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hensley258
Dec 8th, 2011, 04:41 PM
New here. I will try to keep it short.
Only 6 days ago on a complete whim with no knowledge, I decided to strictly eat only Organic Plant based whole foods.
call it an experiment of sorts as I have always been a big meet and dairy eater, although Ive always liked Veg a lot.

I tried this because since I was 21 I was diagnosed with very severe Depression and Anxiety dissorder that was clearly not situational or the cause of any trauma in my life. I am 42 now and after 20 plus years of endless medications to treat my illness, I have become treatment resistant. I even had to resort to a powerful MAOI drug just to get a litttle relief.

I am always depressed and tired and I never feel well. My Depression effects my body with awful symptoms as well as my mind, although to see me you would say, "hey that guy looks pretty fit." Anyway... I tried this plant based experiment on a complete fluke and was almost sure it would do no good... After all, I take vitamins right? Upon the 4th day I felt as if I awoke from an awful nightmare. At first I thought, no way this must be a placebo effect.

This is the 6th day of nothing but whole plant based food and nothing else. I seriously feel 60% better in every catagory. How could this be real after just 6 days? Or real at all for that matter. Nothing ever makes me feel better so why would this be having such a profound effect?

I only tried this because I figured it couldn't hurt and I have tried everything else and nothing worked so why not.
I really expected to feel very weak and lathargic from lack of protien and carbs. Much to my shock I don't even feel that hungry doing this and my energy level is higher! This goes against everything I have ever been told.

Now I am starting to think what I am feeling is real. What happened? 20 years of my life wasted and feeling like crap, endless Psychiatrist and doctors, yet not one of them ever told me to try this! I am almost pissed off about their failure to instruct me to at least try this.

I don't want to stop now! I want my life back and I will continue this diet forever if it keeps working. Problem is that I have no clue how to really do this the right way. So much I do not know and I want to know everything. How do I make meals that vary? Will my muscle mass shrink? Will I get sick from this? Is this going to get expensive, (then again the doctors are more expensive) will this have a negitive effect on my sex life? Will I crash and burn up trying to eat like this? What will happen to my body? Is this safe for the long term?

All I know is that what I feel is real and is working when nothing else has. Maybe this is just a placebo effect, but I know my body and mind. I really do feel a good deal better. So am I just imagining this or could this be a real effect?

harpy
Dec 8th, 2011, 06:29 PM
Hello. Glad you're feeling so much better. Maybe there was something in your previous diet that didn't suit you, or something you weren't getting enough of? I think there is more of an interaction between food and brains than is generally appreciated. Also a lot of us are bothered by the idea of eating animal bits and feel more sort of peaceful if we don't.

No reason you can't keep it up - a lot of us have been at it for years! Have a look round this site and other reputable ones for advice about how to vary your diet and make sure you're properly nourished. This one is quite reliable I believe: http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/vegan.htm

DiaShel
Dec 8th, 2011, 06:44 PM
Hi Hensley,

Throw away all your misconceptions about a plant based diet. You'll "accidentally" stubbled on the healthiest way of eating. I know it seems confusing when you've always heard that you need meat for protein and milk for strong bones. I find it so frustrating that we're still being told these things when all the evidence is out there and even major health organizations have said it. I recommend that you read "The China Study", a great book on the health benefits of a plant based diet. None of those things will happen that you worry about. Do a google search for vegan athletes and bodybuilders and you'll see. Invest in some cookbooks or even look up recipe ideas online. Be happy to know that you can keep it up and feeling this way. Good Luck.

sandra
Dec 8th, 2011, 06:46 PM
I've been vegan for 6 years now and I've only had positive effects. A vegan diet is healthier not only for the body but also the mind. As Harpy says, not eating animal products is good for the mind aswell. Glad to hear you are feeling so much better on a vegan diet.....long may it last. :)

Risker
Dec 8th, 2011, 07:41 PM
How do I make meals that vary?

There's millions of vegan recipes online, loads even just on this forum, you just need to search for them.


Will my muscle mass shrink?

Shouldn't do, as someone already mentioned, there are professional vegan body builders (e.g. Robert Cheeke), mixed martial artists (e.g. Mac Danzig), ironman triathletes (e.g. Brendan Brazier), you name it. Even Mike Tyson is vegan now.

You mention earlier in your post that you were worried about a lack of protein. There is a myth that you need to eat meat for protein. In fact, protein deficiency is only usually found in people who are quite literally starving to death. There is plenty of protein to be had on a vegan diet.


Will I get sick from this?

Shouldn't do, that's up to you though, if you do something like only eating bags of crisps then you probably would, but that wouldn't be the vegan diet at fault.


Is this going to get expensive, (then again the doctors are more expensive)

You can eat very well and very very cheaply on a vegan diet. Just think how cheap staples like beans and rice are. Vegetables can also be bought very cheaply but if you're going to buy only organic that is going to push the price up. Some vegan speciality foods are quite dear but they're not the kind of thing you should rely on all the time.


will this have a negitive effect on my sex life?

No idea, there's far too many variables that affect sex drives, it's not a common side effect of veganism though I don't think.


Will I crash and burn up trying to eat like this?

Hopefully not! :) We all manage though, lots of us have been vegan for many years.


What will happen to my body? Is this safe for the long term?

It's not only safe, it's very good for you! Have you read the wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veganism) on veganism? (it's not perfect but I didn't want to give you a link to a site you might think was biased)


So am I just imagining this or could this be a real effect?

Who knows? Even if it is placebo it's still a great move to make for your health, the environment and ethically.

tjay10
Dec 8th, 2011, 09:19 PM
Glad you feel this diet is working for you. I am convinced that what you eat affects moods and depression. I have only been completely vegan for 5 months now and have never felt so well and alive. Have lots more energy and am much more at peace with myself. Also used to get migraines and headaches but since giving up dairy I haven't had a single one. I was vegetarian for more than 20 years before I went vegan but giving up the dairy has been the best thing ever for my health and mind. I also avoid as much processed food as I can which I think is another major factor.

Crusty Rat
Dec 9th, 2011, 12:51 PM
Hello,

I also suffer from anxiety and depression and have had similarly unhelpful experiences with doctors.

Eventually I binned my pills and have since been investigating how to improve my mental health through diet - organic whole foods definitely seem to be the way to go!

I personally couldn't verify the effects of veganism on mental health since when I first cut out animal products I was recently bereaved and going through alcoholism, addiction and an eating disorder.

However, more recently I have been eating as chemically free as possible - avoiding caffiene, alcohol, synthetic pesticides, artificial food additives etc. and have definitely noticed an improvement. I guess this would extend to animal products from creatures who are pumped full of drugs.

Good luck! :)

Risker
Dec 9th, 2011, 01:09 PM
^ Pesticides are still used on organic produce.

charliko
Dec 12th, 2011, 07:53 AM
Hello,

I also suffer from anxiety and depression and have had similarly unhelpful experiences with doctors.

Eventually I binned my pills and have since been investigating how to improve my mental health through diet - organic whole foods definitely seem to be the way to go!

I personally couldn't verify the effects of veganism on mental health since when I first cut out animal products I was recently bereaved and going through alcoholism, addiction and an eating disorder.

However, more recently I have been eating as chemically free as possible - avoiding caffiene, alcohol, synthetic pesticides, artificial food additives etc. and have definitely noticed an improvement. I guess this would extend to animal products from creatures who are pumped full of drugs.

Good luck! :)

A bit of advice, at least for the interim, take a one a day type vitamin with B12 in it. Also PCRM and DR. Neal Barnard are good sources. I deal with diabetes, so you may not need the lower fat vegan diet he shares in his book Dr. Neal Bernard's Program for Reversing Diabetes. He also has a 21 day vegan challenge which will share many good tips with recipes and meal plans.

As with all my advice, take what you want and leave the rest!

-charlie

Holly78
Dec 12th, 2011, 08:56 AM
I've been vegan for 6 years now and I've only had positive effects. A vegan diet is healthier not only for the body but also the mind. :)

Same!

leedsveg
Dec 12th, 2011, 09:27 AM
Hi hensley and welcome to the forum.:thumbsup: Really happy that you now feel so much better.


Leedsveg

Andy_T
Dec 13th, 2011, 10:10 AM
Hi Hensley,

welcome from my side as well! I'm also really happy that you feel better now, hope that this keeps up.

I suggest you to read the book "Becoming vegan" by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, two registered dietitians who can give you a lot of useful input on eating a well planned vegan diet. Vegan food is healthy, if you do not resort to crisps and fries.

Best regards,
Andy

PS: Regarding your question about potential changes to the sex life, there's a god book called "The engine 2 diet" about a group of Texan firefighters changing to a vegan (they call it plant-based) low-fat diet and thus dramatically reducing their cholesterol levels, losing weight and getting much fitter generally. Some of these testimonials also mentioned a considerable improvement of their respective sex lives considering that good circulation is vital in that respect.

dorotkaela
Apr 10th, 2012, 06:07 PM
Hello :) As a person who used to suffer with anxiety, I just want to share something that helped me change my life. It's not really vegan related, but I thought I would share it anyway, (hope that's alright).

The thing that helped me break the endless cycle was the realisation (after months of researching the condition) that anxiety can't hurt me. Sounds silly, but that's what turned my life around. Realising that what I'm expieriencing is just a side effect from too much adrenaline in my system and being stuck in fight or flight mode gave me acceptance and strenght to wait it out and carry on with my life like nothing is happening.

No matter how bad and terrified I felt I would tell myself 'it's only anxiety, it will pass when my stress level will go back to normal', or I would say 'I feel like crap today, and I'm terrified of god knows what, but I will do something nice for myself anyway'. It sounds easier than it was, but it works. It takes couple of months to notice the difference, but when I look back I'm a completely different person. The worst thing you can do is to fight the anxiety or blame yourself for feeling the way you do. No matter how bad you feel just accept it and try to move on with your day. It will be extremely hard at first but it gets easier.

Every single sensation that goes through your body, panic attacks, heart skipping a beat, stomach pains (you name it) and every single thing going through your head (i'm insane/sick/terrible; what if I do this/what if I do that etc) is a side effect of anxiety. The moment your stress level goes down it all goes away. I am the living proof of that.

If anyone wants to talk about it, feel free to message me and I will be happy to help you, I don't want to ramble on as this is not an anxiety forum.

Coming back to the subject, I do believe vegan diet can help with mental health. Another thing that helped me was quitting the contraceptive pill (but that obviously doesn't apply to you :)

I'm glad to hear you feel better and as I said, if you want to talk to somebody about your anxiety I'm here for you :)