7 Possible Side Effects of Going Vegan

by Alena

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

Brown Haired Woman Lying Face Down on Bed and Sleeping

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.

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 added sugar, oil and any highly processed foods.

2. Having to Cook and Experiment

person holding a black pan with cooked lentils and vegetables in her hand and standing next to an open window

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.

smiling blonde woman leaning on the wooden counter in her kitchen next to a cake with the words online vegan cooking classes and brownble on the right side

3. Dealing With Cravings

Woman holding layered oreo cake with lots of chocolate and cream

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

Afro American woman with stomache ache sitting on bed, holding her stomach with both hands

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.

Low-Fiber Vegan Diet Guide

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.

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

Blonde woman sitting cross-legged on a countertop in a minimalist kitchen, drinking a cup of tea

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 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. Ongoing Education

Brown haired woman with cozy white sweater sitting outdoors reading a book

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.

Make Your Life Easier with Our Complete Vegan Starter Kit

Four eBooks of the Complete Vegan Starter Kit by Nutriciously with Handwritten Font

If you’re trying to go vegan or want to take your plant-based eating to the next level, this eBook bundle will help you succeed. We cover all the important topics and burning questions in a well laid out format in 6 eBooks and some printable cheat sheets. Here is what you will find inside:

  • 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 eBook with 40 mouth-watering whole food vegan recipes that will please even non-vegans
  • A complete 2-week whole food plant-based meal plan including 56 recipes & shopping lists
  • … and a whole lot more!
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Other posts you might like

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.

Alena sitting in a cafe with a bowl of fresh plant-based food and a glass of coffee in front of her

About Alena Handwritten FontAlena Schowalter is a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with her husband, she founded nutriciously in 2015 and has been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages towards a healthy plant-based diet. She’s received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy and social work. Alena enjoys discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature and creating new recipes.

85 thoughts on “7 Possible Side Effects of Going Vegan”

  1. I have been vegan a long time! Definitely not lacking in energy.
    Vegan “diets” aren’t just about being skinny and amazing – it’s about way more than that. Even if a meat eater was 100% healthy and a vegan (by lack of some nutrients) is 90% healthy I would choose the latter because of the other benefits of the lifestyle – not contributing to the ills of the dairy industry and the slaughterhouses. It’s a spiritual thing for me. BUT luckily the science is there as well. Even the USDA says we need to eat less meat and dairy. Disease can be prevented and even reversed with a plant-based diet. Real studies show this. BUT I know what you mean in this article – I think you did a great job of breaking down why people don’t like it and why it doesn’t work for them. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hey Juli,
      thanks so much for your comment! And thanks for getting what my intention was – I’ve been getting a lot of negative feedback from vegans related to this article. I know that people are looking for this term and want to argue why veganism is so unhealthy… it was actually hard to come up with 7 things that could be “side effects”. And I didn’t want it to be cheesy like “Side effect #1 you’ll be very healthy, side effect #2 you’ll save the environment” etc. There are a few concerns because some people think a vegan diet consists of veggies only and that will make them go back to an omnivorous diet. Just some basics on how to succeed :)
      Thanks again for stopping by!
      Warm wishes,

      • Hi Alena! This was such a wonderful and eye opening article! I’m glad I came across it today having just turned Vegan 2 days ago! ? Thank you so much for writing it! ? Love from Singapore!

  2. I enjoyed reading this article. I have changed to a plant based-diet a couple of weeks ago and I am experiencing the transition that you have mentioned, however, each day I feel stronger than the day before and have not suffered with chronic sinusitis in a week vs everyday of my life that I ate meat and dairy. Thanks for the motivation!!!

    • Hey Teri,
      wow that sounds amazing! Thanks so much for sharing. Must be such a motivation to feel better every day :)
      Let us know if you come across any hardships so we can support you.
      All my best,

  3. Great article especially for the people who may face some difficulties into veganism. I also like the books you propose. Actually i educated myself into veganism reading these books (long after I became vegan) and especially “The Starch Solution” made my life soooo much easier!

    Thanks for sharing :)

    • Thanks for the comment, Vicky! We personally have found it easy to go and stay vegan, though this doesn’t that there aren’t possibly any caveats to eating a vegan diet. We love The Starch Solution as well! Great and easy concept. Personally, we don’t stick to a particular diet or concept anymore, just trying to fill up on nutritious whole plant-based foods :)

  4. I have changed to a plant based diet for about 2 months now and I am super excited I have never felt more energy and more healthier in my life!! The one side effect that I have been noticing that I am not particularly fond of is my oily skin I have never in my life had oily skin and I have a bunch of bumps across my forehead that bother the crap out of me but I am hoping they go away soon and maybe that it is just bad toxins leaving my body free eating so bad on my life any suggestions as to why this happens?

    • Hi Lamonica,
      thanks for your comment. I’m glad that you’ve reaped such amazing benefits from your diet change so far :)
      Regarding your oily skin: do you still consume any oils? Are you heavy on the nuts or coconut milk? We do recommend a whole food plant-based diet with a limited amount of nuts and seeds. Some people need to restrict their fats even more in order to have healthy skin. Check out this video for more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Qdwn2itsgg
      All my best,

  5. Thank you this was very helpful as I have been svegan for 2 months now and was experiencing serious digestive issues yesterday. Now I know it’s because I was eating way to much fiber all at once, and I know what to do now so thank you.

    • My pleasure to help anyone who’s wanting to make a change! Hope you’re feeling better soon and that your body finds a way to adjust. We used to eat over 100 grams of fiber per day thousands of years ago, so our bodies are capable of working through a lot :)

  6. Thanks for this info! My husband and I slowly slipped into the vegetarian stage, and hope to eventually become complete vegan. I’m reading everything I can to become knowledgeable as possible. It’s only been a short amount of time, but we’re both seeing changes that we love, and the best part is we’re not constantly hungry!

    • Hey Christie,
      thanks for your comment! I was so happy to hear you guys are wanting to transition together :) Great that our little blog has been helpful to you. Have you joined our free e-course in transitioning to a plant-based diet? Could be interesting. Check it out here: http://nutriciously.com/course/
      Let me know if you need any further support.
      Best wishes,

  7. Thanks for this post. My husband and I decided to go vegetarian about 2 months ago. We would like to go full vegan but with our kids (5, 3, and 1) we are having a hard time figuring out foods to feed them for lunches. The older ones know what animal products taste like so they have been rough to switch. Luckily they no longer drink cows milk and yogurt which has been a huge help with our 3 year olds exzema and our 5 year olds constant constipation.

  8. Thank you for this information, I to switched a couple days ago to a plant based foods, I am experiencing lots of hunger pains and am not getting enough to eat. Is this normal when you switched right over from everyday foods?? I am staying away from All meats and dairy product. Is this allowing my stomach to shrink??

    • It’s normal when switching from a carnist diet to a plant-based diet to feel an appetite for foods you used to eat, and to not feel totally satisfied by new plant-based dishes. Your body is also going through a change as it begins taking in plant foods versus flesh foods. One rule that I learned a lot from: eat when you are hungry. I can’t stress this enough. As long as they are plant-based and whole foods (fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains), you can’t really go wrong with several meals a day. If you try to adhere to the same macro goals (or visual goals, e.g. a handful of berries, one half of a banana, two tbsp peanut butter, other crap advice like that) as you had with a SAD diet you will feel very differently (negatively) with a plant-based diet. Eat a lot (if you’re hungry for it), just make it whole and plant-based!

    • Hi there Kim,
      I hope that you’re feeling better by now! Please don’t just eat veggies instead of meat but make sure to include more calorically dense foods like beans, tofu/tempeh products, nuts, seeds, and whole starches into your diet. These foods should be your staples to which you then add calorically dilute but nutritionally dense fruits and vegetables :) Does that make any sense? Feel free to email me so we can go over what you’re eating and how you could improve this.
      Best wishes,

  9. Alena, thank you *so* much for this article. Coming up on my three year veganniversary this winter, and I know that I would have had a rough go of a transition if I hadn’t done my research, counted my calories (at first), and was willing to experiment and start cooking. (And if I had wanted to change for my health rather than because I realized how unethical and environmentally devastating carnism is!)

    This is a phenomenal guide, and I’m so glad it has so many external links to various books and cheat sheets. I hope a lot of people find inspiration in this and decide to make the change for real.

    Thanks again!

    • Hi Rikki,
      wow – thank you SO MUCH for this comment! Really made my day here. I’m so happy to be able to provide useful information and resources for you. Amazing that you’ve been vegan for 3 years already :) And still no protein deficiency, right?
      Let me know if you ever need further support – you can always reach me via email.
      All my best,

  10. HI Alena
    I started eating a vegan diet last April and my reason may be different then others. Since 2011 I have reduced the amount of meat and dairy products to try and reduce my cholesterol levels. But I still ate some thinking I needed it for protein. I was able to reduce it a little but not to my doctors satisfaction. So after watching a documentary on eating a plant based diet for a healthy heart and to lower cholesterol levels, decided to give it a try. I bought and read ” Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease “by Dr. Esselstyn. After three months I had my levels tested and they went down quite alot to almost normal. My doctor was amazed. I am continuing with it and feel great. I have lost 20 lbs. and only find it hard when not eating at home. I highly recommend a plant based diet no matter what your reasons are.

    • Hey Carol,
      thank YOU SO much for sharing this with us! What an inspiring story – I’m very happy to hear about your results. So well done! Are you continuing this diet now? Did you cut out oils or fatty foods as well? Would be very interesting since my father in law also has pretty high cholesterol.
      Let us know if we can support you in any other way!
      All my best,

  11. Hey there! My husband and I transitioned to vegan over a year ago after watching Forks Over Knives. I have to say we have been far from perfect.

    I still “cheat” when we eat out, and Rick occasionally has a piece of cheese pizza. However, I have learned a lot about how to cook vegan, including an incredible seitan turkey from the vegandad blog.

    I take comfort in the fact that most people I know who are 100% vegan went vegan slowly over a period of years. My hubby and I tried to go cold turkey. The fact that we’re about 90% vegan is at least better than nothing! :-D

    • Hi Anna,
      thanks so much for sharing! Sounds great what you guys are doing – if you treat veganism as a diet, rather than an ethical stance, I get that you want to cheat here and there. Eating 90% plant-based is awesome and you still have time to go all the way :) Already making a great difference at this level, I believe.
      Feel free to reach out via email if you need any further support!
      Best wishes,

  12. Nice article, its hard to be a vegetarian much less a vegan in Jamaica. Meat is staple here and u can get away from it, ever since I started my no flesh diet I’ve been more active, less sluggish and over all happier. Reading and trying new stuff has been the norm for me now. But like I said Jamaica isn’t vegan and going to a restaurant asking for a vegan meal, will leave you high on carbs and unwanted saturated fats and deeply unsatisfied. I try to stick to the principles of my diet, though its hard being addicted to most of the poison found in process food. Kind of why I started to prepare my food from scratch, the less processes the end product the less chemicals you can’t pronounce are in it. But really my biggest problem is people thinking I’m trying to loose weight,( though I would like to) I didn’t start it to do that. Even got a few try eat fish, advocators, but the thing is if I were to eat fish I really be get fish that are fed on ingredients that are designed to make it bigger faster, it hard trying to explaining myself to people. But if it was easy it wouldn’t be fun right?.

    • Great that you’re making changes whenever you can! Preparing vegan meals at home is a good start already and try to make is as plant-based as possible when you’re out. Less processed is always better but don’t be too hard on yourself and tackle one thing at a time!
      Best of luck

  13. This November will mark one year “plant based” for me and girlfriend. I work construction and it is difficult to find plant based whe n working on the road. Home is piece of cake. Went from doctor want to put me on high blood pressure meds and borderline diabetic to normal healthy numbers. And all within two months. Investing in healthy food best investment of my life

    • Haha loved the “home is a piece of cake” part! Yes, so easy to eat plant-based when preparing your own food – so awesome to know that you kind of healed your body by changing your diet. Very proud of you :)
      When on the road, look out for baked potatoes, rice dishes, pasta marinara, breads, salad, grilled veggies, fresh fruit, veggie pizza without cheese, avocado sushi and more. This could help you: http://nutriciously.com/vegan-fast-food/

  14. I just switched to vegan eating 3 1/2 months ago. I read the book “Health Power: Health by Choice, not by Chance” and it really opened my eyes to the unhealthy animal food diet that most Americans eat, so I decided to eat more plant foods and fiber. Then I read the book through again and decided to go vegetarian. After reading the book the 3rd time, I knew that Vegan was the ONLY way to go, and I switched cold-turkey. I am loving it. I used to be pre-diabetec. My labs after just 2 1/2 months showed I was nowhere near any risk for Diabetes anymore. I also lost 20 lbs (while eating LOTS of food) and now weigh what the Metropolitan Life Insurance Weight Table says I should weigh (1st time since I was 28 – I’m 69 now)! My cholesterol went down 44 points, and it’s 145 now. (At one point in my life, it was over 300.) My hubby even lost 12 lbs just eating what I’m cooking. I never in a million years expected to be one of those “weird” vegan people, because I figured I could never really give up meat. Well, it’s a done deal now and I’m never going back. This is definitely a good fit for me, and I’m loving all the whole foods, grains, breads, beans, lentils, fruits, veggies, etc. It’s opened up a whole new world. I was never really into cooking, and now I can’t wait to try the next new vegan recipe. I just discovered your website on Pinterest and will be a regular visitor. This is a great article. So far a few friends have asked the “you don’t eat cheese” question, or they think I’m dieting; but most have been encouraging and are very interested themselves. Making the switch food-wise has been no problem at all. I’ve loved it from “day 1” and it just keeps getting better.

    • Hi Kris,
      thank you so much for this beautiful comment and insight! I’m so happy for you and proud of all the changes you’ve made. It’s so amazing to see vegan/plant-based diets work for people over and over again, taking care of many ailments that came from improper diet and lifestyle choices (we’ve all been there…)
      Keep us posted! We’d love to hear back from you some time. Feel free to reach out whenever you have a question.
      All my best,

  15. Hey,
    I am currently 18 years old and gave up milk for about a month now. I still have yogurt and cheese but in terms of drinking milk, I switched from cow milk to almond milk. This has lead to a lot of digestive problems to the point where I got hammeroids. What should I do? Should I go back to drinking milk?

    • Hmm that’s strange. Maybe there’s something in the almond milk you cannot digest well – maybe carrageenan? Try a different plant-based milk, one with the only ingredients being “soy beans, water”, maybe some salt added. Sorry to hear about your problems! Please get checked by a health professional.

  16. Hi new vegan. Congratulations in wanting to change your diet. I doubt the almond milk alone gave you hemorrhoid since you are still eating cheese and yogurt, you are still consuming some dairy. I switched to plant-based diet now 10 weeks ago after a friend lent me her copy of “how not to die”. It’s been a gradual adjustment and change in my whole body. I eat a lot more than I used to, but small amounts at a time. A small bowl of stir fry brown rice with tons of vegetables fills you up faster than a huge steak. But you may be hungry a couple of hours later, so you grab a bowl of edamame. So I’m never hungry and constantly eating through out the day.
    And then you start noticing changes in you body. Your body starts purging the toxins you have accumulated all these years. The amount of waste you have increase enormously. You may have a flare of acne even. Your gut flora is changing, your blood and brain chemistry is changing. If you are on medication, make sure you see your doctor if you feel like your medication is not working anymore. I was on hypertension medications and 4 weeks after switching, I felt sick and we had to cut all my medications by half. Now 8 weeks later we cut them off except one I’m on the lowest dosage of it. I lost weight too, trimmed because I really didn’t need to lose much. I started first walking and picked up running again because I felt so much happier and have so much more energy at the end of a 9 hours work day.
    So my advice to you is, once you make the switch, your body will get to work to detox and clean house, just be patient with it. Now I sleep better and my skin is clear. Do take B12 et D Vitamin supplements. Dr Greger book how not to die is a great resource when it comes to what to eat and how much. Good luck.

  17. I switched to a vegan diet because I had a heart attack a couple years ago however I have been experiencing horrible bloating after I go to bed I wake up 2 hours later and I look like I’m 11 months pregnant and there is pain right underneath my breast bone it doesn’t happen every night but quite often

  18. Hello Alena,

    Thank you for your article! My boyfriend and I switched to a Vegan diet yesterday and I cannot be more like excited! My only concern is that I do not need to lose any weight so I am concerned that I need to be more diligent than he may need to on my consumption of foods. Any advice?

    Thank you!

    • Hi there Sarah,
      thanks for reaching out! So awesome that you guys switched to a vegan diet, I’m very excited for you :) Hope it’s been going well so far.
      When it comes to weight control on a vegan (or any!) diet, I’d suggest you make yourself familiar with the concept of calorie density – meaning the number of calories per pound of a food. Eating a whole head of lettuce will fill you up more but give you the same amount of calories as 2 almonds. So, even though eating veggies is a healthy thing to do, make sure to fill your plate with starches first. Baked/steamed potatoes are the much more calorie dilute than whole grains and flour products like pasta or bread even give you more energy per bite. So, you can make it a point to not eat too many veggies, include nuts, seeds, avocados, dried fruit, bread/crackers, smoothies and some treats and you probably won’t lose any weight unless you only eat a small amount of food each day.
      Hope this helps, feel free to email us any time for more support :)

  19. Hi. I’m 20 and just jumped into a vegan diet without much of an issue almost 2 weeks ago. Of course, it’s not perfect yet and I have to do some research so I have a greater knowledge of foods I should be eating, but I’ll get there. I’ve heard plenty of arguments for and against veganism though, and I know veganism is the right decision. The anti-vegan argument you mentioned about fatigue and lack of energy from a vegan diet, I haven’t experienced anything like that so I must be doing something right. I feel just as alert and energetic as I did when I was consuming animal products. It didn’t take me long to figure out I need to take in a bigger quantity of food with each meal, so that’s what I’ve been doing with foods that I think I should be eating. I am experiencing a bit of a problem that just started recently though. For the first week I was able to handle how much more I was eating with each meal and felt satiated afterwards. However, when I try to eat the same amount as before my stomach just can’t hold that much down. The first time this happened (yesterday) I had to throw a small portion of it up. I tried to hold it all in but I just couldn’t and it forced it’s way out. Today I wasn’t very hungry at lunch despite not having eaten much for several hours before. I took considerably less than yesterday when it was too much. But my stomach was fighting me and I felt a slight gag reflex as I ate, and had to eat slowly so as to not make it worse. It stayed down, and tonight at dinner my normal appetite was back. But now, after having had some tea, I’m experiencing that slight gag reflex again. What could this be? I don’t believe it’s the food I’m eating. I’ve been choosing a variety of raw and cooked vegetables and for now spinach is my go-to leafy green. I also have things like rice and sometimes pasta. Fries are a guilty pleasure but I try to limit my intake of those. Could I have just been eating too much to begin with and my stomach is saying no more? Because other than this slight blip I feel amazing. How much is too much? I generally only eat two meals a day because of my college meal plan and I just don’t want to become calorically deficient.

    Oh, and I have another question. My family are among the group that believe we are naturally omnivores and think the consumption of animal products is necessary and healthy. I won’t dare tell them I’m vegan because I don’t believe they would let me stay on the diet. This isn’t an issue when I’m at college but it’s much more difficult to manage at home. I just got back from break and when I’m home I get offered animal products multiple times a day. I’m really concerned about being able to maintain the diet over longer breaks like christmas and summer. I was able to deflect by saying I’d have it later, or just flat out lying. For example, my mom told me to finish the ice cream, which I agreed to. But when she left the kitchen I poured it down the sink. This will work for awhile but they might catch on sooner or later. I stress just thinking about all the times we’ll potentially go out to eat. I probably can’t find a way to excuse myself every time and I already know it would be much harder to hide when ordering off a menu. I suppose I could always or most of the time order spaghetti with plain sauce or something, but avoiding the animal products every time might arouse suspicion. I meant it when I said I never want to eat animal products again but my parents would be the contributing factor as to why I would. I hate it when parents think they know best regarding a certain topic and they actually don’t. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Hi there Meg,

      thanks for getting in touch! Wonderful that you made an informed choice and went vegan. What other right answer could there be? This article wasn’t at all supposed to be an “anti-vegan argument” and we just wanted to mention a few things that can happen when you don’t transition/prepare properly : )

      Sorry to hear about your struggles with food and portions! Could it be that you’re just eating a whole bunch of vegetables? We’re suggesting a starch-based vegan diet most of the time because that’s the fuel our bodies usually thrive on. So have the potatoes and rice, the beans and pasta and bread on the center of your plate and add colorful, non-starchy vegetables to these filling foods. You’ll find that you have to eat a smaller volume before you’re full and have ingested enough energy that way. I haven’t heard of people accidentally throwing up their food except for when they really force it down or have some type of food poisoning. You might want to have that checked! Good to know that you’re trying to get enough calories in, so make sure to choose denser foods like flour products, nuts, seeds, or dried fruit to achieve that.

      Moving over to your family… no matter if we’re naturally omnivores, there are plenty of examples and studies showing that you can be very healthy on a vegan diet. So human beings don’t have to consume animal products in order to thrive, which is a wonderful thing! It wouldn’t be very ethical to suggest we stop eating something we require to be healthy, right. Aren’t you allowed to choose your own diet? Anyway, it’s a good idea to not tell everybody about this for now until you see good results and know the answers to popular questions or concerns (http://nutriciously.com/vegan-comebacks/)

      I see what you mean when it comes to staying with your family for a longer period of time. Maybe you could frame it in a way that seems like this is just a temporary experiment for you? Having to lie all of the time isn’t sustainable, nor does it give you a good feeling. So you would need to ease their concerns here! Agree to get regular blood tests done and if you’ll get deficient in something, you would do what it takes to stay healthy. They cannot really argue with great blood work.

      I have a few awesome videos that could be helpful to you here:
      There are many sources showing how it has so many health benefits when you eat a whole foods vegan diet, so get them out and show them to your parents someday : )

      Hope this answered some of your questions!
      Wishing you all the best,

  20. I went vegan a few months ago after being vegetarian my whole life. I feel pretty bad, not gonna lie. As much as I try different recipes and read new info, my stomach hurts, I have bad gas, and just generally not feeling sexy in my body with gas all the time. I might start eating organic (and local) eggs and dairy again. >_< so ashamed.

    • Hi Cora,
      sorry to hear about your issues! What exactly do you think eggs and dairy contain that help with your bloating? Anyway, if you’d like to make the vegan diet work for you, here are some tips:
      I understand that you want to go back to your old ways if you’re feeling crappy right now. Please don’t be ashamed of it! Maybe it’s a food that you added on your vegan diet that you don’t digest too well? Maybe it’s too much fiber all of a sudden? There’s nothing helpful in dairy or eggs, they are just devoid of fiber.
      Good luck to you x

  21. 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!

  22. 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 :)

  23. 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

  24. 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,

  25. 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

  26. 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.

  27. 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!

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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?

  31. 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.

  32. 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!

  33. 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..

  34. 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.

  35. 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,


  36. 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.

  37. 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!

  38. 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

  39. I’ve been going full vegan for a month now.
    beans and rice for every dinner(warmed up) and pb & j with banana for lunch,
    an apple sometimes, and mixed nuts occasionally helps with better stools.

    I’m having an real issue with forming any solid poop, it’s almost like diahrea(almost)
    I’m eating fritos corn chips and other vegan snacks.
    I’m also taking Naturelos’s vegan multivitamins.

    now looking at a vegan iron supplement and other vegetables to help solidify stools.

    What do I need more of?Thanks!

    • Hey Zac, thanks for getting in touch! Having proper digesting is definitely important for overall health, absorption of nutrients and more. If I were you, I’d definitely have this checked by a medical professional because nobody on the internet would be able to tell you what exactly is the issue in your specific case :) It could either be a specific food or food group you’re reacting to or something lifestyle-related, such as stress. Only proper testing will tell and just leaving out a certain food forever is dealing with the symptom instead of going for the root cause.
      Wishing you all the best!

  40. Been plant based 6 weeks now, have more energy than ever before. At 39 years old I regret not doing this much much sooner. Blood pressure And A1c improved a lot.

      • I did when I first went vegan. It usually meant that I wasn’t eating enough or I was lacking a nutrient. It was often accompanied by nausea. B12 and iron deficiencies can also cause that type of reaction. I’ve been vegan nearly three years now and I know if my mood drops then I’m lacking B12 while lightheadedness is usually iron for me. It’s worth keeping a food diary to record when you feel that way and see how much you are actually eating compared to what– and the type of things — you should be eating.

  41. I’m originally from Texas and went plant based Jan 1. Which means most of my family thinks I’ve lost my mind! I’ve been contemplating it for about a year, so the transition has been relatively easy and fun to discover all the new foods. What was even more fun was seeing a major reduction in inflammation & bloat 3 weeks in. So, I recently went all the way and cut out the remaining dairy. One week in, I’m seeing further reduction of inflammation and starting to lose weight. Energy levels are up and I can’t imagine going back!

    Great info in this article. Thank you!

  42. I have just started after watching two documentaries. I am 74 and have no serious health problems other than a lack of energy and blood pressure than is a little higher than normal. My problem is that I haven’t had the time to gather all the ingredients for homemade salad dressing yet. If I eat a brand like Olive Garden Italian am I ruining my whole diet. I am still researching recipes for sauces and dressings. Day 1 I ate smashed avocado on whole grain toast for breakfast, and a hugh wrap with whole grain and flax tortilla ( the inside was beans, lettuce, olives and I mixed avocado with salsa for sauce.) It was delicious, but I ate way too much At least it did away with my cravings for junk food. lol

  43. I come from a family that eats a lot of meat especially during the holidays like tamales, posole, menudo (I’m Mexican). My family thinks I’m crazy. My husband (Serbian) also comes from a country where they eat a lot of meat and dairy like cevapi, karagorgiva, burek. Nonetheless we don’t care what anyone says, our health is our priority!

  44. I am getting a heartburn sensation around an hour or so after I eat. Thia happened also two years ago when I was on keto.
    I started wfpb about a month, and even before that, I noticed that i got this sensation when I ate legumes or plantain for example.
    When I was on keto, I would take zantac, but that’s not a choice anymore.
    I’ve googled about this, and all I’ve found it’s bloating and gas related to wfpb diet. It’s usually after lunch. I

  45. Hi
    Good read. I’ve been making switch to vegetables diet and im pretty skinny already but I now have lost like 10 or 15 pounds and am barely 100 pounds now. This worries me. I am very lethargic now and im also having muscle weakness in legs and trouble swallowing. I get all the amazing health benefits but im struggling with these side effects and am thinking of going back to adding chicken into diet. I have already been doing fish (salmon mainly). Is that okay or like agh I don’t know 2hat to do. I am taking calcium and b12 supplements as well . I dont think I am getting enough calories in day
    Please help!

    • Hi Abby,
      we don’t suggest you go on a “vegetable” diet when going vegan — there are more important food groups, especially whole grains, legumes and nuts & seeds which make sure you get enough energy and meet all of your nutritional requirements. Please add as much as you can of these to your current diet or seek professional help because it sounds like you’re becoming malnourished! How did you get the idea that you were supposed to follow a vegetable diet?
      Here’s a thorough guide I wrote a while back: http://nutriciously.com/vegan-food-pyramid/
      All my best!

  46. I find it interesting “having to cook” as a possible side effect of going vegan. But I think I understand what you mean. In a way, I think going vegan asks you to get a bit creative in the ways we think of vegetables/grains/fruits etc. and continuously create delicious dishes (I find it super fun and satisfying!).

    In terms of energy, though, I think it’s vital to also get adequate exercise to keep our bodies strong. If we’re going to nourish ourselves so well, why not make time for a bit of exercise? I have had more energy than ever after about 4 months of veganism, with regular light exercise.

    Whenever I’ve told friends/family of going vegan…the main response I get is “why”? And I can’t say I wouldn’t ask them the same if I were in their position, but it also feels slightly narrow-minded. Almost like, “why waste your time” though I don’t think it’s meant to come off that way. Maybe more them just trying to understand the ultimate reasons for this lifestyle. Don’t take things personally, people will always (quietly or not) judge.

    • thanks so much for your insight and I 100% agree with everything! it’s an older article which needs some more love from me again, but having to cook is actually something I heard from aspiring vegans why they hesitate to take the plunge. I’ve grown up with homecooked meals each day and learned to cook at an early age, so this was never hard for me but in today’s convenient food society, it is for some people.


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