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Trying Vegan Diet to Cure Depression/Anxiety/Low Energy


DurandalBlue

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I've been hearing countless stories from people online that when they switched to a vegan diet their depression/anxiety went away, they were able to get off their meds, energy went waaayyyyy up, exercise easier to do, sleeping much deeper and better, achieved a healthier weight, amazing mental balance/clarity, feeling more positive/happier, looking younger, skin cleared up, hair became shiny/glossier, pain reduction in joints and arthritis, serious health issues went away including colitis, irritable bowel syndrome even diabetes and cancer.

So today I'm going to start eating a vegan lifestyle which means no more eating meat, dairy, eggs or any kind of animal products. I'll be eating far more raw fruits, veggies and dark leafy greens. I'm also going to cut out wheat products containing gluten like bread, pasta and dough but not until after a couple weeks just to see how meat/dairy elimination affects me first. I hear people who cut out gluten feel happier as well. Sugar products like soda, candy and junk food were already pretty much out of my diet since they also contribute heavily to depression/anxiety.

So I'll update this once in a while and let you guys know how my mood is doing and if I'm feeling happier :thumbsup:.....wish me luck!

Also if you already have been a vegan please let me know how it has worked for you or if you have any tips you'd like to share.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hey @DurandalBlue this sounds interesting, I've never heard of this before. Though any reason to go vegan is a good reson!

Also it could just be that before going vegan these people generally ate junk food or had a heavy diet? Like not enough fruit, vitamins, minerals, and this just made them care about what they eat? Although as I said I'm all for veganism. I'm a vegetarian though myself, and I still suffer from horrible depression:huh: Could milk and eggs possibly be the source of depression? xd In any case, I'm interested to find out how this will affect you! Good luck.

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Good luck. :)

Personally I have been a vegetarian for almost 10 years, and was vegan for one year of that. Ultimately I gave up on veganism because I was finding it difficult to get all the nutrition I needed from a restricted diet (I'm quite underweight and find it hard to gain weight), but I hope you won't have that problem. Many don't. Probably the main worry, though, about a vegan diet is lack of vitamin b12, a vitamin found mostly in animal products. I would greatly recommend that you start taking a vitamin b12 supplement as you start on a vegan diet, as lack of b12 can cause so many problems (including psychological and neurological ones) and you cannot overdose on it.

I have to be honest: when vegan, I didn't personally notice any improvement as such, but I think that was because I had already been eating very close to a vegan diet for years. People who make a bigger change (e.g. going from eating lots of fried meat, pastries and sweets with eggs or milk in, etc.) are probably more likely to notice beneficial effects. Generally being limited to vegan foods cuts out a lot of fast and junk food options and gets you to focus on getting more nutritious fruits, veggies, nuts, wholegrains, beans, pulses, wholegrains etc. which are much kinder on our bodies.

I really hope that it helps you -- and it might well -- but I do have to warn that, though it may be beneficial for many, it's not a miracle for most. I still had both mental and physical health problems while vegan, and still do as a vegetarian, and was never able to do well off my meds regardless of what I ate. Still, best of luck.

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Hey Azealia,

I've heard of people who said they were vegetarians that still weren't feeling great but when they went vegan and cut out the dairy and animal products they felt much better. Do you take a B12 supplement? B12 deficiency can make you feel tired and depressed and Vegan/Vegetarian diets do not really contain B12. Vitamin D3 also is a good supplement to take because it's hard to make.

Part of it is cutting out meat/dairy but also increasing raw fruits and veggies. Oreos are technically 'vegan' but that doesn't necessarily mean it's healthy lol. Some raw foods vegans say that when they reduced or eliminated cooked foods and went all raw that that made the difference for them. Andrew Perlot a raw vegan said when he cut out pastas, breads etc that also helped tremendously. So you may need to make some more adjustments or tweaks to really feel better.

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Hey Capulin,

Were you eating enough calories? That's one common mistake people make is that they aren't eating enough and then they feel weak and tired and then give up. There's an app called cronometer which tracks everything you eat and you can see what vitamins/miinerals you're getting enough of and which ones you aren't.

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@DurandalBlue Yes, I know. I try, I've been having general problems eating because of medication though. I do need to read more about diet. If you have any useful material to reccommend...;) I know the web is full of it, but it's always nice to get approved sources. I was joking about the milk of course.

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I would have a hard time giving all of that up at once.

 

Have you thought about doing a cleanse/detox to rid your body of the residues of your old diet?

I used to occasionally take an ounce or two of organic aloe juice (inner filet, not whole leaf) to help clean out my insides (when I was eating a clean vegan diet...back when I was functioning better).

Edited by LoneSquirrel
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There are plenty of people who praise Vegan as the answer. It is for some people and others not. There is no fixed answer. I've read plenty from people who went Paleo and swear it is the be all of diets. It's worth a try. Besides B and D vitamins I'd suggest you also pay attention to proteins. No dairy and meat and you drop protein fast. Most substitute proteins aren't very good, especially vegetable based ones. I would also suggest you log your meals with Myfitnesspal. I would recommend that to anyone but especially people changing diets. At the end of the day you need to balance your macros. Carbs, proteins, fats. While you're changing your diet I'd also suggest a lifestyle change. Exercise. At least 3 x 30 minute workouts a week, preferably 5 x 30. I'd mix cardio with weights or at least body weight workouts. You remove too much protein and start dropping fat your body will also scavenge muscle as an energy source. That is the last thing you want to see happen. Be careful and balance what you do. Crash diets have all proven to do one thing, crash! 

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4 hours ago, In2deep4me said:

There are plenty of people who praise Vegan as the answer. It is for some people and others not. There is no fixed answer. I've read plenty from people who went Paleo and swear it is the be all of diets. It's worth a try. Besides B and D vitamins I'd suggest you also pay attention to proteins. No dairy and meat and you drop protein fast. Most substitute proteins aren't very good, especially vegetable based ones. I would also suggest you log your meals with Myfitnesspal. I would recommend that to anyone but especially people changing diets. At the end of the day you need to balance your macros. Carbs, proteins, fats. While you're changing your diet I'd also suggest a lifestyle change. Exercise. At least 3 x 30 minute workouts a week, preferably 5 x 30. I'd mix cardio with weights or at least body weight workouts. You remove too much protein and start dropping fat your body will also scavenge muscle as an energy source. That is the last thing you want to see happen. Be careful and balance what you do. Crash diets have all proven to do one thing, crash! 

One thing I heard a girl mention earlier that I find interesting is not to view it as a 'diet' but a lifestyle change. I did Tim Ferriss's slow carb diet a couple years ago and lost 30lbs. But it was not necessarily a healthy long term sustainable lifestyle change. That I would consider a 'diet'.

Asides from plants having protein, also nuts, seeds and legumes. I'm using cronometer to track my nutrient intake to make sure I'm getting everything I need. Humans really don't need a ton of protein for healthy functioning. 

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5 hours ago, LoneSquirrel said:

I would have a hard time giving all of that up at once.

 

Have you thought about doing a cleanse/detox to rid your body of the residues of your old diet?

I used to occasionally take an ounce or two of organic aloe juice (inner filet, not whole leaf) to help clean out my insides (when I was eating a clean vegan diet...back when I was functioning better).

Last March I did the Master Cleanse (Lemonade Diet) for 10 days where all I had was lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. A lot of people have had great results with it. I felt a little better after doing it. So I'll do it again soon but just wanted to get started on the vegan trail today :)

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4 hours ago, CoolCat7 said:

I am vegetarian and will be interested to hear how it goes for you.  I have vegan relatives but they eat a lot of white bread, french fries and sugary food.  I wonder how much of any improvement is attributable to going vegan versus simply eating healthier.  Having said that, I am pro-vegan and eat a mostly vegan diet myself (a small amount of milk in my coffee) and it has not helped my depression.  Recently I cut out sugar so I'll be interested to see how that helps.  

Sugar is pretty destructive to energy and mood. There are a number of things to watch out for that could be hindering results for you. For instance eating too little or too much fat. Some people binge on nuts and then feel tired and heavy. They should be about 10% only of diet. Some people only feel good when they eat raw whole foods and they feel crappy when they eat cooked foods. Are you taking B12? If so is it cyanocobalamin or methylcobalamin? Because cyano is the cheap synthetic one, you want methyl. At least 1000mcg would also be sufficient. Andrew Perlot said he was feeling good then crappy and he realized his vitamin D was low. When he started taking a supplement he felt better again. Maybe if you youtube 'vegan common mistakes' you'll pick up some good ideas that could improve your mood. It could be something very simple that you're overlooking that could make the difference for you. 

Edited by DurandalBlue
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17 hours ago, DurandalBlue said:

One thing I heard a girl mention earlier that I find interesting is not to view it as a 'diet' but a lifestyle change. I did Tim Ferriss's slow carb diet a couple years ago and lost 30lbs. But it was not necessarily a healthy long term sustainable lifestyle change. That I would consider a 'diet'.

Exactly!  My gal and I decided on just that. No fad diet or gimmick exercise plan. Something tried and true then we adjust from there. You mention diet and needs in your posts but no exercise. They go hand in hand. Develop an exercise plan to go along with the diet plan. There are plenty of workouts around and plenty that are free. You don't need a gym or fancy equipment. I started with nothing more than a mat and dumbbells. You don't even need the dumbbells if you go body weight routine. I can recommend plenty of approaches if you're interested.

 

17 hours ago, DurandalBlue said:

 

Asides from plants having protein, also nuts, seeds and legumes. I'm using cronometer to track my nutrient intake to make sure I'm getting everything I need. Humans really don't need a ton of protein for healthy functioning. 

Yeah you can get protein from what you mention. I'm not interested in Vegan or Paleo as I believe they are too limiting and confining. Life is about balance. Throwing out either just because makes no sense to me. If you had say, a gluten allergy, then I could see dumping as much breads etc.. Peanut allergies are all too common today so for some nuts is not a good answer. IF you have no food allergies then throwing a whole class of foods out the window seems like a bad idea to me. I eat a mix of everything. Too each his/her own.

As for protein. That very much depends on your goals. I try and consume my bodyweight, in grams, of protein daily. It is a basic building block. I get mine mostly from dairy then meat and fish secondary. Amino acids are important building block of life. So skimping on protein I consider as not acceptable. Fats I try and balance out most days. If I do weights then the next day I eat more fats in recovery. Carbs are carbs. I try and watch sugar intake but don't wig out over it. I try and get 30g of fiber everyday but miss on most days. The rest are dead carbs from other sources. I consider carbs as nothing more than fuel for workouts. Fats are a necessary thing. Proteins rebuild. Starting working out hard and try living Vegan., It'll take some serious effort. Since my diet is wide open I don't have to deal with that.

Not trying to preach here, I just believe a balance is most important to me and that is a mix in my diet and doing exercise.

Good luck with your change regardless.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm a big believer in what we eat every day affects our moods, energies, hormonal balances, etc... Not only does eating healthy give you good vibes, but regular physical activity also helps release the good juices your body needs to thrive. Sitting around for too long is no good for our physical or mental health! Healthy diets and exercise not only replenish our bodies but it also uplifts our confidence and happiness. Having a bad day? That's okay just go for a run. It's not gonna fix your problems but it will help rejuvenate your energies to deal with the storm ahead! So I say Eat Happy, Move your Butt, and do not let worries consume you. Life will always be ever changing and is made up of ever-fleeting moments. It's what you take from those moments that make you who you are, so take the strength and knowledge to grow, leave behind the regrets and guilt... better yourself everyday, and little steps count! 

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P.S. All that stuff said up above about eating enough calories, eating raw veggies and fruits verses oreos, the B12 and vitamin D3 are all good tips! I have been vegan for three years and it's important to surround yourself with helpful advice and routines. I weight 150 lbs and I aim to consume about 3,000 calories a day. I eat less healthy ow than I used two a year ago so I have actually gained weight. I've been eating more microwaveable foods, breads and pastas, white sugars and flours, fake meats, etc... gained me a good 15 lbs just because of eating those kinds of foods. When I weighed below 140lbs it was because I was eating mostly raw and mostly fruitarian. When I cooked food it was for veggie soups, and oven-baked potatoes and only in the evening!! The bigger parts of the day I ate lots of fruit, and mostly bananas bc they were cheaper and contained the most calories(100cals per each banana get it!) The sugars and carbs I took in from all the fruits kept me from EVER craving salty or sugary things. I was a big chocolate and caffeine consumer before I was vegan but once I started eating all those fruits I never even wanted that stuff! It was like magic I swear! ANYWAYS what I am getting at is that the way you choose to manage your diet, even if you are vegan is important if you want to feel GOOD. Like I said I am up to 150lbs now and that's after a year+ of not eating as healthy as I was before. I still don't weigh the whopping 165+ I used to be before going vegan, but if I added some exercise and ate less processed foods again I could drop back down to 135 easy, plus my mood ad energy would be better. I will tell ya, when you normally eat healthy, your body reacts pretty fast to things that aren't so good for you. Simplifying my diet was the best way for me to figure out what foods made me tired, sad, or moody... OKAY I AM GOING TO SHUT UP NOW. I hope this rant helped someone maybe even just a little.

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@really_riah Right now I am on the 2 week mark of being vegan. I also have not been eating wheat products or any other processed junk food. Just fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and legumes. But I'm not really feeling any better yet. Everyone says they feel way more energy, sleep better, mood is better etc. But some people did say that it took a couple months before they felt those things.

How long did it take you before you started noticing the benefits of eating better?

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  • 2 weeks later...

1 MONTH UPDATE:

I started at 225lbs and am now down to 214lbs. So about 10-11 pounds of weight burned. I've noticed my appetite is much lower. I don't feel hungry as often and it doesn't take a lot of food to sustain me. I'm fine going longer periods of time without eating. My nasal passages have always been congested for as long as I can remember. I feel like they have become much less congested and easier to breathe.

Unfortunately it's hard to tell if there's definite noticeable benefits other wise as of yet. My energy and mood might be a little better but it's pretty subtle. I have had some points were I noticed I was a little more social than usual or feeling confident and flirtatious with girls. I'm not as sluggish at the gym. I still don't feel like I'm sleeping better except for a couple days stretch where I didn't need naps during the day. Sleep has always been one major cause of my depression, just feeling unrefreshed when I wake up, low energy, lethargic, needing naps during the day, feeling constant sleep deprivation, wake up with large bags under my eyes. 

So some benefits have occurred but hoping for more. Some people said they felt tired and crappy for the first 2-3 months and then they noticed they had a lot more energy and whatnot. So there could be a detoxing process going on. But at the very least just looking in the mirror and seeing that I look slimmer does help me feel a lot better about myself :thumbsup:

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