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Thread: Considering Dietary Change from raw veganism - Any help please? page

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    Peace x's Avatar
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    Considering Dietary Change from raw veganism - Any help please?

    Hi Everyone

    I’m fairly new to this site and for the past 6-8 weeks I’ve been following posts, and doing some research, because I’m considering changing my diet. Here’s a little about my background in order for anyone to help shed some light or offer some advice.

    It’s been just over 20 years since I ate meat, although I did eat fish and eggs up until approximately 8-10 years ago. 15-17 years since I ate dairy and 10 years since I ate grains. During these dietary modifications I overcame painful periods, migraines, fatigue, candida, reactive arthritis and some digestive issues (although stress played and still continues to play a big part in my digestive health) etc. It must also be said that during this time i was highly active and athletic, and I felt reasonably good despite eating drinking alcohol, eating lot’s of pickles and sauerkraut and a fair share of protein drinks and supplements.

    For about the past 5-6 years I’ve been following Doug Graham’s 80/10/10 diet. As I learnt how to eat enough, the importance of ripe fruits and food combining etc I lost a lot of weight and went down to approximately 95lb (I’m 5ft 6in). At this time I felt great (despite on reflection looking painfully thin). My energy was good, emotionally I felt on a high and it was all new and exciting. As time went on I had a few niggling issues such as sensitive teeth, urinating several times a day (even several times an hour sometimes), offense gas and bloating but overall I felt really good – fully of energy and this incredible high feeling. I must also add that during this time my energy for and passion for the intense level of exercise began to diminish.

    Over the past two years my health seemed to rapidly decline. The biggest concern has been my flagging energy – well it’s total exhaustion. Most days are a struggle to get out of bed, I never wake feeling refreshed or energised and I miss that feeling. I no longer exercise due to utter exhaustion, I experienced nerve and bone pain, headaches, constant brain fog, blurry vision (despite always having perfect vision – now this my be because I spend more time on the computer than I used to training outdoors). I’ve also noticed my teeth feel weak (although the sensitive has now gone) and recently noticed my hair looks thinner and skin exceptionally dry. The skin dryness maybe due to the fact that I stopped using all products about 2-3 years ago and up until that time my skin was always reasonably soft – some may say due to the product). My periods also stopped about 10 years ago. My mood also became low and I found myself becoming increasingly insular to conserve energy. My weight also increased to 138lb, with it mainly being around my stomach and thighs. Prior to this I had always had a very lean and toned physic (even when I weighed more than this) and now my body is untoned and far from it’s former athletic version.

    I eventually went to my GP and it took a while but through testing they found I had pernicious anemia – my B12 levels were exceptionally low, approximately 54 from memory – and I started B12 injections. They also discovered I also had very low iron levels. Despite taking iron tablets (which I struggled to digest) and the B12 injections my health still remained the same. Blood sugars, thyroid etc seemed all ok about 6 months ago, however I have just had these taken again along with tests for kidney and liver function, B12, iron, systemic vasculitis, addisons and a couple of other auto-immune conditions. The results for these are due next week.

    It has taken me a while to consider that my diet may be the one, or one of the underlying contributors. Now this is not something I have come to consider easily but I realise that I may need to modify my diet in order to regain my health. Since I feel like I’ve hit rock bottom I decided to reluctantly add in some cooked vegan foods a couple of months ago. It started with cooked sweet potatoes in the evenings and these sat very uncomfortably in my stomach, my digestion has become sluggish and sorry to mention it but my bowel movements smelt unpleasant. I also tried only once brown rice and oats and the results were catastrophic – I was violently sick, shivered, had a fever and my stomach bloated so much causing my skin to feel so stretched. I have also removed nearly all fruit and predictably feeling very fatigued. I am struggling to know what to eat for the best.

    So I decided to start with eating what I did when I was training and feeling my best - that was lot's of fish, eggs, sauerkraut, fruit and veg. I've also added some sunwarrior protein drink. The first couple of days I felt better than expected but now I'm feeling incredibly tired, suffering headaches, anxious and a little down. My bowel movements have also slowed and smell awful (sorry if that is a little top much information). I'm also having lot's of vivid dreams every night and wake feeling exhausted and most mornings feel quite nauseous. I've also cut out all fruit and am eating about 140-170g of carbs daily. I'm also feeling a desire to eat goats yogurt and some cottage cheese. I also notice that most people eat only three eggs for a meal, I still very hungry after three eggs and last night ate them with one large avocado, 1000kg marrow, sauerkraut and raw cabbage and was still hungry??? Am I just giving my body the nutrients it needs after such a period of restriction? Or am I just eating too much?

    Previously I've also been low fat, (expect for fatty fish like salmon and mackerel) but have decided to increase my fat intake to include avocados, egg yolks (well I now eat the complete egg instead of just the white) and have bought some coconut milk to try.

    I do wonder whether I have lost or severely diminished the ability to digest some foods, or whether my body is just going to need time to adjust and would appreciate any insight or advice anyone may have that to help. I do not want to jump from 'one diet' into another but to look for a longterm way of eating that nourishes my mind, body and soul.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and offer suggestions.

    Peace x
    Last edited by Peace x; 01-17-2013 at 12:19 AM.

  2. #2
    Damiana's Avatar
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    Our body is quite resilient in its ability to digest food whether its been years since you've had it last or not. I was a vegetarian for 10 years, and I personally experienced no problems jumping back into eating meat. For me, it was more of an ick factor and a textural problem. I would suggest you start off with blander meat like chicken or mild fishes before diving into a steak. Good luck with improving your health.
    F 28/5'4/100 lbs

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    You poor thing That sounds really terrible. I had heard through the grapevine that raw food veganism eventually does lead to people getting really sick. But props to you for recognising that your diet is a contributing factor in your health, and for looking at how you might improve it.

    I agree that digestion does bounce back, but maybe take it slowly. Start with bone broths and gradually introduce things. Try not to overeat on what you're craving cos' you don't know if you're body is telling you what you need or going through some kind of withdrawal. When in doubt, revert back to the diet you know worked for you.

    Keep us posted on your blood results.
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

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    Hi, Peace X.

    Let me say that i do not follow primal or paleo but have for years in the past. I also know a lot about 811 and 30bad as well and much in between.

    I see a few things here. First your digestion has been used to mostly sugar for many years so its no wonder that starch is causing you major upset. They are digested differently and right now you do not have the flora to do it. They do indeed bounce back after several weeks but i dont think its necessary to go there. You are also most likely deficient in quite a few vitamins and minerals. Retinol, k2, Zinc, Calcium, Selenium, Magnesium, Iron, D3, E, to name a few. Probably any fat soluble vitamin and any that is not converted easily in the body or mainly concentrated in animal products. 811 would have you believe you get everything you need from plants but this is false.

    I think you should go back to the raw food that you were doing well on. Mainly raw fruit. Second i think you should slowly reintroduce the following foods to your diet. Eggs, 2-3 a day, seafood 3-4 times a week. Liver or liver tabs 3-4 times a week. Dairy, probably full fat yogart or cottage cheese, 3-4oz a day. Supplement with fermented cod liver oil/x factor a magnesium/zinc combo, D3 unless you get a lot of sun and keep getting your B12 shots until your stabilized.

    Doing this will get you all the necessary vitamins and minerals without adding excess fat or cooked plant food. In my opinion fruit is by far the safest and best source of carbs so i would not ditch them.

    Good luck!

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    Eat more eggs...you are correct...three is not enough.

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    Thank you Damiana.

    Your story is reassuring and I appreciate your advice.

    Peace x

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    Hi YogaBare

    Thanks for taking an interest and for your advice.

    It's a relief to know that my digestion will heal, albeit slower than I'd hoped!

    I'll let you know how my progress goes.

    Peace x

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    Hi Zach

    Bless you for taking the time to reply. I appreciate you explaining that my digestion will take time to adapt to a new way of eating.

    Yes,I do have numerous vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Iron, magnesium, calcium and zinc (and B12) are just some of the ones the doctor has flagged up in my blood results.

    Whilst I was doing well in some ways on a raw diet (mainly fruit), I was constantly hungry, thirsty (despite drinking a minimum of 3 litres of water daily and plenty of calories), cold, fatigued, felt nauseous and my digestion really struggled towards the end of my fruit feasting days. My bowels were also always very loose. I was craving vegetables, gained weight and up at least 3 times in the night to visit the bathroom. The more fruit I ate the more I craved and it was a horrible having an overwhelming craving for sweet sugary fruit. It then got to a point that I just didn't fancy anything sweet anymore and now if I have half an apple or a handful of berries I began to crave more and more sugary sweets and want to eat more despite not really feeling hungry. It also bloated out my stomach and resulted in cramps (this was the apple, the berries were ok). It sounds silly but it is like it's beyond my control and I don' t like feeling that way. So I hope you can understand my hesitation in returning to fruit now. I love fruit but part of me feels like I need to go cold turkey with it for a while my I regain my health. Maybe I should just focus on berries with some yogurt and see how that goes - what do you think?

    Peace x


    P.S. I was surprised to read that you no longer follow a primal or paleo diet. If it is not too personal, would you mind sharing your reasons why?

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    Hi Neckhammer.


    Thanks for your egg info.

    I've been looking at people's daily diets here and many of them only eat 2-3 a day so was surprised at your recommendation.
    Is there a particular reason why I should be consuming more? If so how many for a 5ft 6in woman currently fairly sedentary?

    Peace x

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peace x View Post
    I've been looking at people's daily diets here and many of them only eat 2-3 a day so was surprised at your recommendation.
    Is there a particular reason why I should be consuming more?
    Your initial post is a list of the very reasons. The dry skin. The missing periods. The anemia. The lack of energy. Your body is SCREAMING to be nourished. So glad you've decided to give in.

    Have you considered HCl supplementation until your digestion gets sorted out? Everybody from Nora Gedgaudas to Chris Kresser are proponents in cases like yours. Definitely something I'd keep in mind. The protocol is simple and the pills aren't particularly costy.

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