21-Day Vegan Kickstart

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Forums: Main Kickstart Forum: Question regarding Kickstart and Beans
Created on: 01/28/14 09:11 AM Views: 2091 Replies: 14
Question regarding Kickstart and Beans
Posted Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 9:11 AM

I will be starting the kick start program next week. I have a healthy diet now, and am looking to optimize my nutrition. I understand that beans provide excellent nutrition and would love the fiber it adds to my diet. I am thin and don't need to lose weight but want to maintain where I am now.

For some reason, my body does not like to process beans. I've had a great diet for 4 years, and have tried all types of beans and added them slowly and tried different soaking and cooking methods. They cause severe constipation in me. Lentils are a little better, but still not optimal. Will I be okay on this program without beans? If I eat more sweet potatoes and quinoa, will that work? What about Ezekiel bread? I've not had bread or pasta in years, so that seems a little scary to me.

Thanks so much for this forum!

Does anyone have experience with not being able to digest beans? I have read that a digestive enzyme specific to carbs might help, but I prefer to keep things natural.

Any insight would be much appreciated. My diet is mainly salads, veggies, and healthy soups. Occasionally I have oatmeal for breakfast but not often. All of my blood levels are very good. Only one that seems odd to me is my fasting blood sugar. It is about 90 which seems very high to me because I don’t use any sugar or sweeteners. I rarely eat fruit.

RE: Question regarding Kickstart and Beans
Posted Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 10:05 AM

This may sound odd coming from another veg person (since it's usually a question that comes from omnivores) but where are you getting your protein? I suppose nuts and nut butters along with whole grains contribute protein. Quinoa is a decent source but that could get a bit old if it's the only major source of protein. The beans and lentils are the major proteins in the kickstart - especially since it tries to keep the fat content low (10% of calories) and nuts/nut butters are higher in fat.

--DebR

RE: Question regarding Kickstart and Beans
Posted Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Thanks for the quick reply. I should have mentioned that. One of the reasons I want to do the kick start is because my diet is pretty high in fat with olive oil, nut butters, and nuts and seeds. I also eat a ton of veggies. I'd like to emilinate some of the fats. Because I'm thin, I need something substancial to not dip too low. I'm exploring, but since my blood levels are good, I'm not sure if switching from fats to carbs would make much difference. I love hummus. I would like to be able to eat the beans. Thanks a million.

RE: Question regarding Kickstart and Beans
Posted Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Maybe you can simply cut the added oil and fat and stick to just what is in things naturally (nuts, nut butters, avocado, and such) and remove the olive oil. If what you are mostly eating is salad and soup, you're already pretty low in fat to start with. You might want to check on where what you are eating falls in terms of fat percentage - if it's already around 10% of calories, then it's fine as is. As you probably already know, read labels - make sure the nut butters are JUST nuts, not added oils, fats, salt or sugar.

Side note - we've been eating "just nuts" type pb for years - no salt, sugar, added fat. Some years ago, hubby was at the in-laws' house and had a brand name PB sandwich with son. He said it tasted like peanut oil flavored shortening. bleh. We kept on eating the usual stuff. A month or so back, we ran short on PB so I did a quick pop out to the store, only to find that there wasn't any no-salt version of the PB we like - so the ingredients said roasted peanuts, salt. I figured it wouldn't be a big deal since salty snacks are still on hubby's Like It list. Nope - he said all he could taste was salt, like swallowing sea water. bleh again. He got a laugh out of how his taste buds have changed so much over these last years that the salty, sugary, tub of peanut flavored shortening that he grew up loving isn't even in the ballpark anymore.

--DebR

RE: Question regarding Kickstart and Beans
Posted Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 6:42 PM

Thanks, Deb. I can totally relate to taste buds changing. I used to be a junk food eater until about 5 years ago. About 2 years after switching my diet, I was sitting at my desk one afternoon and started craving a cold apple. That would have been chips or a candy bar before that. I knew I had turned the corner.

I am lucky and have a Trader Joe's nearby. It is a great place to get pure nut butters. Mostly almond. I haven't checked peanut butter. Is that okay for the kick start? I'd be happy to indulge in the nuts as a primary protein, but to excess they cause my face to break out. I'm guessing that is my body telling me its a little to much.

I very much appreciate your suggestions. Thank you!

RE: Question regarding Kickstart and Beans
Posted Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 8:42 AM

sandy27 wrote:

I will be starting the kick start program next week. I have a healthy diet now, and am looking to optimize my nutrition. I understand that beans provide excellent nutrition and would love the fiber it adds to my diet. I am thin and don't need to lose weight but want to maintain where I am now.

For some reason, my body does not like to process beans. I've had a great diet for 4 years, and have tried all types of beans and added them slowly and tried different soaking and cooking methods. They cause severe constipation in me. Lentils are a little better, but still not optimal. Will I be okay on this program without beans? If I eat more sweet potatoes and quinoa, will that work? What about Ezekiel bread? I've not had bread or pasta in years, so that seems a little scary to me.

Thanks so much for this forum!

Does anyone have experience with not being able to digest beans? I have read that a digestive enzyme specific to carbs might help, but I prefer to keep things natural.

Any insight would be much appreciated. My diet is mainly salads, veggies, and healthy soups. Occasionally I have oatmeal for breakfast but not often. All of my blood levels are very good. Only one that seems odd to me is my fasting blood sugar. It is about 90 which seems very high to me because I don’t use any sugar or sweeteners. I rarely eat fruit.

Hi Sandy!

Some people do have an allergic response to lentils - you do mention that in the lineup.

Hate to have you miss out on the glory of beans! Let's start here: can you name ONE bean or beany product that does 'agree' with you? Can you tolerate hummus, for example?

What if you start again with teeny amounts and work up - like even a tablespoon? What happens then?

Have you experimented with lightly sprouting beans before you cook them? I do this with lentils because not only does it give me fast handfuls of crunchy goodness, but the steam up so quickly for a hot dish too.

We'll get to the beany bottom of this!

Here,
Lani

Lani Muelrath, M.A. CGFI, CPBN
Fit Quickies: The Plant-Based Fitness Book

www
RE: Question regarding Kickstart and Beans
Posted Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Hi Lani,

Thanks for the suggestions. I think lentils are better than beans for me, but after a couple of days in a row they have a similar effect.

I took your advise and had a heaping tablespoon of hummus with my lunch. I'll see if that little bit makes an impact. If so, I'll try some lentils again. I've never had them steamed, sounds like that will be good. I'll try it.

I'd like to be 100% on the program next week. I guess I can make some zucchini or sweet potato hummus if the beans won't work initially.

Thanks again. I appreciate it!

Sandy

RE: Question regarding Kickstart and Beans
Posted Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 8:08 AM

sandy27 wrote:

Hi Lani,

Thanks for the suggestions. I think lentils are better than beans for me, but after a couple of days in a row they have a similar effect.

I took your advise and had a heaping tablespoon of hummus with my lunch. I'll see if that little bit makes an impact. If so, I'll try some lentils again. I've never had them steamed, sounds like that will be good. I'll try it.

I'd like to be 100% on the program next week. I guess I can make some zucchini or sweet potato hummus if the beans won't work initially.

Thanks again. I appreciate it!

Sandy

Sandy - sounds like a good start! Look at it long term, marathon rather than sprint, and where you'd like to be a few months down the road. Better to befriend your body and coax your digestive process along so you can honor any food sensitivites and its need for transition time. Let me know how the hummus works out!

Lani

Lani Muelrath, M.A. CGFI, CPBN
Fit Quickies: The Plant-Based Fitness Book

www
RE: Question regarding Kickstart and Beans
Posted Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Maybe vary things - a little bit of lentils one day, then quinoa the next day, then nuts/nut butters, then lentils, and so on...that way it takes some of the stress off the system as it adjusts.

I never thought I'd ever use lentils but now I don't know how I'd get through the cold, gray, winter without a nice bowl of red lentil soup now and again to warm things up.

Then again, never thought I'd eat a lot of the things that are now staples in our kitchen Very Happy

Tonight's dinner: chickpeas, quinoa, and lightly wilted/sautéed greens (frozen leaf spinach and/or kale), with onions and garlic. mmmmm

--DebR

RE: Question regarding Kickstart and Beans
Posted Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:56 PM

It seems like you might want to experiment with lentil loaf. It's delicious--and especially good on a sandwich--and because the cooked lentils are mostly processed or mashed with the other ingredients I think it's probably much more digestible.

RE: Question regarding Kickstart and Beans
Posted Friday, February 7, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Wanted to give a quick end of week update. I've been taking it slow with all the starches/grains. Oatmeal one morning, sweet potato the next. Having about 1/4 cup cooked lentils per day. Some bloating but manageable. I know my body is still adjusting, as I gained 3 pounds this week. I'm assuming it will let go of the water as my body adjusts and things will get better. Feeling a little puffy, but hanging in there. Following the menu expect limiting some of the starch and swapping it for more veggies. Love the orange & fennel salad. My pick of the week. Have a fantastic weekend everyone. Hope your week was great.

RE: Question regarding Kickstart and Beans
Posted Sunday, February 9, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Diana Herrington has written "Pass On The Gas" about 7 ways to reduce gas from beans. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/diana-herrington/pass-on-the-gas-7-ways-to_b_3080786.html

Judith Kingsbury has written a very detailed essay about which types of beans are easiest to digest and specific cooking methods for each type of bean that will help to remove the substances that produce gas. The Bulgarian method is to soak beans overnight, throw away the soaking water, then boil the beans for 10 minutes and discard the water, boil again for 10 minutes and discard the water, and boil again for 10 minutes and discard the water to make beans more digestible.

Kingsbury agrees with Herrington that adding spices such as fennel, coriander, cumin, ginger, turmeric (for chick peas, and Indian dhals), paprika, asafetida (hing), cayenne, black pepper helps make beans more digestible.

Kingsbury advises that garlic, onions, and the cabbage family, can be serious gas causing agents, so try to avoid combining them with beans.

She says that Ayurvedic wisdom says the digestive system works best at lunch time, so that would be the best time to eat beans.

One caveat -- Kingsbury is not a vegan. She recommends substituting animal proteins if your digestive tract is too upset by beans -- which IS NOT part of the Kickstart diet. However, the rest of her advice in "How to Cook and Eat Beans without Gas" is excellent. http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/svreports/beans_without_gas.pdf

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Edited 02/09/14 12:17 PM
RE: Question regarding Kickstart and Beans
Posted Monday, February 10, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Thank you. That article was very helpful and linked me to her site and I found some good recipes. I am still on the lentils and have added adzuki beans this weekend. Starting slow, but really want to enjoy the health benefits of the beans. Thanks again. I appreciate the time you took to point me towards the resources. Have a nice week.

Sandy

RE: Question regarding Kickstart and Beans
Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 8:06 AM

Not to be nosey and you don't have to answer; but, are you taking any medications? I could not have started a well-rounded vegan diet if I had not gone off a certain medication that caused constipation. My digestive system would react painfully to beans, cabbage, avocados, milk, etc. I even thought I was lactose intolerant.

Now that I am off the medication, I can eat anything! Just a thought.

RE: Question regarding Kickstart and Beans
Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Thanks for the response. I am not on any medication. I've been having 1 - 1 1/2 servings of beans or lentils every day and doing fine. Oatmeal is okay too. I'll need to keep increasing. So far, the beans/lentils are only in soups so that may be helping as well. Going to try hummus next. I appreciate the thoughts everyone is contributing. I'm enjoying the 21 days!


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