Help me find what's keeping my energy low? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-07-2008, 02:12 PM
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hi every one, just need some advice, at the moment I've only been a veggie for about a month (see image <- ) but I'm having lack of energy problems. I've read a little around the topic and I think its likely to be ether low protein or low B12, but any other ideas would be great.

here's an example day:

shredded wheat with moo milk and brown sugar

pasta type dish (instant noodles often enough)

sauce-y dish or casserole with mushroom and peppers (and or tofu) taking the place of the meat, I have been adding beans and legumes as a base

snacking (way more snacking then before) is usually fruit/fruit bars or nuts


I'm supplementing with a good veg multi with 200micrograms of b12,

so what am I missing?
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#2 Old 07-07-2008, 03:19 PM
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I think it would be best for you to visit your doctor so they can check your B-12 and Iron levels, and to also rule out any underlying medical conditions. Somtimes my Iron drops low from insomia/stress and that leads to a lack of energy.

Personally I (try) to take a 1000 miligrams of B12 a day (I tend to do it every 2-3 days though). Try keeping tract of what you are eating for about 2 weeks so you can see if you aren't getting enough of something.
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#3 Old 07-08-2008, 09:04 AM
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I think that the instant noodles may not be too helpful in the energy department. I will eat two servings of veggies and one fruit with my lunch and then snack on nuts about mid afternoon and haven't had that 'dip' in afternoon energy that I used to get in a very long time. Another thing to consider: Do you drink caffeine? If you are drinking caffeine you could be crashing. It can also be the result of a lot of sugar in the morning, depending on how much you are adding to the cereal.
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#4 Old 07-08-2008, 09:16 AM
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EDIT: After reading Gita's, post, I'm adding, Iron deficiency can make you tired. Have you been tested for that? The original post went like this:

If a person has a problem with iron anemia, I'm hoping your doctor followed thru and tried to find the REASON for it. There are reasons, like losing blood thru your bowels, continual bleeding (femenine) and other diseases. You don't just treat the problem and not look for the reason. Please answer as to if he has tried to find the reason. Those who exhibit a need should not resist vitamins, it's pointless. Get an iron skillet and cook in it, take your vitamins, and start trying to find the underlying reason for your constant anemia.
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#5 Old 07-08-2008, 09:23 AM
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Are you getting enough calories? Believe it or not, to get the amount of calories you need, as a vegetarian especially if you do not eat eggs/dairy, you usually need to eat more food than you would as an omni. A pasta dish with meat might be 900 calories, but without meat it might be 300.

Also be careful of adding sugars. Don't forget that carbohydrates are all sugar, so adding sugar to cereal is just doubling the amount of sugar you eat. Jam and bread is sugar and sugar. You might try to get your taste-buds used to sugary fruit, for instance, a sliced banana on your cereal instead of sugar. A banana has a lower GI and will spike your insulin levels less. Insulin spikes make you tired, and later on wear out your pancreas and lead to diabetic problems. -- believe me, that is something you don't want to mess with.

My suggestion would be to get a calorie counter book and measure everything until you can eyeball the appropriate amount. You need a certain amount of calories to function. Find out by height/weight/activity level/ age & gender how much you need to eat, and make sure what you eat supplies that much calories.

If you are drinking milk still, that will take care of any B12 problems. Any animal products will take care of B12. It is when you totally stop eating animal products that you can-- in time-- find you are deficient.

The Op did not say he or she had anemia. Iron problems should be medically diagnosed. Iron for men can be deadly. Iron for females can be useful, but a doctor should look into it. There are many other reasons to be tired when switching diets, including you are eating less calories.
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#6 Old 07-08-2008, 09:33 AM
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Gita - I readjusted my post some after reading your reply.
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#7 Old 07-08-2008, 09:35 AM
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The above link is a good place to start. What you put into your body, at what time of the day, has as much to do with how you feel as what it is made out of. I probably could have clicked on your profile, to find out your age and sex, which would have helped, but I didn't think of it.

Some things that can immediately affect the way you are feeling are:

-eat a peice of "breakfast" fruit in the morning. These include half a grapefruit, orange, kiwi or strawberry. Drink a full glass of water with the fruit, and THEN move onto the more heavy grain based cereal. It is generally reccomended that you have two servings of grain in the morning. This is a slice of toast and a 100cal or less bowl of cereal, two peices of toast, or something equivilent.

-SNACK AWAY. Seriously. You should be having a snack between breakfast and lunch, between lunch and supper, and one snack before bed. These should consist of a fruit and a glass of water. Not drinking enough water makes you very sluggish, and the natural sugars in fruit are an excellent way to nearly instantly improve energy, wakefullness, and mood.

-Lunch should be two(female) to three(male) servings of grains. Remember, potatoe and corn, nutritionally are grains.Whole grains are your best bet. You should also be eating about a cup of veggies, and a protein.

-Supper sounds pretty good really. Just be sure you are getting a proportionate amount of veggies.

*Always check what a serving size should be on a valid nutritional guide.Cut back on salt, it will do WONDERS. Try to drink water with every meal, and make sure to eat your fruits!

Ajust this of course, to suit your needs, but these are tips that will really help in the long run. If you start eating this way, which is rather flexable really, at first you will feel STUFFED and be shocked you are eating this much food, however, you may become very hungry when it is snacktime :P I would seriously reccomend doing some of these things, beacuse they DO help. Eating too little of certain things at meals, can be as harmful to your body as eating too much, and produce the same sluggish, tired, unhealthy feelings.

I am NOT an expert, but once I began following exactly what my body nutritionally shoudl have, and made it work for me as an individual, I feel so much more healthy.

-Seeing a doctor about how you are feeling is NEVER a bad idea-
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#8 Old 07-08-2008, 04:15 PM
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wow so many smart people replied, thank you every one, I'm gonna try amping up the fruit and some of the other tips, and if this continues get some info from my doc,

last question thought, how do doc's usually react to this kind of questions?

thanks again.

so helpful

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#9 Old 07-08-2008, 05:00 PM
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By prescribing antidepresants. Just kidding... kind of...

I am not sure. I was once given a B12 shot (and I was still omni at that time) when I complained of sluggishness and feeling flu-like.
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#10 Old 07-10-2008, 03:20 AM
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just having a quick look, you are probably having too much carbs not saying you need to have a crazy low carb diet, but like the quick noodles for lunch get absorbed really quick and then make u tired and sluggish a few hrs after.. even if you can switch to wholegrain pasta kind of things? i dont know if your having yoghurt but that can be good too as a snack instead of fruit.. or just anything really thats more protein-y and less sugary... I notice a huge difference when i eat like that
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#11 Old 07-10-2008, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by stealthmushroom View Post

last question thought, how do doc's usually react to this kind of questions?

Ummm... it all depends on the doctor! It would be nice to find yourself a good doctor who isn't going to try to convince you that you need to eat meat! I just commented on this in another thread:

It's worth seeing a doctor though if you're worried, just ask them to do a blood test and let any comments roll off your back.

Just in regards to your original question, I would seriously doubt a B12 deficiency. From what I've read, it builds up in your system and takes years to deplete. If you've only been vegan for around a month then I'd say it's probably something else.

I know not everyone agrees with me on this, but I firmly believe that it can take months for your body to detoxify from the toxins that you've been ingesting through meat and dairy for all your life. I know I felt very sluggish and run down, had breakouts of pimples and had greasy skin for about 6 months after going veg. A year later and I feel great.

I would agree though, that lots more fresh fruit and veg in your diet could replace some of the pasta and cereal. Try having some big crunchy salads for lunch - they're a great energizer!

ETA - sorry, I just re-read your original post and saw that you're having cow's milk on your breakfast which means it's even less likely that you are B12 deficient.
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