rant...rant...rant... (mom doesn't approve) - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-20-2007, 05:52 PM
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Okay, my mum doesn't approve of me being vegan and blames it for getting me getting sick often. I actually do get sick more than a lot of people but I think that this is because I have an overly sensitive immune system. I have many food allergies, and although they are numerous, they are pretty minor and I usually just get an itchy throat and my ears feel like they're all stuffed up. During the spring, however, the pollen drives my sinuses crazy to the point where I cannot leave the house except for school without carrying around packs of tissues, my eyes looking like I just cried, and my inhaler. How can I prove to her tha being vegan isn;t what is making me sick? She works in a doctor's office and her boss, a naturopathic doctor, keeps telling her, and me, that it isn't good for me to keep doing this to my body and that sooner or later I'll realize that it's making me worse because I'm not getting enough protein, nutrients, etc. First of all, even if I was not getting enough of those things I would continue with this diet because even though being healthier is a benefit, my main reason going vegan was ethical. Secondly, you're an 'effin naturopathic doctor, shouldn't you be a little more acceptable since mose MD's believe that ND's practice in bull****? Whatever, I really don't care about his opinion, but he keeps telling my mum all of this bull and she's believing him. I'm pretty sure that she hasn't done the hours worth of research that I have before I converted, yet she thinks that one person's opinion is correct even though she can't back it up.

I don't really expect a reply or answer because I'm really not sure what the question is anymore... lol. thanks for reading though...

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#2 Old 02-20-2007, 05:56 PM
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It does sound like you suffer from allergies. And are you sure you are eating a healthy diet? Maybe you can supplement with some B12 and vitamin C, or a multi-vitamin if you don't already.
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#3 Old 02-20-2007, 07:01 PM
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allergies suck, i have them too- to outside and indoor allergens, through the year- i need to take an antihistamine every day or i look like i have a horrendous head cold and hives, and lots of foods make me sick too. i think allergies like this can be a sign that your immune system is sensitive or struggling.

being veg*n shouldn't make your allergies worse, unless you're cross reacting from pollens to foods (some people with grass allergies react to melon, tomatoes, and some cereals, for example) or unless you're not eating enough of the right things to look after your body. i know its tricky to make sure you get enough of everything, especially if you need to avoid certain foods, so i'd check both of these things out, if i was you.

perhaps you could consider going to see a veg*n friendly dietician- doing so, and getting their 'ok' on your diet might shut everyone up, and if you are low on some stuff in your diet, they can offer vegan suggestions, which'd help you feel better too. i'm pretty sure that being low in things like zinc and vitamin c doesn't help allergies much.
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#4 Old 02-20-2007, 07:46 PM
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My mom didn't agree at first with me being vegan and she begged me to eat some eggs and fish. I didn't give in though and as it turned out, she started doing some reading about it and she ended up becoming a vegan too. I hate it when people tell you you're going to be unhealthy because you're a vegan. I worked at a health food store when I lived in Ohio and the owner of the store always told me how unhealthy that diet was and how I was going to suffer memory loss and all kinds of other things. It was actually kind of comical because I'd be there eating a huge salad and he'd be telling me how unhealthy my diet was as he was in the midst of eating fried chicken from Boston Market and drinking root beer!
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#5 Old 02-20-2007, 09:59 PM
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Get a book on vegan nutrition. I've got "Becoming Vegetarian" by Melina and Davis. I believe there's a "Becoming Vegan" by the same authors.

The one I have includes a chart that you can fill out with everything you eat. I made photocopies and did it for a week as a new vegetarian, just so I could see how healthy my diet really was. Most days, I would be one serving short of the recommendation in a particular category or something stupid, but it wasn't the same thing every day, so it balanced out well. Like I wouldn't eat enough veggies one day, but the next day I'd get plenty of veggies and not enough servings of bread/grains. Overall, it made me realize that I do pretty good.

And it points out specific nutritional requirements, like vitamins D, B12, and omega-3 fatty acids, that I didn't even know I needed to worry about. I take a multi-vitamin anyway (always did, even as an omnivore), and now I've started taking flaxseed oil as an omega-3 supplement, so I get plenty of everything.

My point is that filling out a chart like that for a week will either teach you to adjust your diet to be healthier, or else it'll give you the ammo to win the argument with your mom. Or both, if you adjust your diet, and then show her that you're eating healthy according to the book.


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#6 Old 02-20-2007, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by X_x_veg View Post


Do you have any kind of daily exercise program, with and with out cardio exercises?
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#7 Old 02-21-2007, 05:01 AM
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Naturopaths don't seem to know much more about nutrition than MD's do. They still fall into the socially-accepted myth that animal protein contains some magical substance that will cure all of our woes. It seems that both your mom and the ND need some education on nutrition.

The authorities on nutrition in the United States and Canada (the ADA and DC, respectively), have come to the conclusion that:

Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence. Vegetarian diets offer a number of nutritional benefits, including lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein as well as higher levels of carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals. Vegetarians have been reported to have lower body mass indices than nonvegetarians, as well as lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease; vegetarians also show lower blood cholesterol levels; lower blood pressure; and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer.

You can read (but not print) their entire position on vegetarian diets here. (Click the link at the bottom) If you want to print it, the entire article is recreated here.

I would also recommend that you pick up a copy of The China Study - there should be a copy at your library. Try to convince your mom to read it. It is based on scientific studies and is very convincing (2 people have borrowed my copy so far and both dropped meat almost entirely out of their diet immediately).

In the meantime, make sure you are eating a well balanced diet. I would recommend using a site such as www.fitday.com to track your nutrient intake for a short period of time (about 1 week is plenty... but even 3 days is fine, just be sure to include one weekend day and two weekdays). Keep in mind that the analysis on this type of website is only as good as the data entered for the foods, so some less common nutrients (ie the ones not commonly listed on food labels) may not register, so you may need to investigate any anomalies (I can help you with this if you like, just pm me). {I was showing up as deficient in Vitamin K, but was eating a lot of foods rich in the vitamin. Turns out that a lot of foods just didn't have any data on Vitamin K, so it was being entered as 0.} If you do this, you can print the results off to show your mom you are getting everything you need, and that is a very powerful statement.
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#8 Old 02-21-2007, 12:20 PM
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I have allergies like you decribe (carrying around packs of tissues, my eyes looking like I just cried, and my inhaler) to pollen and animal fur. My animal fur one is worse.

Do you take any meds for your allergies? A person cannot live like that. At my worst i took allegra-d and had allergy shots for 15 years. In the high pollen season I use a nasal spray that smells like roses (I don't know the name offhand I just know the smell) and I wash my sinus cavity out with a salt water wash with a neti pot. All of these things have contributed to me getting my allergies "under control"

Also you could be eating things that are related to what particular pollens you are allergic to. Have you had allergy tests to isolate what are your allergens? I can't eat avocado without going into weeping hives all over my face, neck, chest and arms and kiwi makes my lips and ears itch (as you described) because they are related to the tree that latex comes from (and I can't use latex ANYTHING)

I think you need to get testing if your allergies are that debilitating. Once you have them in hand you will be healthier all around and the true effects of your diet can be seen.

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