Cravings are important to listen to. When I was pregnant, I was a vegetarian, but mostly a cheesatarian. Prior to pregnancy, I didn't eat eggs too often. When I was pregnant, I craved eggs and ate 8 per day. Nice sentence. Later I found out that eggs have some very important nutrients for the developing brain: ARA and choline.
My honor roll (;-) daughter, whom I don't insist, pressure, or otherwise cajole into becoming a vegan, loves eggs and cheese. The main reason I don't bother is that it's a form of violence to force one's own individual ethics and/or religion onto others. They will sooner or later rebel and resent it and you.
Let's look at religion for a moment. Drugs, alcohol, sex, etc., when these things seen as "forbidden" then many people (those who don't understand why with an accompanying spiritual or inner belief that is not mere lip service) will eventually indulge or even worse, such as the murder and rape of women when a zealot bunch of assholes tell them that women should be covered from head to toe and if they are not, it's okay to rape, beat, and murder them because they were asking for it. Yes, indeed, it's pretty nasty and has nothing to do with Islam. BTW, purdah was an early Byzantine Christian custom for upper class women. Long story.
Anyway, religion, when incorrectly understood, doesn't unite, it divides and it promotes self incrimination in the form of guilt and shame and worse. Sometimes that guilt and shame is directed outwards and it harms other people too. Vegan-ISM is no different in some respects because when wrongly followed it can turn people inclined that way toward zealotry, judgementalness, cliquishness, and all kinds of ego trips. Animals do not benefit from holier than thou-ness.
Back to the health stuff...
I have met ex-vegans either in person or online and have found common health issues that could, possibly, be addressed for many people (providing they don't have a genetic need for some cholesterol see my interview at Let Them Eat Meat or can't convert RAEs to vitamin A sufficiently — yep, folks, some people just can't eat carrots and make adequate enough levels of A for their needs).
How to, possibly, address cravings or feeling tired, brain foggy on the vegan diet?
- Drop the low fat mantra and go for the middle path.
- Increase your saturated fat in the form of coconut oil*.
- Cook your veggies with this fat to increase your absorption of the vitamins and minerals.
- Lay off alcohol, sugar, and splenda so you don't screw up your beneficial gut microbes.
- Increase your absorption of the nutrients in your food by increasing your pancreatic enzymes
- Increase your absorption of the nutrients in food: take some broad spectrum probiotics and rotate them every month with different brands and strains
- Read and apply Vegan for Life's guidelines (for the most part)
- Read and follow Jack Norris' increased protein recommendations
- Add D3 or make sure you are getting good levels natural sunshine. (Read the comments on that link, they are helpful!)
- Add K2 (MK-7) to your supplements or start eating natto.
- Understand that everyone has individual dispositions. Each person's ability to absorb and convert vary. We are not all the same inside. Read this article about that.
- Add iodized salt and check your thyroid. Take safe levels of bioavailable selenium. If you get your iodine from sea veggies, check to see that they do have it, many organic brands are not grown in the ocean water and don't. And I don't blame them, many toxins in the ocean these days. Note on the selenium, I have not found the SeMSC selenium in a veg cap, I bought empty v-caps and stick stuff in that.
- Take a choline supplement.
*As for the human feces that fat (saturated), meat, dairy, or eggs are harmful to your biological heart due to LDL cholesterol, that is simply not true. If you really love animals and your motivation for eating vegan is based on love and not ethics, I feel, then it's likely bad for your heart of hearts if you go against your own conscious, but that's a different story.
As for LDL cholesterol: It's sugar and stress that are the culprits here.
Sugar or fructose, separated from the fruit, manufactures the sticky MGmin-LDL cholesterol. The addition of sugar groups to ‘normal’ LDL making LDL smaller and denser. The sugar groups expose new regions on the surface of the LDL. These exposed regions are more likely to stick to artery walls, helping to build fatty plaques. As fatty plaques grow they narrow arteries — reducing blood flow — and they can eventually rupture, triggering a blood clot that causes a heart attack or stroke. (Research and where I copied and pasted from.)
Oh we’ve been severely misinformed that LDL cholesterol is bad. It isn’t. There’s a light buoyant kind of LDL, it’s harmless, and then there’s the sticky crap from sugar. They are not measured separately. The only way to see your risk for heart disease is not your LDL cholesterol levels but your triglycerides.
You will still find a lot misinformation in the vegan world as well as other places. Really, the only decent nutritional information out there regarding how horrible sugar is either in the latest nutrition research and some paleo blogs.
Check these out:
Sugar: The Bitter Truth (What is responsible for heart disease? Sugar.)
Super-Sticky 'Ultra-Bad' Cholesterol Revealed in People at High Risk of Heart Disease - SUGAR
Is sugar toxic 60 minutes 1 April 2012