Posts tagged vegan side effects
Mini Q & A!: Feeling Sleepy, Tired, or Simply not Feeling your Best after Going Vegan

This week we have another mini Q&A episode for you. As we’ve done previously, this is meant as a quick resource to answer one or two of the questions you send our way, to hopefully give you some inspiration, motivation and to guide you to the experts in the fields you might need help with. In a way, we’re clearing the clutter and giving you a much simpler take on the situations we go through, whether it’s with improving our relationship with food and our bodies, or going vegan, cooking delicious vegan meals or making more vegan choices.

Today I answer two listener questions regarding that initial transition to eating a vegan diet, and how sometimes we don’t feel our best and we’re not sure what to tweak or how to fill our plates. As usual, I give you our take on some of these issues, and I guide you to some of the very responsible pros and resources that can help you in regards to vegan nutrition. As I’ve said many times before, sometimes the problem relies not on the diet itself, but on our own way of approaching this change, it usually relies on something that isn’t often talked about in vegan circles, the role that too much restriction and a focus on “eating perfectly” can play, and how it can do much more harm than good.

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Dealing with Difficult Emotions, Depression, Sadness or Anxiety after Going Vegan

One of the topics I get the most questions about here at Brownble are the vegan side effects, aka, what are some of the symptoms you might experience when switching to a vegan diet. I talk a lot about the physical changes you might experience when going vegan in this post, and I also cover some of the special, more emotional side effects of going plant based in this post, but today I wanted to talk about a comment and question that has been popping up quite frequently these past few months. It's the question of whether or not it's normal to experience difficult emotions, sadness, anxiety or depression when you go vegan. 

There are so many resources when it comes to physical health and some of those physical changes one might go through, we hear endless talks about improvements in bloodwork, changes in digestive health, among others, but you know me, I love to give it to you straight, and since I consider talking about the negatives just as important as talking about the positives, and since I also consider mental health and well being just as important (and part of) physical health, I thought it was time to talk about these issues.

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When Switching to a Vegan Diet Feels like a Struggle

Anyone who knows me knows me as an absolute optimist. I'm always cheerful, annoyingly perky sometimes, always smiling, very chatty, but the truth is a little bit different. It's different because with all my positive happy-go-lucky traits I'm also a chronic worrier. Weird combo I know! You know the type right? When it comes to everyone else's problems and issues I'm the go-to person to help you look at the bright side of things, but when it comes to my own, I'm constantly worried about whether I'm doing things right, whether I should be doing more, I worry about the past and the future. This was certainly a trait that made me struggle a lot when I first went vegan.

Yes! I said it!

In spite of all the wonderful things that being vegan has brought into my life, there were certain things I definitely struggled with, and since I'm all about keeping it real at Brownble, I thought it was the perfect time to talk about why we never talk about the hard stuff.

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What I Struggled with when I Became Vegan

After years of helping people transition into a vegan diet. After seeing friends and family go through this change, experiencing my own, and seeing some people stick with it and some people go back to old ways, I can tell you this: no two experiences are alike! There are however certain common threads when it comes to that initial adjustment period, and the rest of the journey itself.

I've told you many times about all the wonderful things I experienced when I went vegan (here and here), I've shared all the physical vegan side effects I went through when I was transitioning, but only now and again have I mentioned the things that were harder for me, because of course no big change comes without its stumbles and lessons learned. Today I wanted to take you down my memory lane and share the things that I personally struggled with.

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Getting Enough Iron as a Vegan

Second only to protein, iron is the nutrient we get the most questions about. People are concerned that you can't get enough of this nutrient as a vegan, they wonder what some of the top sources of iron in plant-based foods are, and how to get enough iron as a vegan. Especially pre-menopausal women have shared how they've struggled with maintaining their iron levels, many mention fatigue and getting sick often as vegans (a common symptom of iron deficiency), so we decided to finally make a video dedicated to iron, iron absorption and iron rich vegan foods.

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THE OTHER SIDE OF VEGAN SIDE EFFECTS: WHAT ELSE CAN YOU EXPECT WHEN YOU GO VEGAN?

If there's one thing new vegans ask frequently in the beginning stages of their journey it's this: is this normal? Is this symptom, situation, or change in my physical or mental state normal? I know this because you have no idea how many things I googled on the first few months of my transition to veganism. We want to know if the tummy rumbles are normal, if the crazy boost of energy is normal, if the constant bathroom trips are normal, and if the crazy change in our tastebuds is normal. Yes, we want to make sure, that no matter how many "radical" changes we make in our diet, we remain our beautiful normal selves. Here's the truth: we don't. Veganism changes so many aspects of your life that it's like you suddenly took the red pill and went down the rabbit hole (any other Matrix fans out there?). We discussed all the physical changes you might be going through in this post, but today we're going to reach a much deeper level when we talk about side effects. We'll discuss what I like to call the three emotional stages of transitioning, all the mental and psychological changes we go through, and how powerful something as seemingly simple as your plate, can create such powerful effects in your life. At the end of the post I'm also going to send you over to our vegan library so you can enjoy some really cool resources to keep you company on your journey.

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VEGAN 101: VEGAN SIDE EFFECTS, WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU GO VEGAN

As part of our vegan 101 series, where we take you through all the basics regarding vegan diets and making the transition, I thought it was time to talk about those first few days, weeks and months into going vegan. I know that I personally had so many questions regarding some of the physical symptoms I was experiencing when I went vegan, and this is completely understandable. As with any dietary change, we are bound to experience differences in the way we feel especially those first few weeks. Let me be clear that by side effects I'm simply referring to those physical symptoms we might experience as part of the transition. Feelings in our bodies and minds that will soon find their perfect peaceful place of equilibrium (we also take an in depth look at some of the emotional side effects you might experience when going vegan here).

Keep in mind throughout this post that if you’re ever feeling overwhelmed while going vegan, and you’re looking for some support when switching to a vegan diet, we guide you every step of the way in our course called The Roadmap, designed to teach you step-by-step, everything you need to know, from vegan nutrition basics, to the social aspects of being vegan, to cooking, prepping, shopping, travel, food substitutions and so much more.

Here's the deal, if we were to start a low carb diet, a low fat diet or  any "fill in the blank" fad diet, we would probably experience things like headaches, difficulty going to the bathroom, fatigue, and we wouldn't think twice about these symptoms. Why? Because these are what we would call mainstream diets, a.k.a the Barnes and Noble "filling the shelves" diets. We've heard of them on the news, from the neighbor who tried them and lost weight, so we feel confident that these uncomfortable symptoms are nothing to be worried about and they'll pass eventually (or until we give up on the diet as is usually the case).

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