What am i doing wrong?

Liv Bedin

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I turned vegan on the 17th of January and believe me, i've felt great. I have never felt so personally passionate about something in my whole life and I couldn't imagine living any other lifestyle but the past week I've been a bit worried.
(Sorry if this is TMI) A few days ago, my period ended but the whole time i was on it, i was feeling just kind of out of it and i think my iron levels are a bit low. My mother booked me in to get a blood test although i don't really want to, I guess I'll just do it anyway.

A classic day of eating for me would be;
Breakfast: 1/2 oatmeal with a cup of almond milk with a banana and cinnamon. Coffee.
Snack: Cacao and nut ball things and some fruit (usually grapes or watermelon). Coffee.
Lunch: Usually it would be left overs from dinner but other times it'd be 4 Rivetas and half an avocado
Snack: More fruit like watermelon and a handfull of inca inchi seeds and maybe another cacao and nut ball.
Dinner: Either a big green salad with four falafel balls OR a bunch of salads with a few slices of teriyaki tofu OR a bunch of roast vegetables.

Now that im writing it down, it doesn't seem like im getting enough protein but its kind of hard as my dinners aren't flexible with work and my mum usually cooks because im extremely busy.

What should i do? Should i just try to base my meals around more iron high foods like lentils?
Im not really sure.
 

Sax

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Welcome!

It could be iron deficiency, certainly worth getting tested for. It could also be general calorie deficiency...it's easy to underestimate how much food you need to eat, especially if you're used to eating small portions of calorie dense food like meat and cheese.

Chronometer is worth checking out if you need some insight on your nutrition.

You don't strictly need to take any supplements besides B12, but I think it's well worth it for peace of mind/insurance against deficiencies. I use the Deva Tiny Tablets nowadays (thanks @Lou!) which have iron, b12 and a lot more.

1-la-guia-vegana-vegan-pinterest-iron-vegan.jpg
 

Lou

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Gosh, I think I'm a broken record.

I'm feeling dizzy
Try using Cronometer
I don't think I'm getting enough iron
You should check in Cronometer
I have been feeling weak
Plug in your meals in Cronometer
Am I getting enough protein?
check in Cronometer.

So Cronometer is a web site that is free to use. They do have an app. Its cost money but it also unlocks some bonus features. but don't pay for it. Not right away anyway. But yes, you should check your nutrition in Cronometer.

It does take a few minutes to set up at first. And you don't need to get everything right the first time. The defaults are mostly good enough to start off with.

Then you just add the food you eat. There is a bit of a learning curve but as you work with it, not only do you discover all of the tricks and tips - but it learns about you and the foods you like and starts suggesting them for inputs.

At the end of the day, it displays in easy to understand bar graphs and pie charts how your nutrition is. If you aren't getting enough protein or iron, or whatever, it will show you. Also, you can make a hypothetical meal plan for tomorrow. And play with it till you are good in every category.

The only things that might need some explaining is iron. As a vegan, you need more than 100% iron. And I think it overestimates the required amount of protein. Not by a lot but enough to mess up some heads.

Another option is SparkPeople. I only mention this because you mentioned your mom and cooking. SparkPeople is almost as good a tracker as Cronometer. Not as easy to set up or understand but its still pretty good (and it Does have a free app). I bring it up because with a push of a button it will make a week's worth of meal plans, print out a shopping list and provide you with recipes. It doesn't have a "vegan button". But it does have a vegetarian button and it does allow for substitutions.

The meal plans SparkPeople makes up automatically are pretty close to perfect.

Helping your mom out with meal plans, shopping lists, and recipes is why I recommend Spark. Or you could also go to a website with vegan meal plans, PCRM has a good one, and make up your meal plan, and then a shopping list for her, too.

Cronometer and SparkPeople have little ad/tutorials that are worth checking out. Let me see if I can find them.

SparkPeople

Cronometer

Both work with various Activity Trackers, too.

Let us know what happens.
 
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OP
Liv Bedin

Liv Bedin

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Gosh, I think I'm a broken record.

I'm feeling dizzy
Try using Cronometer
I don't think I'm getting enough iron
You should check in Cronometer
I have been feeling weak
Plug in your meals in Cronometer
Am I getting enough protein?
check in Cronometer.

So Cronometer is a web site that is free to use. They do have an app. Its cost money but it also unlocks some bonus features. but don't pay for it. Not right away anyway. But yes, you should check your nutrition in Cronometer.

It does take a few minutes to set up at first. And you don't need to get everything right the first time. The defaults are mostly good enough to start off with.

Then you just add the food you eat. There is a bit of a learning curve but as you work with it, not only do you discover all of the tricks and tips - but it learns about you and the foods you like and starts suggesting them for inputs.

At the end of the day, it displays in easy to understand bar graphs and pie charts how your nutrition is. If you aren't getting enough protein or iron, or whatever, it will show you. Also, you can make a hypothetical meal plan for tomorrow. And play with it till you are good in every category.

The only things that might need some explaining is iron. As a vegan, you need more than 100% iron. And I think it overestimates the required amount of protein. Not by a lot but enough to mess up some heads.

Another option is SparkPeople. I only mention this because you mentioned your mom and cooking. SparkPeople is almost as good a tracker as Cronometer. Not as easy to set up or understand but its still pretty good (and it Does have a free app). I bring it up because with a push of a button it will make a week's worth of meal plans, print out a shopping list and provide you with recipes. It doesn't have a "vegan button". But it does have a vegetarian button and it does allow for substitutions.

The meal plans SparkPeople makes up automatically are pretty close to perfect.

Helping your mom out with meal plans, shopping lists, and recipes is why I recommend Spark. Or you could also go to a website with vegan meal plans, PCRM has a good one, and make up your meal plan, and then a shopping list for her, too.

Cronometer and SparkPeople have little ad/tutorials that are worth checking out. Let me see if I can find them.

SparkPeople

Cronometer

Both work with various Activity Trackers, too.

Let us know what happens.
Welcome!

It could be iron deficiency, certainly worth getting tested for. It could also be general calorie deficiency...it's easy to underestimate how much food you need to eat, especially if you're used to eating small portions of calorie dense food like meat and cheese.

Chronometer is worth checking out if you need some insight on your nutrition.

You don't strictly need to take any supplements besides B12, but I think it's well worth it for peace of mind/insurance against deficiencies. I use the Deva Tiny Tablets nowadays (thanks @Lou!) which have iron, b12 and a lot more.

1-la-guia-vegana-vegan-pinterest-iron-vegan.jpg
Thank you so much. I tracked today's food intake in Chronometer and it is a good way to actually realise what i need to be reaching. I didn't lose inspiration but I've only gained more with this especially with just making sure that i have a nicely balanced meal.

Thanks a lot!
 

Slonaut

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Add some dried fruits like dates or figs, they ar full of vitamins and minerals. Don't worry about protein or starch. It's more natural to replace starch with dried fruits.
 

Emma JC

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Dates and figs are wonderful foods and are very high in natural sugars and calories and fibre along with the vitamins and minerals.

Starch, IMO, is a an important part of our diet as it is satiating and comforting and provides fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Emma JC
 

amberfunk

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Sounds like calories and lack of iron. Coffee blocks iron absorption so whatever you just ate with iron isn't being absorbed as much. Add a source of vitamin c with your food if you drink coffee and try to time it an hour before or after your food. It's good that you're catching it early. Mine went on for months to the point I was passing out during my period and having to leave work. It's hard to reverse if you let it go on too long.
 
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Slonaut

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Eat beetroot weekly (raw or boiled), very rich in both iron and vitamin C.

Carbohydrates are essential, starch is not. Starch is just a kind of carbohydrate but not necessary for good health. There is no starchy food that contains nutrients that can’t be obtained from non-starchy fruits and vegetables. The amount of nutrients in rice, potatoes and white bread are very little. If you really insist on needing starch then quinoa is perhaps the best, as well as whole wheat crackers, toasted whole wheat bread is better too since the starch is further broken down into more simple carbs by the extra heat. Although it’s better to eat raw. Anything that needs to be boiled or heated before ingestion is unnatural. Not saying it’s all bad, just not essential for good health. As for satiation, a big salad will satiate you fine, just keep in mind that when you cut out starch your body will need a few days/weeks to adjust, just like when you stop eating meat. Dried fruits will satiate you too. Definitely when combined with nuts. And for comfort blankets are nice too. But I find sweet dried fruits a lot more comforting than starch though. You will not crave dessert after eating dried fruits.
 
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Lou

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Starch or amylum is a polymeric carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by most green plants as energy storage. It is the most common carbohydrate in human diets and is contained in large amounts in staple foods like potatoes, wheat, maize (corn), rice, and cassava.

Starch grains from the rhizomes of Typha (cattails, bullrushes) as flour have been identified from grinding stones in Europe dating back to 30,000 years ago.[6] Starch grains from sorghum were found on grind stones in caves in Ngalue, Mozambique dating up to 100,000 years ago.[7]

In photosynthesis, plants use light energy to produce glucose from carbon dioxide. The glucose is used to generate the chemical energy required for general metabolism, to make organic compounds such as nucleic acids, lipids, proteins and structural polysaccharides such as cellulose, or is stored in the form of starch granules, in amyloplasts. Toward the end of the growing season, starch accumulates in twigs of trees near the buds. Fruit, seeds, rhizomes, and tubers store starch to prepare for the next growing season.

Starch is the most common carbohydrate in the human diet and is contained in many staple foods. The major sources of starch intake worldwide are the cereals (rice, wheat, and maize) and the root vegetables (potatoes and cassava).[39] Many other starchy foods are grown, some only in specific climates, including acorns, arrowroot, arracacha, bananas, barley, breadfruit, buckwheat, canna, colacasia, katakuri, kudzu, malanga, millet, oats, oca, polynesian arrowroot, sago, sorghum, sweet potatoes, rye, taro, chestnuts, water chestnuts and yams, and many kinds of beans, such as favas, lentils, mung beans, peas, and chickpeas.

Digestive enzymes have problems digesting crystalline structures. Raw starch is digested poorly in the duodenum and small intestine, while bacterial degradation takes place mainly in the colon. When starch is cooked, the digestibility is increased

Before the advent of processed foods, people consumed large amounts of uncooked and unprocessed starch-containing plants, which contained high amounts of resistant starch. Microbes within the large intestine fermented the starch, produced short-chain fatty acids, which are used as energy, and support the maintenance and growth of the microbes. More highly processed foods are more easily digested and release more glucose in the small intestine—less starch reaches the large intestine and more energy is absorbed by the body. It is thought that this shift in energy delivery (as a result of eating more processed foods) may be one of the contributing factors to the development of metabolic disorders of modern life, including obesity and diabetes.[40]

- Wikipedia.
 

Slonaut

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Just because something is common doesn't make it good, look at meat :D
Not sure what your point is Lou, I'm not in favor of raw or cooked starch.
It's simply not a necessary part of our diet.
 
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betiPT

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Dates and figs are wonderful foods and are very high in natural sugars and calories and fibre along with the vitamins and minerals.

Starch, IMO, is a an important part of our diet as it is satiating and comforting and provides fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Emma JC
Spot on!
 
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Forest Nymph

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You need calories, fats and protein. Probably iron too. PLEASE ignore any nutcase telling you to further restrict your diet to salads or uncooked foods, you don't want to lose your period, this tends to happen to raw and fruititarian women.

Eat balanced meals with high iron and protein sources like beans, tofu, mock meats, or nuts with starchy foods for energy, green veggies for iron and calcium, and adequate fats from nuts, seeds, avocado, canola or olive oil, and/or tahini, vegan cheeses, and Vegenaise/Just Mayo as condiments.

Also treat yourself to things like dark chocolate, nut butters, and snacks you enjoy on your period.
 
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