21-Day Vegan Kickstart

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Forums: January 2012 Kickstart Forum: How are you feeling?
Created on: 01/05/12 05:52 AM Views: 4097 Replies: 19
How are you feeling?
Posted Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 5:52 AM

Hello!
This is my first time on this forum (and first time doing the 21 day kickstart).
I wanted to start a thread here to chat with others about how you're feeling as the kickstart goes along. It's my fourth day now (I'm in Australia, so we're a day aheadWink and I am finally starting to maybe turn a corner and not feel awful. That is, the first several days I found really tough! Not in the temptation sense, but just in not feeling "full" in the way I've grown accustomed to. Not feeling heavy with junk food, I felt this constant craving for fattening stuff.

Anyone else experiencing this? I felt a bit like I imagine an addict might feel, jonesing for some toxic stuff, like ice cream or a big steak.
I'm also currently breastfeeding so I know that getting enough calories and nutrition is crucial, but I definitely think I have been (I hope!), and I refuse to count calories. I'm just eating well balanced meals and eating when I'm hungry.
So yeah, finally today I didn't feel headachey and miserable. I felt a bit lighter and more energetic, a bit more satisfied after my vegan meals.

How's everyone else feeling?
A bit about my road-to-vegan story...
I did go vegan once before this, last year for a few months. I felt GREAT, finally lost some weight and had my spark back. Prior to that I also spent many years as a vegetarian in my teens and twenties.

But over the past handful of years I've grown sloppy with bad eating habits, and I'm finally starting to take charge of my body and health again. It's hard- I have two small children. And my husband eats meat like a fiend and scoffs at my tofu and veg. I was actually eating mostly-vegan early last year when I fell pregnant, and decided to resume my meat/dairy consumption. Now I've just put on so much weight, I need to adjust and get back on track! I really think this is the way to go for me. I'm just making sure I have no excuses by ensuring some healthy convenience foods are available for those crazy busy mom days.

Hope you're all feeling well. Those who've done this before - when did you start to feel really energetic? Is it normal to feel a bit grumpy as you "detox" from the animal products in your system?

cheers

RE: How are you feeling?
Posted Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 6:07 AM

This is very common, and I assure you it will pass. I can't promise that you won't ever want junk food, but the cravings do subside. In fact, the notion of this 21-day program lies with the idea that it takes 3 weeks to break a habit. By the time this program ends, you should feel more in control. And if you do crack and eat something "bad," you may find it does not taste or feel as good as you remember.

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: How are you feeling?
Posted Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 8:28 AM

Also, make sure you do get enough fat in your diet - that's important when you're nursing. An extra spoonful of nut butter maybe, not a whole lot but just a bit more than the standard kickstart menu would have.

Often, when I feel that "I need fat" type feeling, I'll grab some hummus (the kickstart roasted red pepper hummus is our favorite) because it's got that bit of creaminess to it. The key to it (if you're making it from scratch rather than purchasing ready-made) is to heat the chickpeas. We always make the hummus straightaway when the chickpeas are fresh from the pot but you could always just heat up canned beans a bit. It helps get the texture right, not grainy. On the other hand, we use the cooled beans chopped up with onion, celery, mustard, and a bit of vegan mayo to make something between tuna salad and egg salad. It's one of those "need some fat" type things that doesn't send me overboard. Having a wee bit of avocado is also a 'need that creamy fat texture' thing. I suppose my main thing is that when I get that feeling, wanting a bit of fat, creamy, I go ahead and add in something "sensible" (a few slices of avocado on a hummus wrap for instance) and deal with it rather than try to push it away only to have it catch me off guard with my spoon in the peanut butter jar Wink

--Deb R

RE: How are you feeling?
Posted Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Maybe you're simply not eating enough? I have that problem every once in a while, and then I feel really bad (and not hungry for some reason). If you count the calori-intake in the food you are eating now is it very low? Do you drink enough water? Dehydration will make you feel bad. Less salt in your food can change how much water you can keep on to.

I remember I quit sweets some year ago, not for the health, but because I couldn't afford bying it, I think it took me 2 or 3 weeks before I stopped wanting it. Now I only want sweets when I'm hungry, so then I will eat real food and be much more satisfied. If I eat sugar know I get really nauseous and dizzy.

RE: How are you feeling?
Posted Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 9:21 PM

I'm experiencing some lack of energy myself. I just got back from the gym. During my entire workout, I felt tired and was really dragging my feet. I experienced this the last time I tried a vegan diet. Any ideas?

RE: How are you feeling?
Posted Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 11:22 PM

I feel awful on one hand (headaches) but good on another (water retention already going down in my left ankle.) Had this problem for 3 years now and suddenly, nothing today. That is good news. I am on day 4.

RE: How are you feeling?
Posted Friday, January 6, 2012 at 12:28 AM

This is my first Kickstart. I got up this morning and checked my blood pressure. In the past it has been around 89 for the bottom number. When I took it this morning it was 133/77. This was before I took my blood pressure medicine. I was tickled. This really makes me feel like I FINALLY am taking the care of my body seriously. I'm 58 and I want to live a long, healthy life. Wink

RE: How are you feeling?
Posted Friday, January 6, 2012 at 9:31 AM

To EnglishClaud regarding the headaches:
I asked my sister about the headaches because she did this diet recently.
DRINK LOTS OF WATER
I found my headaches went away if I flushed my body with water. I guess it's part of the detox process

RE: How are you feeling?
Posted Friday, January 6, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Hilltopper10 wrote:

I'm experiencing some lack of energy myself. I just got back from the gym. During my entire workout, I felt tired and was really dragging my feet. I experienced this the last time I tried a vegan diet. Any ideas?

Hydration is a biggie, as I'm sure you know, and even moreso as you're increasing your fiber intake (there's way more fiber in the kickstart menu than in the 'typical' way of eating). For a time, minimize caffeine intake, increase water intake, and make sure you're getting enough food over-all and especially (since you're sweating) make sure you get enough of the stuff you lose through sweat (salt, potassium, etc). Be sure you're getting the beans and legumes (proteins) and maybe reduce the amount of grains (except maybe quinoa since that's a good protein source as well).

--Deb R

RE: How are you feeling?
Posted Friday, January 6, 2012 at 5:48 PM

tisdaleh
I appreciate the reply. Will do on the water.
Today has been a little better in that the headaches didn't come on right away and is less intense. Still there, but I see hope. lol.
Day 5.

RE: How are you feeling?
Posted Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 5:11 AM

thanks for the advice for my original post, and the discussion. I definitely feel a lot less 'grumpy' and have a lot less cravings. I remember reading the line from Alicia Silverstone on the Celebrity Tips page that said you have to "get used to a different kind of fullness". I think I'm an overeater in general, and when you've been over eating dairy and meat and such for a long time, you get used to that heavy fullness indeed!

Anyhow, I have taken on the advice and am making sure I am very hydrated. And eating smaller meals more often throughout the day.

I'm now at the detox stage it seems, where I...well, TMI Embarassed but I'm going to the bathroom a lot more and have a lot of gas. I know this is normal too - and what with the massive fiber increase!

headaches are lessening greatly, which is awesome.
And the past days I have had WAY more energy than I normally do (my energy level has been next to nothing with two small kids, but I am loving this increase!).

well, off to bed.
anyone else - how ya' going?

p.s. people who've done this before, have you noticed you're sleeping better?

RE: How are you feeling?
Posted Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 11:43 AM

I'm so glad not to be having any of these things you guys are describing! Good for you all for dealing with the headaches and lack of energy. I honestly feel great! I am waking up BEFORE my alarm goes off (unheard of for me) and have more energy than I ever have. I swear I feel like my thinking is clearer and my ability to concentrate has improved. I had a pretty bad day at work yesterday but I didn't find myself feeling stressed out like I normally would have been. I too am a total overeater and had become accustomed to that heavy full feeling. That's why I always have failed past diet attempts (never tried vegan before though) because I missed that feeling and would binge on all the junk food I could get my hands on. First time eating vegan and I love the lightly full feeling I have after a meal. I'm satisfied but still have energy and don't want to go to sleep after eating.

I think as others have said you should be sure you're eating enough since you are breastfeeding and are a busy mom! In the kickstart I even read somewhere not to worry too much about portion sizes especially if you're eating the recipes provided. I also find that eating a hot breakfast and not letting myself ever get too hungry make a big difference.

RE: How are you feeling?
Posted Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Today I awoke with no headaches. Too much caffeine and sugar is my guess. Glad that is lessening now and hope the no headaches lasts through the day.

I'm eating much! When I think I had enough, I get shaky or headachey in about an hour and realize I need to eat more...so I did and am still noticing I'm losing weight already (water at this point). Keep in mind I have a problem with sugar levels so this might be different for others. If my sugar gets too low, I must eat and I'm not used to eating this way so am learning.

Don't be embarrassed to the original poster about mentioning being regular. I'm sure we all experience that and wonder if others do too. Smile I happen to like it so don't mind you mentioning it. Sends me a sign that things are going well though I have many signs.

I've been on some meds and my blood tests were not great (high sugar and bad cholesterol, I retain water and have palpitations at times plus I experience high blood pressure at times). IT is possible I felt bad when starting because I'm dealing with these issues. Someone without caffeine addiction, normal sugar and normal cholesterol might not suffer these icky feelings when going vegan initially. Since today I am now off my beta blockers and not retaining ANY water in my left ankle and finally not having any headaches, it was all worth it. I still have to get my cholesterol and sugars back in check though. They were the main reasons I started this diet. I'm too young to be having these issues and want to be around a long time for my kids who are in elementary school and need mom for many years to come still. I'm overweight and always had a weight problem so it is high time to get some order into my eating life. I am not doing this for weight loss...my goal is health longevity. I'm sticking to this better than any "weight-loss intended" diet though. It is only day 6 for me...so time will tell if I'll really stick to it. I want to live, so that motivates me more. I don't crave nor miss my bad habits such as daily sodas, fatty foods, CHEESE, cheese, and more cheese, meats, sugar...none of it. I'm surprised...hubby is too.

Thanks all...this thread helped me out so much in my first week.

RE: How are you feeling?
Posted Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 12:48 PM

I get my blood checked at the end of the 3 weeks and I am hoping I can get off of Lipitor. I am taking 80 mg. It is as big as a calcium tablet! High cholesterol runs in my family, but I am hoping with a vegan diet I can get it low enough not to need the meds - or at least not as much. In the TMI department, I have been pooping twice a day! I tend to be constipated and that has what's gotten me on other diets. I get so plugged up I feel like I have to eat enough to push it all out! Gross. I am feeling good though. I am finding ways to substitute animal products with vegan. I am very hopeful and wonder why I didn't do this a long time ago! It isn't so bad. I haven't felt like I'm starving myself. My husband is asking me how long I'm going to do this....I told him maybe forever! I think he's worried about who's going to feed him his meat, eggs and cheese! Sorry Sweetie - it is time for ME! This is MY year!

RE: How are you feeling?
Posted Monday, January 9, 2012 at 11:24 AM

I am not going to lie...I felt like quitting some times this weekend!! I'm a first time kickstarter. I felt moody, Sad hungry, not myself, and was "jonesing" for cheese, Greek yogurt, or eggs. It really felt like qutting smoking!! I stayed the course though..found a yummy replacement treat for pre-dinner cheese and crackers...vegetarian sushi! Hanging in there! Smile

RE: How are you feeling?
Posted Monday, January 9, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Thanks for starting this thread Daffomere and thanks to other posters for the information you shared. I found juleybrown and natrlvr posts very funny. This is my first kickstart and the first day I thought I was gonna die from starvation! I also have to share that I have not yet had a completely totally vegan day because I'm still discovering what is and what is not vegan! (I'm kind of creating my own meal plan.) I ate morningstar farms veggie sausage for breakfast before the kickstart and just recently realized they are not vegan. I've come close and am still striving to be completely and totally vegan but am not beating myself up about it. I was before and still am extremely regular so that's not an issue. A couple of big pluses I have noticed is my fasting blood sugar is dropping every day, my extreme sweet tooth cravings are almost gone and I feel as if I have much more energy. The fact that my blood glucose numbers are dropping is very motivational for me. I have another post in the 'any diabetics out there' thread that addresses the medical issues i'm dealing with in a little more detail if anyone wants to know. Good luck to everyone... it just seems that everyday is better than the day before to me!

RE: How are you feeling?
Posted Monday, January 9, 2012 at 5:12 PM

I'm not happy to report this but I feel we all need to be honest so to not set others up for feeling like failures if they do not get the same WONDERFUL results as what we all post here. Today I had to take half a pill of my beta blocker as my bp was rising. Now this was my first day back to work after a 3 week vacation, so that could have some part in it. Where I work is a Dr. on the premises for us so she is taking my BP for me regularly and says I'm not too high, but up there close to the limit and for me to do this little by little (the cutting back on my meds). I thought I could stop the beta blockers since I was feeling better last week, but we are gonna wean me, she says.

Hey, I'm still taking less than before (half a pill) so that is still positive. Smile

RE: How are you feeling?
Posted Monday, January 9, 2012 at 8:33 PM

EnglishClaud wrote:

I thought I could stop the beta blockers since I was feeling better last week, but we are gonna wean me, she says.

Hey, I'm still taking less than before (half a pill) so that is still positive. Smile

It's not unusual if you are on blood pressure meds and then just stop for it to rebound and go a bit high. That's why "they" tell you never to just stop taking them without medical consultation.

--Deb R

RE: How are you feeling?
Posted Monday, January 9, 2012 at 9:41 PM

True, except my Dr is the one taking me off them. I should have been off them 6 months ago. I am working with 2 Dr.s on this. Coming back on the Beta blockers (in less dosage at least) isn't because I didn't listen...it is because I have to keep checking and gauging how it goes...which is why I am working with my Dr.s on this. I'm positive we'll get it worked out. I'm so excited to not have any swelling in my left ankle though I had that for the last 3 years. Bit by bit. Smile

Edited 01/09/12 10:36 PM
RE: How are you feeling?
Posted Monday, January 9, 2012 at 10:48 PM

I just had to report that on Saturday I had a tough day. I didn't feel like cooking and just felt like going back to my old ways. I finally made a can of soup and some of Amy's Mac and Soy Cheese. This may not have been the "perfect" thing for me, but it got me through and on Sunday, I felt more enthusiastic about the plan. My blood pressure came down a little more - the bottom number was 75 yesterday (with BP meds). Cool! I'm just trying to hang in there because I have a lot of weight to lose and I just have to get it off. Hang in there guys, we can do it. I like to read what other people are going through. It helps to know I'm not alone. Rolling Eyes


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