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Considering a dietary change from raw veganism - please offer any helpful advice

by (92)
Updated October 20, 2014 at 3:50 AM
Created January 17, 2013 at 7:06 AM

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.

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

Peace x

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1925 · January 29, 2013 at 3:48 AM

Sounds like a great plan to me! :-)

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92 · January 26, 2013 at 8:09 PM

"It can be really hard to lose the stigma attached to being a veg too. It had become part of who I was" This is something I'm finding challenging, more so with my family than my friends. I still haven't eaten meat. Fish and eggs have been my main focus. I've tried goats yoghurt and cottage cheese but my stomach became so swollen and cramped, and I also felt hungover with a foggy head. It's hard to know whether your body is just reacting to something new or whether it is a reaction/allergy/intolerance to the food itself. Do you have any way of identifying the difference? Peace x

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92 · January 26, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Hi Cherice Thank you for sharing your experiences. It is reassuring to know that your body readjusted in time. Do you mind sharing how long it took? My body is struggling with the changes and I would appreciate knowing how long it may take before I start to reap the rewards.

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20353 · January 24, 2013 at 2:41 AM

Ecxactly. That would be perfect.

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92 · January 23, 2013 at 9:23 PM

You've probably just found my weakest link! Need to start my yoga, walking and reading again. Mental note to self......"step away from the laptop!" x

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20353 · January 22, 2013 at 5:03 AM

I would skip the fitbit as well. Perfect on sleeping on your back. Try doing something relaxing for 15 minutes a day. Not computer related :-) Possibly stretching or reading a calm book.

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92 · January 21, 2013 at 7:45 PM

I sleep flat on my back without a pillow. I started doing this a few years years ago and it greatly improved my posture and quality of sleep x

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92 · January 21, 2013 at 7:44 PM

The Fitbit sounds interesting but is a little more than I want tp pay at the moment. So I'll just work on improving the other areas of my health and lifestyle and see what difference that makes first x

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92 · January 21, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Thank you, this information is helpful x

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15385 · January 20, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Generally the meat and organs (liver) from grass-fed animals has the best nutritional profile, and generally, the liver is a filter organ so you should be even more aware of how the animal lived before eating it. I find beef calf's liver to be the mildest in flavor, especially delicious with caramalized onions. Adult beef liver can be strongly flavored so to start you should get calf's. Chicken livers tend to be mildly flavored too and are easy to make into pate (not a whole lot harder than making a smoothie).

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20353 · January 20, 2013 at 8:59 AM

The REM sleep will take some interpetation. It won't come out and say it directly. Still very helpful.

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20353 · January 20, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Peace - Runny yolks are great. You will find a happy medium on the water for sure. Maybe 8:30 or so? You might consider getting on of these: http://www.fitbit.com/one . It will tell you how often you are waking up and what time. This can let you know if it is REM sleep also how many times you wake up. Another benifit is that it tracks step taken and stairs climbeed so it can track 15 minute workouts as well as steps taken during the day. It might be worth considering. Also if you sleep on your side you may need some additional pillows.

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92 · January 20, 2013 at 8:17 AM

Thanks Primal Pat, I may well take you up on that offer! x

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92 · January 20, 2013 at 8:16 AM

From what I read about other people's recovery from raw veganism is that it can take up to 18-24 months. So it is still early days but at least you are now on the right road to recovery. Keep your chin up and keep smiling. Each new day is one step closer to vibrant health and vitality. I'd love to hear how your progressing so please do feel free to keep me posted. Wishing you well x

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92 · January 20, 2013 at 8:13 AM

I was also chronically thirsty during the night and woke with a headache and baggy head (the baggy head could be due to the last of restorative REM sleep). Early days I know but I will monitor it and see how it goes. Thank you again Eric.

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92 · January 20, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Thank you again Eric. All your help and advice is extremely appreciated. Surprisingly I've been really enjoying really runny yolks and I will continue eating them whilst my body seems to be asking for them and digesting them well. Sleep environment is good, just the dreams that I wake from regularly. Last night I had two particularly harrowing dreams/nightmares - hopefully that will settle in time. I also tried not drinking any fluids after 6pm and still ended up getting up twice in the night for the bathroom.

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5650 · January 20, 2013 at 12:31 AM

thank you peace. i am staying hopeful and will keep striving for health. i stopped raw veganism in march 2012. i just want to feel good no matter what route i take, you know! i hope you can find happiness in the paleo diet and good health!

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20353 · January 19, 2013 at 11:24 PM

Peace - Once you have had two yolks then you should be good. Anything over that is not needed. However I like eggs and eat 4/day. If you are eating the whites make sure they are cooked. Yolks can be runny. I would not eat whites to begin with. Awesome on the crab and fish! Sounds like your sleep enviroment is good. Sounds awesome!

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1663 · January 19, 2013 at 9:23 PM

You're very welcome! Hopefully we'll get a private messaging system. Don't hesitate to ask any questions!

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92 · January 19, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Bone broth is spoken very highly of and you're not the first to recommend it. This is something I will probably try in time. I've added in quite a lot over a relatively short period of time but I'm determined to keep going because I do not want to fall back into unhealthy and unhelpful habits. Thank you for all your help and advice x

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92 · January 19, 2013 at 7:57 PM

A lot has changed in my life over the past two years and my heart is now taking back the reins. However my head is not out of a job. Whilst my heart is now back where it belongs, in the driving seat and decides the destination, my head has become my sat nav - helping me to find my way and achieve my goals. I used to meditate and do daily yoga. As I begin to increase my energy I plan to start my daily practice again as I know how beneficial it is.

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92 · January 19, 2013 at 7:51 PM

So this is how I came upon this forum. I wanted a fresh new perspective on health, not necessarily another 'diet' to adopt but to broaden my outlook and options then listen to and follow what feels right for my body ad soul. I totally understand what you mean when you say that our minds make it important - or seem to be important. For many years I've had a constant battle between my head and my heart and my head has always screamed the loudest, hence won.

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92 · January 19, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Hi Primal Pat I eat about 300-400 grams a day. You're right about the fact that the more dietary information you the more confused you can get. I'm much more relaxed about it all than I've been in the past. It has come to a point in my life where I'm fed up with following a way and am now choosing to find my own way. After my long history of veganism and a raw food diet I decided to find out about the other side of the story because I'd always ruled it out as unhealthy and not an option.

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92 · January 19, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Thank you Lizzy. The sauerkraut is set to stay! x

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92 · January 19, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Will do NewPaleon. Thanks again for all your help and support x

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92 · January 19, 2013 at 7:34 PM

This Christmas I tried some and had a chronic alcohol flushing reaction within minutes. Every time I tried a few mouthfuls over Christmas my face, chest, neck and arms became all blotchy, red, inflamed and itchy x

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92 · January 19, 2013 at 7:33 PM

I see what you mean! Liver's nutritional profile is pretty impressive. What is the difference in quality and taste between chicken, pig, lamb, turkey etc? Also what do you know about krill oil? I've been recommended to take it? ".....and some wine" - oh that sounds lovely! However I stopped drinking because I started to react badly to that as well. I used to be able to handle alcoholic drinks but stopped drinking a few years ago.

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92 · January 19, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Hi Joanna I'm sorry to hear that raw veganism left you in such a bad way. How long has it been since you were raw? Maybe it will just take a little time to restore your health and vitality as opposed to not being able to heal itself? Wishing you well x

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92 · January 19, 2013 at 7:22 PM

Thanks Eric I do drink quite a lot of water so will try to stop this in the evenings and see what difference that makes. My bedroom is pitch black, no background light or electronically lit alarm clocks but I am frequently on the laptop till about 9pm so maybe that plays a part. I'm continuing with the eggs, currently 3-4 daily, and will persevere with the fish. I've just bought a fresh dressed crab to try tomorrow! What is the maximum amount of eggs you'r recommend to eat daily? x

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20353 · January 19, 2013 at 5:24 AM

Waking up during REM sleep woul dexplain the drams but there could be other causes as well. It sounds like you are waing up to use the bathroom. You might make sure the room is dark and that there are no distracting lights etc.. ALso consider drinking less water after 8 or 9 PM. Not watching TV or the computer after 8PM. An unlit kindle is perfect because you need to use room light to read it. Eggs are great. You need fish or oysters as well. or take fish oil. Best Wishes - Eric

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1826 · January 19, 2013 at 2:32 AM

Good luck and do an update in 2-4 weeks to see where you are.

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15385 · January 19, 2013 at 2:14 AM

For me, liver is very easily digested and is a comfort food the way that rice pudding or corn flakes are for others. The taste is a bit unusual but very few people get indigestion from it. Liver is one of nature's great multi-vitamins, enter 4-6oz of liver into fitday.com and admire the incredible amounts of vitamins. Honestly for someone that is low on vitamin B I can't imagine a better source. I feel strongly that vitamins from food are much, much better absorbed than those from supplements. Find a nice bistro and have a small amount of liver with a big salad and some wine!

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5650 · January 18, 2013 at 10:27 PM

i'm still sick unfortunately- ulcerative colitis. i have to take humira. i think raw veganism did too much damage to my body for it to repair itself with just diet. it's sad.

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185 · January 18, 2013 at 10:07 PM

salt is good for you! Get some pink Himalayan sea salt, or grey Celtic sea salt. They come from the sea and have tiny amounts of minerals in them. Don't question eating sauerkraut, its vital that you eat it, make your own for the best results! Homemade sauerkraut has lots of good bacteria in it to help kick start your gut to digest food properly again. I would eat a little bit at every meal.

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 2:58 PM

For now I'm listening to my body as best I can and introducing new things slowly. Great tip about widening my social circle - I had forgotten how important this can be. Peace x

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Hi Uncle Long Hair Thank you for sharing your story. It reassuring to know that I am just one of many who fell into the vegan/vegetarian health trap. "I do think it was my body craving the nutrients and after a while it subsided" I think that is what Im experiencing with eggs now. I'm also craving goats yogurts and this is something I've never had considered but my body seems to be drawn towards liver. I do not want to try it yet as my digestion has been struggling enough. With my commitment to change and determination to heal who knows what I'll be eating next!

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Hi Eric Thank you. Why would I wake up during REM sleep? Is there possibly a emotional, psychological or physical reason? I was surprised that butter is the safest choice, I never liked it as a child and found it really greasy but maybe cooking with it would be different. I've started with eggs and it seems like my body is just wanting more and more of them. I've tried fish a few times but am preferring eggs. I've yet to try oysters so maybe I'll give them a go - thanks Peace x

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15385 · January 18, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Something else that will help is to find other people who are open to your dietary and lifestyle changes. If you have been vegan for years then you probably hang out with a lot of vegans and vegetarians who are probably aghast at your recent changes and who aren't going to help you find your way. Seek out some Paleo people (this board is one good option) who are generally serious about health and diet and should be able to provide some guidance.

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15385 · January 18, 2013 at 12:02 PM

I was vegetarian for 3 years many years ago, and after a year or so of health that I thought was a lot less than ideal, I finally came around to giving into the cravings I'd been having. So I can relate to your story. For me, it was lean beef that I was craving and once I started I couldn't get enough of it for months. I do think it was my body craving the nutrients and after a while it subsided. Good luck, you will probably find the readjustment period a bit uncomfortable at times.

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20353 · January 18, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Peace - One cause of vivid dreams is waking up in the middle of REM sleep. 15 minutes a day walk will be great. Butter is the safest choice for starting out with dairy as it has the least amount of protein. Which makes it the least problematic of the dairy products with regards to allergies etc... Eggs and Fish are the most important. If you could get some oysters it would help a lot as well. If you live in a sunny place try and get some sun. If you do have some dairy take it in small amounts. I would wait until the eggs and fish are introduced before adding in yogurt and cottage chees

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 9:20 AM

The eggs I've been having our from my friends chickens. They happily run around her garden all day and seem content and relaxed in their environment. No soy in my diet, the protein shake is a vegan plant based one - Sunwarrior. It was a step out of raw veganism for me and I know that once the pack is gone that I will not be replacing it. It has served its purpose but my body does not feel as good on it anymore. Thank you for reminding me that I am body-aware.......sometimes I forget this. I will most definitely come back to let you know how I'm doing, hopefully with pleasing news! x

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Hi Uncle Long Hair Thank you for your congratulations on my 'awakening'. You're so right about challenging deeply held beliefs as we adopt them as our identity. I am very perceptive and in touch with the body, I just over-ridden its messages for such a long time. Now that it has got my long overdue attention I'm starting to trust my body again rather than listen to my head. This is where the biggest battle is! I;ve been craving eggs and feel like I could literally eat dozens of them. I know that this 'craving' will be temporary and last only until my body has got all it needs.

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 9:09 AM

P.S. Patience was never my strong point! x

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Starvation and malnourishment are hard words to hear but I think you speak the truth and that truth hurts. But I thank you for helping me realise this and for all your advice. I;m currently working on increasing my saturated fats and proteins by adding in eggs, avocados and some fish. Peace x

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Hi Coconut Bliss I agree. I hadn't taken any pills, potions or supplements for several years and when I first introduced a very gentle multivitamin / mineral I vomited and had diarrhoea. SO jumping into Hormone Replacement Therapy is currently not an option. I would also like to give my body the correct nourishment first and allow it to heal itself as best it can. If, and only if, my body cannot be restore health naturally then I may have to consider some alternative method. But pills, potions and procedures are an absolute last resort.

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 9:02 AM

The Pacific Brands would be an easier option and as a trial, this is something I will consider when I feel the time is right to try meat again. Thanks again Amy. This is all very helpful. Peace x

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Hi NewPaleon I plan to start walking outdoors for 15 minutes a day, however giving my working schedule and it being winter that will probably be before sunrise and after sunset. I do not plan to continue with the Sunwarrior.....my gut instinct is to remove it and replace it with water or plain peppermint and/or lemon tea. Thank you for the stock recipe. I've still to cross the 'meat bridge' - fish and eggs are as the closest I've come so far. I'm not ruling it out but feel I need to give myself and my body a little more time before I make the next leap.

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Hi Joanna I appreciate your comment. "the bad smell went away after 3 weeks on the diet" .........fingers crossed that'll be the case for me too! How is your health and vitality now? Peace x

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 8:54 AM

P.S. Yes, I've survived......and I thank my lucky stars that my body is now giving me vital information in the form of symptoms highlighting the way I need to nourish it. Peace x

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 8:52 AM

This is why I'm being very cautious with the plethora of information that I'm receiving. I need to see the 'other sign of the dietary coin' then work out what works best for me given my current health status. What might work for me now may just be what my body needs to heal and recover. I may need to tweak and change it as I replenish the numerous deficiencies and go onto a maintenance diet once full health and vitality resumes. Thanks for the reminder about "The Vegetarian Myth". I've heard about it so may see if I can pick up a copy. Thanks again for all your support.

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Hi Amy I now know that the absence of a period is far from a sign of healthy. Hearing is was starvation and malnourishment was quite a wake up call and I thank you for the kind slap round the face! I can't believe how I got sucked into thinking it was otherwise. It just goes to show how seduced and brainwashed people can become, especially with something so personal as diet. The more I learn the more I realise how diet and fitness seems linked to identity and the media seems only to happy to exploit this.

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 8:42 AM

As for the carb flu, I'm having about 150-165g of carbs daily. A very large mixed salad with lunch and vegetables with the evening meal. Any thoughts on the increased vivid dreams? x

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 8:40 AM

The only problem is that if reminds me how far I've fallen from my former fit state. That time will come again.......hopefully soon! Soy hasn't been a part of my diet for a few years and after much recent research I'm more likely to include raw dairy than soy. Interestingly I'm really craving yogurt and occasionally cottage cheese so wonder whether I listen to my body and try these?

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 8:37 AM

Hi Eric Thank you for the egg info. My body seems to really crave these at the moment - whites and very runny yolks. I've been wanting to start walking and take up my dairy yoga practice again but have struggled due to the lack of energy and giving priority to rest and sleep. However I may need to push myself to do just 15 minutes a day, like you suggest, as this may increase overall energy and wellbeing. 15 minutes is not an unreasonable or unrealistic amount to start with.

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Hi Roth I looked at the GAPS protocol and was surprised at the allowed food list. Some of which I never did/ and currently do not do well on, so I may need to find my own way or an alternative path. I'm not sure what the SCD is, would you mind telling me what this stands for so I can look it up please? Peace x

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20353 · January 18, 2013 at 2:43 AM

You also want to gradually eleminate Soy from your diet.

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20353 · January 18, 2013 at 2:41 AM

Carb flu is when you dip ito the 50g/carb per day. I doubt you will get that. SOunds like you are sleeping well.

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20353 · January 18, 2013 at 2:39 AM

Peace - It does sound like more food wouldl be good. The Egg Yolkes are really healthy. The whites can cause issues with alergies etc. I would start slowly in the yolkes. maybe one a day or five a week. Then after a week or so jump to two a day. At two eggs you should be getting enough fat from eggs. Fish can start as low as 2 servings a week (1/2 lb per serving). Use wild salmon as it is best and farmed salmon has die which would be bad. Start walking 10-15 minutes each day (5 days a week).

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2904 · January 18, 2013 at 12:13 AM

I would NOT recommend GAPS. Even Dr. NCM, who wrote GAPS, doesn't recommend GAPS as something for minor health problems such as these. GAPS is also not actually recommended for any of the issues you mentioned. In addition, GAPS is kind of extreme. Paleo should be more than enough to sort out your health issues, and if it's not, THEN you can consider SCD.

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1826 · January 17, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Since you don't have any pots, you can buy several different varieties of Pacific brand organic broths and try it out asap. Then buy the pots and make your own. Have you read raw foodist Ani Phyo's East Meets West or something like that? She talks about becoming very sick and having to include some cooked foods, such as these soups.

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1826 · January 17, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Around the last hour for cooking, you can season it with salt, black pepper, and/or fish sauce for pho. After it's cooked, remove the bones and take meat off to add back to soup or use meat in a salad. You can do all this in a slow cooker but I use the stock pot because it's bigger and I have a family of 4 to feed.

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1826 · January 17, 2013 at 10:00 PM

For soup and bone broths, you'll need a large stock pot and/ or a crock pot. Buy beef bones, pork bones, or a whole chicken. Take bones (3-5 lbs should work, depending on size of pot) and put in pot, add seasonings such as a couple cloves of garlic, half of an onion, etc. Add filtered water to within 2 in. Of top of pot. Turn on heat to high until it comes to a boil, then lower heat to simmering for 2-3 hours. Chicken will cook faster. I like Vietnamese style pho soup so I add seasonings such as lemongrass, Ginger,anise seed, cinnamon to pot and boil it all.

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1826 · January 17, 2013 at 9:52 PM

D3 supplements are good, but still try to get some sun everyday. Your mood and health will improve much quicker. If you really crave goat yogurt then buy a very small serving to see if you can tolerate. I'm reading The Virgin Diet by J.J. Virgin right now and she details a diet plan to figure out what your allergens are. Sounds good and I will try in couple of weeks. Not familiar with sun warrior protein shake but I have so many food allergies that I very rarely consume any packaged/ prepared stuff. As for bone broths and soups, they are very easy but you need a large stock pot ( cont.below)

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8014 · January 17, 2013 at 9:41 PM

After reading your post again, I say this with respect, but to be honest, I don't know how you've even survived this long! =O It is a testament to the strength and resiliency of the human body that you didn't collapse a *long* time ago.

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8014 · January 17, 2013 at 9:14 PM

Basically, her experience is very similar to yours -- long-time vegetarian and vegan, and after many years she ended up doing permanent damage to her health in many ways. She's since returned to a wide variety of whole foods (plants and animals) and has restored whatever she could. Some damage will never be fixed, that's how bad it was and for how long. But she's like a different person, physically *and* psychologically/emotionally. Like you, she was extremely wedded to veganism and did not want to believe that what she loved most might have been the very thing causing her the most trouble.

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8014 · January 17, 2013 at 9:12 PM

I didn't mean to eat only the yolk. Eat the whole egg. :) The white is nothing but protein - all the vitamins & minerals are in the yolk. 3 whole eggs a day are fine. There's no magic number. No period was not a sign of purity and health; it was a sign of malnutrition and starvation! I'm so glad you're here. Your body has been through the wringer and is desperate for nourishment...specifically from good quality animal fats. I can practically feel you aching for them. I cannot echo loudly enough the suggestion for you to read Lierre Kieth's book, *The Vegetarian Myth*. You MUST READ it.

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8014 · January 17, 2013 at 9:09 PM

I didn't mean to eat just the yolks -- eat the whole egg. I just meant to say that the vitamin K2 is found in the yolk. (The whites are nothing but protein. A:: the vitamins & minerals are in the yolk.) Your lack of period was not a sign of purity; it was a sign of malnutrition! I'm so glad you're here. Your body has been through the wringer and re-introducing some nourishment -- especially healthy animal fats -- is key. I cannot echo loudly enough the recommendation to read Lierre Keith's book, *The Vegetarian Myth.* You MUST READ IT.

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 8:11 PM

My blood tests showed I was extremely deficient on vitamin D so the doctor has given me some D3 supplements with added calcium to take daily. I've also started a multi-vitamin and mineral and plan to start a krill fish oil shortly. What are your thoughts on the sunwarrior protein shake? I'm not sure I want to continue this but would appreciate some feedback about this please? Thanks again Peace x

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Hi New Paleon Thank you so much for your support and advice. It is good to hear from someone who has been a raw foodist and understands my situation. I've never cooked meat let alone made broth.......and I've only just bought a saucepan since giving mine all away about eight years ago! Is there an easy way to make this broth? I think you may be right about the good feelings early on in veganism being due to what was removed from my diet - i.e. grains and dairy - however I am fancying goats yogurts and cottage cheese and have wondered whether to try these? What do you think?

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:59 PM

The reason I did nothing sooner about my period was because I was both embarrassed and ashamed. I was also convinced by the raw movement that it was sigh of purity and health. Last year the doctor checked my hormone levels and apparently I'm still ovulating despite the absence of a menstrual period. I'm 38 years, 5ft 6in and weigh about 134lb. Why should I just eat the egg yolks? Also how many a day should I aim to eat? Currently I'm trying to eat three whole eggs daily. Thank you for your support and advice Lazza. I do appreciate it. Peace x

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Hi Amy Thank you for the warm welcome. I was very nervous about opening up and posting here. It has taken me a long time to come to terms with the possibility that my diet may be solely or partly responsible for my health problems and I've yet to fully open up and tell my family and friends since it became my identity for such a long time. I followed the 80/10/10 diet which was just raw fruits, vegetables and very occasional nuts. No legumes, beans, salt etc.

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Thanks Margo85 x

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Why would I need this please Chuck? x

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Hi Lazza Thank you for your reply and your well wishes. I'm so sick and tired or feeling sick and tired that I just want to get on and make the necessary changes. Patience was never my strong point! I have had one appointment with a functional nutritionist who understands who has a deep insight and understand of the raw food world so this has been helpful. Your comments about thyroid function are interesting. I have an appointment with the endocrinologist in February so I will mention it then. What is the association with sauerkraut? Is this something I should cut back or cut out? x

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Hi Chuck Thank you for your advice. Why would I need hormone replacement therapy? Peace x

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Thank you VB. It was Denise Mingers blog that got me thinking that my diet may be responsible for my health problems. Peace x

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Maybe I need to make myself eat earlier or eat more during the day? What are your thoughts? Peace x

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:38 PM

I could easily go back to sleep but I have to get up for work. No I apparently do not snore - dreams yes but snoring no. Life has been a little stressful but I thought it was mainly down to my health and how that impacted my emotional, physical and mental wellbeing. Exercise and training stopped about 2-3 years ago when energy really plummeted. Getting out of bed in the morning was such a struggle. The past fortnight I have struggled to eat breakfast due to nausea and just have a sunwarrior protein shake instead. My first meal is then at 1pm and then dinner at 7pm.

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Hi Eric Thank you for your advice, I really appreciate your help. How will I know if the fish or eggs trigger an immune reaction? Many people talk about 'carb flu' so how will I know the difference? Also Why would I just eat the yolks? Wouldn't it be better to eat the whole egg? If so how many would you recommend a day? I'm usually in bed by 9-9.30pm and lights out by 10pm. Every night I get up at least 2-3 times to visit the bathroom and often have very vivid dreams. I never have problems getting to sleep and often wake just before the alarm at 6.20am.

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:26 PM

Thanks Eric. I;ve heard of the GAPS diet but do not know much about it. I will now look into it. Peace x

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41422 · January 17, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Improve, not improv! ;)

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41422 · January 17, 2013 at 6:44 PM

http://rawfoodsos.com/for-vegans/ Start here and improv as you can.

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8014 · January 17, 2013 at 6:33 PM

+1 for seeking a professional to help with the transition. This is a *big* change and the body needs to be prepared gently and slowly.

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4347 · January 17, 2013 at 5:40 PM

+1 for the Denise Minger recommendation.

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8014 · January 17, 2013 at 5:34 PM

DEFINITELY. More...characters...

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5002 · January 17, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Since you have so many problems - digestive, hormonal, autoimmune, etc. I'd progress through the GAPS diet, starting at the very beginning.

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20353 · January 17, 2013 at 9:03 AM

I would consider making small changes at a time. Try adding in just egg yolks. Easiest way is to hardboil and place in cold or ice water for easier peeling.

Eggs and Fish are the keys to get back in. You made a lot of changes all at once. No need to do that. Make sure that the eggs and fish do not trigger an autoimmune reaction. Eating just the Yolks should help. If fish causes a problem try fish oil. Oysters are also a great source of Omega3 and other nutrients. Salmon is a great choice for fish. In particular Wild Salmon or Alaskan Salmon.

For hunger do the following:

Sleep: Go to bed early and sleep 8 hours. Eat: Once you slowly add things to your diet. Defer carbs to the evening. Green vegetables really dont count as carbs in this perspective.

EDIT:

Here is some background information that might help on the hunger issue:

SLEEP:

To not get hungry you will need sleep. In general if you can wake up on your own without your alarm clock going off that is a good sign. Most people need a minimum of 7 hours of sleep. Some need more. If you do not sleep you will be fighting grehlin levels in your body (More about that later). Sleeping for 4-5 hours is for sure not enough.

Do you have sleep - apnea. Do people tell you that you snore? Are you tired during the day? It is importnat to treat sleep apnea.

RELAX:

Stress increases cortisol and grehlin levels. Find something relaxing. Make your commute less stressful, etc...

CORTISOL AND GREHLIN:

The bad guys...

If you are working out Keep the intense portion of your workout (Start to finish) below 45 minutes should keep cortisol away. Also relaxing keeps it away.

Grehlin or why did I just eat an entire bag of oreos, chips, etc.. Or even why did I eat so much Paleo approved food...

Sleep and meals reduce grehlin levels. Lack of sleep means higher grehlin levels. Grehlin levels go down when you eat. So fasting is a more advanced technique and if you are still devouring massive food after dinner than it is not time to add fasting yet.

To beat grehlin sleep at least 7 hours (Likely you need more)... And eat a big protein breakfast, eat lunch and dinner.

Grehlin builds after each meal so going to bed early will help with the munchies and staying up late is a trigger...

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20353 · January 24, 2013 at 2:41 AM

Ecxactly. That would be perfect.

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92 · January 23, 2013 at 9:23 PM

You've probably just found my weakest link! Need to start my yoga, walking and reading again. Mental note to self......"step away from the laptop!" x

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20353 · January 22, 2013 at 5:03 AM

I would skip the fitbit as well. Perfect on sleeping on your back. Try doing something relaxing for 15 minutes a day. Not computer related :-) Possibly stretching or reading a calm book.

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92 · January 21, 2013 at 7:45 PM

I sleep flat on my back without a pillow. I started doing this a few years years ago and it greatly improved my posture and quality of sleep x

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92 · January 21, 2013 at 7:44 PM

The Fitbit sounds interesting but is a little more than I want tp pay at the moment. So I'll just work on improving the other areas of my health and lifestyle and see what difference that makes first x

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20353 · January 20, 2013 at 8:59 AM

The REM sleep will take some interpetation. It won't come out and say it directly. Still very helpful.

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20353 · January 20, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Peace - Runny yolks are great. You will find a happy medium on the water for sure. Maybe 8:30 or so? You might consider getting on of these: http://www.fitbit.com/one . It will tell you how often you are waking up and what time. This can let you know if it is REM sleep also how many times you wake up. Another benifit is that it tracks step taken and stairs climbeed so it can track 15 minute workouts as well as steps taken during the day. It might be worth considering. Also if you sleep on your side you may need some additional pillows.

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92 · January 20, 2013 at 8:13 AM

I was also chronically thirsty during the night and woke with a headache and baggy head (the baggy head could be due to the last of restorative REM sleep). Early days I know but I will monitor it and see how it goes. Thank you again Eric.

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92 · January 20, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Thank you again Eric. All your help and advice is extremely appreciated. Surprisingly I've been really enjoying really runny yolks and I will continue eating them whilst my body seems to be asking for them and digesting them well. Sleep environment is good, just the dreams that I wake from regularly. Last night I had two particularly harrowing dreams/nightmares - hopefully that will settle in time. I also tried not drinking any fluids after 6pm and still ended up getting up twice in the night for the bathroom.

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20353 · January 19, 2013 at 11:24 PM

Peace - Once you have had two yolks then you should be good. Anything over that is not needed. However I like eggs and eat 4/day. If you are eating the whites make sure they are cooked. Yolks can be runny. I would not eat whites to begin with. Awesome on the crab and fish! Sounds like your sleep enviroment is good. Sounds awesome!

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92 · January 19, 2013 at 7:22 PM

Thanks Eric I do drink quite a lot of water so will try to stop this in the evenings and see what difference that makes. My bedroom is pitch black, no background light or electronically lit alarm clocks but I am frequently on the laptop till about 9pm so maybe that plays a part. I'm continuing with the eggs, currently 3-4 daily, and will persevere with the fish. I've just bought a fresh dressed crab to try tomorrow! What is the maximum amount of eggs you'r recommend to eat daily? x

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20353 · January 19, 2013 at 5:24 AM

Waking up during REM sleep woul dexplain the drams but there could be other causes as well. It sounds like you are waing up to use the bathroom. You might make sure the room is dark and that there are no distracting lights etc.. ALso consider drinking less water after 8 or 9 PM. Not watching TV or the computer after 8PM. An unlit kindle is perfect because you need to use room light to read it. Eggs are great. You need fish or oysters as well. or take fish oil. Best Wishes - Eric

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Hi Eric Thank you. Why would I wake up during REM sleep? Is there possibly a emotional, psychological or physical reason? I was surprised that butter is the safest choice, I never liked it as a child and found it really greasy but maybe cooking with it would be different. I've started with eggs and it seems like my body is just wanting more and more of them. I've tried fish a few times but am preferring eggs. I've yet to try oysters so maybe I'll give them a go - thanks Peace x

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20353 · January 18, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Peace - One cause of vivid dreams is waking up in the middle of REM sleep. 15 minutes a day walk will be great. Butter is the safest choice for starting out with dairy as it has the least amount of protein. Which makes it the least problematic of the dairy products with regards to allergies etc... Eggs and Fish are the most important. If you could get some oysters it would help a lot as well. If you live in a sunny place try and get some sun. If you do have some dairy take it in small amounts. I would wait until the eggs and fish are introduced before adding in yogurt and cottage chees

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 8:42 AM

As for the carb flu, I'm having about 150-165g of carbs daily. A very large mixed salad with lunch and vegetables with the evening meal. Any thoughts on the increased vivid dreams? x

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 8:40 AM

The only problem is that if reminds me how far I've fallen from my former fit state. That time will come again.......hopefully soon! Soy hasn't been a part of my diet for a few years and after much recent research I'm more likely to include raw dairy than soy. Interestingly I'm really craving yogurt and occasionally cottage cheese so wonder whether I listen to my body and try these?

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 8:37 AM

Hi Eric Thank you for the egg info. My body seems to really crave these at the moment - whites and very runny yolks. I've been wanting to start walking and take up my dairy yoga practice again but have struggled due to the lack of energy and giving priority to rest and sleep. However I may need to push myself to do just 15 minutes a day, like you suggest, as this may increase overall energy and wellbeing. 15 minutes is not an unreasonable or unrealistic amount to start with.

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20353 · January 18, 2013 at 2:43 AM

You also want to gradually eleminate Soy from your diet.

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20353 · January 18, 2013 at 2:41 AM

Carb flu is when you dip ito the 50g/carb per day. I doubt you will get that. SOunds like you are sleeping well.

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20353 · January 18, 2013 at 2:39 AM

Peace - It does sound like more food wouldl be good. The Egg Yolkes are really healthy. The whites can cause issues with alergies etc. I would start slowly in the yolkes. maybe one a day or five a week. Then after a week or so jump to two a day. At two eggs you should be getting enough fat from eggs. Fish can start as low as 2 servings a week (1/2 lb per serving). Use wild salmon as it is best and farmed salmon has die which would be bad. Start walking 10-15 minutes each day (5 days a week).

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Maybe I need to make myself eat earlier or eat more during the day? What are your thoughts? Peace x

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:38 PM

I could easily go back to sleep but I have to get up for work. No I apparently do not snore - dreams yes but snoring no. Life has been a little stressful but I thought it was mainly down to my health and how that impacted my emotional, physical and mental wellbeing. Exercise and training stopped about 2-3 years ago when energy really plummeted. Getting out of bed in the morning was such a struggle. The past fortnight I have struggled to eat breakfast due to nausea and just have a sunwarrior protein shake instead. My first meal is then at 1pm and then dinner at 7pm.

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Hi Eric Thank you for your advice, I really appreciate your help. How will I know if the fish or eggs trigger an immune reaction? Many people talk about 'carb flu' so how will I know the difference? Also Why would I just eat the yolks? Wouldn't it be better to eat the whole egg? If so how many would you recommend a day? I'm usually in bed by 9-9.30pm and lights out by 10pm. Every night I get up at least 2-3 times to visit the bathroom and often have very vivid dreams. I never have problems getting to sleep and often wake just before the alarm at 6.20am.

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5650 · January 17, 2013 at 11:35 PM

i think starting paleo can only help you. my biggest regret is raw veganism. it totally screwed up my health and i've been paying for it every day since. i still have a lot of healing to go, but i don't look at my 811 book anymore. i've even thought about burning it.

obviously, your poop will stink when you add lots of meat and eggs back in your diet. i threw up from the stench sometimes because i couldn't breathe. the bad smelling poop went away after 3 weeks on the diet.

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92 · January 20, 2013 at 8:16 AM

From what I read about other people's recovery from raw veganism is that it can take up to 18-24 months. So it is still early days but at least you are now on the right road to recovery. Keep your chin up and keep smiling. Each new day is one step closer to vibrant health and vitality. I'd love to hear how your progressing so please do feel free to keep me posted. Wishing you well x

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5650 · January 20, 2013 at 12:31 AM

thank you peace. i am staying hopeful and will keep striving for health. i stopped raw veganism in march 2012. i just want to feel good no matter what route i take, you know! i hope you can find happiness in the paleo diet and good health!

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92 · January 19, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Hi Joanna I'm sorry to hear that raw veganism left you in such a bad way. How long has it been since you were raw? Maybe it will just take a little time to restore your health and vitality as opposed to not being able to heal itself? Wishing you well x

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5650 · January 18, 2013 at 10:27 PM

i'm still sick unfortunately- ulcerative colitis. i have to take humira. i think raw veganism did too much damage to my body for it to repair itself with just diet. it's sad.

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Hi Joanna I appreciate your comment. "the bad smell went away after 3 weeks on the diet" .........fingers crossed that'll be the case for me too! How is your health and vitality now? Peace x

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8014 · January 17, 2013 at 5:34 PM

I'll write a more thorough answer later today, but I wanted to say bless you for recognizing that you needed to make a change and for understanding that, whatever reasons led you to being a raw vegan, restoring your health, vitality, and "coming back to life" are more important. I mean this very sincerely. You are welcome here, and you will feel better. It's likely going to take time, as you have been severely malnourished for over a decade, but you will feel better. You're already on the right track with introducing fish and eggs back into your diet. That's a huge step. Be proud of that!

I'll give you some better suggestions when I'm able to write more, but I wanted to say this for now: you will likely need a lot of digestive support. Your body is so terribly unaccustomed to digesting boluses of starch and animal protein. If all you've been eating for such a long time is fruit, vegetables, and raw nuts (since you said you were grain and dairy free, and raw...this implies not even any protein from beans/legumes), that's all your body is prepared for. As starved as your body might be for good quality animal protein and fats, it might be good to ease into that slowly, and to include digestive support (enzymes, and very likely HCl supplements). If you have not had a period in ten years (!! Why didn't you do anything about this sooner??!! But that is neither here nor there...), there's a good chance your bone mineral density is in the toilet. I would get a scan sometime if possible to see where you are. (Estrogen plays a big role in bone health, and your female hormones have been wacky for a long time.) (Also, I'm assuming the missed periods are due to low body fat and lack of nutrients, and not due to post-menopause. I don't think you mentioned how old you are in your post.) Vitamin K2-rich foods will be important in your healing. (Butter from grass-fed cows or goats, egg yolks from pastured hens.)

Seriously...welcome back to life. I'm sure the changes you're making are difficult for you both physically and psychologically, but you will be glad you're making them.

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 8:54 AM

P.S. Yes, I've survived......and I thank my lucky stars that my body is now giving me vital information in the form of symptoms highlighting the way I need to nourish it. Peace x

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 8:52 AM

This is why I'm being very cautious with the plethora of information that I'm receiving. I need to see the 'other sign of the dietary coin' then work out what works best for me given my current health status. What might work for me now may just be what my body needs to heal and recover. I may need to tweak and change it as I replenish the numerous deficiencies and go onto a maintenance diet once full health and vitality resumes. Thanks for the reminder about "The Vegetarian Myth". I've heard about it so may see if I can pick up a copy. Thanks again for all your support.

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Hi Amy I now know that the absence of a period is far from a sign of healthy. Hearing is was starvation and malnourishment was quite a wake up call and I thank you for the kind slap round the face! I can't believe how I got sucked into thinking it was otherwise. It just goes to show how seduced and brainwashed people can become, especially with something so personal as diet. The more I learn the more I realise how diet and fitness seems linked to identity and the media seems only to happy to exploit this.

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8014 · January 17, 2013 at 9:41 PM

After reading your post again, I say this with respect, but to be honest, I don't know how you've even survived this long! =O It is a testament to the strength and resiliency of the human body that you didn't collapse a *long* time ago.

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8014 · January 17, 2013 at 9:14 PM

Basically, her experience is very similar to yours -- long-time vegetarian and vegan, and after many years she ended up doing permanent damage to her health in many ways. She's since returned to a wide variety of whole foods (plants and animals) and has restored whatever she could. Some damage will never be fixed, that's how bad it was and for how long. But she's like a different person, physically *and* psychologically/emotionally. Like you, she was extremely wedded to veganism and did not want to believe that what she loved most might have been the very thing causing her the most trouble.

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8014 · January 17, 2013 at 9:12 PM

I didn't mean to eat only the yolk. Eat the whole egg. :) The white is nothing but protein - all the vitamins & minerals are in the yolk. 3 whole eggs a day are fine. There's no magic number. No period was not a sign of purity and health; it was a sign of malnutrition and starvation! I'm so glad you're here. Your body has been through the wringer and is desperate for nourishment...specifically from good quality animal fats. I can practically feel you aching for them. I cannot echo loudly enough the suggestion for you to read Lierre Kieth's book, *The Vegetarian Myth*. You MUST READ it.

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8014 · January 17, 2013 at 9:09 PM

I didn't mean to eat just the yolks -- eat the whole egg. I just meant to say that the vitamin K2 is found in the yolk. (The whites are nothing but protein. A:: the vitamins & minerals are in the yolk.) Your lack of period was not a sign of purity; it was a sign of malnutrition! I'm so glad you're here. Your body has been through the wringer and re-introducing some nourishment -- especially healthy animal fats -- is key. I cannot echo loudly enough the recommendation to read Lierre Keith's book, *The Vegetarian Myth.* You MUST READ IT.

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:59 PM

The reason I did nothing sooner about my period was because I was both embarrassed and ashamed. I was also convinced by the raw movement that it was sigh of purity and health. Last year the doctor checked my hormone levels and apparently I'm still ovulating despite the absence of a menstrual period. I'm 38 years, 5ft 6in and weigh about 134lb. Why should I just eat the egg yolks? Also how many a day should I aim to eat? Currently I'm trying to eat three whole eggs daily. Thank you for your support and advice Lazza. I do appreciate it. Peace x

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Hi Amy Thank you for the warm welcome. I was very nervous about opening up and posting here. It has taken me a long time to come to terms with the possibility that my diet may be solely or partly responsible for my health problems and I've yet to fully open up and tell my family and friends since it became my identity for such a long time. I followed the 80/10/10 diet which was just raw fruits, vegetables and very occasional nuts. No legumes, beans, salt etc.

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15400 · January 17, 2013 at 8:58 AM

  1. Denise Minger

  2. The Vegetarian Myth

Look those up.

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Thank you VB. It was Denise Mingers blog that got me thinking that my diet may be responsible for my health problems. Peace x

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41422 · January 17, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Improve, not improv! ;)

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41422 · January 17, 2013 at 6:44 PM

http://rawfoodsos.com/for-vegans/ Start here and improv as you can.

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4347 · January 17, 2013 at 5:40 PM

+1 for the Denise Minger recommendation.

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8014 · January 17, 2013 at 5:34 PM

DEFINITELY. More...characters...

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 9:24 AM

I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone for all your time, advice and support in helping me restore my health and wellbeing.

It has been incredible valuable and leaving raw veganism has been so much easier with the support I've received here.

THANK YOU

Peace x

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15385 · January 18, 2013 at 3:52 AM

I think you are basically malnourished. Your digestion and metabolism have slowed down and you are suffering the consequences.

Congrats for acknowleging that your diet is the root cause and for reaching out to seek help and guidance. Challenging deeply held beliefs is one of the hardest things for humans to do, and many never do it.

Also it sounds like you are fundamentally healthy and body-aware, so listening to your body (perhaps with a critical ear) should help guide you to better health.

From my POV, almost every health complaint you have can be addressed with a diet including high quality fats and proteins. This does not necessarily mean huge steaks and other things that probably sound impossible to eat and may seem morally unsound to you. For me the highest quality, most easily digested, most widely available and most morally acceptable fats (depending on your belief system) are pastured eggs. Starting each day with a few eggs, with the yolks soft/runny, will give you a huge boost. Funny that you say that you eat several yet still want more. Your body may be craving the protein, fat, and nutrients. Pastured eggs have as much as 7x the nutrients as supermarket eggs, so are worth seeking out and paying for.

You may have been eating things that cause you problems because you are allergic or they are inflammatory, and you should identify those things and cut them out. For example any soy product totally wrecks my system. You mentioned supplements and protein shakes, those are usually full of processed "foods" and soy. Better to get your protein from animal foods, as unprocessed as possible.

Lots of other good advice in the answers here... Be sure to come back in a month or so and let us know how you are doing!

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92 · January 21, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Thank you, this information is helpful x

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15385 · January 20, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Generally the meat and organs (liver) from grass-fed animals has the best nutritional profile, and generally, the liver is a filter organ so you should be even more aware of how the animal lived before eating it. I find beef calf's liver to be the mildest in flavor, especially delicious with caramalized onions. Adult beef liver can be strongly flavored so to start you should get calf's. Chicken livers tend to be mildly flavored too and are easy to make into pate (not a whole lot harder than making a smoothie).

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92 · January 19, 2013 at 7:34 PM

This Christmas I tried some and had a chronic alcohol flushing reaction within minutes. Every time I tried a few mouthfuls over Christmas my face, chest, neck and arms became all blotchy, red, inflamed and itchy x

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92 · January 19, 2013 at 7:33 PM

I see what you mean! Liver's nutritional profile is pretty impressive. What is the difference in quality and taste between chicken, pig, lamb, turkey etc? Also what do you know about krill oil? I've been recommended to take it? ".....and some wine" - oh that sounds lovely! However I stopped drinking because I started to react badly to that as well. I used to be able to handle alcoholic drinks but stopped drinking a few years ago.

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15385 · January 19, 2013 at 2:14 AM

For me, liver is very easily digested and is a comfort food the way that rice pudding or corn flakes are for others. The taste is a bit unusual but very few people get indigestion from it. Liver is one of nature's great multi-vitamins, enter 4-6oz of liver into fitday.com and admire the incredible amounts of vitamins. Honestly for someone that is low on vitamin B I can't imagine a better source. I feel strongly that vitamins from food are much, much better absorbed than those from supplements. Find a nice bistro and have a small amount of liver with a big salad and some wine!

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 2:58 PM

For now I'm listening to my body as best I can and introducing new things slowly. Great tip about widening my social circle - I had forgotten how important this can be. Peace x

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Hi Uncle Long Hair Thank you for sharing your story. It reassuring to know that I am just one of many who fell into the vegan/vegetarian health trap. "I do think it was my body craving the nutrients and after a while it subsided" I think that is what Im experiencing with eggs now. I'm also craving goats yogurts and this is something I've never had considered but my body seems to be drawn towards liver. I do not want to try it yet as my digestion has been struggling enough. With my commitment to change and determination to heal who knows what I'll be eating next!

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15385 · January 18, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Something else that will help is to find other people who are open to your dietary and lifestyle changes. If you have been vegan for years then you probably hang out with a lot of vegans and vegetarians who are probably aghast at your recent changes and who aren't going to help you find your way. Seek out some Paleo people (this board is one good option) who are generally serious about health and diet and should be able to provide some guidance.

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15385 · January 18, 2013 at 12:02 PM

I was vegetarian for 3 years many years ago, and after a year or so of health that I thought was a lot less than ideal, I finally came around to giving into the cravings I'd been having. So I can relate to your story. For me, it was lean beef that I was craving and once I started I couldn't get enough of it for months. I do think it was my body craving the nutrients and after a while it subsided. Good luck, you will probably find the readjustment period a bit uncomfortable at times.

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 9:20 AM

The eggs I've been having our from my friends chickens. They happily run around her garden all day and seem content and relaxed in their environment. No soy in my diet, the protein shake is a vegan plant based one - Sunwarrior. It was a step out of raw veganism for me and I know that once the pack is gone that I will not be replacing it. It has served its purpose but my body does not feel as good on it anymore. Thank you for reminding me that I am body-aware.......sometimes I forget this. I will most definitely come back to let you know how I'm doing, hopefully with pleasing news! x

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Hi Uncle Long Hair Thank you for your congratulations on my 'awakening'. You're so right about challenging deeply held beliefs as we adopt them as our identity. I am very perceptive and in touch with the body, I just over-ridden its messages for such a long time. Now that it has got my long overdue attention I'm starting to trust my body again rather than listen to my head. This is where the biggest battle is! I;ve been craving eggs and feel like I could literally eat dozens of them. I know that this 'craving' will be temporary and last only until my body has got all it needs.

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2506 · January 17, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Peace, you are about to embark on a long and frustrating road back to health. As others having stated, you've had such a restrictive diet for so long your body will scream at you if you make any substantial change. Go slow. VERY slow. I also strongly urge you to seek professional guidance from a nutritionist and holistic medical professional. It might be very hard for you to go through it alone.

I'm also surprised (read: shocked) your thyroid levels are normal. Dry skin and gaining weight are signs of hypothyroidism. With your extended daily consumption of sauerkraut might have compromised your iodine levels. Even if your TSH is within range I suggest you take a look at your free T4 and free T3 levels.

Best of success to you. You have made the right choice in joining this forum.

_Lazza

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Hi Lazza Thank you for your reply and your well wishes. I'm so sick and tired or feeling sick and tired that I just want to get on and make the necessary changes. Patience was never my strong point! I have had one appointment with a functional nutritionist who understands who has a deep insight and understand of the raw food world so this has been helpful. Your comments about thyroid function are interesting. I have an appointment with the endocrinologist in February so I will mention it then. What is the association with sauerkraut? Is this something I should cut back or cut out? x

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8014 · January 17, 2013 at 6:33 PM

+1 for seeking a professional to help with the transition. This is a *big* change and the body needs to be prepared gently and slowly.

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363 · January 17, 2013 at 7:49 AM

I would say look into some hoemone replacement therapy ASAP !!!

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Hi Chuck Thank you for your advice. Why would I need hormone replacement therapy? Peace x

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1925 · January 18, 2013 at 1:00 AM

I would say give your body a chance to heal itself before jumping onto the HRT bandwagon as someone suggested. The body has an incredible ability to heal itself if you give it the right tools to work with.

Just on the note of your lack of menstruation - your hormones that regulate your productive cylce are laying dormant at the moment because you have been in starvation mode for so long. Over-exercising, malnourishment and stress can cause hypothalamic amenorrhea. Your body needs a chance to recoop these lost nutrients and to rebalance. Saturared fats and some quality animal proteins and all those other goodies will help dramatically to get your body functioning as it should. Small steps though. Your body is in shock. Be gentle, be kind and be patient. It will take time to bring it up to speed again but it can happen and quite naturally so.

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1925 · January 29, 2013 at 3:48 AM

Sounds like a great plan to me! :-)

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 9:09 AM

P.S. Patience was never my strong point! x

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Starvation and malnourishment are hard words to hear but I think you speak the truth and that truth hurts. But I thank you for helping me realise this and for all your advice. I;m currently working on increasing my saturated fats and proteins by adding in eggs, avocados and some fish. Peace x

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Hi Coconut Bliss I agree. I hadn't taken any pills, potions or supplements for several years and when I first introduced a very gentle multivitamin / mineral I vomited and had diarrhoea. SO jumping into Hormone Replacement Therapy is currently not an option. I would also like to give my body the correct nourishment first and allow it to heal itself as best it can. If, and only if, my body cannot be restore health naturally then I may have to consider some alternative method. But pills, potions and procedures are an absolute last resort.

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1826 · January 17, 2013 at 6:43 PM

As a former vegetarian and raw food enthusiast, I have a few suggestions for you. I'm assuming that you want to replenish the low nutrient levels while not gaining weight (or visceral fat, specifically). Vegetables are great for detoxing and animal protein is good for nutrients ( replenishing). If you only eat vegetables, you are only doing step one but not step two. Grains are mostly carb and will give you energy or turn into fat if you aren't active. For now, you should stay off grains. From my personal experience and those of my friends, I believe that our body's ability to digest grains becomes compromised at middle age for men and women. Not sure if it's hormonal changes or more sedentary lifestyles. But stay away from grains and starchy vegetables for now since you're having a hard time digesting them and want to lose the fat around the waist.

Start with clear bone broth for a few days. If you able to take that fine then include some vegetables and meat in the broth. You can blend it all together if you like. Slowly move up to include more meaty soups and stews. You can also make fish soups but keep it fairly brothy ( don't thicken in any way or use cream/ dairy).

You might have felt really great when you first became vegan because you eliminated some high allergen foods, such as gluten and dairy. That was the case for me. But over time, your body became depleted of essential amino acids from meat and you became sick. Continue with the B12 injections for now, in addition to vitamins, probiotics, and digestive enzymes. Also try to get 30 minutes of sunlight and supplement with D3.

Idont think it's a big deal that you are eating a lot of Paleo foods. Your body is adjusting to the new diet and really needs the nutrients. Just stay off grains, dairy, too much fruits and you should lose the waist in a few months and see improvements in your health. Good luck!

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92 · January 19, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Will do NewPaleon. Thanks again for all your help and support x

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1826 · January 19, 2013 at 2:32 AM

Good luck and do an update in 2-4 weeks to see where you are.

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 9:02 AM

The Pacific Brands would be an easier option and as a trial, this is something I will consider when I feel the time is right to try meat again. Thanks again Amy. This is all very helpful. Peace x

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Hi NewPaleon I plan to start walking outdoors for 15 minutes a day, however giving my working schedule and it being winter that will probably be before sunrise and after sunset. I do not plan to continue with the Sunwarrior.....my gut instinct is to remove it and replace it with water or plain peppermint and/or lemon tea. Thank you for the stock recipe. I've still to cross the 'meat bridge' - fish and eggs are as the closest I've come so far. I'm not ruling it out but feel I need to give myself and my body a little more time before I make the next leap.

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1826 · January 17, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Since you don't have any pots, you can buy several different varieties of Pacific brand organic broths and try it out asap. Then buy the pots and make your own. Have you read raw foodist Ani Phyo's East Meets West or something like that? She talks about becoming very sick and having to include some cooked foods, such as these soups.

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1826 · January 17, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Around the last hour for cooking, you can season it with salt, black pepper, and/or fish sauce for pho. After it's cooked, remove the bones and take meat off to add back to soup or use meat in a salad. You can do all this in a slow cooker but I use the stock pot because it's bigger and I have a family of 4 to feed.

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1826 · January 17, 2013 at 10:00 PM

For soup and bone broths, you'll need a large stock pot and/ or a crock pot. Buy beef bones, pork bones, or a whole chicken. Take bones (3-5 lbs should work, depending on size of pot) and put in pot, add seasonings such as a couple cloves of garlic, half of an onion, etc. Add filtered water to within 2 in. Of top of pot. Turn on heat to high until it comes to a boil, then lower heat to simmering for 2-3 hours. Chicken will cook faster. I like Vietnamese style pho soup so I add seasonings such as lemongrass, Ginger,anise seed, cinnamon to pot and boil it all.

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1826 · January 17, 2013 at 9:52 PM

D3 supplements are good, but still try to get some sun everyday. Your mood and health will improve much quicker. If you really crave goat yogurt then buy a very small serving to see if you can tolerate. I'm reading The Virgin Diet by J.J. Virgin right now and she details a diet plan to figure out what your allergens are. Sounds good and I will try in couple of weeks. Not familiar with sun warrior protein shake but I have so many food allergies that I very rarely consume any packaged/ prepared stuff. As for bone broths and soups, they are very easy but you need a large stock pot ( cont.below)

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 8:11 PM

My blood tests showed I was extremely deficient on vitamin D so the doctor has given me some D3 supplements with added calcium to take daily. I've also started a multi-vitamin and mineral and plan to start a krill fish oil shortly. What are your thoughts on the sunwarrior protein shake? I'm not sure I want to continue this but would appreciate some feedback about this please? Thanks again Peace x

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Hi New Paleon Thank you so much for your support and advice. It is good to hear from someone who has been a raw foodist and understands my situation. I've never cooked meat let alone made broth.......and I've only just bought a saucepan since giving mine all away about eight years ago! Is there an easy way to make this broth? I think you may be right about the good feelings early on in veganism being due to what was removed from my diet - i.e. grains and dairy - however I am fancying goats yogurts and cottage cheese and have wondered whether to try these? What do you think?

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363 · January 17, 2013 at 7:50 AM

Hormone replacement therapy

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Why would I need this please Chuck? x

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986 · January 26, 2013 at 3:56 AM

While I was never a raw vegan (or vegan at all, for that matter.) I stumbled on some PETA propaganda when I was 12 years old and remained a vegetarian until my freshman year of college.

Even though I was eating eggs and dairy, my body still rejected muscle meat when I reintroduced it. I vomited several times a day for about 2 weeks, but couldn't stop eating meat. Once I had a taste, it was all I craved. I wasn't interested in health at the time, so I never really considered slowing down on meat, but I'm sure it would have helped. Perhaps it is best to slowly reintroduce animal products into your diet. I didn't and even though I felt horrible for a while, I suffered through it and felt much better when my body readjusted.

Within about 2 weeks I was feeling so much energy that I hadn't felt since childhood. My periods never stopped, but they were CRAZY irregular and I developed ovarian cysts by the age of 17. I speculate that malnourishment screwed with my hormones.

It can be really hard to lose the stigma attached to being a veg too. It had become part of who I was. So while I may not have great advice for you, I really do sympathize and wish you the best of luck. I promise if you stick to paleo/primal you'll feel better than you EVER did as a vegan. ;)

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92 · January 26, 2013 at 8:09 PM

"It can be really hard to lose the stigma attached to being a veg too. It had become part of who I was" This is something I'm finding challenging, more so with my family than my friends. I still haven't eaten meat. Fish and eggs have been my main focus. I've tried goats yoghurt and cottage cheese but my stomach became so swollen and cramped, and I also felt hungover with a foggy head. It's hard to know whether your body is just reacting to something new or whether it is a reaction/allergy/intolerance to the food itself. Do you have any way of identifying the difference? Peace x

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92 · January 26, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Hi Cherice Thank you for sharing your experiences. It is reassuring to know that your body readjusted in time. Do you mind sharing how long it took? My body is struggling with the changes and I would appreciate knowing how long it may take before I start to reap the rewards.

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1663 · January 18, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Hiya Peace,

How much sauerkraut are you eating? If you're eating it several times a day, cut back your amounts, and eat very small amounts, if anything at all at this point in time. It may be a histamine reaction, as you've never had the stuff and your health is compromised, and now you're body doesn't know what to do with this super nutritious stuff you've given it!

I'm really not a GAPS fan at all, because I feel it is ridiculously restrictive, especially on the Intro diet. It also takes a shit ton of planning and prep and that puts many people off, myself included. I myself already have food intolerances up the yin yang, and GAPS just plain frustrates me. Quality of life, and all that that. But I'm still very aware of what causes a reaction after the fact. I don't obsess about it like I used to.

That's another thing. I swear, as much as I love the paleo Way of Eating, if you're already a hypochondriac, even slightly...reading about SIBO, GAPS, fructose malabsorption, food intolerances, and generally trying to regain your health via the INTERWEBS IS COMPLETELY MENTAL. I became so obsessed that I was my own detriment to my own health! I started mindfulness meditation and it made an enormous difference. I've also scaled back how much time I spend on paleohacks, Marks Daily Apple and other sites. I recommend everyone who is paleo to look into mindfulness meditation. We have all sorts of thoughts that we believe are so bang-on about our health, but are they right? And what does that 'right-ness' do to our mental and physical well-being? Our mind makes us think our thinking is the most IMPORTANT THING EVER! It also makes us think our incessant research is SO IMPORTANT OMG. But it is not adding to peace of mind; I believe it firmly takes away from it. My god, the benefits I've seen in my own life from spending even a mere 15 minutes in silent meditation has been enormous. Find the 8-week program in your area. Honestly. It will change your life.

I highly recommend bone broth. You can drink it straight up, or make it into soups. And that's fun; you can experiment, and have a new flavour each week. I don't know about you, but soup in winter is a total WIN for me. You can chuck all manner of veggies in there, cook them right down for a while, and blend it all up.

Slowly add things in like probiotics, D3 supps and the like. Throwing a million 'fixes' at your body isn't going to fix squat. You will probably feel worse. Take your time with all this, and do the easy stuff first, like broth, sleep, and maybe some gentle walking. Slowwwwwwwwwwly introduce good things.

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92 · January 20, 2013 at 8:17 AM

Thanks Primal Pat, I may well take you up on that offer! x

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1663 · January 19, 2013 at 9:23 PM

You're very welcome! Hopefully we'll get a private messaging system. Don't hesitate to ask any questions!

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92 · January 19, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Bone broth is spoken very highly of and you're not the first to recommend it. This is something I will probably try in time. I've added in quite a lot over a relatively short period of time but I'm determined to keep going because I do not want to fall back into unhealthy and unhelpful habits. Thank you for all your help and advice x

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92 · January 19, 2013 at 7:57 PM

A lot has changed in my life over the past two years and my heart is now taking back the reins. However my head is not out of a job. Whilst my heart is now back where it belongs, in the driving seat and decides the destination, my head has become my sat nav - helping me to find my way and achieve my goals. I used to meditate and do daily yoga. As I begin to increase my energy I plan to start my daily practice again as I know how beneficial it is.

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92 · January 19, 2013 at 7:51 PM

So this is how I came upon this forum. I wanted a fresh new perspective on health, not necessarily another 'diet' to adopt but to broaden my outlook and options then listen to and follow what feels right for my body ad soul. I totally understand what you mean when you say that our minds make it important - or seem to be important. For many years I've had a constant battle between my head and my heart and my head has always screamed the loudest, hence won.

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92 · January 19, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Hi Primal Pat I eat about 300-400 grams a day. You're right about the fact that the more dietary information you the more confused you can get. I'm much more relaxed about it all than I've been in the past. It has come to a point in my life where I'm fed up with following a way and am now choosing to find my own way. After my long history of veganism and a raw food diet I decided to find out about the other side of the story because I'd always ruled it out as unhealthy and not an option.

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92 · January 18, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Has anyone got any idea why I may be getting muscle aches and pains in my arms and shoulders - mainly in the evenings?

Nothing else has changed except my diet, could it be the sodium in the sauerkraut?

Peace x

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92 · January 19, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Thank you Lizzy. The sauerkraut is set to stay! x

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185 · January 18, 2013 at 10:07 PM

salt is good for you! Get some pink Himalayan sea salt, or grey Celtic sea salt. They come from the sea and have tiny amounts of minerals in them. Don't question eating sauerkraut, its vital that you eat it, make your own for the best results! Homemade sauerkraut has lots of good bacteria in it to help kick start your gut to digest food properly again. I would eat a little bit at every meal.

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-8 · January 17, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Very difficult situation... Probably only dietiton can solve your problem

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92 · January 17, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Thanks Margo85 x

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