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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-16-2017 09:34 PM
poivron I hope you're doing well and hanging in there. I've been a runner, on and off, for the last few years, though I'm not nearly as serious as you are. I'm currently running about 12 miles a week. A few years ago, I was running about 20 miles a week and had to eat a huge amount to sustain that.

I would recommend eating a lot of rice and pasta. Don't give up on beans; the first week is difficult, but your body gets used to beans after that. If you can find tofu at your grocery store, buy it. The Japanese have a great snack: they sprinkle some chopped scallions on a quarter or a half of a package of refrigerated tofu and pour soy sauce over it. (I like soft or silken tofu for this, although some people prefer firm tofu. Get real soy sauce, not the fake stuff. San-J "organic shoyu soy sauce" is what I use.) If you have a health food store near where you live, look for Earth Balance "vegan buttery sticks". Also, buy a good vegan cookbook. I like "Vegan Cooking for One" by Leah Leneman. If you're a serious cook, try "The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen" by Donna Klein.

The two most important things to pay attention to on a vegan diet are vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. You can get vitamin B12 from nutritional yeast, which I like to pour on popcorn. (Make sure the package mentions vitamin B12; not all nutritional yeasts have it.) To get enough omega-3 fatty acids, pour 1-2 teaspoonfuls of ground flax seed on your oatmeal in the morning.

Going cold turkey from an omnivorous diet to a totally plant-based diet may be too drastic for someone who is not yet knowledgeable about nutrition. It may take several attempts before you're successful. You might need to remove one animal product from your life at a time. Or try being vegetarian for a while first before trying to go vegan. Most importantly, don't beat up on yourself. I don't think that guilt is always such a useful feeling; it can sometimes be counterproductive. What I find keeps me motivated is the satisfaction of knowing that I am doing my best to minimize animal suffering, and that each day I don't eat an animal product is a day in which an animal was not tortured or killed. Do what you can, and congratulate yourself for every step. It's much better to take a year to go from an omnivorous diet to a vegan diet than to switch to a vegan diet for a week and then give up. Remember, the goal is not purity or perfection; it is to minimize animal suffering. Being 95% plant-based for the rest of your life is much better for animals than being vegan for a week or a month and then going back to being an omnivore. You deserve credit for even contemplating a vegan lifestyle. Give yourself a pat on the back, and keep going.
07-04-2017 06:42 PM
Jamie in Chile By the way, I run and I run slightly faster and better since adopting a vegan diet. Perhaps as a result of losing weight.

I personally don't run far enough at the moment to make food a big issue - I tend to run 4-9 miles. However, you can try a protein shake if you can get them, or a little bag of dried fruit and nuts (or sweets) for before, during or after (experiment).

I hear what you say about the cost of things. Nuts are expensive here as well.

In such cases you can balance out ideal foods for taste and nutrition with cheaper foods. There is bound to be something cheap like rice or lentils that you can get for some calories.

Try and get the things you need like nuts at seeds regularly, buying them every month or whatever, but just stick to small quantities for cost reasons.
07-04-2017 06:36 PM
Jamie in Chile Eating more calories sounds like a good idea. The average vegan portion size needs to be larger than the average meal size that inclues animal products because animal products have more concetrated fat and protein and hence more calories.

Also, it's going to be difficult to judge after a week. Your body may be reacting to a change rather than the absolute diet, or you may need longer to make the change.

Also read/watch more about animal rights and ethics and how animals suffer on farms. Many of the people successful on a vegan diet have done this long term to more fully understand the reasons.

That being said, the relapse is not an issue for me. Being 100% vegan is a good goal but in practice many don't achieve this overnight.

If beans make you bloated and gassy, eat less beans. Try putting a few in some dishes but not a massive plate of them. The body can more easily handle smaller amounts. Can you get lentils or soy products as replacement legumes? Or eat less legumes (still eat some) and eat more rice/pasta/bread to fill up.

There is no single food that must be included in a vegan diet.

Good luck!
07-04-2017 11:35 AM
David3 Avocados also contain plenty of calories - a little over 300 calories per avocado: https://www.google.com/#q=calories+in+1+avocado

However, avocados are also high in saturated fat - about 21% RDI per fruit - so watch how many you eat.
.
07-03-2017 08:36 PM
David3
Quote:
Originally Posted by GlossyBeach View Post
Thank you so much. I think you are right: I'm not eating enough calories.
My running probably burns more calories than I'm aware of. I researched a little bit and I missed that running in the heat on the beach in Puerto Rico is a totally different game than running in New York and Berlin where I lived before.

I bet myself up all day over eating meat this morning but I'm ok now. I'll start over and try my best to get better at this.

Nuts and Seeds are very expensive here. I'm living in a rural area and the supermarkets do not sell any cashews, almonds and walnuts are super expensive. I bought walnuts and I'm eating a few every day now. My stomach has a hard time with beans. This will take some time I guess.

My new plan is now to eat more self-made bread, especially because I can easily carry it around with me in the heat. I have been baking bread at home in the past and will start doing it again now (natural sourdough starter, water, flexseeds, sesame and whole flour, no baking soda). I love bread and it's high in calories.
And I will up my game with lots of sweet potatoes. They are cheap here.

Thanks so much everybody again! I will let you know how it's going.
Thanks also for all the links!
@silva : The Caribbean diet is usually really healthy but not in Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico food culture is totally destroyed. Fast food chains everywhere, food trucks only served fried stuff. Everything is fried, no matter what. Mofongo is the local dish and it's basically double fried plantains with double fried meat. It's gross. A lot of Puerto Ricans are overweight and have major health problems.
But there are lots of fresh fruits here and lots of roots (yams, sweet potatoes, malanga, yautia).

Exactly! Eat plenty of those carbohydrate-rich whole foods - whole grain bread etc.

Both whole grain bread and sweet potatoes are healthy, but you will still need to eat them generously in order to meet your calorie needs. One slice of whole wheat bread with flaxseeds only contains about 110 calories: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/9816938 . One large (180g) sweet potato only contains about 160 calories: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/...roducts/2667/2 .

Also, be sure to grind your flax seeds (or buy pre-ground flaxseed meal) before eating them. Flaxseed hulls are usually too hard to chew, and so they pass through the body undigested: http://www.eatright.org/resource/foo...-3-fatty-acids

I understand that nuts are expensive where you live, but how about peanut butter? Peanut butter contain plenty of calories - about 188 calories per 2 tablespoons: https://www.google.com/#q=peanut+butter+calories
.
07-03-2017 05:18 PM
GlossyBeach Thank you so much. I think you are right: I'm not eating enough calories.
My running probably burns more calories than I'm aware of. I researched a little bit and I missed that running in the heat on the beach in Puerto Rico is a totally different game than running in New York and Berlin where I lived before.

I bet myself up all day over eating meat this morning but I'm ok now. I'll start over and try my best to get better at this.

Nuts and Seeds are very expensive here. I'm living in a rural area and the supermarkets do not sell any cashews, almonds and walnuts are super expensive. I bought walnuts and I'm eating a few every day now. My stomach has a hard time with beans. This will take some time I guess.

My new plan is now to eat more self-made bread, especially because I can easily carry it around with me in the heat. I have been baking bread at home in the past and will start doing it again now (natural sourdough starter, water, flexseeds, sesame and whole flour, no baking soda). I love bread and it's high in calories.
And I will up my game with lots of sweet potatoes. They are cheap here.

Thanks so much everybody again! I will let you know how it's going.
Thanks also for all the links!
@silva : The Caribbean diet is usually really healthy but not in Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico food culture is totally destroyed. Fast food chains everywhere, food trucks only served fried stuff. Everything is fried, no matter what. Mofongo is the local dish and it's basically double fried plantains with double fried meat. It's gross. A lot of Puerto Ricans are overweight and have major health problems.
But there are lots of fresh fruits here and lots of roots (yams, sweet potatoes, malanga, yautia).
07-03-2017 04:42 PM
jessandreia Correct if I'm wrong but based on your post it seems like you're basing your diet around fruit and vegetables, which are very low in calories. A lot of people seem to forget that they can still eat pasta, rice, and potatoes when they go vegan.
07-03-2017 11:58 AM
David3
Quote:
Originally Posted by GlossyBeach View Post
I hope I can find help here. I started eating vegan a week ago but I had so many side effects and I relapsed this morning and ate a wrap with egg whites and turkey ham :-(

I really want to make the plant based / vegan lifestyle work for me but it is so hard. My skin started breaking out, I can't sleep, I'm very cranky, not tired but no energy, lack of motivation, sad, hungry, very bloated, farting all the time...
But the worst is that my running is suffering.

A little background: I'm 40 years old, female, normal weight, usually always happy, healthy (perfect blood work), runner (I run about 25 miles a week), doing yoga a lot, swimming.
Before going vegan I ate all right ( no milk, rarely cheese, lots of fruit, chicken quite often unfortunetely, rice, vegetables and salad).

Going vegan I cut out all dairy, eggs, meat and fish about a week ago. I added beans on a daily basis and a B12 supplement.

I live in Puerto Rico and it is extremely difficult to find good food here. Yes, there are lots of fruits but only eating bananas, papayas, avocados and plantains all day does not seem to help. I'm very hungry all the time since I stopped eating chicken.

Yesterday I was extremly cranky all day without a reason. Very moody and unhappy.
This morning I got up and went for a run and I just couldn't make it past 5 miles and I had to call my boyfriend to pick me up. This has never happened before in years.
We went to a restaurant I had a wrap with eggs and ham. Mentally I feel pretty bad now, physically I feel great after eating this :-(
I really want to keep on trying to be vegan. But it's so hard?!
Any advice? Is anybody living in Puerto Rico going through the same thing?

Hi GlossyBeach, and welcome to the forum.

At least once a month on VeggieBoards, we hear from someone who is also experiencing a "lack of energy" problem.

As with any chronic physical problem, it's good to have your doctor rule out any medical conditions.

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

Assuming that this is the problem, here's how to fix it.

Look up your calorie requirements, using a table like this: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines...es/appendix-2/

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 energy and 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.


Here is a very good Vegetarian (actually vegan) Starter Guide. It summarizes vegan nutrition on page 13: http://www.mercyforanimals.org/files/VSG.pdf
07-03-2017 11:13 AM
silva Going without meat, or other animal products, is not the reason for the symptoms you describe. Not ever. Not eating enough may be a cause, but you can't blame it on not having animals.

I've always thought of Caribbean foods as being high in fiber, and full of beans, greens, and veggies?

It does sound like you need more calories. Do you swap meat for foods like beans, lentils, nuts? Here are some links that should help in meal planning as well as typical diets--

https://www.facebook.com/TheVeganRican/
http://7dayvegan.com/guide/
http://legallyvegan.com/a-guide-to-v...n-puerto-rico/
http://www.africanbites.com/category...vegan-recipes/
07-03-2017 10:01 AM
GlossyBeach
Vegan for a Week in Puerto Rico - Relapsed today

I hope I can find help here. I started eating vegan a week ago but I had so many side effects and I relapsed this morning and ate a wrap with egg whites and turkey ham :-(

I really want to make the plant based / vegan lifestyle work for me but it is so hard. My skin started breaking out, I can't sleep, I'm very cranky, not tired but no energy, lack of motivation, sad, hungry, very bloated, farting all the time...
But the worst is that my running is suffering.

A little background: I'm 40 years old, female, normal weight, usually always happy, healthy (perfect blood work), runner (I run about 25 miles a week), doing yoga a lot, swimming.
Before going vegan I ate all right ( no milk, rarely cheese, lots of fruit, chicken quite often unfortunetely, rice, vegetables and salad).

Going vegan I cut out all dairy, eggs, meat and fish about a week ago. I added beans on a daily basis and a B12 supplement.

I live in Puerto Rico and it is extremely difficult to find good food here. Yes, there are lots of fruits but only eating bananas, papayas, avocados and plantains all day does not seem to help. I'm very hungry all the time since I stopped eating chicken.

Yesterday I was extremly cranky all day without a reason. Very moody and unhappy.
This morning I got up and went for a run and I just couldn't make it past 5 miles and I had to call my boyfriend to pick me up. This has never happened before in years.
We went to a restaurant I had a wrap with eggs and ham. Mentally I feel pretty bad now, physically I feel great after eating this :-(
I really want to keep on trying to be vegan. But it's so hard?!
Any advice? Is anybody living in Puerto Rico going through the same thing?

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