Oh, for $%*#@ sake! Your thoughts are needed...

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

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Oh, for $%*#@ sake! Your thoughts are needed...

Postby Veg.Head » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:09 am

I'm gonna try and get to the point (I'm a bit bad at that, so please, bare with me).....

I was a vegetarian for 14 years, went back to the dark side for two years, and decided last September to slowly transition back to a vegetarian diet and then into a vegan one. Fast forward 5 months and here I am. Vegan diet accomplished. I do not consume processed foods, I don't drink soda, I lift weights, and have been workin' the cardio (man, I HATE cardio). I've studied anatomy & physiology for a number of years, health and science is my forte. With that said, all the medical related topics I've been taught do not cover much vegan/raw food type of stuff and I feel a little out of my element. I realize B12 & iron can be complicated. I take a multivitamin everyday and eat a whole cornucopia of fruits & veggies. I could be lacking a bit on the protein a few days a week though.. I'm still trying to get the nutritional side of a vegan lifestyle down..... and by that I mean perfection. Regardless, I could really use some advice. I've been monitoring my blood pressure the last 5 months and have noticed a huge change. Prior to last September, my blood pressure always sat around the typical 120/80. It is now reading 97/68. Is this normal? I was incredibly scared when I had that reading and am worried that it is dropping too low. Also, what is up with the lack of energy? How long does it take for the body to adjust to this? I have been completely vegan for 3 weeks, and prior to that, made sure I took the transition step by step and not at a rapid pace. Seriously, I could sleep for 10 hours and wake up exhausted. Am I doing something wrong? Please, I could really use some advice. I feel awful. :(

Oh, and I do consume enough calories each day. I like to eat :)
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Re: Oh, for $%*#@ sake! Your thoughts are needed...

Postby hardcore iv » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:44 am

I would suggest you go see a doctor. Other than that what do you eat on a typical day? How many calories are enough for you? From what you are describing it looks like you are no way near eating enough calories to support your activities. Do you eat nuts, beans and seeds?

Lots of dodgy vegan info on the net. Checkout http://veganhealth.org/ it pretty much covers all the bases and is evidence based.

Welcome to veganfitness BTW :)
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Re: Oh, for $%*#@ sake! Your thoughts are needed...

Postby JP » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:22 am

you do realise that many of the decisions you have made, like not eating processed foods, sodas etc, do not have anything to do with going vegan?

in fact, if you are an athlete, you might be hindering your progress by cutting out many convenient and useful sources of calories, protein etc etc.

going vegan is not as complicated as you make it sound there :)

welcome to vf mate!
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Re: Oh, for $%*#@ sake! Your thoughts are needed...

Postby Konstantin » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:15 am

Lots of animal-based food are dense in terms of protein and calories, and in turning vegan many people have a lot more foods that are the opposite. I think a lot retain the notion that foods like oils are 'bad' too, because of the problem a lot of meat-eaters/veggies have with eating too many calories.

Eat lots, and eat plenty with calories in. Brendan Brazier's got some good recipies for this.
You can see my training log if you're really bored: [url]www.veganfitness.net/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=16086&start=360[/url]
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Re: Oh, for $%*#@ sake! Your thoughts are needed...

Postby baldy » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:19 am

Welcome to VF, what kind of weightlifting are you into?

You might find this thread interesting -> viewtopic.php?f=2&t=23344
It has a meal plan written by a registered dietician specifically for a weightlifter, should give some inspiration.

+1 for what JP said, athletes need calories, if your training hard don't be scared of the processed stuff.
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Re: Oh, for $%*#@ sake! Your thoughts are needed...

Postby VeganGraham » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:57 am

I think you're making this more complicated than it needs to be.
There's no need to avoid processed food and fizzy, sugary drinks. If you like it, eat it.
There's no direct connection between veganism and raw food, even though they too often get lumped together.
There's nothing complicated about B12 & iron. Eat either supplements or Marmite and leafy green veg.
If you're that scared about your blood pressure, you should be seeing a doctor, not asking on the internet.
There's enough athletes on this forum to prove that there's no connection between veganism and a lack of energy. There's something else going on there.
And finally, stop dissing cardio, it's great. :D
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Re: Oh, for $%*#@ sake! Your thoughts are needed...

Postby Veg.Head » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:49 pm

First of all, thanks for the various links and info. It's very much appreciated.

I eat between 1600 and 2200 calories a day depending on if I'm lifting or not. I'm not a body builder, just like being tone and fit. Cardio is a bit rough due to asthma. I'm working on building lung strength, but it is a slow process. Where I live, 6 months out of the year it's too hot to do cardio outdoors... unless you enjoy heat stroke. The whole treadmill at the gym thing makes me feel like a rat in a wheel. I do really enjoy rollerblading & hiking though. :)

I do realize that processed food and soda has nothing to do with being vegan. The reason that I have gotten away from processed food is because, well, a lot of nutrients are stripped out of it and I'm not too keen on all the additives and preservatives in it. Soda just freaks me out these days. High fructose corn syrup does not need to go into my body and neither does some type of chemically manufactured sweetener, like aspartame. I came to this forum because I was wondering if it is common to see a drop in blood pressure that drastic over a 5 month period. I was also curious about the lack of energy and was hoping for ideas. I thought it might be relevant that I made the switch to being vegan, cut out caffeine, and also implemented more raw foods while cutting out the processed crap. Perhaps my body chemistry is changing a bit and causing the fatigue? Help me out here, people. Please. There are not too many vegans where I live and most people just look at me like I'm a whack job when I say that I do not want to eat animal products. Basically, I had to come to a UK based forum to find people who may have had similar experiences. I don't want to walk around feeling fatigued all the time and I definitely don't want to eat animal based foods.

Also, I will and do eat beans, I eat a decent amount of soy products, and I also do a protein shake after I workout. The protein is called Raw Protein and is made by The Garden of Life. There are only 17g of protein per serving and it is made from various types of sprouts. It's definitely not whey but it fits my lifestyle change. I do think I am lacking on the daily protein though. Could that be the cause of the lack of energy? Do you think the fatigue could correlate with the drop in blood pressure?
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Re: Oh, for $%*#@ sake! Your thoughts are needed...

Postby baldy » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:01 pm

Veg.Head wrote:.... I do consume enough calories each day. I like to eat :)

Veg.Head wrote:I eat between 1600 and 2200 calories a day depending on if I'm lifting or not


Are you sure you are getting enough calories?
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Re: Oh, for $%*#@ sake! Your thoughts are needed...

Postby Veg.Head » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:06 pm

You think that is not enough? That's fairly common for me.
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Re: Oh, for $%*#@ sake! Your thoughts are needed...

Postby baldy » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:11 pm

Veg.Head wrote:You think that is not enough? That's fairly common for me.

Well even to give a rough internet based guesstimate we would need to know if your male or female, your size and exactly how much you exercise.
2000 calories is generally considered the standard for an inactive woman, so 1600 is low.
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Re: Oh, for $%*#@ sake! Your thoughts are needed...

Postby Veg.Head » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:18 pm

I'm female. 30 years old, 5'5", 150lbs. I'm trying to lose weight, which may be next to impossible to do while building muscle. I lift weights 3 times a week, do yoga at least once a week, and work on that cardio I despise so much twice a week (sometimes more). Lately it has been hard to make it through my workouts though. I'm so incredibly tired.
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Re: Oh, for $%*#@ sake! Your thoughts are needed...

Postby Talyn » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:23 pm

Veg.Head wrote:I'm female. 30 years old, 5'5", 150lbs. I'm trying to lose weight, which may be next to impossible to do while building muscle. I lift weights 3 times a week, do yoga at least once a week, and work on that cardio I despise so much twice a week (sometimes more). Lately it has been hard to make it through my workouts though. I'm so incredibly tired.


Aim to lose fat or build muscle. Pick one. Don't try and do both at the same time.

It's hard to say, because everyone is different, but I'd say around 2000 calories would probably be your maintenance. The best way to establish what it is for sure is to eat at that level for a little while and see if your weight changes.

You might be so tired because you're not eating enough. Or it could be one of a hundred other things. Go see a doctor if you are genuinely concerned.
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Re: Oh, for $%*#@ sake! Your thoughts are needed...

Postby Konstantin » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:25 pm

You might want to log what you eat on this: http://cronometer.com/.

It totals your various nutrients and gives an idea of whether you have glaring problems with your diet. I suspect you are adjusting to what sounds like a fairly substantial change and you have few tweaks to make.
You can see my training log if you're really bored: [url]www.veganfitness.net/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=16086&start=360[/url]
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Re: Oh, for $%*#@ sake! Your thoughts are needed...

Postby baldy » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:50 pm

Veg.Head wrote:I'm female. 30 years old, 5'5", 150lbs. I'm trying to lose weight, which may be next to impossible to do while building muscle. I lift weights 3 times a week, do yoga at least once a week, and work on that cardio I despise so much twice a week (sometimes more). Lately it has been hard to make it through my workouts though. I'm so incredibly tired.


3 sessions lifting, 1 session yoga. 2+ cardio sessions a week. So you train 6 days a week which is awesome, but I would say you need to eat more than a base level of calories to fuel that. What do you normally have to eat before you train?
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Re: Oh, for $%*#@ sake! Your thoughts are needed...

Postby Veg.Head » Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:42 am

I try to eat something higher in carbs before I hit the gym. I've been on a granola kick lately. I make it myself with organic oats, oat bran, wheat germ... toss in some almond slices and flax seeds too. I'm also really big on fruit before the gym. Sometimes I just mix up a smoothie though. After the gym, I eat a banana and drink a protein shake. I really didn't notice a huge change in my energy level until I completely cut out dairy. Did you guys experience anything like this when you made the switch?
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