaps I just didn't give it enough time. I did feel good for the first few days of being vegan. I slept like the dead and felt very good. By the end of the first week I felt like I was hit by a truck and gave up. I am ready to give it another try.

Comments appreciated, thanks.

Comments
 

Forest Nymph

Forum Legend
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Reaction score
2,203
Age
40
Location
Northern California
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
My guess, as usual, is that you didn't eat enough calories. I don't mean to hate on anyone, but when I see New Vegans with skimpy or overly restrictive diets, I have concerns.

When I first went vegan for a few weeks I craved potato chips. So I ate them, because I was a younger adult maybe than some, so willing to go with the flow. Then I craved greens. EXTREMELY. I remember having this intense desire for spinach or kale.

I also implemented substitutes, like guacamole on every single thing was easy in Southern California, because all I really missed was cheese. I bought Chao slices and made grilled cheese vegan style, and started my years long affair with Follow Your Heart's Vegenaise, which I ate on baked potatoes with things like fresh dill or scallions.

That was just my journey. No one develops a nutritional deficiency in one month, the important thing is to get calories (hopefully healthy calories, and take a multi vitamin just in case).

It didn't take me long to learn to eat, but I was vegetarian before vegan and did LOTS of research on YouTube and Pinterest.

Today, I'm a half and half kind of gal. This week I have tons of fresh vegetables and fruits and will eat WFPB meals. Other weeks I eat Beyond Burgers and Field Roast sausages. Both ways of eating keep me feeling satisfied and happy, as long as I alternate them according to my cravings. Last year a doctor told me I have the blood work of someone in late teens, despite being a woman in my 30s who enjoys a drink a couple times a week. I also walk and hike and stuff, but I'm no athlete or health freak and I'm better than fine for a person my age.

Good luck. You CAN do it.
 

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
12,121
Age
67
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Ok, I'm not any kind of expert but since you asked for advice, I'll make some suggestions.
You said you went to an allergist, that is a great second step. The first step is to see your doctor and get a blood test. Most everything you need to know is standard and probably fully covered. A lot of stuff can show up in a standard blood test but no matter what it can be used as a baseline on your vegan journey.

While you are at the physician's office you should discuss the results from the allergist. With the IBS you might qualify to see a Registered Dietician. I don't think an RD would find it difficult to make a meal plan for an IBS client who is a vegan. Recently I heard on the news a story about a new test that really pinpointed food issues for IBS patients. I'll see if i can find out what its called later. But your doctor might know more about it.

Oh. if you don't have health insurance. Just go to a clinic. A doctor's exam including a blood test won't be too much. And even if there are no issues (and let's hope there aren't any), just having a baseline is priceless. You could also pay out of your pocket for a dietician. Many of them have private practices and you probably only need 1 - 2 office visits.

If you have had an exam and blood test in the last year, I suppose then you can then wait till later.

The women in the article you mentioned are sort of a familiar story. I know half the stuff on the internet you read is made up so it's hard to say if there is anything to the story. But the popular explanation is detox. Something like what happens to a drug user during withdrawal and what happens to a sewer system when you flush the toilet. I'm sure there is some truth to the matter. and I can't totally ignore how much anecdotal evidence there is, I'll only admit that it's possible.

I think the more likely explanation for the woman in the article and most of the other stories is a lack of calories. It could be explained by a vitamin and mineral deficiency, but if a person is healthy it takes months to show symptoms of a vitamin and/or mineral deficiency. But if the person is unhealthy, maybe then it could take a week or two.

The calorie thing seems the very most likely. There is only something like 200 calories in a two-pound salad before you put on the salad dressing. Many new vegans don't realize how much they have to eat to get enough calories.

If you don't see a dietician then you can do a pretty good job by going to CronOmeter. You can use it to help plan a daily meal plan. If you need a lot of help with meal plans then the websites SparkPeople and EatThisMuch will make them for you. Neither has a vegan option but both allow for food substitutions.

Most vegans find it challenging to meet all their nutritional requirements at first. But it not only gets easier with practice but after a while it's like driving a car - you don't even think about it that much. Although I think a lot of vegans like to pay a lot of attention to what they eat - but in a good way.

Good luck and let us know what's happening
 

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
12,121
Age
67
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
When i started my post, FN hadn't posted it.
I'm not sure if its Great Minds Think Alike. or just common sense.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mom2vegan

rogerjolly

Forum Legend
Joined
Aug 12, 2017
Reaction score
491
Age
78
Location
Yorkshire
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Last year a doctor told me I have the blood work of someone in late teens, despite being a woman in my 30s ....


Huh! That ain’t nothin’. I’m 75 and my doctor recently told me my heart was like that of a twenty year old. Any advances on that?

It makes you wonder to just what extent our medical practitioners are embracing the dark arts of psychology. :)

Roger.
 

Mom2vegan

Forum Devotee
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Reaction score
116
Age
52
I'm just getting ready to start my 3rd week of being vegan. Last week I had extreme fatigue. I really felt like I was grinding to a halt halfway through the day, and ended up giving in to pizza Thursday and Friday nights. I felt so awful at work - I had a hard time functioning and also felt very emotional. I think FN and Lou are right and I needed more calories. This weekend I've eaten a few more calories and do feel better - of course I've been lazing around not spending any time on my feet so it's hard to tell. I did go to the gym yesterday but just did 20 minutes on the elliptical and that's all I could do. I count calories because I'm trying to lose weight. When I was eating the same # of calories not vegan, I wasn't getting so tired. I wonder if maybe the # of calories in a lot of plant based foods is over-estimated.
 
OP
OP
D

donsabi

Newcomer
Joined
Mar 10, 2018
Reaction score
5
Age
56
Lifestyle
  1. Other
Thanks for you posts.

I also wonder how the calories consumed on a meat diet equate to the number of calories on a vegan diet. The last time I tried going vegan I found it very difficult to consume an equal number of calories.
The last time I tried going vegan I jumped right in and I now think that was a mistake. I decided to gradually phase out meats this time. I don't eat dairy now and I don't eat egg yolks. Actually I am not eating that much meat to begin with. I have three egg whites for breakfast, homemade chicken noodle soup for lunch, (mostly broth), and about 3-4 ounces of ground beef or chicken for supper. The rest of my diet is vegan. I also should mention that I cut out butter and butter substitutes about a week ago. I am eating about 1500 calories daily.
 

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
12,121
Age
67
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Thanks for you posts.
The rest of my diet is vegan. I also should mention that I cut out butter and butter substitutes about a week ago. I am eating about 1500 calories daily.

Calories is calories.
What rest? You are eating meat 3x a day.
1500 calories a day might be too low. Most people require around 2000. You can check for your calorie requirements online. its based on your height, weight, age, and activity levels.
You would have to be like 100 pounds and hardly move to only require 1500 calories a day.
Most weight-loss diets suggest at least 1600.
 
OP
OP
D

donsabi

Newcomer
Joined
Mar 10, 2018
Reaction score
5
Age
56
Lifestyle
  1. Other
Lou,
I have questioned my calorie intake and my maintenance weight required about 1700-1800 calories/day. To lose one pound a week I should be about 1500 calories/day. If I eat more than that I gain weight. I am not 170 and want to be 150.
BTW, I gained my weight listening to a cardio MD. He said low fat-no fat and I did. That resulted in a 70 pound weight gain in ten years. It took me another ten years to lose fifty of those pounds and now I struggle to lose the final twenty pounds.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lou

N1111

Newcomer
Joined
Jul 13, 2019
Reaction score
10
Location
Virginia
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Huh! That ain’t nothin’. I’m 75 and my doctor recently told me my heart was like that of a twenty year old. Any advances on that?

It makes you wonder to just what extent our medical practitioners are embracing the dark arts of psychology. :)

Roger.
Hey Roger,
If you don't mind me asking, what exercise do you do? Thanks!
 

rogerjolly

Forum Legend
Joined
Aug 12, 2017
Reaction score
491
Age
78
Location
Yorkshire
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
If you don't mind me asking...

Not at all.

I have never been a health or a fitness freak. So I have never counted calories or been interested in exercise for its own sake. Thus exercise bikes or workouts or visits to a gym have always been a no-no for me.

My exercise is essentially a by-product of my loves for gardening and walking. I have two brisk short walks a day which include gradients steep enough to induce heavy breathing and increased heart rate. We live in a beautiful Yorkshire dale so there is no shortage of routes to take.

I also try to do at least one much longer walk per month on the moors and to visit the Lake District fells or the North Wales mountains every year. They are truly awe inspiring. I prefer my own company when walking: my pace is my own and there is time for contemplation in beautiful surroundings.

I have recently received a setback because of a fracture to a vertebra but we will see how that goes. Donald Watson celebrated his 80th (or was it his 90th?) birthday by climbing Ben Nevis. I hope to emulate him. :)

Roger.
 

Peaceful

Newcomer
Joined
Jul 25, 2019
Reaction score
16
Location
California
Lifestyle
  1. Vegetarian
You've
Not at all.

I have never been a health or a fitness freak. So I have never counted calories or been interested in exercise for its own sake. Thus exercise bikes or workouts or visits to a gym have always been a no-no for me.

My exercise is essentially a by-product of my loves for gardening and walking. I have two brisk short walks a day which include gradients steep enough to induce heavy breathing and increased heart rate. We live in a beautiful Yorkshire dale so there is no shortage of routes to take.

I also try to do at least one much longer walk per month on the moors and to visit the Lake District fells or the North Wales mountains every year. They are truly awe inspiring. I prefer my own company when walking: my pace is my own and there is time for contemplation in beautiful surroundings.

I have recently received a setback because of a fracture to a vertebra but we will see how that goes. Donald Watson celebrated his 80th (or was it his 90th?) birthday by climbing Ben Nevis. I hope to emulate him. :)

Roger.

You've touched on something here I believe is often overlooked... doing things for the joy of it.

If you're needing a pick me up, Calorie deficiency, keep nuts around, dried fruit, something healthful that you enjoy... doing something because you value it. Taking those walks, tending your own garden, getting into composting because then you can grow nutrient dense foods, going for bike rides, often with your kids, whatever that calls to you.

Engage in life and eat what feels good with variety!