On a Veg Rollercoaster....
Hello everyone. I guess I'm just looking for a little support or encouragement, or maybe someone to just tell me I'm not crazy (or that I am crazy but everyone is so that's ok). The new year's before last (2010) I went from veg to vegan. This all happened after about 9 months of sobriety (I'm an alcoholic). I've never had any real problems or mood swings while veg; just a lot of guilt because I was still eating eggs and cheese. So, January I gave everything up. I became really moody in the beginning months. I had a really hard time with my temper (which I've always had a hard time with, so it sucks when it gets worse). I have no doubt this is all just another form of addiction. I never cared too much for milk, but what a cheese fan (probably because of the little happy high it gives you). I did enjoy eating more. Nothing hurt my stomach when I ate, so I ended up gaining 20 lbs. What was strange though, aside from the mood swings, was that I did start craving alcohol (physically) again, and even started craving cigarettes which I haven't smoked in 5 yrs. I had a lot of emotional highs and lows. I was the only vegan in the house, so when my (now ex) husband would make hot dogs for the kids and himself I would have to leave the room. I actually wanted to eat them, and they used to make me sick at the thought. I managed to make it a year. The day after new years I had cheese and sour cream. About a week after that I was eating fish, and then I got drunk in March. I honestly don't know if any of this stuff is related....I just know it all has me scared to try again. After I got drunk I got stably back on a veg diet. For the past three weeks I've been leaning towards vegan (eating mostly vegan) but my temper is already starting to flare. I do take supplements. I do tend to be anemic, so I have extra iron. I take a b12 supplement. The only thing I have thought of adding that may help is flax oil. I haven't tried that yet. I've also heard good things about large doses of B3 to deal with the alcoholism. I do have anxiety at meal times. My kids don't like my vegan food. Well.....no one else likes my vegan food. They tolerated veg, but this becomes too much for them. I'm just struggling I guess. I don't mean to whine. Honestly. I want to transition. I want nothing more than to be a healthy happy vegan. Why am I having such a hard time getting there? Thanks for any advise or understanding that you might have to offer.
wow, you've gone through a lot so congratulations to you for standing up and trying again. maybe you're not eating enough? you said you gained 20 pounds but maybe it's due to eating a lot of junk. (i'm not insinuating you eat junk all the time, i just don't know what you do eat). do you eat a lot of processed food? i know when i get into a junk/processed food slump i act like im PMSing 24/7. and maybe if you are eating a lot of junk, you're not getting enough vitamins and minerals which definitely makes my mood rotten. have you seen anyone about this? a doctor? a psychiatrist? good luck! im always here to talk if you need it!
i never really "reacted". but i was in the midst of anorexia at the time shortly after i became vegan so i was always tired/moody because i was starving. but once i started eating again i was fine. just experiment. i find that i always feel my best (physically and emotionally) when i eat tons of fresh fruit, salads, steamed veggies and tons of rice and beans. basically no junk/processed food/sugar. when i eat that way i feel like i can take on the world.
another thing you could try is more exercise. whenever i run, do yoga, dance, or do any kind of exercise my mood is elevated the rest of the day. and once i get into an exercise routine my mood is elevated all the time.
pretty much just do things that make you happy and you'll be happy. get your mind off the world.
Wow, that sounds like an UNfun ride... way to not give up! I had mood swings/ irritability/ headaches for about 10 days when quitting dairy (stupid casomorphins!), but after that felt better than before... For me, except for dairy-quitting, the switch was gradual... maybe going vegan cold tofurky works for some folks, but not as well for others? Maybe try giving yourself permission to have the occasional ovo-lacto day, if needed, and just gradually phase them out over time...? I'm not a counselor or anything, but I know that food issues are often not about the actual food-- maybe changing to a more 'different' diet made you feel less connected to your family? or more isolated from the society/ culture you grew up in? or put a spotlight on underlying differences between you & your spouse? or...?!
I really like meditation, for smoothing the edges and creating a state of mind in which that kinda stuff can bubble to the top, as needed-- especially when things are stressful or my life is undergoing big changes... I don't think of myself as Buddhist, but if there's a group or temple near you, it can be a really good resource for getting started if meditation might be something you'd be interested in trying out...
Idk if that's helpful, but I hope things go more smoothly from here on out! :)