One time a director called me an "Amazonian bodybuilder" and my life hasn't been the same. I'm a master's student who wants to help your vegan teen live a happy, healthy life and prepare for adulthood!
Not for any deep reason- I haven’t experienced any loss, I don’t have any kind of illness, I just realized how little I’ve thought about death. There are some people who could argue that I don’t really have to worry about it and that’s okay, but I realized it’s better the devil you know rather than the one you don’t. It’s a personal thing- I just want to understand, to know more, especially because death and food go together.
There are stereotypes everywhere of casseroles and comfort foods during wakes and following funerals, deciding to stop eating, and how closely food is tied to our health. Almost anywhere you turn, there’s books about how to live longer, subvert disease, all through using the “power of nutrition”.
But what is death and why are we so scared of it?
Learning about the things we know little about is a good way to broaden horizons, become more empathetic, and live in a way that seems more intentional than just letting information come to us in ways that just passively allow us to get an understanding of someone’s moment in time- through a quick post, a photo, a tweet, or a book, but I want to get a good idea of what the Western idea of ‘death’ tends towards.
I’ll be documenting my ideas here for sure in between internship posts, share what I’m reading, as well as field any comments, recommendations, or anything of the kind that I get via email or comment or social media.
Especially if you have any recommendations about readings, ideas, podcasts, about the link between food, death, and grief. A lot of the reads I have stocked up are more about death in general (right now I’m reading Natural Causes by Barbara Ehrenreich) and would love more ideas.
I definitely want to hear from you guys about this from you guys. What was an experience with death that shaped you?
We all know the internet is rife with ridiculous claims, weird hobbies, and memes we wish would just disappear into the throes of time rather than continually show up on our newsfeed. I know from a personal standpoint, I’ve now developed a Pavlovian reaction to the week leading up to my birthday because I’m bracing myself for the inevitable onslaught of “It’s gonna be May” memes.
Ah, the joys of a late April birthday. If you’re not in finals, you’re slapped in the face with Timberlake memes.
So today I thought I’d share some stuff that made me balk, stare at my screen, or turn to whoever was nearby and cry out: ‘have you SEEN this shit?!’
Let’s start with this god-awful thing:
Here are my thoughts: incredible way to take two complex, multi-faceted issues in our modern society, and twist them around into your fat-shaming message.
This picture is not a new picture. It’s a “classic” meme photo, and is used in a lot of cries of ‘what is HAPPENING to US!’ despite the fact we know very little about this photo. It’s a classic fat-shaming image used for a lot of fat jokes.
That’s just the tip of the ice berg.
Next, let’s look at the message here. If we REALLY care about children? Why does caring for children have to be either we don’t want them shot in school, or we want to limit a person’s basic freedom to choose what food they want?
There are more issues at play when it comes to “regulating food” just than “hey asshole, don’t eat that, let’s tax it”. You need to look at economics, family dynamics, nutrition education, and the overworking of the lower classes when looking at this.
You can’t just share this meme, think you’re woke, and move on and not do anything.
I grew up big, broad, and was never really considered feminine because of it. I like my body and it took a long time to get there. And my body is perfect for lifting.
So when I see articles like this I tend to purse my lips and shake my head. Lifting cannot, and will not, make you bulky unless you utilize chemical enhancers to give you a hand.
If you want to lose weight, lifting and cardio is your best bet. Yeah, there are different ways to lift if you want to look a certain way (body building does not an Olympic lifter make) but overall, you’re not going to look “manly” or “less feminine” to anyone except shallow assholes who would rather focus on what YOU’RE doing in the gym rather than staying in their own lane.
If you are really concerned, get a personal trainer or a coach, don’t listen to pseudoscience articles on the internet.
It’s no secret that the internet is the place to go for faux nutrition and fitness news, incorrect assumptions about public health, and the like, so these articles aren’t far from the norm. However, these are definitely the two I thought about the most when I ran into them.
What was the most recent online eye-roll you’ve seen? Share them in the comments below, I want to hear!
As always, do your homework, eat a vegetable, and don’t forget to smile at someone today. See you soon!
I ended my cut recently and it went well. I definitely look and feel faster, slimmer, and my energy levels are back up. I did it all by myself this time, calculated my own macros, and let myself be flexible.
I was able to tailor my diet and macros towards things I liked to eat and never really felt deprived. A lot of anti-diet advocates focus on the depravity of diets and how you have to postpone all your favorite foods, but in reality as long as you account for them it’s not like you have to lock away all your favorite foods.
Discerning your priorities when it comes to nutrition is what makes a cut really difficult.
So when you have to choose between 150 calories worth of tortilla chips, vs a big yummy sweet potato, you can opt for the tortilla chips when you’re really feeling it. It’s not moralizing the choice (that tortilla chips are “bad” and you should choose the “good” sweet potato) but rather knowing that when you’re cutting calories, and need to keep your nutrient profile relatively healthy, sometimes you do need to choose the sweet potato.
Of course, you can fill in the blank with whichever foods you prefer, I just chose sweet potato because I found it to be the most recent and relevant example to me. This comes in to play for all kinds of foods, and all kinds of choices.
There are other things I really didn’t expect when I ended my cut, which meant about a month/two weeks each of adding back in some calories bit by bit so my metabolism had time to keep up. I used Renaissance Periodization’s maintenance article to guide me as well as my own hunger cues.
Maintenance is the period of time after you lose weight- you either stay at the weight you’re at, or you give your body a break between cuts to adjust to the new size. So I’ve been upping my calories slowly these past few weeks.
Things I didn’t expect:
Going from eating a smaller amount of food to a little bit bigger amounts every two weeks took some getting used to. As I entered my food into MyFitnessPal, all I could think of was “really? All this? And I’m still not at my goal yet?”
It was weird adding an extra serving of tofu, or beans, or whatever else it might be in order to reach a higher calorie goal.
There was a bit of guilt, too, since I advocate for a mixture of intuitive eating and watching what you eat, I felt uncomfortable talking openly about my cut. But as my friend, who’s undergoing her own IE journey, and some fellow RDs (Nutritionist Sam, doctormeetsdietitian) remind me, everyone works best doing their own damn thing.
You can be against the shame, black and white thinking, and sizeism that the diet industry pushes out every day while still personally knowing you need to log food to make sure you’re getting what you need.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but with my ADHD, if I don’t log and watch my food, I’ll be eating those dopamine-hitting foods all day err day. Chocolate, chips, (vegan) cheese, you name it, if my brain gets an extra dopamine hit from it it’ll be there.
It’s not depriving myself of the joy of food; it’s knowing my limits. Which is part of what makes IE make sense to me.
I already have IBS, so bloating is not a stranger in my life. But wow, adding more food makes you more bloated at the end of the day and feel just a /bit/ more full.
One of those things that I logically knew but then when I experienced it, I just went “oh, well, that’s a thing”.
When I first felt sluggish adding in more food, that slowly gave way to more energy when I lifted and better lifting sessions. I timed it well (on accident, as most things in my life) that my cut ended just in time for my program to get heavier.
I also have had to go for easier cardio now that my energy needs to go towards big lifts, which is another weird feeling. I love a hard cardio session at the end of the week, so gliding away on the elliptical is an experience I haven’t had since my early college days.
Finishing a weight cut and moving to maintenance is, like weight loss itself, a process.
It deals a lot with listening to your body, paying attention to how you feel after you eat, and changing your routine just enough that your body can get used to the new weight.
We’ve got a ways to go yet (I probably won’t cut during the summer and jury’s still out if it’d be worth cutting during my internship), but I’m pleased with how I’m doing so far.
I’ll talk more about body image in another post but for now, don’t forget to do your homework, eat a vegetable, and smile at someone today.
It’s been an interesting two months over here at Center Stage Nutrition. I’ve been losing time between work, celebrating matching (yay!), and actually trying to leave my house every now and again that advertising my blog has fallen by the wayside.
I’m actually not too sure how to feel about it. For a while, I’ve had other topics I’ve really wanted to write about, but haven’t really felt like I could write them here since I write a lot about teen health and wellness. Part of me wonders if I should open up my niche just a little bit while I go through my master’s program and internship, letting you guys see the process of an “RD2B” and figuring out what I want to do.
The other part of me is scared, for no good reason, about changing everything around. Maybe it is the idea of change. I’m still Em, I’m still writing here and interacting with you guys, but maybe the teen stuff can wait.
We’ll have to see!
My laptop randomly died last week (another shout out to my Nutrition Writer’s group, who was patient while I panicked during the meeting) so my content calendar is going to be off for a while. I thought I would do another reading round up post.
I’ve been on a self-help book kick lately, so I read:
You can read my review of Boundaries in Dating here, and I would recommend How People Grow for anyone who works with people. Even if you’re not particularly religious but go to church and pray sometimes, Grow is a great resource on how humans need support. Cloud and Townstead are Christian counselors, so their books have a great mix of psychology and theology.
I’m also currently reading When Breath Becomes Air, but I’m taking breaks because I learned my lesson after reading The Bright Hour: reading dying people’s memoirs needs to be a slow process so I don’t overwhelm myself with emotion.
This is also a great example of how studies are capable of being fallible and the importance of critically reading new research.
The Individuator wrote an interesting post about authenticity and speaking their mind to those who asked. What are your thoughts on this kind of openness? As I get more comfortable to my coworkers I find I can be more of myself around them, but still tend to shut off. What about you?
Dances with Fat wrote a great piece about that new Amy Schumer movie called I Feel Pretty.
My friend Jenna, who founded the Nutrition Writer’s Group, wrote a book review on the Bad Food Bible, and if you’re eyeing a new book to read, give Jenna’s review a look to see if you should pick up a copy of BFB!
That’s all from me today. As always, do your homework, eat a vegetable, and don’t forget to smile at someone today. See you soon!
When it comes to any kind of eating pattern, there’s always a natural worry that it could be unhealthy for your son and daughter. With veganism, which is a big change from a “standard” diet for most, it’s only natural to worry if boys can be vegan. Especially with our current culture surrounding masculinity.
If you’re on the internet, even just Facebook comments, you’re probably one of many who’s seen the term “soy boy” and stopped to wonder what that meant. Here’s a helpful video in case you’ve never heard it before (just a warning, it’s rather long) .
Like other forms of toxic masculinity before it, “soy boy” is a derogatory term used to tear men down who are “feminine” by traditional standards. It refers to the nutritional content of soy being like estrogen, which is a hormone responsible for what’s deemed to be more “feminine” traits. (Breasts, high pitched voices, less body hair, etc).
The belief here is that these men eat a lot of soy, and thus are soft, feminine, weak (yeah, it’s not a kind term towards women, either), or any other derogatory statement about femininity you can dream of.
All this turns to the question if boys can really be vegans.
And the answer is yes.
But why is it yes?
Myths of Veganism
Veganism is different from plant based. Veganism is connected to animal welfare and avoidance of any animal product, including things tested on animals.
Since it’s rooted primarily in compassion, often veganism is stereotyped as “feminine”. Rather, we tend to see men as more rough and tough rather than crying or compassionate. And vegans are stereotypically the modern equivalent of tree-huggers, with most outspoken vegans being female.
And plenty more I didn’t include. This is just a short list to show that veganism doesn’t reverse puberty.
Meat, development, and other things
Other myths that stop guys from being vegan are that meat is needed for muscles- which is, again, not true. There are the guys I mentioned above, not to mention tons of vegan bodybuilders and lifters who are strong without needed to eat any animal products.
It wasn’t until Monday morning that I realized I didn’t write a post last week letting y’all know about life and dropping some knowledge. I want to apologize for that, and let y’all know that I MISSED YOU!
My brain and body are still getting used to working again. I love my job (I get free coffee!), and I love what I do, it’s just the process of getting used to a new schedule. I push when I can, but there are days where I fall asleep on the couch (eerily like how my mom is dozing on hers when she gets home…) and other things fall to the wayside.
As time goes on, though, the energy is getting there.
I like being honest with you guys about mental health too since my interest is in being transparent and helping people help themselves. One of the ways to do that, as I learned reading Doctor’s Townstead and Cloud’s book How People Grow, is by helping them realize they’re not alone. That failure is normal.
While I’m all for positivity, sometimes (especially with ADHD) it feels like the spaces are filled to burst with positivity. That ADHD is a gift, a blessing, or whatever helps the person feel better in the moment. That’s all well and good sometimes, but I think that does a disservice to fellow ADHDers.
People see our positivity, that “Yaaay ADHD is fun!” and they think that we aren’t hindered by this disorder. It’s okay to be positive, but we also need to be honest.
Sometimes, ADHD sucks. I hate having mood swings, spacing out all the time, or having bad “brain days” where it feels like I just cannot get my brain to catch up with my body. And for a long time, I was worried about writing about these negatives until I realized that people without ADHD get these days too- so why should I be quiet about mine?
Probably because we push the positive of ADHD and stigmatize the idea that ADHD might be detrimental to people. We need resources, not just endless positivity. We can keep up, we just need a hand. And there’s no shame in that.
I feel this way with anxiety too. It wasn’t until recently that I started reaching out when my anxiety got bad. It’s really helped just to express what I was feeling, especially now that I started dating. Which has been an interesting exercise in seeing how my anxiety changes in different situations. I’m sure there’s natural anxiety that comes with dating and adding that on top of regular social anxiety can just make it a large, delicious, nervous wreck smoothie.
But damn, am I glad I started putting myself out there. Let me tell you why:
Because I can feel myself grow as a person.
I was so scared of dating before I started. For some reason, I was an immovable object when it came to putting myself out there. Yeah, I can do theatre, but that’s different than auditioning people to be a part of your life like that. Especially when you, too, are being “auditioned”.
But after the first “first date”, you slowly start to get used to it, and the anxiety gives way to excitement and confidence. Something I knew I needed but never worked on. Just like blogging, doing something new has helped me work on skills I didn’t realize need working on.
So go out and do a thing that scares you, you never know where it may lead, and know that your coping mechanisms will be waiting for you when you get home.
The documentary Earthlings is a bit notorious in vegan spaces just because of it’s content. Unlike other food documentaries, it has little to do with what we eat. While it’s interesting, it’s certainly brutal, and a quick google search reveals people exclaiming that they went vegan because of the film.
I was already vegan when I watched it back in January, and it didn’t necessarily solidify why I was vegan, just reinforced things I had already heard. However having seen it now, I can certainly empathize with people who went vegan because of it.
If your teen is considering going vegan, there’s a good chance that they already have heard of this film if they’ve been researching on their own. Of course, you can’t dictate what your teen does and does not watch, but it might be a good idea to look into Earthlings a little bit.
I say this only because of it’s content and what they show is at least worth having a conversation about after the film is over. You don’t have to watch it with them (and if you weren’t keen on the idea of going vegan at all, skip this one), but it has heavy enough content that it should be discussed.
Earthlings starts with the thesis that humans are exploiting animals on this earth for their own gain. They travel through four supporting “paragraphs”: pets, food, clothing, and science.
Being a dog lover and someone who relies on her pets for emotional support, the pets section nearly made me quit watching entirely. They show dogs being put down, beaten, shot, poisoned, mistreated (most notably, a man putting his dog in a garbage truck that will eventually grind him to death. I still have nightmares about this scene). This alone might be enough to skip this documentary in your home.
Earthlings doesn’t spell out whether owning pets is ethical or not. Most believe these animals provide companionship and the relationship is legitimately beneficial for both parties. I can’t speak for the opposite side, because I’m biased when it comes to pets. But Earthlings will not make you feel bad for owning a pet so long as it’s loved and cherished.
Next it goes to food, which most emotionally driven vegan documentaries focus on in one way or another. The state of factory farming, of animal slaughter and mistreatment, is the main reason I’m vegan. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can’t imagine harming another being just to eat. Again, the footage is graphic (it is meant to shock you).
Clothing was a surprise to me, and even though I don’t wear fur, they explain how the fur industry gets its pelts. For science, another reason I went vegan, they do show dogs (beagles, mainly), and other animals being tested on. They talk about how it’s being used, what studies have used animals, and gives you context on it.
Overall I did find it a really interesting and surprising documentary. You always need to be aware of the message when it comes to documentaries, and Earthlings was written and narrated by lifelong vegans.
To help you, especially if you don’t want to watch the documentary yourself, I’ve compiled a list of things to talk about with your teen if they do want to watch Earthlings:
What do you think the main message was in Earthlings?
What did the filmmakers want you to know, and feel when you finished the movie?
How did they get you to understand and feel these things?
What questions do you have now that you’ve seen this?
What did you see that felt exaggerated, or you want to look into further?
What statistics and stories do you want to learn more about?
How will you know if a source where you find these statistics is a credible one?
(Shameless self plug way back to “Media Muck” to help them learn more)
How did the film make you feel? Did the filmmakers achieve their goal by making you feel this way?
I found this film a difficult watch, not in a bad way, but in a “this is really difficult to realize this is going on” way. If your teen wants to watch it, I would say it’s a PG-13 to R rating, and something you might want to watch first or watch with them to help talk them through what they saw.
What did you think of it? Did you watch it? I want to hear your thoughts!
As always, do your homework, eat a vegetable, and don’t forget to smile at someone today. See you soon!
When I left the gym today and walked to my own car- the one I was paying for with my own money- and a thought popped into my head without prompting, as I jingled my keys:
Damn, I missed this independence.
Up at school I would have some semblance of independence. I lived in an apartment, could take public transport, and would often be on my own with my own agenda. It taught me how to be resilient, how to hold myself accountable, and most how to be by myself.
“Close enough to home that I can come back for a weekend if I need to, far enough away that I get the experience I need” is what I would tell people. By the time I was planning to transfer I knew it was time to spread my wings and go.
Of course, I still cried a lot when I left home. There’s a picture of my Dad and I crying, with me holding a replica of Sully’s clipboard in Monster’s Inc that had Boo’s door.
My friends in High School got a lot more independent a lot quicker than I did. Part of it was ADHD, which I know now, another part was I didn’t know if I was ready.
I get that it can be scary for parents- is it just a matter of time, or if we never let go, will our teen ever grow? Will they ever fly?
Only you can gauge for yourself what your teen is up for and what they want to do. When I write about my personal experience, know that this is coming from an undiagnosed ADHD adult who made it through adolescence alive and doing pretty dang well for herself. I’m here to help reassure you, guide you, advise you when I can.
Everyone works on different timelines, too. My brother became independent way before I did and even now, to me, he’s more emotionally and financially independent than I am (damn you, FAFSA). My sister is in between the two of us. But we all know she’ll get there eventually.
It’s in the independence where your teen figures out who they are and what they’re like. I learned that at school and camp, too.
For a while, I didn’t really like being alone. Part of it, I think, was because I didn’t really know what I was like. But as college went on, as I made mistakes and learned from them (sometimes calling my parents about the mistakes), who I am slowly became more and more clear. Even things like having to get my own groceries and developing my own palette helped me slowly become the person I am today!
But I won’t pretend to know 100% who I am, or what I can do, because I don’t think that’s a question that will ever have a definite answer. Just like the physical growing pains that come with puberty, so too will the emotional and mental ones come along in their own time.
We just need to be patient for those who seem a bit behind the curve. There’s a fear, especially among people my age, that once you hit 25 you’re on the downhill slope when it comes to careers, love, family, goals.
It creates this anxiety and rush for everyone who thinks that there’s this drop off of options at 25. Because of that, I think people miss a lot of opportunities to grow. Patience, too, I think gets lost in the mix of growth.
We see this in pervasive diet culture, in school choices, in athletics. This sense of “goals need to be met ASAP or else”, or “if I don’t get it now, I never will” seeps into how we see everything else. Dating, jobs, even just going through the Starbucks drive thru becomes a “how quickly can I get this thing I want”.
(No hate on Starbucks, you all know I love my lattes).
Setting up long term success is what goal setting is all about. Rather than a light at the end of the tunnels, goals should be more like street lamps: there to light the way and see where you’re going.
If I could go back in time to high school and tell my former self one thing, besides stop frying your hair, it would be to just chill and keep working. Things come with time. You will grow up. It’ll happen, you just have to keep working. Everything you want in life won’t come to you, but it will meet you half way.
What goals have you made recently? Have you achieved any of them?
As always, do your homework, eat a vegetable, and don’t forget to smile at someone today. See you soon!
For people without ADHD it can be tough when you’re at a party, or out and about, and you suddenly get the intense feeling that you need to just shut up.
It can be for whatever reason: you said something ridiculous or rude on accident, you realized you were talking over the person you’re with, whatever it is it triggers some unique defense mechanism that just tells us to shut our damn mouth.
Having ADHD, this happens at least once a week.
I was often on my own these past two months before I started getting out and doing volunteer stuff, seeing friends, and stopped laying on the couch wondering what I could even do. I downloaded some dating apps (realize I’m saying this because I don’t care what your opinion on them is) to meet people.
I’ve found that the person I was in uni is really slowly crawling her way back to the surface the more I leave my house. (“But Em! Why were you home so much?” Because it’s cold and I’m weak, okay? I admit that). Instead of despising everything I say or thinking it’s ridiculous, I’m getting back to the place of realizing people don’t have to like me, and I don’t have to care if they do.
I can definitely run my mouth. If you get me talking on theatre or nutrition, (Or even the difference in Christian denominations, apparently) I’ll go for a while. These things are typically what get me into the shut up, Em! mode.
It’s like an Energizer bunny thing. And I hated it. I would wish I could just keep quiet, not talk too much, and listen.
Personal development of listening skills aside, I realized that what people thought of me wasn’t any of my damn business, either. It took realizing that I was a pretty rad person before I started shutting up my ‘shut up’ instinct.
I listen. I interact. I want to hear what people are saying- but if people don’t want to do the same for me, then why keep them around?
New job rocks. I can’t say much, since it’s a hospital job and I don’t want to give too much away, but I love it. It’s working with patients to order meals and help them feel comfortable while they’re in the hospital. While it is technically food service, I’m not on the line (auditory processing has taught me that would be an awful job for me), but rather on the phone.
This is also part of why I mentioned the stuff above. I’ve gotten much, much better in the span of my first week there not taking people being mad personally. I haven’t had screaming yet, just upset people, and I help them without crying after! It’s such a freeing feeling.
I like the comradery of the diet office too. If you want to know more, in the near future I’m actually going to do a split screen with Libby Rothschild! Who has been for a while someone I totally look up to, so you can bet I was fangirling when she asked me to go live with her!
I’m working hard on scheduling my writing days wisely so you guys get content from me regularly. The last thing I want to do is stop writing and podcasting for y’all. But if I start to get quiet around here, message me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook and tell me to come back!
As always, do your homework, eat a vegetable, and don’t forget to smile at someone today. See you soon!
My mom calls me a “nerd” a lot. It’s because if you get me started on nutrition, theatre, or my dogs it’s hard to shut me up. Hence why I started blogging about it…to save my poor mom from all my ranting.
Today we get to chat about something equally nerdy and important…nutrients!
How often have you heard: “I need more protein”, “Where do you get your protein?”, “I heard carbs are bad…” (etc) in general conversation?
Now picture a dinner party and how many of your friends (who don’t have a condition like hypertension) are saying: “My potassium intake is INTENSE” or “My selenium is rather low today. Anyone have any brazil nuts?”
Yeah…not heard a lot. If you’re vegan, you’re a little bit more aware of these micros than someone on a standard American diet (aptly abbreviated to SAD). And if you’re not, don’t worry, you’re not going to die.
There are some micronutrients that you, or the vegan in your life, should be paying attention to regardless of diet.
What’s a micronutrient?
Like a macronutrient, a micronutrient is something our body uses to stay healthy just on a smaller scale. For example, sodium (which is part of NaCl- sodium chloride, table salt) helps our muscles, heart, and nerves fire when we need them to.
Which ones are the ones vegans need to pay attention to? There’s a lot of micronutrients.
Here are what I consider to be the top 5 micronutrients you should be focusing on:
Iron (+Vitamin C) (yes, technically 2 in one…you’ll see)
Iron is used for a few things in the body:
Keeping blood cells healthy.
If you are an individual who menstruates, you may already be aware that iron is needed more during menstruation since you’re losing a bit of blood.
Vitamin C is tagged on there because it helps increase your adsorption of iron. Simply put, it acts like a magnet: it scoops up more iron for your body than your body would get if you didn’t add any vitamin C.
Including vitamin C in an iron-rich meal can look as simple as enjoying an orange after eating some lentil salad (you can even include some spinach, another source of iron).
Necessary for bone health and calcium absorption. If you drink dairy milk, you might have noticed there are dairy products that include vitamin D and it’s because of the link between vitamin D and calcium.
Often, during the sunny months, humans can get vitamin D from the sun. However, during colder months, getting vitamin D can be a challenge (unless you’re one of those people who can wear shorts when it’s freezing…if you’re this person, you scare me with your strength).
There are vegan/vegetarian sources of vitamin D like algae, and vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) supplements.
Not exclusive to dairy, calcium can be found in numerous sources like spinach, tofu set in a calcium solution, sesame seeds, and fortified plant milks. You don’t have to have dairy products to get calcium, so vegans rejoice!
Much like Vitamin C + Iron, Calcium + Vitamin D is a dream team of micronutrients. Calcium is needed for bone health (something you might remember from health class) but is also needed for a healthy nervous system.
Even non-vegans need to pay attention to their B12 intake. B12 is not naturally from animal products as some might claim, but rather is found in soil bacteria that we used to get by not washing our produce before we ate it.
By the way…please wash your produce. You can get B12 without eating dirt.
The book Vegan for Life by Jack Norris and Ginny Messina, two vegan RDs, explains that the best way to supplement B12 is with a sublingual supplement.
But don’t let that scare you- B12 is easy to come by with these supplements.
If you or your teen want to go vegan, having a varied diet is key to getting these micronutrients in and making sure you’re getting what you need for your lifestyle. Just like paleo, the Mediterranean diet, keto, whatever eating fad crosses your mind, veganism just needs a little bit of time to plan for variety!
These are the top five nutrients I believe people need to pay attention to. What are your top five? Let me know!
And remember: Do your homework, eat a vegetable, and make sure to smile at someone today. Bye!