Eating Vegan Without Getting Sick
Not everybody experiences a glorious spiritual transformation when they go vegan. Some people get sick. The first million times I tried to go vegan, I felt terrible, usually for a few months before giving up and going back to eating animal products. Here were my symptoms:
- Irritability, due to bloating
- A sense that I might be dying, likely from bloating
- An incapacity to focus on my work, sometimes from bloating
- A lack of energy during exercise, accompanied by bloating
Do you want to know which vegan foods cause bloating? Vegetables. Vegetables cause bloating. Unless, in my case, you take a good multi vitamin, such as Country Life Max for Vegans, which I’d recommend you take even if you eat animals, because nobody gets all of the vitamins and minerals they need from their diet, except maybe the mythical whole-animal-eating Paleos, but probably not them either. Ditto for the Soylent sippers.
Take the multi vitamin and maybe you won’t feel like veganism is trying to kill you. If you still get the bloat, notice if you’ve adopted any vegan sports supplements that have alternative sweeteners in them. Which sweeteners am I talking about? All of the ones that are not called sugar. Also, try drinking a lot more water.
Eating Nutritious Food
Even if you take a multi vitamin, you still need to eat. This is difficult to accept. But, you can learn to enjoy eating. Here’s a heuristic for eating a nutritionally complete vegan meal. Pick one from each category, cook it if need be, and season it either before or after you throw it onto a plate:
Protein …pick at least one
- Seitan (not GF)
- Beans (black beans, chickpeas, lentils …from a can is easiest)
Fats …pick at least one
NOTE: Nuts and seeds are better sources of fat, per calorie, than they are sources of protein.
- Nuts: almonds, cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts
- Seeds: flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds
Carbs (starches) …pick at least one
- Sweet Potatoes
Carbs (fiber) …pick at least one
- Bell Peppers
If you’ve picked at least one of each of the things above and you’ve thrown it on your plate, you’re getting enough nutrition to be a professional athlete (depending on your portion sizes). This is roughly how Nimai Delgado eats. Here’s where he teaches it online. Or look up his Twitter (and then leave Twitter for good this time).
The BROAD study: A randomised controlled trial using a whole food plant-based diet in the community for obesity, ischaemic heart disease or diabetes