Hi <<First Name>>!
WELCOME TO DAY THREE!
A couple of days done now, you must be feeling pretty good about your choices and your chance of sticking with your commitment to a new cruelty-free way of life! :-)
Will it be easier for you to tell everyone you know that you are on the challenge or should you keep it to yourself for the time being?
It all depends on how comfortable you are at handling potential conflict, should people question or criticise you. In the early stages of any new change, it can be challenging to deal with any lack of support. Firstly, you just don’t have enough information about being a long-term vegan and it can be difficult to adequately discuss vegan ideology. Also, you won’t have the personal evidence of the improved health, vitality and peace of mind, which you are guaranteed to have within a short time. Imagine how much easier it will be when people ask you about health, energy levels, ethics and social justice to answer them when you are fully informed with information and evidence of how amazing you feel?
If you are someone who is confident to stand your own ground and answer lucidly that this is about your choice and invite them to be open-minded to the increasing knowledge you will be able to share with them, then go ahead. Remember, you are invitation to other people to try out veganism too.
If you anticipate conflict and would prefer to be better equipped to have those conversations with sceptical people, then hold off. Put all your energies into sticking to the challenge. Learn as much as you can, reflect on your experience and enjoy every day of the challenge.
Ensure you have a reliable source of vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is typically thought of as a ‘carnonutrient’ – a nutrient derived from animal products, but in reality it is made not by animals, but by the bacteria that live in their guts. B-12 producing bacteria also live in soil, and organically-produced or home-grown vegetables that aren’t peeled or washed too thoroughly contain some vitamin B12.
However, the major dietary source of this nutrient is animal products, and vegans are at risk of developing B12 deficiency unless they take supplements or regularly use B12-fortified foods.
There are 2 main consequences of B12 deficiency: haematological and neurological. The haematological manifestation of B12 deficiency is an abnormality of red blood cells called macrocytic anaemia. Lack of B12 causes red blood cells to fail to reach their smaller, mature form; they remain large (the ‘macrocytosis’ part) and don’t transport oxygen well. If the B12 level remains low, anaemia (low haemoglobin level) develops, causing fatigue, reduced exercise tolerance, shortness of breath on exertion, pallor (pale appearance) and even heart palpitations and worsening of angina in those who already have it.
The neurological consequences of B12 deficiency mainly impact on the peripheral and optic nerves, posterior and lateral columns of the spinal cord, and the brain. Symptoms are usually gradual in onset, and may include paraesthesias (sensation of tingling, tickling, prickling, pricking, or burning of the skin); clumsiness especially affecting the hands; lightheadedness and impaired taste and smell; sensations of cold, numbness, or tightness in the tips of the toes and then in the fingertips; and if untreated, eventually weakness in the limbs and a stumbling gait
Babies born to vitamin B12-deficient mothers may suffer delayed development and even death if they don’t receive supplemental B12 in time.
B12 deficiency in adults is thought to contribute to dementia.
As you can see, the consequences of B12 deficiency are serious, and no vegan should gamble with their health (or their baby’s health) by failing to get enough B12. I recommend sublingual sprays or lozenges which offer better absorption of this notoriously difficult-to-absorb vitamin. Savoury yeast flakes, also known as nutritional yeast, is also a good source if eaten regularly. Most vegan foods that are fortified with vitamin B12 are highly processed and of poor nutritional quality.
Cassie's Recipe Idea for Day Three
Vanilla Blueberry Pancakes
Makes 2 pancakes
1 cup plain flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup coconut milk or vegan milk
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tbsp nuttelex or vegan butter, melted
1/2 cup blueberries, optional
1.Preheat a small non-stick frypan over a low heat.
2.In a bowl, place the flour, sugar and baking powder and stir to combine.
3.Using a whisk, stir the coconut milk, vanilla and nuttelex through until just combined with no lumps.
4.Pour half of the pancake batter into the preheated frypan (add 1/2 optional blueberries) and allow to cook for 3 minutes or until bubbles form on the top and the base is golden. Flip and cook for a further 2 minutes.
5.Repeat and serve with your choice of toppings.
Need a laugh?
Bust the myths!
There are so many myths about being vegan. Pseudo-science, bro-science, woo-science, even old-wives-tale science! Sounds fishy? Well it is! Here are five myths instantly busted:
* 'You have to give up cheese'
- WRONG! There are many brands of vegan cheeses!
* 'Vegans are in danger of protein deficiency'
- INCORRECT! Protein is in almost all plant fruit, vegetables, nuts grains and seeds! Hospitals in Australia dont’ have a ‘protein deficiency ward’. Its almost impossible to get too little protein on a vegan diet provided you are eating a normal amount of calories
* 'You have to like tofu
RRRRrrrrr! Tofu is not compulsory and many vegans don’t eat it!
* 'Vegan food is flavourless'.
Really? What did you used to put on your meat? Sauce right? Isnt’ that made of liquified plants? Going vegan means embarking on a FOOD ADVENTURE!!!
* 'Being vegan will make your hair fall out'.
Interesting… I haven't met many bald vegans.. green leafy vegetables have tons of vitamin A, iron, beta carotene, folate which work together for a healthy scalp and mane. Fruit brims with vitamin C which protects your hair from breaking. Sweet potatoes are filled with an antioxidant called beta carotene. Your body turns beta carotene into vitamin A. That helps protect against dry, dull hair. Many vegetables help with blood flow, also called circulation. That's what brings oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles. Some vegans report healthier hair than ever!
If any of these myths above got you, do some googling research now and find out the science behind the dogma!
Check out this hilarious video clip 'Vegan Style' parody of 'Gangnam Style': click here
Congratulations making it to DAY THREE!