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Confused About Veganism... What Do I Eat?

by Dan

I have been vegetarian for a month now and in my online research I am going a bit crazy as I keep getting contradictory answers.

I became vegetarian because I was tired of feeling bloated and sick every time I ate chicken. I gave up beef 22 years ago (I am a 46-year-old man) as well as milk as I believe myself to be lactose intolerant. I also want to lose weight- I've lost a little, but not as much as I need to lose.

Anyway, I've gone to vegetarian restaurants and I have enjoyed veggie burgers and veggie hot dogs. These came on wheat or maybe white flour buns. Either way I was disappointed because I would STILL feel bloated and sick afterwards! It has been suggested to me at a health food store that I may have a wheat and/or gluten allergy. Is it so that "gluten free" SPROUTED wheat or SPROUTED multigrain (that INCLUDES wheat!) is is ok? How? The clerk at the store says so. But the loaves are FROZEN and do not look very appealing! Yuck!

Then I am looking at the frozen veggie burgers and looking at the ingredients. Many have gluten and/or wheat. And those that are gluten/wheat free? Their number one ingredient is brown rice. And I read that brown rice, while greater in nutritional value that white rice--is nonetheless bad for you due to its high glycemic index, turning quickly into sugar by your body.

I am so confused! WHAT do I eat? Now I know your body absolutely does need SOME carbohydrates. I don't believe in a no- carbs diet. But I want to eat the right thing. And I am finding it hard to navigate what that is. I also want my food to be edible.

I am eating tons of: humus/chickpeas, edamame, dark greens, peppers, tomatoes, sunflower seeds and 1/2 a box of strawberries, 2 apples and two bananas daily. I have almond milk with gluten free corn cereal every morning. But for dinner I want vegan burgers and hot dogs (not another salad) but I don't want to feel sick from wheat bread. I suppose I could toast the frozen "sprouted" wheat/ multi-grain bread, but is that really good? Is brown rice in a veggie burger good?

Lastly, olive oil. Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Eat to Live

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Try your hand at cooking
by: Victoria

I definitely agree with the answer, and I'd like to elaborate on the point that cooking your own meals is really best for a vegan diet. You get complete control over what goes in--or doesn't go in--your food. This would also help you to figure out what your body responds to positively and what makes you feel sick.

A great cookbook I'd reccomend is Quick-Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson. All the recipes are supposed to take 30 minutes or less and they taste amazing! I'm not sure if you're really a fan of cooking, but a basic enjoyment in cooking is probably ideal.

It's also a very valid point that gluten-free and vegan often go hand-in-hand. I've bought a lot of vegan "treats" like cookies that have no eggs or dairy along with being gluten-free and organic.

As for Fuhrman's no oil thing, I'd say forget about it for now. You've made a lot of drastic changes in your diet lately, so it's best to focus on what is most important until you become comfortable. Not to mention, it's nearly impossible to find vegan recipes that don't use oil of some kind. If, after several months, you're comfortable enough to do more research into Fuhrman's program, go for it. But for now, go easy on yourself, and congratulations on your decision to limit animal products :)I hope things work out for you!

by: Anonymous

I have found and read numerous times that not drinking enough water while increasing plant based foods (increase in fiber) can cause the gassy, bloated feeling that we all hate.

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