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Ex-vegan trying to ease into primal...any suggestions?

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  • Ex-vegan trying to ease into primal...any suggestions?

    I am 22 years old, hypothyroid (currently medicated and doing well though), gluten-intolerant, and trying to (FINALLY) get into primal living. I came to this website on the advice of my well-informed thyroid specialist, after realizing that my strict vegan diet was making me highly anemic and possibly exacerbating my thyroid condition. I have started eating some eggs/fish but having trouble eating actual meat. My doctor said this might be a tough transition, but I am in college right now and I unfortunately cannot afford to have decreased mental performance/"brain fog" that I have been hearing about when people transition immediately. Any advice or tips to help ease the switch? I have already almost completely cut out grains, I rarely eat processed foods and my only sugars are currently from fruit. Thank you everyone!

  • #2
    bacon

    i'm around your age and am an ex-vegan too. my diet made me anemic as well :C
    it's weird getting started, but it's fun once you get the hang of it. i enjoy eating bacon, burgers on lettuce with veggies, cobb-style salads with chicken, egg, bacon, avocado.

    is the trouble you're having with meat ''cosmetic''? you could try eating meat that doesn't "look" like meat. like a burger instead of a steak, or cubed chicken in salad instead of a full breast. if its the taste that's putting you off, maybe try marinades or eating bacon lol

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    • #3
      Quality bacon is a gateway meat for many ex-vegetarians/v*gans.

      Good luck.

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      • #4
        I hate to get too graphic...but even with drinking tons of water/eating vegetables with meals I tend to get severe constipation and feel mentally foggy when I eat too much meat. And thank you, I do still have a hard time eating steak and meats that "look like" meat so I think trying a burger or something might help I haven't had one of those since I went vegetarian almost a year ago!

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        • #5
          Take magnesium citrate to smooth things over while you adjust.

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          • #6
            Vegans typically have a huge problem with their Gall Bladder. As a result of not eating meats & natural animal fats, the vegan gallbladder accumulates sludge & stones.

            THEREFORE it is essential to very slowly increase your intake fats. Don't let them remove your gall bladder if you have problems with it. You can work through it by slowly introducing fats back into your diet.

            A good way to do this is by slowly adding coconut oil into your diet, start with 1/2 teaspoon per day and slowly work up to 1 tablespoon per day, and later a tablespoon per meal. Cook with coconut oil.

            Grizz

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            • #7
              I spent almost 20 years as a vegetarian - many of those vegan. I ate "all the right foods", was well informed and my diet made me sick too. How did I start eating meat again? One day I just bit the bullet (no pun intended) and made myself. Burger was the easiest for me. It got easier after a few times. Pork was the hardest for me to put back in my diet. That one took a few years. Best of luck!
              FaceBook: PaleoMusings

              We get one shot at life, let's make it amazing

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              • #8
                Thank you so much everyone for all your input, this is so helpful! I also have some bloating/abdominal distention/leg swelling that has been happening for a few years now (ever since I was on prednisone, which I will never take again unless I need it to save my life). Once of my doctors says that is due to a lack of gut bacteria or an imbalance...will primal living help with that too? I'm sorry I didn't include this in my first post...I have a whole slew of medical issues and it is hard to keep track of all of them.

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                • #9
                  A majority of your health problems can be traced back to your Iodine Deficiency, including your thyroid problems. What are your thyroid problems and what is your doctor doing for it?

                  Your diet should include Seaweed Soup 3 times a week to restore your thyroid health. Do yourself a favor and search the internet for iodine deficiency symptoms. The japanese consume 12 mg/daily of iodine from their seafood. I suggest you talk with your thyroid doc about your plan to eat seaweed. If he is prescribing thyroid drugs, you may have to cut back on those as you start eating seaweed, or you could become hyperthyroid.

                  Iodine is absolutely essential for good health and the amount we get from iodized salt is totally inadequate. See this link by Dr. Davis:
                  Thyroid Tune-up Checklist | Wheat Belly

                  Grizz

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                  • #10
                    Don't forget seafoods (fish, shrimp, scallops, etc.) cooked in a bit of coconut oil or butter, maybe a bit of garlic...
                    Those are meats too... good protein sources. And GREAT in a big bowl of miso soup (instead of the tasteless tofu cubes) with lots of wakame or arame added in for sea veg. Both are available dry from an oriental market or online... don't be afraid of the price for what seems like a small bag of dried leaves. They expand to 4X their size when hydrated!
                    It's very healing and comforting, and I haven't met a vegetarian yet who was loosening their reins a bit who didn't like it since shrimps and scallops don't really LOOK like animals. I generally use white fish in this like cod loin... i makes large succulent flakes that don't look very "animal" either.

                    Also... sea veg contain a lovely slippery substance that will help with "going".
                    “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
                    ~Friedrich Nietzsche
                    And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.

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                    • #11
                      Well, I was actually diagnosed as hypothyroid as a child but for some reason was never medicated (my numbers weren't "bad enough" to require treatment). When I hit puberty things became significantly worse, struggled with my weight and became depressed/had memory and attention problems. I apologize in advance if this is too personal for this forum, but I had a miscarriage when I was 20 weeks along (cause unknown) a little over 3 years ago. A few months later I began breaking out in hives all over my body, had fevers, couldn't eat, and had severe brain fog/memory problems etc. I was tested for everything and put on many medications to control the hives. After doing my own homework online, I KNEW it was hypothyroidism/gluten causing the problems and am now paying out of pocket to see a doctor who doesn't just go off numbers and actually treats me. I am on armour thyroid 30 mg 2x a day and I am finally getting my life back! I am off all other medications and my thyroid numbers have been steady. I am actually almost "technically" underweight, but I am small-framed and since cutting out most grains and increasing my egg/fish consumption I am gaining lbs in the form of muscle.

                      Sorry for the ridiculously long post, there are other issues I am dealing with (high AST for the past few years as well) that I am trying to get sorted out and I am just hoping that full disclosure in the forum might lead me to other people dealing with the same things

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                      • #12
                        There's been a ton of talk about hypothyroid (specifically Hashimoto's) and iodine on the forums. Please check this thread for a recent discussion:
                        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread45905.html

                        I would expect as a vegan the things you're deficient in are B12 and Iron, possibly also choline since it's primarily found in eggs and liver. I know when I was a vegan my thyroid went nuts, and I suspect a lot of that was just all the damn gluten I was eating from homemade seitan and noodles. I didn't "ease" into anything. The day I got back the blood results saying vegan was no bueno for my bod, I ate a steak. But I'd only been vegan for 8 months, and I never was a vegan for anything but health reasons.
                        Steph
                        My Primal Meanderings

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                        • #13
                          I'd go eggs, then fish, then chicken, then red meats. But I have had no problems with adding meats back in after 15 plus years. Lots of veggies provide fiber...

                          http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
                          Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
                            I'd go eggs, then fish, then chicken, then red meats...
                            I've known a couple people that have transitioned back into eating meat and that's the same route that they went.

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                            • #15
                              Since you're concerned about your gut, I'd actually use the GAPS diet as a transition into primal. It has rich bone broths that may help you transition into eating meat again and as a bonus, helps heal your gut imbalance.

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