I've been exercising regularly for about 5 months now. I run twice/week, and do power yoga twice/week. I also do regular yoga most days. This along with a mostly vegan diet has allowed me to slowly drop 25 lbs!
But as of about 3 or 4 weeks, I've been having this weird problem with my legs. The backs of my legs ache terribly, and I have really tight hamstrings. It hurts to stand up and to walk. My hamstrings, hips and glutes feel like they're literally locked up, and this is AFTER I've been progressing steadily in yoga and can even now do a full split (well, nearly...) I've increased my flexibility greatly, but this problem is really putting a damper on things. I've been paying a lot of attention to my legs when stretching...trying to get them to loosen up. I've even gotten 2 massages! Muscles and tendons still feel all locked up and achy.
There are many mineral deficiencies that can cause this, such as magnesium deficiency, and even general sodium deficiency.
Can you make a suggestion for me? Is there a way to be tested for magnesium deficiency?
I eat a banana nearly every day. But I'm ashamed to say that lately, that's been practically my only (raw) fruit/veggie. I've been living off of pb & j sandwiches, cereal with almond milk, whole grain spaghetti with marinara sauce, and hummus/cashew cheese with triscuits.
I'm guessing it wouldn't hurt to be more purposeful in getting fruits and veggies...?
But this pain is getting really bad! It keeps me up at night and hurts worse in the mornings.
It just hit me that one thing I'm not doing like I was for many weeks in a row - eating handfuls of raw almonds and raisins. I wonder if that habit was keeping my mineral levels where they need to be? I also was munching on raw carrots, celery, broccoli, etc.
I don't know about how to test for nutritional deficiencies. I don't know what tests are available.
To be sure that I'm getting adequate nutrition, I have tracked my diet over the years using online calculators and also general research.
I eat a high-fat low-carb diet that is based on animal fat and and meat, so I'm eating much differently than you are. However, the same basic approach can work: careful tracking and using natural supplements when needed.
In terms of minerals, the food sources that are high in minerals are basically all green foods and natural salt such as unrefined sea salt.
I eat CRON, which is calorie-restriction, so I don't eat any low-nutrition foods. So I eat herbs and seaweed instead of lettuce and celery, berries instead of apples, etc. I do use some natural powdered green supplements, the kind you would get in a health food store to make "smoothies," mostly because raw herbs are not available to me year-round. I also drink edible clays a few times a week. I don't eat pre-prepared foods, so I have to be sure to add seaweed flakes and a dash of salt to my meals to prevent sodium and iodine deficiencies. I also try to eat sustainable shellfish and grass-fed animal products, which have higher nutritional value than their mass-farmed counterparts.
I used to eat nearly vegetarian, the way you are describing, and I had health problems because of it. If you feel it is working for you then that's great, but do assess and correct any nutritional deficiencies. B vitamins and iron are common deficiencies in vegetarian and vegan diets. Fortunately there are a lot of food and supplement options available these days.
I hope that you soon get some relief and can enjoy your yoga practice to the fullest!