Sunday, May 2, 2010

vegetarianism/veganism 2- vit B12

*edited to add: I had a brain malfunction and accidentally drew the giveaway winner last Friday instead of this coming Friday. No wonder people kept entering. Sorry all, giveaway now closed.

First of all, congrats and happy spiralizing to giveaway winner Kim from a boy, a girl, & a kitty!

On Saturday, I worked on a final exam for my pediatric nutrition class that was basically 5 case studies (and 9 pages of writing…I am wordy). Pretty intense, but hopefully I did ok.

I took a break for lunch with two blogger friends, Lauren and Iga at Local Harvest Cafe. I’m a big fan, and everything I’ve ever eaten there has been delicious.


I had the Morganford Mediterranean, which is lentil dip, feta cheese, onion, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, kalamata olives, field greens, and balsamic dressing on focaccia.

Lauren is a new blogger and also ran the Go St. Louis half marathon a couple of weeks ago!


The Farmers’ Market:  seasonal produce, pickled beets, local goat cheese on field greens with sherry vinaigrette. If you’re ever in St. Louis, you have to eat lunch at Local Harvest!


As promised, more info relating to vegetarianism & veganism styles of eating [read part I here if you missed it].

:: Vitamin B12 ::

What is it?

  • water soluble vitamin that contains cobalt
  • active forms are methylcobalamin & 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin

What does it do for me?

  • required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis

Where do I get it?

  • naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products
  • lacto-ovo vegetarians (consume dairy and eggs) can get B12 from diary foods, eggs, fortified foods and supplements
  • vegans: B12 must be obtained from fortified foods like soy and rice milk beverages, some breakfast cereals, meat analogs, nutritional yeast fortified w/ B12 or B12 supplements
  • According to the ADA, fermented soy products are not a reliable source of active B12

How much do I need in a day?

  • Recommended dietary allowances for those > 14 years old are 2.4 mcg for males and females, 2.6 mcg for pregnant females, & 2.8 mcg in lactation

What happens if I don’t get enough?

  • Most people meet the RDA for Vitamin B12.
  • Symptoms of deficiency may include megaloblastic anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, and weight loss, and neurological dysfunction (note that these symptoms are common in many disorders…their presence doesn’t necessarily indicate a deficiency).

*sources: ADA position paper on vegetarianism; NIH factsheet on B12

Soy + alternative protein sources are going to get their own post because it’s kinda a big deal. I’m curious about what recommendations you have heard concerning soy, though…

I’m finishing the last rotation of my dietetic internship (geriatrics) before heading into a 3 week staff relief in GI/cardiovascular at Children’s Hospital. Super excited! Now that classes are over, I finally have a chance to breathe a little.

What did you do this weekend?



  1. yay for having time to breathe. i basically took this weekend off of work because it was spring weekend at my campus. so needless to say breathing isn't going to be happening this week at least.

    thanks for the info about vit b12. i'm not vegetarian but i still love learning about different sources of nutrients!

  2. Great info on B12! For my short stint as a vegan, I had a tough time getting my B12, so that's why I now eat yogurt and cottage cheese.
    I went to a strawberry festival this weekend!

  3. Thanks for the B12 info! I am sure I get plenty, but it was an interesting read :)

  4. Looks like a great day out and good foood.

  5. great post on b12 i am in Williamsburg VA with my folks lol

  6. I think soy used to be good, until people messed around with it and started producing it the unnatural way. Honestly, the tofu in Asia is so different from the processed ones I find here in America. When is America gonna just leave food the way it is and stop playing around with it?

  7. Yay for classes being over! Make the most of your breathing time- you've definitely earned it. Blog meet-ups are so much fun...and now I have two new blogs to check out!

    Soy. Ack. Look forward to the post- from what I understand, non-GM soy is safe enough to consume. Soy isolate is something to be wary of relying on as a protein source as is soy that doesn't specify non-GM. I think. I am wary about all of it, to be honest- I have heard it can reduce the risk of cancer, but there is conflicting opinions on that. People say that they eat it in Japan and have done for years with no effect, but they consume very little- soy seems to be in every food these days so even if you aren't chowing down on tofu, you are consuming soy that is likely highly processed and not necessarily the kind you want to be ingesting.

  8. Congrats to Kim! That lentil dip sandwich does sound amazing!! Hopefully I will go to St. Louis someday. great post on B12, thank you. I don't know anything about nutritional yeast, or that it could be fortified. thanks!

  9. Heya Emily :)! I just found your blog and I'm so glad I did. I'm a vegan so I'm always interested in reading what the newest take is on nutritional guidelines. I definitely watch my B12 intake, but would love to find new sources of it as well. I look forward to your soy post since that's something I still feel very confused with. Oh, and your sando look amazing :)!

    Have a lovely day!

  10. was great to see you Emily! hope you didnt work too hard the rest of the weekend!

  11. Great post. I am always happy to review the B vitamins. Have you ever tried Nutritional Yeast? Apparently that's a good source of B12 for vegans/vegetarians, and I eat it everyday. It's so good!

    Haven't had Jeni's Ice cream yet this season. I think Smita and I will be going soon :)

  12. Great B12 review. I love the description of the sandwich you ordered. That looks great.

  13. That mediterranean sandwich looks amazing! Love the B12 info :)

  14. thanks so much for posting about B12! i have always wanted an easier understanding of it for vegetarians because i've secretly been worried i don't get enough since i'm lactose intolerant and eat eggs only maybe 1-2 days a week!

    Thanks again!

  15. That's very interesting information on B12. I'm pretty sure that I get enough of this particular vitamin from dairy and eggs. Great lunch!

  16. B12 deficiency really scares me, though I don't think I have much to worry about. Still, it's always good to be aware of this one. I feel like iron and Vitamin C get all the hype after all...

  17. sometimes i think i eat too much dairy to compensate for not eating meat but o well i definitely get my b12! i'm taking my cousin to local harvest for lunch again this weekend and i can't wait to try your sandwich this time :)

  18. Yeah I love vegetables as well as the vegetarian lifestyle. I want healthy living thus I practice it.

  19. Vitamin B12 is really good in a diet. Deficiency of it though can lead to certain health problems. Thanks for sharing.


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