Vegan for health reasons? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-27-2016, 03:31 PM
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Vegan for health reasons?

I just wanted to share a brief version of a very long story and would like others to share their experiences.

In March I was suffering from almost constant fatigue and tiredness. Additionally I was quickly developing a heart condition that runs in the family (pots). My capacity for exercise was intermittently failing and I was even out of breath when riding my Ebike. My mental health also suffered, I have a long history of deep depressions and anxiety. I would regularly think deeply about suicide.

I started reading about the link between health and diet so decided to be 'veganish' at first and maybe eat the odd medium rare steak or a nicely roasted leg of lamb now and again. As I transitioned over the month of April I found that my exercise capacity started to return and my depression started to lift. Towards the end of April I gave up milk which was my final hurdle to reaching my veganish goal. 24 hours following my last bowl of oats with skimmed cows milk I felt absolutely wonderful.

My plan when I set out in April, to change my diet, was in the hope that it would improve my heart. Now in July I don't have depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, my heart seems fine, I'm not fatigued and tired all the time. I have lost around 35 pounds in weight and I feel 20 years younger. At the age of 42 I have my health back.

I can't believe the extraordinary results a plant based diet has brought me. Oh and l'm scrapping the veganish idea, there is no way I am going back to any animal products. I have my health back now, I'm vegan for life!

Thanks for reading.

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#2 Old 07-27-2016, 06:04 PM
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I'm so happy for you! I hope the positive effects keep rolling!

My story is a bit mixed up because when I was vegan (after most of my life being vegetarian) I had other health stuff going on and so I'm not sure if I went from feeling massively improved (no more migraines etc., more energy, better menstrual cycles, never got flus etc. ) to sick (stomach cramps, insomnia, night sweats) because of that or because I didn't thrive as a vegan...

I'm a week into re-veganisation though so I'll let you know (and I'm feeling great!). I'm not doing it 'for health reasons' but I always feel better and brighter eating that way so I'll keep an eye out for other specifics. I think I also had better vitamin counts as a vegan, because I was conscious of it. I know that's the way with a lot of people who make sure they eat well and avoid being a sick vegan / encourage others that it's doable but were slack omnivores.
I also count weight gain as a plus for me because I've always been skinny and I keep weight on more easily as a vegan because it's all so tasty and I feel good about eating!
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#3 Old 07-27-2016, 11:59 PM
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That's interesting what you have said and hope this attempt at being vegan works out. My daughter and wife eat on average 2 vegan meals a day plus their fair share of trash, meat and cows milk. My daughters frequent headaches have gone, both report an improvement to menstrual cycle. When it comes to weight loss, I needed to lose weight. I have always been skinny up until recently but going to Ham radio clubs and eating pies and cakes there helped to change that. Now they don't purchase anything that I would allow myself to eat so it's great. I haven't looked at vitamin intake yet but it's something I plan to do, just out of interest. I am following John Mcdougall 's advice so I'm satisfied that I am doing well on the meals that I'm eating.

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#4 Old 07-28-2016, 02:31 AM
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Hey dave! There are many sites that help track your nutrition intake, sparkpeople.com, cronometer.com, and others. I'm not sure which site has the best food lists- I find I need to check the specific foods against them. things like tofu and non dairy milks can vary widely. I've used them n the beginning, and what mostly stood out was how much I lacked as a omnivore, rather than deficits as veg'n.

What's important to keep in mind is that the 'average' omnivore diet doesn't cause the nutrition worry because it's the accepted one, not that it's best. New members so often post how they've been veg for a while and have headaches, lack of sleep, tired - you name it- and the first thought is diet. It's good you've pinpointed your health problems to diet, because those are very real. I personally have know people to follow a plant based for health reasons and both have eliminated type 2 diabetes, and one reversed very severe heart disease- he'd had two bypass ops, stents, and his last operation had been given the last rites. He now runs marathons. He's also really strict on what he eats, following Dr Esselstyns diet

Here are some good plans on whole food eating-

https://share.kaiserpermanente.org/w...et-booklet.pdf
http://www.pcrm.org/
http://nutritionfacts.org/

and this new site that highlights meal planning for all kinds of lifestyles-
https://www.lighter.world/inspire

and another favorite of mine-
http://fatfreevegan.com/

Dr. Michael Greger, Dr Neal Barnard, Dr. McDougall, Dr. Furhman are all great sources of into and authors of many books and websites

I find it easier eating health, even though I eat a lot of junk along with it and have gained weight that's in addition to whole food plant cooking. I'd be in trouble if I were still a meat/dairy eater!
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#5 Old 07-28-2016, 04:32 AM
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silva thank you very much for those links, I've got to check them more carefully so I am going to start doing my research based on what you shared
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#6 Old 07-29-2016, 08:11 PM
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That's great that being vegan can help you cope with mental illness. I also have my struggles, and going vegan helped me feel okay again.
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#7 Old 08-04-2016, 08:13 AM
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Yes Meg I was surprised at how dramatic the change in my mental state was.

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#8 Old 08-04-2016, 08:13 AM
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Thanks for the links Silva they are really useful.

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#9 Old 08-23-2016, 11:54 AM
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This is so wonderful and I'm so happy for you

it's always amazing to hear how we all were drawn to veganism from our vastly different past.

Goodluck on your life long path!!!!!
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#10 Old 08-24-2016, 10:52 PM
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@Davemsn Congrats on overcoming mental health issues and your other health problems by going Vegan! That is awesome!

@silva I would love to know if that guy who had the heart surgery has found whether his B12 levels are normal or not, because if they are, then that is proof that the ex-vegan who had to put meats and chicken back into her diet, was not eating enough B12 from Vegan sources, and that those who have had heart surgery can go Vegan in most cases. (My cousin still might not be able too, because he gets headaches and lite-headed if eats fish instead of meats or poultry. Its worse for him if he eats vegetarian for two days. I am not sure what is going on there.)

My experience will have to updated as I keep the pro-biotics coming in. I had leaky gut from undiagnoses Celiac. I am losing weight, but have too sedentary of a life style currently. I am working on changing that. I am starting a home schooling program with myself which will include exercise, language learning and learning to play guitar while I work on getting my body to tolerate more vegetables. I am workingon onion and garlic currently, by having them in small amounts (powdered or what amount is found in Sol Cuisine's Mushroom burger) while having 4 probitic tablets per day. I want to up my probiotics tablets to 8 per day.

Mental Illness: In my case, I have too many vegetables I react too, so I have no seen the change yet. But, hopefully, with probiotics, over time I will see a change. I do find that if I take B vitamin complex I do not get depressed. I was told my several experts that people with mental health issues tend to need more Vitamin B.


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#11 Old 08-25-2016, 04:24 PM
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Thanks for your story and hope you keep doing well.
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