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Lack of Energy


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For about the past 2-3 weeks I've felt fatigued and have been taking naps in the afternoon 2-3 times a week. Over the past week I've felt fatigued everyday. I don't have the energy to workout.


The only change in my diet is that I stopped eating whole wheat pasta and brown rice appoximately 4 weeks ago because I got tired of the taste. In general I don't like the taste of grains. Do I need to eat whole grains to survive? That was a serious question.


Daily Diet:


soy milk

green lentils

split green peas


flax seed meal

wheat germ

olive oil

canola oil



collard greens


I haven't been keeping a food log lately so I'm not sure how many calories a day I consume. I eat small meals every 2-3 hours. I'm on a budget so I can't afford variety.


Any help would be appretiated.

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No, you don't need to eat grains to survive, but brown rice is an awesome food for energy and nutrition and, as far as I'm concerned, should be a staple of all vegan diets, especially vegan athletes. I'm not surprised that you saw a drop off in energy after cutting brown rice out of your diet.


There are many ways to spice up brown rice so it's not so bland. Cook with vegetable broth instead of water. Add salsa, guacamole, or hummus to your rice. Or hot sauce, or many other things, or some combination of the above. Adding 1 part millet per two parts rice when cooking makes it taste better, in my opinion, and more nutritious to boot. For REALLY flavorful rice, try this:


2 cups brown rice

1 cup millet


Lightly sautee uncooked grains in earth balance for about 3 minutes, then add 3 cups vegetable broth, 3 cups water, and a little olive oil and salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and then simmer until all the water is absorbed. Slap a big serving on your plate, then cover it with half salsa and half guacamole. Delicious, nutritious, and energy-packed.

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Do you check your blood sugar? If I understand correctly, you are not taking any meds for diabetes so you may not be checking it. I wonder if you have dips in your blood glucose as well as spikes and if that is what is causing the lack of energy. You might want to monitor things more closely with your doctor in order to keep your blood glucose in a tighter range.


If you've removed whole grains from your diet and had a corresponding drop in energy then it would be worthwhile to add them back to see if the energy returns. You could try oatmeal for a change (or any other whole grain).


Good luck!

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I haven't been checking my blood glucose level as often as I should. I'll check it before and after my next meal and fasting tomorrow morning. I'll email my nutritionist on Monday after the holiday weekend. She works at a diabetes center at a hospital. She replies to messages promptly. I just put a pot of brown rice on the stove. I figured it must be one of those two issues.



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