i speak veganese

Hey, I haven’t burned the house down yet!

Archive for July, 2009

Second Thoughts???

Well, yes and no. My last post was about rethinking eating this way. I have read a few articles about it and seen some videos on the dangers of the vegan diet. Please see the post below and the comments. Quite frankly, I don’t know many vegans so I have to say, it is all really scary to me.

When I first began eating vegan all I read about was how great this diet was for individual health. I never really saw anything that opposed that idea. The first time the thought crossed my mind that I could get ill on this kind of diet was when I began feeling less energy. For the past two months or so, I have begun to feel like my energy levels aren’t quite what they used to be.

Last year, well before going vegan, I took up running. I can now say I’m pretty addicted to running. I run between 15-20 miles a week. I try to run four to five days a week. I also do strength training two to three times a week. So, I’m burning a lot of calories. However, the rest of my time is normally a lot more sedentary. So I try not to gobble up everything I see. On the vegan diet, however, there aren’t many calories to begin with. For the last two months though, it seemed that I had been lacking the energy and the power I had when I first started running. I was getting tired earlier on in my runs. That had not happened before. When you exercise and fall into a routine, your body normally gets used to what you’re doing and so eventually starts asking for more. It doesn’t start saying, “Wait a minute, I can’t do this anymore.” That indicator helps you know when you need a new challenge. So, getting winded so early was just strange.

I’ve decided to try some adjustments first to see if it could be anything besides eating vegan. Last week, I began to eat a nice-sized carb-full meal a couple hours before going to run (rather than my usual banana-which had worked well for a long time). It actually helped a lot. Rather than gasping for breath around the third mile (which is my minimum distance when I go for a run), I went four without showing any sign of being too taxed physically. I felt I could have gone five this week, but I didn’t want to chance it. I was able to increase my speed a few points as well this week.

Still, I know that there are other adjustments I need to make. I sometimes feel lightheaded. Though I used to experience this from time to time before going vegan, I experience it more often now that I am. Perhaps that is iron-related? I’m not sure. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to keep speculating about it without doing something about it. According to some of the literature out there on the dangers of this diet, by the time you find that something is wrong, it is too late. Sometimes the effects are irreversible. So, I’m planning on going to my doctor to get my blood levels tested to be sure that I can get a clean bill of health and continue eating this way. Or revise how and what I’m eating as a vegan.