Bloat – oh my!

Question of the day: I recently (within the last month) began eating vegan/vegetarian. Does the bloat/gas ever go away? Oy! Thanks! Trysha

Bloating This is a very common problem with new vegans and vegetarians, and happens to everyone! While it is rather annoying, rest assure you are not alone in this little, uncomfortable problem. And depending on what you were eating before – and many of us were eating cheeseburgers and fries – the journey into eating a cleaner, vegetarian/vegan diet can be a shock to our intestines.

Vegetables are loaded with fiber and alkalinity – meaning, they are very cleansing! And due to the fact that our bodies were being filled with grease and processed foods, there are a lot of unwanted toxins being stored in our digestive tracts. When we eat foods that are naturally high in fiber, it wakes up those toxins and pushes them out. The release is most likely to cause gas and bloating, but could also cause diarrhea.

Like I mentioned, these symptoms will calm down, leaving your tummy happy and quiet again. My digestive tract is healthy and regular now that I have cleaned up my eating. For years I suffered from constipation, severe abdominal pain and discomfort. If I had only known that eating a plant based diet would alleviate ALL of my digestive problems, I would have made this change years ago.

While you are waiting for your body to get back to feeling normal, here are some ways you can help the transition:

  • Be a food detective. Foods effect us all differently. I suggest examining and make note of what you are eating and when your gas/bloating occurs. For me, soy based products make me feel bloated (tofu, soy milk, faux meats). I try to limit my intake of such foods.
  • Drink your H2O. My water intake helps with my digestion. When I feel dehydrated I feel very bloated.
  • Get some exercise. Walking and/or running can help get things moving down there, literally. Remember, we have gas because our body is getting rid of toxins. And when we are active it helps the process speed up and lets us get back to feeling normal.

One suggestion I have for anyone wanting to transition into eating cleaner, whether that means omnivore, vegetarian, vegan or raw, is transition s l o w l y. Going from black to white over night will only add more discomfort. Your body is delicate and needs time to get used to new foods, and a new way of eating and living.

I hope that give you some peace of mind, Trysha! Good luck on your journey!

Healthy eating,
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