Tips for New Vegans

I have changed the title of the article I was Vegan for a While, But… to Tips for New Vegans.

While most of the facts are the same, I have substantially changed the wording to a more friendly tone and included a link to The Plant Plate, Ginny Messina’s vegan food guide pyramid.

I hope people find it useful for informing new vegans about the nutrition issues they should be aware of when going vegan. (Link)


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5 Responses to “Tips for New Vegans”

  1. Tom Says:

    I just recently tried a very low fat vegan diet, i.e., McDougall, Engine 2 Diet, etc, and lost five pounds in a week. The next week, I got lazy and ate fish, plus had a very fatty cheese pizza and a very high fat pint of coconut milk ice cream one day. I gained back 3.5 pounds that week. I have now gone back to very low fat vegan. I am confused though as I still have some fatigue issues. I am taking b12, the only nutrient I tested low on when I had blood tests this year. I have also added some D and zinc. I tried to take vegan DHA and had an allergic reaction, extreme itching all over my body and a burning sensation for about half an hour, plus foot cramps. I don’t know how to approach this. I am overweight and do need to lose about 40 to 50 pounds.

  2. Jack Norris RD Says:


    A week (or even a month) on a vegan diet is very, very unlikely to cause any sort of micronutrient deficiency, whether it be B12, zinc, iron, or vitamin D. And I don’t think DHA would be a problem either. It’s most likely not enough protein or feeling weak from not eating enough calories — you do need to keep your blood sugar up to some extent.

  3. Tom Says:

    I’m eating beans or tofu almost every meal, sometimes things like frozen vegan burgers too. But I was having a fatigue issue before the diet change. I was more concerned about the DHA b/c you recommend it for long term vegans. I guess it’s ALA for me? I also found the link on bivalve veganism interesting and possibly a solution.

  4. Jack Norris RD Says:


    > I was more concerned about the DHA b/c you recommend it for long term vegans. I guess it’s ALA for me?

    I do recommend it for long term vegans, but not for fatigue reasons, rather for cognitive function. It’s really hard for me to believe that DHA caused your symptoms but I can see why you wouldn’t want to risk it again. ALA is a good alternative. And I guess a lack of protein must not be your problem, then. Fatigue can be caused by a very wide array of things.

  5. Grey Says:

    Tom, I’m wondering if your allergic reaction might have been to something in the DHA capsule, and not the DHA itself? Have you tried another brand?

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