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kelley
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I"m not sure whether to post this here or in Women's Health. This is a general question so I'm putting it here, but I realize my needs may be influenced by my being, uh, female. lol

 

Anyway, my question pertains to energy. I've never had a good track record with keeping my energy up, and going vegan hasn't changed that much. A BIG thing for me is that I don't get enough/good quality sleep. I may go to get a sleep study done, because this is a long standing problem. On the nights I do get good sleep I definitely notice a difference in my energy. So, aside from solving my sleep problems, what other things can I do to make sure I have energy throughout the day? I take a multivitamin every day, drink fortified rice milk, take 2 tbsp ground flax daily... but still by the evening/dinner time, I am really tired and my body is dragging. I work out 3-4x week. I don't know what else I should be looking into.

 

Any ideas?

Edited by kelley
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I have had a documented sleeping disorder for 13yrs and have learned to deal with it...sleep studies did nothing for the first 6 years of my troubles before I gave up on them but they do help most people...anyway although I'm a guy I recommend lots of snacking. Always carry fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds with you and munch away. This is easily done in most jobs plus you won't feel the need to eat as much at meals(for most people this is the case but not for me)...bananas are my life force and I always have atleast 3 with me when I leave my house and head off to school...they give you a good energy spike and they're dirt cheap

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Good suggestions, I do snack when I'm at the gym, but I don't bring food with me when I"m just out in general. That is a good idea, I will do that.

 

I was also wondering nutritionally, are there vitamin/mineral deficiencies that I should investigate which could be causing this? If I knew what I might be lacking, I could correct it pretty easily I'm sure. I just don't know what I don't know...

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Chances are your body just doesn't have enough fuel to make up for not having being rested...I've always eaten alot(not now since I'm dieting) to make up for my sleeping problems. You've probably just gotta keep fuel available to your body...carbos will help you alot...simple carbs for immediate energy(high glycemic index foods like bananas) and complex carbs and fat for sustained energy(low glycemic index foods like apples, grains, agave...and nuts/seeds for good fats)...remember...if your sleeping your body isn't doing much but if your not sleeping your burning more calories than everyone else is

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In the past month I've met two former vegans who were having energy problems and were diagnosed with anemia (both female). They were always fatigued, even their mental state was sluggish, and they rarely went out in the evening because they were too tired. Their doctors advised them to start eating meat, which they did, and now they feel so much better they're not going to consider veganism again. Anemia is a real problem and not just for vegans, but I think it's especially harmful to the reputation and validation of the vegan diet because it is preventable.

 

Have you been to a doctor for a blood test, specifically to check for iron and B12 levels? In the meantime, try a liquid B12 supplement under the tongue, and make sure you eat lots of iron-rich food with vitamin C rich food which aids iron absorption, and see if anything changes (often, the problem isn't how much iron we're getting, but our ability to absorb it).

 

Also, and coincidentally, I'm hosting a show this Tuesday on veganism, women and anemia because I want desperately to prevent another woman from telling me how much better she feels after eating meat! So perhaps you could pm me your symptoms and any questions you may have. I'll be interviewing Vesanto Melina, co-author of Becoming Vegan, and we'll have a general question and answer session as well, so I'll bring up your question. (You can listen live at www.ciut.fm at 11 a.m. EST, or download the podcast or mp3 from our main site, http://www.animalvoices.ca.)

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Hi, Rob I love ya'lls show! Say Hi to Lauren and Lamia for me. I agree with Rob's anemia theory, but its not just a vegan thing. My brother was diagnosed as anemic when he was young, and he wont eat anything that was not killed. The snakcing during the day also helps. And if you eat oranges you might increase your iron uptake from your multi. The fat will help you absorb other nutrients from the multi. I just read some article about that. Like 5 grams up fat up to an hour after eating certain fruits and veggies with fat soluble vitamins will help your uptake...I assume this would work with a multivitamin as well. You could even take 2 multis for a while. I have taken 2 at a time before just for the hell of it. I didnt notice any probs. But do that at your own risk, i know the bottles usually say not to.

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Hm ok all good suggestions, thanks you guys. So, is liquid B12 available at any old drug store or health store? I never knew there was such a thing. And I didn't know about eating fat after fruits/veggies, but that makes sense!

 

Rob, I have not been to a doctor. I'm one of those people who, ahem, won't bother going a doctor unless I'm on my deathbed pretty much... Oh but you are right, I really should just go. There is no reason not to. Ok I'm putting it in my calendar to call them on Monday!

 

Oh I PM'd you too...

 

 

Thank you again!

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