Question to long time(2 or more years)vegans - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 09-02-2005, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wanted to become a vegan, but after reading several forums and articles, I am about to change my mind - a lot of long term vegans have problems with low energy(even though at the beggining they had more), ill symptoms, etc. Example would be www.drbenkim.com/articles-cdvegandiet.html.
So I wonder if I can find some long term vegans, who can tell me this is not true.
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#2 of 20 Old 09-02-2005, 08:08 PM
 
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I know you'll have some posters who say that they have had low energy and yet others who have felt and continue to feel great, but you have to expect that the responses you get here are going to be anecdotal. You, personally, are only going to feel as good as your (vegan) diet will be I think that no matter what you eat or which diet you follow: excellent overall nutrition (other health and exercise factors aside) = good energy.

So, that aside, I have been vegan for 7 years now - through nursing two kids (and part of that tandem) and 1 pregnancy. Dh (also vegan of 7 years) and the two kiddos also have no energy problems. But our diets are really good: organically grown, seasonal whole foods, cooking and baking from scratch, soy and sugar in moderation, lots of good water (and other liquids - not carrot juice, lol!), supplements and a careful eye on omega-3 and -6's.

ETA: my kids are definitely not neurologically-impaired. On the contrary, both my children are seriously smart cookies - my ds is considered gifted

Warmly,
Michelle in NY
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#3 of 20 Old 09-03-2005, 02:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So it is not true! Thanks for answering. What kind of supplements do you use?
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#4 of 20 Old 09-03-2005, 03:54 AM
 
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it varies from person to person. there is no universal diet, no one size fits all food plan... most healthy diets are built on the same foundation, which i think michelle outlined just fine.

to be more specific though, there was a study done recently on the health of long term vegans: http://www.veganhealthstudy.org/ClinicalSummary.html
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#5 of 20 Old 09-03-2005, 11:40 AM
 
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me and my husband have been vegan for about 8 years. The health benefits for us have been very wonderful. Lower cholesterol and triglycerides, no more stomach troubles, colds are mild and last just a day or two instead of 2 weeks. Our energy is great. We have supplements but don't take them every day, just when we feel like we need them. Our kids are vegan. My daughter has never had diarrhea which I consider amazing. She's 5.5 years old.

I think you've got to try it for yourself and see what results you get. I think the best way to figure out if something is right for you is to try it. And continue to do it as long as you feel it's benefitting you.
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#6 of 20 Old 09-03-2005, 01:50 PM
 
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Although I've only been vegan for a year and change, I belong to several message boards where I interact with people who have been vegan for anywhere between 2 and 25 years. The VAST majority of vegans that I know of have nothing but positive things to say about how their diet has impacted their health--and these include people who have had vegan pregnancies, run marathons while vegan, and other activities that require lots of energy. I know that personally, after going from a vegetarian who ate a lot of dairy to a vegan, I found that my energy levels skyrocketed.

I think it depends more on the quality of your diet. There are plenty of vegan (and vegetarians) who mainly eat foods like white pasta, potato chips, candy, etc. IMHO, the way to stay energized on a vegan diet is to eat lots of whole grains, legumes (beans, nuts, seeds), and plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, including leafy greens, and to avoid a lot of sugar, refined flour, and processed food.
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#7 of 20 Old 09-03-2005, 05:21 PM
 
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absoluetly untrue! ive been vegan almost 11 years now and my health is only improving each year. my husband has been vegan about 10 years as well. we are both very healthy. ppl always remark about hpow healthy and active we are. i am 8 months pregnant with our 1st baby right now who has been vegan since conception and will be raised vegan. i have known many vegans intheir 30s and 40s now that have been vegan since birth and are also super healthy.i even knew a couple from germany that was vegan during WW2 and they helped out the jewish ppl by protecting them in their home. they are in their 90s(or older maybe...hmmmm) now and still strong. such compassionate ppl.anyways, i hope that gives you some idea...now if you live off junk food, yeah i could see there being problems but the same goes for meat eaters as well. hope that helps
oh and we dont take any vitamins,ither. i am going to take a B12 supplement though once my little one is born b/c i am breastfeeding her. i am only doing this to be absolutley sure shes getting her b12. i get my daily percentage fro mthe food i eat but like i said i want to be absolutely sure for her.

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#8 of 20 Old 09-03-2005, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! I am happy I found so many long term vegans who are just fine. The thought about vegans eating junk food never even crossed my mind - I quess, I just think that all of them dropped white flour, white sugar, and such. Even health aware meateaters do it, like me, did that. I am eating meat(no diary though, because it is worse than meat healthwise, I think), around 2 times a week, but my goal is to drop that to one and then zero. The hard part is, that my husband is not supportive at all - he aets meat twice a day everyday, and is not happy, if i don't make it for dinner. So ususally I amke something for me, what he can eat additional to his meat.
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#9 of 20 Old 09-04-2005, 02:20 PM
 
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Another long-term vegan here. DH and I have been vegan for a little over 5 years now. I have health problems but they're unrelated to the veganism. We eat a pretty healthy diet with lots of fresh fruits and veggies (nothing canned or frozen), beans, grains, nuts, and seeds. We eat some refined grains and some whole grains (e.g., whole wheat bread but white pasta - I eat wheat but DH can't take the taste) and some dessert now and then. One thing that has changed for me since becoming vegan is that my fingernails are long and strong. I get lots of comments on how nice and long they are. I was never able to grow them before - they would crack and tear.

ETA: I actually read the article, and he's not talking about regular vegan diets. He's talking about the "Hallelujah diet' and "raw foods" diets. These are VERY different from regular veganism and that difference is something that most mainstreamers cannot seem to understand. I have no doubt that people have gotten sick on the Hallelujah diet and that it can be hard to get the required calories, and nutrients eating all raw food. But that's not veganism, that's something else entirely.

He talks about how Upton Sinclair had to give up his veganism because he wasn't getting enough energy from his diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. WHERE ARE THE BEANS AND GRAINS!!????? No wonder he's tired if he's eating such low protein!

Early intervention specialist and parent consultant since 2002.
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#10 of 20 Old 09-04-2005, 11:55 PM
 
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Not a vegan, but I want to add that, if you find the vegan diet isn't working well for you, you don't have to revert to a typical "meat and potatoes American diet." You can add in only as many animal products as you feel you need- that might mean a serving of fish twice a year, or free-range meats on special occasions, etc. You can continue to eat a mostly vegan diet even if you find that you need some animal products in your diet to be at your optimal health.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#11 of 20 Old 09-05-2005, 10:03 AM
 
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Im glad we could help to clear up the misconceptions for you danieliausmama!!
for your husband, im sure its a big change for him! you should check out the vegfamily board that many of us are a part of for some great support and suggestions on that topic. my mother is the same way as your husband is so its always a struggle when we go up to visit her..but thats a whole nother story

on another note... mommas that are writing under the veg tribe thread.. ruthlas repsonse to this thread is EXACTLY what i was talking about. no offense to you ruthla, i was just talking about how non-veggies like to always get in on the veggie threads is all,and you just happened to be an example this time around. please don't take what i am saying personally,its just a common thing that seems to happen to us on this board
ALSO what she suggested is NOT a vegan diet. none of us vegans ever add any animal products to anything we eat and we have all stated how our health is. but as pikkumy stated above that article is actually about the raw foods diet, i dont know so much about this diet.i have heard good things and bad things about it but i will not judge it until i have researched it b/c thats what lots of ppl do to our diet,judge right away without knowing what its about,you know? anyways,in the end its always your own decision. we are all here for you if you need any help or advice either way take care!!
<3,
nicole

Waldorf mama to Autumn DD 9/05 and my Spring DD 4/08 Winter baby due 2/11
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#12 of 20 Old 09-05-2005, 01:34 PM
 
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I'm just excited you consider me a long-term vegan at 5+ years!

My dh, ds and I are all vegan, ds since birth. Doing great here!

I would encourage you to read "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell, PhD. for more information on the health benefits of a whole foods, plant based diet.
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#13 of 20 Old 09-05-2005, 02:09 PM
 
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I've been vegetarian for 7 years, vegan for 5. The only time I feel run down is when I am not exercising or eating poorly, which can happen with any diet.

The biggest health change for me was the end of constipation and hemroid issues. I suffered terrible through my childhood and adult life until I went vegan.

My last pregnancy I was vegan, and I was very healthy, as was my baby.

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#14 of 20 Old 09-05-2005, 06:05 PM
 
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disclaimer: I'm no longer a vegan
BUT I was a vegan for almost 7 years so I think my advice or experiance may be of use.

I was the most healthy while being a vegan. I had a ton of energy and little ailment ( was sick ONCE with the 24 hour flu in 7 years!). I kept my optimal weight and ate whatever I wanted! The key to being vegan is learning to cook. Once you do that, and are educated on what nut'l requirments you need, you'll be delighted with a vegan diet! Every aspect of my health improved while vegan (my skin was clear, I slept well, my hair was shiny... you name it!)
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#15 of 20 Old 09-06-2005, 01:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So what happened? How come you are not a vegan anymore?
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#16 of 20 Old 09-08-2005, 02:13 PM
 
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If you want to read a research-based book explaining the benefits of a vegan diet, check out The China Study. I just finished it and it was great to get validation of the healthfulness of a vegan diet in this age of Atkins and NT telling us to eat more animal foods. However, I completely agree that a "junk food" vegan diet is as unhealthy as a meat eating diet. Whole, organic plant foods will provide you with all the nutrition you need with the exception of vitamin D if you don't get regular sun and B12.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#17 of 20 Old 09-09-2005, 01:40 AM
 
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Cathe-- do you supplement the B12? I know it occurs in some fermented foods, but I have always supplemented anyway cause I take a multiple that has it. I wonder if it's REALLY necessary.
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#18 of 20 Old 09-09-2005, 11:34 AM
 
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I am a long term vegan! I have been a vegetarian (almost vegan - allergic to milk) for 12 years and total vegan for 5. Dh and dd are also vegan. Low energy is not a problem for us unless of course we are sleep deprived which happens sometimes with a 2 yo. I had a vegan pg and am still breastfeeding. Dd is smallish but so are dh and I. She is fine developmentally. Dh and I felt MUCH better after converting but we also converted to a more healthy diet in general at the same time. I am allergic to milk so cutting the trace ingedients really made me feel better on a daily basis. We are three of the most high energy people we know. We walk everywhere, I go to the gym three times a week, we participate in many nature sports........... I am underweight and have been my entire life. Going vegan did not change that. I have been the same exact weight since 10th grade (except when pg). The only time I have had trouble was during my first trimester. I had AWFUL pg sickness and could not eat anything. I craved cheese like crazy. It was so bad and I was so hungry that I actually bought some cheese, I felt like a HUGE failure because most of my vegan ideals are rooted in animal cruelty. I brought it home, opened it up, took one whiff, puked in the toilet for about two hours and directed dh to get it out of the house ASAP. He gave if to our neighbor. That pretty much cured my cheese craving forever......
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#19 of 20 Old 09-09-2005, 11:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richella
Cathe-- do you supplement the B12? I know it occurs in some fermented foods, but I have always supplemented anyway cause I take a multiple that has it. I wonder if it's REALLY necessary.
Eating fermented foods helps propogate the B12 in your system but from what I have read, it is not a source of B12. We actually have laying hens so eat eggs so I don't supplement with B12. When our chickens are molting, we eat Redstar Vegetarian Formula which is fortitied with B12.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#20 of 20 Old 09-09-2005, 12:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danieliausmama
So what happened? How come you are not a vegan anymore?

Good Question. I met a man who would become my dh. He was a longtime meatie. We dated for a year. Then we moved in together. I realized that he did not / would not cook meat for himself. He wouldn't eat chicken w/ bones. He ate steak cooked black. He admitted that it totally grossed him out to smell raw meat, handle it, find veins in it... basically the poor guy was probably meant to be a vegetarian but was not allowed that choice as a baby / child. SO.... he decided to go vegetarian. With that I agreed to cook/use dairy and eggs. We compromised. I thought I could just avoid eating it myself but found that untrue as I was constantly tempted and finally caved. I am always on a journey back to veganism. My dh knows that. We eat lots of eggs... but they're totally organic and I KNOW the chickens! We consume about a gallon of raw organic milk a week, provided by my fathers' cows. We buy local organic cheese. So, I make good choices... to make a great choice would be to suck it up and just do what I know is truly right (being vegan). But, right now, I'm still making my way back the kindest way I can. excuses excuses excuses... I KNOW! We're raising our ds vegetarian. He eats as much dairy-based cheese as he does cheese/dairy alternatives and likes them equally. Most of all he likes berries and water... maybe he's a bear! lol.
anyway, probably toooo muuuuuch information!
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