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DianeSeekingInfo

Sick To Starving/can't Break The Cycle

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I am a sensitive celiac (diagnosed over a year ago after suffering from what I was told was IBS I just had to live with since I was 15 years old) who is vegan (20+ years) and also can

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Have you considered returning to an omnivore diet?

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Hi Diane. I remmember you posting this same thing several months ago. I'm concerned to hear you are still sick and starving. I think it may be time to reevaluate your veganism. I was vegetarian for 4 years (yes I know that's nowhere near as long as 20 years, but I was very serious about it) and I was always very sick and weak while eating vegetarian only. I'm not saying you have to start eating meat, but would you consider trying to add eggs or dairy to your diet? You can get raw milk from humanely treated cows if you look around and chicken eggs from farmers or people who love their birds and feed them all organicly. Unless you get some more protein in you diet you are going to continue to be sick I'm afraid. The human body needs FAT and protein to function. If you can't even eat any of the vegan forms of protein (nuts, legumes, lentils tofu, etc) or can't get enough vegan fats (olive oil, avocado, etc) you are going to continue to have issues.

To save time for others wanting to reply, here is Diane's post from a few months ago where she goes over her restrictions in more detail:

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I wrote a response but saw GFMANNA posted simultaneously....and I did not know this topic was already covered...For what it is worth, here is my reply.

You may be suffering from B-12 anemia, often typical in vegans and in people who have trouble getting enough protein and fat.

What is the reason why you cannot have "the main allergens"--are you allergic or intolerant? Have you been tested for other gastrointestinal tract issues like colitis or parasites? pancreatitis? H.pylori infection??There must be a reason why you cannot eat so many foods.

While I understand and honor your veganism, I sincerely believe you may need more PROTEIN and you are not going to get it from mouthfuls of chia seeds.

Quite frankly, you are binging because your diet is very limited and it sounds as if you are starving yourself.

Maybe you need to see a dietician or nutritionist (maybe even a naturopathic doctor?)--someone who can help you vary your diet and help you get strong and heal your gut so you can tolerate more foods.

Hon, try some eggs or meat or fish, avocados, nuts?? Maybe a baked sweet potato. That's my honest, humble opinion.

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Okay, let's see what we've got.

1. I hate to ask this, I mean seriously I do, but...how sensitive are you to corn? If you are really, really sensitive, it's likely that the Chex has corn. I believe all flavors have vitamin E, and most Vitamin E in the USA (if that's where you're at) is corn contaminated, as I understand it. Can't recall at the moment if it's a derivative or if corn is used as the carrier - with vitamins, it's usually a carrier. If corn really does a number on you, this might be why you still feel quite ill a lot. Also, white rice is usually polished with a corn product, as well, and tends to be corn contaminated, just a bit.

2. Have you ever GROWN your own grains, seeds, or beans? I have reacted to pretty much every grain I eat, too, with my gluten reaction. Someone finally suggested that it might all be gluten cc, due to so much shared processing, and going under that assumption, I've been changing how I approach them. This year, I harvested wild amaranth in my area, and I've been eating it without any trouble whatsoever (made me sick every time I ate any commercial brands). I know that they sell seeds for amaranth and quinoa at many gardening stores (at least where I'm at), or you could get them online, if you wish to try that and see if these might be something you could have. They are also both whole proteins, being seeds rather than grains, so that would be very good for you, yes? It's a long term solution, but might help. Or you might try a 'basement garden' where you get lights and set it up in the garage, so you can grow during the winter.

I have an allergy to some beans, but some seem okay (allergy-wise) even though I get a gluten reaction to them. So I'm currently growing some beans, too. Tried the same with sunflower seeds, as well, and had the same issue resolve: store bought sunflower seeds were no-go for me, home-grown ones I can eat with no trouble, apparently.

I don't know that this would help you, but it's a possibility, especially if you're sensitive.

3. Do you have allergies to nuts, or do you get the gut reaction? If it's the gut reaction - I have, again, the same issue with nuts. Can't buy 'em if they've been processed, but there are some farmers who had nut trees they just leave alone and harvest if it happens to get some. No processing, just picking and selling at market. Those, I do just fine with. Might be worth seeing if you can find safe, in-the-shell nuts, possibly, if it's NOT a hives/bad allergy reaction to them.

4. Okay, this is going go into extreme territory, but do you have any issues with bugs? I know you are vegan - do you eat honey, or do you avoid that as well due to the bees? If you can tolerate bugs, or the thought of eating bugs, even if other protein sources are just grossing you out too much, you might look into that. More cultures commonly have a few bug dishes, world-wide, than don't (according to Bizarre Foods, anyway. :D ) They even have cookbooks for this sort of thing: Eat a Bug Cookbook

5. Can you have melons? You can roast honeydew and cantaloupe seeds like pumpkin ones. You just have to crack them open and eat the inside, like you would a sunflower seed.

6. Have you ever looked at: fructose malabsorption, salycilate sensitivity, histamine sensitivity, parasites (especially giardia), or H. pylori? Many of these are affected by diet, but you'd have a response to a wide range of food.

7. One big question is: what are you doing for carbs, omega fatty acids, and B vitamins? I'm assuming a supplement for the B vitamin that is only in animals, yes? At this point, after being vegan so long, your stores have gone to be used up, I imagine. Do you trust your supplements? Most have corn. Also, iodized salt has corn, so if you need to avoid that, you'll need an iodine supplement too.

For myself, sweet potatoes are one of my huge carb sources, and they're about it. I, too, cannot have purchased grains, dairy, soy, eggs, most legumes, most purchased nuts, most purchased fish or shellfish, and so on and so forth. Living on avocados, seasonal veggies, and a few seasonal fruits. I only have one other food, which is beef from one rancher, and I'll be honest, I cannot stop feeling hungry without the meat. I've tried, because I was never a big meat eater, and I have not yet managed to do it. I just can't get it to work. Always hungry, that way.

Oh, one thing that helped me with vitamins a bit, though, was growing my own herbs. Might be worth checking out some of the vitamin content of herbs, as some can be a source of certain vitamins that it may be hard for you to get.

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It sounds like you might benefit from a lot more fat. Coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil... Will be filling and help with your energy deficit.

Can you do rice protein powder? Hemp protein? You really need to get more protein. I'm vegan and I have to say after reading this and your other post that it might be time to make friends with a rescue group and ask for their chickens' eggs for protein and B12.

B12 and iron are important. Can you supplement? Flora-vit or Floradix (one has honey) Have helped me but it's expensive.

Are you eating name brand Rice Chex? That stuff's not actually vegan. The brand uses sheep-derived vitamin D. (there are some vegan similar cereals that may not be gluten-free and that's why I asked.)

I really feel for you, I'm vegan too, but I can't imagine maintaining my vegan diet with these restrictions. I wouldn't start wearing leather or being wasteful, but I might consider finding a local farmer to provide eggs or something for minimum nutritional needs.

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What are you doing to encourage your immune system? Protect your stomach? Are you taking any probiotics? Sounds like more healing needs to be done and being on a very limited vegetarian diet you might not be getting all the nutrients your body needs. Have you thought about visiting a nutritionist?

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It would be good to find some foods more dense in calories that you can eat. I was vegan for about 30 years before my celiac diagnosis. I am extremely sensitive and my diet is extremely limited. I did add back dairy and some meat, just to have enough to eat. You might consider that. For dairy, I can only manage pasture fed. Meat, I get packaged in the processing plant. Even at that, I wash it with soap and water before cooking. I go through one pork tenderloin a week. At first I kind of had to gag it down because I hadn't eaten meat in so long. It's not so bad now. I need the nutrients.

You need to be more disciplined and try out more practical things to add calories to you diet rather than grabbing a protein bar which you know will make you sick.

Root vegetables are probably the best source of calories for a vegan. Those and avocados. Can you find a safe source? I know of a farmer in California who will ship citrus and avocados with only bugs and dirt on them. No pesticides. PM me if you are interested.

You could try farmer's markets. I have found potatoes I can tolerate there. Otherwise I grow my own. I am trying to grow my own as much as possible. I have gotten sick of taking a chance every time I buy something elsewhere.

How about Bariani olive oil? It's expensive, but tolerated by the most sensitive. I also do well with super expensive, volcano island honey.

Can you do nuts in the shell? Shell them yourself and wash them.

I have been there, and it can be done. It's not easy though.

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I can't thank you enough for these repsonses. I'm truly grateful for everything everyone has shared and I appreciate your time and your willingness to share your knowledge and experiences with me more than you know. I'm on a work deadline but am going to print these responses and go through everything, think about every comment and move forward from there. This is all truly invaluable information to me and again, I so appreciate your advice, opinions and encouragement. Thank yo so much!

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