Headache when switching to vegan?
Posted by skf at 02/02/2013
Hello lovely happy cow community!
I'm a brand new vegan...four days. I've been a vegetarian for about a month, but the mountain of positive evidence for living a full vegan lifestyle have kept pilling higher and higher, and I finally decided that I couldn't ignore it anymore and needed to make the switch.
In the change to vegan, I not only cut out dairy and other animal products, but also out refined sugars, corn bi-products, and most processed foods. Yesterday and today, I've had stomach pains and pretty severe headaches. Is this just part of the detox process? If so, any guesses on how long it should last?
I drink plenty of water (10-12 cups/day), and I eat a wide variety of healthy, whole foods, so I really can't think of anything specifically wrong in my diet that could be causing these symptoms.
Sua Ren Yong03/06/2013 22:06:39
For others - these feelings of discomfort and even 'sickness' are just the natural process of your body adjusting to the lack of a 'fix' from quick starches/sugars/carbs, and most likely the chemicals which make you semi dependent with a main stream western diet. Push thru it - it shouldn't last more than a week or so.
Lots of water, healthy fruits and greens (smoothies), fermented foods (miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, and treat yourself with a square of organic dark vegan chocolate every once in awhile.
When I went vegan (not having been a vegetarian), instead of having any aches, I felt tremendous urges to eat meat. I had late night cravings for chicken fried steak and burgers.
Since I'm a chef instructor, I dealt with this by creating recipes to make vegan versions of many of my favorite foods. I am now writing a 10 volume vegan cookbook series called The Unintentional Vegan, Vegan Version Recipes of Popular Comfort Foods.
The first volume of this ten cookbook series, Volume 1: Beef, is available for purchase as an e-book through Amazon. If you're an Amazon prime member, you may borrow my cookbook FOR FREE. Don't worry if you don't have a kindle reader. All e-books may be downloaded to your home computer.
I must admit that having access to familiar versions of my favorite comfort foods has made going vegan much easier.
This is not to say that I don't enjoy vegan foods that aren't vegan interpretations of other foods. Last night I made a Lebanese rice pilaf which I've blogged about for Happy Cow. If the article is approved by Eric, the webmaster, a recipe for Mujaddara will soon appear at this site.
Mujaddara is a simple one pot dish made with garlic and onions that are fried in olive oil and mixed with steamed white rice and boiled lentils.
Other favorite vegan dishes include Spaghetti with Marina Sauce, bean burritos, Chinese Congee (rice porridge), and vegetable curry.
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When I became a vegan I did not experience any adverse health effects. I decided to convert from being a meat eater to a vegan over a period of 5-6 months. This is how I did it:
0-1 months = Dairy breakfast, Vegan Lunch, Meat dinner
1-2 months = Dairy & Vegan breakfast, Vegan lunch, Meat & vegan dinner
2-3 months = Dairy breakfast, Vegan lunch, Vegan dinner
3-4 months = Dairy & Vegan breakfast, Vegan lunch, Vegan dinner
4-5 months = Dairy (Very Small amount) & Vegan breakfast, Vegan lunch, Vegan dinner
5-6 months = Vegan breakfast, Vegan lunch & Vegan dinner
I also took good quality multivitamins and drank lots of distilled water & herbal teas.
Best of luck