Skip to Content


Category: Discussion


Life on B12

Remember just a few weeks ago I had a really bad 5k experience where I thought I was going to have an aneurism? Remember how I wondered if maybe not being able to run a mile without stopping after 3 years of training might be a red flag that something is wrong with my health? Remember how I started to wonder if my documented B12 deficiency might be responsible for my poor exercise endurance? And remember how I pledged to get my B12 levels back into normal range to see if that would make me feel stronger and healthier?

Short answer: I DID, AND I FEEL AMAZING.

B12 bottle

And now the longer story…

Shortly after that awful race, Jeff and I started doing some research on B12 and how much it might cost for me to start a round of injections with my doctor. That led us to finding some B12 injections you could order and administer yourself at home. I was definitely a little squicked out by the thought of giving myself a shot, but it’s nearly impossible to overdose on B12, so being able to skip the cost of the doctor’s visits and still get the benefits sounded like it was worth a try.

Just before we committed to that though, we found some B12 in pill form that came in an even higher dosage than the injections. It was very well reviewed with lots of people claiming to have corrected their deficiencies using it. I was a little skeptical that I could get results quickly with a pill, but we decided to give it a try first and then move onto injections if I had no luck with it.

B12 in bottle

Guys, I felt better during the first day of taking these pills! It seriously feels like a flip has been switched on in my body.

I now wake up every morning feeling completely alert and ready to hop out of bed, where previously I never felt well rested and could easily take an hour or more to ease into wakefulness. I have so much energy throughout the day and have gotten so much more done. Previously, I was extremely unmotivated and could easily waste a whole day just trying to make myself go do the things I needed to do, now I get bored and fidgety if I don’t find outlets for my energy. I’ve done a ton of cleaning and reorganizing in the last two weeks and have tackled projects I never could get around to. Jeff has also commented to me that I he thinks I look less tired and that my moods have greatly improved.

B12 pill on cap

I think the biggest change I’ve noticed though is that I get frustrated a lot less. One of the symptoms of B12 deficiency is memory impairment, and while I wouldn’t say that I experienced much forgetfulness, I have definitely had a problem over the last few years with not enjoying learning anymore or having to think about anything too hard. I would get frustrated very quickly with even minor problems and had a harder time expressing myself clearly. I hated having to think, and it was getting worse. But since taking B12, I have noticed a huge improvement in my ability and willingness to think through things, and I’ve become a bit of a chatterbox now that I can completely think through an idea and express it clearly.

With how well I was feeling at home, I was excited to see if my performance in the gym improved too. I guess I had the silly idea that I would suddenly be able to run a couple miles without walking right off the bat. Of course that’s ridiculous, but there has been a definite change. I was able to cover nearly 3 miles on the treadmill the other day breathing through my nose the entire time. I have never run a distance like that without panting through my mouth for most of it. I call that a win, and maybe now that I’m not so out of breath I can actually train to become a better runner in time.

B12 pill pinch

It is hard to believe that this teensy little pill has made such a huge difference for me, especially considering that I fully expected it to do nothing.

I’ll do a post soon on what I’ve learned about B12 and how our bodies use it. But for now, I just wanted to fill you guys in on what’s been going on with me and to show any of you out there who may have had persistent problems with extreme fatigue that a B12 deficiency could be what’s holding you back. It has proved to be at least one of the major pieces of the puzzle for me, and supplementation has made all the difference.


Bar Exam: Good n’ natural lemon bar

I haven’t done a bar exam in a long time! Truthfully, I haven’t been sampling many new bars lately because I’ve been having a Clif Builder protein bar almost every day while I’ve been doing the LiveFit trainer. I haven’t exactly wanted a second bar on any given day so there’s rarely a time for me to try any.

I did give this Good n’ Natural lemon bar a shot though, because as you may know, I LOVE lemon flavored sweets.

Good n' natural lemon bar

This bar is packed with real whole foods and is both vegan and dairy-free.

Good n' natural lemon bar ingredients

At 230 calories, it’s the right size for a satisfying snack. 9 grams of sugar is not that bad, and as a bonus there’s 10 whole grams of protein too.

Good n' natural lemon bar stats

Appearance: Has the smooth pasty look of a larabar but is completely filled with obvious oats and nuts. I tend to love these bars that are essentially just fruit and nut paste, so I was already excited about this one as soon as I unwrapped it.

Good n' natural lemon bar unwrapped

Texture: Delightfully chewey. The oats provide a nice textural element without being too much to chomp through. I always hated the Quaker granola bars as a kid because my jaw would ache from chewing all those oats like a pony. Not a problem with this bar, the oats are softer and the fruit and nut paste that holds them together is smooth and homogenous.

Good n' natural lemon bar unwrapped 2

Taste: Sigh. This bar was so promising. Looks good, chews good, but it tastes like wood chips and cardboard held together by wax. There is a faint floral lemon zest aroma and flavor right as you swallow, but it’s very light and tastes more like the kind of lemon you’d expect to find in soap or perfume than in food. Sad, really.

Good n' natural lemon bar bite

It was so gross that I’m not sure I can trust any other flavor from this brand. If they use the same stale nuts, flavorless dried fruit, and fake-tasting “natural flavors” as this one, I’m sure to be disappointed as well.

That’s it. I have had so many negative Bar Exams that I’m gonna just review one that I know is excellent so I can have something nice to say again. Maybe a Kind bar or a Larabar in a fun flavor I haven’t tried.

Have you ever bought something that sounded like it was made for you only for it to end up tasting gross?




Our Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone

Jeff and I are about to start our 4th brew day some time this month. We already have two   batches ready for drinking and the 3rd batch has been bottled and will be ready to drink soon too. I don’t even know how many 6 packs we have stored away in the basement right now, but it’s a lot.

I realized recently that I never even told you how our first batch turned out! So, I thought I’d show you just how it stacks up against the original Sierra Nevada Pale Ale that it was crafted to imitate.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and our clone

The Sierra Nevada pours very crisp and clear…

Sierra Nevada poured

Ours was a little cloudier.

Our clone poured

We left the last bit of ours in the bottle since it’s full of settled yeast sludge. Yuck.

yeast sludge in our beer

As you can see, the Sierra Nevada (left) is noticeably clearer and lighter in color.

side by side clarity comparison

Jeff checking the two in the light…

Checking clarity in the light

But how does it taste? Well, when we first tried it it was very close in flavor to the original. Crisp and clean with a subtle hoppiness and bright citrus. There was a bit of a strange flavor that Jeff noticed more than I did that he attributed to not letting it age long enough, so we decided to give it more time to age in the bottle.

Me tasting the pale ale

2 weeks later, we tried it again…

Jeff trying our pale ale 2 weeks later

This time it poured much clearer as the yeast sludge had completely settled and was caked into the bottom hard enough that it didn’t stir up again. The flavor had taken on a bit of a fruity note though. Not bad, just not as near to the flavor of the original Sierra Nevada as it was before.

Overall though, I’d say our first brew was a complete success. The beer tastes really good even if it isn’t exactly like the beer it was modeled after.

Now we’re trying to decide what to make for our 4th batch. Definitely something fresh and clean for summer like an IPA.

What is your favorite summer beer? Or, what’s your favorite refreshing warm-weather beverage?