Several of my students have leaned into a plant-based diet and often I am asked about how I deal with the lack of certain nutrients and vitamins. Mostly, the question of where I get my protein from, arises. Since I believe our need for protein has been blown way out of proportion by the meat and dairy industry, I am finding no symptoms that would make me think I am protein deficient. I don’t think I have lost any muscle mass or strength. My endurance is better than ever and my back and joints great as indicated by the fact that I can finally run again, last night a mile and half at the track after 4 hours of teaching classes and training clients. Sure, my feet still hurt from those reunion high heels, but this is just temporary (and well worth the discomfort). When I first transitioned deleted fish and dairy from my already meatless diet, I tried tracking my protein consumption, but I stopped pretty quickly, and I think I am getting enough from nuts, peanut butter, soy based products, beans and even from veggies. Yes, there is protein in vegetables.
Yesterday the question of vitamin B shots came up, and this is one that I hadn’t really thought about, until asked. We know that unless we eat meat, it’s really hard to satisfy our needs for some of the Bs. I probably should be a little more diligent about supplementation, but again, my energy level is better than it has been in years. I have sub-lingual (under the tongue) vitamin B drops that I take once in a while, when I remember. I sprinkle nutritional yeast on my food and that is, just as it sounds, chock full of nutrition, and often (you have to read the label) a great source of vitamin B. This morning, I did some reading up on the injections, and I didn’t come away with much. They are often prescribed for people who are truly deficient in B, and show symptoms such as chronic fatigue. Most of the articles actually discuss the connection between B injections and weight loss. My guess is that if people are truly deficient, and hence exhausted, the added B gives them the energy they need to be more physical, and as a result they lose weight. Maybe there is more to it, though….If so I am surprised I don’t hear more about people getting the injections. I did read about a relationship between vitamin B (sometimes not enough, sometimes too much) and numbness in the legs. Rita, this made me think of you. Have you had your blood work done lately? Just curious. The take-away from my reading is that there is really not much harm in the injections if you think they are working for you. Overdoses are not really a concern, though again, if you are suffering with ANYTHING, always have your blood work done. It can be quite revealing. Personally, I will always choose to get my nutrition from food instead of supplements as I believe that’s how we were meant to exist, and unless their is an underlying issue, our bodies will best absorb our vitamins and nutrients directly from food. Healthy meat eaters should have NO problem getting enough B, but again, if you feel good getting the shots, and you don’t mind spending the time going (I would HATE it) than it’s probably fine. Personally, I go to all extremes to stay OUT of the doctors office.