I made the transition to vegan in June, and just recently I've been feeling so tired. I can't remember the last time I hooped for more than 5 minutes, I just don't have the ompf. I'm not sleeping anymore or less than before.
Do you think it's a lack of something in my diet? I'm thinking about going back to eggs, as a friend of mine said there is something you need in them which you can't get from anywhere else, and my children should have 2 a week.
Is there something I can eat which will give me a boost? I'm also trying to lose weight (as of 2 weeks ago) as I am really over weight atm, so maybe it's because I'm eating less calories?
Thanks for any advice anyone can offer me,
This happens to a lot of people when they transition to a vegan diet and the main reason why it happens is because you probably aren't getting enough nutrients. The easiest way to get enough nutrients is eating a well-varied diet (lots of DIFFERENT fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes) and eating as many whole foods as possible -- which means eating a food in its natural, whole state (like eating a whole apple for a snack instead of a mostly processed granola bar). I would recommend watching Forks over Knives -- it talks about the benefits of a whole foods, plant based diet and its ability to heal the body in really incredible ways. They also have a great cookbook that you can order on their website which has TONS of fantastic recipes.
In short, eat more whole foods and less processed stuff. You can eat eggs if you want to - the nutrient your friend might have been referring to is B12 - something that is no longer found in plant based foods but can easily be taken in supplement form. That is the ONLY nutrient you are really missing out on with a vegan diet, and though we do need it in our bodies, you really don't need very much of it at all and a supplement or an egg every once in a while will do the trick.
Honestly, I'm guessing that your main issue is lack of nutrients, which you can easily get from eating a variety of different whole plant foods. This gives you the opportunity to experiment a little!! Learning how to cook vegan is a really exciting experience. You can do it! And send me over a message if you have any more questions about veganism - I'm sort of a nerd about holistic nutrition :)
Thanks so much for your message. We don't really eat processed food, except for maybe veggie burgers on a saturday night as an easy dinner, the rest of the time I home cook. We do eat a good variety of fruit and veg each day.
Are legumes beans? I don't eat seeds (don't have a problem with them, just haven't considered eating them!) and haven't had many nuts recently, so maybe this is where I'm going wrong. We get B12 from our breakfast cereal and soya milk. My friend said a friend of hers is a nutritionist and a raw vegan, but gives her children 2 eggs a week because there is something they don't get. I guess as a raw vegan maybe they wouldn't eat fortified foods? Not something I know much about!
We all felt zapped for a couple of weeks when our bodies 1st adjusted to the new diet, but thought that was over and done with.
It may just be running around after 2 young children every day! Is there a super food which will give me a boost?!
Do you eat eggs? Most of the vegans I know have hens and eat those eggs, but our garden is too small.
Thank you! x x x
vegans don't eat eggs
as well as B12 you might also try adding L-CARNITINE
it was something a doctor suggested i also add
The only thing you're missing out on by not eating eggs is cholesterol. As a source of natural B-12, it and cheese are both way under things like fish, beef, etc. For that reason, vegetarians who don't supplement can also have low B-12 stores.
My best advice to you would be to pick up the book Vegan For Life, it's written by a registered dietician and she discusses how to get the most out of a vegan diet at any stage in life.
If you want something healthy that will make you feel energized, try green smoothies. Frozen or fresh fruit, non-dairy milk, and handful of spinach, and some fresh ginger for a kick. There is also a great book called Appetite For Reduction that is a low-fat vegan cookbook, and the recipes are really good and not weird, gross diet food.
Do you take any supplements? You can get B-12 as a spray, a dissolving tablet, or even as a gum or a patch. I use the spray, a few spritzes in my mouth a few times a week does the trick. For kids, there's this:
Also, vegans do not eat eggs. You can eat eggs from a chicken that you take care of and love who lives in a solid gold hen house, and eating their eggs may be ethical, but not vegan.
I have been a Vegetarian for a few years now and recently have hit a low in energy. Before I was a vegetarian about 10 years ago I was playing sports and got very ill for awhile. I had no energy, I would be out of breath easily from walking down the street, my immune system was crap. After testing my blood they told me I was severely iron deficient. Which means my blood couldn't make enough hemoglobin to carry to my body. I didn't have the best diet at the time, because I was very busy and I mostly ate a lot of grains like bagels, or yogurt, but not enough fresh veggies or meat which tend to carry more iron. So here is what I have learned since. Meat especially red meat is the easiest way to get iron, because it has is a slightly different type of iron that is very easy for the body to absorb. There is also a lot of iron in dark vegetables, lentils, fortified cereals too, but it is harder for the body to absorb and needs vitamin C to be digested around the same time to be better absorbed. Also for some reason Calcium may block iron (plant iron) from absorbing if you eat both of them in the same meal. Iron supplements are more like plant based iron and should be taken with vitamin C and so on.
Since I have become Vegetarian I have been aware of this and tried to incorporate more iron in my diet, but sometimes its hard when I am busy or whatever. Iron supplements are also known to upset the stomach, so its hard to get used to them. Lately I have been showing some of my old signs, but not as severe, so I put myself back on a very iron rich veggie diet. It takes awhile for iron to actually create hemoglobin, so you will not get instant results. It has been about three weeks and I have been feeling more energized. I also upped my B12 intake, because Iron and B12 do run hand in hand.
For example in the morning I eat a bowl of total cereal (or some cereal high in iron) with almond milk, a glass of orange juice with dissolvable B12 mixed in, I eat a dark green salad or lentils soup or juice some iron rich veggies for lunch time and also take a iron supplement with my lunch.
symptoms of iron deficiency include varying symptoms and so does a B12 deficiency. A blood test should tell you for sure.
I think some woman may just need more of iron then others.
I would do a search to see if your symptoms match. Another strange symptom some woman get is called Pica and it is the craving of odd things that are not food. Most commonly it is ice. For me, when I was very anemic, I was obsessed with chomping on ice and always craved having it in my drinks. Some woman crave other things that are more strange like paper or dirt! That can't really understand why the body craves these things, but they have linked it to having deficiencies of iron.
I hope this helps, I know how frustrating it can be to feel you don't have a lot of energy. If you have more questions let me know. Good LUCK!!!
there's all sorts of things you can look at, assuming you're already only eating whole grains, avoiding caffeine,etc. rather than white stuff which will drain you. Iron levels, proper digestion... You could invest (it can be pricey) in some hemp hearts and the meal replacer protein smoothie mix Vega. It has every nutrient you could possibly need, and have that for breakfast every morning (mix it with different yummy fruit). I've struggled with energy levels, and have had my iron checked, it's low but not anemia low so I got a recommendation from a vitamin specialist for a good supplement (take with natural sourced vitamin C) (or a friend of mine takes a couple tablespoons of good quality molasses), and I'm working on improving my digestion and good bacteria so that my body can take in all the good stuff that I'm eating. For a healthy gut I've found out about Dr. Ohira's probiotics. Very powerful so ease into it. And things like naturally fermented foods, like unpasteurized saurkraut, kefir (not vegan, but I've decided to compromise, you can make it at home). Nourishing Traditions is an amazing book that gives recipes but also a lot of education on whole foods AND fermenting foods so that you can take the nutrition in better. It's by Sally Fallon.
There's also your B vitamins which Vegans can miss out on, so you might want to take a B complex supplement along with vitamin C. Coincidentally that's supposed to help cortisol levels (body's response to stress, which can add on belly fat) so that might be a bonus effect if you're trying to lose a bit. And don't skip out on your healthy fats like avocados and raw almonds, pumpkin seeds, Dr Udo's 3-6-9 Oil (on salads)... which help to alkalize you. I personally think it's way more about eating whole foods and healthy oils than counting calories.
I'm at the point these days where if I know where the eggs have come from & where I can check up to see that the chickens have happy lives, then I'll have an egg once in awhile (but really you don't need need them). I know I talked with one woman who was vegetarian, and after having a kid she had so little energy that she tried eating some fish and said the difference was amazing. I guess everyone's a bit different, but hopefully you find what works for you!! Good luck! I know it sucks not having the energy to do what you love. (And I'm going to check out all the other suggestions for myself now too :)
Thanks for all the replies, sorry it took so long to say thanks; laptop trouble!
I really do know nothing about nutrition. I figured because everything is home cooked, and use lots of fresh produce I was doing well, but actually, probably not! We do use mainly white rice, pasta, and bread, so I'm going to try to incorporate more whole grain foods. I will try to move away from regular tea (I'm english, I love my tea!) and get some fruit tea to start with.
It probably is an iron issue though. I'd completely forgotten that I went to give blood a few months ago and they said my hemoglobin was so low they wouldn't take my blood for a year :( I'm eating a lot of nuts and seeds now, and I do feel a whole lot better already. I'm also eating cereal or musli for breakfast instead of toast, which I'm sure has also improved my energy levels and keeps me full until lunch.
I do have appitite for reduction, it's a lovely book, really need to try out some more of the recipes! It's hard though now that my 5 year old has decided to become fussy, and won't eat anything that looks unfamiliar to her. I'm hoping it's a phase, and I do try to challenge her with a new dish each week!
Again, thanks so much for taking the time to reply, Becca.x
Hey Becca! I just discovered this discussion now. I wanted to add my two cents but it appears other folks have contributed some great advice already months ago.
So... 3 months on. How do you feel?? What did you end up doing? Please let us know!
Hi Soyboy, thanks for the message :) I've made lots of changes to my diet, I only have one cup of tea in the morning, and the rest of the day I drink water or herbal/fruit tea. I have switched from white bread to wholemeal and usually use brown rice. I eat less crap generally! I got 'The Happy Herbivore' for Christmas which is a great book and full of healthy recipes. I gave blood in December, and my hemoglobin level was back to normal, so I must be doing something right! x x
Hi everyone! I just joined this group like two seconds ago. I'm Heather but my friends call me Baby, I live in Denver & I've been hooping since June, Vegetarian for six years, vegan for two. Nice to meet everyone! :)
Anyway, this post was the first thing I saw when I joined and it reminded me of a post I saw on Facebook yesterday. It was entitled "top ten excuses not to go veg*n" two of them were "I feel weak and don't have any energy" and "I get sick when I try" I really don't know what to think of his responces to these "excuses" I've never looked at it that way before but he DID make me think....his responce was "these are signs of drug withdrawl." He DOES kind of have a point. Your body has been used to getting all of these animal products, drugs, chemical additives and all, for your whole life. While it makes complete sense that a veg*n needs to think out their diet much more so than an omnivore to make sure we're getting all the nutrients we need (but trust me, cutting out animal products really does'nt cause you to miss out on very many nutrients at all) your boby is probably throwing a little bit of a temper tantrum right now. It's craving something & you're denying it. I felt weak when I quit smoking!
So, theres my two cents worth, I dunno. Might be something worth thinking about & GOOD LUCK!
A good book or video on the withdrawal symptoms of meat & cheese (animal products in general) is the Pleasure Trap, This is on the Forks over Knives website. Also you can be Vegan and still eat crap. There are plenty of processed vegan fast foods out on the market now.
I agree with Heather's post. Animal products are unhealthy period. They are the cause of most of most chronic diseases not the cure by stating that you need meat because your anemic or tired or feel weak is just a lame excuse to make yourself feel better about doing something you know is wrong.