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Delicious Eats and B12 Love

Hello friends! Hope you’re enjoying your Saturday :)

Mine has been spent doing work, sadly. But at least I’ve been camped out outside doing work — it’s so nice out! That’s one thing I really miss about working full time — having the weekends totally to yourself. Sigh!

In between work, I enjoyed a lovely al fresco lunch. Sunlight makes for SUCH better food photos! :)

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This was one of those meals where I threw half the fridge on a plate and it turned out to be delicious! I layered together:

  • Quinoa leftover from my Stuffed Red Peppers
  • Tabouli (store bought)
  • Huge dollop of spinach hummus (store bought)

Major yum!

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I also enjoyed a mixed green salad topped with cucumber, canned beets, avocado, and feta (obviously). FETA MAKES IT BETTA!!! :)

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I’m all out of salad dressing, so I topped it with a drizzle of olive oil, some fresh lemon juice, and cracked pepper and sea salt. Delish!

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I also enjoyed a couple clementines :) Still working my way through the massive box I bought of these!!

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I’ve been working on my vitamin project for Nutrition class today. We each had to choose a vitamin, answer a bunch of questions on it, find an article to summarize about our nutrient, and create a fun one page promo flyer for our nutrient. I choose Vitamin B12!

Did you know that vitamin B12…

  • Is vital for cell growth, bone cell activity and metabolism
  • Maintains the sheath that protects nerve fibers and promotes their normal growth
  • Is necessary for DNA and RNA synthesis
  • Must be present to activate the absorption of the vitamin folate, and vice versa
  • Can only be found in animal-derived foods (meat, fish, dairy, eggs) — ironically, folate can only be found in legumes, fruits, and veggies!

Too little vitamin B12 will result in anemia, fatigue, a folate deficiency, and degeneration of peripheral nerves leading to eventual paralysis! Yikes! Apparently vegans and others who avoid animal products should take B12 supplements or drink B12 fortified soy milk, etc.

We’ve been learning a lot in my Nutrition class recently about how vitamin deficiencies can lead to serious health problems. A lack of certain vitamins can cause depression or literally even make you go crazy! Nutrition is such a young field (B12 wasn’t even discovered until 1948), and apparently back before anyone understood any of this people were sometimes diagnosed as insane when really they just had a vitamin deficiency! Crazy stuff. Just goes to show lots of variety in the diet (and whole foods packed with nutrition) are key!

I’m off to enjoy some of this sunshine for a bit — I think that’s enough work for today! :)

Comments

  1. 1

    Yikes about people being diagnosed as being crazy but really had a vitamin deficiency! After reading one of no-meat’s athlete’s recent posts, it pretty much scared the crap out of me and made me want to go vegan for a few days. Although I consider myself a flexitarian and probably only eat meat 1-2 times a week, I am so worried about going fully vegetarian b/c of deficiencies! If you do any research on vegetarian endurance athletes, let me know!

  2. 3

    Great to know the facts on B12! And feta totally makes it beta ;-)
    I’ve heard that vegans can actually get enough B12 through mold and decay on fruits and veggies. It’s a disgusting thought but I’d believe it

  3. 4

    Is that Hannah taboule? I bought some at Costco yesterday and am completely addicted.

    Thanks for the info about B12! I take it after an evening of having a few drinks – with a glass of H20, no hangover headache in the morning!

    • 5

      It’s Cedar’s brand :) That’s interesting about the no hangover with B12! I’m curious why that would work…

      • 6

        Hi Anne- I wonder if it is something to do with methylcobalamin (methyl-vitB12) being a cofactor required for one of the types of conjugation pathways the liver uses in detoxification (phase II) of chemicals, drugs etc- since ethanol has to be detoxified by the liver- maybe increased levels of vitamin B12 might accelerate the processing of ethanol to less toxic excretory products which don’t cause the headaches etc? Just a random thought there ;)

  4. 8

    Anne – I work as the RD for a small psych hospital, and it’s pretty routine to check our patients’ B12 and folate levels. Sometimes that explains part of their mental issues, but usually it’s just another piece of the puzzle, rather than the sole problem.

    • 9

      I’m glad in this day and age the importance of nutrition is shown in the fact that we have RDs at psych hospitals! I’m sure there’s always more factors, but it’s really interesting that vitamin deficiencies can at least partly cause such serious problems!

  5. 10

    Very very interesting about B12!!!

  6. 11

    Yummy beet salad!! I take a b12 supplement. I started when I did my one month vegan challenge in January, and then just kept taking them.

    Now that I think about it, I hope that’s not bad for me! I can’t imagine that it is, but…you never know :-)

    • 12

      Hi Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg,

      My understanding is that the B vitamins are water soluble so it’s hard to OD on them. We just pee them out if we have too much, so your urine might be super yellow!

  7. 13

    VERY interesting info. I didn’t know that B-12 was only found in animal sources! My sister actually has a B-12 deficiency. She was giving herself shots for a while (not sure if she still does…?). As far as supplementation goes, s it possible to take *too much* B-12?

  8. 16

    WOW – all the pics looked AMAZING!
    Sunlight is really the best :)
    Have a great night, Anne!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,
    Gabriela

  9. 17

    Is that spinach hummus that Sabra brand? I saw some spinach-artichoke Sabra but wasn’t sure how it would taste. I am a hummus whore now.

  10. 19

    What interesting information on B-12, thanks for sharing this.

  11. 20

    Thanks for sharing all of the interesting info on vitamin B-12! I am really bad about taking vitamins, and I should really work on it.

    And yes, feta does make it betta!!

  12. 21

    When will you share with us your training plan for the half-marathon? Looking forward to that!

  13. 23

    Oh my gosh, that tabouli and hummus concoction looks incredible!! That’s a dream lunch right there!

    I love B12, such a good vitamin to choose! We have sooo many patients receiving B12 injections at our clinic. It really is amazing. It makes me wonder if synthetically-pumped meat has less B12 than organic, natural meat???

    • 24

      Could it be more likely to be due to the increasing intake of alcohol or proton pump inhibitors- e.g. affecting intrinsic factor action?

      • 25

        Good point – apparently the large majority of B12 deficiencies are not due to a lack of B12 intake, but to problems with absorption, either from inhibited production of HCl or intrinsic factor, as you mentioned.

  14. 26

    I was actually diagnosed with a B12 deficiency in high school. Now, if I don’t take my supplements, I am constantly tired and lethargic. I sometimes switch my regimen and take a Super B or Biotin just so I do not get used to B12.

  15. 27

    Hence why, I shudder when fellow vegans say they don’t take vitamin b12 supplements- although I find raw foodists are the worst for this. Also- people with alcohol problems/having had bariatric surgery/long term use of antacids (proton pump inhibitors). The scariest thing is, that the peripheral nerve damage takes many, many years to become clinically apparent-and is irreversible. Supposedly there is some B12 in nutritional yeast but, as one colleague said to me, ‘why gamble with your health?’ Apparently, in the U.K. the pernicious anaemia that is picked up with B12 or B9 deficiency in the elderly often used to be treated by default with folate supplementation only- which treated the anaemia, but the underlying nerve damage still took place silently until it became evident- scary! Oh+ randomly, vegans (e.g. Buddhist communities) in the third world usually get enough B12 for their requirements from unwashed fruit+vegetables which have been fertilised by *ahem* human excrement! Btw, I get severe hemiplegic migraines which I can ablate in about 30min by taking a high strength vitamin B complex- strange right? Ooops.. sorry, I’m in serious revision mode at the moment- and you probably know all of this anyway! Great that you are spreading the word, like a true dietician-to-be!

    • 28

      Very interesting… I was just reading in my book about the problem with treating B12 deficiency with just folate supplementation. The problem is that both deficiencies show up as anemia, but as you stated, if only treated with folate supplementation instead of B12, it masks the evidence of the anemia but the nerve damage continues to take place!

      • 29

        I know, its scary- one of my ex-lecturers is on the British advisory panel for setting our RDAs etc and said that is why in the U.K. white flour isn’t enriched with folate etc as it is in the U.S. (???) to prevent the folate masking any underlying B12 deficiencies in our population! Interesting, but nasty stuff ;)

        • 30

          No way, really? That’s definitely a complicated problem, because in defense of adding folate to flour (which you’re right, we do do in the U.S.), it has apparently majorly decreased the percentage of birth defects… as I’m sure you know, pregnant women need a larger percentage and I guess they weren’t getting enough from other sources before!

  16. 31

    i’ve been a vegetarian for 8 or 9 years now and used to never take supplements. but last summer i got frigging angular chelitis, which is basically severely chapped lips on the corners of your mouth due to a B12 deficiency. it is incredibly painful and unsightly to boot so i got myself some B12 supplements and now i’m in the clear. when researching my angular chelitis issue i found out that birth control also blocks most absorption of B vitamins. so the amount i was getting may have been ok had my BC not been preventing my body’s absorption of it. so heads up on that. i guess even if you’re a meat eater but are on birth control you may need a B supplement to counteract that…

    aaaand one more thing… you can get B12 in kombucha. it’s a raw, non-animal source of B12, but i’m not sure if vegans consider it ok because of the live cultures. anybody know that?

    • 32

      I totally had angular chelitis in the fall!! I wasn’t eating much meat and apparently my body wasn’t a fan… although it could also have just been from BC – I was just reading yesterday about how that blocks some B12 absorption! Your body recycles B12 for a few years so apparently deficiencies don’t show up until later, so I wonder if being on it for a few years was finally enough…

      • 33

        OMG! I had the same problem with chapped lips at the corners. A European friend suggested it might be a B-12 deficiency but I used to take supplements and had never had the problem before, so I didn’t listen (silly me!). I had been on birth control for a year or so, for the first time in my life, so maybe that made me more susceptible. Interesting. What else is the pill messing up in me? Hmm…

  17. 34

    I have had a B12 deficiency because of Crohn’s disease. I get injections for it.

    Its a really icky thing to have. The best way I can describe it is like when you get low blood sugar and feel all dizzy and fainty and basically go weird. Only it doesn’t go away when you eat something.

    Doctors still mess up with it. The symptoms of fatigue etc were initially diagnosed as depression – it was a few weeks later that they bothered with a blood test for B12.

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