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Stopped eating meat a couple of weeks ago but have since felt really tired and run down. Think the problem may be that I'm just eating the same diet without any meat, so am obviously not getting everything I need. I am struggling to know what to cook and eat though, especially as I am quite a picky eater. Am considering going back to meat and gradually fading it out of my diet, as although I'd really rather not do this, I would like to stop feeling so tired. Would this be a better option than just cutting it out completely?

Also, if anyone has any advice or links on how to make sure I am getting all the right nutrients and what to cook for dinners etc then I'd be really grateful!

Thanks.
 

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Vegan since 1991
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Stopped eating meat a couple of weeks ago but have since felt really tired and run down. Think the problem may be that I'm just eating the same diet without any meat, so am obviously not getting everything I need. I am struggling to know what to cook and eat though, especially as I am quite a picky eater. Am considering going back to meat and gradually fading it out of my diet, as although I'd really rather not do this, I would like to stop feeling so tired. Would this be a better option than just cutting it out completely?

Also, if anyone has any advice or links on how to make sure I am getting all the right nutrients and what to cook for dinners etc then I'd be really grateful!

Thanks.

Hi Jennar,

At least once a month on VeggieBoards, we hear from someone asking this exact same question.

As with all chronic physical symptoms, it's a good idea to ask your physician to rule out any serious medical issues.

Because vitamin and mineral deficiencies take a while to develop, the most likely reason for your fatigue is simple lack of calories. Not eating enough calories is one of the most common mistakes made by new vegetarians. This mistake is very easy to make, because vegetarian staple foods (legumes, whole grains, fruit, vegetables) are low in calories, compared to meat and dairy products. On a low-fat vegetarian diet, it's possible to eat until you're full, yet still not get enough calories.

Here's how to fix it.

First, use a calorie-requirements calculator to estimate your calorie needs: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-l...ting/in-depth/calorie-calculator/itt-20084939

Next, just remember this calorie rule-of-thumb:

One cup of cooked beans/legumes contains about 230 calories

One cup of cooked grains/pasta contains about 190 calories

One cup of fresh (not dried) fruit contains 40-100 calories

One cup of non-starchy vegetables contains 5-40 calories

One cup of nuts or seeds contains 650-1000 calories


For example, I need to eat about 2500 calories per day to maintain my weight. Can you see how much beans, grains etc. I have to eat to do this? I have to stuff myself! Including nuts, nut butters, and/or seeds in your diet is an easy way to make sure you're getting enough calories.


Mercy For Animals has a beautifully-illustrated Vegetarian Starter Guide: http://www.mercyforanimals.org/files/VSG.pdf . On page 13, it does a nice job of summarizing vegetarian nutrition.

Here is a summary of nutrients to focus on as a vegetarian / vegan: http://veganhealth.org/articles/dailyrecs

.
 

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Where in the world are you?
What stores, anything like Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or Asian groceries?
What do you like to eat now?
Going veg is really a bigger change in how you prepare food than a lot of people realize. Most enjoy cooking and baking more veg'n. There's so much variety and creativity, but it's a big learning curve.
Be sure to browse all our 'what I ate today' and food porn--

http://www.veggieboards.com/forum/6...at-did-you-eat-vegan-today-version-2-0-a.html
http://www.veggieboards.com/forum/21-general-food-discussions/115339-food-porn-volume-2-a.html
 

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If you tell us what foods you currently like we might be able to make suggestions or offer recipes with similar flavor. You might start with some basics (like spaghetti) where it is easy to make the same dish minus the meat, but be sure to branch out and experiment. You might find some new foods you love.
 

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You may need to consider the fact you were already depressed/felt run down and you're just now seeing it - happens when you change your lifestyle. But that is a good thing - noticing it rather than having it idly slide by you,

Give it some time and some exercise and you may find yourself in a better place ;)
 

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I began my journey as a vegetarian by eliminating one meat at a time. I didn't feel the "withdrawal symptoms" so to speak and I did it slowly. I had nothing to prove to anyone. In time I was down to regular bread (I don't like vegan bread), eggs (because I love scrambled whole eggs occasionally) and regular cupcakes (I don't like vegan cupcakes). IF not for these three vices I would be vegan but I'm good with the failure.
 

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I began my journey as a vegetarian by eliminating one meat at a time. I didn't feel the "withdrawal symptoms" so to speak and I did it slowly. I had nothing to prove to anyone. In time I was down to regular bread (I don't like vegan bread), eggs (because I love scrambled whole eggs occasionally) and regular cupcakes (I don't like vegan cupcakes). IF not for these three vices I would be vegan but I'm good with the failure.
What recipe did you try for cupcakes? I've never known anyone to say they could tell a difference.
Was it where you add baking soda to dry and vinegar to wet and mix, or with other stuff? Those shouldn't taste any different. My favorite!

http://www.veggieboards.com/forum/41-desserts-cakes/22508-absurdly-easy-chocolate-cake.html

Now if you said brownies, I totally understand!
 

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Some people do well cutting it out completely, some do better gradually. I myself did the gradual thing, starting with pescetarianism three years ago to "Meatless Mondays", to fully vegetarian roughly a year and a half ago. I spent that time doing a LOT of research on how to ease into the diet, what my meals and snacks needed to typically look like, etc. so that when I did finally cut it all out, I knew exactly what I was doing with meal planning and nutrition. I also needed that time to adapt to the taste and texture of beans, TBH! You do not need to add it back in to get back on the right track, but giving us an idea of what you typically eat in a day as well as what foods you would prefer to keep in your diet would be useful so that we can properly help you. :yes:
 

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On the vegan cupcake front, I had a client at work bring in dairy-free and egg-free cupcakes (the family wasn't vegan, but their daughters had severe allergies) and they had extras--they offered me one and I was so excited I almost cried. They tasted just like their non-vegan counterparts. HEAVEN. :lick:
 
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