A few Saturdays ago I was driving into town to visit the weekly farmers market and to go to work for the half-day I have in the library each Saturday. I thought of the B12 question again. As a long time mostly raw food vegan, it is important to at least acknowledge that reasonable levels of B12 are not usually obtained from plant sources. I decided to ask the universe what I should do to ensure my vitamin B12 levels were adequate. Don’t worry, I was alone in the car, or so I thought. Almost immediately I received a clear inner message. This mental missive suggested I use the following affirmation: 

I receive all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients I require for optimal health from the food which I mindfully ingest.

Now, I find that a powerful antidote for any possible vitamin deficiencies. Thought is a remarkable tool when properly wielded. It reminds me of what Gentle World vegan community co-founder Light said to me a few years ago in response to a question I posed about vitamins. He stated that he expected to receive all the nutrients he would need from a vegan diet, so he didn’t supplement. He believes implicitly in the merits of a vegan lifestyle and figures that he will be supported in such a choice. It seems to work. He’s a vibrant, healthy man well up in his 70s and he’s been a vegan for over 40 years.

The original informative B12 post from 2009 is found at To Be Or Not To B12.  Another related post is:

Illness is a Call to Awaken

I’ve done two inspiring interviews with Light and Sun, the co-founders of Gentle World Community:

Sun and Light – Inspiring Vegans Around the World

The Future is Vegan

All of the above ties in beautifully with the book I’m reading at present called The Healing Code by Alexander Loyd and Ben Johnson. More on that in a future post.

In health,
John

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

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“As long as there are slaughterhouses there will be wars …”

Tolstoi

A nutritional study was done in a maximum security prison in America. This was a prison, like many others, where violence was a part of daily life for the inmates; violence in the form of rape, assault, and even murder. Half of the prison was given a change of diet. Instead of the standard fare of meat, potatoes, and vegetables, the experimental half of the prisoners was given a vegetarian diet. They were fed no meat or fish. The other half of the prison acted as a control group, and continued to be fed as they always had been. The two groups were in separate facilities and had no contact with each other.

There is Plenty of Colour in a Fruit and Vegetable Diet

For the vegetarian group subtle changes occurred almost immediately. Then, over the course of several months this experimental group of vegetarians became much less aggressive and violent. They stopped harming each other and appeared far more content. For the control group life remained unaltered, with violence as the norm.

Would You Eat Chicken If You Had To Buy From Here?

Back in 1994 we lived in a house in the country in Golden Bay, at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. At the time our daughters were aged one and three. One evening meal was interrupted by the persistent bawling of cattle. Lucia and I took the girls with us outside to investigate. Two farmers were selecting members of a herd for slaughter. Each steer chosen to be killed was marked with paint. We observed was the rough and insensitive way in which the animals were being treated. It was obvious these men didn’t consider it an issue that these cattle might have feelings. The insistent wailing should have been a giveaway. We returned to our meal, disturbed by what we had seen.

Later I took the girls to visit the incarcerated cattle. The men had left, presumably to enjoy a beef-based meal, and the bawling had abated. The cattle shuffled around forlornly, resigned to their fate. At that moment, nothing could convince us that these animals were unfeeling and stupid creatures. We stood at the fence and I spoke for the three of us, “Not all people are as insensitive as these men who mistreated you today. We care. We’re sorry. We love you.”

A subtle shift could be seen in the herd. They calmed visibly. The experience was one of many that helped our daughters to develop into the caring, compassionate young women they are today.

 
 

Pigs in Gestation Crate

 

Everything created is interdependent; so it follows that what affects one form of life must affect all other forms as well. If we deliberately cause suffering and disease in other lives, we increase our own suffering and disease.  It would seem self evident that killing animals for food only adds to the level of suffering on this planet. I’ve lived without meat and fish and other animal products (with the exception of the very occasional egg or piece of organic cheese) for close to thirty years. I am healthier today than I was in my early twenties. The hay fever and eczema I suffered from as a boy have completely disappeared. I can stick my nose into any flower and thoroughly enjoy the exquisite fragrance without sneezing. Clearly, I have demonstrated that one needn’t rely on animals for sustenance. Many others have done the same. It seems it is just a matter of changing our conditioned habits of eating. Are you prepared to make such a shift? You will improve your health on many levels and you’ll contribute to a more compassionate world in which to live in.

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

Shangri La Gardens with Neighbouring Forest

Prepare to be inspired. John goes in depth on Voices from the North with Sun and Light, a couple who have been together for 41 years and who are the co-founders of Gentle World, the non-profit vegan community based in Hawaii and New Zealand. They speak with reverence for their early days and the reasons they became vegans. They speak with sincerity for a life dedicated not only to seeking the Truth, but to living it. They haven’t wanted to protest the things they haven’t wanted; they’ve spent their lives living the changes they want to see in the world. They describe how they’ve overcome chronic health problems through their choices, choices founded on the premise that they don’t want to support violence in the world; and their excellent health is only a by-product of their vegan lifestyle.

If you’re not already a vegan, you’ll want to be after listening to this passionate interview. Sun and Light explain how they came to New Zealand and found their incredible rural property called Shangri La. If there is one question that has predicated their choices in life it is, “Is it better?” As I said before, prepare to be inspired:

CLICK BELOW TO:

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

Can changing your diet help you quit smoking? The following story was related to me the other day by an American friend also living here in New Zealand. She’s about to turn sixty. Fruit and VegetablesI’ll let you do the maths in the narrative below as told in her words. Her experience with nutrition and smoking is fascinating and encouraging. Perhaps all those struggling to overcome the nicotine addiction should give a vegan diet a chance. What is there to lose?

 

I started smoking at age 15 and loved every cigarette. At age 26 I moved to Tokyo to teach at an International School. I was in the land of smokers so I never thought of quitting. But my students would beg me to quit so I would try—without success. Since my Dad died of hardening of the arteries when I was 16, I was always very careful with diet. I didn’t like meat. It was too hard to digest but I enjoyed eating chicken, turkey and lamb. I took nutrition courses as often as I could and started thinking of becoming a vegetarian. 

 

cigarettes_smallTwelve years ago, I decided to eliminate all animal products from my diet and didn’t have problems with the change. But a surprise came about three months after changing my diet… I woke on a Sunday morning, and I didn’t go for a cigarette. The first thing I did every morning was to grab for a cigarette and the last thing at night was a cigarette. For me not to have an urge was certainly a surprise. I thought, I’ll take it one hour at a time, and the day passed with no urge. A week passed and then a month. It’s now been 12 years. I never went through any withdrawal or any kind of unpleasantness. I cannot explain the correlation between having no animal products in my diet and no desire to smoke but what happened to me was just amazing. I just hope it happens to someone else. 

 

Has anyone reading this had a similar experience? Do let me know.

 

Blessings,

John

John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

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Bee With Pollen

Bee With Pollen

 

I’ve been a mostly raw food vegan for the last 12 years and a vegetarian for about 23 years. I was recently blood-tested for B12 and found to be below the medically acceptable range of 160 to 600. My count was 129. My folate, calcium, potassium and other levels were all fine. I was only low in B12. I was experiencing no adverse symptoms. I am extremely healthy and full of energy.

I decided to have a B12 injection and I purchased a B12 supplement. I wrote the following letter to two friends who will remain anonymous. Both are long time vegans. The first is a raw foodie. Their answers follow.

‘I’d really appreciate your experience with B12 in the following possible areas that could help me in choosing how I want to approach this:

  1. What were your levels when you discovered you were low in B12?
  2. What have they become?
  3. Have you used injections and if so how frequently?
  4. Have you found the need to supplement? If so, how often and how much?
  5. What symptoms were you experiencing when you were found deficient?
  6. Did the symptoms disappear quickly? Have they ever returned?
  7. Do you think you’ll need to continue supplementing?
  8. Can you describe significant/meaningful experiences with this of anyone else you know?

 

I know this is a bit of big ask but your answers would be really appreciated.

I’m out to the garden soon. What a spectacularly beautiful day.’

Answer 1:

Dear John,

Ahhh…you can’t be suffering too much from a B12 deficiency, otherwise you wouldn’t have remembered that I had some experience in this realm!

Anyway…to answer your questions…

  • I don’t know how low my levels were back in 1994 when I was tested by a doctor in Devonport, NZ, but I do remember him saying he had never seen such low levels, and that he forbade me to leave the office until I had the first of three injections.  He then injected me with cyanocobalamin in the buttocks, and it was almost instantly like my life was a camera suddenly coming into focus.
  • I have no idea what my levels have become, as I have never been tested since.
  • I have not had any injections since then.  However, a few months back I was given a sample packet from Whole Foods of a new oral version of B12 that was supposed to be absorbed much better than cyanocobalamin.  The new version was made from methylcobalamin.  Out of curiosity, I took it for three days in a row, and each time I took it, I’d feel dizzy and sick within about 20 minutes.  After the third time, I woke up in the middle of night, feeling extremely dizzy and like I needed to throw up, so I started to walk to the bathroom.  The next thing I remember was passing out & collapsing against the glass shower door and onto the floor.  Well, I remembered that after I woke up from my unconsciousness.  Anyway, as you can imagine, I never took those pills again.
  • When I was found deficient back in 1994, I was experiencing mental vagueness.
  • The symptoms cleared up after the injection, and I’ve never felt mentally vague since then.
  • As far as taking B12 anymore, I’ve realized that I do much better on a fruit and vegetable diet (not just a fruit diet).  By eating vegetables from my own gardens and being very careful not to wash the produce, I feel I’m getting whatever microbes I need to make my own B12 (just like other animals do).  And, I guess I could go have my levels tested, but I have become so against the Western way of looking at the body, that I just don’t see the point.
  • I don’t have any knowledge of experiences with B12 with other people.

 

Answer 2:

Hi John,
 
When I was low, my level was 60. I was feeling something with my nerve sheaths, which they said was not reversable, but it was reversed and I feel absolutely fine now. I had a B12 injection when I found out. Since then, I always supplement, just a small amount like once or twice a week at the most. I was retested last week along with many other vitamins, nutrients, hormones, and I was perfect, not even near low on anything. I supplement with B12 sublinguals, and have for years now, so they are obviously working. Sublinguals is the best. B12 shots are possibly a waste (so I’ve been told) for further ones. They could be water soluable or something where a doctor told me to not do the shots, but sublinguals. We only (supposedly) need minute amounts of B12. I wouldn’t fret too much if you don’t feel anything with your nerves. Just supplement. I don’t usually supplement anything but B12. I get my Vitamin D from the sunshine on the skin making it. I’m fine with all other nutrients.

And here’s another bit of information I found at www.answers.yahoo.com  I’ve eaten bee pollen for many years. It was only after beginning with pollen that I put hay fever behind me after suffering from it my whole life. It hasn’t returned and I can put my nose in any flower today. It is a great pleasure. It would appear that there are trace quantities of B-12 in pollen but the following Q&A is insightful.

 

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081023102914AA6ZJEt

Is bee pollen a good source of vitamin b-12?

I’ve been vegan for 6 years (taking supplements like calcium and b-12, etc.) I decided to experiment and go raw vegan with no supplements, but am concerned about a b-12 deficiency. It’s made me think about becoming a bee-gan, i.e. vegan with the exception of bee pollen, if it’s a good, sustainable, natural source of b-12. Anyone have info on this? Thanks.

First: Props on being a vegan who understands the importance of B12. Too many of your brothers and sisters seem to think they can argue their way out of a necessary nutrient.

That’s not a side note: that’s part of the problem. Whatever your source of B12, make sure that it is from a proven source. Some vegen/vegetarian apologists have been selling products from plant sources containing B12 analogues. Simple tests seem to indicate B12 in their product, so they sell it. More careful analysis finds that pseudo B12, of no use to your body, was giving a false positive.

Long story short, B12 comes from animal sourced foods and supplements.

Bee pollen is a bit dicey. For starters, it’s going to vary a lot from one source to another. Given the vegans I know, I’d bet my eye teeth you’d be going with pollen from a single, raw source. I understand why, but this increases the variation problem. Larger, commercial producers would likely produce a more homogeneous pollen.

I’ve not found any reliable sources for nutritionals on B12. Honey seems to be a minor source (FW IW). If nothing else, you could try it, with regular blood tests to check your actual B12 level. Remember that B12 deficiency does not develop overnight, nor can you really reverse it overnight. The safest course of action would include a B12 supplement or a fortified food source.

If anyone else would like to share their viewpoint and/or experience with B12 I would really appreciate it.

 

In health,

John

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

Dr. Michael Klaper has been a physician for 37 years and a vegan since he was 34 years of age. He was my recent guest on Voices from the North in another interview I recorded at Shangri La, an amazing place here in New Zealand’s Far North. Here’s the show:

 

Dr. Klaper has had great success treating various maladies using a nutritional approach. In our talk he speaks of the amazingly quick response certain ailments have when patients switch to a plant-based diet. Lasting relief of symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis and asthma begins, in some cases, after only a few days on a new diet. Back in the 1980s, Dr. Klaper recorded a series of instructional tapes outlining how a vegan diet could help those suffering from obesity, cancer, diabetes and more.cookbook-dr-klaper

 

Michael sees the expression ‘arrogant physician’ as an oxymoron. He says the moment a physician stops listening and becomes arrogant is the moment he/she stops being a physician. From his perspective it is a great privilege to be a doctor and it is important to listen deeply to patients and to admit that the doctor doesn’t always get it right.

 

Part of Dr. Klaper’s training included tutelage under esteemed Chicago paediatrician, Dr. Robert S. Mendelsohn, author of How to Raise a Healthy Child…In Spite of Your Doctor and more inspiring books. Robert Mendelsohn was a courageous modern pioneer who advocated home births and discouraged the overuse of vaccinations and medicines.

 

vegan-nutrition-dr-klaperDr. Klaper is unable to separate his being a vegan from being a doctor. As he says, “Being vegan is doing actions where no one gets hurt.” That seems to tie in nicely with Hippocrates’ edict: Physician Do No Harm. Dr. Klaper goes so far as to say that all physicians should be vegans.

 

In our hour long interview we cover a broad spectrum of issues including Dr. Klaper’s take on some possible benefits that can arise out of the ashes of our current global financial woes. This eloquent man has worked tirelessly for decades in support of the creation of a gentler, more compassionate world. He compares the resistance people have to adopting a plant-based diet today to the resistance our forefathers had to slavery one-and-half centuries ago. He paraphrases the words of a friend of his Keith Akers (author of A Vegetarian Sourcebook: The Nutrition, Ecology and Ethics of a Natural Foods Diet and The Lost Religion of Jesus: Simple Living and Nonviolence in Early Christianity), ‘The world will become vegetarian, one way or another.” 

 Here’s a link to some of Dr. Klaper’s books, The Cookbook for People Who Love Animals, Vegan Nutrition: Pure and Simple and Pregnancy, Children and the Vegan Diet:

http://www.amazon.com/Cookbook-People-Who-Love-Animals/dp/0929274180/ref=sr_1_2/180-7580018-1856412?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241038009&sr=1-2  

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

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In this, my second Voices From the North interview with Butterflies, we explore further her now more than 30 year adventure with veganism. She reads selected poems from her new book, Metamorphosis: Poems to Inspire Transformation.metamorphosis-book-cover The inspiring, thought-provoking rhyming poems reflect Butterflies’ deep reverence for nature, respect for animals and her perspective as a passionate vegan woman. There’s a beautiful photograph with every poem, many taken by Butterflies herself. There’s something here for everyone. For samples of poems and book ordering information visit her website at www.veganpoet.com.

 

She also speaks on a recent 25 question online vegan survey she conducted. After receiving 750 enthusiastic responses she shut the door, seeing she already had a daunting task to collate, interpret and report on the findings—by hand. Why by hand, you ask? Butterflies’ home in New Zealand is a refurbished and funky old caravan she calls Tranquillity. The trailer is just big enough to hold her bed, a small desk and a bit of storage space. There is no power or toilet, so she’s printed the survey results out. That way she can work at her desk or from her bed-sized rainbow-painted deck—when she’s not writing poetry.

 

Tranquillity is part of a several hundred acre property owned by Gentle World, the vegan community to which Butterflies belongs. The property, tucked in a river-bisected meadow surrounded by national forest, is aptly named Shangri La. Where else in the world can one still drink pure water straight from the stream?

 

A few preliminary findings from the survey indicate there are thriving groups of vegans nestled in pockets around the world. Some of these pockets are predictable—no one would be surprised to hear that California is home to many vegans, or London, the home of Donald Wilson, who first coined the term ‘vegan’ in 1944 (for more on the history of vegetarianism click here). But it seems Portland, Oregon, may come out on top today and there’s a strong group led by Dr. Gabriel Cousins in Arizona. New Zealand has significant clusters in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

 

Becoming a vegan is a personal and ethical decision. Survey results indicate a vast range of diets, from junk food vegans to raw foodies. Almost all respondents indicated they were healthier than ever on their vegan diets; and it was virtually unanimous amongst raw food vegans that they had vibrant health and bundles of energy.

 

For the complete one hour interview with plenty of poems read by Butterflies click below:

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

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Links:

Our earlier interview and blog:

https://insearchofsimplicity.com/2009/03/05/butterflies-and-the-vegan-lifestyle/

 

Recent interview with Gentle World co-founders Sun and Light:

https://insearchofsimplicity.com/2009/04/10/the-future-is-vegan/