Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Stomach discomfort from eating beans - veganism answer

Hey! Great post - I found this really helpful. I really need some help though!

I am slowly transitioning into a vegan lifestyle and starting with vegetarianism. I have found that, since i have started eating this way, my stomach has been so unhappy. I only eat dairy once a day so I'm not consuming more than usual. I have found that lentils, beans and many vegetables upset me, but I thought this would get better if i stopped eating meat - it has gotten worse. It got so bad once that i thought id magically gotten pregnant and was having contractions! haha (not really just trying to explain the pain).

I would be so grateful for advice as i do not want to eat meat but this stomach pain is awful and I want to ensure that I am getting all the nutrients that my body needs.

Thanks!


Hello, 
 It's great to hear that you want to eat more plant based, and great that you are doing a transition as its usually easier that way :)

You aren't alone with the stomach pain due to eating beans, many people can feel that discomfort (ive never actually had a problem with it, but i think thats because ive grown up eating beans and lentils so my body has adapted.). The pain and stomach discomfort is because beans have fiber and they have a type of carobhydrate chain/binding that the body doesnt have enzymes to break down, so the beans go to your large intestine where they become prebiotics for your gut bacteria and that leads to gasbuilding in your intestine and leads to flatulence and bloating and pain. When you first begin eating alot of beans this is definitely an inconvenience for many and can make them unwilling to continue eating beans, however your body CAN and does adapt if you keep eating them. After a while of regular consumption of beans your stomach wont bloat as much and you wont get any cramps (or less).

My best suggestion is to slowly increase your fiber intake or your beans and lentils intake. Maybe just add some beans to your salad or to your lunches and dinners, and vary which beans you eat as well as different lentils.  It can be very hard on your stomach if you go from low or moderate fiber intake to suddenly alot of fiber. Fiber is beneficial and good for your body, but too much will leave you in pain!!! But also some people are very sensitive to fiber and need to eat a low fiber diet so that their stomach doesnt go crazy.

Other tips are to add baking soda or vinegar to water if you are soaking the beans over night, as that can help break down/leach out some of the undigestable starches. And also to change the water before you cook them, as well as making sure to rinse the beans properly before and after you have cooked them. Also make sure that the beans are cooked poroperly, this is both for digestive reasons as well as wanting to get rid of the antinutritionell substances and/or bakteria/toxins on the beans. Also i think you can get digestive enzymes which might help, if you really want to eat beans but feel that your body is taking a long time to adapt.

Keep making small changes and see how your body feels. And slowly increase fiber intake (ie meaning fruit, vegetable, seed, bean, oat intake as they all contain alot of fiber and adding a whole bunch of those into your diet all at once can definitely cause some stomach discomfort!) Also from what i understand is that if you have IBS it can be hard to consume beans or certain vegetables as that causes too much pain. But give it time and see how your body reacts :)

Your health comes first. But there are plenty of vegan options you can eat and try even if you cant eat fully plant based, a few plant based meals a day/week make a difference :)

Image result for benefits of beans
Image result for benefits of beans
Picture source: HERE (if you want to know how to cook beans or recipe ideas!)


I am not a nutritionist or a dietician but i try my best to answer from what i have learned at university as well as personal experience. Remember that if you ever have any pains its always best to turn to a doctor for proffessional advice :) As well as i have no legal rights to write meal plans, however i can give nutritional advice based on what i have learnt - but talking to a proffessional is always best :)


If you ever have any questions, just comment as i love being able to use my knowledge and to help you :)

10 comments:

  1. For the anon who asked this qustion: I've had the exactsame thing with beans and lentils as well. Though lentils weren't as much of a problem as black beans for example. They would make me bloated like hell as well as getting very heavystomach aches and so forth. Though now that i've been vegan for over a year i don't have any discomfort when eating beans. In fact, i eat them very often! Not that it has taken so long for my body to attempt, don't worry, haha. In my case it was literally after a couple of weeks into being vegan i think. Don't know actualy. Very soon anyway!

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    1. I read in a study that it takes about a month for the body to adapt to the consumtion of beans :) But i think it depends on the type of beans but also the individual. But it doesnt take so long :)

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    2. Could' ve been a month! I don' t remember so well hahah. Just that one day I realized I had eaten beans a couple of times and didn't get uncomfortable belly signs :)

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    3. I asked the question and this is very encouraging. I'm still having issues though and it is disheartening!

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  2. I've been vegetarian for 20 years, and actually still have digestive distress pretty much every time I eat beans, large amounts of raw vegetables, and other foods high in insoluble fibre. I manage this issue in a variety of ways - limit raw foods (cook veggies when possible), limit beans and pulses in my meals to moderate amounts, be aware of my plans following meals (ie: if I want a particularly bean-heavy or high-fibre meal, save it to eat it when I have no social engagements afterward!), and I also utilize digestive enzymes (in vegetarian capsules) where appropriate as well as straight-up Beano, which works really well. Also, chew your food thoroughly! Cant stress that enough, it does make a difference. There is definitely some extra planning or awareness required, but it's second-nature to me and no big deal. Ive always been envious of people who manage to adjust to beans and insoluble fibre, but I am just not one of them (and this is a direct side effect of my eating disorder, these digestive issues, even though I've been recovered for years). You get used to it. Loose shirts after dinner are key, as my tummy can get quite extended, sometimes shockingly so at times. I continue to hope that this will improve, but if not, I have learned to deal with it so what will be, will be.

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    1. Yeah, I totally agree on that!! I went vegan for a year (had to go back to eat meat again due to severe health issues) and I had huge digesting problems, especially in the beginning. I still eat a lot of veggies and salad nowadaysand I have to say, I also need the "extra planning" afterwards. For example, I have to wait at least 2 or 3 hours before I exercise (especially running!), otherwise, my tummy goes crazy. Also the bloating and occasionally (sorry for the disgusting post) diarrhea after lots of raw veggies can be horrible sometimes. It's much better if the veggies are well cooked and steamed. For beans, it's actually the best to buy them dry, cooke them and leave them in the fridge and let them soak over night. It de-gases them and they actually taste better (but I think Izzy mentioned that in her recent post about beans). It's also a matter of getting used to foods high in fiber, but sometimes I still have tummy problems because of that.

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    2. thank you both -really appreciated this x

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  3. Thank you so much to dedicating a post to answering my question! I will try sticking with it for a while in the hope that my body gets used to it. I have digestive enzymes and have pro-biotics now too. I will also chew my food more!

    I thought that maybe I should be cutting foods out rather then trying to keep eating them as o am aware of the low FODMAP diet. But I will try for a bit longer!

    Thanks again :) x

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  4. Hi all of you, as a vegan in order not to have any hard time with beans (kidney beans, lima beans, chickpeas, splited peas...) I soak them 2-3 days in the fridge and change water evryday. Then I bring them to boil and once it is boiling, cut the heat, let them cool down, drain them put back fresh water and herbs and then cook them for eating.

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    1. Thanks that is really helpful. I will try that. It's a shame it has to take sooooo long.

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