Vitamins and supplements – it’s a thing when you eat entirely plant-based. Yes, you are eating waaay better and ingesting all the nutrients through fruits, veggies, grains, legumes, and the works. However, some stuff (ahem, hi b12!) is a bit tougher to get into your diet and if you have any doubt that you may or may not be getting enough… well, I say it’s better to be safe than sorry.
I wasn’t too worried about vitamins at first and was kinda “whatever,” about it, but that changed quickly. I definitely noticed some not-so-great changes over time and now here I am – preaching about vitamins! I’d like to get a little personal today, so I hope you’re into it. I want to share some of the side effects that I faced and what vitamins I have added into my lifestyle to get back on track.
I also want to say this – I am not a doctor or a medical professional of any sort. This is my personal experience, and I am not here to tell you what you should or shouldn’t take. If you are having any doubts or want to talk more about what nutrients you may be lacking, please consult your doctor. They can definitely help get you on track! This is merely my experience, in hopes that if you are experiencing the same, perhaps you can talk to your doctor and find answers!
What I Take
- The Ultimate Women Multivitamin by the Vitamin Shoppe (vegetarian)
- Calcium Citrate + vitamin D by the Vitamin Shoppe
- DEVA Vegan B12 Sublingual
This is the very first vitamin I added to my morning routine. I think a multi is important, no matter what you are eating, really. It takes the guess and check work out of the equation. I was always wondering, hm, I wonder if I got enough XX today? This brand is inexpensive and caters specifically to women. I feel better knowing that this vitamin will have me covered if I don’t get something into my diet every once in a while. The serving size is two, but I will typically just take 1 each morning. Easy easy.
Calcium + vitamin D
Okay, so this is where I started to notice things getting weird for me. After eating primarily vegan, I noticed that my teeth were extra sensitive and started to hurt. I went through this weird few weeks where I was always complaining about how my teeth felt! I started to wonder if I was getting enough calcium. I ate a ton of yogurt before, and obviously ate a number of dairy products. Just to be safe, I grabbed this (the vitamin D is an added bonus) and I haven’t had any problems with my teeth since. I definitely believed this helped me, and keep it stocked! I take a calcium vitamin every other day.
B-freaking-12. Here’s the vitamin that really caught up to me. You read it everywhere after going vegan or vegetarian that you need to add B12 to your diet. I was one of those people who thought, “well, sometimes I eat nutritional yeast and fortified cereal, so I should be fine.” And I thought I was fine. Turns out, B12 is actually a huge deal. A B12 deficiency is no joke, and I really suggest that you read more about it online. B12 comes from animal-based products, unless otherwise added to plant-based products. You can get it from the soil (think: not washing your mushrooms from the market) but chances are, that is not enough to fulfill your need.
I noticed that my B12 may be lacking when I started doing some research on anxiety and depression. Yes, for almost a year or so, I just wasn’t feeling my normal, peppy self. Joe even noticed a shift in my mood. I became easily agitated, paranoid, and dancing on the line of depression. It is something I dealt with quietly, and it really bothered me. If you know me, you know that this is pretty out of character for me… I had never felt or dealt with anything like this before. It was unsettling and really frustrating trying to figure this out. As I read articles online with what could cause this type of shift, I noticed B12 popping up here and there. So I decided to add this vitamin into my routine, and I have to say… I’ve felt pretty good. I cannot say for sure if this B12 vitamin has contributed this, but I definitely think I am better off taking it. And I highly suggest that you do the same if you are eating vegetarian or vegan. I take this vitamin only 2-3 a week to meet my recommended dose. You put it the tablet under your tongue and let it dissolve (it taste yummy, like lemon). This way, it gets into your bloodstream quicker and is absorbed easier.
So there you have it – my vitamin routine. It works for me, and I feel much better knowing that I have my bases covered. It wasn’t fun going through some of the health stuff (sensitive teeth sucks and being a downer sucks even more!!) One of the many reasons I adopted a plant-based lifestyle was to be healthier… in every sense. Vitamins are an inexpensive way to ensure tip-top health as a plant-eater.
Peace of mind is a beautiful thing. xx bianca