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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To start off, I'm a 17 y/o female who's been vegan for 1 1/2 years and veggie for 3.
I eat pretty much a whole foods diet. Sometimes I make pad thai using vegan white sugar, but I don't eat refined grains, cakes, anything deep fried, no veggie burgers made with hexane, etc..
I just don't feel like my body and energy levels reflect my diet... I have dark purple rings under my eyes and even on the side f my nose. I have acne, but it's gone down a lot in the past couple of weeks (I've always had a serious problem with it ever since 7th grade), and I just don't feel as energetic as I was when I first went vegan... although, I always feel exhausted at school and when I get home my energy levels increase...

I also get 7-8 hours of sleep a night...
My eyes feel almost like there's pressure in them, but they feel fine if I close them or put pressure or coldness on them.

Here's a typical day of food for me: (school day)
Breakfast (6:20 a.m): An apple chopped in a bowl with some granola,almond milk (plain, unsweetened) poured on top.
Snack (9:00 a.m): Veggies: carrots, cucumber, pepper, etc. (raw)
Lunch (10:30 a.m): Kale or collard (maybe 1/2C-1C) with a cooked veggie and rice or quinoa dish or a chopped baked sweet potato and raisins.
Snack (3:15): Fruit and veggies...
Dinner (6): Typically cooked, though sometimes raw, at least 2 veggie servings and some whole grain or root vegetable (calorie dense).

I workout too. I'm thinking it may be iron deficiency, but I've been taking an iron supplement the past couple of weeks, and it hasn't made much of a difference.
Another theory is something with my thryoid. Last check-up, I was said to have had a slightly enlarged thryoid. I have gained weight, but I lost a lot of weight too quickly which led to binging. I am trying to lose that weight off and am having a bit of a hard time, which I know is related to thyroid. I haven't binged in weeks now though, and feel like I'm in control. When I did binge, it was tyically on not-terrible foods, like fruit-peanut butter blends, chili, whole grain pasta dishes, etc.
I've started eating more sea weed to see if the iodine helps...

Anyway, I'm just really concerned. I feel like I eat so much healthier than most teenagers I know, but why do I look like I'm unhealthy? There must be some nutrient(s) I'm lacking. Maybe B12?
Thanks for any help!
 

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I'm not sure but when i feel like that its usually because i have low blood sugar and need to eat more. I think that may be the case here.

Maybe try eating a lot more fresh fruit? This was a key thing for me..i eat loads of bananas and berries in smoothies everyday, as well as a few avocados and apples throughout the day in different mixed- usually massive salads with other a lot of other stuff. If i don't eat for a long enough time i get very tired pretty quick but once i munch i'm right back up. I also somehow need way less sleep than before although i sleep like a baby and can sleep for 12 hours if i want.

I started switching from an atrociously unhealthy diet of red meat and fast food when i was in high school and i've only felt better and better as I've progressed the last few years since. It took some serious work though and i had to play around with it until i found what my body really runs the best on.

I didn't feel right until i went raw vegan and incorporated a wide variety of fruit in my diet in high amounts. I eat mostly fresh fruit nowadays and i enjoy eating more than i ever have previously in life. I figure we did it for tens of millions of years so why stop now. I do eat raw honey though and superfoods like cacao, maca, goji berry ect. And i can never get enough turmeric/cayenne pepper mmm
 

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Are your dark circles seasonal? Some people get purplish rings from allergies.

I do think if you got an extra hour of sleep and took in some more calories, you might feel more energetic, and it might help your circles and skin bumps, too. I remember reading that older teenagers need nine to ten hours of sleep nightly for optimum health. I can't see that happening for too many people,
but I think way too many people run around sleep-deprived. (Note that I am posting this at 2:29 AM.
)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've started doing some green smoothies lately, and jazz 'em up by adding some maca powder, B complex (powder- makes my urine bright yellow), cocoa powder (iron), fortified almond milk (calcium... counteracts the iron, I know). I've been feeling a little better, but the purple seems to still be deep.

I think it just may be seasonal. I'm definitely Vit. D deficient, but it's so hard to get any sunshine when I don't get out of school until after 3, and the days tend to be cloudy. I'm waiting patiently for the summer now


So, iron and B complex supplements. I'm giving it some more time, and trying to get 8+ hours of sleep. I think I will start doing more raw. I will have two lunches today, the first is raw kale with some rice/quinoa/veggie dish, 1/2 cucumber, and an apple, the second will be a kale-carrot-broccoli-apple salad.

It's hard to do raw in the winter though... cooked food makes me feel so warm, and veggies and fruits can be so expensive. I miss the farmer's market


My skin is clearing up, definitely. I'm going to try to get in more omega-3's also.
I just have to continue experimenting. I do want to lose weight, but I need to eat enough, too... it's hard. Especially with school messing up my diet (can't eat when hungry, have to eat lunch really early, etc.)
 

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It sounds like you may have the beginnings of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (though I really hope you don't) or just low thyroid function. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's when I was 14 and now at 21 I am managing the symptoms completely through diet (no dairy, grain, sugar, processed foods, and barely any meat) and 100mg of synthroid daily. When my symptoms started I was 112lbs, ate everything, ran all the time, and then I began to feel very fatigued, especially after eating carbs or gluten, and would roller coaster between gaining and losing weight. I was always tired, had dark circles under my eyes, couldn't manage my emotions well, and felt depressed as it went on.

Luckily for you, if you are developing Hashimoto's disease, your diet and exercise plan at the moment is absolutely great for managing symptoms. The problem with this disease is that it can be hard to catch because when you get a blood test to check THS levels they can appear normal. At first it's a roller coaster of up and down while your thyroid is being attacked by your body (it is auto Immune).

I hope this is not the case but be persistent about thyroid blood tests! My sister had a clear test then only a few months later was diagnosed because she insisted on being double checked.

If it turns out you may have it or want to look into it more I recommend Dr. Kharrazian's book called "Why do I still have thyroid symptoms when my lab tests are normal?" It is my bible for managing this.

Best of luck!
 
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