Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Dog Days of Summer - Part 2

This is a follow-up post to my previous post on this subject.

The heat has definitely been a source of my de-motivation, but didn't explain my lack of "oomph" or occasional bonking on easy rides. After talking to my brother (currently attending medical school), and doing some reading I've concluded that I was slightly anemic!

"Most commonly, people with anemia report a feeling of weakness or fatigue, general malaise and sometimes poor concentration." That summed me up pretty good.

My family has gone vegetarian this year. We'll have the occasional fish, shellfish or chicken when eating out (like at the Chinese food buffet), but for the most part eat a somewhat vegan diet. Very little dairy or eggs.

Vegetarians and Vegans, take note!

Man evolved as omnivore not simply because of the wide variety of pleasurable foods available, but because of the nutritional requirements. While many vital nutrients can only be found in species from the plant kingdom, there are some that are only readily available from our animal friends. "Vitamin B12 is naturally found in foods of animal origin including meat, shellfish, and milk products."

"Vitamin B12 is important for the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system and for the formation of blood. It is involved in the metabolism of every cell of the body, especially affecting the DNA synthesis and regulation but also fatty acid synthesis and energy production."

"While lacto-ovo vegetarians usually get enough B12 through dairy products, it may be found lacking in those practicing vegan diets who do not use multivitamin supplements or eat B12 fortified foods, such as fortified breakfast cereals, fortified soy-based products, and fortified energy bars. The Vegan Society and Vegan Outreach, among others, recommend that vegans either consistently eat foods fortified with B12 or take a daily or weekly B12 supplement."

My brother said that B12 deficiency is common among vegetarians and vegans, and also explains why you see some of these people carrying around some extra weight regardless of their healthy diet.

My brother sent me a bottle of B complex supplements which I've been taking all week. The results this far have been really good. In fact I felt stronger yesterday than I've felt in quite a while! I've also lost a little fat off my midsection, but I'm not certain if this a result of the vitamins or the fact that I've been out of beer for most of the week. Time will tell...

18 comments:

Smudgemo said...

You've got dietary information relating to veganism and your ill health, but pictures of the dogs. Should they be worried?

Isn't iron deficiency part of it? Try cooking in cast-iron. There is some debate on the benefits, I believe, but general beliefs seem to lean toward it being beneficial.

My disclosure is that I do tax work and don't always know what I'm talking about. Of course, I don't eat dogs either...

Jeff said...

The title is Dog Days, and there are pictures of dogs! It's brilliant!

Ok, here's the thing... My camera came back from the shop, but it was broken in a whole new way! So now it's back in the shop. Consequently, I running low on my stock images, so I'm having to get creative!

Iron...could be. I've also resumed taking my multi-vitamin which I'm pretty sure has iron in it. I'm in the IT field, so my scientific method is not precise either...

oldmanandhisbike said...

It is a bit steamy here too; had to bail on my ride last night due to the heat and a pesky storm that eventually took out our power!
I will verify if I am getting enough B12, but given my "abbie" normal brain function, I am almost certainly deficient! :^)
P.S. I got my mojo; now to see if its workin'! Thanks again.

Jeff said...

Wow! Mojo already! That was quick. Make sure you give it a good smell. That's what you'd smell like if crashed on one of our trails and went rolling through the bushes!

Brent said...

Jeff,

As you know, Sandie and I recently jumped into the veggie pool with both feet. But I would be willing to bet that we have eaten less meat than you over the past year. The way we have worked it out is with the fortified cereals and Silk brand soy milk (a green company by the way). It's made for a darn smooth transition so far.

As for iron... Everything I've read over the years has suggested that men do not need EXTRA iron. Therefore, you should check your supplemental vitamins as it will not have it if it is male specific like the one I used to take.

It is best to find your iron and other vitamins in your food. Taking supplements is for people who know they are not eating right. You can adjust your diet to get all you need from the food you eat. I am quite sure we will make some dietary mistakes as we get farther down the veggie road. The beautiful thing about being an athlete is that you are in tune with your body and know when something is wrong as you discovered this summer. Sandie is great at research (as are you) so I just follow her lead (and sometimes yours).

Crap this is long... get some Silk it does a body good.

Chris said...

Restricted diets can be tough when you exercise a lot. You should talk to a dietician to see which foods are good for Vegan athletes.

oldmanandhisbike said...

I gave it a good sniff just as I was endoing on my bike last night and your right; it actually seemed like I was crashing in Nevada! :^)
I does smell great and thanks again for looking out for me.
Hopefully, the good karma from the Mojo will bring my home power back to life today!

Tim said...

You can't fight thousands of years of evolution, man. There's a reason we stand upright, have eyes in the front of our heads and learned to make spear points: We're hunters, dammit!

Go eat a nice steak. You'll feel better.

wolfy said...

I'm in the get-it-from-the-food camp. When I eat cereal it's cap'n crunch berries or super golden crisp. When I need iron I eat steak. When I need whatever is in eggs I eat eggs. I took vitamins for a while, but I switched to gummy bears.

We shop @ the Great Basin Co-op for eggs, veg and nevada beef. As for Milk. I can't see trucking it in organic from So-Cal when we have a dairy in NN and a distributor here in town.

Is there such a thing as Ovo-lacto-baco vegetarianism? Bacon is like the perfect food!!!
-M

Jeff said...

Supplements and multivitamins are a good choice for everyone no matter which diet you're following. It is very hard to get everything you need in your daily diet. The supplements and multivitamins help fill in the gaps.

Most meat that is raised and sold in America is crap. The terms "free range" and "cage free" are a sham too. I choose not to eat food from factory farms (also known as confined animal feeding operations). If you choose meat, it should be from small sustainable farms or caught/hunted wild.

About the only meat I'll touch these days is wild caught fish and other ocean creatures. The lower on the food chain the better. If I still ate beef, I'd select pasture fed animals only. In fact, eating grass fed beef may be more healthy than eating a farm raised salmon!

I also think that if you don't have the stomach to personally kill what you eat, you shouldn't be eating it. Even if someone else kills it for you, you are still an accomplice in the murder if you eat that animal.

Jeff said...

Other thoughts...

Ovo-lacto-baco vegetarianism? Bacon is hard to resist...esp. when camping!

Yes it is hard to go against thousands of years of evolution, but everything the meat industry does these days was invented in the last 50 years or so. Stuff that goes 180 degrees against the evolution of all species involved! And that's where the problem is...

Xd said...

have a bowl of "Quarry". Better tasting 'cause it's mined.

--Quarry contains no preservatives, no additives, no artificial flavoring. And it's made without the use of pesticides or inorganic fertilizer. Because Quarry isn't grown; it's mined. It's the only cereal that's pure 100% rocks and pebbles, for a hearty old-fashioned flavor the whole family will enjoy.

Jeff said...

Still more thoughts...

On the days I bonked I didn't have my soy protein shake in the morning. I thought it was a protein issue, but as it turns out, the soy milk plus the shake mix is fortified with vitamins and minerals...including the B12. And since I wasn't taking my multivitamin either, it's easy to see what was going on. It didn't make sense at the time, because I was getting plenty of protein from legumes and grains without the shake.

"Taking supplements is for people who know they are not eating right. You can adjust your diet to get all you need from the food you eat." - Unfortunately the corrupt Food and Drug administration has painted the word "supplement" in a bad light. Many supplements themselves are just "food"! It's not like you're taking a drug.

A classic example is Stevia. Stevia is a plant that has been used as a sweetner for centuries. Since it's just a natural occuring plant that can't be patented, the food industry pressured the FDA to label it as a "supplement" so it wouldn't be competitive with High Fructose Corn Syrup, saccharin, sucrolose, and other laboratory made crap (the stuff that is labeled as "safe" food additives!).

So it's not as though you aren't eating right...you are just supplementing your meal with other foodstuffs to fill in the gaps!

Jeff said...

xd - Mmmmm. Quarry.

Don't forget Super Colon Blow either. "It would take over two and a half million bowls of your oat bran cereal to equal the fiber content of one bowl of Super Colon Blow."

Brent said...

All fine and dandy... The dietary question is a tough one to figure out. I guess it just depends on you and what you feel good doing. I know that I have not noticed a difference in the way I feel with or without the daily vitamin. So I'll save some money for beer and not use them.

Smudgemo said...

Uh,...beer IS food.

Brent said...

Amen.

In the words of Fred Sanford... "Let's look at the ingredients... barley, hops... It's Wheaties in a can!"

magrei said...

Goooooooo Jeff!

I've not had a land animal in almost 14 years......I have my blood tested all the time to ensure I'm healthy......so far, zero issues. I do take a daily vit. and all thru my pregnancy I took an excellent vitamin........Everyone always asks me if I am going to make Griffin an vegetarian.....I say, I am not going to make that choice for him....it's up to him to decide when he's old enough.

Get some good cookbooks....I recommend the Broccoli Forest, it's excellent. Lot's of recipes that help maintain a well balanced diet.

Also, another book that was just recommended to me by a guy in Trader Joe's.....Eat Right for your Type......

Am-doo.