Me, Allergies, Vegan, Biases and Eating Out - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-19-2016, 09:24 AM
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Talking Me, Allergies, Vegan, Biases and Eating Out

As a 3 year old, I always wanted to go Vegan but due to biases of my parents, I did not dare mention this. My mother had a rather rough childhood which caused her as an adult to act in ways that just made it better for me to not try going Vegan. My dad was overly afraid of making waves.

Fast forward to 10th grade. I started eating spaghettie with grounded up hamburger in it, and finding that the burger bits were left behind on my plate. I was not trying to do this. It just happened to be this way. I realized this in the end, and decided to just keep my mouth shut.

Fast Forward to working at McD's for 10 years, and the 10th year. I started to not digest McChicken. Week 1 Thursday, it did not stay down. Week 2 Thursday - Manager gets fresh stuff off the truck, makes the McChicken, we know this is fresh, done right, no diseases or anything. Again, I get sick. Yes! I might be able to go Vegan yet without wrath of Khan at home! Week 3 Thursday - at hotdogs. Yep, it is official, I am not keeping meats down either! Go home, tell parents, they say I am lying and blah blah lies about protein sources and blah blah needing attention. I realized at this time that my body started to reject meats way back in 10th grade. It was an early sign of a developing severe intolerance. I had always reacted by smell to bird feathers, but did not react to poultry until much later.

Some years pass, I go to an event, eat a slice of cheese that accidentally touched meat. I threw it up and then realized on Thanksgiving Day, that my chest is hurting really badly. I take antihistamine, go outside for fresh air. I start feeling better an hour later. I come back inside, chest hurts all over again. I am not eating the turkey. So, thought I would not have a reaction. Turns out, that I react by smell to poultry. I inherited an epi-pen from my doctor. I now have an excuse to avoid Turkey Day. I happily stay home, by myself, eating my Vegan meals and playing on the computer, working on my "projects".

The Biases: I prefer a realistic view of who can be a Vegan and who might be able to go vegan with reservations (and with trial and error, which I think is worth it, in most cases). Vegan sites tend to not mention the established fact that those who have had heart or ilium surgery tend to not absorb B12 very well and can even get very sick if they do not figure it out with a doctor and dietician, how their body will absorb B12. Matter of a fact, one Vegan had to go non-vegan for health reasons. Note she was not eating B12 sources several times a day!

However, I think that simply having fortified B12 sources 5 times a day, plus a B12 tablet daily while also getting B12 levels checked every 3 months for the first year, to be sure your B12 levels are not going down should do the trick. And then go from there, tweaking the diet and when you have B12, and from what Vegan sources until you find a combination that works! Warning! This is a theory that needs to be proven. I can't prove it because I have not have heart or ilium surgery. However, with Celiac, and gut damage, I did have my B12 levels checked, and they were normal. I only post this with the hopes of anyone who has had such surgery, may find a way that might work for them so that they can go Vegan. Like I said, this is only a theory that needs to be proven. I still feel that Vegan diet is the healthiest diet, and worth it, if you can manage it.

I have a cousin who gets light headed, if he only eats fish and B12 supplements as his B12 source. He had heart surgery as a child, as he had a hole in his heart. But...I would love to see Vegans do a Vegan study on heart surgery, B12 levels, and ways to keep the B12 levels normal. I should really run this by the PCRM organization and see if they will do this! They would at least do it right! I am not giving up on their being a Vegan solution to this. Eating 1 B12 tablet a day, and 2 fish a day, does not make a 5 times a day B12 regiment (my cousin's diet for one week.)

The Allergies (short list): I happen to carry an epi-pen for Poultry allergy. I am also allergic to meats, and very intolerant of the entire mustard-cabbage family (plus a few other veggies.) Plus I am Celiac.

Eating Out: Due to my allergies and restaurants defining Celiac as only eats meats and poultry and defining Vegan as only eats onion laced cabbage on mixed greens with radish and cucumbers (cos), I tend to be forced to either not eat out. or eat Vegetarian. Dairy makes me very dry and a little itchy. I prefer Vegan. I do not react to Salmon, so will eat it in a pinch, as a last resort, but prefer Vegan when ever I can. I love Tofu, and will even eat it plain.

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Last edited by tpkyteroo luebeck; 08-19-2016 at 09:28 AM. Reason: spelling error. wrong form of "buy". Sorry!
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#2 Old 08-19-2016, 09:43 AM
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Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation 0–6 months* 0.4 mcg 0.4 mcg 7–12 months* 0.5 mcg 0.5 mcg 1–3 years 0.9 mcg 0.9 mcg 4–8 years 1.2 mcg 1.2 mcg 9–13 years 1.8 mcg 1.8 mcg 14+ years 2.4 mcg 2.4 mcg 2.6 mcg 2.8 mcg * Adequate Intake of B12 from

You can see you only need a small amount of b12 if taken daily and far more the further apart you get

As for heart surgery affecting B12 absorption you can find studies referenced by Dr Caldwell Esselstyn in his book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease
B12 isn't just a problem vegans face. Meat only contains B12 if the animal is allowed to eat naturally growning grasses. Factory farmed animals are fed B12 supplemented foods-- just like a vegan taking a B12 tablet

I'm wondering where you're from your reference to a restaurant serving 'onion laced cabbage on mixed greens with radish and cucumbers'?

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#3 Old 08-19-2016, 04:01 PM
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Interesting story, thanks for telling it, hope you are doing well.
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#4 Old 08-19-2016, 06:54 PM
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Hi again!

I work as a medical coder, and code many many infusions, shots, etc. B12 and iron are two very common shots given to a whole variety of people who can not absorb those orally. Mostly people with Celiac Disease, Crohns, those who have had gastric bypass, cancer patients etc. Strangely I have yet to see a vegan or even vegetarian patient getting B12 shots or iron infusions. I think I may have coded one vegetarian so far somwhere along the line. At any rate, getting B12 directly in the bloodstream works far better than a supplement if a person really needs it. If one can't absorb the B12 in a supplement, chances are they won't absorb it from food either. In fact, vegan have an advantage as they get older and take b12 supplements as they are easier to absorb than that from food.

I take sublingual B12 drops once or twice per week (each dose 500mcg or sometimes 1000 mcg) and have done this for years. I had a recent blood test to check a thyroid condition and had them test my B12 since I have been vegan for a while now, just to be on the safe side and because it is a simple test and not too expensive. My B12 was a healthy 691 pg/mL. I have a terrible time with pills of any kind, so I always try to go other routes when I can, such as sublingual, patches, etc. I sometimes think my thyroid condition makes me more sensitive to chemicals and foods. I can't be around perfume or cologne or even cigarette smoke without terrible nausea. I also had an intolerance to dairy when I was omni and for years was drinking either soy milk or almond milk. Before almond milk came out, I had to limit soy due to thyroid condition, and would drink lactose free milk but it still made me nauseated and have bowel issues and I couldn't stand the taste and thickness of it. I couldn't go near cheese since 2001 other than a tiny bit of mozerella without terrible cramps and diarrhea so I avoided it for years. I guess you can say going vegan was really easy for me!

I do know people who are gluten free soy free vegan. My mother tried to go gluten free vegan (she has eaten gluten free for years) but due to diverticulitis and not being able to consume nuts and seeds (even in fruits like strawberries) she lost half her hair and went back to eating fish. I bought her a Blendtec so she could grind her nuts into flour and get some omega 3s that way, but she isn't convinced she can be totally vegan. :/ I used to get so mad at her, but she is over 70 years old and has food issues and I have let it go. I remember when she was in the hospital with a severe attack of diverticulitis and the staff had a terrible time trying to find her gluten free vegan nut/seed free food lol. She was given plain potatoes, gluten free oatmeal, cooked veggies.

I still think it is possible to be vegan even with severe food allergies, but it does take a lot of planning, research, and skill in knowing how to cook and so on. The more you learn about plant based food, the more variety you realize there is. I had no idea there were foods like tempeh, nutritional yeast, jicama, jackfruit, buckwheat groats. I never even tried my first mango until I went vegan when I was 38 years old! I have learned to make tofu puddings, and frosting with avocado, cocoa powder, and maple syrup, and chickpea flour omelets. I've even made a meringue with chickpea juice from a can of chickpeas! As veganism is growing in popularity, people are coming up with ever more inventive ways of making plant food. So many people have allergies to soy, a staple protein for vegans. So now they have pea milk with 8 grams of protein per cup!

I'm not without my own health struggles. I have osteoporosis, at one time recently it was very severe, due to losing my ovaries at a young age, and 28 years of thyroid meds, and I was underweight for six years, and other causes. Don't think for a minute I wasn't concerned when I first went vegan that I wouldn't be getting enough calcium. Though I avoided dairy for years, I used to consume a lot of salmon and sardines for the calcium/D and other health benefits. I used to take a liquid calcium supplement that had animal products in it. in fact finding a liquid or chewable calcium supplement I can handle without bad reactions to as a vegan is challenging, but I have a few now. I have to order them online, along with vegan D. I am on an osteoporosis shot that requires that I have more than adequate blood calcium because the shot pulls calcium from my blood and deposits it into my bones, and it slows resorption (menopause speeds it). You just find ways to work around it. I have to limit soy intake, though I still enjoy it here and there. If I consume it daily my TSH goes up considerably and I start having symptoms of hypothyroid. But in moderation it is fine for me. I did soy free gluten free for several months once to see what it was really like, and I was able to do it, though it took more planning and very careful label reading and research for tricky items like certain vinegars or words like "malt". I did it for my Mom's sake, and even gave her an entire notebook of breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas and tips to make it easier for her. But I don't have the nut/seed issue. I understand that it is harder for some people, and I applaud anyone who is willing to go the extra mile to try to make it work, or do the best they can. I did lose quite a bit of bone density as a vegan (I have had five DEXA scans so far to measure bone density from 2006 to 2016). But I also gained more bone density as a vegan than I had at my first DEXA in 2006 with a combination of the shot, gaining a lot of needed weight, lots of weight bearing exercise, just trying to be healthier. It will always be a fight and I will always have to be far more vigilant than others with my bones. But I am confident now I can do this as a vegan.

I wish you the best on your journey! Eating out is definitely one of those frustrations people have not only as vegans but with food allergies. In fact I am working on finding a restaurant my whole family can eat together at next week when my Dad visits from out of state. My Mom is gluten free, I am vegan, Dad has a nervous stomach and can't stomach anything too rich. My sister is incredibly picky. Yeah...
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#5 Old 08-22-2016, 11:25 AM
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The non-vegan in question has so little she can eat, that she would not get a complete protein source as a vegan. She is allergic to nuts, soy, quinoa, gluten and I forget what else. She actually discussed this at great length with several members of PETA and a dietician that was very familiar with a vegan diet and understood it well. No one could figure out how else she could get a complete protein. I also know that she was very disappointed that she could not go Vegan as she prefers not to kill to be able to eat. Her only other option was to go on Formula.

Those who have had heart surgery have a 2% chance of dying from a B12 shot. This is considered medical fact according to my doctor. They have not figured out why this is so. Also, most Vegans do eat fortified sources of B12 - fortified milks, cereals, thus their B12 levels should be fine. It is the Raw Foods Vegan that tend to have more issues. One Vegan thought you only needed to do the Nutritionist Yeast twice a week to get enough B12. She ended up having a huge B12 deficiency. However, she also had heart surgery as a child. They used to think that B12 was not stored, but now they know that B12 is stored in the liver. Also, those B12 test results are normally a range and if you are in the normal range, then they don't worry about it. For the average person, it normally takes years for a B12 deficiency to show up, depending on how the person eats and other factors - according to my doctor. My B12 regiment that I outlined in my last post, was meant for those who have had heart or ilium surgery and not Vegans who have not had such surgeries. Most Vegans can just eat the fortified sources of B12 and most likely will not even need a B12 supplement. It all depends on how much gut damage they have and how well their body absorbs B12.

Calcium - There are many vegetables that are calcium rich. www dot vrg dot org/nutrition/calcium dot php has a good list of foods and their calcium amounts. I take vitamin supplements only because of my food allergies. Going Vegan had no impact on whether I needed the supplements or not. I also have Thyroid issues, but eat Soy anyway.

Lastly, @Naturebound , I do agree with you that it is worth it to figure out how a person can go Vegan, no matter what the food allergies are. The Vegan diet is so much healthier! And yes, I think I would consider formula if I couldn't stay Vegan, because I know I do not do well with Eggs or Dairy. I was relieved when my food allergies and intolerances meant that I would have a reason to go Vegan. Where I live, Vegans get no respect, but mention food allergies and then they respect you more and stop trying to sneak meat or poultry onto your plate. Sometimes, they'll ask me if I miss the taste of beef, but I don't. I dated a guy once (ONLY once!) that insisted that if I knew who stupid chickens were, I would want to eat them. This was after I told him I was allergic to them.

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#6 Old 08-22-2016, 11:37 AM
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Olive Garden does the onion and used to put up a fight if I wanted a onion free salad. House Salad ingredients - Mccormick's Irish Pub: Mixed greens, radishes, chives (which is apart of the Allium/Onion family). Lucia's salad contains mixed greens, cucumber, radish, shaved red onion, kalamata olive, red wine dijon vinaigrette. That is just two examples. Combining both salads, the only ingredient I could eat without have an allergy would be the Olive, but only if it didn't touch vinegar or anything else.

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