Are you not sleeping well, fatigued or moody? You may need this!

Hope you are enjoying the week so far. It has been a bit gray and rainy, but I like to think of it as fueling the growth of all the glorious plant life that is starting to peek out from the trees and the earth. I also know it is nourishing the wonderful vegetables I will be getting at the farmer’s market in the next few weeks and months!

I talked about Vitamin D3 a few weeks ago, and I wanted to talk about another important supplement: B12 (cobalamin). As we move towards a more clean diet and cut back on animal products, it is important to supplement with B12.

What is B12 and why do we need it?
This important water-soluble vitamin is used for many functions of the body. It can be stored in our liver for some time. We need B12 to maintain our energy and help prevent fatigue! It also helps promote healthy brain and cardiac function and helps us sleep better, as it has a critical role in the formation of melatonin, which is commonly referred to as the “sleep hormone”.  It also supports the optimal metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, promotes healthy cell growth and repair, and activates the vitamin folate in the body.

Plus, Vitamin B12 supports and protects our nerves. It develops and maintains fatty sheathes which act as a cover and protector of nerve endings. We don’t want to burn our nerves out! The great Yoga Master, Paramahansa Yogananda, spoke often of protecting our very important nervous system to maintain calmness and vitality in our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual parts of our being. If we find that we are often agitated over little things almost daily, it is really important to do something about it! It will burn us out for the long term, waste energy and exhaust our life force- our inner light.

Since Vitamin B12 is found primarily in animal sources of food, if we are vegetarian or vegan we must supplement. It is true that B12 if found in sources like sea vegetables and nutritional yeast, but this is one vitamin we need to be fully sure we are receiving in a bioavailable form.

However, for those of us that do eat meat, it does not automatically mean you are safe! Meat-eaters can still have low levels of Vitamin B12! Even if one eats sources that contain it, one might not be adequately absorbing it. Absorbing and utilizing Vitamin B12 is actually fairly complex, and there are many places where we could run into trouble. If we are low in hydrochloric acid, which releases B12 from food, our bodies may have issues absorbing B12. The stomach lining could also be lacking in its ability to produce intrinsic factor, a protein that is needed to bind to B12 in the small intestine to allow the body to absorb it.

The synthetic type of B12 found in supplements is called cyanocobalamin. Check with your doctor if you are unsure of the level of Vitamin B12 that your body needs, but 500-1,000 mcg is generally considered a good daily amount. Be careful not to take Vitamin C at the same time, as it can virtually eliminate the absorption of B12! Only up to 500 mg of “C” should be taken at the same time. Over and above that, we may run into issues.

Be sure to take care of yourself and protect yourself with B12 supplementation! I hope you will see marked improvement in your sleep and provide some headache relief. :)

By the way, if any of you have any other “green” cleaning ideas apart from the ones that I mentioned in my post last week, I’d love for you to share! I’m really into the “green” cleaning thing right now. I went to a vegan restaurant the other day and they were spraying the tables down with this disgusting toxic spray!! It really creeped me out. Yes the food was organic and vegan, but then we are to be surrounded with chemicals infesting the air all around while eating?? So ironic. Sometimes the connection isn’t made that all our choices matter- not just food.

Okay, back to work!
Love, Kimberly




Last updated: Monday, June 29, 2015
  • Julia

    Thanks, Kimberly, for writing about B12 today. I have pernicious anemia and have to have B12 shots regularly. I do not fit the typical patient profile for B12 at all, and it was only a fluke that doctors caught it. I don’t think most of us realize how important B12 is for our bodies. There’s a book worth reading if you think you have B12-related health problems – _Could it be B12?_ by Sally Pacholok.

    I’m really interested in “green cleaning” as well and have done several classes on the topic. I spent five years in Australia between 2003 and 2008, and green cleaning is much more accepted there than here. Baking soda and white vinegar work wonders on everything! I mop my hardwood with water and vinegar, and they shine beautifully without the build-up you sometimes get with commercial cleaners). I also use tea tree essential oil and eucalyptus essential oil a lot. Tea tree essential oil is used in hospitals in Australia. It disinfects amazingly well, so who needs bleach?

    I try to make many cleaning products, but when in a pinch, I buy the Zum Clean line from Indigo Wild. They’re a great company, and they also do heaps to support dog rescue (another passion of mine!).

    Do you follow Leslie Reichert? –

    My friend, Gregg, takes your yoga class sometimes. He told me about you and the Green Smoothie when I was talking to him one day about fasting. I’ve been hooked ever since! After I’ve squeezed my lemons into the Green Smoothie in the morning, I use them to wipe across my sink. They make metal shine, and they leave a nice scent in the sink, too. You can even throw one or two halves into the garbage disposal to freshen it up!

    I have been wanting to ask you something about the Green Smoothie. Is it OK to put protein powder in it? My fiance is keen to do this, and I’m freaked out by it. Ha! (Guess who’s veg and who isn’t…) If it is OK, is there a non-soy protein powder you’d actually recommend?

    Thanks again!

    • Leah

      I recall that the power protein smoothie on this website uses hemp or brown rice protein powder but I do not know where to find it yet

  • Jennifer

    First off- love your blog! This is what I use to clean everything (kitchen, bathroom and wood surfaces too).

    For 32 oz spray bottle:

    28 oz water
    4 oz vinegar
    1.5 t peppermint
    3/4 t tea tree
    3/4 t eucalyptus

    You don’t have to measure the oils out quite so precisely. Just a small pour for the tea tree and
    eucalyptus, and a bigger pour for the peppermint. It’s better to start with less oil, shake it up, spray it in the sink, smell it – and determine if it smells “strong enough.” Between the 3 of these oils,
    they are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and inhibit the growth of both. If you can smell them with some
    strength in your spray, the properties are there.

  • Esop

    I wonder if staring at a Cherry Blossom tree long enough would induce the body to start manufacturing its own vitamin B12…

    Greetings Kim: you look happy. This is very good.

    Great information, especially the bit about absorption! When I stopped with the angry-cow meat I noticed white spots appearing on my fingernails and was told I needed more zinc. Some pumpkin seeds/zinc supplements later, nothing was happening which drew me into learning the whole synergistic basis of it all.

    I suppose getting all the main processes on intellectual lockdown probably gifts you with a profound sense of accomplishment.

    Cleaning-wise, coarse sea salt is amazingly effective and versatile when it comes to general jobs.

    Apple Cider vinegar is a excellent deodoriser in my humble opinion.

    Another great personal deodoriser is half a lemon applied to one’s underarm (but for the love of all that is Holy NOT straight after shaving). :)

  • Erika

    question! can you take this vitamin and be eating a whole grapefruit every day? Thanks Kim – I love your blog, it’s so inspiring!

  • cathy

    Hi Kimberly,

    Love your blogs! Here’s my green tip for those of us who enjoy your blog from Australia..On top of your new entries, I am also enjoying reading your blogs from 6 months ago..It’s a great way to stay in touch with your more seasonal information- I’ve just read all of September 2009, and am gaining lots of helpful info about the end of Summer. That’s twice the Kimberly for the price of one!
    With much gratitude,


    • Elisa

      you’re right Cathy! as a fellow aussie im about to read over the older entries for this season too :)

      • kimberlysnyder

        I love my Aussies!!! :) Can I mention again I was in Oz for 2 years? :)

  • Mike

    Hydrogen Peroxide is just water with an extra oxygen molecule (H2O2). And it’s a lot safer than bleach.

  • Em

    Hey Kim,
    I love your blog,
    about the green cleaning, I can only think of hydrogen peroxide, its safe and so cheap!

    Thanks for all the tips!

  • Katie

    The topic is very informative. Vitamin B12 is really very much necessary for our health. So we should take food rich in vitamin B12.

  • meredith

    Thanks for all of the incredible vital info you share with everyone!! I’m confused on a couple of issues in regards to the B-12….

    Is the B-12 better in a liquid form? Is methylcobalamin better than the cobalamin?

    Thank you again,

  • lisa

    I have learned something new today, thanks for sharing

  • John


    Hi, I greatly enjoy your blog,and find your discussion of nutrition and other issues invariably brilliant. I particularly enjoyed your post on the importance of B-12, as it is of great concern to vegans. (I was a meat eater as of 9 months ago and have been transitioning to a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle–so learning about nutrition is extremely valuable.) I was wondering if you have any brands of B vitamins that you could recommend–I have taken supplements in the past–usually of the Duane Reade type!–but see that Vitamin Code has a raw B complex vitamin. Just wondering your thoughts on their vitamins.

    Again thanks for you wonderful blog (I don’t like the word “blog”–I wish someone would coin a better description!)


    • kimberlysnyder

      Hi John,
      Thank you so much! I’m so happy you like my blog. I know it is a funny word. :)
      I like the Shaklee brand of B Vitamins. Jarrow has a decent B12 one also.
      Come visit me again soon!
      xx Kimberly

  • Becky

    I just bought your book and am really enjoying it. I’ve been studying nutrition on my own for a couple years and have been reading both schools of thought (vegetarian/meat eater) to try and see the bigger picture, but it still leaves me confused. I find the theories (and The China Study’s) on whether or not humans were meant to be herbivores or omnivores very compelling, but I’m always brought back to the question of Vitamin B12. If this vitamin is so important for humans, and is only found in animals, doesn’t it make the case for the omnivorous camp?

    • kimberlysnyder

      In the past, humans got B12 naturally from the healthy bacteria in our soil and from other non-meat sources. These sources are now depleted and no longer in adequate levels in our diet. It’s the same way we have to go out of our way to get probiotics into our diet.

  • Jainy

    I like this post

  • Jessica

    Hi Kimberly,
    Could you please explain the main differences between spirulina and chlorella?

    thanks a million!

  • Linda

    When is the best time of day to take B12? Is it good to take it before bedtime?

  • Adriana Miller

    What’s the best time to take vitamin b12 and empty or full stomach for better absorption?