I'm on week 6 of actually doing this right (I have been getting 2500-2800cals a day for the last week finally, before that it was 1800-2100) and I ended up falling off the wagon again. I've been trying (fighting with) this diet for over 2 years now and its really starting to cause me so much stress, that I don't know if the stress is just canceling out the good its supposed to do! On the other hand, every time I give up and go back a cooked meal for supper, I feel terrible.
I got my period for the first time since being 100% yesterday...and while I was happy to realize I didn't even know it was coming (usually it is preceded by PMS, pain, etc and this time it wasn't), it was still as horrible as it usually is for me (its BAD...lets just say that to spare the guys who might be reading LOL), but worse because I can feel my body so much better on raw. I had a breakdown that lasted probably 1/3 of the day and was exhausted after. Tried to eat some bananas, but after half of one (I couldn't even bring myself to chew it I am so sick of them) I threw it away and made some rice (with just lime juice on).
The problem is I am SOOOOOO SICK of bananas! I've tried getting them organic, smoothies, making them into milk, whole ones, mixed with berries...they are just starting to make me gag no matter what! They were never my favorite fruit to begin with (raspberries are...and of course they're $5 for a tiny little container. I could eat raspberries exclusively if that was within my budget). Unfortunately, I am too poor not to use bananas as my staple, but they are what's making me keep quitting being 100% raw. I know all the suggestions people make for alternatives...I can eat dates, but not in large quantities, I get headaches then, and I just can't handle that much sugar in my mouth unless its mixed with banana to tame it down (I was never a sugar fan before this). Mangoes were gone last time I was at the store (they kinda come and go and sometimes they're rotten, so I can't count on them). Oranges here are gross, no taste what-so-ever unless I get clementines, which are pretty expensive for a mono-meal. I can juice oranges, but of course then the meal doesn't last me very long and is still close to tasteless. Every other meal of fruit I eat besides bananas costs $5-$7 per meal, and if I add anything to a banana smoothie, we're right back up there in cost...and that just causes anxiety about eating, then I don't get enough calories. I feel like I'll never be able to afford to eat more than 3000 cals, so how can I ever get healthy enough to eat that much? I know some people will also say its more important to get calories right now than to stay raw...but I've tried the raw til 4 and I've tried just eating a bowl of steamed veggies at the end of the day after I already had enough calories of fruit, but some cooked food literally makes my period come back right after I eat it, even if its not that time of the month, which of course makes me pretty much insane.
I just don't know what to do to make this diet less stressful. Anxiety, depression, and PMS are the main things I want to cure with this diet, but its just making it worse, I need a break all the time from thinking about food! If I had detox symptoms that were just physical, I'd be fine, but its mental, and its so much harder to fight! I'll be going along fine for a while (I even did banana island for almost 3 weeks and felt a lot better), but then the lack of variety in my diet just starts eating at me until I snap. I HATE forcing myself to eat and gagging while eating and watching everyone else enjoy their food. I can do it in the morning and at lunch during the day cause I'm busy at work, but weekends and dinner time, I just need a break from the stress that eating this way is causing, so I either starve myself or fall off the wagon. I haven't even tackled eating greens yet...I cannot for the life of me find a salad dressing I like without avocado in it, or any of the other "savory" recipes. I just don't like them and end up throwing it out. Not to mention that having anything with many ingredients, even raw 811, is causing me issues right now cause I'm so weak. Whatever is wrong with me (adrenal fatigue possibly?) does not go away easily...I am very weak, can't exercise hardly at all...believe me, I really tried.
When is this going to get easier??? Right now, I have a smoothie for the morning, I feel fine, but it never lasts...I have to calculate how long I can be away from food before I start getting anxious and depressed, everything in my day has a time-limit now, I just don't feel free anymore, I feel tied-down to this! The other problem is that I'm afraid to post complaining like this because I was already kicked out of an 811 group of Facebook for "bringing everyone down" with a couple posts I made. Now I feel like I have no help because my detoxing is causing mental issues that no one wants to hear about :( I can't talk with ANYONE in my life besides my husband because they all tell me to quit the diet (no one here even agrees with me being vegan...I live in Wisconsin) and even my husband has said that a few times cause he can't handle my moods.
That's the thing...what? I don't know what else to use besides bananas. A mono-meal of ANYTHING besides bananas is too expensive. I do eat other fruits every day, but at least two of my meals has to be bananas or the price is ridiculous.
I can't speak to the female issues or your banana woes, but as someone who struggles on a daily basis with depression and anxiety, I can at least offer some insights and strategies that work well for me.
Some or all of this may not be new to you. One of the big things is to understand that both have physical symptoms in addition to the mental/emotional ones. Low energy and low motivation are extremely common symptoms. So, you're starting out with a deficit of energy compared to others. That makes it even more important to get enough carbs in to boost your energy up to even a base level. I experience similar anxiety about managing all that this lifestyle entails. It's easy to fall prey to all the measuring, calculating, recording, timing, planning, exercising. With female physiological issues on top of that, it's no surprise you're feeling overwhelmed and discouraged.
Don't beat yourself up over this so much. It doesn't have to be so stressful. It's perfectly ok to fall off the wagon, just try to get back up and keep going. With depression and anxiety, it often takes extra effort even for the simplest of things. It's an amazing accomplishment that you've been focusing on this lifestyle for 2 years and have bumped up your daily caloric intake for 6 weeks! You can certainly be proud of that! It's good to take a look back and acknowledge your accomplishments, regardless of their size.
To best manage my anxieties related to this lifestyle, I've found that planning is absolutely key. Plan where and when to get your fruits and veggies, which things you want/need, and budget for it accordingly if necessary. Ensure that you consistently have enough ripe fruit on hand so as to avoid falling off the wagon. In case that fails, have some alternatives or a backup plan (cooked vegan, organic sugar, etc.).
Try to make routines -- for when to eat, for shopping and so on. I set recurring reminders on my phone to nag me to take action at the right times and stick to the routines. Without that, at least for me, it's easy to let things slide -- meal delaying/skipping, not restocking food supply in time, not going out to exercise, etc.
Set realistic goals. Again, with D & A, even small things can be a challenge. Instead of setting huge goals, set small, realistic ones. Instead of setting a 100% rv goal, do 80%. Instead of planning to do it for a month, start out with a week at a time being the target. If you fail at any, don't stress over it. It can help to make a list of the goals and tape it up somewhere that you can see and read it everyday. Celebrate even the smallest accomplishments. If you feel up to it, expand or extend your goals, but within reason.
Streamline things whenever possible. For example, if preparation causes any anxiety, simplify it by removing as many roadblocks as possible -- especially ones that might cause you to delay or skip meals. Peel ripe bananas (or other freezable fruit) and store a bunch in the freezer not only for current use, but also as a backup in case shopping doesn't happen on time or your fruit isn't ripe. Pre-wash and store veggies/leafy greens in suitable containers so that they're ready to eat without the added fuss or having to clean them right before eating.
The biggest thing is really to just make sure you're getting enough carbs. On days that I'm under-carbed, I immediately start to spiral down in mood, energy and motivation. As long as I stick to the routines and meet or exceed my carb goals for the day, I have enough energy to get up and do the things I need to do and also get out there and exercise. Once I'm out there walking, running or biking, that gets the serotonin going and further improves mood and motivation and lessens the anxiety.
Also, if possible, get connected with a social worker/psychotherapist. It's so important to have a support network and someone to talk to that can have an objective view of your situation. Internalizing everything doesn't help.
I'm sure I had something else I wanted to suggest, but I've lost track of it.
If you want someone to lend an ear, feel free to shoot me a private message.
You guys are so nice!! Avoiding the fem stuff! Quite honestly I would go for the apples too. I just started this and I lost 21 lbs more in just over 3 weeks. I did not mean to, it just seems to come off. I do get jittery if I don't eat enough. In fact I don't believe I eat enough. I went from standard american diet to cutting out dairy, I thought that was going to be tough but it sure was easy! I just try to eat fruit as much as I can all day, then when it comes to dinner I will eat as much veggies as possible, even if I cook it. I have hypothyroidism so I just try to be careful. Actually, the hypothyroidism seems to improve drastically each time I loose about 20 lbs. But I don't have all that much left to loose. total loss now 67 lbs. This changed diet for me is wonderful! Metal cowgirl, you should focus on the good things that it does for you. Try to eat more apples. The pink lady apples have a specific enzyme in them. They make me feel great. Im so proud of myself, and so much happier. This is really the way to live, I am just really hoping to ease myself into this kind of diet even more, a little at a time. Darling, I cannot believe that you call it going off the wagon!!! You are doing a wonderful job just because you are interested in this! I do not eat completely raw, or even fruititarian, but I am headed that way!! I know that if you don't eat dairy, you MUST supplement with about 4000 IUs of vitamin d3 especially if you live up north. If you don't get enough vita D3, then you will get depressed, brain fog, difficult female stuff even heart palpitations. I only know this because people that live up north don't get enough sun, and never get enough. Now that I live in the south, I still don't get enough-- hypothyroidism like many things, depletes it from our bodies. Be sure you get enough vita b12 too at least 500 mcg per day. Just google "safe dose for whatever vitamin". I hope I did not offend anyone, I hope I help you... If you don't get enough vitamin D then it will not allow the absorption of ALL vitamins in your system. Beautiful horse and stay strong, you can do it! I am so happy now! Do svidanje!!!
Sorry you are having so much anxiety. I have to ask if you have ever had an eating disorder or if you suffered from anxiety and depression before raw? It will take awhile to get rid of the depression anxiety mindset on 100% raw vegan but it will get better.
Have an avocado dressing if you want they are not evil, getting greens helps with moods. I understand about cost not all of us have a lot of money.
Mangos are coming in season and pears and apples. If you really hate bananas give them up for awhile. I can only have dates in my smoothie. You should never have to gag to get food down. Food should be enjoyed. I have been raw vegan for 13.5 years and I would not do it if it was stressful.
Have you had blood work done make sure your B12 and vitamin D and hormones and thyroid are all good?
A lot of people who go 100 Raw get the mental detox and it is intense. I had that all those years ago never had any physical detox, but I was vegan/vegetarian for over 19 years so only got the mental detox. Mine would come in waves.
It does get better if you stay 100%. Your Pms will go away. You might want to find a vegan group to make new friends even if they are not raw it is great to be around like minded people.
walnuts in the shell are coming out so you could have a few in a salad good for brain function.
You should be proud of yourself for trying to be healthy. You can be !00% do not let people discourage you even on this board.
start eating some diff foods make some changes and stop trying to force yourself to eat things that repulse you
Thanks for the replies...was kinda embarrassed about the post and just came back to read it now LOL
I did have depression and anxiety most of my life before I went vegan. Literally within a week of going vegan (just cutting out animal products, not much else difference), my depression disappeared. This was 4 years ago...I've gradually eaten healthier and healthier, but it gradually came back anyway to the point where I crashed again. I was doing raw til 4 before I started this recently...I ate NO oil and fat was VERY rare, even started staying away from beans because of protein, and I was gluten/soy free, but it didn't stop me from crashing. I tried changing to raw gradually, but every tiny spoonful of cooked started screwing me up, so I had to go 100%. When I started 100% raw, I noticed nothing was getting better, so I did banana island for few weeks. That is the best I felt so far, except for the bananas getting really old fast.
As for not beating myself up when I eat cooked or fat...its not really that I'm feeling guilty and that's the only issue, cooked and overts actually just make me feel horrible in ANY amount right now, so I can't cheat. I am having a panic attack right now at 11 at night...I couldn't sleep, I think because I ate like 10 freakin' macadamia nuts a couple hours before bed. I thought that would be fine, but then my stomach started feeling icky. (they were labeled raw, but I also know that's not necessarily true). I don't get why everything effects me so strongly...that's what's driving me insane. I can't eat avocado anymore at all either. Even salad with too many ingredients bothers me. When I eat cooked, same thing...so I can't be easy on myself or this happens. I am literally shaking right now and I don't even know why. I fell asleep for a little while and woke up like this. I have a little heart burn too. Even when I'm only eating fruits and plain lettuce, every time I take a little bit too long to eat my next meal, I get extremely depressed and anxious. So I am stuck doing this PERFECTLY or I feel like crap...and I keep screwing up because I either just want to give myself a break or just the fact that I don't have enough practice at it yet.
I love raspberries too. I buy them frozen. $5 gets you a big bag of them that is great for smoothies. I buy most of my fruit for smoothies frozen because it is more affordable.. I have never liked bananas, which is why I NEED some kind of berries or other fruit to throw in. Another plus side is you don't have to worry about them rotting.
I do think I have hypothyroid or adrenal fatigue or something like that. I don't have insurance, so I don't go to the doctor (have had and witnessed too many horrible experiences with the ones around here anyway...I stay away as much as possible). I can't afford to go to any natural practitioners around here...I'm kinda stuck doctoring myself. I am kind of a nerd and do endless research though, and I do have most of the symptoms of hypothyroid. I just seem to be getting weaker and weaker...that's how it feels. I can't exercise. Every time I try, I am in pain so long that I just can't make it a routine. And I'm NOT overdoing it, I'm barely doing anything. A half hour of beginners' yoga is about all I can handle. I am so weak right now that when I sleep, my thighs and shoulder will often go numb from laying on it, and my mattress is not firm. I don't know what is going on with me...but its kinda scary, that's why I started this. I figured since it fixes everything, I wouldn't need a diagnosis to get better.
I do also agree I am having major mental detoxing. Since this got rid of everything that was numbing me to the world, I feel like my life that is left is totally empty...winter coming is NOT helping either. Its been so crappy out that I've been stuck inside. I know I have to figure out how to enjoy life again, but it seems like calculating calories and times to eat and stuff is taking away even more of my limited free-time. Often I just don't want to eat so I can do what I want...but then of course I freak out from lack of calories.
Rebecca, I will try apples again...I was eating them for a while when there were tons at the farmer's market, but now I'm back to store-bought. Pears I can't do...I get painful gas and bloating for some reason from them. I also decided I'm going to get a Vitamix next time I get paid. I suspect my crappy blender is putting too much air in my smoothies, and that could be at least part of why the bananas are so hard to stomach in large amounts.
So...as one of you suggested...on to good things. I have lost more weight (total of 70lbs since I went vegan 4 years ago). I was kind of at a stand-still as far as weight with the low-fat cooked diet and now it is coming off again. PMS went away, although my actual period was still bad. I think I look better when I look in the mirror. My hair is falling out less than it was a few months ago (I have super thick hair, so it wasn't exactly a huge deal anyway). My teeth stopped hurting (they have always been really sensitive and I do have a cavity, but they finally stopped being sensitive to all the sugar).
Thank you all for the kind replies...I really cannot handle some peoples' "tough love" right now on here. I got kicked out of a 811 group on Facebook because I made the mistake of posting while having a depression episode and they didn't like hearing how the diet was making me feel worse...said I was bringing them down. After that, for quite a while, I felt like I couldn't ask questions anywhere and had no help :(