The struggle is real.. help please! - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 04-01-2016, 06:09 AM
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Question The struggle is real.. help please!

Hi,

I'm new here, so please bear with me.

I decided on Saturday that I would become vegetarian. I have always eaten meat, and I have never truly tried to give it up before, although I have often thought about it. I mostly ate poultry, but sometimes had some beef and pork, and very rarely ate fish.

I'm now on day 6 of being a vegetarian (I am still eating dairy and eggs) and I feel absolutely rotten! I'm tired, woozy and generally unwell, and I'm beginning to think this is my side effect. I have barely changed my diet, other than swapping the meat for tofu, Quorn, paneer etc, so I don't think I'm missing out on much of what I had before.

I'm also finding it really hard to cook a good meal in my house. My partner still eats meat and always will. I'm having to make two seperate meals a night (mostly the same but mixing in my subs and his chicken seperately, etc) and I'm really finding that difficult, too. I think it would be much, much easier to go back to eating meat! HELP!

Can anybody please give me any advice? I've certainly considered giving up, but that's something I really don't want to do!

I'm also anemic, but as I never really ate a great amount of red meat, I didn't think becoming vegetarian would effect me too much!

Advice and motivation to keep at it is all very welcome!
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#2 Old 04-01-2016, 06:38 AM
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Just in case you are not eating starch or enough of it, I'll mention it!

Starch is what gives you the feeling of fullness, satisfaction and comfort... And energy!

Good luck, I hope you will feel better soon!
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#3 Old 04-01-2016, 08:05 AM
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Welcome aboard!


At least once a month on VeggieBoards, we hear from someone asking this exact same question.

Because vitamin and mineral deficiencies take a while to develop, the most likely reason for your fatigue is simple lack of calories. Not eating enough calories is one of the most common mistakes made by new vegetarians. This mistake is very easy to make, because vegetarian staple foods (legumes, whole grains, fruit, vegetables) are low in calories, compared to meat and dairy products. On a low-fat vegetarian diet, it's possible to eat until you're full, yet still not get enough calories.

Here's how to fix it.

First, use a calorie-requirements calculator to estimate your calorie needs: http://www.cancer.org/healthy/toolsa...ter-calculator

Next, just remember this calorie rule-of-thumb:

One cup of cooked beans/legumes contains about 230 calories

One cup of cooked grains/pasta contains about 190 calories

One cup of fresh (not dried) fruit contains 40-100 calories

One cup of non-starchy vegetables contains 5-40 calories

One cup of nuts or seeds contains 650-1000 calories


For example, I need to eat about 2500 calories per day to maintain my weight. Can you see how much beans, grains etc. I have to eat to do this? I have to stuff myself! Including nuts, nut butters, and/or seeds in your diet is an easy way to make sure you're getting enough calories.
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_________

“Under the twinkling trees was a table covered with Guatemalan fabric, roses in juice jars, wax rose candles from Tijuana and plates of food — Weetzie's Vegetable Love-Rice, My Secret Agent Lover Man's guacamole, Dirk's homemade pizza, Duck's fig and berry salad and Surfer Surprise Protein Punch, Brandy-Lynn's pink macaroni, Coyote's cornmeal cakes, Ping's mushu plum crepes and Valentine's Jamaican plantain pie."

from Witch Baby, Francesca Lia Block, 1991

Last edited by David3; 04-01-2016 at 08:09 AM.
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#4 Old 04-01-2016, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigscowsduckschickens View Post
Hi,

I'm new here, so please bear with me.

I decided on Saturday that I would become vegetarian. I have always eaten meat, and I have never truly tried to give it up before, although I have often thought about it. I mostly ate poultry, but sometimes had some beef and pork, and very rarely ate fish.

I'm now on day 6 of being a vegetarian (I am still eating dairy and eggs) and I feel absolutely rotten! I'm tired, woozy and generally unwell, and I'm beginning to think this is my side effect. I have barely changed my diet, other than swapping the meat for tofu, Quorn, paneer etc, so I don't think I'm missing out on much of what I had before.

I'm also finding it really hard to cook a good meal in my house. My partner still eats meat and always will. I'm having to make two seperate meals a night (mostly the same but mixing in my subs and his chicken seperately, etc) and I'm really finding that difficult, too. I think it would be much, much easier to go back to eating meat! HELP!

Can anybody please give me any advice? I've certainly considered giving up, but that's something I really don't want to do!

I'm also anemic, but as I never really ate a great amount of red meat, I didn't think becoming vegetarian would effect me too much!

Advice and motivation to keep at it is all very welcome!
Hi and welcome. Like any big change in your life, you need to research, learn, and practice to get comfortable with it.

Track your food intake--as David3 said, many new vegetarians become calorie deficient at first, which likely explains your symptoms. Learn to cook veggie foods, there are great easy recipes here and online, blogs, youtubes etc. Many are easy to adapt to meat eaters by throwing some meat in for him after removing your portion.
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#5 Old 04-01-2016, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigscowsduckschickens View Post
Hi,

I'm new here, so please bear with me.

I decided on Saturday that I would become vegetarian. I have always eaten meat, and I have never truly tried to give it up before, although I have often thought about it. I mostly ate poultry, but sometimes had some beef and pork, and very rarely ate fish.

I'm now on day 6 of being a vegetarian (I am still eating dairy and eggs) and I feel absolutely rotten! I'm tired, woozy and generally unwell, and I'm beginning to think this is my side effect. I have barely changed my diet, other than swapping the meat for tofu, Quorn, paneer etc, so I don't think I'm missing out on much of what I had before.

I'm also finding it really hard to cook a good meal in my house. My partner still eats meat and always will. I'm having to make two seperate meals a night (mostly the same but mixing in my subs and his chicken seperately, etc) and I'm really finding that difficult, too. I think it would be much, much easier to go back to eating meat! HELP!

Can anybody please give me any advice? I've certainly considered giving up, but that's something I really don't want to do!

I'm also anemic, but as I never really ate a great amount of red meat, I didn't think becoming vegetarian would effect me too much!

Advice and motivation to keep at it is all very welcome!

The Vegetarian Society (founded in 1847) has a nicely-done Vegetarian Nutrition webpage: https://www.vegsoc.org/eatwellplate


If you are interested in the vegan diet, Mercy For Animals has a nicely-done Vegetarian Starter Guide (it's actually vegan): http://www.mercyforanimals.org/files/VSG.pdf
LedBoots likes this.

_________

“Under the twinkling trees was a table covered with Guatemalan fabric, roses in juice jars, wax rose candles from Tijuana and plates of food — Weetzie's Vegetable Love-Rice, My Secret Agent Lover Man's guacamole, Dirk's homemade pizza, Duck's fig and berry salad and Surfer Surprise Protein Punch, Brandy-Lynn's pink macaroni, Coyote's cornmeal cakes, Ping's mushu plum crepes and Valentine's Jamaican plantain pie."

from Witch Baby, Francesca Lia Block, 1991
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#6 Old 04-01-2016, 04:40 PM
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What people don't fully appreciate is how deeply ingrained our thinking is to eating meat and animal products. Because there is such a chasm most changing over take a long time to relearn what constitutes "food", and how to make 'meals'.
Think of what other omnivores eat, that have very different diets from what you were used to eating. Would you feel just fine, as an omnivore, eating super spicy, or fast food junky, or uber healthy low fat-no sugar? Bet you wouldn't.
Veg'n diets really are as varied as omniverous ones, you just haven't discovered all the variations. That's why so many people think veg'ns eat salads, or from that expensive organic aisle. Vegetarian/vegan diets can take on all the variations that omnis have, as well as the nutritional differences.

Do your research on recipes, esp on ethnic foods that have many vegetarians. You'll find it's probably more just a big learning curve. Stick with it and you'll feel like a natural born veg'n in time
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