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6 Aug 2017

MY VEGAN JOURNEY: vitamins & minerals -- part 2


My first official week of being a vegan is over! (Technically, it’s only been six days but let’s just pretend it’s been a week because I’ll be posting my updates on Sunday and it’s easier this way haha)



So far, I’m feeling awesome, wondering why I didn’t do this any sooner! Switching to a vegan diet has been easier for me than switching to a vegetarian diet one year ago. A lot of people claim they could never cut out cheese, or eggs, or chocolate, or ice cream, or whatever, but believe me when I say that not once have I missed cheese (can’t speak for eggs because I never ate them anyways!), and I still eat chocolate and ice cream – vegan of course! Turns out, the cheapest dark chocolate in the supermarket is actually vegan hehe.


Vitamins and minerals

But let’s talk about vitamins and minerals today. Oh how many times I’ve had people tell me that veganism isn’t a healthy way of living, that only animal products can provide you with enough nutrients, let’s say, vitamin B12. True, vitamin B12 can almost solely be found in animal products. But have you ever wondered why? 
Truth is, the vitamin B12 that’s you’re consuming as a meat-eater isn’t actually from the animal itself because it is supplemented to them through their food, which means you’re actually consuming ‘secondhand’ B12. The best way to have B12 as a vegan is by supplement - that hasn’t passed through an animal’s body first ;). I use a spray version, which is said to be the best way of absorption! YAY for that because it’s super easy - just spray once a day under your tongue and you’re done! I paid €13 for one bottle of my Pure Vegan B12 spray (not all B12 supplements are vegan – strangely enough!) which contains 175 sprays, so enough for about half a year.


If you’re vegan I recommend a supplement, but if that’s not something you want, you can also get B12 out of fortified vegan foods. I’ve listed some below.

But first, let me show you my levels like I did last week. This is from everything I ate yesterday. I had a smoothie bowl with granola for breakfast, couscous salad with vegs and hummus for lunch, a coconut-chickpea-sweet potato-quinoa curry (recipe inspired by Sarah Lemkus) for dinner and Oreos (yes, they are in fact vegan!), a banana, Doritos with hummus and soy yoghurt for snacks.


As you can see, it all looks really good. Protein: check! Vitamins: B5 and especially D could be better. Minerals: calcium and potassium are a little low.

So I’ve been doing some research and made a list of how much of each of these things we need and what foods are high in calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12.


Bananas are quick and easy sources of potassium.
For vitamin D, the sun is obviously the best source, though it’s a bit hard to measure how much you gain from that.

I’ve decided that I’m not going to get a vitamin D or calcium supplement for now since I’m gonna try to get it through my food first. I’m planning on getting my blood levels checked next month, so I’ll see how they’re doing then! :)


I know this whole list of nutrients and supplements and foods and levels and all that jazz can seem a little daunting for people who are new to the vegan lifestyle. But just don’t let that scare you off (if a meat-eater would check their levels for a day, it’s probable they also have some deficiencies). Go one step at a time and try to add a new item of food from that list every day. I now try to drink a warm cup of soy milk every night to boost my calcium and vitamin D levels.



I think that’s all I wanted to talk about today!

I’ve got some events coming up (a friend’s birthday BBQ, a summer party and a music festival), so it’ll be interesting to see how vegan-friendly these will be! :)


Sources:





4 comments:

  1. Congrats on week 1! :D I like your notes of which food that can give Calcium, B12 and Vitamin D. Btw, idk if uknow, but D3 is not vegan, but vitamin D2 is. So I made the mistake earlier and got calcium + D3 supplements, then later found out that vitamin D3 was not vegan :-( So watch out! And HOOLY your level of B12!! hahaha, you're secured for a long time it seems like haha, anyways sending love! <33

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    1. WHAT nooo that's a bummer! :( Will need to get my D3 from elsewhere! And yes hahaha how crazy is that B12 level?? The spray I use is so great, one spray has more than enough for several days apparently! Thanks Martin, always love reading your comment!

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    2. Just had to jump back in here and say that some D3 can be vegan! whaaat. I only thought D2 was vegan, and not D3. But apparently some D3, like from Lichen, is vegan! wohooo (ordering some now haha)

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    3. Really?! That's awesome, checking that out right now! Thanks so much for letting me know!!

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