New Vegan - Health Concerns - Advice Needed Pleeeeaaase

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

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New Vegan - Health Concerns - Advice Needed Pleeeeaaase

Postby Jupiter » Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:41 pm

Hi guys!

I've been slowly "evolving" towards veganism for years, and for the last two weeks I am finally animal product free. I'm sleeping well, have tons of energy, no headaches, etc...and best of all I don't miss the old stuff even a little.

My concern, however, is this...in the last two weeks I've been experiencing two health-related issues that leave me feeling a bit out of control, and since I just went off animal products entirely I'm wondering if there's a connection and hoping someone might be able to help.

The first is, I've had TERRIBLE gas/bloating! Ugh! I know it's not allergies, as I've been allergy tested and came back with dairy, eggs and wheat but not soy. It's bad enough that it's not just a little uncomfortable, but is now actually interfering with my life.

The second is that I've gained 10 lbs in one week. My clothes still fit the same, so maybe it's water weight? I've never been the type of person who has to watch my sodium intake, so this is strange. I swim 3 x / week in a Master's swim program, hike 6 - 9 miles of the AT at least one day every weekend, and average about a 4 mile fast walk every day as well.

Anybody have any ideas? I'm at a total loss and feeling a bit out of control of my own body. I'd be happy to post my diet if it might help...
Standing on the bare ground, my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball-I am nothing; I see all...
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Postby Ambi » Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:02 pm

Bloating and gas is fairly common any time you're eating more vegetable-based food than you're used to, and does tend to calm down as you adjust. Probiotics might help, I don't know what specific products you have available there, but look for live soya yoghurt and probiotic (usually acidophillus) tablets. If you're eating a lot of beans, replace them with easier to digest protein sources like lentils and mushrooms.
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Postby buzz » Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:08 pm

Like Ambi says, may well just be your body adapting. Posting your diet up is the best plan. 10lbs is a lot to gain in a week though, no real reason to retain as much water as that unless you're on creatine or something? Do you notice where the weight has gone on? Like is it bloating in your stomach?
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Postby Jupiter » Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:30 pm

Thanks guys...

The weight seems to be in my arms and hands/calves and feet. Also bloating in my stomach. My pants still fit just fine, but my shoes and rings are tight.

Here's what I'm eating lately...it might look a little high on beans, but the amt of beans I eat now as opposed to before going vegan hasn't changed drastically. Although good point about looking for alternative protein sources...

Breakfast: organic raisin bran w/ soy milk
Lunch: veggie stir fry (pepper, baby corn, water chestnuts, tofu, hot sauce) w/ long-grain wild rice OR home made soup (black beans, chick peas, spinach, veggie broth)
Dinner: veggie stir fry, veggie wraps (tortilla with beans, guac, peppers, maybe fakey meat) OR Indian food (spinach dahl, chole, etc)...that kind of stuff
Snacks: handful of cashews OR popcorn (not microwave) OR jellybeans

It's honestly not all that different from what I used to eat, aside from less processed foods and possibly a bit more carbs. The getting used to the diet thing makes sense about gas/bloating, but the weight gain has me totally confused...
Standing on the bare ground, my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball-I am nothing; I see all...
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Postby vegangurl23 » Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:32 pm

my mom experienced the same thing (gas/bloating), but only because her body needed time to adjust to the veggies/fruits/soy she was ingesting. however, after a while, she was fine. But when she would eat less veggies/beans again and then go back to eating healthy, she would have the same problem, so what she does is she tries to control the amount of veggies and beans that she eats so this problem doesn't happen. she has also taken probiotics and they also work well.

hope everything is ok, and congrats on being a vegan :) you made a GREAT choice!

oh and as far as the weight gain, maybe you should tell us what you normally eat on a daily basis :)
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Postby buzz » Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:39 pm

Diet looks solid, and the weight gain does sound like water retention, and would think this is something unrelated to the change in diet.
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Postby vegangurl23 » Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:45 pm

oh i'm sorry i didn't even realize we posted around the same time hehe.

how about your stats though. weight/height, etc.

It does sound like a little water gain though. but i'm definately not an expert on this.
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Postby Jupiter » Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:21 pm

Thanks guys, and thanks vegangurl for the encouragement. This has been a long time coming and despite the two issues I mentioned I do feel so much better physically (and mentally and psychologically as well!). BTW I read a little bit of your log and I really admire your dedication!

My stats are:
5'9"
usually 160 (although ideal for my frame is more like 140 - 150)
now up 10 lbs to 170 in the last week

Does this look like too much sodium to you guys? Maybe more fruit (although to be honest I hate fruit...I try to make it up in veggies)? Do you think the snacks (nuts or popcorn) are too salty? I am still so confused about why I weigh more now than before...amounts of food have gone down, processed food has gone down, no meat and more carbs (slightly) but I never had to worry about sodium affecting my weight before. Has anyone had weird effects like this when they first switched?
Standing on the bare ground, my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball-I am nothing; I see all...
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Postby jemmyducks » Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:31 pm

Hey Jupiter, congrats on making the change!

I'd give the weight thing some time to re-adjust. Monitor it over the next few weeks. I personally fluctuate about 5 pounds per day depending on what I've been eating/drinking, and my exercise. Women can fluctuate even more depending on their menstrual cycle. So the change could be only a few pounds of water weight that's been added.

From the sound of it your exercise habits didn't change, right? Sometimes folks experience water-retention when they increase their exercise program.

I definitely encourage you to eat fruit though! Especially if it's replacing salty foods...
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Postby vegangurl23 » Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:32 pm

well it all depends though on the calories you intake (even though eating healthy is AWESOME, the amount of calories you intake and burn have more to do with it).

With my parents, i just estimated how much calories they burn in a day, and then planned their diet based on that.

However, again, i'm not an expert, but it seemed to have done my mom really well. She has now lost a total of almost 40 lb, she is off her high blood pressure meds, and she feels great.

My mom is 5'4'' and now 135 lb.

So this is what her diet consists of:
Morning:
some sort of fruit
oatmeal
soymilk
Snack:
orange
Lunch:
Salad (variety of veggies)
and something with tofu/lentils/etc (but not too big)
Snack:
Fruit/small portion of almonds
Dinner:
different types of stirfry/tofu burgers/vegan pizza/etc etc but she keeps her portions controlled and small, and makes sure her sodium intake is low
Snack:
carob chip bar

For seasons, i am normally really strict on her about that because i dont like too much sodium in her diet since she got off her pills. she has been doing an excellent job though on making sure she eats healthy :)

Now she is trying to keep her body in shape by walking 2 miles everyday before work.
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Postby buzz » Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:34 pm

Sodium levels look fine to me, but I'm no expert. Like I said, could well be unrelated. Have you ever had water retention before? All I would do is keep an eye on your weight. If you are eating a quantity that should not really be making you gain, but your weight keeps increasing (especially if it is in the form of water retention), best to get it checked out.
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Postby Jupiter » Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:38 pm

Thanks again everyone, and nice Bassett (right?) Jemmy! :)

Now that you mention the training thing, I did just go from kind of puttering around in the pool to actually training with a coach to start doing open water competition in the spring.

I will take everyone's advice and see what adding fresh fruit and subtracting salty snacks does, and like you say, buzz, if the weight keeps going up and up with no explaination I'll go get it checked out.

And congrats on helping your mom to get off her medication, vegangurl!
Standing on the bare ground, my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball-I am nothing; I see all...
- Ralf Waldo Emerson
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