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"B12, Omega-3's, and the Vegan Diet" or "Should I Eat Fish?" - Page 2

post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawanabe
"Not being abl e to type on a website is not the same as not being able to spell. Its called not being a clerk or having celrical abilities."
Totally off topic, but I your sig line mamawanabe!!!

I've never been a vegan (ok, I was but it only lasted a few months in college :LOL) but I've been taking fish oil capsules and it seems to be helping with my depression and pain. I have fibromyalgia and I get certain blood tests done regularly- since starting the fish oil, various blood tests have come back better (showing less inflamation in my body.)

For me, fish oil as a supplement is better than eating lots of fish. With the amount of fish oil I need for my medical issues, I'd be consuming too many toxins if I got it all directly from fish. 2 weeks worth of supplements cost me as much as one dinner's worth of "safe" salmon. Most of my diet is made up of grains, beans, and veggies, because they're so economical.
post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla
Totally off topic, but I your sig line mamawanabe!!!
Thanks! It is a quote from Courtney Love (when she used to post at Kittyradio.com).
post #23 of 44
hey

so my road to diet/health harmony has been long and full of learning and trying lots of different things...

but what i have come to is that if you eat a raw, live food diet (which is vegan by nature)

you will be getting such a huge max. amount of nutrition from your food.
and your body will be so clean that it can use it all quickly.

you only need 20 grams of protein a day and that can be found from fruits and veggies pretty easy (not to mention raw soaked nuts and seeds)

i do not consider processed foods food anymore.

i have been raw, live foodist for a while and have never felt better.

if you want to learn more i like this sight (and shazzie's story is very inspirational and she used to be a processed, cooked, heavy on the wheat and soy vegan....)

http://www.shazzie.com/raw/journal/
post #24 of 44
As someone said, vegan DHA and other EFA supplements are available at health food stores.

If you're eating flax seed, make sure it's FRESH. Store whole seeds in the freezer and grind just before eating.

I eat oatmeal w/ walnuts and fresh-ground flax seed several times a week.
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg

If you're eating flax seed, make sure it's FRESH. Store whole seeds in the freezer and grind just before eating.

I eat oatmeal w/ walnuts and fresh-ground flax seed several times a week.
store whole seeds in the freezer? They are stored in room temp bulk bins at the store? Also, wouldn't heating the ground flaz seeds (in the oatmeal) damage them?

thansk!
post #26 of 44
Have you tried eating a large amount of leafy greens, I'm talking like a pound a day (romaine, green leaf lettuce, collards, spinach etc...) and other veggies, beans (everyday) and nuts and seeds because a diet like this is very high in iron and should meet almost everyones iron needs. Eating a diet like this makes it easier for your body to use all the nutrients in these foods. There is no reason to rely on processed food s to meet dietary needs and won't do a good job of it anyway. I would try a high nutrient diet first before I added in any flesh.
I know you said you don't "want" to add flesh to your diet but from reading your post it seems you are convinced you won't be healthy other wise.
post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawanabe
store whole seeds in the freezer? They are stored in room temp bulk bins at the store? Also, wouldn't heating the ground flaz seeds (in the oatmeal) damage them?

thansk!
Yes, but they do stay fresher in the freezer. Same goes for brown rice and whole wheat flour, both of which stay much fresher if refrigerated or frozen (many bags of brown rice or flour will actually say this). I don't buy the flax seeds in bulk bins for precisely that reason--I get them in the dated, sealed bags and then put them in the freezer after opening.

If you put the flax seed in the dry oatmeal and then cooked it, I think they would get damaged. But putting it on top of cooked oatmeal--it doesn't got hot enough for it to be problem.
post #28 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheacoby
Have you tried eating a large amount of leafy greens, I'm talking like a pound a day (romaine, green leaf lettuce, collards, spinach etc...) and other veggies, beans (everyday) and nuts and seeds because a diet like this is very high in iron and should meet almost everyones iron needs. Eating a diet like this makes it easier for your body to use all the nutrients in these foods. There is no reason to rely on processed food s to meet dietary needs and won't do a good job of it anyway. I would try a high nutrient diet first before I added in any flesh.
I know you said you don't "want" to add flesh to your diet but from reading your post it seems you are convinced you won't be healthy other wise.
no, i'm not convinced... just exploring it as an option.

i do eat a TON of greens though. granted, i don't get to spend as much time on my food as i used to, just because i have my hands full. but the vegetables are pretty easy for us because we have like three local farmstands in my town that we go to a few times a week... i have the only kids on the block who ask for seconds of collard greens.

i've been on the low side as far as my iron goes my whole life... even when i was a full fledged meat eater (which was till i was 18). during my second pregnancy, i got really depressed and wasn't taking very good care of myself (and i ate way too much junk and not enough good stuff) and my hemoglobin was at 10 before i started taking the supplements... i went through a whole month's worth (one bottle, upped dosage) of iron pills only to see that level NOT BUDGE. we tried a few forms... the floradix made me sick (way too sweet and im hypoglycemic), but then we tried the solgar gentle iron and that got me up to 12. then i ended up with an emergency c-birth, and by the time the surgery was over my hemoglobin was SIX. i spent a lot of time with a hematologist for a few months afterwards. i'm ok now, but i'm still borderline low... the iron is not the issue though as far as the fish thing is concerned.

i'm definately in favor of eliminating all the fake meat from my diet though. i LOVE tofu, but i dont digest it well... and seitan straight up gives me a headache. i know i can get enough protein without that stuff anyway.

at the moment i'm dealing with the dry skin (the bumps on my arms and everything), the dry hair, the excessive thirst, depression, memory loss, vision problems... i've been supplementing with ground flax and epo for a while with no improvement at all, and my health is continuing to decline. i mean, i'm committed to being vegan, but not at the cost of my health. it effects my ability to be a good mother, and to enjoy life in general. i mean, i'll try just about anything before eating an animal, but so far i have had NO luck. believe me, this is my LAST resort. and if i do it, it will be as absolutely minimal as possible. it's not like i'm craving fish here.
post #29 of 44
I am truly sorry you are having health problems. It really sucks that adding flax hasn't improved your symptoms because usually it will.
Have you had your thyroid checked?
It would be easier for me to take a fish oil supplement before actually eating a fish (I swear I don't know if I could get it down) but I know you said that supplements don't usually work for you.
Just remember if you add fish you should increase your intake of fruits and veggies to counter balance it's negative health effects.
I wish you much luck.
Heather
post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveMyLittles
no, i'm not convinced... just exploring it as an option.

i do eat a TON of greens though. granted, i don't get to spend as much time on my food as i used to, just because i have my hands full. but the vegetables are pretty easy for us because we have like three local farmstands in my town that we go to a few times a week... i have the only kids on the block who ask for seconds of collard greens.

i've been on the low side as far as my iron goes my whole life... even when i was a full fledged meat eater (which was till i was 18). during my second pregnancy, i got really depressed and wasn't taking very good care of myself (and i ate way too much junk and not enough good stuff) and my hemoglobin was at 10 before i started taking the supplements... i went through a whole month's worth (one bottle, upped dosage) of iron pills only to see that level NOT BUDGE. we tried a few forms... the floradix made me sick (way too sweet and im hypoglycemic), but then we tried the solgar gentle iron and that got me up to 12. then i ended up with an emergency c-birth, and by the time the surgery was over my hemoglobin was SIX. i spent a lot of time with a hematologist for a few months afterwards. i'm ok now, but i'm still borderline low... the iron is not the issue though as far as the fish thing is concerned.

i'm definately in favor of eliminating all the fake meat from my diet though. i LOVE tofu, but i dont digest it well... and seitan straight up gives me a headache. i know i can get enough protein without that stuff anyway.

at the moment i'm dealing with the dry skin (the bumps on my arms and everything), the dry hair, the excessive thirst, depression, memory loss, vision problems... i've been supplementing with ground flax and epo for a while with no improvement at all, and my health is continuing to decline. i mean, i'm committed to being vegan, but not at the cost of my health. it effects my ability to be a good mother, and to enjoy life in general. i mean, i'll try just about anything before eating an animal, but so far i have had NO luck. believe me, this is my LAST resort. and if i do it, it will be as absolutely minimal as possible. it's not like i'm craving fish here.


Oh my...if I were you I would have given up veganism at the first sign of any of those symptoms. Have you had any blood/hair tests done to see what you're lacking in? You could also be low in Vitamin A and D which are also lacking in a vegan diet (beta carotene and vitamin A are not the same).

Put your health first and do whatever you need to do to feel better!


post #31 of 44
I am also a former whole foods vegan who now eats meet.

LoveMyLittles -- those symptoms sound very familiar. My own severe postpartum depression was curbed by a custom amino acid supplement. Search for my name and amino acids and you'll find some discussions around here. I also have some grain intolerances that I think contributed to the memory loss, vision problems, and inability to focus.

Have you considered bone broth? It would be a good addition to the fish.
post #32 of 44
Search the archives I know several mama's who posted here and switched from a vegan diet to add dairy and meat. A vegan diet can be healthy but, for many people their B-12's will too low after years of this lifestyle. I hope you find the right answer for you. I know it was a very hard decision for my friends. One of them now eats all meat and dairy (mostly organic) and the other is still on the fence, adding very little eggs and fish to her diet.

Spirulina- is the algae that fish eat
post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mz_libbie22
Oh my...if I were you I would have given up veganism at the first sign of any of those symptoms. Have you had any blood/hair tests done to see what you're lacking in? You could also be low in Vitamin A and D which are also lacking in a vegan diet (beta carotene and vitamin A are not the same).
Actually, they've done studies of actual vegans and found that vitamin D deficiency is much more rare than researchers expected. Seems most vegans (myself included) are informed enough about their health to get 10-15 minutes of summer sun three times a week to maintain vitamin D stores or to consume fortified foods. Sorry--I just get a little riled by blanket statements like "X is lacking in a vegan diet." When an omnivore has health problems, the first response of most people isn't "well then you obviously need to give up meat." But when a vegan has health problems, the first response tends to be, "It must be diet-related." There are some things that can be lacking in any poorly planned diet. People eating the SAD most commonly lack fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, etc. Which doesn't mean that if you eat the SAD you will lack those things. It just means that everyone--no matter what you eat--needs to know their nutritional needs and take adequate steps to meet them.
post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by celrae

Spirulina- is the algae that fish eat
Yes, I looked it up. fish eat a microalae from which they get the essential fatty acids that people get from eating the fish. I'd suggest going strait to the microalgea. The book I am refering to, "Becoming Vegan," suggested two companies who provide the microalgea in pill form - I don't have the book with me but the companies were something like Omegatech and Mertek.

Anyone know?
post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mz_libbie22
Oh my...if I were you I would have given up veganism at the first sign of any of those symptoms. Have you had any blood/hair tests done to see what you're lacking in? You could also be low in Vitamin A and D which are also lacking in a vegan diet (beta carotene and vitamin A are not the same).

Put your health first and do whatever you need to do to feel better!


This is just NOT true. The truth is most people don't eat a nutrient rich diet regardless of if they are meat eaters or veg*n. From all the studies they have conducted though veg*ns are healthier overall, have much lower rates of cancer , heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

I do agree put your health first. That is the main reason I eat a high nutrient vegan diet!
post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheacoby
This is just NOT true. The truth is most people don't eat a nutrient rich diet regardless of if they are meat eaters or veg*n. From all the studies they have conducted though veg*ns are healthier overall, have much lower rates of cancer , heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
ITA agree that most folks are nutrient deficient.

The problem with most research is the base of comparison: veg*ns compared to the average American are, indeed, much healthier. That's not the base of comparison that I think is most useful. But it took serious depression for me to realize that.
post #37 of 44
Not all the studies are done based on the typical American diet though. The China Project being one of them. For you eating flesh cured your depression and that's good but I do not think that is the norm at all. Animal foods are more likely to lead to disease not cure them.
post #38 of 44
What exactly did I say that was false? That vitamin D is not present in a vegan diet? Well, I'm sorry but it's a FACT that there is no vitamin D in vegan food. I didn't say that *vegans* have no vitamin D in them I said
*vegan food* had no vitamin D, there IS a difference. Sure everything is "fortified" now but I have yet to see any solid evidence that this process can even compare to getting nutrients the natural way.

Getting back to the OP, (who stated that she did NOT want to rely on pills and fortified food and was then continually recommended them), I see the real false statements made here are by those who imply fish is on the same level as radioactive waste, when in fact there are just as many studies showing the benefits of fish as there are showing the benefits of veg food.

FYI, people with dark skin are showing rising incidences of deficiency in vit D, vit D is best available via the sun between 10 AM and 3 PM (when most people are inside working or at school), darker skinned people need more than 10-15 minutes of exposure, people in Northern/colder climates need a vitamin D source in their diet, and vit D is a fat soluble vitamin so you need plenty of fat in your diet for it to be bioavailable.


ANYWAY, I just recommend that she get her levels checked, I didn't mean to imply that I thought she was inherently deficient just because she's a vegan.
post #39 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mz_libbie22
What exactly did I say that was false? That vitamin D is not present in a vegan diet? Well, I'm sorry but it's a FACT that there is no vitamin D in vegan food. I didn't say that *vegans* have no vitamin D in them I said
*vegan food* had no vitamin D, there IS a difference. Sure everything is "fortified" now but I have yet to see any solid evidence that this process can even compare to getting nutrients the natural way.
.
Just wanted to add this: while there are high levels of vitamin D in some fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, and cod liver oil), the majority of non-vegan Americans get their dietary vitamin D from a fortified food--vitamin D fortified milk--as well as from fortified cereals.

In any event, I think your suggestion to do a full blood work-up is the best one. It's very easy to say, "Oh you must be lacking this or that because of your diet", but there's no way of knowing without checking (especially important, because people often assume that vegans have higher incidence of anemia and other deficiencies, when the reality doesn't necessarily bear that out).
post #40 of 44
People are getting less vitamin D because people are avoiding the sun and wearing sunscreen. The most significant source of vitamin D (for flesh eaters as well as veg*ns) comes from the sythesis of ultra-violet B light on sterols in the skin. The majority of people need no extra vitamin D from food when regularly exposed to sunlight when the sun is high in the sky. Even the sky shine on a cloudy summer day will stimulate formation of some D in the skin. So yes the natural way is best and when it comes to vitamin D that would be sunlight!
That said though most people get their vitamin D from fortified foods , regardless of if they eat flesh or not.
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