So You’re a Vegan, but How Does It Make You Feel? ~ Kate Bartolotta & Waylon Lewis

Via elephant journal
on Feb 14, 2012
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{In which the intimidated,imperfect newbie vegans do some navel gazing.}



Kate says:

In the comments on our last update, several commenters reminded us that we are still in the baby newbie stages of all this vegan stuff. Tatum Bacchi commented:

“I appreciate the updates on overcoming challenges, but would also love to hear how you’re both feeling.”

So how does it make me feel?

Hmm…sounds like a question for during therapy.

How does it make my body feel? Well, my stomach feels better without dairy, as I mentioned in an earlier post. I had heard that many people with Celiac also have trouble digesting dairy. Turns out I’m one of them.

I do sometimes fall into the trap of things that are super filling but not that calorie dense. While that’s good up to a point, I am a non-stop energizer bunny most of the time and need to make sure I’m getting enough. After two weeks of running myself raggged, a friend graciously told me, “Geez, you look like hell and your pants are falling off of you!” So, my big focus right now is making sure I get enough grains and healthy fats. Tomorrow marks 40 days of yoga (minus one day when I just needed a nap more than yoga) plus my general running around like a crazy person means I need some serious sustenance!

Winter has been cold and dry, so my skin is also thankful for the avocado and flax seed oil I’ve been putting in my smoothies this week. If you want to look and feel older and run down, eat a low fat diet. Makes your brain feel older and rundown when you skip fats too. I may not eat animal fats, but I love avocado, coconut oil, nuts, tahini, and this amazing blackberry flavored flax seed oil that I found at Whole Foods a few weeks ago. I also may or may not just stand in from of the cabinet sometimes and eat a spoonful of almond butter when I can’t decide what I want to eat.

I also notice that I feel physically and mentally calmer. I had a certain amount of agitation (maybe due to irritation or inflammation?) that seems to have settled since going vegan. It’s funny, since I wasn’t eating much dairy–and very rarely eggs–I didn’t think I would notice much of a difference. But, most gluten free breads I ate before contained eggs, dairy or both. That’s been frustrating. Anyone have a favorite gluten free, vegan bread?

How does it make my mind feel? Initially, I was noticing more alertness, wakefulness even until late at night. Then, I switched the time I was taking my B12 and that seemed to even things out. Except for when I decide it’s a good idea to hit the adorable little cafe near school and have an Americano as tall as I am at 5 p.m. That’s not really a vegan issue though, that’s just a Kate-being-silly issue.

I feel like I need to make an effort to include more grounding foods like root vegetables and soups to avoid feeling too scattered or cold. It’s amazing how you look at the physical and notice how it affects your mind and emotions, or you look at your emotions and see the physical ramifications. Whether you are vegan or not–there’s really no separating the two. I feel like I have more physical and mental energy without animal products. Ah, let me edit that a bit–I am still eating raw local honey from time to time.

So how does it make me feel? All in all, it makes me feel great!


Waylon says:

Sorry, I’m adding my bit a bit late…I feel like I’ve arrived at a successful party and everyone’s sharing in jokes and making out or sloshed and asleep on the couch.

I feel fine. It’s been easy. I was vegetarian for 9 years prior, as some here may recall, so it hasn’t been a big transition. I have a ton of energy and work all the time and am active, though I haven’t taken enough time for exercise due to work. I’m buying pretty simple, healthy stuff, and lately have signed up for a share of a vegan home delivery service called Organilicious.

Unless it’s Sunday. Then I feel pissed. What’s brunch without a croissant? Why does dairy have to involve the effing murder of the baby chicks and cows!?


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28 Responses to “So You’re a Vegan, but How Does It Make You Feel? ~ Kate Bartolotta & Waylon Lewis”

  1. Veggiegirl says:

    A (mostly) gf and vegan food blogger i like, she has some bread recipes too

  2. April says:

    food for life multi seed English muffins!

  3. Yes! I just got those & they are so good!

  4. Edit says:

    I have opposite experience about fats. During winter I ate inaf oils, nuts and nut butter too. Mental I felt very well, calm and satisfied, but I started to look older and dry and I gained weight. I think maybe lot of anything can be detrimental. I eat less fat and I feel much better now.

  5. Huh! It's interesting how people have such different constitutions!

  6. I love Angela Liddon–her recipes are amazing!

  7. Thanks Lorin! Kombucha? I know that has helped quite a bit for me. I don't drink it daily anymore, but at least 1x a week.

  8. Take lots of oils and you know what? Wear a hat: it stills the life airs in the body, controls them. Ayurvedic therapy, I've done it for nearly 20 years since I learned about it, and it *really* works. It calms the body…especially in cold weather.

  9. oh, and congrats! (I couldn't do it, our cows would mooooo me to death…)

  10. love, em says:

    I don't normally post on here but wanted to recommend:
    She makes the most fantastic dishes, and almost have notes on to make them easily veganized/gf. LOTS of grains, lentils, nuts, etc. I just found her cookbook recently at my local used bookstore and love it!

  11. Thanks Em! I'll definitely check it out.

  12. Ha! My kids still drink milk (and we know the cows by name!)

  13. tatumann says:

    Love this post Kate. I must confess that I have fallen off the vegan "wagon" and feeling a little lost on the dietary front. I'm so glad you took a whole post to respond to the deeper aspects of the question I asked because now I'm reminded just how good I felt (body, mind and soul) when I was committed to a healthy vegan lifestyle. Maybe it will give me that resolve that seems to have escaped me these past few weeks and help me get back on track. I'll keep you posted. Keep it up sweetie! You sound happy. Much love!

  14. Laura says:

    I'm not a vegan (though I love love love my veggies) but I am a big fan of Rudi's GF multigrain bread – yummy! 🙂 I love your posts, Kate – you are a hoot! 😀

  15. jessy says:

    i’ve heard some great things about silver hills bakery vegan-gluten-free breads, although i have not tried them yet.…?

    i really like Sami’s millet and flax bread, but it does share space with wheat, so if you’re uber sensitive, stay away. it is really yummy though: (i order online – delivery is super quick)

    i’m a gluten-free vegan, too. yay!

  16. Thanks Laura! Rudi's GF Cinnamon Bread & Multigrain used to be my faves, but they both have eggs. I actually wrote to them about making vegan versions because I miss them so.

  17. Oooh, I will look for the Silver Hills stuff. I have celiac so even a tiny bit of wheat can mean big trouble, so I will probably pass on the Sami's. Thanks!

  18. Jess says:

    feels like a lot of these articles are written by 7th graders.

  19. natandilana says:

    Let's all us vegans stop lying and saying we ate ONLY a spoonful of almond butter…you know you had three, and maybe a few finger swipes too 😉 I'm a big huge fan of Food For Life products…they have gluten free lines but I find that their sprouted grain line, even with the gluten, is pretty tolerable for this mostly gluten-free vegan.

  20. Yes!! Almond butter is amazing! Wasn't saying "only the almond butter" just almond butter while I contemplate what to make for lunch.

  21. Sweet! Nice to know I'm as smart as a 7th grader! Lighten up "Jess." Just supposed to be a fun discussion about being vegan.

  22. elephantjournal says:

    Jess, 7th graders know how to capitalize their sentences, and know that anonymous insults can hurt poor Wayway's feelings for days. That said, thanks for your thoughtful analysis. ~ Waylon

  23. natandilana says:

    I know, hehe. I'm just prone to saying, "I ate a spoonful" when I really mean "I ate about a quarter of the jar with a spoon"

  24. kimisgoa says:

    Kate, try Pumpkin Seed butter – delicious!! 🙂
    Can you expand on what you meant by changing the time of your B12 please? When were you taking it and what difference did that make? Thanks!

  25. SOFLY_Anna says:

    Hi Kate,

    don't forget the protein! I've been vegetarian for over 6 years, I am mostly vegan, but do indulge in cheese sometime:-) I feel like I have so much more energy and healthier than I did in my twenties…
    I usually have a smoothie with 1 scoop of raw Hemp Protein, greens, fruit and coconut milk to kick start my day.
    check out a few recipes: for ideas.

    thank you for sharing!

  26. Yum! I was taking my B12 at night and noticed it was keeping me awake. I wouldn't have made the connection, except I have a friend who loves those little 5 hour energy drinks and they are mostly B vitamins. Once I switched to taking it earlier in the day, it stopped keeping me up.

  27. Yes to protein! I try to get as much of it from whole foods as possible, but I do like Vega protein powder from time to time if I'm in a rush or just need more protein. What kind of Hemp protein do you use?

  28. SOFLY_Anna says:

    I am using TEMP living harvest help protein. It is raw, vegan, soy and dairy free. You can mix it with coco, fruit and veggie for a perfect smoothie.