New Vegan w/Many Questions

Going vegan and new vegans in need of support or information.

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New Vegan w/Many Questions

Postby eleqtriq » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:38 pm

Hello! New to the board and new to being a vegan.

I decided to go vegan about 11 days ago. I've been experimenting/researching/trying veganism, vegetarianism and raw foods for about a year. Last year I found a guy called the liferegenerator on YouTube. He has a channel with lots of people on who've all lost a lot of weight being raw foodists which got my attention. A year later of following the leads from there I'm here!

I am overweight and my last blood test showed things have started to go south in a hurry during the past year. 35 years old, 5'9", 256lbs/116kg currently, down from 266lbs when I started. I am fairly muscular, however. My bodyfat is "only" 35%, which puts my lean body mass at 175lbs (out of 266lbs). I say "only" because at least I'm not 50-60%.

Right now I am having an energy problem, and I'm sure this is related to my rapid weight loss. I must not be eating enough or the right portions, right? I've been working out for 10 years and even my workouts are suffering. I'm used to hitting the gym pretty hard for an hour but I'm gassing at 20 mins and have to will myself to 30mins.

I eat tons of fruits, vegetables, beans all day and some grains at dinner w/more produce. I feel stuffed all day. What can I do? Should I swap out some produce for more grains? Add nuts, maybe?

I also have been falling asleep earlier and earlier and waking up earlier and earlier! I was an 11pm to 7am schedule, now it's shifted to 9pm-5am! Sup with that?

Maybe on the same note is that I'm only using the pot every other day now. When I do go it's fine, don't feel constipated at all. But every other day? Shouldn't I be more regular than ever? My wife sees this as proof as not eating enough but she also sees how much I eat! We're both perplexed.

Ok, one more thing....

People have started to notice my weight loss. I have *not* gone around and openly proclaimed I'm vegan, I keep it to myself, but when they ask I do tell them I've switched to veganism. I'm already wayyyy tired of this conversation. People think I'm freaking nuts. My own best friend (who's female) who's normally very kind suddenly turned red and shouted "I CAN'T TALK ABOUT THIS!!!!" when I told her that I planned to become a vegan. I've already been called fag, hippy, told I'm not a "real man" etc etc. This is not to mention the countless dismissive looks I get. It really bugs when it comes from people who could use a little health in their lives, too.

To be clear, I don't get preachy with them. I don't even offer an explanation as to why, but they usually ask anyway. My simple explanation is "I've done a lot of reading and *I* feel this will help me with my health. A lot of men in my family have died of heart attacks early and I don't want to be next." Even that simple thing has not been good enough. Clearly I must eat meat to death.

Anyway, any pointers on how to deal with it would be great. The naysayers are not going to change my direction, tho'. After a year of reading about diet, animal rights, etc I've made up my mind and I didn't do it lightly. I'm glad to be here and overall I feel better than I have in a very long time even if I am a bit tired all day.
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Re: New Vegan w/Many Questions

Postby VexedCoffee » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:12 pm

eleqtriq wrote:Hello! New to the board and new to being a vegan.

I decided to go vegan about 11 days ago. I've been experimenting/researching/trying veganism, vegetarianism and raw foods for about a year. Last year I found a guy called the liferegenerator on YouTube. He has a channel with lots of people on who've all lost a lot of weight being raw foodists which got my attention. A year later of following the leads from there I'm here!

I am overweight and my last blood test showed things have started to go south in a hurry during the past year. 35 years old, 5'9", 256lbs/116kg currently, down from 266lbs when I started. I am fairly muscular, however. My bodyfat is "only" 35%, which puts my lean body mass at 175lbs (out of 266lbs). I say "only" because at least I'm not 50-60%.

Right now I am having an energy problem, and I'm sure this is related to my rapid weight loss. I must not be eating enough or the right portions, right? I've been working out for 10 years and even my workouts are suffering. I'm used to hitting the gym pretty hard for an hour but I'm gassing at 20 mins and have to will myself to 30mins.

When did you start losing weight? What work outs do you do at the gym?
I eat tons of fruits, vegetables, beans all day and some grains at dinner w/more produce. I feel stuffed all day. What can I do? Should I swap out some produce for more grains? Add nuts, maybe?

How many calories do you eat a day? Are you counting?
I also have been falling asleep earlier and earlier and waking up earlier and earlier! I was an 11pm to 7am schedule, now it's shifted to 9pm-5am! Sup with that?
Your circadian rythm is probably changing. AS long as you continue to get 8 hours of sleep I don't think it will be a problem.
Maybe on the same note is that I'm only using the pot every other day now. When I do go it's fine, don't feel constipated at all. But every other day? Shouldn't I be more regular than ever? My wife sees this as proof as not eating enough but she also sees how much I eat! We're both perplexed.

Ok, one more thing....

People have started to notice my weight loss. I have *not* gone around and openly proclaimed I'm vegan, I keep it to myself, but when they ask I do tell them I've switched to veganism. I'm already wayyyy tired of this conversation. People think I'm freaking nuts. My own best friend (who's female) who's normally very kind suddenly turned red and shouted "I CAN'T TALK ABOUT THIS!!!!" when I told her that I planned to become a vegan. I've already been called fag, hippy, told I'm not a "real man" etc etc. This is not to mention the countless dismissive looks I get. It really bugs when it comes from people who could use a little health in their lives, too.

To be clear, I don't get preachy with them. I don't even offer an explanation as to why, but they usually ask anyway. My simple explanation is "I've done a lot of reading and *I* feel this will help me with my health. A lot of men in my family have died of heart attacks early and I don't want to be next." Even that simple thing has not been good enough. Clearly I must eat meat to death.

Anyway, any pointers on how to deal with it would be great. The naysayers are not going to change my direction, tho'. After a year of reading about diet, animal rights, etc I've made up my mind and I didn't do it lightly. I'm glad to be here and overall I feel better than I have in a very long time even if I am a bit tired all day.

When I first started I would happily debate anyone that wanted to about animal rights and health. I don't really care anymore and don't usually waste my time. Just ignore people who doubt you. As the quote goes, they only want you to fail so they won't be lonely.
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Re: New Vegan w/Many Questions

Postby trailrunner » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:41 pm

hi and welcome!

hard to give specific advice without some specific info re calories, etc-- but my guess is that you aren't getting enough calories and healthy fats. might want to consider adding seeds and nuts (hemp, chia, almonds, macadamia nuts are my go-to's) - and if you need a concentrated amt of calories and fat, then look at consuming nutrient-dense smoothies.

http://www.nomeathathlete.com has some good recipes there, and i'd also recommend 'Thrive" by Brendan Brazier.

good luck!

TR
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Re: New Vegan w/Many Questions

Postby thestoatyone » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:58 pm

I think you've got it yourself in as much as a few more starches wouldn't hurt, and would help...
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Re: New Vegan w/Many Questions

Postby Fallen_Horse » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:01 am

As far as the poo situation, when I first went vegan my body was shocked with the change in dietary fiber I was getting. I went from maybe 20 grams a day to 40+, and my body had a period where it was adjusting to that. I would wait a month or two and see what direction things are going then.

If you are a new vegan, there are some nutrient info's to keep in mind (B12, omega ratios, etc.) and I would highly recommend checking out either Becoming Vegan or Vegan For Life. VFL is newer, but both books are well-written and by credible authors. You could request them at your local library, but the Amazon links are below:

http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Vegan-Complete-Adopting-Plant-Based/dp/1570671036/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1316739678&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Vegan-Life-Everything-Healthy-Plant-Based/dp/0738214930
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Re: New Vegan w/Many Questions

Postby baldy » Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:52 am

Welcome to the board and to veganism. If your workouts are being effected then it sounds like something is wrong and I feel your pain, it sucks if you cant train. Don't loose heart, there are loads of vegans on this board that train really hard with no problems, you just need to get your diet dialled in.

The easiest is if you can post what you eat during a normal day or even better over the course of a few days. Then people will be able to better say what you could change.

eleqtriq wrote:I've been experimenting/researching/trying veganism, vegetarianism and raw foods for about a year.

How raw are you, also what do you take to supplement b12?

In the book "Vegan for Life" the author Jack Norris has a meal plan for vegan weightlifters, I am trying to find it online but cant, it might give you some ideas.
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Re: New Vegan w/Many Questions

Postby eleqtriq » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:31 pm

Thanks for replying guys!

VexedCoffee wrote:When did you start losing weight? What work outs do you do at the gym?


I either do 45 minutes of elliptical, 30 mins of running or 45 mins of weights. I go pretty hard, if I'm not soaked with sweat I'm not happy.

VexedCoffee wrote:How many calories do you eat a day? Are you counting?


I hadn't checked my calories. I was eating on the feel of fullness. Well yesterday, I counted up my calories from the day before and found I was waayyyy low. 1200 calories! I had no idea. So yesterday I made sure to eat at least 1800 and I feel better already. Added some grain ate some guacamole. I'll have to test how I feel in the gym today.

Fallen_Horse wrote:If you are a new vegan, there are some nutrient info's to keep in mind (B12, omega ratios, etc.) and I would highly recommend checking out either Becoming Vegan or Vegan For Life. VFL is newer, but both books are well-written and by credible authors.


Baldy wrote: what do you take to supplement b12?


I've been worried about B12. I have a capsule I take everday as precaution. I don't think I've been doing with my omega ratios, tho.

Baldy wrote:Don't loose heart


Don't worry, I'm not discouraged. I'm in this for the long haul. In my research of the diet I came across a lot of articles about animal rights. What finally sent me over the edge a video by Gary Yourofsky (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es6U00LMmC4&hd=1). Now it's more than health, it's about morals. I can do good for myself and do some good in the world by not eating meat? Sounds like a brilliant situation.

Baldy wrote:How raw are you

My snacks are raw. I snack on veggies and non-citrus fruit in equal amounts (citrus makes my teeth hurt when I eat too much). My meals are usually cooked.


I will see about reading the information you guys gave me asap!
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Re: New Vegan w/Many Questions

Postby xrodolfox » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:25 pm

Hello!
Curiously, are you Latino?
If you are, I'd be nice to know. I'm Latino, and while there are few vegans to begin with, there are even less Latinos that are vegan due to dominant macho culture. Anyhow...

I can't really help you with the previous questions about diet. Luckily, most folks here have answered you in full and can keep that up easily. However, I can help with the part below:

eleqtriq wrote:Ok, one more thing....

People have started to notice my weight loss. I have *not* gone around and openly proclaimed I'm vegan, I keep it to myself, but when they ask I do tell them I've switched to veganism. I'm already wayyyy tired of this conversation. People think I'm freaking nuts. My own best friend (who's female) who's normally very kind suddenly turned red and shouted "I CAN'T TALK ABOUT THIS!!!!" when I told her that I planned to become a vegan. I've already been called fag, hippy, told I'm not a "real man" etc etc. This is not to mention the countless dismissive looks I get. It really bugs when it comes from people who could use a little health in their lives, too.

To be clear, I don't get preachy with them. I don't even offer an explanation as to why, but they usually ask anyway. My simple explanation is "I've done a lot of reading and *I* feel this will help me with my health. A lot of men in my family have died of heart attacks early and I don't want to be next." Even that simple thing has not been good enough. Clearly I must eat meat to death.

Anyway, any pointers on how to deal with it would be great. The naysayers are not going to change my direction, tho'. After a year of reading about diet, animal rights, etc I've made up my mind and I didn't do it lightly. I'm glad to be here and overall I feel better than I have in a very long time even if I am a bit tired all day.


Veganism, at it's roots, confronts beliefs held by society about needing to eat meat to survive. By simply existing as a vegan, it shows that eating meat is a choice rather than a biological imperative. By getting healthier as a vegan, well, that's practically fighting against dominant society without saying a word.

Thus, it is useful to be prepared. That doesn't mean to get preachy, or have to read volumes of philosophical text, but simple to understand that simply by existing as a vegan, some people will feel threatened and attacked. You don't have to say a word, or *do* anything. Some people will feel attacked.

When you know this, it is easier to deal with people who seem angry/confused with your veganism when it has nothing to do with them, and is about you. This seems like what is happening to your friend. Frankly, this is often why so many people get so otherwise unexplainably angry at vegans. That's why so many people *need* to make it seem as if every vegan was a sickly palid person who is barely surviving. It allows people to believe that there is no "choice" and that they eat meat because they have to to live rather than because they follow a tradition of mass killing of animals for no reason other than comfort and tradition.

In that case, it seems like that you should just re-afirm that this person is still your friend, and that you are not attacking them with your veganism. You are doing it for YOU and YOUR reasons.

Of course, knowing philosophy and economics and politics and debate does help. Hey, perhaps with the books and research you're likely to do, your veganism might make you smarter too, and that will have nothing to do with ALA Fats but simply with what you'll want to learn before you talk to people.

I found that eating and living as a vegan is easy. Training and doing well in racing was just as hard before I was vegan as afterwards. However, it is the social part that is always the most challenging, even when it is "easy".
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Re: New Vegan w/Many Questions

Postby eleqtriq » Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:20 pm

xrodolfox wrote:Hello!
Curiously, are you Latino?
If you are, I'd be nice to know. I'm Latino, and while there are few vegans to begin with, there are even less Latinos that are vegan due to dominant macho culture.


Yes, I am Latino/Chicano. Native American, Spanish and Mexican great-grandparents. You are spot on about the machismo culture. They'll call me names.

Meanwhile my caucasian friends will try to talk me out of it while giving me this look: http://friendshipstyle.files.wordpress. ... ally-1.jpg

I could tell story after story and it's only been 12 days now!

Here's one that's great... Went over a friend's house. He's 38, has erectile dysfunction, chronic smoker who can't breath, can't get his wife pregnant (been trying for 4 years), belly hanging out the bottom of his shirt. He tells me how he had a hambuger of a 1/2lb patty, topped with cheese, topped with ham, more cheese, more ham, fried egg and more cheese. I tell him I'm a vegan. He then tries to tell me how unhealthy veganism is and that I'm basically retarded and don't know anything about nutrition!

I think 99% of my fustration is just trying to keep my mouth shut. Food seems to be right there with politics and religion for people. I had no idea. Naive I am.
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Re: New Vegan w/Many Questions

Postby thestoatyone » Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:39 pm

Last line is so true...
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Re: New Vegan w/Many Questions

Postby VexedCoffee » Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:30 am

I had a feeling it might be a calorie thing. My favorite thing about being vegan is I can eat and eat and eat and still not consume a whole lot of calories! 8)
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Re: New Vegan w/Many Questions

Postby xrodolfox » Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:43 pm

eleqtriq wrote:Yes, I am Latino/Chicano. Native American, Spanish and Mexican great-grandparents. You are spot on about the machismo culture. They'll call me names.

Meanwhile my caucasian friends will try to talk me out of it while giving me this look: http://friendshipstyle.files.wordpress. ... ally-1.jpg


Hehe.
That is pretty common... unfortunately.

This is where all the goofy parables learned from Sesame Street come in: BE YOURSELF.
While that ends up being a hallow platitude when it's spit from the mouth of a felt covered puppet, the active action of knowing who you are and why you do things in the context of opposition is quite difficult to enact and challenging to figure out, even for the most centered adult.

Ultimately, the biggest and most powerful thing that will defend you isn't anything you can say, but rather what you do.

eleqtriq wrote:I could tell story after story and it's only been 12 days now!

Here's one that's great... Went over a friend's house. He's 38, has erectile dysfunction, chronic smoker who can't breath, can't get his wife pregnant (been trying for 4 years), belly hanging out the bottom of his shirt. He tells me how he had a hambuger of a 1/2lb patty, topped with cheese, topped with ham, more cheese, more ham, fried egg and more cheese. I tell him I'm a vegan. He then tries to tell me how unhealthy veganism is and that I'm basically retarded and don't know anything about nutrition!


That's hilarious and terribly sad.

Unfortunately for my (vegan) wife and I, we got pregnant by "mistake" when trying to avoid it using 2 stop methods simultaneously, TWICE. In each case, we'd just stated working out together again and were in tip top shape and had been vegan for about 8 years each. It was TOO EASY to get pregnant. We had just made a a 5yr plan for having kids when kids were thrust upon our lives because we vegans are too darn fertile.

The reason people eat animals is largely due to cognitive dissonance. The reality of what they do is disconnected from the action that is actually done... topped with the fact that most people don't think they have a "choice" since they'd die if they didn't follow dominant tradition.

That will continue. People that clearly need work on being healthy will give you advice on how to be unhealthy and miserable like them. People will tell you how to live your life like them while also telling you to be yourself.

Always revisit your values, and while this stuff won't stop, it'll be like water off of a camel's back.

eleqtriq wrote:I think 99% of my fustration is just trying to keep my mouth shut. Food seems to be right there with politics and religion for people. I had no idea. Naive I am.


I think all of us are there on this board.

What I've found *most* helpful, however, is to have a tight group of friends who at least share the same core values as me. That doesn't mean all my friends are vegan... but all my friends and support network values who I am and has values that are similar to mine. That way, when I go deal with a world that is in opposition to my values, I can fight back stronger.

No one can thrive through life alone.

We all need a community of support. While you won't be able to change your old friends/neighbors and family, you can surely keep on making new ones that support you rather than thwart you. No person is an island unless you are planning to fail.
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Re: New Vegan w/Many Questions

Postby fredrikw » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:19 pm

VexedCoffee wrote:I had a feeling it might be a calorie thing. My favorite thing about being vegan is I can eat and eat and eat and still not consume a whole lot of calories! 8)


Then you are clearly just eating food that has few calories in them. There's plenty of vegan food that will let you pack calories just as easy as an omnivore diet. Not healthy, but over eating seldom is :)
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Re: New Vegan w/Many Questions

Postby VexedCoffee » Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:08 am

Yeah my point is really just that lettuce has way fewer calories than steak...
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Re: New Vegan w/Many Questions

Postby eleqtriq » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:00 pm

xrodolfox wrote:Ultimately, the biggest and most powerful thing that will defend you isn't anything you can say, but rather what you do.


You know what? You're right. I've already noticed huge changes and I've only been vegan two weeks. I've dropped 12 lbs and my mind feels so clear. Like I could take a calculous test, no problem. Plus now that I've fixed my calorie problem I feel energetic. People will notice the difference, hopefully that will enough.

xrodolfox wrote:Unfortunately for my (vegan) wife and I, we got pregnant by "mistake" when trying to avoid it using 2 stop methods simultaneously, TWICE. In each case, we'd just stated working out together again and were in tip top shape and had been vegan for about 8 years each. It was TOO EASY to get pregnant. We had just made a a 5yr plan for having kids when kids were thrust upon our lives because we vegans are too darn fertile.


Hah. My wife, out of default, has been eating a lot of what I eat. She's lost weight too and says she also feels better. She hasn't jumped on the vegan bandwagon completely, tho'. I'm working on it.

xrodolfox wrote:The reason people eat animals is largely due to cognitive dissonance. The reality of what they do is disconnected from the action that is actually done... topped with the fact that most people don't think they have a "choice" since they'd die if they didn't follow dominant tradition.


This is what I thought, too. I thought Vegans were sickly. Then I got on Youtube and found lots of glowing skin and slim people. Didn't look too sickly afterall. They looked great.

xrodolfox wrote:What I've found *most* helpful, however, is to have a tight group of friends who at least share the same core values as me. That doesn't mean all my friends are vegan... but all my friends and support network values who I am and has values that are similar to mine. That way, when I go deal with a world that is in opposition to my values, I can fight back stronger.


I'm trying. There is a raw vegan cafe in town and I've been going there to meet and talk to people. Too many spiritual types, tho. I'm there for the food, not to sing kumbaya and meditate.
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