6 months later

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  • Almost 6 months of being vegan (after 9 years of being veggie) and this is my current price for having a clear conscience ...


    - I've become a pain in the arse - I hate being so bloody fussy when trying to find food in the company of others (or restaurants)!
    - Trying to find clothes and other non-food items is often harder than trying to find food.
    - I'm shedding more hair than I used to :S - I'm definitely getting enough B vitamins, but something is wrong somewhere.
    - I've piled on the weight and am at least a stone heavier than I was 6 months ago!


    So initially I said I'd try it for 30 days, and here I am, almost at the 6 month mark and now not so sure whether it's the right thing or not.


    Someone convince me that this is still the best option please? :)

  • As far as the weight gain goes i`ve always found it as easy to pile on weight as a vegan than i did when i was veggie..the pale skinny vegan is a myth! If i didn`t exercise i`d definitely be a couple of stone heavier and it seems to be getting harder to stop my weight from fluctuating as i get older too..


    There`s no doubt that eating out can be hard and it makes life much easier to just avoid the places that don`t cater to the vegan diet. Things are way better than they used to be though and there are plenty of places that do now...i usually head for the foreign food!


    It might be worth going to the doctors and getting a blood test to check your iron and B12 levels. Or maybe your hair`s falling out cause you`re stressing so much about your diet! Am sure you were a pain in the arse already so don`t worry too much bout that :pp


    Maybe if you could keep a food diary for a week or two then put it up here the nutrition savvy people could look at it and see if you`re going wrong somewhere?

  • "Maybe if you could keep a food diary for a week or two then put it up here the nutrition savvy people could look at it and see if you`re going wrong somewhere?"


    second that comment



    as for being fussy, I always point out to people that they dont mind going out of there way for there jewish or muslim friends there meat has to be slaughtered with a sharp knife by cutting the throat, windpipe and the blood vessels in the neck (while the animal is conscious), causing the animal’s death without cutting the spinal cord, people dont mind going out of there way for there religious friends, but if a vegan says he doesn't want meat.... they accuse us of being fussy. that would would be like a vegan saying he only likes his veg cut in a certain way at a certain angle!! yes its difficult but definitely worth the hassle, the more that do request vegan food, the more options that will become available in the future.


    also "the china study" should answer most questions on the health side of things.


    as for weight, it depends on the foods you eat... fruiterian being the best, but you have to eat lots and lots of fruit and can be difficult to do in day to day life, but Ive yet to see a chubby one. High fiber,whole foods is the way to go, but like emma said a diary of what you eat would be good.

  • As far as the weight gain goes i`ve always found it as easy to pile on weight as a vegan than i did when i was veggie..the pale skinny vegan is a myth! If i didn`t exercise i`d definitely be a couple of stone heavier and it seems to be getting harder to stop my weight from fluctuating as i get older too..

    Surely this is just evidence that we're not suited to veganism? I mean, fat ain't healthy right? At this moment I'm struggling to get into jeans that were hanging off me a year ago!


    There`s no doubt that eating out can be hard and it makes life much easier to just avoid the places that don`t cater to the vegan diet. Things are way better than they used to be though and there are plenty of places that do now...i usually head for the foreign food!

    It's actually quite easy when I'm on my own - but being with a group of people makes it a complete nightmare for all involved. I really don't want the fuss, or even want friends bending over backwards to cater for me ... food is a huge social thing for me.


    It might be worth going to the doctors and getting a blood test to check your iron and B12 levels.

    This is something I've considered, but I doubt my quack will go for it - I can imagine him telling me to just have a steak or something else equally unhelpful :S


    Or maybe your hair`s falling out cause you`re stressing so much about your diet!

    Or stressing about my hair falling out :D


    Am sure you were a pain in the arse already so don`t worry too much bout that :pp

    Yes true, but this isn't the right place for an anal sex discussion :whistle:


    Maybe if you could keep a food diary for a week or two then put it up here the nutrition savvy people could look at it and see if you`re going wrong somewhere?

    The food diary is a fairly simple mix of the below - I can't be arsed to do a proper one but my meals are fairly repetitive:



    • Coffee with either soya or hazelnut milk (usually Alpro)
    • Breakfast options (if I bother)

      • Juice (made myself with a mix of fresh veg and maybe wheatgrass or spirulina)
      • A couple of apples
      • Crumpets with marmite (more likely lately as I'm watching my B vitamins)
      • Cereal (usually granola or muesli) with soya milk



    • Lunch options (depending on where I go)

      • chips and beans or beans on toast (dry bread)
      • peanut butter and jam toasties
      • jacket spud with beans
      • veg soup
      • salad (various)



    • Evening meal options

      • Stir fry with all sorts of good stuff
      • Vegetable stew
      • Salad wraps
      • Veg curry



    • Weekend roast - potatoes, mash, nutroast, mixed veg, gravy, stuffing


    Plus various liquids throughout the day and the occasional supplement if I remember. Sometimes I snack on crisps or nuts, but apart from have hardly had chocolate or cakes for months!


    Christmas was excessive though, that has to be said!



    I always point out to people that they dont mind going out of there way for there jewish or muslim friends there meat has to be slaughtered with a sharp knife by cutting the throat, windpipe and the blood vessels in the neck (while the animal is conscious), causing the animal’s death without cutting the spinal cord, people dont mind going out of there way for there religious friends, but if a vegan says he doesn't want meat.... they accuse us of being fussy. that would would be like a vegan saying he only likes his veg cut in a certain way at a certain angle!! yes its difficult but definitely worth the hassle, the more that do request vegan food, the more options that will become available in the future.

    Like I said above, the issue is that I feel like my fussiness is stealing the show and preventing other people from enjoying their food.


    I've just spent a week in the Lake District with someone, and felt like they had to bend over backwards to cater to my awkwardness. When I was merely vegetarian I would always find something so people wouldn't even notice. I don't want to be having arguments or making life difficult for other people - I'm not politically minded enough for all that nonsense. I just want to eat my dinner and stay healthy.


    also "the china study" should answer most questions on the health side of things.

    I don't know much about it, but I have in the past experimented with a veggie version of the paleo diet, juice fasting and an 80% raw diet (veggie, not vegan). All those diets got me into tip top health, but in the last 6 months I've fallen out of shape again.


    as for weight, it depends on the foods you eat... fruiterian being the best, but you have to eat lots and lots of fruit and can be difficult to do in day to day life, but Ive yet to see a chubby one. High fiber,whole foods is the way to go, but like emma said a diary of what you eat would be good.

    Well yeah of course, and diets like this are very anti-social. Thing is, I was eating very healthily before going vegan, but it was easier to do this in social settings - now I can either eat a plate of leaves, or a plate of stodge - and yes of course the leaves are healthier, but they just don't fill me up so I invariably go for the stodgier option.


    I think I'm gonna have one big push at getting this right and finding the other things I need, and then I can't blame anything I've personally done wrong ... after that, well we'll just have to see!

  • Surely this is just evidence that we're not suited to veganism? I mean, fat ain't healthy right? At this moment I'm struggling to get into jeans that were hanging off me a year ago!


    I wonder if it could be something to do with your metabolism. Are you getting enough healthy fats? Your diary doesn't look very fatty so, maybe your body is holding on to it when it does get some.


    I tend to go the other way and become quite gaunt. I think it's because I'm not as tempted by vegan treats and eat quite healthily.


    Look into dietary requirements (or supplements) for healthy hair. Iron is important and lack of can cause hair loss or thinning.

  • Any diet can make you fat though i put on weight just as easily as a veggie and as a meat eater. To be honest when i stick to just my three meals a day and lay off the vegan ice cream etc my weight is fine..


    Just having a quick look at what you`re eating it seems be lacking in iron rich foods? You need to really make an effort to eat pulses, seeds and beans on a daily basis. I put seeds and flaxseed on my breakfast cereal every morning and eat hummus daily. I have lentils several times a week too either in my main meal at night or in soup for lunch. Green leafy vegetables are really important too on a regular basis...i include spinach and brocolli in a lot of my meals. As Starling said maybe low iron is the cause of your hair loss?

  • Just having a quick look at what you`re eating it seems be lacking in iron rich foods? You need to really make an effort to eat pulses, seeds and beans on a daily basis. I put seeds and flaxseed on my breakfast cereal every morning and eat hummus daily. I have lentils several times a week too either in my main meal at night or in soup for lunch.

    Fucking hippy food :p


    Seriously though - I put flaxseed into stir fries and legumes into salads, I also eat plenty of nuts and loads of chickpea / hummus combinations - not a fan of eating raw seeds though, I think I'd rather eat bogeys!


    Green leafy vegetables are really important too on a regular basis...i include spinach and brocolli in a lot of my meals. As Starling said maybe low iron is the cause of your hair loss?

    Green vegetables are pretty much a staple I'll have every day - broccoli and kale in juices, cabbage or sprouts in stews, lighter stuff in salads.


    I admit though that I have been better in the past, so maybe I just need to up the intake a little.

  • I think my biggest issue has to be with eating socially ... For instance, in the past I could quite easily eat a huge salad in a café and use cottage cheese or omelette and salad cream to give it some substance - but on its own a salad from the local café is pretty bland and unappealing (think English side salad rather than anything modern and fancy), so I'm more easily tempted by stodgy foods with a low-nutrition value.


    Which then leads me to supplementing my diet through the day with fortified foods such as Marmite, cereals, Alpro etc. and I guess that will never be the same as the leafy stuff.


    I'm also eating more wheat than ever, which is never a good thing.

  • get a blood test if you think your laking in iron or something, I did after 5 months of being vegan to make sure things were good. saying that your menu looks good and tasty, but not much fruit with only two apples. try upping it by by including it before you eat your lunch meal and tea meal, so as to take up more space beforehand. I eat 15 bananas a day, spread out during the day as there easy to carry around, also grape fruit's, oranges,apples and always before a meal.


    juice fasting and raw diet is awesome, I too felt the best on them but like you say when your out and about... hard to keep up.


    It is difficult though with so many people saying one thing and some saying another, who's right?


    Hair loss can be lots of things? and im sure you'll get lots of suggestions from lots of different people. mines going faster as i get older, you should ask some of the bold blokes on this site, as they will have first hand experience!!


    I go on about the china study a lot, as it really will answer your questions on nutritional heath better than what I could.

  • Hair loss can be lots of things? and im sure you'll get lots of suggestions from lots of different people. mines going faster as i get older, you should ask some of the bold blokes on this site, as they will have first hand experience!!

    My hair started receding when I was in my mid twenties - but I shook my diet up, started exercising more and managed to get it under control - the hairloss stopped down to my refusal to believe that it was "just an age thing" and my hairline has been pretty much the same ever since - and now it's started shedding again in the last few months.


    So yes, it's certainly diet and lifestyle related - it's just a matter of tweaking it again to get the right stuff.


    15 bananas a day sounds excessive - I mean, that's 1500 calories!

  • you should check out the 30 bananas a day web site there banana mad! and thin, plus bananas contain mostly water 70% and a a lot of fiber which hinders calorie uptake. calories is an odd one, and depends were you get them from. Carbohydrate, fat and protein calories are indeed equal by definition in terms of their energy content, but the body processes each in a distinct way, and these differences have real implications for your weight. High fiber foods, will fill you up and can't be used by the body. again thoghe like you say there was a time when you had a diat that made you feel good so sound like you just have to go back to that.

  • Paul your meal ideas sound pretty much the same as mine! my vegan principals are simple; lots of veggies, some fruit, beans, lentils, legumes, wholegrain carbs, potatoes, B12 suppliment with added folic acid and iodine...some sweet treats and pizza, chips etc every few days...


    I became vegan at around 21 and I've actually put on weight since going vegan, but I put this down to me eating more/better and me getting older and my metabolism slowing down!


    Can I convince you it's the better diet option? I don't know? just think of all those animal locked up in huge sheds right now pumping out eggs for human consumption...think of all the calves being stolen from their mothers so that people can drink milk...think of all those animals being murdered for mass consumption... that to me is forced labour, kidnapping and murder...and I for one do not agree with it...if people think it's ok to do it to animals but not humans then they are discriminating! Therefore, personally, vegan is a better diet...(it is also better for the environment than the standard western diet and healthier for you!)


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30gEiweaAVQ
    this gets better as it goes on, it show why vegan is the best diet!


    Namaste

  • My hair falls out and i am a meativore, its what your happy with paul, sounds like your getting more stressed about things really resulting in hair loss i recon, unless you are short of essential vitamins. Keep you faith dude i respect you for that, even though i eat a balanced diet of veg and meat, i burn a hell of a lot of calories at work as most days i am practically running all day.


    Most be a nightmare just trying to find anything thats not got a trace a biltity to the old meat. As humans we have desended from carnivors, so i guess it must be natural for the body to require stuff thats found in meat mirrored in vegitables if that makes any sense.

  • Can I convince you it's the better diet option? I don't know? just think of all those animal locked up in huge sheds right now pumping out eggs for human consumption...think of all the calves being stolen from their mothers so that people can drink milk...think of all those animals being murdered for mass consumption... that to me is forced labour, kidnapping and murder...and I for one do not agree with it...if people think it's ok to do it to animals but not humans then they are discriminating! Therefore, personally, vegan is a better diet...(it is also better for the environment than the standard western diet and healthier for you!)

    You're preaching to the converted in that respect.


    However, I don't necessarily buy the whole "animals are not ours" argument or think that "all life is sacred, no matter what" - I think that we do what's necessary for survival, and that sometimes we have to take tough decisions regarding that. The difference for me is that, because we've got some degree of choice, it's better to make the less cruel choice whenever possible.


    I'm not watching any more health lectures though as I've probably seen all of them, and at the end of the day we can find evidence for anything if we want to.


    When I started this thread I thought "I'll have one big push to see if I can get the diet right" and if after another couple of months I'm still not feeling the benefits then at least I can say I've tried ... so here I am now nursing an absolute stinking cold after eating the healthiest food I could possibly find ... in fact, it's only 'cos I've upped my calories and added some junk that I'm starting to feel better again - possibly my blood sugar levels - and that sort of thing never happened when I was just veggie!


    I'm sticking it for now, but I'm certainly not going to be a martyr when in the long term it makes me a whole lot less healthy.

  • maybe i'm not committed enough.. .. .. .. but what's the reason for emphasizing the vegan option over the vegetarian option? - i guess in terms of animal suffering [or liberty] vegetarian-ism has its problems, so vegan would clearly be better, but it seems there's a strong health and vitality issue, along with the animal-liberty thing. Why not do the vegan thing when you have the capacity and let your standards slip a little when eating with non-vegan friends? cant see the health risk there outweighing the risk from air pollution, or a fatal accident, or an infection, or an undiagnosed condition, or death at the hands of some criminal.. .. .. like i say, personally i feel i lack commitment - but its tempered with a good sense of proportion i would argue.. .. .. eat what's there for you xx

  • maybe i'm not committed enough.. .. .. .. but what's the reason for emphasizing the vegan option over the vegetarian option? - i guess in terms of animal suffering [or liberty] vegetarian-ism has its problems, so vegan would clearly be better, but it seems there's a strong health and vitality issue, along with the animal-liberty thing. Why not do the vegan thing when you have the capacity and let your standards slip a little when eating with non-vegan friends? cant see the health risk there outweighing the risk from air pollution, or a fatal accident, or an infection, or an undiagnosed condition, or death at the hands of some criminal.. .. .. like i say, personally i feel i lack commitment - but its tempered with a good sense of proportion i would argue.. .. .. eat what's there for you xx


    If you watch the video above you'll see that the vegetarian diet does not significantly differ from a meat diet, when it comes to the effects on the leading causes of death (in most cases).


    However, I hear what you're saying about not being too strict. I don't really understand why it has to be "all-or-nothing". Especially when that usually results in "nothing" because "all" is too difficult. Just find what works best for you.

  • ... I think that we do what's necessary for survival, and that sometimes we have to take tough decisions regarding that. The difference for me is that, because we've got some degree of choice, it's better to make the less cruel choice whenever possible...


    I think that's a great point Paul...I don't like to label myself vegan, but when shopping in supermarkets and shops I will only ever buy vegan because I feel that it involves the least amount of cruelty...but if I were to live in the woods or needed food for survival I sure as hell wouldn't hesitate to kill an animal and wouldn't feel bad about it because it's survival...there's no necessity for me to buy meat/dairy in supermarkets because, for me, it's not survival!


    I feel much better on a vegan diet after 5 years, I work 12 hour shift every week, go hiking, walk the dog, meditate etc. and I've never felt so alive...would I put it down to diet alone? probably not...


    Perhaps try some other diets...try raw food, palio etc.?


    Me and the missis haven't had a proper cold for 5 years man. they last 2 days max! try consuming lemon, ginger and hot drinks?!

  • :hippy:you can always re think and adapt ?'i think you are doing the most humane thing you can paul, and maybe to the detriment of your well being,,i get so much hammer for buying meat for wolfy boy,but he will not/cannot do meat free-and i eat vegetarian cheese and quorn./tvp, sometimes -its a bad thing to close the door -i wont do any meat fish fur milk beauty products leather stuff etc. but i keep on reassessing and at the heart of it all is my love for animals..its an ongoing balancing act:angel: good on ya for giving a fuck!

  • On the weight gain side could it be either your portion sizes need adjusting or that the extras you eat throughout the day are swaying the balance towards greater quantities of food?


    We're all different and have different needs, I have a ton of hair on a vegan diet, it's finding the balance that id right for you that is hard. Good on you for sticking with it.

  • I seem to have sorted out the hair falling issue by adding a supplement to my diet in the form of B12, iron and a few other things - not ideal but will suffice while I sort the rest of my diet out.


    I'm not blaming having a cold on my diet, I always got colds, but I am blaming it on finding it difficult to adapt and being more prone to eating junk.


    I guess a big thing for me is that I can treat food like a drug and if left unchecked I can quite literally live on stodgy shite, and mixing this with a more adventurous diet and increased appetite has had a few negative consequences ... I plan to change this and get back to a more balanced, natural diet as soon as I've shaken this cold off - I mean, I've done it before and it wasn't that difficult last time.

  • It's now almost 9 months and getting easier. I've found clothes I like, worked out a few new food ideas and stopped caring so much about annoying people.


    It's like this ... the priority for me is not to eat any animal products. If I'm eating out I'll ask, but will use my own judgement if the waiter doesn't know. Clothes are easier to come by, but buying vegan friendly clothes while not supporting any sweatshop labour is still a pretty tough job. Same applies for using companies like Unilever etc. It's not ideal, but for me this is more of a side-issue that I intend to address in time.


    Certain things will probably always seem impossible ... like I found a vegan-friendly tattooist near me, but then developed an allergic reaction to their vegan aftercare cream - and the only anti-histamine that ever seems to work for me (benadryl) is in a gelatin shell!

  • Paul I usually use coconut oil for my tattoos, hustle butter is good but pricey and some people are allergic to mango. Vegan ink is widely available, however whether the tattooist knows if it's vegan is another matter entirely. It's the stencil paper that usually gets overlooked, it contains lactose! You can get vegan stencil paper, vegan ink and vegan aftercare cream, but you've got to get the info yourself and educate others as you go along. Congratulations on getting this far :)

    We come with justice and fire. We come with honour and ideas. We come with decency and desire. We come now and we come as unstoppable as the rain

  • Cause they think you're not hard core enough? If so, fuck-em!

    It's that over-zealous, hypocritical bollocks that pisses me off.


    The people who tell me it's wrong to use a product made by Unilever (etc.) whilst turning a blind eye to supermarkets that sell meat, or driving a car made by a company that owns a sausage factory (Volkswagen) and oblivious to the hundreds of bugs they might squish in the course of a motorway journey.


    I really don't want hypocritical idiots dictating their idea of acceptable to me - it makes me wonder what the fucking point is.