How Has Going Veg Improved Your Health? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 10-06-2005, 11:42 AM
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I know, this has probably been discussed before somewhere in the archives, but I don't see a topic like it anywhere in the current posts, so I'd like to start afresh. Of course, we could all say things like, I've reduced my risk of cancer and heart disease, etc, but I'm interested to know how your health has improved in a visible, daily way... or IF it has improved. I'll start...



I've suffered from frequent, moderately severe migraines for the last 10+ years. I have been regularly taking Imitrex for years to treat them, and I would need an Imitrex anywhere from 2-6 times a week. The month before I went veg I had just started Topomax to try to reduce the frequency. (Was NOT working, and it's bad news!) Within six weeks of cutting out meat (I greatly reduced dairy and eggs at the same time), I was off Topomax completely, and had virtually no need for Imitrex anymore! I think I took 2 Imitrex in the first 6 months I was vegetarian, down from 2 a week or more before. It would have been worth it for that alone.



While I basically hate to exercise, I have also noticed that I crave light exercise, like walking, more than I used to. When I'm having a couch day, I'm more likely to reach that point where I just can't stand the inactivity and I have to go out for a walk. I'm the only white person in my apartment complex who's always out walking and DOESN'T have a dog, ha ha. On a less tangible note, my friends all say I have a certain glow...



I can also tell you about my friend who had to go on a lower-protein diet because of her kidney problems. (She'd die if she knew I were telling you this.) She confessed that she suffered from severe, and I mean SEVERE, constipation for years as a side effect of severe endometriosis, and since she's been eating 90-95% vegetarian, the constipation has disappeared, and she's developed normal bowel habits. Now, I know poop isn't normally something that would thrill you, but she's thrilled. She told her doctor to get all his endometriosis patients off meat. AND the kidney stone that put her on this diet in the first place is visibly shrinking.
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#2 Old 10-06-2005, 11:49 AM
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When I was younger, I had severe iron deficiency to the point that I had a doctor's note to not participate in gym class because it was too exhausting (this was in grade 10). Towards the end of grade 10, beginning of grade 11, I gradually went vegetarian. That was 10 years ago. My blood has not tested low for iron since. (It was low on the normal range last time I had it tested but that was only 2-3 weeks after donating blood).



That's a qualitative improvement. Qualitatively: I feel better physcially and emotionally. I have more energy (probably due to the improved iron status), I have given up junk food for a more balanced diet, etc.



It's made me actually *think* about things. For so long I was brainwashed - I never ever thought of what the meat I was eating was, or where it was coming from. A vegetarian friend of mine opened my eyes. Once I saw that for what it was, I was able to see through a lot more things that society tends to be in denial about.



I can't imagine EVER going back.
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#3 Old 10-06-2005, 11:50 AM
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I lost a ton of weight and my allergies disappeared completely. I never get sick anymore and if I do, it's extremely light...like a cold that my friends would have for 2 weeks, I'd have for a couple of days. I know this because I have passed my germs onto people haha and they ALWAYS say, "why am I sicker than you were?"
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#4 Old 10-06-2005, 11:52 AM
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i didn't have any noticeable improvements in health.
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#5 Old 10-06-2005, 12:19 PM
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All my food allergies vanished.
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#6 Old 10-06-2005, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CountessKerouac View Post

I lost a ton of weight and my allergies disappeared completely. I never get sick anymore and if I do, it's extremely light...like a cold that my friends would have for 2 weeks, I'd have for a couple of days. I know this because I have passed my germs onto people haha and they ALWAYS say, "why am I sicker than you were?"



Ha ha, that's me and my BF. He gets the sniffles for a day or two, and I'm sick as dog for two weeks. This winter will be my first cold season as a vegetarian... we'll see if I can do better this time around.
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#7 Old 10-06-2005, 12:46 PM
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Some good changes happened, some bad.



First the bad:

I got really bad acne after years of clear skin.

I started to bruise really easily (this cleared up when I began to supplement with zinc).

I lost about 25 pounds. A great deal of it was lean muscle mass as I didn't have a lot of fat to lose at the time. I wasn't very knowledgeable about vegetarian sources of protein and my intake took a serious nosedive during my first year of being vegan (dropping from 100+ grams a day to around 30-50 grams). When I was at my healthiest, I weighed 165 pounds. As a newbie vegan I dropped to 140 . Things got better as I learned more. I'm now 160 pounds and feeling much better.

Flatulence. Ugh. It was awful. Chickpeas were the worst. Thankfully my body adjusted.



The good:

I once needed serious anti-perspirant and deodorant, and multiple swipes to handle body odor. Now as a vegetarian, I actually sweat less and can get away with a regular deodorant and a single swipe to control body odor.

No more constipation.



Even though there are more things in the "bad" column, most of them were only temporary, while the benefits have been constant. I didn't go veg for health, but I'm happy that it (eventually) worked out for me.
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#8 Old 10-06-2005, 03:28 PM
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I would love to lose 25 pounds! Unfortunately, I put on 10 instead, I think mainly because I was stuffing my face with snacks like chips & guaco, using a bit too much oil in my cooking, and didn't exercise for 8 months.



I didn't have a big problem with gas. I had a *little* bit more than before, but not to the point that it was a social problem, and almost never stinky. But then I was rarely stinky before. I think the key for me was learning to eat whole grains and more fiber the previous year when I did the South Beach Diet. I would recommend that strategy to anyone thinking of going veg.



>>fearing this might turn into a gas thread<<
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#9 Old 10-06-2005, 05:12 PM
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when I went vegan the first time (5 years ago or so) I did lose some weight. I don't remember how much for I didn't have a scale back then. But it was enough to notice at least!



I yo-yoed plenty of times through the years, switching back and forth between vegetarian and vegan, so there were no benifits to that.



Now I've been vegan again for 2 weeks going strong and the main thing I notice is that I'm not bloated anymore. Previously I would get severely bloated several times a week, lasting all day or for many hours at a time. I felt like a giant balloon about to burst. It became a really annoying problem, and a mildly painful one at that.



And now I am practically bloat-free as long as I drink my water and stay hydrated.

And to be vague, I just feel BETTER physically. I feel cleaner, fresher, lighter, and more natural, even when I overeat or forget to eat enough veggies. It's a general *good* feeling that carries with me no matter what.
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#10 Old 10-07-2005, 06:25 AM
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I don't think my health has particularly changed for better or worse. I did lose some weight when I first went veggie (which was good as I was slightly overweight) but I think that was coincidental as my diet certainly wasn't any healthier and the junk food I ate was still the same (I was always a crisps and chocolate girl even when I was omni- not really burgers and the like).



I was 16 at the time, so it may have been me losing puppy fat which would have happened either way.



I went vegan for a period of 4 months last year and my health got worse. My periods went really weird (nothing for two months then 10-15 days of bleeding) for the duration and also I was suffering a lot of knee pain. I've had slightly dodgy knees always (ie if I do very vigorous exercise) but this was getting to the point where even going up or down stairs would hurt. Both problems went away when I reverted to l-o veg. I'm wondering if it was too much soya in my diet - I'm not sure it was a deficiency of anything as I was tracking all my food through fitday to check I wasn't way under on any nutrients. Would love to go back to being vegan but the thought of screwy periods and - worse - painful knees puts me off big time.
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#11 Old 10-07-2005, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CountessKerouac View Post

I lost a ton of weight and my allergies disappeared completely. I never get sick anymore and if I do, it's extremely light...like a cold that my friends would have for 2 weeks, I'd have for a couple of days. I know this because I have passed my germs onto people haha and they ALWAYS say, "why am I sicker than you were?"



Those were my positive effects. My negative effects are not because of veganism, but because of my own lack of protein in my diet. Sure, I could eat a pack of tempeh a day and have no problems building muscle. But, for some reason I never eat much protein. So, my hair thinned out and I have a lot of FLAB and little muscle. I can't eat as much as normal people because I don't have much muscle to burn calories. But, THAT IS NOT because of veganism. It's me.
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#12 Old 10-07-2005, 10:00 AM
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Becoming vegetarian and then vegan forced me to learn how to cook, and forced me to accept many other foods into my diet. Growing up I was fed only junk and crap. No fibre at ALL. No fruit and vegetables. White bread, white pasta, cheesy processed sauces etc.



Because I want to show people that vegans can be vibrant and healthy, I have changed my diet drastically over the past couple years (and recently begun exercising) which has resulted in higher energy levels, and overall better nutrition/health. Truthfully, I'm surprised I didn't die from malnutrition before.



Also, it has led me to being more aware overall of other dietary concerns, such as hydrogenated oils, pesticides and chemicals etc. So I consume a LOT less of those, which can only be beneficial to my long term health.



I can't really say that there are any cons for me, since any problems I do have aren't related to my diet. Maybe the only con is that I want to eat a LOT of dessert these days because vegan desserts are just so delicious! That led to me putting on a bit of extra poundage, but I am getting it under control with exercise. So in a way, you could argue that veganism HELPED my health by forcing me to exercise off my dessert!
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#13 Old 10-07-2005, 10:31 AM
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Ditto on the carbage and dessertage. Vegan desserts look so good and healthy, but they can certainly be bad in excess. But, I cannot resist the urge hahahaha.
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#14 Old 10-07-2005, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by CountessKerouac View Post

Ditto on the carbage and dessertage. Vegan desserts look so good and healthy, but they can certainly be bad in excess. But, I cannot resist the urge hahahaha.



I would justify it by telling myself 1. I deserve it 2. It must be healthy since it's vegan and 3. It must be healthy since it's (usually) organic.





I don't bother resisting, but I am eating less dessert, and exercising 6 times a week, which makes a big difference! I've already taken a couple inches off my waist in 6 weeks.
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#15 Old 10-07-2005, 05:00 PM
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It didn't...

er...well, I guess I haven't been constipated for 3.5 years.



ebola
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#16 Old 10-07-2005, 08:44 PM
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It didn't...

er...well, I guess I haven't been constipated for 3.5 years.



ebola



I'd say that's an improvement!
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#17 Old 10-07-2005, 11:26 PM
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My health actually downgraded a **** load, so I can't really answer this question. Actually, i'm sad to say that my health was a lot better being an Omni...



However, I can now say that I crave my meals instead of just saying, "oh well... just another meal" which is a big plus. I also get to focus on pasta and pizza now instead of dead cow, which makes my mind better .
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#18 Old 10-08-2005, 06:01 AM
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Doshkel-Please tell more.



Threads like this are great!



I've been a vegetarian my whole life and I was very healthy as a child. I went vegan about 4 yrs ago and there wasn't much change in my health since I was already a vegetarian. Being a vegan is GREAT! I will never go back. I love cooking vegan foods and they taste to delicious. I feel healthy and happy!
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#19 Old 10-08-2005, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by DoshKel View Post

My health actually downgraded a **** load, so I can't really answer this question. Actually, i'm sad to say that my health was a lot better being an Omni...



However, I can now say that I crave my meals instead of just saying, "oh well... just another meal" which is a big plus. I also get to focus on pasta and pizza now instead of dead cow, which makes my mind better .



DoshKel, pasta and pizza is NOT a healthy diet. If what you post on the I Ate Today Thread is typical, I'm not surprised your health sucks! You seem to live on virtually nothing but instant oatmeal, cereal, Clif bars, pizza, and pasta, with very few fresh fruits and vegetables. And you eat out a lot, which is death on your sodium levels. I had to go back a month to find anything resembling a healthy meal, and that was your mom's tofu vegetable stir-fry. Eat some vegetables, man! (and I don't mean on your pizza) Eat some whole fruit! Eat at your mom's more often!



You might also try plugging some of your food into a nutrition calculator like the one at FitDay.com.
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#20 Old 10-08-2005, 10:12 AM
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>>I'd say that's an improvement! >>



well, it wasn't really much of an issue before though. eh...



ebola
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#21 Old 10-08-2005, 10:26 AM
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tess - dosh has a SUPERFAST metabolism and the carbs he eats are necessary to keep him going..



as for me: since going vegan, i've been able to maintain my weight in a healthy-low range for my height, keep my energy levels stable, my acne has gone down, i feel less heavy and bloated and more.... at one with my surroundings.
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#22 Old 10-08-2005, 10:59 AM
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tess - dosh has a SUPERFAST metabolism and the carbs he eats are necessary to keep him going..



It's not the amount of carbs or the total calories that disturbs me... for someone who's out riding centuries 4000 calories of carbs is probably fine. It's the amount of junk food and the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables.
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#23 Old 10-10-2005, 08:02 PM
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enjoy some before/after piX



hhahahah!
LL
LL
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#24 Old 10-10-2005, 10:00 PM
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enjoy some before/after piX



hhahahah!

Oh my god, are those for real?? Amazing!! You obviously work out but what about your diet? Is your transformation the result of purely going vegan or of having to put tons of added effort into eating the right foods?
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#25 Old 10-10-2005, 10:41 PM
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When I went from ovo-lacto to vegan, I stopped forming cystine kidney stones. From three operations in 18 months to zero.



Quote:
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Oh my god, are those for real?? Amazing!! You obviously work out but what about your diet? Is your transformation the result of purely going vegan or of having to put tons of added effort into eating the right foods?

There's clearly a weight difference between them, but the second also looks like he's sucking in his stomach.
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#26 Old 10-10-2005, 11:20 PM
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There's clearly a weight difference between them, but the second also looks like he's sucking in his stomach.



Hey, he can suck in his stomach all he wants, he still looks incredibly healthy, toned, and trim.
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#27 Old 10-11-2005, 01:49 AM
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I have noticed that my skin has cleared up and I am able to work out for longer - I've lost a bit of weight (which I needed to) but I put this down to having more energy.

I'm just generally more aware of what I put in to my body.
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#28 Old 10-11-2005, 01:50 AM
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There's clearly a weight difference between them, but the second also looks like he's sucking in his stomach.



Jealous?
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#29 Old 10-11-2005, 03:24 AM
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My immune system is a lot better I used to catch some kind of viral cold a couple of times a year when I was an omni, that doesn't happen anymore.
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#30 Old 10-11-2005, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
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When I went from ovo-lacto to vegan, I stopped forming cystine kidney stones. From three operations in 18 months to zero.





There's clearly a weight difference between them, but the second also looks like he's sucking in his stomach.



hah! thats awesome about the stones, though. :]



Quote:
Originally Posted by Maliaka View Post

Oh my god, are those for real?? Amazing!! You obviously work out but what about your diet? Is your transformation the result of purely going vegan or of having to put tons of added effort into eating the right foods?



i was never really interested in being fit and healthy when i went vegan for morality reasons. when i cut out the super evil dairy products, and began eating a barely-healthy vegan diet, instantly i had more energy than i knew what to do with.. which led to just enough excercise so i would be comfortable sitting through classes.



now, 2 years later, i follow a whole-foods vegan diet, ~50% raw. since i dont live with my family anymore, i buy all my own food (w. roomate) and there is minimal added effort to eating right (unprocessed - get your filthy human processes off of nature's amazing health-supporting art!) i spend very little time in gyms (cant stand excercising in a smelly building) but i am lucky to be able to include activity in my daily lifestyle. that factor has made a big difference, with whole foods powering the stamina and understanding of the importance to avoid "comfort" or "convenience" technologies that cause degeneration of the body. that was a super intense sentence.



i cant stress enough the importance of whole foodism, especially now that our foods are less nutritious than they were in the distant past. it takes relearning and re-understanding of food consumption, but its worth it!



its too cool reading about all your successes with veganism. treat yourself well, enjoy it, and inspire others by example and heck.. maybe our childrens children will have a much more food-conscious environment to enjoy! when people eat better, they think better and make better decisions. if our society wasn't fueled by the SAD, maybe it would be structured a little differently? woops, thats enough..



<3
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