Thursday, December 30, 2010

Vitamin D

The last of my tests came back and besides iron, it seems my Vitamin D is very low as well.  The Vitamin D2 is in the extremely severe range and the Vitamin D3 is in the mild to moderate severe range.  With it being the winter months here in Wisconsin, I get outside as much as I can, but not everyday is full of that beautiful round ball of heat in the sky. 

Vitamin D is very important for your body because its role is to help your body use the calcium and phosphorus from your food. It also regulates normal cellular differentiation thus preventing cancer and helps insulin secretion. Deficiency of this vitamin is connected to rickets.  This is a disease which affects your bones in way they don’t form properly because the calcium cannot be incorporated into them.  So your bones lack minerals and that makes them fragile. This can cause serious skeletal deformities.

Right now, I am just taking a Vitamin D supplement and hope this helps over the winter months.  I plan on putting them on hold over the summer when I am outside enjoying the sun!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Lack of Iron

I must say it can be quite difficult to be vegan at times to figure out what vitamins are needed from certain foods to keep your body healthy and strong.  Since becoming vegan, I have been exhausted and stressed trying to figure out why.  I am refusing to go back to meat for my protein and adding unnecessary vitamins, so I headed to the doctor to get checked.  They took a lot of blood samples to test for my thyroid amongst others.

It seems everything is checking out OK, except for my ferritin test.  Ferritin is a protein found inside cells that stores iron so your body can use it later. A ferritin test indirectly measures the amount of iron in your blood.
The amount of ferritin in your blood (serum ferritin level) is directly related to the amount of iron stored in your body.  My ferritin level was at 5.7 ng/mL and it should be in the range of 6.0 - 115 ng/mL. 

If the ferritin level is low, there is a risk for lack of iron, which could lead to anemia. Low ferritin levels (<50 ng/mL) have however been associated with the symptoms of restless legs syndrome, even in the absence of anemia and sickness.  Low ferritin may also indicate hypothyroidism or vitamin C deficiency.  Luckily, I haven't experienced any of these symptoms.

My doctor recommended that I take a multivitamin that included iron.  Well, if you know me, I had to do more research on this to see if that was the way to go.  From what I found, my best option seemed to be to take an iron liquid supplement.  The best seemed to be Floradix Iron + Herbs.  So off to Whole Foods I went this morning.  I must say it doesn't taste as horrible as I thought. 

Sure hope this helps, will keep you posted on the updates as the weeks progress.  Otherwise my next option will be to see a nutritionist and see why I am not loosing any weight with all the exercise and excellent eating habits I am doing.

Friday, December 24, 2010


You might be wondering what I have been doing to get back into shape. A year ago, I started participating in a kickboxing class. It started with just one class a week and then after a month, went two times a week. Obviously that wasn't enough and I began trying new workout videos from our local library and Tae Bo to fill in the other 3 days a week. I love Billy Blanks Tae Bo, but felt I needed more.

As I love a challenge, these workouts weren't giving me what I needed. So, in May 2010, I saw the infomercial a number of times for Beachbody's P90X. My husband and I started round 1 of P90X in May and made it through the first 90 days and I continued into the summer for another 1/2 round. I didn't get those show stopping results as others did, but I did start to see definition. But, my weight was not moving.

Once school started up and a lot of research I became vegan. With becoming vegan, I knew I wanted to prove I could do something so crazy to get back into shape that I bought Beachbody's Insanity program. I can't say enough about Insanity and have only 1 week left of the 60 days. Then I will start it all over again with mixing in some P90X to get back some definition.

The past 60 days have been challenging none the less, but cardiovascularly, I am in the best shape ever. I know inches are falling off me, but the weight has stayed the same. But, I am not giving up, I can't. Besides doing Insanity 6 days a week, I also continue to do the high intensity kickboxing class on Tuesdays and Thursday nights. I just want to prove you can get in shape by being driven by plants and feel healthy and strong!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Blog World Here I Come!

I think the first post is always the hardest as I have so much to say, but realize I have plenty of time each day to post on vegan topics. About 5 months ago, I became vegan and decided to write about my journey as I go. I am an overweight vegan mom who wants to become healthy and fit again, but the vegan way. More importantly I want to prove you can eat vegan and still be healthy, lean and strong through exercise and eating right.

About 10 years ago, my husband and I decided to join a national chain weight loss center. We ate lots of chicken and may low calorie and point based processed foods. Yes, I looked fantastic and did my husband, but after 2 babies, I needed to start this process again. This time it is harder, but it is my choice to do this the healthy unprocessed way. Thank goodness my husband is behind me 100% and my boys are learning to eat wiser and healthier along the way.

Being vegan is easy, but at times hard. Especially when you hear people's comments and you want to speak up, but would rather not start a ruckus. I believe letting people see your results and have them speak for themselves and if they ask, let them know your healthy weight loss secret.

So with that, my blog journey begins with this newly vegan mom, one day yearning to be called a healthy and strong athlete powered by plants!