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Newbie vegan here.

Discussion in 'Transitioning' started by justagirl, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. justagirl

    justagirl New Member

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    Vegan Newbie
    Hello i'm a newbie vegan. Im so glad that i found this website as it can be quite daunting and almost lonely when nobody around you in going vegan too.

    Nevertheless, I am super happy with my decision to go vegan!

    The reason for me posting is this, although in the beginning I started feeling less bloated and more healthy. Over the past week I have started feeling exhausted. I mean, this could be for a couple of reasons. I do tend to overwork.
    But after reading about regarding veganism I'm starting to feel like Ive not been gettinf enough calories.

    I have been having smoothies for breakfast and lunch. For dinner I would have something solid like roasted peppers with cous cous.

    Would you guys suggest for me to be continuing this way? Or should I stop with the liquid breakfasts and lunches?

    Thanks in advance.
    - Hannah
     
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  2. Kellyr

    Kellyr Active Member

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    Welcome!

    It's best to get a balance of your macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat) at each meal. I don't know what you're putting into your smoothies, but if they're just fruit and/or veg with no added fats or proteins it could certainly lead to feeling lethargic.

    I mentioned to someone in a different post that smoothies in general can leave me feeling unsatisfied (even if I do add nut butter or protein powder to them) - I usually make them into smoothie bowls where I add some foods that I actually have to chew, or I accompany it with something like a piece of sprouted grain bread spread with nut butter.

    Open an account on Cronometer and utilize it to see how many calories you're getting in your day. Although the typical sign of not getting enough to eat is usually feeling hungry most of the time.

    But definitely make sure you're eating a wide variety of foods - it should include not just vegetables and fruit but also grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.

    One final piece of advice is to make sure you're supplementing your B-12 and possibly D3, as well. I would definitely suggest asking your doctor for some blood tests to see that your iron and other vitamin and mineral levels are in their optimal range. Re-test this at regular intervals, like every 6 months or so until you get into the swing of consuming a plant-based diet and are eating in a manner that keeps you satisfied and energized.
     
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  3. Lou
    Woot

    Lou Active Member

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    Location:
    San Mateo, Ca
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    One of the most over-used expressions at where I work is "re-inventing the wheel".

    And for beginning vegans, there are way more ways to do it "wrong" than to get it right. It certainly isn't as hard as most people think. It certainly isn't rocket science. but there is no reason to figure it all out on your own.

    At my library, there is a whole shelf of vegan and vegetarian books. The first book I ever got was either the Idiots Guide or they Dummy's Guide to The Vegan Lifestyle. ( I can't remember now). But that was a long time ago and there are even more choices and maybe a lot better ones.

    This forum IS a good resource. But it's more of a secondary resource. You can get really good personal advice - but you have to be able to ask the right questions.

    Anyway, I'm a reader and always look to books for learning. But I know that is not for everyone. Instead of a book you might like the Vegan Kickstart Program.

    http://www.pcrm.org/kickstartHome

    It's pretty cool. its free. it's an online course. If you have ever taken an online course you should already know if this is a better choice for you than a book. And if you haven't ever taken an online course - well this might be a good one to start with. Although there is HW there are not tests. But something that might appeal to you is that there is a social media aspect. Start the program on the first day of the month and they have their own forum for people who are taking it as the same time as you.

    I've never taken it but I did take the 30-Day Vegan Challenge which is a book, plus audio recordings, video lessons, essays and recipes. Basically one lesson a day for 30 days. It used to be free but the course now costs $40. The book is optional but can be bought used for $10.

    The author of the 30-day Vegan challenge, Colleen Patrick Goudreau, also has a Podcast channel. I used to listen to one of her podcasts on my way to and from work or at the gym. Not organized like a course but you can get a great vegan education that way, too. Plus just listening to her is a pleasure. And I think her attitude and philosophy is the BEST.

    Hannah, maybe the most common problem with beginning vegans - and especially young women is the calorie issue. And it does sound like your problem could very well be that you are not getting enough calories. Kellyr brought up CronOmeter and I totally endorse that suggestion. If you are concerned with personal health and correct nutrition, a CronOmeter account is almost mandatory. There is a bit of a learning curve. But with practice, it becomes easier and you become faster pretty quickly. After a week it should take you less than 5 minutes to do the daily input. The best thing about it is how easy it is to understand the results. You can see the problems almost immediately. Color-coded bar graphs and pie charts are easy to understand. There is an app but it's only available if you upgrade. Try it for a week and then see if you want to upgrade.

    Most of my breakfasts are hot oatmeal with soymilk and fruit. It takes about the same amount of time for me to make oatmeal as to brew my coffee. but sitting down to eat a bowl of oatmeal is sometimes problematic. on days that i just can't make the time I will make a smoothie with soymilk, oatmeal, peanut butter and a banana. And chug it as i go out the door. I usually make a bunch of these all at once and store them in the freezer. So when I'm pressed for time I don't even have to make them in the morning.

    For years, lunches were the biggest problem as I transitioned to veganism. Veggie wraps were pretty good. I would make a lot of PB&Js and keep them in the freezer for emergencies. And i would make a batch of burrito mix make a whole bunch of burritos and freeze them. I don't know why i thought salads weren't an option. but now I have a salad most days for lunch. I have a 2-quart Tupperware bowl. My local market sells loose leaf spring greens and spinach. I fill about half the bowl with that and then add a half dozen cherry tomatoes. then a couple of tablespoons of things like beans, corn, peas, olives, almond slivers, and sunflower seeds. The only thing I slice is a cucumber. I keep some salad dressing at work. but you can also pack it in a little jar.

    These salads don't have that many calories - but they are filling and have lots of nutrients.

    One of my most common dinners is a half cup of whole rice and a quart of steamed or roasted veggies.

    then a few pieces of fruit each day between meals

    Anyway, be a happy healthy vegan isn't That hard. It doesn't even have to take a lot of time. you don't have to re-invent the wheel.
     
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  4. Kellyr

    Kellyr Active Member

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    Wow, I completely forgot about the pcrm.org web site and their kickstart. I referenced them heavily when I first went vegetarian many years ago, and YES, they were very helpful. I'm glad you brought that up!
     
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  5. veganDreama

    veganDreama Active Member

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    Birmingham, England
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    Hello and Welcome! I agree with the others. It's possible that you aren't getting enough calories. I hope the advice the others give you works well and you continue to be happy with your diet. I am and I've been vegan for over 14 years.
     
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