Vitamin B12 Deficiency

B12We try so hard to make good health choices.  It’s hard to believe that some of those choices can lead to unanticipated negative consequences.  A good example is exercising causes muscle pain.  Vitamin B12 deficiency can occur when the body needs more vitamin B12 than it receives from your diet or a condition that occurs when the body is unable to use the B12 vitamin.  B12 is a very important vitamin which comes from bacteria that lives in an animals’ stomach.  Most B12 deficiencies are the result of a dietary imbalance, which is caused by not eating foods supplemented with vitamin B12, or staying away from meat.  Not eating a healthy diet puts you in danger of a B12 deficiency.  This deficiency is a health epidemic with rates as high as 20% among certain age groups.

What does Vitamin B12 do?

B12 performs a number of functions.  It helps support a healthy brain, your DNA and nervous system.  It maintains and manufactures red blood cells.  So a long-term deficiency can cause a host of health issues, like anemia, high levels of homocysteine, which increases the risk for heart disease.  Mild B12 deficiency can also impair brain function.  It can cause permanent nerve damage.  If you’re only moderately deficient in B12, symptoms may be more subtle, allowing the deficiency to steadily chip away at your health.

Causes of B12 Deficiency

Most B12 deficiencies are the result of a bad diet.  Because B12 is derived from animals, this deficiency is common among vegetarians.  These are not the only factors that cause low B12, there are other risks involved, which include:

  • atrophic gastritis;
  • anemia;
  • removal of a portion of the small intestine;
  • alcoholism;
  • Crohn’s or celiac disease;
  • autoimmune conditions;
  • prolonged use of acid-reducing medications; and
  • Fertility problems such as miscarriages or difficulty getting pregnant.

Signs of a B12 deficiency

The only way to know if you have a B12 deficiency is to consult a health professional.

Below are some symptoms to be aware of and monitor:

  • rapid breathing or heart rate;
  • dizziness or weakness;
  • pale skin;
  • chronic gastrointestinal problems;
  • a sore tongue;
  • easily bruising;
  • gums that frequently bleed, and
  • unexplained weight loss.

Please note that other conditions can produce these symptoms as well, as noted above please consult a health professional for a diagnoses of B12 deficiency.  Early treatment helps prevent permanent damage.  It is very important that you lead a healthy life, it’s time to step back and take a look at what you can change in your life.

Most people need 2.6mcg of B12 each day.  Pregnant women require a slightly higher dose per day.  B12 is potent so try and stay clear of substances that greatly exceed the recommendation.  If you consume meat, one may try to get B12 from lean organic meats, such as chicken, lean beef, and fresh fish.  Eating these types of meats is an alternative and help you stay healthy without causing weight gain.  If you’re a vegetarian or want to avoid meat animal products, take a B12 supplement or look for foods fortified with this vitamin.  Many protein shakes and health foods contain B12.  The following chart is the amount we should digest daily.

0-6 months 0.4 micrograms/day
Adequate Intake (AI)
7-12 months 0.5 mcg/day

Adequate Intake (AI)

1-3 years 0.9 mcg/day
4-8 years 1.2 mcg/day
9-13 years 1.8 mcg/day
14 years and up 2.4 mcg/day
Pregnant women 2.6 mcg/day
Breastfeeding women 2.8 mcg/day


Vitamin B12 is found in animal foods.  Clams and beef liver have extremely high amounts of this vitamin. The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements offers this list of foods that are high in B12.

Food Serving size Vitamin B12content
(micrograms [mcg])
% Daily Value
Clams, cooked 3 ounces 84 1,402
Beef liver, cooked 3 ounces 70.7 1,178
100% fortified cereal 3 ounces 6 100
Rainbow trout, cooked 3 ounces 5.4 90
Light tuna, canned in water 3 ounces 2.5 42
Cheeseburger and bun 1 sandwich 2.1 35
Haddock, cooked 3 ounces 1.8 30
25% fortified cereal 1 serving 1.5 25
Top sirloin beef 3 ounces 1.4 23
Low-fat milk 1 cup 1.2 18
Low-fat fruit yogurt 8 ounces 1.1 18
Swiss cheese 1 ounce 0.9 15
Beef taco 1 taco 0.9 15
Cured ham, roasted 3 ounces 0.6 10
Hard boiled egg 1 large 0.6 10
Chicken breast, roasted 3 ounces 0.3 5

It is also available in whey power, yeast extract spreads, some seaweed, blue green algea and Marine Plankton.  Vitamin B12 is available in pills, liquid or a shot.  These are known as cyanocobalamin, hydrocobalamin, and methylcobalamin.  The first is the most widely available and least expensive.

It is very important that you lead a healthy life, it’s time to step back and take a look at what you can change in your life.  Hi let me introduce myself, I’m Mavis and I’m here to help you incorporate healthy lifestyle habits and to make a difference in your life!  So let’s get started!  For more information visit my website for health tips in “The Lounge” at:

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design.  For more information or to schedule a holistic health assessment, please contact her today at: or visit her website at:


10 Ways You Can Make Better Choices About What You Eat

Fresh_cut_fruits_and_vegetablesAs women we tend to always make everything else a priority in our lives instead of taking that time to make ourselves a priority. You have to take that time for self-care as well. It is imperative that you make time to be physically active.

Here are 10 ways to be smart about your health:

1. Decide what is missing – get personalized nutrition information based on your age, gender, height, weight, and physical activity level.

2. Enjoy your food but eat less – use a smaller plate at meals to help control the amount of food and calories you eat.

3. Strengthen you bones – choose foods like to help strengthen bones.

4. Make a small amount of fruit and more vegetables – Choose red, orange, or dark-green vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli along with other vegetables for meals.

5. Drink Water – sip water or prepare fresh juice with few or no calories to help maintain a healthy weight. Keep a water bottle on hand to remain hydrated throughout the day.

6. Eat whole grains more often – choose whole grains like brown rice and whole-grain pastas and quinoa. Foods with high fiber content can help gives you a feeling of fullness and also provide key nutrients.

7. Learn what is in foods – use both ingredient and nutrition fact labels to discover what various foods contain.

8. Cut back on unhealthy foods – cut calories by cutting out foods high in solid fats and added sugar. Reduce or eliminate fatty meats like ribs, bacon, and hot dogs.

9. Learn to prepare healthy foods – try out healthier recipes that use much less solid fat, salt and sugar. Eat at home more often so you can control what you are eating. If you eat out, check and compare nutrition information. Choose healthier options such as baked, sauté.

10. Be active whenever you can – set a goal to fit in at least 30 minutes to 1 hour of moderate physical activity per day. Being active 10 minutes at a time also adds to your weekly total. Ask friends or family to keep you company as you bike, job, walk or dance. Don’t forget to do some muscle strengthening activities twice a week.

You can read previous posts from this week here.

Do you need help with your healthy lifestyle design? If so, contact me today!

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: or visit her website at:

11 Tips for Healthy Eating as a Vegetarian

vegetarianA vegetarian diet can be a healthy option for a lifestyle design but the key is to consume a variety of foods and the right amount of foods to meet your calorie and nutritional needs. In past articles, I have touched on many different options when creating a nutritional and healthy lifestyle using the food groups but these do not always apply to a vegetarian lifestyle.

Here are 11 tips for a healthy vegetarian lifestyle:

1. Think about protein – your protein needs can easily be met by eating a variety of plant-based foods. Sources of protein for vegetarians include beans and peas, nuts, and soy products (tofu, tempeh). Lacto-ovo vegetarians also get protein from eggs and dairy foods.

2. Bone up on sources of calcium – calcium is used for building bones and teeth. Some vegetarians consume dairy products which are excellent sources of calcium. Other sources of calcium for vegetarians include calcium-fortified soymilk, tofu made with calcium sulfate, and some dark green leafy vegetables (collard, turnip, and mustard greens and bok choy).

3. Make simple changes – many popular main dishes are or can be vegetarian such as pasta primavera, pasta with marinara or pesto sauce, veggie pizza, vegetable lasagna, tofu-vegetable stir-fry, and bean burritos.

4. Enjoy a cookout – for barbecues, try veggie or soy burgers, soy hot dogs, marinated tofu or tempeh, and fruit kabobs. Grilled veggies are great too!

5. Include beans and peas – because of their high nutritional content, consuming beans and peas is recommended for everyone, vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Enjoy some vegetarian chili, three bean salad, or split pea soup. Make a hummus filled pita sandwich.

6. Try different vegetable versions – a variety of vegetarian products look and may taste like their non-vegetarian counterparts but are usually lower in saturated fat and contain no cholesterol. For breakfast, try soy-based sausage patties or links, for dinner rather than hamburgers try bean burgers or falafel (chickpea patties).

7. Make some small changes at restaurants – most restaurants can make vegetarian modifications to menu items by substituting meatless sauces or non-meat items, such as tofu and beans for meat, and adding vegetables or pasta in place of meat.

8. Nuts make great snacks – choose unsalted nuts as a snack and use them in salads or main dishes. Add almonds, walnuts, or pecans instead of cheese or meat to a green salad.

9. Get your vitamin B12 – vitamin B12 supplements if you do not consume animal products.

10. Vegetarians should choose fortified food products – Check the nutrition facts label for vitamin B12 in fortified products.
11. Find a vegetarian pattern for you – it is important for you to do your due diligence in research to find your perfect vegetarian choices. You must think about not only all of the nutrient values that you need to have but also calorie intake level that is needed on a daily basis.

Do you need help finding your perfect vegetarian healthy lifestyle design? If so contact me today, I can help!

Read more of my nutritional articles here. Visit my website to learn about healthy choices here.

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: or visit her website at:

10 Tips for Being a Healthy Role Model for Children

popeyeYou are the most important influence on your child as you do many things to help them including to develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. Offering a variety of foods helps children get the nutrients they need from every food group. They will also be more likely to try new foods and to like more foods. When children develop a taste for many of foods, it’s easier to plan family meals. Cook together, eat together, talk together, and make mealtime a family time!

Here are 10 tips for setting a good example:

1. Show by example – eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains with meals or as snacks. Let your child see that you like to munch on raw vegetables.

2. Go food shopping together – grocery shopping can teach your child about food and nutrition. Discuss where vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and protein foods come from. Let your children make healthy choices.

3. Get creative in the kitchen – cut food into fun and easy shapes with cookie cutters. Name a food your child helps make. Serve “Janie’s Salad” or “Jackie’s Sweet Potatoes” for dinner. Encourage your child to invent new snacks. Make your own trail mixes from dry whole-grain, low-sugar cereal and dried fruit.

4. Offer the same foods for everyone – stop being a short order cook by making different dishes to please children. It’s easier to plan family meals when everyone eats the same foods.

5. Reward with attention, not food – show your love with hugs and kisses. Comfort with hugs and talks. Choose not to offer sweets as rewards. It lets your child think sweets or dessert foods are better than other foods. When meals are not eaten, kids do not need “extras” – such as candy or cookies – as replacement foods.

6. Focus on each other at the table – talk about fun and happy things at mealtime. Turn off the television, take phone calls later, and try to make eating meals a stress free time.

7. Listen to your child – if your child says he or she is hungry, offer a small, healthy snack; even if it is not a scheduled time to eat. Offer choices, ask”which would you like for dinner: broccoli or cauliflower?” instead of “do you want broccoli for dinner?”

8. Limit screen time – allow no more than 2 hours a day of screen time like TV and computer games. Get up and move during commercials to get some physical activity.

9. Encourage physical activity – make physical activity fun for the whole family. Involve your children in the planning. Walk, run, and play with your child instead of sitting on the sidelines. Set an example by being physically active and using safety gear like bike helmets.

10. Be a good food role model – try new foods yourself. Describe its taste, texture, and smell. Offer one new food at a time. Serve something your child likes along with the new food. Offer new foods at the beginning of a meal, when your child is very hungry. Avoid lecturing or forcing your child to eat.

Do you need help with creating a healthy lifestyle design that includes your family? If so contact me today I can help!

Visit my website to learn more about healthy food here. Catch up on my other articles here.

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: or visit her website at:

10 Tips on Building a Healthy Meal

nutriplateHealthy meals are more vegetables and fruit with smaller portions of protein and grains. You must adjust your portions accordingly on your plate to get what you need without too many calories. Think about a split plate in thirds, it usually has one bigger section and two smaller sections – the larger portion of the plate should be where your fruit or vegetable goes and the smaller ones are for your proteins and grains.

Here are 10 tips to building a healthy meal:

1. Make half your plate vegetables and fruits – vegetables are full of nutrients and may help to promote good health. Choose red, orange, and dark green vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.

2. Add lean protein – choose protein foods such as lean beef and pork, chicken, turkey, beans, or tofu. Twice a week make seafood the protein on your plate.

3. Include whole grains – aim to make at least half your grains whole grains. Look for “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” on the food label. Whole grains provide more nutrients, like fiber.

4. Don’t forget the dairy – pair your meal with a cup of fat-free or low-fat milk. They provide the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk without the fats and calories. You can substitute milk for soymilk as your beverage or add a fat-free or low-fat yogurt with your meal.

5. Avoid extra fat – using heavy gravies or sauces will add fat and calories to otherwise healthy choices. Steamed broccoli is great but avoid topping it off with cheese sauce instead use something like a small sprinkling of low-fat parmesan cheese or a squeeze of lemon.

6. Take your time – savor your food. Eat slowly, enjoy the taste and textures and pay attention to how you feel. Be mindful. Eating quickly may cause you to eat too much or have a stomachache or heartburn.

7. Use a smaller plate – use a smaller plate at meals to help with portion control. That way you can finish your entire plate and feel satisfied without overeating.

8. Take control of your food – eat at home more often so you know exactly what you are eating. If you eat out, check and compare the nutrition information. Choose healthier options such as baked instead of fried.

9. Try new foods – keep it interesting by picking out new foods you’ve never tried before like mango, lentils or kale. You may find a new favorite. Trade fun and tasty recipes with friends and find them online.

10. Satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way – indulge in a naturally sweet dessert dish – FRUIT!! Serve a fresh fruit cocktail or a fruit parfait made with yogurt. For a hot dessert, bake apples and top with cinnamon.

I hope these 10 tips help to building a healthy meal – by utilizing smaller portions and the right type of foods – you should be on your way to a lower calorie intake on a daily basis and weight management.

Do you need help with your healthy lifestyle design? Do you need more information about nutrition? If so, contact me today I can help!

Visit my website to learn more about healthy foods here. Catch up on all of my other articles on my blog here.

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: or visit her website at:

10 Tips to Eating Healthy on a Budget

Grocery-shopping-on-a-budgetAre you always trying to find a way to eat healthy on a budget? Do you need to learn how to stretch your food dollars each week? There are always things that can be done when working with a food budget it’s just about knowing how to get to the end result of savings each and every time you shop. There are, of course, 3 main steps to help you get there each time: plan, appropriate prices and meal preparation such as preparing once and eating three times. Prepare your list ahead of time you shop and try not to deviate from it.

Here are 10 tips to keep you eating healthy even on a budget:

1. Plan, plan, plan! – before you head to the grocery store and/or health food store plan your meals for the week. Include meals like stews, casseroles, or stir-fries to help stretch the expensive items into more portions. Check to see what foods you already have and make a list to buy the ones you need.

2. Get the best price – check your local newspapers, online and at the store for sales and coupons. Ask about a loyalty or reward card for extra savings at the stores you shop in. Look for specials or sales on items that you have listed.

3. Compare and contrast – locate the unit price on the shelf directly below the product and use it to compare different brands and different sizes of the same brand to determine which one is more economical.

4. Buy in bulk – it is almost always cheaper to buy foods in bulk. Smart choices are family packs of items that can be frozen and used at a later date. Remember to make sure you have the freezer space for bulk frozen foods.

5. Buy in season – buying fruits and vegetables in season can lower the cost and adds the freshness. If you aren’t going to use them right away, buy some that still need time to ripen.

6. Convenience costs… go back to the basics – convenience foods like frozen dinners, pre-cut vegetables, instant rice, instant oatmeal, or grits will cost you more than if you make it from scratch and should not be on your list. Always select fresh! Schedule the time to prepare your own foods and save money.

7. Easy on your wallet – certain foods are typically low-cost options all year round. Try beans which are less expensive and provide lots of protein, carrots, greens or sweet potatoes and fruit such as apples or bananas are also good to select.

8. Cook once and eat all week – prepare a large batch of favorite recipes on your day off. Freeze in individual containers. Use them throughout the week and you will not have to spend money on take-out meals.

9. Get your creative juices flowing – spice up your leftovers by using them in new ways. Try leftover vegetable stir-fry, quinoa with vegetables such as mushrooms or your can top your garden salads with colorful raw vegetables. Remember throwing away food is throwing away money.

10. Eating out – restaurants are expensive so if you must go save money by getting the early bird special or going out for lunch instead of dinner or look for “2 for 1” deals. Stick to water instead of ordering other beverages which will add to the bill.

Are you looking for help in finding the right lifestyle design for you? If so, contact me today I can help!

Visit my website to learn more about nutrition here. Read more of my articles here at my blog.

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: or visit her website at: