B12 and a Plant-Based Diet

Although the majority of our nutritional needs can actually be met reasonably easily on a plant-based diet, this is not always true of B12. This essential vitamin is most commonly found in meat and dairy products. If you are following a plant-based diet then it is a great idea to take the following advice into consideration so that you do not experience a deficiency in this essential vitamin!

Vitamin  Deficiency

If you do not consume an adequate amount of B12 then you run the risk of damaging your nervous system, as well as experiencing fatigue, muscle weakness, and even problems with your memory! A deficiency can take several years to present itself and can be difficult to recognise or diagnose. However, this is more the case in adults rather than children, and B12 deficiency in children will present itself more rapidly. Health problems that are caused as a result of low levels of B12 can usually be treated and reversed by working to meet the daily recommended allowance. 

If you follow a diet that is primarily focused on raw foods then it is all the more important that you work to avoid a deficiency in this vitamin, as you will naturally be exposed to it much less.

Sources of B12

The only reliable ways to get an ample amount of vitamin B12 on a plant-based diet are to either take supplements or eat foods that are fortified with B12. Fortunately the latter of these two methods has become much simpler in recent years as more foods are fortified with this vitamin. These products include plant-based milks, soy products and a variety of cereals.

If you are opting to take a supplement to ensure you meet your vitamin B12 quota, then you should aim for either 10 micrograms every day, or a once weekly supplement of 2000 micrograms.

B12 Consumption

If you are getting your B12 through fortified foods then it is advisable to do so regularly, as your body absorbs it best in small amounts. However, it is also worth remembering that there is no harm in exceeding the recommended amount. So, when considering your B12 intake – more is always better!

A healthy, varied diet that includes a large selection of whole, natural foods is the best way to avoid a deficiency of any kind.

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

The Value of a Plant-Based Diet

The value of a plant-based diet is something that I am always excited to talk about! I was recently given the opportunity to do just that by Foody Direct!

Below you can see the first few questions I discussed with them and you can then click here to read the full interview!

How did you become so passionate about healthy foods and a healthier lifestyle, and why did you start a blog around it?

Growing up, I’ve never had a real taste for meat, so it was an easy transition for me to go plant-based. But the catalyst to that happening was reading Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s book The China Study. That did it in a heartbeat!

When I first began a plant-based diet almost 8 years ago, the biggest challenge was finding tasty recipes! And that’s why I started my blog, The Flexi Foodie, almost 5 years ago to document the recipes I created for my 4 kids and husband. Those recipes must have tasted pretty decent, as that blog got me my first cookbook deal!

On your site, you describe your transformation after embracing yoga and a plant-based diet. How would you describe the difference in how you felt after the change to someone who has never had that experience?

Moving, breathing, meditating and eating a whole foods diet has ramped up my energy levels, my moods, and my happiness! I’ve never looked back.

Don’t forget to click and head to the Foody Direct website to read the full interview!

 

Tenderstem Broccoli, Sundried Tomato and Walnut Salad

I am all about dark, green, leafy vegetables these days.  I want to somehow always try to incorporate them into my day and if I can at every single meal!  This salad came to me as I was staring at my broccoli in the fridge wondering what I would do with it rather than the same ol’ boring steaming and without having to make a dressing as well.  I wanted something quick for lunch but then realised that this recipe makes a great side salad for supper too!

IMG_1279But seriously, where do I even begin with the health benefits of eating broccoli.  There are SO many!  So, I’ll hone in on a few to truly convince you that broccoli truly is a SUPERFOOD! Broccoli contains a high amount of potassium, which helps maintain a healthy nervous system and optimal brain function, as well as promotes regular muscle growth.  Along with a high amount of potassium, Broccoli also contains magnesium and calcium that help regulate blood pressure.  Broccoli also contains high amounts of Vitamin C and Calcium (YAY!)  and thanks to the glucoraphanin it contains as it helps the skin to detoxify and repair itself.

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But I also want to zoom in quickly on the sun-dried tomatoes which are so unbelievably yummy that I had a hard time not eating all of them before the salad was finished……oops!  Did you know that a half-cup of sun-dried tomatoes counts as a full cup or raw or cooked vegetables according to the USDA.  And the drying of the sun-dried tomatoes brings out the sweetness…. no wonder I couldn’t stop eating them!

IMG_1276So to make this salad that serves 2-3 as a side dish grab yourself these ingredients.

2-3 Tbsp. Coconut Oil

large bunch of tenderstem broccoli

4 large cloves of garlic

1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes

1/2 cup of walnuts

sea salt (preferable pink himalayan – see my other blog post on this incredible mineral!)

freshly ground black pepper

chilli flakes

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IMG_1282Make sure you wash your broccoli before you begin cooking.  Slice the garlic cloves into thin slices and you’re ready to get cooking.  Turn your stove on a moderately high heat and heat 2-3 Tbsp. of coconut oil into your pan.  As it begins to get hot, add the slices of garlic and fry for 30 seconds, making sure the garlic doesn’t begin to go brown.  Next, add all of the broccoli and sauté for a couple of minutes before emptying the cup of sun-dried tomatoes into the pan.  Sprinkle the chilli flakes on top as much as desired, lower the heat slightly and continue to sauté.

IMG_1287In a separate pan, warm the walnuts for one to two minutes so that you can see that they begin to brown ever so slightly.  As soon as the nuts are ready, you can serves the broccoli and sun-dried tomato mix onto a dish, sprinkle with the walnuts and enjoy!

For more pictures like these, follow me on Instagram!

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