I have been a vegetarian (pescatarian) for 18 years. I went vegan on Feb. 7th. It wasn't cold turkey, still transitioning, but getting closer. I was really excited to try this and was waiting for things like more energy, happier mood, clearer skin, etc. All that has happened is that my eyes are whiter. My skin is a mess, I'm sadder than ever and don't feel more energetic. My neck is breaking out, my back started breaking out before I went vegan and it still is. It's been 2.5 months! A couple of pounds have been lost, so I suppose that's something.
I am recovering from a mastectomy and breast re-construction, so it's hard to tell how much of this crap is because of that too. I am not perfect, and although the vast majority of my choices are 100% vegan, I'm not always making the healthiest choices. I still enjoy vegan processed foods, and vegan cookies. I haven't been able to exercise because of my surgeries, so I'm thinking that's part of my problem too (I'm a runner).
Anyone else take a while to see the benefits? I didn't think I'd have a long detox given that I've been a vegetarian for so long and I only drank soy milk anyway.
I don't plan on giving up caffiene, alcohol or sugar, but could defiitely cut down on the sugar, big time. HELP! I will stick with this diet, but really want to LOVE it!
Beth -- Hold on! It will get better, I'm sure of it! You have an awful lot going on at the same time. The surgery and recovery are bound to be causing most of your problems. The pain medication which is necessary after major surgery like yours really takes a long time to eliminate from your system. I had a hysterectomy/bladder reconstruction about a year and a half ago. I'd say it took me a good 12 weeks to eliminate the effects of the narcotics. This was before Vegan, but my Integrative Medicine MD put me on a vegan cleanse after I finished the pain killers, and I am sure it speeded up the process of cleaning out the bad stuff. 9 weeks ago, when I started the Vegan lifestyle, I was a bit of a mess with the detox as well. I was so emotional for the first two-three weeks, no energy, very pimply and tired. It's been all up for me since the detox passed. So, Beth, I would bet my bottom dollar that your detox is more amplified because of the trauma of your surgery and pain killer debris. But rest assured you are doing the very best thing for your recovery by focusing on a healthy diet. And yes, once you can run again you will feel like a rock star! Don't push yourself, it may backfire. Just continue to be kind to yourself with diet and rest, and remember to make time for your favorite things, whether it's reading, watching movies, going to lunch with your friends, sitting in the sunshine, whatever brings you peace. It's a worthwhile investment of your time. Bless you as you recover. Brighter days are ahead!
I was a mostly vegetarian when I switched to vegan, but I did eat chicken and eggs (and dairy). It took at least a couple months or so for my body to adjust. I had major hormonal issues, for example a period that lasted a month straight, and major acne issues. I really think it was just all that stuff coming out of my body - the toxins and hormones in animal products. When I made the switch, I was only consuming organic animal products, so I'm not even talking about the synthetic hormones, just the naturally occurring hormones in meat, dairy and eggs. One thing that has also really helped my skin is juicing - not even a juice fast, but just fresh juice every day or every other day.
I'm sure going through all that on top of making the swtich to vegan is a huge adjustment for your body. Did you also go through radiation or chemo?
I would just stick with it, things should even out eventually. If you haven't already, you might also talk to a doctor who combines nutrition and/or natural remedies with traditional breast cancer treatment. My MIL is currently going through this, and I know it's been really helpful for her. She just had a mastectomy, about to have chemo, and has switched to a vegan diet and gotten off estrogen. But maybe someone like that would have some good suggestions for you as well.
I will join manya and be a bad guy too....just eliminating animal products does not make a healthy diet. In my opinion people are better off health-wise occasionally eating meat BUT eliminating sugar and caffine and processed foods from their diets as opposed to being full-on vegan but eating fake-meat processed stuff and sugar and caffine. Especially after going through something as extreme as surgery and cancer and cancer treatment. Regarding the emotional component of things, how could you NOT be feeling sadder than ever and not energetic? You just went through hell and back!!!! Of COURSE you are crashing now - its over, you haven't been able to crash yet as you have been in full-on survival mode! You just ran the longest marathon of your LIFE, you need to take a nap for about a year to even begin to recover! I can not imagine what emotional and physical impact that all must have, and the best diet in the world will not make that all go away in a couple of months - only time will....but the best diet will speed it along some. I feel like a stick in the mud for saying this but I've been a vegan for over twenty years,and it was only when I started eating "clean" - eliminated caffine, processed sugar and processed foods - that I noticed true benefits in terms of health. You are a runner, you just survived cancer -you can do ANYTHING - try it for a month, see how you feel then and if you still feel like crap pour yourself a bourbon and have a twinkie......but if you feel better, keep it going.