My name is Lucie and I am a 20 year old Londoner. I have recently woken up to the realities of meat and animal products and have been a vegetarian for now 4 weeks (which I have no real trouble sustaining). I do not drink milk on its own (in coffee, cereals), eat sunflower butter, and do not eat eggs on their own. I however have cheese (around 4 times a week) and will have sometimes non-vegan mayo and non-vegan cakes/biscuits (maybe 4 times a week). I truly believe in the ethics of veganism but I am taking it slowly with the last few steps!!
I am writing because recently I have been feeling quite sluggish and unergetic, so I must be going wrong somewhere. I really want to stick to vegetarianism and ultimately become vegan, and I do not want this health 'problem' to prevent me from doing so!
I feel like meals don't really 'fill me up' and not satiated, although it does not make me feel 'hungry' per se (excuse me for the obscure description). I go to sleep exhausted, and I do not feel fresher or more energetic after meals (which I usually felt as a meat eater).
I am wondering if it is because of something that I DO eat (e.g. cheese) or because of something I DO NOT eat enough of. (NB I have started a new job last week so it might make it worse, but I have felt like this for a bit now)
I will describe my diet/exercise regimen:
Breakfast: Tea AND
2 small slices brown bread and vegan butter + baked beans
OR 4 small slices brown bread and vegan butter, peanut butter or jam
OR muesli cereal with non dairy milk
Snack: a fruit or two, sometimes a few nuts
Lunch: 1/2 carbs, 1/2 vegetables. Sometimes a huge salad with some leftover rice or beans in it and all the veg I can find. Probably a fruit for dessert or some sultanas.
Snack: sometimes none, sometimes some bread/pittaswith hummus or guacamole and some fruit. If I'm naughty I'll have non vegan biscuits. Coffee
Dinner: usually larger than lunch, tonight I had some tofu, mushrooms, kale, celeri and potato stir fry with rice. Yummy! and I like my dark chocolate or peanut butter spoonful in the evening.
I probably eat beans/lentils 4/5 times a week. I probably eat tofu/quorn/falafel 3 times a week. I'm 1m65, I weigh 62kg (has been constant in the last 8 months and has not changed since I changed my diet). I do not take supplements. I do not do a lot of exercise per se (run every other week) but I walk quite a lot everyday to and from work. Generally I'm very busy and I need the energy to push me through the day!
I apologise for the long message, but I would appreciate any help to fix up my diet! I want to persevere and get to my goal of veganism!!
Hi Lucie ... it sounds like you are doing really well actually in transitioning slowly over to a vegan way of life! Make sure you read alot and research so that you know your stuff, as that makes it easier ... well at least to me it does. Slowly getting off dairy is a good idea and once it's released it's grip on you, you'll feel even better!
I think I'd suggest taking a vegan multi-vitamin just as a back-up. I take the Dr Fuhrman one and find it quite good ... I also take an iron supplement as my iron was low before I went vegan, so I am still building that up and I've increased my leafy greens. You might want to check your iron levels to see if you're okay and ramp up the leafy greens?
Wondering too if maybe you should look for a more protein in your breakfast to give you a bit more energy? I like toast now and then but it doesn't really give me much and jam doesn't offer anything either. I have just got into Buckwheat ... I got the Bob's Red Mill brand ... I am really loving it as it's so quick and easy ... 10 mins cooked with some sultanas and served with rice milk. It's apparently a good source of protein and lots of other good things. Or what about a green smoothie? You can pack them with so much good stuff. Alternate your breakfasts so that you get a good variety and see what works for you.