1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How can I stay healthy now?

Discussion in 'Physical & Sexual Health' started by Spot, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Spot

    Full Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2015
    Messages:
    881
    Likes Received:
    71
    Location:
    Wonderland
    Gender:
    Male (trans*)
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Straight but curious
    Out Status:
    Some people
    So I'm having a lot of trouble trying to keep my diet balanced lately. Especially since my classes have started, I don't have time to make up a meal and I honestly feel like I just survive on water, crackers and toast at this point. But that's not my main issue. I've cut a lot out of my diet for various reasons and I'm worried about the effect it's having on my body. I'm not really sure how to make up for what I'm lacking.

    Firstly, I've been trying to basically cut meat out of my diet slowly. I'll probably eat it once a week now and it's mostly white meat. This is because I can't really see it as anything other than dead animal flesh and I can't see it as food. I'm envious of those who can just eat it without thinking about all that, honestly. I'm still recovering (lol) from the dissection I had to do last year in Biology. That really fucked me up, I had to sit outside for the second half of the class because this crazy woman made me slice open a pig fetus and feel its organs. I felt like I was going to faint so I sat outside for a whole period, then went home and cried for like five hours. Anyway, every time I see meat, I just think back to cutting the piglet and it makes me feel sick. I also work at an animal shelter and it's been hard for me to see how we as shelter workers can value the lives of some animals but then go home and eat others. We literally take care of chickens at the shelter so it just feels wrong that I can also eat chicken.

    The end goal is to become a vegetarian but I don't want to rush into it because I've heard it's way harder that way. Like if you immediately cut something off altogether, it's like your body starts craving it. I know this for a fact because I've tried to become a vegetarian in the past but I've failed. I'm doing really well so far this time and I'm actually not craving meat too much at all.

    Anyway, I really don't think I'm getting enough iron or protein this way. I've noticed I have like four or five unexplainable bruises on this one leg, some are pretty dark but my leg's also pale so that might be why. I've been really drained and pale too. The circles under my eyes are so dark and I didn't even realize. I thought it might've been because of classes and study, I thought I might've just been burnt out but now I'm 99% sure it is in fact anemia. I'm just so tired. I want to sleep right now but I knew it was important to ask about this first because I'll regret it if I don't. I don't think I'll see a doctor because I'm pretty sure I already know what the problem is. Protein, I just think I'm lacking in it because I don't eat chicken or fish much and I don't eat eggs. Those are literally the only foods with protein that I can think of. I could maybe eat eggs but I don't know. I've squicked myself out because I tell myself that eggs are like a chicken's menstrual cycle and I just feel weird. It's not that I'm vegan so it's not a diet requirement, I just overthink everything.

    I'm also trying to cut products made from cow's milk out of my diet because I'm lactose intolerant. I've always been lactose intolerant but I just put up with the pain until it got too much to handle. It seems I've gotten worse over the years. Cow's milk just makes me sick and gives me bad stomach cramps. Some people with lactose intolerance have goat's milk instead but that still makes me sick, I thought it'd be the next best thing but sadly it didn't work out. I also tried "lactose-free" products but that still gave me cramps. Apparently, "lactose-free" products can still contain traces of lactose in them. I drink soy now because it's just way better for me, I don't get any pain at all. But I worry about my bones. This might sound stupid but I don't actually know if soy milk even has calcium in it.

    I'm just wondering, how am I supposed to get enough iron, protein and calcium now? And is there anything else I'm missing out on? Honestly, I don't know how vegans cope. I've been worrying about my vitamins and minerals ever since I started cutting things out.
     
    #1 Spot, Mar 13, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  2. I'm gay

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,500
    Likes Received:
    404
    Location:
    Reno
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Your school should have nutritional services available - perhaps you could see if a nutritionist is available to help you create a diet plan for you.
     
    J4yy likes this.
  3. Quantumreality

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2016
    Messages:
    4,183
    Likes Received:
    282
    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Hey Spot,

    I agree with @I'm gay.

    Each of us are individuals and our nutritional needs are unique based on our personal situation.Consulting with a nutritionist who understands you and your personal situation makes the most sense to me.

    Just saying...
     
  4. SomecallhimTim

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    U.S.
    Gender:
    Male (trans*)
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Some people
    It really is an individual thing, but as someone who has been a vegetarian for years (also working towards vegan) and dealt with similar health concerns, I can offer a few pointers. As far as I'm aware, calcium is not a huge concern as long as you are eating a variety of vegetables, a lot of them are good sources of calcium. The main things you have to worry about if you are cutting out animal products are B12, iron, and protein.

    B12 is only produced by certain bacteria that live in the guts of animals and you won't get any at all if you don't eat meat. Instead, you can take a B12 or B complex supplement a few times a week, or you could ask your doctor about B12 injections.

    You don't have to worry too much about iron as long as you're eating a good balance of vegetables. Dark leafy greens and tomatoes have a good amount. If you don't think you're getting enough iron, there are supplements available for that as well but I would suggest talking to your doctor about your diet first because too much iron is just as bad as too little and you have to be careful with it.

    As a vegetarian I get most of my protein from legumes. You don't need to worry about this one quite as much as long as you can find a way to eat a balanced diet. Legumes, whole grains, vegetables, and nuts all have protein in them and it's not at all difficult to get enough protein without eating meat. Just make sure to mix up what you're eating because none of those things are complete proteins. Cricket flour is also very good sources of protein as well as iron and B12.

    I am not a nutritionist and all of this advice is from personal experience and my own research. It is definitely an adjustment to become vegan, and I would suggest doing your own research and discussing it with your doctor. There are a lot of good online resources and recipes that could help you figure out how to adjust your diet.
     
  5. Chip

    Board Member Admin Team Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    12,685
    Likes Received:
    964
    Location:
    northern CA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    My experience (I hope I don't offend any nutritionists) is that most of the time, their advice is absolutely abysmal, and tends to focus on the Basic Food Groups (which, in itself, is a political document, not a science-based one, negotiated by the USDA and FDA in cooperation with all the various lobbies who bribe their way into changing the recommendations.) I've dealt with a half-dozen of them, and found that anything other than the most basic of questions they were utterly unable to handle without Googling information, which I could do myself.

    I also agree with somecallhimtim.

    There's one somewhat intriguing solution you might look into: There's a product called Soylent that's been around for about 5 years now that was developed by a nerdy programmer type who couldn't be bothered with eating, because it was an inconvenience. He developed a meal-replacement beverage, which he named Soylent (after the movie Soylent Green), which has since been carefully vetted by physicians, nutrition experts (*actual* doctoral-level nutrition experts) and biochemists. It seems to be pretty viable, and has tens of thousands of people using it. It's cheap (less than $2 a meal, I think) and people can subsist on it entirely, or use it in combination with other nutrition.

    There are a bunch of other knock-offs of Soylent, some of which are entirely of organic- and plant-origin sources, and with various other variances. I know less about the knock-offs, but some of them, from a quick glance, seem decent.

    I have a couple of friends who have used Soylent and are very happy with it. I know that probably isn't exactly what you were after, but it is an easy, cheap and convenient way to get good nutrition on the go. A quality vegetarian diet will likely be better, but requires a lot more effort. :slight_smile:
     
    #5 Chip, Mar 25, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018