Transition to Vegan

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Ronan
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Transition to Vegan

#1 Postby Ronan » Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:49 pm

Hi folks,

Ronan from Ireland here, first time poster! :-)

Having been vegetarian for 3 years I started eating meat again about 5 years ago. Over the last two months I've been slowly reducing my animal product intake and it's kinda happened organically which is kind of cool. I lift weights so was drinking whey shakes and despite working out a lot didn't feel as good as I shoul have so I really started upping the veggie intake, hitting the green smoothies and first removed red meat two months ago, then dairy and now white meat intake. So at present I'm left with just fish and eggs. The best part is Im still getting a high protein intake but via quinoa, brown rice, beans, lentils, lots of nuts, hemp protein powder, leafy greens and I feel like a new man!!

Anyway before I cut out these out I'm looking to plan my approach in relation to the main things which vegans can be deficient in which are the below and am looking for ideas to address them.

Calcium, iodine, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12 & vitamin D.

For omega-3 fatty acids I already consume flax seed and raw hemp seed protein powder. For iodine, I consume dried kelp powder and for Iron I consumer a lot of quinoa, spinach and other greens which I think should cover me.

Anyway my question is will the above address the lack of these from meat and what do other people do for calcium, vitamin B12 and vitamin D? I would like if possible to get them via food as opposed to supplement but I believe in the case of B12 that many plant based sources are not digestible?

Any advice or insight would be much appreciated.

Cheers,
Ronan

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Gaia
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Re: Transition to Vegan

#2 Postby Gaia » Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:02 pm

I know for Vitamin B12, that the Methylcobalamin, in a sublingual tablet, is the best form of this vitamin for absorption: albeit supplementation.

Some Nutritional Yeast have been fortified with Vitamin B12 - but that is just supplementation too.

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vegimator
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Re: Transition to Vegan

#3 Postby vegimator » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:21 pm

For vitamin D, you can get it from UV treated mushrooms like these:
Image

Not sure if you can find stuff like this in Ireland though. You'd have to be pretty serious about eating these things regularly to keep your levels up anyway and if you are currently or ever become deficient, no food product is going to easily correct that.

You can also find vitamin d fortified plant milks and other products.

I take the vitashine d3 capsules which are made from lichen. They're high dose and fairly cheap.

For calcium and omega 3s, I'd look at chia seeds. They're a pretty good source of both. Google chia pudding recipes. They look weird but they can be delicious. The one downside- chia seeds aren't cheap.

Savi seeds seem to be the hot new omega 3 trend. Vega's marketing them now. I just received some that I ordered and they taste great. They have an omega 3:6 ratio similar to chia seeds but they look and taste like a nut. They're good for protein too, but they too are stupid expensive.

Sesame and especially poppy seeds are also really great sources of calcium (look them up on nutritiondata.com), but they're full of omega 6s so maybe not your best bet as a reliable calcium source.

There's always tofu made with calcium chloride, almonds, fortified plant milks, and of course greens.

If you have a cheap source of pretty much any kind of green and a hell of a lot of time and ingenuity, you might be interested in leaf curd. It's incredibly rich in protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A and other nutrients.
http://eattheweeds.com/forum/index.php?topic=656.0

Leaf concentrate (l/c) is a nutritious food made by mechanically separating indigestible fiber and soluble anti-nutrients from the protein, vitamins, and minerals in fresh green leaves...The nutritional breakdown from the original work was that 20 grams of powder would provide 12 grams of protein. The amounts of vitamins and minerals (such as 440 mgs of calcium and 49 mg of iron) are impressive.


It takes a lot of greens and a fair bit of time to make it though.

You should definitely take a supplement (or eat supplemented food like nutritional yeast, soymilk, etc) for b12. You don't want nerve damage. There are studies showing that there may be enough b12 in a few vegan foods (eg laver, chlorella) to stave off a deficiency at least for a while but the evidence is dicey and it's just not worth any risk. I eat a lot of nutritional yeast and take a megadose supplement every few days.

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Fallen_Horse
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Re: Transition to Vegan

#4 Postby Fallen_Horse » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:43 pm

vegimator wrote:You should definitely take a supplement (or eat supplemented food like nutritional yeast, soymilk, etc) for b12. You don't want nerve damage. There are studies showing that there may be enough b12 in a few vegan foods (eg laver, chlorella) to stave off a deficiency at least for a while but the evidence is dicey and it's just not worth any risk. I eat a lot of nutritional yeast and take a megadose supplement every few days.


Agreed.


Also, how much sun is there in Ireland? And are you Caucasian? In the summer months you probably don't need to worry about your vit D intake, but to be safe, many vegan milks are fortified with not only vit D, but calcium and B12 as well....
Learning how to be compassionate, gain wisdom, and love life.

Ronan
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Re: Transition to Vegan

#5 Postby Ronan » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:24 am

Some good tip there folks, much appreciated. Seems I will just need to get a B12 supp and will definitely be investing in some Chia seeds.

Fallen_Horse:

Yes I'm caucasian and in Ireland the sunlight can be an issue when it comes to Vitamind D even if you are not Vegan, see below link. When the weather is perpetually overcast there's not a lot you can do! :)

http://www.fsai.ie/faq/vitamin_d.html


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