VeggieBoards banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Which leads me to believe I am doing something very wrong.

Briefly, I have been a vegetarian since August. For the month of August I went vegan cold turkey (just to try it out) and then I reverted back to being a vegetarian. I've stuck with the diet ever since.

Honestly, I've never felt GREAT on this diet, but I'm committed to making it work for at least a year or two. So I've been trying things out. Some weeks are better than others. I've never had great energy levels, but I've certainly had energy levels on par with where I was prior to going vegetarian.

Anyway, in the past week or two ... I've felt terribly lightheaded all the time. I'm considering going to the doctor for it. I don't really get dizzy - I just feel spacey. I'm not able to think as clearly as I usually am.

I believe I am getting enough protein and iron. (I've actually started taking an iron supplement once a week just to make sure everything is in order.)

I know, I know. I should probably just see a doctor ... but I wonder if anyone has experienced symptoms like this?

I really want to stay vegetarian, but I hate feeling so spaced out.

Advice?

Thanks!
 

·
Give peas a chance
Joined
·
1,715 Posts
I get lightheaded when I don't eat enough, and I always feel lethargic when I eat poorly. In particular, flour and/or sugar always wipe me out.
 

·
Not such a Beginner ;)
Joined
·
8,394 Posts
Not eating meat for a few months will not cause anyone to feel weak. As was mentioned above, too little food is likely the cause. Much vegetarian food is bulkier and has fewer calories than meat, so it may seem as if you are eating all the time.

What's a typical day's menu for you? Last time I wrote down my day's food I had oatmeal with vanilla almond milk and strawberries and hot chocolate for breakfast, snack an apple and handful of peanuts, lunch falafel on pita with tomato, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, and this tofu dressing. Dinner portabello mushroom and a bunch of veggies and pineapple on the grill with rice and some spicy sauce my daughter made. Huge slice of chocolate zucchini bread
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Ditto to what everyone else has said. Your symptoms are typical of me when I don't eat enough, or sometimes even when I'm dehydrated. Vegetarian food has a lot less fat and calories, so you should make sure you're getting enough. I would see a dietician for some help with planning out your meals more effectively, and then you could see if there's any improvement after that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
for breakfast i had oatmeal (straight up with no milk or anything ... i'm weird). and two glasses of orange juice (fortified with calcium and vitamin D)

lunch was soup with a salad. I also had a couple cookies and a chocolate bar. More OJ to drink.

dinner was a vegetable stir fry with rice, a little more chocolate and some almonds. Water to drink.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
471 Posts
It sounds like you are having a ton of sugar. I wonder if all that orange juice is spiking your blood sugar? As far as calories go, it does not sound like you are lacking. I eat about 1700 calories a day and I have absolutely no problem getting that many eating vegetarian foods.
 

·
Not such a Beginner ;)
Joined
·
8,394 Posts
Well qap, i guess the question is do you feel like you're getting enough food? If your portions are normal and you're not expending a lot of energy, it sounds like something else besides food, as was mentioned above. It's not lack of some mythical magical ingredient in meat, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,026 Posts
There are many things that could be causing your issues. They may or may not be diet related. It's probably a good idea to visit a doctor and get your nutrient levels checked. Then if somthing is low you can work on ways to fix it.

While you're at it, try using a prepared vegan diet so you can make sure you're getting all the nutrients you need. Try these:
http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/..._1-by_meal.pdf
http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/..._2-by_meal.pdf
http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/..._3-by_meal.pdf

Seriously, though, I would not be so quick to attribute your dizzy feelings to diet. The sheer stress of a major life-change could be to blame. Check out this list of causes of lightheadedness:
-Allergies.
-Illnesses such as the flu or colds.
-Vomiting, diarrhea, fevers, and other illnesses that cause dehydration.
-Very deep or rapid breathing (hyperventilation).
-Anxiety and stress.
-The use of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs.

source: http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/dizzin...topic-overview
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,423 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by qaplzaml View Post

for breakfast i had oatmeal (straight up with no milk or anything ... i'm weird). and two glasses of orange juice (fortified with calcium and vitamin D)

lunch was soup with a salad. I also had a couple cookies and a chocolate bar. More OJ to drink.

dinner was a vegetable stir fry with rice, a little more chocolate and some almonds. Water to drink.
I agree with the too much sugar sentiment. You should only have about 6 oz of commercial OJ in a day. Eating the whole orange with the fiber is more beneficial than all of the liquid juice which will spike your blood sugar, then leave you feeling like crashing a while later. Plus you drank 3 glasses of it in one day. Try for some more water, or nondairy milk. (On the flip side, be aware that the calcium fortified OJ is probably animal based D3- it usually is)

For lunch, not sure how big the soup or the salad is, but you could try adding all kinds of chopped veggies on it, with some seeds and nuts. Walnuts have omega 3 fats in them. (was this home made or was it eating out?)

dinner sounds pretty good....you're getting more sugar in the chocolate though.....

Try for high fiber foods, with a lot of water during the day. The high fiber foods will help you stay fuller longer, and if you cut down on the simple sugars, you won't get that spike and drop from the blood sugars doing wacky things to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the response! I didn't know about the D3, appreciate you letting me know about that.

I actually felt a TON better today. I think it really was a calorie issue.

For about a week I lived on

Oatmeal for breakfast (with water)
Falfael for lunch on pita bread
Pasta with mushrooms for dinner.

No way to live. That had to be why I felt so crappy.

Today I had:
Salad and oatmeal for breakfast with one glass of orange juice
Leftover vegetable stir fry with rice for lunch
Two veggie burgers with some chips and water for dinner.

I also had an apple and three bannas during the day. And periodic peanuts and almonds. Lots of water. Half a cup of coffee (that is too hard to quit)

I feel a major difference in my energy levels and I'm thinking a lot more clearly.

Am I getting more on track meal wise guys?

Any other advice? (You've all been tremendously helpful...)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,609 Posts
It's great you're feeling better. I agree with others that your previous diet seemed to lack protein.

It might be a good idea to use an online meal tracker, like Sparkpeople.com, to see how many calories you are consuming. It will also show you how much you are getting of other vital nutrients. It's immensely helpful!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,075 Posts
Add more beans and pulses to your dinner for protein ie:

- Lentil dals for dinner with rice and naan
- Chickpea stew
_ Tofu
- Make "bolognaise" sauce out of red lentils
- Kidney Bean chilli
- Black beans in salad
- Quinoa Salad

And that will help things a bit.. : )
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top