Weight/muscle gain on a vegetarian/vegan/fruitarian diet Options
#1 Posted : 6/2/2020 11:58:21 PM

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I've had difficulty gaining weight while on my journey experimenting with these 3 different diets. I sometimes wonder if I should go back to eating at least fish or poultry since with all due honesty I look like a stick. I'm definitely underweight, and have been struggling to gain weight for more than a year. My health is rather pathetic for a 30 year old man. I have pain in my wrists and knees, very tight hips. I cannot even sit in a basic yoga pose to meditate because of my knees and inflexible hips. This has frustrated me for quite some time, and I've injured my knees trying to force myself to sit cross-legged. I'm a pathetic excuse of a man. Every time I try to force my body to do something in order to improve my body it gets injured or re-injured. I have digestive problems and some days I have constipation. I'm weak. I feel old. Some days I think that I might have a very serious illness. Other days I wish I was dead to stop experiencing all this mental and physical anguish.

I have greatly decreased my consumption of leafy greens since the farmer's market's closed. I also have been consuming more supermarket food as well due to the covid crisis forcing the markets to close. I think this decrease in leafy greens has definitely affected my digestion.

I wonder if I have a b12 deficiency at this point. I've read about the symptoms of deficiency and it seems I have some of them. I have not been supplementing b12. I've read about Kombu, Nori, Kelp, Spirulina, Wakame, etc. providing b12. Has anyone supplemented b12 effectively without capsules? Which b12 is best if using capsules? Cyano or methyl?

Are eggs, dairy and legumes good foods for weight gain on vegetarian diet? Are they healthy on the long run?

Any and all recommendations by those who've experienced the same or similar things would be great. I would like to hear from someone who's successfully treated rheumatoid arthritis without any pharmaceuticals as I've been diagnosed with that as well.

Sorry for bothering you all but I'm desperate. I want to live more, I don't feel like dying this young. I've gotten tired of people telling me I'm skinny or weak all the time. I want to be strong again.

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#2 Posted : 6/3/2020 12:21:40 AM

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It's impossible to really know what's going on with you through a post. Your description of your physical health is concerning.

If you think your diet may be detrimental to you, try changing and see if you feel better. From the seriousness of your situation, better go to a doctor and getting some blood work done to see if you don't have some serious underlying health problem that needs to be addressed.

From my non-expert perspective, I'd say it is much easier to have a healthy vegetarian diet (though you still need to be mindful of what you need), then vegan, and hardest (or impossible) being fruitarian. You def need b12 supplementation, please do it ASAP. Gotta be sure you are getting all the essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, balanced aminoacids etc. Dont just stop eating stuff and not be totally informed on what your body needs.

If you want to gain weight and be stronger you should prob do some strength exercise and increase caloric intake and maybe take some extra protein. Are you working out in any way? At least some bodyweight exercises, push ups, sit ups, pull ups, squats, etc
#3 Posted : 6/3/2020 1:02:02 AM

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I had been walking 1 or 2 miles twice per day until recently but stopped a few weeks ago because I wanted to see if stopping exercise would help me gain weight. My mind was a mess today. I do the weirdest things. I guess I should stop worrying. I was sitting too much of the day on the computer wasting my time and I knew it, but I've been so bored just staying in my house that I lost my composure yesterday and today.

However it turned around when I went to a little grove of trees nearby my house, took my shoes off, and started exercising and stretching there barefoot. Felt great. Felt alive. Did push-ups, squats, and stretched my body from neck to feet.

On a side note, I really miss psychedelics. It's been a while. Sometimes I feel they are the greatest tool for keeping my mind sane. I know it doesn't work that way for all people but in my case psychedelics have been a sanctuary compared to my dealings with people. I feel like I get along better with entheogens than people sometimes. But I don't want to do them until I feel fine physically. So I've been putting it off.
#4 Posted : 6/3/2020 1:52:01 AM

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Hellon ghrue.

I too have RA. My RA progressed into full blown anklyosing spondylitis, diagnosed when I was just about your age. I am 36 now. The digestive issues are common ammong many sufferes of RA and associated auto immune diseases. You may already know by now that both crohns and colitis can co-occur with RA. Constipation can seem like a way of life for those with RA.

The disease I am sure you know can come in waves in your life and at times be relentless. Other times you might feel the diease almost goes into remission. This can add to the confusion when it comes to how factors such as diet or lifestyle really effect the outcome of a flair etc.

I am not on prescription meds, but I have been on steroids, diazapam, gabapentin, and then later a whole wack of herbs prescribed to me by another doctor to get off the other stuff. There are times when diazapam was nothing short of a lifesaver. Many people dont understand the muscle spasms etc that can come with RA. Maybe you can relate to the bloodshot-eyed mornings after laying in bed sleepless stiff as a board all night. Im not saying take drugs, but they are useful for short periods to get on track IME.

I use lots of cannabis, and take supplements. Kratom can be invaluable when having a flair, but can worsen any constipation. I use it infrequently. Its weed weed weed then more weed for me before other meds because everything else that works for me has much greater side effects I really hate. GABA might help in large doses, if your all cramped up and cant sleep. It doesnt work for many people.

I trip infrequently atm, but when I do I really like LSD. It feels so clean, clear and doesnt screw with my gut. I cant drink ayahuasca or eat shrooms etc. They just make my GI tract feel hyperstimulated and irritated. LSD can be pure magic and is very helpful for dealing with the buildup of stress that can accumulate over a number of months, weeks etc.

Iboga was invaluable for me, and gave some symptom relief for a while. This is an avenue I am still interested in. Kambo is another medicine I am interested in, but have no experience with. When I find a proper provider I plan to try it.

I dont want to go into super detail here about diet, because I dont beleive anymore that there will be one diet for all people. With an auto immune disease like RA, so many factors are at play. If you have specific genetic markers for the disease it can help. I for instance am positive for an antigen called HLA-B-27. My mother has it and also suffers from both RA and AS..her sister also carries the antigen and has RA which is at times crippling for her. In the literature there seems to be a suspected correlation between starch consuption and flair ups of the disease among patients who have the antigen and diagnose with AS(ankylosing spondylitis). The presense of kleibseilla bacteria is one theory explaining this, but it doesnt really do a good job. The fact is, we dont know what causes these diseases. I think we have figured out a great deal in terms of managing the disease however. For all 3 of us it is very different when all starch is removed from the diet, but esp all grains and tuber/starchy root things.

I do best eating a good ammount of meat(with fat) and fruit, with some vegetables but they gotta be cooked greens or really tender and easy to digest. I dehydrate fast, as is common it seems among ppl with RA. My rheumatologist always wants me drinking 3 liters a day and off caffeine. I do drink some coffee or tea but its a crutch and works against me when I do.

The list of foods I react to is extensive and I have had freaked out visits to clinics etc while fed up, confused and trying to add stuff in etc. The diet thing is not a cure as far as I can tell but it sure as hell can take me far enough to live a mostly normal life and minimize the worst of the symptoms most of the time. I still have days where i crawl out of bed. I have seen the bloodwork between myself and my mother and its pretty different of the things we can tolerate and react to.

It's nice if you can find a good fumnctional med practicioner who also has the isease, and is keen on working with your other specialists and going off actual lab results. You want to see that your CRP levels are actually lowering otherwise the diets are as good as fairy dust.

I was very low B12, weak thin and pale etc when I was first diagnosed. I had also gone through many diet programs trying to find relief. I was vegan, raw vegan, tried fruitarain for moments, then back to vegan, then vegetarian, then paleo, then primal, carnivoire etc.

Avoid the people who are telling you they have a special diet cure for you, esp those who dont even suffer from related diseases. As far as I can tell this thing can go dormant in a person and be kept at bay, but I dunno about cures.

Find a physical activity you really enjoy. I will never stop surfing, so I moved to a small beach town that allows me to live right by the water. My expenses are less..I need to work less etc. Work becomes an issue for people with RA often if your job is too demanding or expenses demand you work too much. You dont want to think about it when your 40. This has been a big concern for me. You need to have the space in life to rest more than others around you might seem to at times. I think alot of ppl with RA experience a lot of mental stress, in correlation with the physical flairs and it can spiral. You really need to find a good place to be grounded in your life and not rushed etc. I cannot stress this enough.

If something is not working for you, perhaps you do need to examine other options, which is souns you are. Good luck!

PM me if you want to discuss the diet stuff in greater detail.
#5 Posted : 6/3/2020 11:11:19 AM

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Hello dyoode

Drink lots of water and stay away from sugar and caffeine as much as possible.
Eggs or fish works for me but as the people above mentioned nutrition is always different
for people.
If you get hurt from working out take it alot easier and find food that works for you first.
My aunt gave me a paper with a bloodtype diet. It worked for me alot.
Alot of the food i shouldn´t eat i either hate anyways or get a bad stomach from it.
After two months of very light work outs you will see better form and use of your muscles,
but again take it easy.
And like jamie said find a physical activity that makes you happy because working out only is

And one more thing: In ayurveda they differ body types in 3 categories.
For example i do sports and work outs daily all my life. I would say i have alot of power
but i´m only a 70-75 kilos with 180 cm height.
No matter how hard i work out i will stay around that weight.

If you work out right and find the right nutrition you will look like Bruce Lee in no time Thumbs up

And don´t forget persistence is key. But take it easy

Have a gud one and i hope you get well
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that make me look japanese
#6 Posted : 6/3/2020 2:06:58 PM

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I would very much recommend looking into ayurveda and determining your body type. That way you will have a much better picture which foods you should eat and also very important which foods to avoid and what kind of lifestyle will suit your body most.

From what you're saying it seems you're either a vata or vata-pitta body type.

It seems you're also suffering from a low digestive fire or agni as called in ayurveda. Having a good agni is essential to digest food well and assimilate the nutrients. If agni is low undigested food will accumulate in the body and cause all sorts of problems. Pain and stiffnes of the joints is one of them. So make sure you rekindle your digestive fire. For that I very much recommend ginger root.

Most likely you will not be able to gain a lot of weight whatever you do - but with proper food, good digestion and removal of toxins from the body will make you feel much better. And as potnoble said with proper training you can easily develop basic strength in the body.

Do some research into ayurveda. It will take some time and dedication but you will be very happy in the end.


regarding supplements for quick help I would suggest:

- B-12 in methyl form (methylcobalamin) that is meant to take sublingually (spray or small tablet)
- vitamin D dissolved in fat
- magnesium chloride solution that you can spray on the skin and let absorb (you can buy the magnesium chloride salt which should be very cheap and make your own solution)

Do not exaggerate with the doses for these supplements. Do research beforehand.
#7 Posted : 6/4/2020 6:18:37 AM

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Thank you all so much for your posts. I will keep visiting this thread to remind myself of certain things.

Triglav: I'm pretty sure I'm vata or vatapitta. I've actually studied a little bit of ayurveda. I have a book called "Ayurveda: La ciencia de curarse a uno mismo" by Vasant Lad that I've been studying for the past few months. It's actually helped relieving my suffering but I'm still having a few problems. I am thinking about supplementing with vitamin B complex capsules and going more often to the beach on the afternoon for my vitamin D. I can still definitely learn more, and would be willing to read more ayurveda books. Do you have any ayurveda books you would recommend?

Potnoble: Can you send me a picture of that paper with the bloodtype diets? Thankfully I don't use caffeine nor sugar, unless you're counting fruit sugar. I think that I definitely need to drink more water. My lips get dry very often. Thank you for the encouragement.

Jamie: Thank you for your detailed and accurate explanation. I have not been using cannabis (nor entheogens) for a while and I do remember it helping when I used it in the past, however it also gave me uncomfortable sensations in the left part of the chest sometimes. I don't know if it was my lungs or my heart or because I was smoking instead of vaporizing or using edibles/tinctures/etc. Very interesting about the lsd, I remember feeling like superman in some lsd trips, maybe it has a healing effect on the body? Have never tried Iboga nor Kambo, might have to do some research as I've never done much on those two. That's a great idea about moving close to the beach. More vitamin D and healing from nature. I can relate with many of the descriptions you gave about how you feel. It's not easy having physical pain almost every day. Thank you for all of your advice, I sent you a PM about the food/diet.
#8 Posted : 6/4/2020 9:32:59 AM

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Hi ghrue84

Sadly i have lost this paper since it was over 15 years ago. But just look
it up on the internet. Hope you find some interesting things.
Shouldn´t be too hard to find.

Good luck

I smoke trees
that make me look japanese
#9 Posted : 6/4/2020 3:13:34 PM

A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it.

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Triglav: I'm pretty sure I'm vata or vatapitta. I've actually studied a little bit of ayurveda. I have a book called "Ayurveda: La ciencia de curarse a uno mismo" by Vasant Lad that I've been studying for the past few months. It's actually helped relieving my suffering but I'm still having a few problems. I am thinking about supplementing with vitamin B complex capsules and going more often to the beach on the afternoon for my vitamin D. I can still definitely learn more, and would be willing to read more ayurveda books. Do you have any ayurveda books you would recommend?

Vasant Lad is an excellent source. I read his books myself. He has quality content on youtube as well. David Frawley also has some good books on ayurveda. I suggest to continue the studies and try to observe the principles in daily life.

It is essential to put the things you've learned into practice. For vata types a very good oil to help yourself with is sesame oil. You can cook with it or take it with a spoon, or massage yourself with it. Don't drink cold water or anything too cold. Use warming spices in your cooking -> this will help to regain the digestive fire. Use more sweet, sour, salty and pungent tastes with your food - avoid too much bitter and astringent. Vata digestion disorders can also come from being to nervous and tense, therefore it wise to learn how to calm yourself down. Another thing you may want to look into is gentle fasting. You can fast for example for 12 hours, just to give your digestive system some room and rest. But don't do it for too long, since it can do more harm than good for vata types.

Having a daily routine is also very important.

For training the body -> you will have to start slowly, doing very mild and gentle exercises. Something like easy chi gong is a good place to start. Not only to gain the movement/mobility back but also to move the prana/chi trough the body. It can take quite some time (a month or two of consistent practice) but it is good to be patient and get the results. This will help a lot, much more than intense exercises which can make you only more tense and as you said develop injuries. Being constant in you practice is essential to achieve success.

Some basic breathing exercises are also very good to improve digestion and get into contact with the body and respiratory system.

edit: Do look into the ayurvedic idea of ama (a toxic byproduct generated due to improper or incomplete digestion). It is very important to achieve a good understanding of it since it will give a clearer idea if how one should proceed. In general if you have too much ama in the body it is a priority to remove it.
#10 Posted : 8/9/2020 10:15:06 AM

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Hi ghrue84,

It's not that I have an answer for you - but some of the symptoms come across as recognizable from personal experience and maybe the gist of all that I have learned from that, may seed your insight to speed up the recovery.

The main things were for me the having my own ego in the way of the healing. Reading your post, you mention doing diets, forcing postures for meditation and attitude of pathetic toward self. So that's something you've put in the way of the healing itself. Although none of them are really bad, except the attitude part - the result in bad health is due to it.

So that's good. Substraction of parts is neccessary to get the whole healing itself, again.

How this is done? I have no idea, except that it comes by itself through really wanting it, focusing on it and be rational about. What am I doing, is this going to work? Still it's also not doing, for whatever course you want to take, it may be in the line of the previous line of thoughts, emotions and directions that got you there.

So cleaving through what's going to work and what not, is a subtle skill. But can be learned for the best decisions come through not doing anything until you have it - for sure.

On the part of diet I found that being omnivore with strong tendencies toward, clean, natural foods. Animal only if they've had decent lives. Extreme amounts of leafy, fresh vegetables. Low on carbs, fit it to the need. Etc.

Hope that helps and this actually conveys the sense from which it was written.
#11 Posted : 8/9/2020 11:35:56 AM

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first and foremost, if you can, get to a doctor. they can give you much better advice than even the best of doctors can over a forum.

i am not a doctor, so my advice stems from personal experience, not from a medical background.

i also have rheumatoid arthritis and have had since childhood. i have never taken any drugs for it but i have heard good things about cod liver oil caps, but not tried it myself. i also love fish, the oils apparently help a lot, just as cod liver oil caps do, but i cant say for sure if it makes a difference for me or not.
i have seen studies that suggest cold and moisture do not actually affect it, but i have to strongly disagree with them. as soon as cold or damp air hits my joints they hurt, so try to keep them warm and dry. my knees are the worst part and simply rubbing them with my hands is somewhat relieving.
my case is not extreme though, so for the most part i deal with the pain. it has got much easier over the years and most people around me do not even know i am in pain most of the time. some people get it so bad they need adrenaline to stand up, so my tips might not be enough for you.

i also think you should go back to eating meat. meat is a great source of energy and protein. a good, balanced diet is important for optimal health. dont let your morals stand in the way of your health.
i dont want to start a meat debate, but i think it needs to be said in your case.

if you do eat meat again i recommend slowly introducing it to your diet. if you dive in too fast your body will struggle to break it down properly and you are likely to make yourself sick. white meats will be easier to digest too, so i would start with that.

another good place to start is with vitamin supplements. they will help you get your needed nutrients straight away and give you a little more energy to help you take the necessary steps.

good luck. i hope you can get to a good doctor <3

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