Community: Forum: Health & Healing

Vegan Health & Nutrition Discussion Forum

Hi, I'm a new vegan (one month old) and I work as a post lady, so need plenty of calories. I've been eating a lot of pulses and millet with oils to get enough calories as well as plenty of vegetables. (I easily lose weight if I don't eat enough). But I feel really sleepy soon after a main meal, and my joints have been aching a bit, and clicking. Any ideas of how I can adjust things to feel better? Thanks everyone.

Responses (4)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 03/01/15 06:40:02

    Any changes in diet can cause temporary discomforts. Drowsiness after eating has more to do with eating large amounts than what you eat.

    Don't overuse the oils...even good fats can easily be a problem in excess.

    For answers to any diet/health questions, I always suggest the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine at pcrm.org. They are a rather large vegan/animal rights organization that has thousands of health professionals in its membership.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by anahidscv at 06/05/15 16:01:14

    I start my day with a plant based protein shake that's also a meal complete with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fruits and vegetables. This helps me a lot. I love almond milk, so I add it scoops of the powder to my almond milk in a blender bottle, and there I go with my day.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Alyssasmithsweet at 07/12/15 03:03:15

    You may want to incorporate some fresh fruit juices and eating some fruit to get that energy boost that you need. Add some greens to a fruit smoothie and that should help. Especially, if you drink it in the morning. Good luck to you!

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by VeganIsMyMiddlename at 07/13/15 11:40:58

    Switching to a new diet is a learning curve for anyone. There is no single, optimal, human diet. Homo sapiens sapiens (i.e. us) can taken advantage of a huge number of potential food sources. If you do your homework, you'll quickly learn what science does and doesn't support, insofar as what a healthy diet consists of.

    I've been vegan for a very long time, and find that my diet is quite different from many vegans, especially those who are new to it.

    While my diet is extremely varied, I am happiest about my choices based on parameters like the ANDI scale, where dark, leafy greens like kale, collard greens, and mustard greens are pretty much off the chart, in terms of nutrient density. Dark, leafy greens are good sources of many vitamins and minerals, plus protein and fibre.

    I also eat very few processed foods. I make most things from scratch, using primarily ingredients that look like how they grow out of the ground.

    That said, I have different dietary needs than you. I have a slower metabolism. I also have very little appetite. Altogether, that means I have to pack a lot of nutrition into what little I do eat. So, I pay attention to things like protein content and unique food properties.

    For breakfast, I often make a green juice...for the nutrients, not the sugar you get in fruit juices. I include organic kale, collards, cucumber, bitter melon, bok choy, and any other greens I may have. Sometimes I add the green juice to a blender with org. berries (for the anti-oxidants), pineapple (for the bromelain), and banana (for the nutrients, plus the taste), to make a smoothie. I almost always pair that with a small amount of seeds (a combination of org. pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds).

    If not that, then I most often have steel cut oats with some org. maple sugar/syrup or berries or apples and cinnamon. Sometimes I have quinoa for breakfast. Along with soy, hemp, and salba/chia (plus a couple of others), quinoa is a complete protein.

    For dinner, despite what else I might have, I usually first eat a large bowl of dark org. greens drizzled with orange flav. olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, org. sesame seeds, and 2-5 nuts (depending on the kind of nut).

    Don't get me wrong. There are some tasty salads. I'm just kind of over the kind with the dozen ingredients and all that chopping. I just tear-up a bunch of org. greens, drizzle the oil & vinegar, and toss a few nuts/seeds on top. Boom! Done in 3 minutes.

    My husband will tell you that the most common refrain coming from me, in terms of eating, is, "I just need to get something green in me!" So, when out on the town, or in foreign lands, that's my main dietary concern. :)

    Maybe it's my many years of veganism behind me, LOL, but I feel like I could eat a lot of unhealthy stuff and kind of "undo" it, by also eating enough dark, leafy greens. That might be wishful thinking, but I'm really hooked on eating lots of greens. And that appears to be backed-up by science, in terms of disease prevention. Yes, I want the nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruit, too, but I focus on greens, since the other things are more readily and easily incorporated into cooked dishes and snacks.

    I don't know if any of that will help you, but I hope it, at least, gives you some ideas.

    Good luck!