Vitamin B12 deficiency – Is meat truly the only answer?
It seems to me that every time I mention my dislike for animal products on my plate, people always jump to the same argument: “But not eating meat can lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency!”
First of all, I’ve had an iron deficiency that only lasted for a short while because I was working out for 30h per week. It was diagnosed and fixed shortly afterwards. Besides from that I didn’t get the flue, any other sickness or any vitamin deficiency for the past 6-7 years and I am as strong as a lion! Sometimes I have a lack of sleep but I’m sure that’s not caused by nutrition 😉
Many people think that you can only get vitamin B12 through animal products especially meat. However, very few people are aware that B12 is not necessarily restricted to meat only and that it is also plentiful in many plant based diets.
Cobalamin (B12) is a vitamin that the human body doesn’t produce itself, same goes for animals – they can only produce it through microorganisms. Only ruminants, if they are naturally raised on fields, produce it because of the bacteria living in their digestive tract. However, animals do not retain the vitamin by nature.
Now for the underlying question: How does the vitamin B12 get into the meat that consumers buy, which is apparently unalterable in everyone’s diet?
Simple answer: As a matter of fact, meat naturally does not contain any B12! Approximately 98% of all animals are fed with B12 pills, because they are kept on industrial farms. The contents of the pills are passed on to the consumers through the meat. So instead of using natural vitamin B12 compounds like many vegans do omnivores get their B12 indirectly through meat from animals that previously got fed with the pills.
Of course, people who live by a vegan diet should keep an eye on their B12 levels. Vegans tend to be more conscious of the products that they consume, therefore many of them know more aware of their health and diet than the average person. However the average person should realize that steak is not the only substitute for B12 and that there are instead pills.
You don’t tell a person that he probably has a vitamin C, D, zinc etc. deficiency – right? And many don’t know it anyways because they eat without thinking about which diet provides the biggest health impacts. I would even go as far as saying that people who live on a vegan diet have a broader knowledge about their health and the health benefits of the products they consume.
Vegans also often have better Vitamin C, zinc and folic acid levels. Maybe it’s because plant based products contain more vitamins than animal products, right? 😉
Also, it’s important to know that Cobalamin (B12) is responsible for:
- Sleep quality
- Sleep wake cycle
- Nervous system
The daily requirement of B12 of your body is approximately 6-10µg (officially 3µg in GER/CH/A)
- Plant based products that contain a lot of vitamin B12 are:
- Unpeeled and unwashed root vegetables (Carrots, beetroot)
- Wheatgrass and barley grass
- Fermented soy products like Miso, Shoyu and Tempeh
- Lactic acid vegetables like Sauerkraut
- Black tea
- Sea buckthorn
- Beer yeast and nutritional yeast
I think the arguments are clear. Do you have a different opinion or want to add something I’m happy to read it in the comments.
After about 20 years I returned to Ibiza in September 2016 and in 3 days time the island surprised me, once again, with a gift. That gift would come in the form of a wonderful man, who to this day is my partner. The magic of the island brought our hearts together and it was love at first sight. Sascha, who lived in Ibiza prior for a couple years wanted to show me the island in all its diversity because it has so much to offer apart from all the main tourist attractions that it’s known for.
The anticipation of this trip had excited a feeling of being a kid once more in me, which was only enhanced by the great experiences I would come to gain at Ibiza.
It seems to me that the island attracts people that are just alike. And so it happened that we ended up in a little Italian restaurant called ‘La Mesa Escondida’ in the drowsy village San Rafael. This blog entry will be dedicated to this restaurant. This little anecdote shows once again just how much you should follow your heart.
Amidst the little village San Rafael on the opposite side of a supermarket parking lot, Renzo from Roma opened one of the best Italian restaurants I have been to outside of Italy. The pasta, as well as everything else, is fantastic.
The cook – an older Sicilian man –stands in an 8 sqm kitchen with an older Argentinian woman, conjuring delicious meals in such a tight space.
The selection of wines were excellent but was also our undoing on one of the last nights. We spent a surprisingly amusing night ‘til 3am with Renzo in his restaurant after all the guests had already left and there was rain coming down as if it were a myriad of buckets filled with water.
When Renzo told us his story of how he ended up in Ibiza I felt as if he was explaining my own life, the parallels were uncanny. At about my age Renzo worked with a corporation business for a long time, he was a consultant who had to travel very frequently from place to place, spending most of his time for a year at an airport.
After about 15 years he asked himself – as I do now – what’s the point of it all besides chasing money? There was something missing in Renzo’s heart, but he knew not what. He then decided to quit his job, leave everything behind and move to Ibiza where someone offered him to take over a small restaurant. It was in Ibiza where Renzo discovered his passion and got to live his dream as he wanted, and thus fulfil his hearts desire which was not satiated by his previous job. A dream come true! And after securing his personal success he will soon archive financial security as well, if the Neapolitan-Argentinian dream team keeps working the kitchen with their hearts and souls.
No matter where you are on the island: a drive to San Rafael and Renzos ‘La mesa escondida’ is always worth the journey. Make sure in advance you have a designated driver 😉
If you want to share these and other experiences on Ibiza with us at the wonderful Hotel Calador with sea view join us on our sports and lifestyle journey to the island from 22nd – 29th of September. Besides a diverse and extensive sports program a great spirit and many unforgettable experiences await you.
Renzo also send me one if his famous recipes for you:
Caserecce with pesto of pistachio
Ingredients for 10 persons
- 1 kg pasta “caserecce” or similar
- 200 g shallot
- 500 g pesto of pistachio
- 700 g cherry tomatoes
- Oil, salt, chilly
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 glass of white wine
Pesto of pistachio
- 200 g minced pistachio
- 50 g grana padano cheese
- 100 g white almond
- 100 cl water
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 100 g basil
- 300 cl extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Peel of 1 lemon
Chop finely the shallot and let fry lightly in a deep saucepan with extra-virgin olive oil, adding the chilly pepper and let fry until they are golden brown. Add some white wine and let bubble up.
Add cherry tomatoes and let cook for 15/20 minutes, adding at the end the lemon peel.
To prepare the pesto: put in the blender all ingredients and mix everything together until you get a pesto not to much smooth (you still must see the pistachio, the almonds and the basil in very small pieces).
When it is ready, cover with climb to avoid that it turns black.
Cook the pasta until it is al dente.
The last 2 or 3 minutes let cook in the sauce.
When the stove is off, mix with the pesto until it is creamy. Serve in a plate, garnishing with some chopped pistachio and, if you like, some almonds.
While April is doing whatever it wants after bringing us only a short glimpse of spring followed by covering the landscape in snow, we’ve decided to rather spend these dull days with a sporty group in Barcelona.
Resolutions – personally, I don’t want to hear it anymore. There are too many newsletters advertising special offers around fulfilling New Year’s resolutions. Topic and wording have been repeated so many times, you really get tired of reading about it.
We all have hopes, dreams and wishes. Why don’t we pretend that 2016 never existed and therefore we don’t have to start 2017 with new resolutions? Why don’t we just pick a random day to start implementing our goals and dreams, regardless of whether it’s the beginning of a new year, or the end of the old? No excuses, no time pressure.
What do I want you to take away from this:
Let go of unrealistic resolutions at the end of the year – they won’t get you anywhere.
Instead, look at the new year as a chance to make some fundamental changes. It is in your hands to fight for your dreams and make them come true – no special offer, newsletter or blog will do that for you. You need to have the strength and the will to do it yourself.
Sounds logical, right?
For my part, I chose to finally start with a series of webinars because so many people keep asking me to make my lectures on nutrition, coaching, sports and other topics accessible online.
The first webinar I want to organize will be a 1.5 hour workshop designed to help you define your goals so you’ll be able to really work on realizing them.
If you are interested in participating, send me an email. I will let you know as soon as we have set the date for the webinar.
Until then, start thinking earnestly about what your goal will be and write down in detail where you want to be 1-5 years from now. Describe what the scenario looks like for you. Start a dream diary in which you jot down all the things you think are important and which steps you have to take to reach your goals. If you like, add pictures or draw some sketches.
It doesn’t matter whether your goal is to avoid or reduce stress, to find more time for family and friends, to do more sports, have more time for yourself, eat better, change jobs or emigrate…
It is all in your hands and only you are responsible for your excuses.
I have a surprise for you: You can reduce belly fat and other problem areas by eating certain vegetables. Some veggie varieties contain phytonutrients, which really help to fight stubborn belly fat.
At the supermarket you can buy a ton of processed foods with lots of chemicals, lots of sugar and harmful fatty acids. It doesn’t need much to make the life-threatening belly fat and precursor of many lifestyle diseases appear. If you doubt this, then watch the movie “That Sugar Film.” It is very in your face, but also very eye-opening and in some ways inspiring. In my opinion, you’ll definitely take away some useful information.
All the chemicals that are unfortunately found in our food and the environment nowadays, such as pesticides, herbicides and petrochemicals from water and air pollution, cleaning products, plastics, cosmetics, etc. can really mess with your hormones. These harmful chemicals are known as xenoestrogens.
Xenoestrogens have the same effect on our bodies as estrogens. The more we are exposed to them, the higher the likelihood of hormonal imbalances, for men as well as for women – even when the reactions are different for each. Depending on genes and lifestyle, some people cope better than others.
In any case, the estrogen chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis can stimulate the body to build fat deposits around the belly.
This is one of the reasons why the participants of my detoxing and fasting weeks are astonished how well the metabolism is functioning again after it has been in a deep sleep.
After this lengthy explanation, we finally get to the question:
Which vegetables are so full of antioxidants that they can protect, strengthen and rid our body of toxins?
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, cabbage, Pok Choy etc. are important sources of nutrients. They belong mainly to the winter vegetable variety and therefore this is the best time to start using them. They contain the unique phythonutrient indole-3-carbinol, which promotes hormonal balance.
Sprouts, especially Alfalfa sprouts, as well as ayurvedic herbs and Chinese mushrooms are great for reducing heavy metals in your body.
We have combined a great WellVille Superfood Mix TCM Reset. Just use 1-2 tablespoons a day in a smoothie and it will help your body fight these every-day stressors. Now all you need is a few servings of seasonal vegetables and fruits and the right amount of exercise, and you’ll soon be able to tighten that belt.
Do you have more tips for the natural reduction of belly fat and lasting detox strategies?
„Forever Young“ – a lot of money is being made with these two words – eternal youth is something everyone wants to achieve. Many people don’t believe that beauty is attainable at an advanced age as well – without chemical or surgical interventions. I know so many truly beautiful women and men of advanced age who just radiate beauty from the inside and from the outside. The main ingredient for their secret recipe is being happy with yourself and your situation. If you add a diet with the right nutrients to the mix, you’ll continue to stun people with your beauty even when you are older.
Here is a recipe for you from my Rawsana kitchen:
A zest for life, with a healthy dose of self-love and humor, a handful of kind people in your inner circle, enough sports and sleep; combine with the frequent consumption of avocados, tomatoes, broccoli, green tea or Matcha tea, nuts and a few supplementary super foods. The important thing is to eat all of this in big enough quantities, on a regular basis and with joy.
Monday blues – for most of you, Monday is probably the worst day of the week. Maybe even Sunday evening, when you are thinking about the start of the week when you have to switch from mellow weekend mode to the hectic pace at work.
These days we are constantly confronted with buzzwords like Monofood, Clean Food, Clean Eating, Detox and others. These terms are associated with creating your own healthy little universe, but they can be more than a little confusing and we often don’t quite know what to make of them.
What does Clean Eating or Clean Food mean? Do I have to wash everything even more diligently before eating it, or is it about a new diet, or about the shift in attitude that is necessary when you commit to eating healthy and natural foods?
Our Detoxing & Fasting Week has started, an event that I have been organizing for over 4 years, and I think you’ll be hard pressed to find such a compact program for detoxing anywhere else. On the other hand, it is not so easy to consciously choose such a program, as most of us would prefer to spend our holy vacation time with spoiling ourselves and traveling, eating, drinking, and enjoying life.
However, hardly any of the participants that took the step to join us, have ever had any regrets… on the contrary, for many the results are so great and sustainable, that I welcome my returning clients year after year. This week including exercise, juice fasting, purification, and mental work achieves to change a lot of things. And all of this happens with a certain kind of ease, as after the first tough days where you realize what kind of things your body must fight in order to detox, no one really wants to return to this stage anymore. Your energy levels and the mental as well as physical ease at the end of the week are enormous, and will entice many to change things even by just taking small steps.
This time around, there was a special kind of energy in October, which unfortunately was not only of a positive nature. First I thought that it is only brewing above my head like an impending thunderstorm, but all around me people close to me were confronted by unpleasant and grueling things, in a mental, interpersonal, and health related way. People who were close had decided to turn their backs on each other, other people sadly got sick. This all had placed a heavy burden on me, so I had looked forward to this week to simply gather new energy and reflect together with my participants in one location.
The last couple of months were simply a big burden for many of us – that shows during the detoxing phase
I already know the reaction of participants and various types at the beginning of the seminar, but I have to admit that I had never experienced such a concentrated charge of fatigue, nausea, and other discomfort by a group during the first few days such as this time around. This was another proof that October and the last couple of months were simply a big burden for many of us.
Already by Day 3, these sensitivities dissolve and the mood improves steadily. One simply has to push through it, and it is much easier to do so while being part of a group. In combination with exercise, a good amount of sleep, water, and the acceptance that you sometimes just can’t function, everybody mastered it superbly.
Everyone enjoys the infinite time and calmness which they finally have at their disposal. I would recommend such a time-out to each and every one who treasures their organism; especially people who experience a lot of stress during their lives or who lead a less than healthy lifestyle. It will be a new arrival to yourself and to your strength, coupled with a great physical feeling.
Next dates 2017
- 1 onion
- 1 pack of prepared red cabbage
- 3-4 red beets
- 2 tsp. white miso paste
- 2-3 tbsp. grated horseradish
- 1 splash apple cider
- 1 apple
- Salt, pepper
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 1-2 tbsp. WellVille Red Rocket Superfood Mix
- Option: Vegan Horseradish Spread by Soyana
Cover all ingredients with water in a pot and bring to a short boil. Blend in your WellVille Natureblend or similar high-performance blender.
If you prefer a raw food version of this soup, substitute the raw onion with onion powder, as the onion aroma will be too intense in a raw format.
It is simply delicious if you roast chestnuts in the oven, chop them, and garnish the soup with them.