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vegan disguised as something more serious?

(19 Posts)
specialsubject Fri 13-Sep-13 10:29:48

this just shouts 'eating disorder' The vegan thing is a smokescreen.

I hope you can get help.

amandaf64 Fri 13-Sep-13 09:38:06

Theas, she has soy milk that she will eat cereal with as well has soy yoghurt that she has, she eats multiseed bread with various spreads like peanut butter.
I'm unsure if she's looking thinner or not as she is a fan of baggy clothing and I can't weigh her because she refuses to get on the scales if I'm there. I've also been monitoring her mood to see if she's more tired or irritable, however being a teenager they are always tired and irritable especially since she's back at school, but she has been looking quite pale recently which has concerned me. I'm trying to stop her from going to the gym and I'm looking to cancel her membership, but you need to give two weeks notice to say that you're cancelling it, so she will still have 2 weeks of gym which is irritating.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 13-Sep-13 09:36:07

I just think you're going to massive effort to accommodate something that she hasn't even explained properly.

I do understand why and think in many ways you're right really. My own mother's hostility to my turning veggie in my teens (for animal welfare reasons I'd been thinking about for years and felt very strongly about) led to us eating separately and damaged our relationship. I was really disappointed that she didn't have the understanding or respect for me and my thoughtfulness to recognise that this wasn't a fad and wasn't about her. If she'd treated me more as a thoughtful proto-adult I'd have respected her far more.

I'm just not sure your dd is being all that thoughtful. There is still the respecting her autonomy part of adulthood though... It is tricky. In years to come though, she'll be more impressed that you cared about her enough to see through her bluff and didn't just let her go down a potentially damaging path.

catsdogsandbabies Fri 13-Sep-13 09:30:22

I did this as a teen and was anorexic. Was a great way of eating even less and very low calorie. A big chat needed and agree nutritionalist advice and poss gp. Is she looking thin?

lottiegarbanzo Fri 13-Sep-13 09:26:32

Is there any way you could get a referral to a nutritionist and go together? Well researched veganism isn't a 'problem' but an inadequate diet of any sort is. If you could tell a nutritionist what she is actually eating they would challenge her health arguments. Or, as that's probably not feasible, a trip to her GP?

amandaf64 Fri 13-Sep-13 09:25:15

lottie, I cook big meals, let her take her share then add meat or cheese or whatever to the rest of the family. I have looked at recipes with her and told her to do some meal planning so when I go to the supermarket I know what she'll be eating for the weeks and not end up with a fridge full of rotting vegetables that she just didn't eat.

Theas18 Fri 13-Sep-13 09:22:51

She's eating almost no actual calories really.... where are the nuts and seeds ? thE soya?? The olives and olive oil??

amandaf64 Fri 13-Sep-13 09:22:26

I've brought her loads of seeds and nuts and every vegetable under the sun, and I told her that if she wants to continue with being vegan then she must eat a good amount of food with lots of protein. When cooking for her I always ensure I put some form of protein into her food, but when she cooks for herself (some nights I end up working until 8 or 9 so the kids must make their own meals) she'll have some broccoli and spinach with some lettuce, if that. If I'm not there to enforce the rules it seems she won't eat much and if her sister tells her to eat something she'll kick off.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 13-Sep-13 09:19:30

Essentially, it sounds as though she's declaring massive change on a whim and you're doing all the running. That is not fair.

She wants to change diet, she does the research, suggests some recipes and does some cooking - not separate meals, things the family can enjoy, perhaps with their own additions.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 13-Sep-13 09:14:16

The thing is, a stir fry without the chicken is not healthier than one with. Unless she has tofu in hers (or plenty of seeds, nuts and beansprouts) it is a meal lacking protein. So frankly her 'health' argument is bollocks.

ItsaTIARA Fri 13-Sep-13 08:58:23

As a practical thing, try and get as many nuts into her diet as possible, but obviously you have deeper concerns, best wishes and good luck.

shumway Fri 13-Sep-13 08:53:36

Get her some vegan cakes, biscuits, pasties etc from the health food shop and see if she'll eat those?

amandaf64 Fri 13-Sep-13 08:49:24

I cook her a lot of stir fries (which I add chicken to after shes had her share) pasta with tomato sauce, lentil bolognaise, lentil chillis and curries, cous cous with lots of vegetables, tofu, soup, roasted vegetables and rice dishes.
She'll eat when I make her, but because vegan food is usually lower calorie, she still gets away with. And we have vitamin supplements that we have anyway but I'm making sure she takes them everyday.

flow4 Fri 13-Sep-13 08:45:48

I have 4 friends who are vegan, and none of them has any eating disorder. They are in their 40s and have been healthily vegan for 20+ years. You can perhaps use her wish to be vegan to help, if you can encourage her to research and find out more about food and nutrition. My friends are very aware that since they follow a restrictive diet, they must choose foods with a good balance of all the nutrients their bodies need.

Emetophobesmum Fri 13-Sep-13 08:39:18

My DD is emetophobic. She has just become vegan - we are a vegetarian family. I think because on a recent trip to India with school she was the only one who refused dairy or egg products and who didn't get ill.

I think she is also self medicating with anti sickness tablets that I bought for the trip but that she didn't use at the time.

DameDeepRedBetty Fri 13-Sep-13 08:39:05

I'm afraid I agree. Eating disorders have a large element of addiction in them, and addicts can be incredibly clever and manipulative in finding ways to cover their behaviour.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 13-Sep-13 08:34:10

I suspect you're right and think she's not even trying that hard with her cover story by citing health, an animal welfare argument would be more convincing and harder to refute.

Ask her how it is a healthy diet, asking her to through all the essential nutrients and explain how she will be getting these. Don't interrogate, 'what about your B12?' etc, the onus must be on her to do her research and pre-empt concerns by having thought it through.

Who is cooking for her anyway? She'd need to have had a pretty in depth conversation about it with you, if it's you.

Btw I was vegan for 20 years, still veggie with veganish tendencies. No prejudice against veganism here and I know it can be very healthy. It is a refuge for the eating disordered though, who give it a bad name.

CMOTDibbler Fri 13-Sep-13 08:31:38

Sounds to me as though she has an eating disorder, and I have certainly known people who have used being veggie/vegan/food intolerant to cover their eating issues. has some good information and advice

amandaf64 Fri 13-Sep-13 08:22:08

My DD2 (15) has always been a picky eater and now has decided to go vegan "to be more healthy" I told her that it was very easy to achieve a healthy diet with going vegan but she was having none of it. I have noticed however she has been eating nowhere near enough and is still going to the gym, I'm worried that she's starving herself and using being vegan as an excuse not to eat things. DD1 (18) keeps an eye on her and often tells me she's lied about eating things or just not eaten anything. I'm worried and I know if I approach her about it she will not talk to me as we do not have the best relationship.

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