Afraid I'm not getting all essential nutrients.

mayoosh_primrose
mayoosh_primrose Posts: 141 Member
I have switched to a vegetarian diet about 3 weeks ago after reading "Eat to live by Joel Fuhrman". My food now consists of fresh fruits, vegetables, beans and small amounts of nuts "0.5 oz/day". With no added sugar or pasta/rice.
I know it was the right decision, but I'm really edgy around food for fear that I'm missing some vital nutrient, like iron, zinc and calcium. What makes me worry is that sometimes my calcium intake is only 400-500 mg/day, so I reintroduced low fat dairy. Also, my skin has become very dry and my lips are chapped, maybe due to low fat intake "less than 20 grams/day", so I'm eating more healthy fats and if my skin doesn't return to normal I'll start freaking out :disappointed:
As for iron, I'm having a nutribar "50% DV iron" plus legumes so this is covered.
Iodine made me worried too because I stopped using salt completely, so now I'm using half a teaspoon a day and hoping it's enough "which is, according to the package".

Dr Fuhrman recommends taking a multivitamin, but I feel like this defeats the purpose. I don't want to live on pills for the rest of my life. This is why I've been trying to get everything covered via healthy food.

However, it seems like everytime I think I found the answer some other nutrient pops up "selenium and zinc for example" and I obsess over whether I'm missing it in my food...kinda nerve-wrecking.

Moreover, in my country they don't provide any soy products so I can't use them. And my whole family is criticising me, like, all the time. Not to mention the weird looks I get when I refuse a bag of chips or a bar of chocolate. But I'm not giving up. I just need some reassurance that I'm not gonna end up with some disease and that mom won't get to say "I told you so".

Sorry for ranting, I'm just really confused and on an edge. I can't go back the way I was because I AM feeling better, but I'm also worried about ending up worse than I was before. I take any slight pain or discomfort or white spot on my fingernails as a sign of some vicious disease.

Any advice to put my mind to rest?

Replies

  • Mihani
    Mihani Posts: 3,481 Member
    I've been vegetarian for at least 10 years, and vegan for the past 4. I take a B12 supplement since there are no vegan sources of that, but no other supplements. I go through spurts of taking a multi but I forget after a week or two. I've had no health problems from going to a vegan diet. I actually feel better than I did when I still ate dairy.

    Eat at least an ounce of nuts or seeds daily for needed fats, and you can also add some avocado. Greens, especially collards, have a lot of calcium. Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium. If you eat a variety of healthy plant food you'll cover what you need. If you're really worried there's nothing wrong with taking a multivitamin.

    Welcome to the group. :)
  • tdh1991
    tdh1991 Posts: 511 Member
    i agree with what Mihani said above also be sure to make sure you are getting your nutrients, you need to have blended soups and salads with lots of greens. Make sure to eat mushrooms and beans every day they both have calcium. When I follow his recommendations my diet gets plenty of calcium and iron.
    You should really supplement with B-12 and a multivitamin preferably w/o vitamin A. Also, a EPA/DHA supplement should be taken for vegan/vegetarians.

    Dr. Furhman would say to leave out the nutribar--that is junk food and not health promoting. You should join his website for $3 a month and there are a lot of recipes on the website.

    Instead of using salt Dr. Fuhrman recommend eating seaweed/dolce 1 x week.

    Hope that helps
  • mayoosh_primrose
    mayoosh_primrose Posts: 141 Member
    Mihani wrote: »
    I've been vegetarian for at least 10 years, and vegan for the past 4. I take a B12 supplement since there are no vegan sources of that, but no other supplements. I go through spurts of taking a multi but I forget after a week or two. I've had no health problems from going to a vegan diet. I actually feel better than I did when I still ate dairy.

    Eat at least an ounce of nuts or seeds daily for needed fats, and you can also add some avocado. Greens, especially collards, have a lot of calcium. Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium. If you eat a variety of healthy plant food you'll cover what you need. If you're really worried there's nothing wrong with taking a multivitamin.

    Welcome to the group. :)


    Thank you so much! :smiley: I can get the things you said except for brazil nuts :/ I don't know where to get them and they're not sold anywhere close, so I'll try to improvise :lol:
    This is really reassuring! Thanks again
  • mayoosh_primrose
    mayoosh_primrose Posts: 141 Member
    tdh1991 wrote: »
    i agree with what Mihani said above also be sure to make sure you are getting your nutrients, you need to have blended soups and salads with lots of greens. Make sure to eat mushrooms and beans every day they both have calcium. When I follow his recommendations my diet gets plenty of calcium and iron.
    You should really supplement with B-12 and a multivitamin preferably w/o vitamin A. Also, a EPA/DHA supplement should be taken for vegan/vegetarians.

    Dr. Furhman would say to leave out the nutribar--that is junk food and not health promoting. You should join his website for $3 a month and there are a lot of recipes on the website.

    Instead of using salt Dr. Fuhrman recommend eating seaweed/dolce 1 x week.

    Hope that helps

    I'm getting enough vitamin A but I'm not sure about EPA/DHA. Wouldn't walnuts cover that?
    And I know he also recommended eating seaweed but I still have the same problem :sweat_smile: it's not sold in my region...many stuff aren't which makes it difficult sometimes. I only got flaxseeds a couple of days ago.

    The nutribar is junk food indeed but it has some really good stuff in it, like thiamin, niacin, iron and folic acid. But i'll let it go once I feel that I've achieved some balance.
    What about wheat germ?
  • tdh1991
    tdh1991 Posts: 511 Member
    mayoosh: the nutribar is just a vitamin in bar form with lots of added sugar. Dr. Furhman does not recommend having folic acid linked to cancer. You would want to get folate in the diet not folic acid Might as well just take a vitamin; minimal calories. Can you order online?

    Wheat germ is fine if you are not gluten sensitive but the goal is to eat the least minimally processed food you can, for example,
    best; steel cut oats
    2nd best; regular oatmeal
    last: is oat flour

    The epa/dha Dr. Furhman wants us to supplement with is from marine algae but you can get fish oil as well or have a couple of ounces of fish per week. epa/dha additional supplement over nuts and seeds is only recommended if you are vegan/vegeterian or you have a medical condition you are trying to manage.

    Think of this as the greens/beans/soup diet

    Structure:
    berries or permanganate/grain/greens breakfast
    big salad/nut dressing and blended soup for lunch, piece of fruit
    ETL dinner: raw veggies and dip or salad and main dish such as veggie mushroom burger or bean chilli, serve with 2 cooked green vegetables servings and 1 serving of other non green vegetable (best to do cruciferous),
    fruit for desert or one of dr fuhrman fruit ice cream recipes.

    (goal 8 servings of vegetables 3+ fruit per day, and try to eat greens at every meal and make sure to chew the green vegetable until turn liquid in mouth to absorb more nutrients from the greens, also, have with nuts that helps nutrient absorption as well.

    That's the basic layout for the diet and when you do blended salads and/or soup you will exceed most of your daily requirements. Remember it is not totals by day but by every couple of day to 1 week.
  • mayoosh_primrose
    mayoosh_primrose Posts: 141 Member
    Thank you so much! I'll try my best o:)o:)