Health

Almond Milk by Laura Scanlon

Health

After suffering from a stomach bug I decided to cut out dairy until my system returned to normal. I found myself looking for alternatives to milk and I didn't enjoy the taste of soya milk so I turned to almond milk. I am an avid coffee drinker so the thought of not having my daily cappuccino was terrifying but to my surprise I found many coffee shops stocked almond milk as an alternative. Again to my surprise it tasted yummy (not quite as creamy as dairy) but satisfying. 

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I am well aware that milk is a good source of protein and calcium and that almond milk does not contain these benefits but it does however have no cholesterol or saturated fat. It is also low in sodium and high in healthy fats such as omega fatty acids which help prevent high blood pressure and heart disease. It is also lactose free which is great for digestion.

Skin & Bones

Almond milk contains 50% of the RDA of vitamin E, which contains antioxidant properties essential to your skins health. It also contains riboflavin, which is a form of vitamin B that has been proven to work in conjunction with other nutrients like iron to regulate muscle strength and growth.

Digestion

Almond milk contains 1 gram of fibre per serving which is great for healthy digestion. It is also a great option for people who suffer from cows milk allergies, food intolerances and vegetarians.

Versatile 

If you dislike the taste of cow's milk then almond milk is your calling. Or if you just want to try something new then almond milk has a great light taste and can be used in many different recipes, such as:

-Cereal

-Coffee

-Smoothies

-French toast

-Almond milk creamed spinach

-Almond milk rice pudding

- Baked goodies

- Milkshakes

Start out the day with this healthy Almond Milk smoothie

  • ½ Cup unsweetened almond milk 
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ cup quick oats or ¼ cup oat flour
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 1 large banana
  • 1½ cups frozen fruit (i.e. strawberry, blueberry, pineapple, etc)
  • BLEND 

http://voterecipe.com/recipes/heart-healthy-smoothie/

Enjoy :) Laura x

My Experience With Vitamin B12 Deficiency by Laura Scanlon

What is Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is needed to produce a good amount of healthy red blood cells in the bone marrow. Vitamin B12 is only available from foods like meat and dairy or yeast extracts. Deficiency in B12 is defined by a blood test and results would show a lower number of red blood cells.

As I am active on a daily basis, eat well the majority of the time, I would never have thought to be deficient in something. I did however put my tiredness down to my daily exercise but when my sleep started to suffer and I became unusually irritable I thought maybe something was up. I did however avoid addressing these symptoms initially until I started to gain more. My appetite in the mornings completely went, I was never a big fan of breakfast to begin with but I understood the necessity of it so I always ate it. I also started getting regular headaches and then random heart palpitations. At first I thought they were from drinking coffee but when they started to persist every couple of minutes even when I was in bed I made an appointment with my GP. 

My GP was excellent and instantly put my mind at ease. After a general chat about how I was feeling, I told her all the symptoms I have listed above and I was then surprised to learn that they all were related. After a full routine bloods, everything came back normal apart from my B12 levels which were considerably low. There is no serious repercussions from a B12 deficiency apart from not feeling very upbeat and in my case headaches, sleep disturbance, loss of appetite and heart palpitations as my levels where very low. 

So my reason for writing this blog is to create awareness of getting routine blood tests every 6 months just to be sure everything is in check. Also to acknowledge that although daily life can make you tired and a bit sluggish its important not to just leave it, especially if you start to feel other symptoms like I did. Go to your GP and get yourself checked.

Treatment

Although I eat meat and dairy on a daily basis, my body was obviously not absorbing enough nutrients. So my GP recommend that I get a Vitamin B12 injection over a course of 3 weeks once a week and then to take a B12 supplement daily after that for the foreseeable. 

I have to say after the third injection I started to feel myself again, the palpitations disappeared, my energy levels boosted and my sleep went back to normal. As many top athletes are known to get a B12 shot for energy levels there is no scientific evidence to prove it works unless you actually have a Vitamin B12 deficiency.

So here is to being health conscious and listening to our bodies :)

Laura x