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-   -   Very painful headaches at night and when I wake up (https://www.veggieboards.com/forum/57-transitioning-vegetarian/187641-very-painful-headaches-night-when-i-wake-up.html)

pineapple 08-17-2015 10:01 PM

Very painful headaches at night and when I wake up
 
Hello! I'm only a week into not eating meat and before that I only really ate chicken but I'm experiencing very very bad headachs and dizzy spells in the morning at around 10 and I'm exhausted by 7 and am experiencing another. I'm keeping myself full and drinking plenty of water I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Every night so far I've been up late in pain and my body is just sore I really don't want to go back to meat but it's hard especially being at work being very busy and it hits me out of nowhere and I feel as if I'm going to pass out.

Everyone is telling me it's only been a week anyway so I should give up but I'm committed to it and after I get over the first few weeks I know I'll be fine.

If anyone can give me some advice I'd really appreciate it! And maybe suggest some vitamins to help take away some of the pain/ dizziness.

Thank you in advance!

David3 08-17-2015 10:27 PM

Hi pineapple,

Take it slow. You don't need to do this overnight.

Although vegetarian diets are filling (because they have lots of fiber and water), this can also make them too low in calories (fiber and water have zero calories). And, of course, not eating enough calories will make you feel dizzy and weak. I've been a vegetarian (vegan) for 24 years, and I still occasionally make the mistake of under-consuming calories (and I feel like sh*t the next morning).

In order for your vegetarian diet to contain enough calories, your meals should be based on calorie-dense foods like beans, grains / pasta, and some oily foods (like avocados, nuts, or nut butters).

Some new vegetarians are so worried about vitamins that they base their meals around green and yellow vegetables (spinach, kale, carrots, etc.). These are very healthy foods, but they are extremely low in calories. Don't worry too much about green vegetables; you don't need that many to get enough vitamins.

Here is a very good Vegetarian Guide from Mercy For Animals. The nutrition part of the guide starts on page 7: http://www.mercyforanimals.org/files/VSG.pdf

Remember to eat plenty of calorie-rich foods, especially if you are physically active!

Again, you don't need to do this overnight. You'll have much better success if you first find 5 or 6 filling, satisfying vegetarian dishes that you really enjoy. It will then be much easier to let go of your old meat dishes.

Naturebound 08-18-2015 03:26 AM

Hi pineapple and welcome! I have not had any experience with headaches like that (except hormonal ones years ago) but when I don't eat enough, and especially for a prolonged period of time, I get dizzy spells and feel weak. It is a very common mistake for new vegetarians to not eat enough, especially in the way of fatty foods. If you haven't already, it might help to add a little bit of nuts/seeds into your daily diet, or some peanut butter, avocado, coconut etc. As David said, beans, grains (such as oats, brown rice, couscous, millet, quinoa, barley etc), pastas, and oily foods should be staples along with those fruits and vegetables. I found when I first went vegan (from omnivore) that I could and had to eat a lot more to keep from dropping more weight.

Maybe if you give us an idea of what you have been eating the last week we can help.

pineapple 08-18-2015 10:41 PM

Thank you for the advice I did wake up with a headache but I took a look at my calorie intake and it was low. I really wasn't worried about it and it completely skipped my mind but today I bulked up and had two veggie burgers and fruit and a smoothie and I haven't gotten a headache tonight. Before I ate I had a really bad headache and it felt like a rubber band around my head but I feel a lot better after eating more calories today. Thank you for the advice!
I was also wondering what brand of tofu or veggie burgers you recommend? Because going out to eat and getting them is convenient but in the long run very pricy haha

Naturebound 08-19-2015 03:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pineapple (Post 3753417)
Thank you for the advice I did wake up with a headache but I took a look at my calorie intake and it was low. I really wasn't worried about it and it completely skipped my mind but today I bulked up and had two veggie burgers and fruit and a smoothie and I haven't gotten a headache tonight. Before I ate I had a really bad headache and it felt like a rubber band around my head but I feel a lot better after eating more calories today. Thank you for the advice!
I was also wondering what brand of tofu or veggie burgers you recommend? Because going out to eat and getting them is convenient but in the long run very pricy haha

Hi pineapple,

Glad you are feeling better! Veggie burgers are great to buy on occasion, but I wouldn't make them a staple food. You can make your own veggie burgers (and freeze some for a convenient meal later) for a LOT cheaper. I can get six to eight decent sized burgers when I make my own, and freeze what I don't use and heat them up later. I have a few go to simple and economical veggie burger recipes I like to use similar to these:

http://tasty-yummies.com/2011/06/04/...chive-patties/

https://www.veganmainstream.com/2011...-bean-burgers/

http://www.theppk.com/2012/02/quarte...r-beet-burger/

It's hard to go wrong with making your own, as long as you have a good binder. Stuff like tomato paste, apple sauce, cooked rice, canned beans all make good binders.

I have only tried a few commercial veggie burgers. I enjoyed the bocca vegan burgers once, and Amy's veggie burgers. I think I tried Gardein burgers? or something like that a long time ago.

I don't find tofu to be that expensive (compared to most meats) where I live. I use silken tofu to make stuff like homemade mayonnaise or vegan puddings and in baking. I use the refrigerated larger packages of firm tofu for stir fries, scrambled tofu etc. I have used Nasoya brand, Mori Nu, House Foods, and Wildwood. I LOVE Wildwood hands down but it is a bit more expensive than some of the others.

If you are looking for plant based protein sources, beans are your best bet for excellent protein and low cost, especially if you buy them dried in bulk. But canned beans are great too and convenient. They can be eaten right out of the can (though I would recommend rinsing them first). Chickpeas for example can be tossed into a salad or mashed in a bowl with some mayonnaise (I use vegan mayonnaise), black pepper, chopped onion and celery, and the mix can be added to a sandwich for chickpea salad sandwiches or added to cooked pasta for pasta salad.

Whole grains can pack some protein in them too. Brown rice is great. If you want something that cooks fast, couscous is relatively cheap and convenient for a quick meal base. You just add the couscous uncooked to a bowl. Boil some water in a pan on the stove. Then pour the water over the couscous (I think it's a 2:1 ratio), cover the bowl with a plate, and let it sit five minutes and you have cooked fluffy couscous. Add some beans, veggies, sauces, or dried fruit, nuts, berries for a hot cereal. Oats are also quick cooking. Whole grains have about six grams of protein for one cup cooked. Add nuts or beans and a few veggies or fruits and you increase protein and nutrients considerably. Spaghetti, especially whole wheat, is great too and takes little time to make. I like to make a simple sauce using cooked red lentils (they cook in less than ten minutes, about the time it takes to heat spaghetti), can of tomato sauce, some fresh zucchini and mushrooms all mixed together and simmered a few minutes with seasonings like oregano and garlic powder.

I would write more but just realized something is going on with my internet so I better post now. :)

David3 08-19-2015 11:33 PM

Hi pineapple,


Calories for the win! Welcome aboard VeggieBoards!

Vegan Dave 08-21-2015 07:14 AM

Make sure the food you are eating is nutrient dense, not just empty calories.

Also, maybe a visit to the doctor if the condition is serious.

pineapple 08-23-2015 12:40 AM

Thank you everyone!! I'm thankful for all the advice and it has helped! I'm doing better the first few days were just rough. I'm getting the hang of things now haha. Thank you for all the referrals for food and things I'll look more into them 100%!!

VeggieSince88 09-03-2015 12:08 AM

It sounds like things have improved, but I just wanted to throw out a cautionary word. If the headaches come back, please consider seeing your doctor for an evaluation. A few years ago I was having TERRIBLE headaches, which always started during the night, and I'd wake up with them and they were mind-numbingly bad. Turns out I had a brain tumor. :eek:

busyvegetarians 10-24-2015 04:24 PM

I'm a very beginner vegetarian like you, I remember I read a post about protein defiency, and one of the symptoms is fatigue and weakness, I would like to give you a more deep advice, but check what kind of protein you were eating.For example lentils are good source of protein but that protein is uncomplete (dont have methionine) but if you combine with rice rich in methionine, you will get a very nutritive and complete protein source.


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