Hello from Northern California!

Gail Robins

Sep 29, 2016
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  1. Vegan
Just remembered I need to introduce myself (after posting in the forum!!).

I have been vegan for 2 years after suffering from fibromyalgia for over 10 years. I have successfully detoxed from all medication and now take nothing. I have also eliminated grains and sugar from my diet, but I do consume organic eggs a few times a month due to Vitamin B12 concerns.

I am vegan for health reasons and continuously look for ways to eliminate more toxins from my life. I also object to the farming and CAFO practices used today.

I have experienced first-hand that eating real organic food can reduce and eliminate disease (but I have to qualify and stress that most of that is due to having a clean liver through liver detoxes). I have never felt better in my life and that's saying a lot for my age.
Hi Gail and welcome!

What are your concerns about B12? Do you prefer to eat eggs instead of take a b12 supplement? I have been vegan almost six years and had my B12 tested this last May and it was a healthy 691 pg/mL. I only take a liquid b12 supplement once or twice per week and this is what I have done all along. One bottle can last me four months and it is not expensive. I couldn't imagine eating eggs as a vegan, and when I just did a google now, it seems that one egg really only has about 7% of the daily RDA of B12 at the most (for a large egg), so you would need to eat quite a few to get enough I would think?

Best wishes on your journey!
I've been concerned in the last 6 months about getting enough nutrients for my age. And I've had some muscle wasting which this article on the Mercola website confirmed:

I discussed it with my chiropractor and he wants me eating some organic chicken or eggs at least twice a month as he doesn't believe most supplements can provide the same quality as the original source. Of course that's true if you're not investing in a quality brand.

I believe we all have to do what's best for our body as we've all had a different journey. For instance, I don't buy anything in a can (to consume on a regular basis) because of BPA concerns and I don't buy prepared foods, so I'm mostly eating fresh organic.

Let me know what you think of that article as you have been on this road longer than I.
Hi Gail,

I don't bother reading anything put out by Mercola, so I didn't look at the article. Mercola is very anti vegan, not to mention most of what he spouts is not backed up by science. He is a quack on the internet looking to make money. Sorry if I sound harsh (this is no attack on you at all, and I also find there are some vegan internet quacks too), I just get so tired of hearing how we need animals to thrive. I have my own chronic conditions at the age of 44...long term osteoporosis from years of being hypothyroid and on thyroid meds (and due to genetics, getting my first period at 16 because I was dancing three hours a day in my teens and last period at 33 so very little exposure to natural hormones); 26 years of being hypothyroid. I lost my ovaries to an overzealous surgeon when I had a hysterectomy for endometriosis at the age of 33 and was slammed into surgical menopause in my prime. Due to the trauma of sudden hormonal imbalances I fell into a six year battle with anorexia nervosa. Most of it was as an omnivore, but I had a year long relapse as a vegan from 2013 to 2014. Even eating 1000-1200 calories per day on a bmi 14 and exercising like a maniac daily, for over a year as a vegan, I did not suffer nutritional deficiencies. Of course it made my bone density worse (comparing DEXA scans from 2010 and 2014), but once I recovered and regained my sense of self and my health, I have since regained some bone density and am much stronger, and did all of it as a vegan. And hell yeah, you can absolutely build muscle as a vegan! I am very active with canoeing, portaging heavy packs (40 to 50 lbs on my back for hours) over rough terrain in the BWCA; I cycle and mountain bike on single track trails in the woods, average 20 miles on a given trip off road. I lift weights, dance ballet and modern, hike, take yoga classes and zumba and on and on. No muscle wasting here. I went from lifting 10 lb dumbbells when I was very sick, to 20 and 25 lb dumbbells...each hand.. now (squats, overhead lifts, curls, bench press, etc) and a 50 lb fixed barbell. I am relatively small and not the most muscular or strong person in the world, but I work hard, have a good bit of energy, and am more flexible than women half my age (I can lift my leg over my head standing up). And my brain...I finished college with a 4.0, earned two coding certifications on the first try...CPC and RHIT... and landed my coveted job all as a vegan. No trouble with brain fog or any of the other brain "deterioration" vegans are supposed to get from lack of animal products lol. I'm not that special or unique, no more than the next Jo. I am involved in a local Vegan Meetup group and most of the "regulars" who have been vegan a very long time are much older and more successful than I am in life. One of my friends is a 57 year old vegan, and she had her B12 checked last year at four years vegan and hers was over 1000. I have another Meetup friend in his sixties and he runs miles and miles a day as a vegan plus twenty years.

B12 is B12, whether it comes from a supplement or an animal. In fact, most people who struggle to absorb B12 will not be able to absorb it through food, and those people tend to be those who suffer with Celiac disease, Crohns, post gastric bypass, and other chronic malabsorption conditions. A b12 supplement by injection is crucial for those people because it bypasses the intestinal tract. Most vegans actually have an advantage by taking a B12 supplement on a regular basis as it ensures they are getting enough, while those who rely on food...it can be hit or miss if that food is not eaten on a regular basis and not all food is of equal quality. I am a medical coder and read over a hundred medical records every day in my job. In the two years I have been in this position, I have seen only 1 vegetarian (not even vegan but vegetarian) with a low iron issue, and no vegans with b12 or iron or any other nutritional deficiency issue. I have seen countless omnivores with low b12 and iron (diet is mentioned as part of every medical encounter where iron or b12 is involved, and is often also mentioned when doctors discuss the patient's other medical concerns).

Yes, I do believe that everyone should take care of themselves, eat quality whole foods, but food is just one piece of the puzzle. Exercise, rest, mental and emotional outlook, all are important to our health. Caring about environmental and animal agriculture issues is also extremely important to all of our health and to the health and peace of our planet. For sure! There are some things we can do that are more effective than others as people who care about our health, environment, and planet.

I'm going to be honest and say that my diet is not perfect. I don't avoid sugar at all costs, though I keep processed foods to a minimum. I still enjoy them here and there, as long as they are vegan. I don't limit myself to gluten free, or no grains, or fat free, or all raw, or any of the other popular diets etc. I limit myself to all plant based food, yes, and also what I put on my hair, my body, and what I clean with and so on. I eat from cans from time to time, and can't always afford everything organic. I enjoy macaroni or whole wheat spaghetti a few times each month. I enjoy a huge variety of plant food, enough that I never miss animal products, and enough of a variety that I am never bored or starving.

Because I am a dancer and very active, I absolutely do care what I put on and in my body, but as a survivor of an eating disorder, I am also careful not to become too overly restrictive and set too many rules, because that has always led to disaster. Thankfully as a vegan I can still meet all my nutritional needs and in fact my energy level and stamina only improved as a vegan, not to mention my digestion! I had a terrible time with dairy as an omni and had started avoiding it (except Greek yogurt) for many years before becoming vegan. The yogurt was my last holdout until I made the leap in February 2011 to totally vegan.

One more thing and I promise I will wrap up. I am VERY sensitive to drugs and vitamins, and I had to play around with various brands of B12 supplements to find something I can handle. If I take my supplement daily, I become agitated and it feels like every nerve is on fire. So I take it once or twice a week and it seems to work that way and I have done this for many years now. I also drink fortified plant milks (with B12), so doing those two things has kept my levels stable despite my inability to take my supplement more often than that. My only other supplements are a vegan calcium and D due to my osteoporosis (something acquired many years ago as an omni). I don't take a multi and never have, don't take any form of dha, or anything else, though I incorporate flaxseeds and chia seeds in my diet regularly. My hemoglobin at five years vegan was smack in the middle of normal range (13.7), and I have my D levels routinely checked due to my bone condition and they are good also. My cholesterol is excellent (under 125 total...last test HDL was 57 and LDL 67; triglyclerides in 40's and fasting glucose in 80s). I don't do anything particularly special other than eat relatively healthy as a vegan and exercise very regularly. I could definitely get more sleep and stop worrying so much. :)
Thanks for the information. I do disagree with you on the mercola website, though. Yes, he finds ways to make money as a site owner (just like the medical and pharmaceutical industries do) and I can't say I agree with everything he has on the site, but I do agree with everything he has about our toxic environment and what it has done to our food. I have proven that with my efforts to cure myself when the doctors couldn't and only medicated me. I do buy only organic, but I limit what I buy. So I can't make all those fancy recipes we see on YT, Instagram, etc. I keep it simple.

We're in-sync with much of what you posted here. And I am glad to read your feedback on B12. I recently found a vegan bodybuilder on YT - that was interesting.