21-Day Vegan Kickstart

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Forums: Main Kickstart Forum: Gastrointestinal Distress--Help!
Created on: 11/05/13 09:36 AM Views: 1542 Replies: 8
Gastrointestinal Distress--Help!
Posted Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Here is a rather delicate issue about which I would appreciate feedback. About a year ago, I gradually began a transition toward eating an entirely plant-based diet. At home, I eat 100% plant-based. When in a restaurant, I will occasionally have some fish.

I would love to adopt a plant-based diet 24/7. Unfortunately, the gastrointestinal distress that I experience from many fruits and vegetables, and particularly beans, has made this process quite difficult.

I have read that reliance upon taking enzymes is not a good idea. Apparently, your body needs time to build up the requisite enzymes. I have also read that ingesting bitters (the non-alcohol component of certain drinks) can assist the body in building up enzymes.

I am quite frustrated. I have tried omitting certain foods, but there is such a large number, that I cannot avoid all the problematic foods.

Any suggestions??

RE: Gastrointestinal Distress--Help!
Posted Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 11:05 AM

sorry are you talking about flatulence, or severe abdominal pain?

RE: Gastrointestinal Distress--Help!
Posted Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 11:12 AM

FoodForThought, I am with you. I have the same problem. I am interested to read the reply you get.

RE: Gastrointestinal Distress--Help!
Posted Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Marge, the symptoms are significant bloating and gas. Sometimes I am awakened during the night with abdominal discomfort. I have been checked out by a GI doctor and everything is fine from a medical perspective.

I have tried to follow all of the advice I have gathered: start with small amounts and build up, cook legumes/beans with kombu or bay leaves, chew food very thoroughly. It has also been suggested to focus on small legumes/beans. I still have difficulty even with lentils, which are quite small.

The problem is not limited to beans/legumes. For example, cruciferous vegetables, which are so healthy, are also problematic.

Schweitzer53, it is good to know I am not alone. I am so determined to make this work, but I am somewhat discouraged.

RE: Gastrointestinal Distress--Help!
Posted Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 1:21 PM

FoodforThought - You may want to look into the FODMAP diet. You may find that the high FODMAP foods are the ones that cause you problems. I am trying to do that and be a vegan.

RE: Gastrointestinal Distress--Help!
Posted Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Thank you, Schweitzer53:

schweitzer53 wrote:

FoodforThought - You may want to look into the FODMAP diet. You may find that the high FODMAP foods are the ones that cause you problems. I am trying to do that and be a vegan.

I have previously considered following a low FODMAP diet but, frankly, I felt that since it calls for the elimination of so many foods (inc. wheat, several fruits and vegetables) it would be nearly impossible on a plant-based diet.

How are you doing with it? Are you trying to follow the 21-day Kickstart Program this month? Do you have a menu plan that you are following?

RE: Gastrointestinal Distress--Help!
Posted Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Btw, any input from Susan Levin would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!!

RE: Gastrointestinal Distress--Help!
Posted Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 2:36 PM

So far I have not been too successful. I have stayed vegan, but I definitely feel bloated and am having sleep problems. When I did follow the low FODMAP diet successfully, I was including eggs, fish or poultry one meal a day or every other day. Previously, I was put on the restricted carbohydrate diet for awhile, but I could not stand a diet that was based on meats and no whole grains.
I believe that Dr Fuhrman is not a fan of the low fodmap diet just because it does eliminate so many healthy food. They want us to try to keep a low fodmap diet by eliminating all the bad stuff and try to keep in the good. I believe they say that we should have beans every day, but maybe only as little as 1T, and then build up. Also, the nuts and seeds need to be limited. Without legumes, that makes it hard for me to feel satisfied.

RE: Gastrointestinal Distress--Help!
Posted Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Food4thought wrote:

Thank you, Schweitzer53:

schweitzer53 wrote:

FoodforThought - You may want to look into the FODMAP diet. You may find that the high FODMAP foods are the ones that cause you problems. I am trying to do that and be a vegan.

I have previously considered following a low FODMAP diet but, frankly, I felt that since it calls for the elimination of so many foods (inc. wheat, several fruits and vegetables) it would be nearly impossible on a plant-based diet.

How are you doing with it? Are you trying to follow the 21-day Kickstart Program this month? Do you have a menu plan that you are following?

There are some folks around here that are gluten free and vegan, so eliminating wheat is not necessarily an issue. There are plenty of other whole grains that work well that are GF (if gluten is the issue). Brown rice, for instance, tends to be fairly neutral.

There are also folks who can't eat certain types of beans, cruciferous veggies, etc. but still maintain a healthy vegan lifestyle.

The other issue is liquid - getting PLENTY of water is really important. Non carbonated, non caffeinated, plain old water (not processed fruit juices either).

It can take up to about a week to get past the worst of any transitional distress because all that higher fiber whole food is having to push all the accumulated stuff out of the bowels. Think of it as having a bunch of 10 year olds trying to move a stopped train out of a tunnel. It will eventually move but it might not be easy right off.

--DebR


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