Wednesday, February 13, 2019

REVIEW: Vegetarian / Vegan Wellness Testing

If you've been around my corner of the InterWebs for an extended period of time, you may know I'm a vegetarian - and have been for many moons. We can get into the reasons at another time, but suffice it to say my last "meat meal" was on New Year's Eve 2004 (FYI: it was shrimp scampi at Red Lobster) and I expect to live plant-based for the rest of my life.

Anywho, I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets inundated with spam - but seeing as I have my email address listed on my blog for the world to see, I tend to get a lot more junk emails than I used to. I try to respond to them all, even if it's just to say "thanks but no thanks" (you never know what may come of it down the road). Well, a couple weeks back I received an email with the title "🌿 Lettuce Test Your Wellness With Our Vegan Test! 🌿". I'm all about puns, so this one caught my eye. I was sure it was just a bot sending out bulk messages, but was stoked to see it came from a real person - the digital marketer for And although she may say this to everyone, she mentioned she had checked out my blog and thought working together could be "a grape 🍇 fit" (the deal was almost sealed solely based on food puns alone ;)).


You see, they recently rolled out some Vegetarian and Vegan tests and wanted some help spreading the word about them. (I've been thinking of going the vegan route but have had a hard time giving up the idea of "real" cheese.) They're the only company offering these types of tests and think they could be a great resource - and I've got to agree.

They offer two types of vegan tests:

Since I am already a vegetarian, the nutrient deficiency test was the route I went. Let's be real, if you're not making sure you're getting the right nutrients, it's easy to become deficient in them. The Vegan Nutritional Maintenance Panel tests for common nutrient deficiencies that plant-based people may encounter. Some of the nutrients it tests for are: B-12, Calcium, Complete Blood Count (CBC), D-25 Hydroxy (Vitamin D-3), Ferritin, Folic Acid, Homocysteine, Iron and Zinc.


I had some issues with the initial set up (the original email was "lost" so my contact had to do some searching on the back-end which took a few extra days to get everything squared away), but once everything was ironed out it was smooth sailing. I was able to log into my HealthLabs account, print off the lab order confirmation and head in for my bloodwork. 

I just printed off the lab order and took it with me to the test center down the street (literally like 2 miles away)

The bloodwork itself took all of 10 minutes. It was super convenient, especially because there are a ton of labs you can choose from (you can even search based on ones open on Saturdays). PS You don't have to worry about payment or working with an insurance company at the test center because it's taken care of when you place your order.

I was going to share a picture of the 7 vials of blood, but wasn't sure if anyone would
get squeamish from it so decided that this was the safer route ;) 

Results are normally posted 1-3 days after taking the test and I was notified via email a day later that my preliminary results were in. I did have to wait (and actually follow up with my contact after a week when the complete results still weren't posted) for my final results, but was told the issues I ran into with the different delays were very atypical.


There are numerous health advantages to a plant-based diet, but there can still be some vulnerabilities when it comes to receiving certain nutrients. The test I took should reveal any deficiencies I may have, that way I can address them and continue living a healthy lifestyle. If you take this test and find that you’re not suffering from any of the most common deficiencies, you can continue your plant-based lifestyle with peace of mind and renewed zeal to stick to your goals. If the panel shows you're indeed nutrient-deficient, you can adapt your goals, make different dietary decisions and choose more nutrient-specific foods to ensure your body is receiving adequate levels of nourishment. (PS They recommend modifying your diet for at least 8 weeks, then re-testing to ensure your levels for the deficient nutrients have become sufficient.)


Before I get into what my test showed, let me mention a few quick things. The hubby and I try to eat a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. Even still, I realize there are some nutrients I may be skimping on (not just because I'm a vegetarian, but because in this day and age of processed food being king it can often be hard to always get your hands on "real" food). With that said, I do take some supplements - but more as a safety net (I would always prefer to get the nutrients direct from the source, but sometimes that isn't always a reality). Prior to my blood work I did not change my diet or increase any of the vitamins I was taking as to avoid skewing the results.

PS In case you are curious, the supplements I take on a daily basis are: Cranberry (TMI but I get UTIs very easily), Biotin (for healthy hair
and nails), Magnesium (because my father-in-law swears by it), Iron (I found out I was anemic a while back and have been taking it ever
since), Fiber (because taking Iron supplements can cause constipation so this helps to keep me "regular") , B-12 (this is mostly found in
animal products, so often times vegans and vegetarians have a hard time getting enough in their diet) and a Women's All-in-One vitamin.

I am happy to report that my results show everything is within a healthy range - BOOYA GRANDMA! My mom joked and asked if I was getting tested to make sure I didn't have any meat in my system ;) But, all jokes aside, I am stoked that everything showed I am getting the nutrients and vitamins I need to continue living my best plant-based life!

FYI: I was not surprised in my results, but one can never pass up a good Tommy Boy gif

The point of taking this test is to identify your deficiencies, address them and live a healthier life. If you are a vegetarian or vegan and would like to take the nutrient deficiencies test or are considering going plant-based and would like to take the tests for meat, poultry and dairy allergies, you can use the code CARLEE to receive 25% off all vegan tests. Remember, there are 4,500+ US located labs, so hopefully there is one just a hop, skip and a jump from where you live!

Have you ever considered going plant-based?

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