7 Possible Side Effects of Going Vegan

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It’s not always rainbows and butterflies once you decide you want to go vegan. You hear from people near and far who have gotten amazing results, beautiful bodies, and strong health. Who were happy and invincible overnight. But nobody tells you about the side effects of going vegan.

It all sounds too good to be true, in a world that knows “a pill for every ill” to find this one diet that could not only keep us human beings strong and healthy until old age, but also save the planet, countless of animal lives, and maybe even solve world hunger.

But there are a couple of reasons why so many people are hesitant to try out a new way of eating and living. We read stories about babies who have died because of vegan parents, we see people turning their backs to veganism after trying it out for a short time, claiming it’s unsustainable and makes you tired.

Our own transition to veganism hasn’t been very easy either and we tried out many different ways of following plant-based diets – some were more successful and enjoyable than others.

Possible Side-Effects of Going Vegan

We don’t want you to fall into the same traps and neglect the idea of following a vegan diet very soon – so here’s what we have found can be the biggest reasons that might hold you back.

1. Energy and Weight Issues


When you switch to a more plant-based diet, you automatically consume fewer calories because plants have a lower calorie density than animal-derived foods. This means that you actually have to eat a larger volume of food in order to get all the calories you need.

Whereas it’s easier to eat a lot more micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – all of which will make you healthier and more easily satisfied – we shouldn’t neglect the necessity of getting enough energy as well. Track your food intake for a few days to see if you eat around 2000 calories from plant-based foods.

By undereating (eating the same small portions you would when eating meat and dairy), you don’t just risk health problems, but it’s also very likely to dismiss veganism and go back to eating animals and their by-products.

Many people claim that they feel very sluggish when switching to a vegan diet, but this can only mean that they either undereat or choose a lot of vegan junk food which doesn’t have any more nutrition than a meaty burger with fries.

Weight loss can also come easily when you don’t eat enough – either because you don’t really know what to eat or because you skip meals. Whereas it’s easy to lose weight in an enjoyable way on a plant-based diet, undereating is not the way to go.

Free Online Vegan Weight Loss Series

The opposite is true for people who get excited about all of the new vegan convenience foods they can try. By falsely assuming that these foods are much healthier than “regular junk”, they allow themselves to eat more and more of it – which is followed by energy crashes and weight gain from both fat and increased salt intake.

What To Do

Make sure you choose whole vegan foods instead of processed ones. You need to eat a higher volume of these foods to avoid unwanted weight loss while getting tons of energy and good nutrition. Avoid processed sugar, oil, and anything that has countless of items on the ingredient list.

2. Having to Cook and Experiment

side effects of going vegan preparation

Going vegan means cutting out foods like meat, fish, dairy, cheese, eggs, and butter. So naturally, you feel like there is not much left to eat for you! This is when you need to start experimenting with new foods.

Did you know how many different sorts of squashes, apples, and potatoes there are? Try a new one every time you buy some food. You also need to learn how to prepare and cook them (apart from the apple, obviously).

If you’ve never been much of a chef before, you better start getting used to heating up some pots and pans, chopping up food, and mixing your own sauces. Although you could live off of vegan convenience food like pasta marinara, sandwiches, and cookies… it won’t bring you many benefits and you’ll likely end up as we described above.

It doesn’t take much to become an epic cook when you learn some simple techniques – they can often be used for many different types of foods. Start adding foods to your diet before you subtract all of the animal products at once.

13 Easy Cooking Techniques

Vegan food can be very delicious – after all, it’s the spices that make everything taste great. Just like you seasoned your meat or drowned it in barbecue sauce, you can do the same with veggies. Experiment with different flavoring and sauces, there are many you can buy at a normal store that are already vegan.

Even if you like to keep it more convenient or fun and eat out more often: there are quite a few options for you at most restaurants. Order a veggie pizza without the cheese or a bean burrito. Go for stir-fry veggies with rice or some pasta marinara. Vegan doesn’t mean that all you can get is a salad.

What To Do

Get an easy “cooking 101” book or look up some techniques online. Dare to choose some fruits and vegetables you’ve never had before – it took me 22 years to try my first mango and it’s one of my favorite fruits these days. If you don’t like a food, try another one the next time, or just another brand.

3. Dealing With Cravings


Changing your diet away from the foods you were eating for years on end isn’t easy. We are habitual creatures and like what we’ve always liked or done. Our taste buds are also in alignment with that and vote for the foods we’re used to.

So if you change your diet and become a vegan, you can be sure to have some cravings for non-vegan food at some point or another. It becomes increasingly difficult if you don’t eat enough (side effect 1) and are just always on the lookout for (calorically dense) food.

One step to avoid this would be to not change your diet overnight but rather take reasonable steps and give up your favorite foods at the end of this transition. Start adding new foods that you might come to love so it doesn’t feel like you’re giving up a lot. When people jump right into a new diet, they often jump right out too.

Unfortunately, junk foods contain elements that your body does not know how to process, so they get stored in your fat reserves. So when you lose some weight while eating a vegan diet, these elements get released again and you might get stronger cravings for a short while.

How To Stop Craving Junk Food (Free Download)

It can be hard to choose veganism or a healthy plant-based diet anyways – so look out for delicious alternatives like coconut ice cream or rice milk chocolate to deal with these sweet cravings. The same goes for veggie burgers or pizza. Once you distance yourself from unhealthy foods, your cravings will become less and your body will actually start craving the healthy foods that you feed it!

What To Do

Set yourself up with your favorite foods but in a vegan version. This will make it easier to disconnect from animal products. Once you’ve switched to a predominantly whole food plant-based diet, your taste buds will adjust and you’ll find the healthy foods irresistible!

4. Bad State of Health


When you decide to transition to a vegan diet, it doesn’t automatically mean that the food is going to be healthy. Oreos, fries, soda… they are all vegan. These foods aren’t much better than the SAD diet of course!

Even though such tasty convenience foods can help you to stay on track, they should only be the exception to the rule. When you slowly increase the amount of whole foods in your diet, these little treats will be stepping stones.

And not getting the best nutrition has many faces: your skin gets worse, your hair and nails become brittle, you get sick sooner, you have less energy, worse sleep, muscle cramps, a foggy head, and so much more. Veganism isn’t foolproof and if you choose to eat unhealthy food, you can still get a ton of serious diseases. So make sure you aren’t running into any deficiencies and start supplementing B12 soon after adopting a fully vegan diet.

It can be very encouraging to hear about the great benefits of a vegan diet and you start wanting all of this like yesterday… but just like anything, this takes time. The people who you admire might have been on a vegan diet for many years or they never ate many junk foods anyway.

On the other side, if you’ve consumed lots of unhealthy chemicals, sugary food, and animal products in the past, then it’ll take a little longer for you to reap all of the benefits and heal your body from the inside out. You will need to switch a lot of foods for healthier options and you think you’ll be missing out on many of your favorite foods – and end up having “one last supper” (aka binge) where you eat all of the things you fear you need to be cutting out, ending up with an even unhealthier body of course.

Unfortunately, some people view veganism as a quick fix or a fad diet. They go on it for a short period of time and make it unnecessarily restrictive, consume primarily vegetables and overall not enough calories. It can work for weight loss for sure, but it isn’t a fair representation of what a vegan diet has to offer. 

Full Whole Food Plant Based Diet Guide

If you choose whole foods (being a vegan or not), you can be sure to get a lot of essential nutrients and avoid risking any deficiencies. We usually don’t need any supplementation other than B12 – unless you have some kind of illness that requires you to do so.

In order to get a good understanding of the benefits a proper vegan diet can offer you, don’t just hop on the train for a month or two, then change back to what you were eating before. Claiming a vegan diet made you sick and tired is harmful to this beautiful and important movement, and can only be traced back to you not eating enough healthy foods.

What To Do

Be the shining example for veganism and eat your fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. Whole plant-based foods give you all of the nutrition you need if you consume enough of them. But this goes for any type of diet and isn’t a vegan problem in itself.

5. Digestive Problems


Have you ever experienced an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach after eating a salad or some beans? Well, it’s not the food’s fault. Our bodies adjust to the types of food we eat and our gut bacteria will be optimized for whatever it is confronted with the most – whether that’s healthy produce or processed junk.

So when you start replacing animal products with healthy plant-based foods like grains, vegetables and legumes, you suddenly get a whole different composition of food. Changing too much too fast can result in constipation, diarrhea, and bloating. But why?

One word: fiber. It is an indigestible part of plants that cannot be found in animal products and most processed foods, but which is crucial to our health and ability to digest food properly. It literally helps move out the junk and bulk up our food so we can be regular.

Furthermore, it helps ensure nutrient absorption and even lowers the risk of chronic diseases. The result is that you have to poop a lot more – if you’re lucky. Many years of improper eating habits might have caused you to get used to less fiber and therefore, your bowels will be pretty overwhelmed with the extra work they have to do.

This means you should get used to larger volumes and new types of food (especially cruciferous vegetables and beans, both some of the healthiest foods on the planet) over the matter of a few weeks. Transition and change your food slowly in order to avoid digestive distress.

Here is a thorough guide to dealing with digestive issues despite eating a healthy plant-based diet: How to Get Rid of Gas & Bloating

Not only will a smooth digestion help you feel lighter and have no stomach pain, but it can also clear up your skin and build up elasticity, boost your energy, and keep you healthier overall.

What To Do

Read our thorough guide on dealing with bloating. Find out what causes the trouble by using a food diary and go low on common trouble makers like beans, Brussel’s sprouts, and onions. Find out which foods work well for you, drink enough, and move your body to encourage proper digestion.

6. Tough Social Life


Let’s face it: we live in a carnistic society. Carnism is the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat certain animals. Carnism is essentially the opposite of veganism, as “carn” means “flesh” or “of the flesh” and “ism” refers to a belief system.

So if someone comes along and wants to follow the concepts of veganism, there’s going to be a backlash. Not just the curious “But what can you eat?” or “How do you live without cheese?”, not even excuses like “I could never be so strong and do that” and “Good for you, I respect your choice but everyone is different” are the worst.

Sometimes, you are openly mocked or ridiculed, people might try to sneak some animal products into your food or even hold up a steak into your face. You are also asked over and over again if you’re still “on this diet” and why you do this. More often than not, people suddenly turn into nutritionists and tell you that you’ll be very sick and exhausted soon from missing out on all of the important nutrients found in animal products (hint: there aren’t any you wouldn’t get from plants).

Especially in the beginning stages, this can become a real test. You might be accused of not being able to do everything perfectly, for still stepping on insects when walking the street or for killing animals that live in the fields when the crops are being harvested. Don’t let these arguments keep you from following a lifestyle of causing the least harm possible! It’s better to do something than to do nothing – and the latter is most likely what carnists are doing.

If you feel like changing your diet when you’re at home and still eat like you’re used to when being out with friends, then this is another option. Though we would never recommend eating any animal product, this is a reasonable step for some people and should be taken into account.

It can get awkward when people offer you non-vegan food which you want to decline or that you often have to ask what’s in a specific food or dish. But it raises awareness to your cause and how even “a little bit of butter” matters. We need to understand that eating animals is such a deeply ingrained social norm that not everyone can see it’s wrong. After all, most of us grew up eating meat and dairy too.

Make sure to tell people what you will or will not eat before coming over to dinner and never be afraid to ask your waiter whether a certain food is vegan or not. By now, they sure have heard of the term and it’s not the first time they deal with this question.

What To Do

Prepare yourself and be ready to answer both legit and stupid questions around veganism (more on that in the next part). Stick to your values even when eating out and don’t give others a hard time for choosing meat if you cannot handle the confrontation. Remember that you don’t have to save the whole world just because you went vegan, feel empowered because you’re making such a huge impact just by choosing one food over the other.

7. Constant Education


It might seem a little annoying, but with every cause and change, there needs to be a solid foundation. Otherwise, your vacation into the vegan world might be short-lived. There’s a lot of things you have to learn in order to succeed: eating the right foods, choosing cruelty-free cleaning and beauty products, and most of all – answering all kinds of questions from non-vegans.

Do you know which ingredients to look out for in packaged products that are not vegan? Besides the obvious milk powder, gelatin, and eggs, there’s also whey, honey, pollen, casein, lactose, rennet, and some more. Make sure you don’t accidentally buy any foods with these ingredients.

In order to meet your requirements for nutrients such as iron, calcium, and zinc, you should know which foods to eat. Then, there are animal rights issues and environmental destruction, which are also connected to veganism and that people use as an excuse for not going vegan when confronting you (ever heard of the “ethical meat”?). Remember a few numbers and legitimate sources to quote.

Overall, it’s a good idea to get a few books like How Not To Die, The Starch Solution and The China Study to learn more about the health aspects of a vegan diet. Not that it is complicated or hard to be a healthy vegan, it just requires some knowledge.

The 40+ Best Vegan Books

If you haven’t watched the documentaries Forks Over Knives and Cowspiracy yet, we would encourage you to do so (mostly non-graphic videos).

It can be very tiring to answer the same old “where do you get your protein” question, but as stated above, we do live in a society that thinks eating animals is normal, natural, and necessary. It’s on us to prove them wrong and tell them how it can be done.

Not everyone thinks it’s logical and better to spare lives and not kill an animal if we don’t have to. Not everyone makes the connection and is empathetic. Sometimes, we need big studies and more arguments than “animals are sentient” in order to make people think and change.

What To Do

Get your facts straight and don’t listen to half-baked advice from others who have heard or read something somewhere. There is a lot of confusing information out there and people like to hear good news about their bad habits (aka butter and bacon is good for you). Tell and show them how it can and should be done the right way.

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  • How to get all nutrients and nourish your body optimally on a vegan diet
  • How to navigate social situations with ease and deal with unsupportive families
  • Eating out at all types of different restaurants or fast food places
  • Recipe book with 40 mouth-watering whole food vegan recipes that will please even non-vegans
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What aspects of following a vegan diet have you been struggling with the most? And what have you tried to still make this work for you? Let us know in the comments below.

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Alena has been eating a plant-based diet for 6 years and is passionate about sharing her learnings in the fields of nutrition, wellbeing, and vegan ethics. She is the co-creator of nutriciously and loves music, reading, nature, traveling, yoga & good food. Alena received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy, and social work.
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71 thoughts on “7 Possible Side Effects of Going Vegan”

  1. Bunch of crap!! Had cholesterol that was on upper end of normal, so decided to go vegan. Not too much of a change as egg whites, honey, cold water fish and occasionally some cheese was only animal products i consumed before. Always had tons of fresh fruits and veggies and even my own organic herb garden. So went completely vegan for about a year.. Adding vitamin d 3, zinc and b12 supplements. DISASTER!! my periods and hormones went completely whack, energy tanked despite enough calories from all whole foods, ear infections the flu for 1st time ever, bronchitis and pneumonia. At some point in the ICU i decided to put back egg whites and fish in my diet and voila… After about 6 weeks of my pescatarian diet i was feeling back to myself.. 6 months later no issues. It may not have been many animal products that i consumed but they sure were necessary for me!!

    • Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. As you might know, plant-based diets have been shown very effective in the prevention and reverse of detrimental diseases (https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/plant-based-diets/) and the American Dietetic Association even stated that, if well-planned, vegan diets are suitable for everyone at every stage of life (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19562864).
      I cannot know what the culprit was for you but I am sorry that it did not work out. There is nothing found in animal products that is essential to human health which we cannot get from plants (apart from vitamin B12) because all of these nutrients actually come from the plant kingdom – that’s how animals get them, too. Maybe you have a very rare condition that doesn’t allow you to absorb or metabolize certain nutrients correctly but you could work with a trained health professional on that if you wanted.
      Good luck on your health journey!

  2. hi, i switched to vegan diet about 3 days ago. i fell much better now than before. but i have constipation problem. i heard this is a side effect of vegan diet. how long does it take to not having this problem?
    please, answer.

    • Should have been resolved by now – if you’re struggling with painful digestive problems for more than a week I’d like for you to see a health professional. Slight discomfort most always comes with any diet change. Watch your fiber intake and only increase it slowly while drinking enough! Fiber actually helps with being regular :)

  3. Hello Alena.
    I have been vegan for almost 8 weeks now and the transition actually went pretty well. I didn’t miss cheese or meats…hardly really drank milk…so I was ok with my new plant based diet. It surely helped my digestive system and the first 2 weeks I had energy like never before! However, 2 days ago, I suffered from a SEVERE panic attack at a restaurant with my daughter. I felt like I was going to faint, and then became insanely fearful of dying. The manager called 911 and paramedics showed up causing everyone to look at me. I was so scared but embarrassed at the same time. I tried chugging orange juice thinking my sugar levels were down, but the EMT checked my sugar, bp, and did an ekg on spot and he said everything was normal. He said it looked like I was having a panic/anxiety attack. I had not been stressed or worrying about anything but I think perhaps I didn’t have very much to eat the day before and I was binge drinking. I have bought b12 but I am afraid to take it, actually for that reason that I may get anxiety or something from it. I sometimes feel I may go back to eating the way I used to, but even in my most vulnerable state, I stick to my chosen path. I’m happy eating what I do now. I am just now thinking that the panic attack was caused my some sort of imbalance or malnutrition problem? I don’t want to die. Not yet anyway. I thought this was supposed to help my health. Please leave me some supportive advice…I surely need it. Thank you, Missy.

    • Hi there Missy,
      thanks for stopping by and sharing your story. Glad to know the transition has been pretty easy but wow, what about that panic attack? Haven’t heard of this before and would love for you to check in with a health professional on this. Magnesium could help with the nerves, try to eat more foods containing this mineral. You could also search on nutritionfacts.org for similar issues!
      Please feel better soon x

  4. Hi!
    I’m a 16 year old animal lover, but I’ve been raised on meat and cheese since I was young. I desperately want to attempt going vegan, but being a teenager, I have no idea how that will go. I have PCOS as well, and I don’t have any idea how going vegan will effect my already terrible hormones.
    Having PCOS also makes me completely exhausted and I have no way of getting energy through the day without eating some type of sugar due to my inability to drink coffee. How will I cut that out?
    Lastly, how will I talk to my mom about this? And there are barely any foods I really like besides bread products and various fruits, as well as chicken and different meals with cheese. I rarely eat red meat.
    I’m just lost. I haven’t read any articles for teenagers.

    • Dear Elizabeth,
      thanks so much for reaching out and using the little energy you have to get in touch. I hope I can help you at least a little bit! Let’s see.
      1. Going vegan and eating a plant-based diet is a healthy thing to do for all stages of life. The American Dietetic Association stated in a paper that it’s safe for everyone. Doesn’t matter if you’re a toddler, teenager, or 80 years old.
      2. A vegan diet doesn’t contain any mammalian hormones which are ubiquitous in meat and dairy products. Not just the added hormones in conventional agriculture but the estrogen in mother’s milk (aka dairy) for example. There are a bunch of articles on people reversing their PCOS on a vegan diet like this: https://nutritionstudies.org/cleared-pcos-kids-lost-weight-plant-based-diet/ lots more resources here: http://www.wholefoodsplantbasedhealth.com.au/medical-conditions/pcos-polycystic-ovarian-syndrome/
      3. Get in touch with a plant-based doctor or nutritionist on this. Some offer online consultation or have a lot of free resources on their website. They can assure you that it’s safe to transition to a plant-based diet and tell you how to do that. Please note that we’re not trained health professionals here, only bloggers :)
      4. Blood sugar roller coaster! Been there, done that. Eating whole starches like oatmeal, potatoes, brown rice, wheat berries etc. helps to give you steady energy. Snacking on fruit gives me a blood sugar spike that’s quite nice – overall, a plant-based diet offers lots of carbs (you choose how whole/healthy you want them to be) and therefore, energy. It’s the #1 preferred energy source for our cells. And nobody says you need to cut out sugar here :)
      5. Tell your mom you want to get healthy and feel better. She loves you and will want to support you in this, pretty sure! If this is an eating plan suggested by doctors and a peer-reviewed study, it makes sense to try it out. As I don’t know anything about your relationship, I cannot tell you exactly how to talk to her… but I know there are lots of YouTube videos on this, so get inspired there. You can also connect with other vegan teenagers on this platform.
      6. Start by eating the vegan foods you already like and then try a new one here and there to see if you like it! There are so many grains, plant-based milks or yogurts, mock meats etc. for you to discover. Your taste preferences will change over time, we tend to crave what we’re used to eating – I never thought I’d enjoy veggies, used to hate them and never ate them as a kid. Now I don’t want a single meal without them. It’s so crazy! Don’t give up your hope.
      Finally, here’s a good resource I found: https://www.brownble.com/blog/2017/10/7/vegan-teens-series-part-2-im-a-vegan-teen-in-a-non-vegan-family
      Please let me know if you need any further support. You can join our group on Facebook to get in touch with others in your situation or email us directly.
      Warm wishes,

  5. I love this site I have never been a picky eater but for a long time I was mostly eating meat and very little veggies I ended up being sick for over a year vomiting every day multiple times a day constantly in to see the doctors and many times in the ER I had extremely bad acid reflux and max doses of 2 different reflux meds were barely able to control it and often didn’t and then I developed an allergy to sugar so if there is any sugar added to my food it’s really bad my fiancé suggested maybe I should try going vegan and I thought it was a great idea because there is added sugar in most food and if I buy fresh fruit and veggies and cook it myself then no need to worry about it and so I changed instantly over night after watching all the YouTube videos and 4 days in I felt all those transitioning things you mentioned and it wasn’t fun I googled it and found your site and I was eating garlic onion and kale a lot and saw the suggestion to back off a bit so I started eating plain baked chicken breast with mostly veggies eating with less and less chicken each day allowing my stomach to produce the enzymes needed to digest the veggies like you mentioned I did this for about a week and I don’t bloat anymore I haven’t vomited in quite a while my acid reflux has surprisingly vanished I haven’t needed the medicine at all I’ve had a lot more energy I feel great I’ve gotten really lean and I want to thank you for your incredibly helpful site it really made all the difference everything was laid out and easy to find so thank you for making this it has really helped me a ton

    • Thanks so much for stopping by! Your kind words mean a lot, we’re happy that you appreciate our work and that it’s been so helpful to you :) Keep at it x

  6. Hi Alena,
    Unfortunately I am one of the non thriving whole food plant based vegans. I got plant based certified at Cornell University, read every single plant based book out there, and participate in ongoing audios and webinars with all the amazing plant based doctors and professionals out there. BUT..can’t digest the food! No matter what I do I simple can’t digest any beans or cruciferous veggies or onions and garlic. I have been stubborn however over the many years( 7 years now) and keep eating my “healthy diet” of whole grains, beans veggies, fruit and a little nuts, seeds or avocado and flax and chia. I have tried everything, sprouting, pureeing triple soaking my beans but nothing nothing works. All beans kill me for hours after eating them. It starts about 1-2 hours after eating them and the stomach pain, bloating severe flatulence goes on for about 10 hours. It’s awful. Digestive enzymes do nothing. Beano does nothing. I have had in the past, many many years ago a period of IBS but that went away. I have no trouble digesting low fiber foods or animal products.(but don’t eat them). Now I have come to the crossroads as I’m sick and tired of feeling crappy. My blood tests are perfect. Not low in b12, calcium EFA, or d3. I recently joined over 35,000 people around the world listening to the FOOD REVOLUTION summit with many doctors from both sides. I think I will try to give up all the beans and gassy foods and begin eating fish instead with maybe some eggs and chicken and very infrequently meat. Basically the Mediterranean diet. I feel defeated but holding on to an ideology isn’t a good thing when it doesn’t serve you well. I was following the plant based experts like they were the G-ds of knowledge, Dr michael Greger, Esselstyn, McDougall, Klaper, Goldhamer, Doug Lisle and so many more. The results in addition to chronic stomach issues is more belly fat, more fatigue and depression. I’ve wasted many years of my life with my ideology. I hope my stomach will recover if I haven’t damaged it permanently eating this plant based diet. I feel angry it didn’t work.

    • Hi Jen,
      thanks for reaching out and sharing your story! What a rare case, you must feel very exhausted at this point because there aren’t many experiences like yours out there I think. Have you tried working with a plant-based MD or RD on this? People like Chef AJ also don’t eat beans at all I think because she has trouble digesting it. Just lots of cooked veggies, some raw veggies, brown rice, potatoes, fruit. She has great levels as well and some PB doctors claim you don’t have to add beans and lentils to your diet to get enough protein, if that’s your issue. Have you tried an elimination diet like the one Dr. McDougall suggests? I used to get so bloated and struggled on a WFPB diet, then backed off and cut out onions, beans, and high fiber foods. Ate more mashed potatoes, white rice, fruit, some lettuce and tomatoes. These were much easier on my digestion and I added broccoli, brown rice, all that back in. Feeling great now – of course, that’s just my own experience.
      Just wanted to give you some ideas… I understand if you feel defeated and don’t want to keep going. I just thought it doesn’t make sense that your body requires animal products when they bump up your cholesterol which could lead to chronic disease. But if it’s the only logical step right now, just to see if it works or not – try it! It’s your life and choice. Thanks for sharing, my heart goes out to you and I hope you’re feeling better soon x

    • For those who are saying they are having trouble eating beans and other sources high in protein, try the 80/10/10 diet and eliminate all the foods you have problems with, instead, load up on anything high-carb such as bananas and sweet fruits, potatoes or rice. Try to get as close to 80% of your calories from simple carbs each day as you can, around 10% from good fats like avocado and around 10% from good proteins if you can tolerate them, like whatever green veggies you can handle, spinach, kale, or whatever.

      Try to eat as raw as you possibly can, even if it’s only until right before supper time.

      For more info check this out:

  7. I think people are made differently and we all don’t do well on the same diet. I met with Dr. Esselstyn quite a few years ago and was on a strict vegan no added oil diet for four years. The result was low energy and a constant stomachache. Part of that was finding out later that I do better without gluten. But I think it’s Important to read widely and experiment – tweaking your diet until you find just the right balance.

    • Dr. Esselstyn’s diet doesn’t require eating any gluten :) Just skip the wheat, barley, and rye, and replace them with quinoa, potatoes, oats, or millet. Sure, some people don’t digest gluten well – others don’t digest nuts or seeds well, we all have our little differences. But overall, human beings thrive on unprocessed foods and plant foods I’d say. Definitely find what’s best for you!

  8. I loved this article. For my heath – less swelling, no more IBS, headaches, skin rashes, or URIs – I’m looking to be full-on vegan. I ate ribs, cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs after sticking heavily to a plant-based diet. With in a day, my ankle was the size of a grapefruit, I have had a headache for three days, my fingers are fat, and I have a yeast rash on my tummy. So, I think it’s time. How do I get the starter kit in a hard copy form?

    • Thanks for your feedback and sharing your story! Sorry to hear about your reaction to those foods but now you know, at least. Congrats on trying to make the switch now :)
      We don’t offer a physical version of our products but you could have it printed out if you wish! Other customers did that in the past. Hope you understand that it’s not easy for us to manage the shipment or production of hard copies! Let me know if I can help with anything else.

  9. I have to say I have been almost vegan (I use some organic creamer in my coffee, that’s it) for 31 years and feel fine. I have so much energy, I run on the treadmill one hour 6 days a week. You can get everything you need from plants, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Vegetarians that are sick and tired must be eating junk food. I recently had my vitamin B12 tested and it’s fine, I do sprinkle some nutritional yeast on my salad a few times a week, but I just started doing that. Eating meat is eating a corpse, I can’t see anything healthy about it. Health isn’t the reason I am vegetarian though, its my love of animals and the cruel way they are treated.

  10. I started my vegan diet about a month ago and just recently I’ve been having pain in my upper stomach, where my intestines are. Should I be concerned or what?

  11. I switched my diet to plant based about 3 weeks ago…. I need to work on feeling energized, happy and focused but maybe the transition has me feeling a bit tired or blauhhh …. I am looking for a good menu for holiday meals.
    I am taking a multi vitamin because of the tired feeling. Thinking about doing a cleanse like renew life whole body cleanse. I get the snacks fruits and veggies but I need to find main dish recipes that are good.

  12. I always thought of vegans as vegetarians with a moral objection to animal products but my choice to switch to a whole plant based diet came strictly out of necessity. Having a stroke at 42, high BP, diabetes and a myriad of other health issues, I went vegan on the suggestion of my nutritionist and my trainer. Movies like Forks over Knives and What the Health helped me to affirm my resolve to go entirely plant based. Since doing so, I’ve not only lost weight while eating tons but I’ve also had an overall general increase in my sense of well being. People ate under this general misconception we must consume meat or dairy but that’s simply not true, I get all the nutrients I need, plus I plan meals ahead and save tons of $ not eating fast food. For me, going vegan as a health choice has had nothing bu ry positive effecrs!

  13. I agree with you… normally vegan people tend to forget they have come from the society of non-vegan..when non-vegan had respected their choice of living…why vegan forced other they should live on their choice of living…respect every one of their choices..

  14. What happens to those of us that are already small by nature but want to stop eating animals and other not vegan food. Not at 47 years old. I have stopped using leather and animal products however I struggle with eating.

  15. Hello, I’m starting a podcast and one of the topics is going to be Veganism. Whilst I myself am not Vegan, I do plan to start reducing the amount of meat and by-products in my life.
    I was wondering if I could possibly get links/ sources to the facts and figures used and if I could possibly get your personal reason for going Vegan. I would greatly appreciate it :) Your website is extremely interesting and has proved a great source of info.

    Many thanks,


  16. Hi, Thanks for your awesome share. Actually, Going vegan has lots of health benefits, like lowering the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even some cancers. You just need a little planning to make sure you’re getting the fuel you need. A vegan diet excludes all animal products, including dairy.

  17. I recently switched to being a Whole Foods vegetarian ( no fake meat, etc). It’s been about 45 days. I’m still suffering my loose stools since my conversion to vegetarianism. Any tips to help with this?

    • Have you introduced new foods? Drastically increased the fiber in your diet? These are the 2 most common causes of bloating. Sorry to hear about your struggles, some have an easier time to adjust than others. Typically, it goes away after 1-4 weeks or so. Should you have an underlying gut issue, this won’t be fixed by food and you’ll have to look into it more.
      My tip: fewer cruciferous veggies, onions, garlic and legumes for now.
      Let me know if you need more support!

  18. Hi Alena, great article. I have found since becoming vegan (april last year) my hair is just terrible. Just so dry and I am convinced it has thinned also. Do you have any suggestions? I’ve looked at all sorts of supplements and external hair treaments to feed the hair -but I’m at a bit of a loss of what is best. Thanks, Julie x

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