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KarenB

A vegetarian diet during withdrawal

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KarenB

I remember reading somewhere on SA that it's important to have either meat or at least fish-oil in one's diet when in withdrawal, as a sort of building block.  And I think I recall reading years ago that GiaK from BeyondMeds reintroduced meat into her diet to try to improve things during her w/d.  (Correct me if I've got that wrong Gia).

 

Is there anyone else who has found that a shift from vegetarianism to a diet which includes some meat has been helpful?  And in what ways? 

 

(I'm not vegetarian, just curious as I want to be able to answer members more accurately when this comes up). 

 

Thanks in advance... :)

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Shep

Yes, I was a vegetarian prior to withdrawal and then had to switch to eating meat. I had been a vegetarian since I as 15, so that was 32 years of not eating meat. 

 

I stopped being able to use supplements in 2014 due to GI issues from withdrawal. But I stuck with the vegetarian diet, even though I ended up having to go to a very limited diet. Basically, I was suffering from malnutrition at that point, I'm sure. 

 

In 2015, because of the recommendation on this site for taking fish oil, I began eating fish. This helped with fatigue and cognitive skills. And then I added in chicken and later, bone broth. The chicken helped with the additional protein and the bone broth has glycine in it which helps with sleep. 

 

For any vegetarian members who are unable to use supplements and / or have to go on an elimination diet, I would recommend at least adding in fish several times a week. 

 

I know there are many moral, religious, and climate change related reasons for being a vegetarian, but for the sake of my own health, I felt it was the best thing I could do. 

 

I'm also very mindful of the fact that while I was a vegetarian, I was consuming lots of psychiatric drugs which had all been tested on animals. Now that I'm off the drugs, I take solace in the fact that I'm not contributing to that sort of mistreatment of animals. 

 

I hope to return to the vegetarian diet at some point and even though I was devastated on many levels for eating meat after so many decades as a vegetarian, I feel it was the right thing to do. 

 

Please note when transitioning from a vegetarian diet to a meat diet, it's best to do so very gradually and give yourself time to adjust, adding in one item at a time and at a very small amount. 

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nick1990

This topic is very close to my heart.

I firmly believe that the greatest suffering we can cause as human's is through contributing to the meat, dairy and egg industry. It is barbaric, it is cruel, it is abusive and it is absolutely shameful what we as human's put these living, breathing, intelligent, sentient, loving creatures through in order to gain satisfaction from consuming them. I could go on forever about why not to contribute to this industry. There are 100000 reasons to not consume animal products. There's about 3 reasons to consume them. For me, my life has so much more meaning to it, so much more purity knowing that im doing my level best to minimize suffering.

I understand that through the wd process we need to ensure adequate nutrition. I take a sardine & anchovy oil a few days a week as I feel it is important. I also consciously consume fish which I have caught by hand, on occasion. In an ideal world I would love to not do so.

I am however very skeptical about why people in the wd process think red meat or white meat is beneficial? It may contain iron and b vitamins and amino's , but so does plant food, and to a higher extent. And guess what?? Plant's don't massively contribute to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke etc... where as most animal products do.

My advice, eat fish if you need to, try and get it yourself, but if you can't choose wisely where you get it from. Eat eggs. They're full of nutrients, vitamins and aminos. But get good eggs. Buy organic, free range. I get mine from people with pet chickens where I know they're well looked after. Scrap dairy, red meat, poultry and pork from your life. It does nothing for you other than slowly kill you and it is a barbaric, age old tradition which has no place in this modern world. Eat your greens, eat all veges and fruits, nuts, seeds, organic soy products etc. And most of all do your own research.

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ChessieCat

This topic is very close to my heart.

I firmly believe that the greatest suffering we can cause as human's is through contributing to the meat, dairy and egg industry. It is barbaric, it is cruel, it is abusive and it is absolutely shameful what we as human's put these living, breathing, intelligent, sentient, loving creatures through in order to gain satisfaction from consuming them. I could go on forever about why not to contribute to this industry. There are 100000 reasons to not consume animal products. There's about 3 reasons to consume them. For me, my life has so much more meaning to it, so much more purity knowing that im doing my level best to minimize suffering.

 

Please keep this thread on topic.  It is not about beliefs, but about consuming a vegetarian diet during withdrawal.

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Altostrata

Consult with your own physiology to determine if you should eat vegetarian. If you feel better, it might be suited to you.

 

If you do not eat animal products, including dairy, you will need to supplement vitamin B12. For humans, B12 is essential and the only way you can get it is by eating animal products or taking a supplement.

 

No matter your type of diet, be sure to get good protein to help your body heal from adverse drug effects. Your body needs protein to rebuild itself.

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KarenB

Thanks Shep for taking the time to outline what decisions you made and how they affected you.  It's helpful to know those specifics.

 

Nick What led you to decide to use the fish oils and the fresh fish?  Did you notice any differences once you started taking them? 

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SidTheButterfly

I am vegan, and have been for 6 years. I can't see a compelling need to introduce animal products into my diet now. I do supplement Vitamin B12, Omega 3 (vegecaps) and magnesium (I've had issues in the past either a deficiency and bruising when exercising), and eat a healthy diet. 

 

Since I have been vegan, I have only been on ADs since Feb 2016 after two deaths.

 

Prior to being vegan, I experienced multiple "lifelong" (as per doctors) health issues - depression, anxiety, chronic mononucleosis, CFS, fibromylagia, constant upper respiratory tract infections, MVP symptoms and arrhythmia. All resolved as a vegan (the arrythmia to my cardiologist's surprise). I feel that my body recovers from illness and exercise quicker than when I consumed meat and dairy, so I can't see why this wouldn't extend to my brain. 

 

It'll be interesting to see if I have a fairly standard recovery path, as I can't see why I wouldn't :)

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Happy2Heal

I am mostly vegetarian, and hope to someday go back to being fully vegan. I have lost most of my excess weight and gone off a whole slew of medications for various health conditions that have fully resolved by eating a whole foods, plant based, primarily vegan diet.

However, I have, much to my own personal disappointment, discovered that I have had to re introduce some animal products into my diet during recovery from AD withdrawal.

 

Eating meat slows down my digestion (which, I have read, is one reason it's not all that great for most ppl, most of the time) I was losing wt far too fast, and getting weak, dizzy and just feeling horrible. If I want to continue to eat lots of veggies, fruits and beans, at least for now, I need a little bit of fatty meat to slow down my digestion, or all that good food goes right thru me too quickly.

I know this will change in time and eventually I will be able to go back to the diet I prefer.

 

During recovery, I would actually feel a strong craving for some things, such as fish, eggs and the occasional burger. I have given in to those cravings, in the hopes that my body is trying to tell me that the cravings mean I need the nutrients in these foods.

 

and so far, it's been working out ok.   A few times, I ate too many eggs all at once or ate fried fish and had some issues with the excess fat gumming up my digestion, but for the most part, occasionally eating fish and eggs has helped.

 

Now I plan to eat some lower mercury fish twice a week or so, and if I feel the need,  a few eggs from a local farm, and the occasional burger (but mostly because that's cheap and easy to get when I'm out with someone, don't have access to healthier foods and feel that putting off eating would be worse for me than having the burger)

 

If you are interested in what fish are the best to get to avoid too much mercury, check out this link or do some research on your own. Please keep in mind that the FDA site uses averages, so the mercury content in fish will vary depending on the source etc.

 

 

https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/Metals/UCM537120.pdf

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manymoretodays

I don't know much........one of my concerns........and granted, I have a poor understanding of it.........are the amino acids that I believe are prevalent in so many of the supplements promoted and used.  I think amino acids are the building blocks of proteins(or are a protein source?, certainly correct me if I am wrong here) as well as possibly play a role in neurotransmitter function. 

 

Neurotransmitter function.  Other than the fact that neurotransmitters are prevalent........more so in the gut than the brain(to the best of my understanding).........the mythology so prevalent in the past couple of decades sure doesn't help advance any ones understanding.

 

So......most of us do most likely suffer some grave neurotransmitter(or ?chemical) imbalances post psycho medication/drugging.  And perhaps eating more natural sources of proteins/? amino acids is the way to go?  Which are hard to find really........I don't know if I, personally........will ever be a huge fresh fish eater.  I mean maybe.........if I transplant myself to live next to a well stocked lake or river or something.  I sure don't crave fish products.........those ones in a can.........yuch!   Maybe the craving comes on as you eat more fish products.........just like the craving for sugar disappears when you don't eat it.   However, I do eat meat on occasion and have never been fully vegetarian.  I also eat eggs.  I have to stay away from certain nuts and have done better limiting soy products. 

 

Yes.......I get the cravings too H2H..........though usually when I have just waited too long to eat........for burgers and such.  So hard.......to do the small frequent healthy feeds sometimes........  So sometimes I don't know for sure if it's my bodies intuitive signal for something or not.

 

Very, very difficult, I think, to get what one needs, for healing/recovery just from omega's and B12 and folate, whatever, etc.

 

I don't know how it works but I think some of the psycho drugs actually cause some muscle wasting and that can never quite be remedied........at least further damage can be mitigated with some focused exercise and possibly diet.  And appropriate clothing..........just kidding.......

 

Good topic.  Diet, nutrition..........huge factor I think in this W/D process of healing/recovery.

 

I do think, for me anyway.......being conscientious, paying attention to.........my protein intake..........eggs, meat, fish, other........has been helpful.  In the energy department for me.........less fatigued, improved cognition and focus.

 

Love, peace, recovery/healing, and growth,

 

manymoretodays

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Shep
On 5/16/2017 at 7:15 AM, Shep said:

Yes, I was a vegetarian prior to withdrawal and then had to switch to eating meat. I had been a vegetarian since I as 15, so that was 32 years of not eating meat. 

 

I stopped being able to use supplements in 2014 due to GI issues from withdrawal. But I stuck with the vegetarian diet, even though I ended up having to go to a very limited diet. Basically, I was suffering from malnutrition at that point, I'm sure. 

 

In 2015, because of the recommendation on this site for taking fish oil, I began eating fish. This helped with fatigue and cognitive skills. And then I added in chicken and later, bone broth. The chicken helped with the additional protein and the bone broth has glycine in it which helps with sleep. 

 

For any vegetarian members who are unable to use supplements and / or have to go on an elimination diet, I would recommend at least adding in fish several times a week. 

 

I know there are many moral, religious, and climate change related reasons for being a vegetarian, but for the sake of my own health, I felt it was the best thing I could do. 

 

I'm also very mindful of the fact that while I was a vegetarian, I was consuming lots of psychiatric drugs which had all been tested on animals. Now that I'm off the drugs, I take solace in the fact that I'm not contributing to that sort of mistreatment of animals. 

 

I hope to return to the vegetarian diet at some point and even though I was devastated on many levels for eating meat after so many decades as a vegetarian, I feel it was the right thing to do. 

 

Please note when transitioning from a vegetarian diet to a meat diet, it's best to do so very gradually and give yourself time to adjust, adding in one item at a time and at a very small amount. 

 

I'm going to update my post from last year, as I've added in red meat a couple of months ago and I'm seeing progress in healing. My sleep is deeper and more restorative and I'm sleeping longer (5 - 7 hours every night). My energy levels are higher and although I still suffer with fatigue during waves, my partial windows are getting better and better. I do think for now, eating red meat is helpful for my recovery. 

 

This is something that Dr. Brogan wrote that helped guide me in my decision:

 

Red Meat for Your Depression

 

I looked into the links listed for more research and really spent a lot of time and thought on this. I hadn't eaten red meat for over 35 years, so it wasn't something I lightly took on. Also, I added in red meat very slowly to give my digestive system time to adjust. 

 

It's individual and what works for me may not for others, but thought I'd mention it because the results have been good. I've suffered from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) since I was in grade school, so having pre-existing blood sugar issues no doubt are in play. Red meat is good for reducing blood sugar fluctuations, so part of the benefits I'm seeing may be for that, as well as for general withdrawal issues, since many people report blood sugar fluctuations during withdrawal when they've never had problems with this before. 

 

I hope to be able to return to the vegetarian diet at some point, but I want to heal from withdrawal first. 

 

For those who are concerned about the humane treatment of animals, this is a great website for finding local humane, farm-raised meats and dairy products. It's mainly for the US, but there is a separate "International" link and a "Canada" link listed on this page, as well.

 

Eatwild.com - Directory

 

Once you click on your state, each state page has its own "Beyond the Farm" link to local farmers markets, grocery stores, and restaurants that sell grassfed products - the "Beyond the Farm" link is located in the upper right hand corner of each state page.

 

I've found a farmers' market near me that sells humanely raised meats and dairy products. So there are humane options out there. 

 

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Rachellynn

I’m just now realizing that my issues with Prozac withdrawal could have a whole hell of a lot to do with my not liking/eating meat most of my life. I’ve opted for carbs/veggies/fruit my ENTIRE life. Our ancestors ate nose to tail animals to get the proper nutrients. Especially IN withdrawal i was going low in Sodium, Zinc, Potassium, Iron, Calcium, God knows what else. But these have been being depleted probably my whole life, esp with the drugs and i used to drink in order to calm my anxiety - what a MESS! 

 

Anyhow ive just ordered these WHOLE FOOD supplements - probably the best way to supplement anyhow and I’m so excited. This company AND the products have absolutely RAVE/STELLAR reviews. Just thought I’d share! 

 

I ordered the “Beef Organs” to start but then will order “Bone Marrow” and “Thymus” too!!! 

 

https://ancestralsupplements.com/

 

i don’t really want backlash on this, I’m just sharing in case anyone’s interested. I’m not selling anything or affiliated in any way, just sharing in case anyone else has suffered due to a vegetarian/processed food diet! ❤️

 

 

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Gridley

I eat a lot of red meat and feel it is very helpful in my healing.  Luckily, beef in Ecuador is grass-fed.  I used to be vegetarian but meat is what my body craves and I listen to it.  I know this is a contentious subject and I am just speaking for myself.  The Kelly Brogan link in Shep's post makes a lot of sense to me.

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bubbles
4 hours ago, Gridley said:

I eat a lot of red meat and feel it is very helpful in my healing.  Luckily, beef in Ecuador is grass-fed.  I used to be vegetarian but meat is what my body craves and I listen to it.  I know this is a contentious subject and I am just speaking for myself.  The Kelly Brogan link in Shep's post makes a lot of sense to me.

 

Beef here is good quality as well. I have read enough about vegetarian diets and depression that I'm not prepared to try it - too risky. There was a study a while back - I think I posted it in the journals but if not I'll try to find it again.

 

There is a doctor somewhere online who goes as far as to say humans are obligate carnivores, as we have absolute dietary needs for some nutrients (B12?) that are essentially only available from animal foods. It was an interesting thought! When I ate the recommended amount of meat, I became iron deficient (measured by a blood test - not a good idea to guess about iron as too much iron is toxic) and supplements were horrible. :) I now eat roughly double the recommended amount of meat and my iron is fine. I wouldn't make a very healthy vegetarian! That's variable from person to person though. A lot of our dietary recommendations seem to be much less evidence-based than we might like, sadly.

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Orangeblossom77

I don't tend to like eating meat much but do have free range eggs, and omega 3 fish oil in capsules.

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Tarheel109

I wanted to chime in here... I haven’t eaten meat since 1997 and don’t plan on starting ever again.

 

I’m roughly eight months into a taper from fluoxetine (Prozac). I’ve not experienced the full-blown severity of symptoms that I’ve read some of you have experienced, but it’s definitely been a struggle. Personally, I don’t attribute any of my low points to the lack of meat in my diet. 

 

Everyone’s different though... Just wanted to play devils advocate!

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