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Ok so I've been vegetarian for about a year and a half now and I haven't found it hard up until the last month or two. Lately I find it to be a big hassle... I hate not being able to eat anything but salad on a menu, and fussing over dinner with my family. Being a teenage vegetarian is really hard, when the rest of your family are omnivores. Also I don't feel very healthy.. I mean I seem to have a lot of gas, I have lousy digestion all of the sudden, I feel fatiqued and my skin is discolored around my eyes. I look sickly but I got blood tests and everything is in order, Im even taking vitamins! ( Not saying it has to be the diet but that's what I am thinking..) The whole deal is getting really depressing but I don't want to go back to meat.. or go back on my values. What do you do for modivation and do you have any advice?
 

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Best thing is finding other veg*ns who are willing to help give advice IRL. Too bad that's not always possible and most people ONLY want to give advice over the inernet which isn't very helpful for mysterious health problems which require RL interaction.
 

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When they did the blood tests, did they check for things like vitamin B12, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids? It might be that you're lacking in something that they won't think to check for unless you smack them upside the head and point it out.

--Fromper

 

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You need to start evaluating your diet.

Being fussy is part of the lifestyle, 'cause we don't do death with our meals like everyone else. I am surprised you have so much trouble when you're a vegetarian. I go to a local diner a lot and my cousin's bar, both specialize in meat such as burgers, steaks, fish, etc.

They pamper me at my cousin's work because I am family, but I usually have to be a real pest at the local diner we go to. If I order mashed potatoes, I have to ask the cook to leave out the milk and butter when they're cooking it.

Sometimes I'll find something that is good after taking off the meat and cheeses, but for you you could just get something good without the meat like a gyro or sub or something.

Subway is good for things like that. Or maybe even Qdoba [haven't checked it out yet].

Try to keep your fruits grains, and vegetables balanced as best you can. There are many sites that offer charts and logs so you can keep track of what you're consuming and what those foods are giving you and what they aren't giving you.

Stay strong and just work to figure out if you're lacking something important.
 

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You can view the menus for many restaurants online. Try to steer your family toward popular restaurants which offer more vegetarian items besides just salad. Ruby Tuesday's, Garfield's, Burger King, Johnny Rockets, and Buffalo Wild Wings are among the many omni restaurants which have veggieburgers on their menus.

In addition, Subway, Taco Bell, and Panera Bread all offer vegetarian meal choices that don't require much "tinkering" or substitutions. Most sub places, from national chains to corner shops, have a vegetarian sub these days. Also, try out ethnic food places, they are generally popular with omnis and have more vegetarian menu items.
 

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If you have a job you could use your money to buy your own food and make a spot in your fridge that is yours, that way you can eat at home instead of getting the crappy fast food options. The eyes thing might be from stress. Maybe soak in a bath and put cucumber on yours eyes.
 

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I'm a teenage vegetarian, too, and I pretty much depend on myself for food. The odd times when the family meal maches up with my own are nice, but I don't rely on them... It also helps that I work in a grocery store and have an easy opportunity to buy stuff. I used to eat out all the time and now I almost never do; whenever I do I tend to feel a little put out so I just avoid it.

Anyway, I asked my parents to give me some money to buy extra food, as well as using my own money. I found some easy foods I like (hummus, couscous, lots of stirfry, PB&J, veggie burgers, fresh fruit - I don't eat a lot of salad) and work with that.

So just saying I understand where you're coming from. Maybe try finding some new recipes, or start experimenting with a new food or join a veggie cooking class. that might make your food more engaging.
 

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Quote:
Also I don't feel very healthy.. I mean I seem to have a lot of gas, I have lousy digestion all of the sudden, I feel fatiqued and my skin is discolored around my eyes. I look sickly but I got blood tests and everything is in order, I'm even taking vitamins!
I felt the exact same way for the last couple months. I just got severely tired, bad headaches, and got terrible dark circles. I thought it was anemia or depression or maybe migraines (my family has a history). However, I got my blood checked and I'm severely deficient in vitamin D. Did you tell your doctor that you're a vegetarian? The vitamin D test requires a whole different set of tests and is often overlooked and misdiagnosed for years. Call your doctor, make sure they checked for it, and if they didn't, get your blood checked again.

As for it being difficult... I know. I completely understand and sympathize. There are times when I just want to be "normal". Times when I get sick of getting constant crap for caring about things that most people our age just don't care about. But do you really, truly want other people shaping your views on life? Remind yourself that this is your decision, and if people can't accept it, you don't need them around.

Recently, I had a friend who completely bashed my veganism. I posted a blog about having doubts about it, about getting sick of it, but that I was in no way ready to quit. I wanted support. She gave me the most crap ever, saying it was the stupidest thing I have ever written in my life, that she told me I would give it up, that she was right... etc. etc. Basically, she emulated a completely condescending attitude, putting me down and walking all over me all the time. Bashing my veganism was the last straw. I cut her out of my life. I haven't talked to her since.

My point, through all of that rambling, is that if someone gives you crap for your veganism, they probably give you crap for all sorts of other stuff, too. You don't need that. No one does. Don't put up with it. I know you didn't say anyone was giving you crap for being vegetarian, but it's kind of a given. Veg*ns get ridiculed.

Good luck!
 

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Please have the doctor run more tests -- a healthy veg*n diet shouldn't cause you to feel that draggy, unless something has gone haywire in your health. In the meantime, try and find some veg*n treats to enjoy -- and try and make your meals pretty (it sounds trite, but food that looks like eye-candy can really help you feel more enthusiastic about your healthy diet).

My husband and I treat ourselves to at least one recipe each week from famous vegan restaurants (like Candle Cafe in NYC and Millenium in Sfrancisco). That way we feel like we're eating a luxury meal out instead of just the same old stuff. If you're not a cook, you may want to browse local restaurant menus to find some interesting veg*n stuff that gets your enthusiasm up. We all need treats -- and there is no reason that veg*nism needs to be grim. Fun food is part of living a healthy happy life.
 

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You are taking a supplement, right? Make sure you are taking in enough vitamin d, some rices and soy milks are fortified with it, so look for those.
 

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Maybe its B12, eat sea bucktorn berries, they have as much b12 as liver!!!!!!!!!!!

Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.

Albert Einstein
 

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I don't think about going back to the dark side anymore (not for 9 years or more) but when I did- I'd find all sorts of animal cruelty stuff & it would distress me so much I'd tell myself I'm not like those people because I have a heart. If I knew we were going to a restaurant that didn't have any or much veg stuff I'd eat before I left the house & then just had a salad & a juice when I got there. I've never taken a supplement so I can't help you there because I don't know much about them I have no need to as I'm pretty much full of energy. I still eat some dairy- not much because I'm lactose intolerant & I don't like the taste of milk but I have a very varied diet. I eat cheese & chocolate (vegan), vegan chippies, cakes & I have soy sausages, schnitzel, fake bacon & burgers. I love most veggies-I eat on average 9different veggies a day & 2 fruits. So I eat well & then sometimes not so well but I'm healthy. I will never go back because I love animals too much & I'd be a hypocrite to preach about loving & caring for animals if I still ate them. I have no room in my diet for meat anyway- I'm happy as is
If someone tries poking fun at me for being vegetarian (to me this is the only part that is hard) I try to explain myself simply & if that doesn't work & they push me I will bluntly tell them EXACTLY what they are eating & will gladly show them enough pics to make it hard for them to sleep at night. I was being asked some very stupid questions by a snooty person I know & he asked me if I think I'm better than him- this man has given me hell- literally waving meat in my face & questioning everything all in the name of making me look like a twit- I simply said I am better than you- I'm not a murderer. That was the end of that
Basically times can be tough- not due to anything we've done but other people try to make it hard for us- like they want us to fail because it's not right to be an individual- you're just being picky. But stick to it- there's always another way around something. Sorry for the ramble.
 

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The most motivating thing for me was re-learning to cook. I went veg 15 years ago (at 22) and was already out of the house. I got bunches of books on veg nutrition and a bunch of cookbooks, read until I dropped, and just went to town in the kitchen. Seeing your meals come together is so fun and rewarding. I suggest that you go shopping with mom or whoever does the weekly shopping with a recipe in mind and a short list of ingredients. Check your kitchen first to see what is already there and just buy the things to make up the difference. Offer to cook for the whole family one night a week in YOUR style and see if they will cooperate. Food should be fun like others have said, if you make it a struggle or a drag, it will be much harder for you and those around you.
 
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