21-Day Vegan Kickstart

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Forums: Main Kickstart Forum: One week in - feel awful
Created on: 04/07/14 01:10 PM Views: 2246 Replies: 23
One week in - feel awful
Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 at 1:10 PM

I did a pre-Kickstart week, so I'm really more like two weeks in.

So at the very beginning of official Kickstart (one week ago), I started feeling terrible - headaches, nausea, light-headedness. I also developed vertigo, which seems to be unrelated to the diet (my doc says it's benign positional vertigo). Anyway, the vertigo just happens when I'm lying down, but I feel awful all the time. I had already given up dairy and eggs and was eating a fatty, meaty meal out maybe two times a week. It doesn't seem like enough of a change to account for how bad I feel. I have not cut down on caffeine - I drink three cups of tea a day. I do put sugar in my tea, but that is something that hasn't changed. I'm seeing my doctor again Wednesday, and I'm concerned that she'll think it's eating vegan (she has already told me that there's nothing wrong with eggs). But does anyone have any idea of what I could be doing wrong?

Just to provide more info, I eat oatmeal with berries for breakfast, bean soup with brown rice for lunch, and a veggie burger or hummus sandwich for dinner. I also eat lots of fruits and vegetables and some whole wheat bread for snacks. I eat when I'm hungry - I'm not trying to restrict calories.

I don't want to give up, but it's hard when I'm not only not feeling better - I'm feeling much worse.

RE: One week in - feel awful
Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 at 1:18 PM

I hesitate to guess, and I am certainly glad to hear you are going to see a health care professional soon.

Some people claim to feel ill when cleaning up their diets -- almost like a detox effect. Such a side effect would usually last less than the 21 days. However, I would only consider this a possibility if you are indeed eating enough calories from healthful foods.

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: One week in - feel awful
Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Good luck with seeing your doctor this week!

One family member is now in worse shape after being on the vegan diet for 5 months.

Their cholesterol has risen 36 points and not one drop of anything containing cholesterol was ever put into their mouth.

Their triglycerides also increased from 80 to 116.

Weight loss is so slow that they have only lost 10 pounds in 5 months!

They are hypothyroid, but with medication, their thyroid's THS is .69 which is normal. So what can be causing this?

RE: One week in - feel awful
Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Fat intake actually has more of an influence on one's cholesterol levels than does cholesterol intake, believe it or not. So the first thing I would assess is how much fat (even from plants) is being consumed.

Secondly, triglycerides go up when we consume excess calorie-dense foods. So this again could be a result of too much fat intake OR too much refined carbohydrate such as sugar, alcohol, or white flour.

The weight loss is not bad - 0.5 pounds per week. If this person were losing nothing, gaining, or losing more than 2 pounds per week, I'd be concerned.

Consider this: The average adult gains approximately 1 to 2 pounds per year, every year! If we were not gaining because we we were at an ideal weight or, as this person is doing, losing 20+ pounds per year, what a difference from the average American!

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

Edited 04/07/14 2:27 PM
RE: One week in - feel awful
Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Thank you for your kind reply.

I will check the amount of fat consumed from the beginning as I record each family member's numbers at myfitnesspal.com.

Myfitnesspal.com is a very good website. One can choose the level of fat, cholesterol, potassium, etc. that one is consuming along with all exercise.

Our family eats no sugar and no white breads now. We cut out eating all those lovely French baguettes and croissants which was a difficult thing to do since we live in Paris. We now eat "pan complete" which is whole wheat bread.

However, we do have a small ballon glass of French wine once or twice a week for lunch.

RE: One week in - feel awful
Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Thanks for replying. I had wondered if it could be a detox thing. I have lost four pounds in two weeks, but I am almost 100 pounds overweight, so I don't think that's unreasonable at the beginning.

I will see what my doctor says on Wednesday.

RE: One week in - feel awful
Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 at 4:20 PM

I did check the family member's fat content at myfitnesspal.com.

Nuts were eaten at least 5 times a week. Popcorn popped with 1/2 Tablespoon of Canola Oil was another one that was entered, but only once a month.

Nutritionfacts.org said eating nuts increased your life expectancy and the calories did not count in the research that was done. So should they stop eating popcorn and nuts?

RE: One week in - feel awful
Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 at 4:28 PM

It's something to consider, although those are very small amounts.

I really think she should check with her doc or pharmacist about her elevated lipid levels and how they might be associated with any medication she is taking. As far as lifestyle goes, the best thing she can do is keep fat low, fiber high, and engage in some exercise. If all of those are in check, there may be a genetic factor at play. Rare but certainly possible.

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: One week in - feel awful
Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 at 4:30 PM

VeganFamily wrote:

I did check the family member's fat content at myfitnesspal.com.

Nuts were eaten at least 5 times a week. Popcorn popped with 1/2 Tablespoon of Canola Oil was another one that was entered, but only once a month.

Nutritionfacts.org said eating nuts increased your life expectancy and the calories did not count in the research that was done. So should they stop eating popcorn and nuts?

How much nuts? There's a big difference between a 1/4 cup of cashews and a bowl of mixed nuts. One of the baselines for the kickstart is 10% of calories from fat - 1 cup of dry roasted peanuts has 856 calories and 650 of those are from fat - WAY more than 10% (10% of 856 calories would be about 86 calories from fat). If you eat 6500 calories per day, then 650 would be all of the fat for the day. But, few people eat that much (unless you are a certain class of elite athlete working out 10 hours per day). For the 'average' 2000 calories per day eater, that's 200 calories from fat; fat is 9 calories per gram, so 200/9 is about 22 grams of fat per day for the target - which is about 1/4 cup of peanuts (if my calculations are correct, I could be off) - that would be ALL the fat for the day in one little helping of peanuts. (I just used peanuts because they are fairly ubiquitous)

--DebR

RE: One week in - feel awful
Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Eating nuts, well, you would be nuts not to eat them.

View Nutritionfacts.org's video page on many different health benefits (lower cholesterol, longer life, no calories registered) of eating nuts.

See http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=nuts

RE: One week in - feel awful
Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Eating nuts, well, you would be nuts not to eat them.

View Nutritionfacts.org's video page on many different health benefits (lower cholesterol, longer life, no calories registered) of eating nuts.

See http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=nuts

RE: One week in - feel awful
Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Eating nuts, well, you would be nuts not to eat them.

View Nutritionfacts.org's video page on many different health benefits (lower cholesterol, longer life, no calories registered) of eating nuts.

See http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=nuts

RE: One week in - feel awful
Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 at 9:13 PM

Sabreuse wrote:

So at the very beginning of official Kickstart (one week ago), I started feeling terrible - headaches, nausea, light-headedness.

I see you joined the forum over a year ago, so I'm assuming this isn't your first Kickstart. Did you experience these sypmtoms on previous Kickstarts ?

Wash your back

RE: One week in - feel awful
Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 at 9:55 PM

I've never done it very seriously before. This is the first time I've totally stuck with it.

RE: One week in - feel awful
Posted Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 12:55 AM

Hi Sabreuse, sorry to hear that you're not feeling so well. i really agree with Susan that sometimes detoxing from all this non-vegan junk really does makes us, at first we don't feel so good!

haha, i really like that above comment, you would be 'nuts' not to eat nuts! =)
when i started, for me i was already a lacto-vegetarian. so to stop dairy was so hard. mainly with dairy, milk, etc. i never thought i could conquer the craving. and the first 2 weeks i felt the crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrravings and such. but it goes away! pls hang in there. this community is

RE: One week in - feel awful
Posted Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 12:56 AM

oop sorry! my silly cat. he walks all over my keyboard and his tail goes all over the letter sorry!

RE: One week in - feel awful
Posted Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 7:50 AM

Okay thanks Susan it's great that when she said, "you would be nuts not to eat nuts". She was just being playful.

Edited 04/08/14 1:49 PM
RE: One week in - feel awful
Posted Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 8:27 AM

I suspect VeganFamily was being playful with words, not judgmental.

There is no nutritional requirement to include nuts in the diet, just as there is no nutritional requirement to include soy, broccoli, or bananas. Their nutritional benefits can be found in other plants.

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: One week in - feel awful
Posted Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 1:09 PM

I just typed the symptoms into google. It's either pregnancy or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Wash your back

RE: One week in - feel awful
Posted Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 4:21 PM

I'm actually feeling much better today - just a mild headache. And this morning my blood pressure was down 13/7 from a week ago.

I did add 10 almonds to breakfast this morning just in case I wasn't getting enough to eat. I don't know if that's what helped or if it's coincidental.

Thanks for the help everyone!

Edited 04/08/14 4:23 PM


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