|Fish Chowder (recipe below)|
I'm going to let you in on a little trick. Many of you probably already know about this, but since this was news to me recently, it only felt right to pass the info along.
Earlier this year, I shared some of the struggles I had been going through in 2011. The aspect of depression I struggled with the most, and am still recovering from, was the lack of energy. I was dragging through life, without the energy to do the things I loved. 2011 was also the year of no meat.
My friend, who is also a nurse, prodded me about a possible vitamin B12 deficiency. Her concern centered around my lack of energy (a known side-effect of B12 deficiency) and shunning of meat, as B12 only naturally occurs in animal products.
Stay with me here. Over the past few months, I've been eating meat again, little by little. Almost immediately, I began to notice my energy levels going up. And up, and up. Shoot! I almost feel normal again. Here's where I'm going to make a leap and attribute this surge to vitamin B12, because "at levels only slightly lower than normal, a range of symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and poor memory may be experienced." Because I hadn't been taking a supplement or been eating meat, it's likely my levels were low, as my nurse friend had suspected.
So how do we make sure we're getting enough B12? If you are vegetarian or vegan, you should take a supplement or eat cereals and grains that are fortified with the vitamin. I did some research and there is no conclusive evidence that B12 occurs naturally in any plant-based source. The rest of us can get B12 by eating animal products such as meat, fish, milk, eggs, and cheese. The best natural source out there is liver, I might be giving that a go soon, never tried it.
Try these vitamin B12 rich recipes and let me know if this little trick works for you.
Fried Goat Cheese Salad
Breakfast Skillet with Spinach and Avocado