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How to Live a Balanced Life

bigstock-Shiny-scales-balance-Life-and--42985480I found myself over committed and out of sorts last week. I have been contemplating the whole idea of living a balanced life ever since and having some “ah ha moments”. I had ignored the warning signs and was feeling empty, like I had no more left to give in that moment. What really constitutes balance I asked myself? I thought I knew, since, after all, I have many years of experience of living a life, have done zillions of courses and it is my business!! I have even written two previous blogs; Life is a balancing act and Balancing Life with Plenty of Fun,  yet, even though I know how to take care of myself and I counsel others on how to take care of themselves, I seem to think that I can ignore the symptoms of “overdrive” myself and manage to be OK! Not! I think we need constant reminders, at least I apparently do. It seems to be a something that I do from time to time…forget and get off track, get bogged down in the “doingness” of life Can you identify with that?

In retrospect, I can hear my “self-talk”… “just one more thing, oh and that one other thing too…you’ll be OK; you can stop as soon as you do this last thing!” Ya, right! Who do I think I am? I say I walk my talk. Well, sometimes I derail myself and I wonder why I ignored the warning signals. Why do I push myself so hard? Do you have this tendency too? Has this ever happened to you?

So, I reread my own blogs above and I reread my January, New Year Blog too to remind myself what I believe constitutes achieving a great life.  You see, I celebrated my birthday on June 23. So, it is now my “New Year”. I asked for, and got what I call a pattern interrupt before my birthday, to have me pay attention to what works in my life and what doesn’t. I overdid it and my body, mind and spirit screamed at me that if I didn’t stop, I was going to be unwell, that I was on the edge, so to speak. I was reminded that I need to pay more attention to my own needs so that I don’t burn out. How about you? If you or I burn out, then who benefits from that? Nobody, right? … especially not our immediate family and those who depend on us.

So, I thought I’d reiterate what I believe are my 8 Steps to Achieving What I Want, i.e. a great life! I think they are likely your 8 steps too!

  1. Decide what matters most to you.
  2. Get 8 hours of sleep.
  3. Reach for a fruit or vegetable every time you eat.
  4. Take time with your fabulous friends.
  5.  Just say “no”!
  6.  Supplement your health!
  7. Take special time for yourself.
  8.  Commit to your spirit.

And a big no. 9: Make no compromises!

Sound like a plan?

I’d love your feedback and to hear how you manage yourself to stay balanced. Here on my blog, you’ll get commentluv. This is a wonderful opportunity to leave a link back to your own blog when you leave a comment.

And keep in mind that a balancing act is not the same as living a life in balance!

To your vibrant health!

Lynn

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bigstock-Landscape-picture-of-woman-pic-31869902Yay! “Spring has sprung”, as the saying goes. We have been waiting with baited breath to welcome the warm weather after a long winter! As we “spring” into action around outdoor activities, a word to the wise is to take care of our joints. When we start walking, running and cycling in earnest again, and start our gardening and yard clean up, be mindful! When we increase these types of repetitive movements incrementally, we support our joint health, and help our bodies to adjust with ease. I know there is a window of opportunity to get all those weeds in check before our gardens are out of control! And the road beckons to us! But overdoing it can result in aches and pains that slow us down in the long run. Nutritional supplementation to the rescue! There are beneficial nutrients that support our joints, at this time of year especially, and all year ‘round of course.

Every movement our bodies make is a miracle of motion, an amazing combination of our joints working together so we can enjoy a life of activity and adventure!  However, our bodies are in a constant state of joint damage and repair.

Specific nutritional supplements such as Glucosamine and Omega 3 Fish Oils can reduce inflammation and discomfort, and prevent or delay damage by boosting our body’s healthy cellular regeneration of cartilage.

Continue Reading »

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GNLD Nourishake

Happy Spring everyone! The end of winter hibernation season marks a time for many of us to let go of the extra pounds that we seem to accumulate in winter. Some of us tend to eat more cooked and comfort foods and less raw fruits and veggies and salads in the winter. It is a natural tendency. Now is the time to change our way of eating again and to shed any winter protection weight that we might have added over the last 4-5 months. I thought that I would summarize some tips to help us balance ourselves at this time of year, and to shed some light on shedding some weight easily and effortlessly.

GRAZING – is a great way to ensure maximum digestion, absorption, circulation and assimilation of nutrients into our bodies. For more detailed information please read my previous blog.  When our digestive system is not over taxed with volume of food and optimally functioning to break down small amounts of food into absorbable nutrients, our bodies achieve the best nutritional assimilation into our cells. The benefit of eating 5 small meals daily (for example, breakfast, mid morning snack, lunch, mid afternoon snack and dinner) is that we feel energetic all day long. This is because we are fueled, our blood sugar levels are normal and we are never running on empty. The added benefit is that if we are carrying any extra weight, this as a way to help shed that weight! Our blood sugars will be even, rather than “roller coastering” up and down, leading to fat storage. We’ll feel great all day!

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bigstock-promo-girl-holds-red-and-orang-48128204In my last blog post, I wrote about one simple solution to warding off colds and flu. I thought that I would share another one, since we are still susceptible to colds and flus as spring weather approaches. The fluctuating temperatures of this season can be a challenge to our immune system. Eating carotenoid rich fruits and vegetables and enhancing our diet with a carotenoid complex supplement can also boost immune response, helping to fight bacteria and viruses.

Carotenoid containing fruits and vegetables are the red, orange, yellow and deep green coloured ones, for example, tomatoes, carrots, spinach, red bell peppers, strawberries, apricots and peaches. They (along with garlic) are immune system building super foods. As potent antioxidants, carotenoids shield our cells from free radical-induced oxidative stress, thus preventing the initiation of the chain of cellular events that may lead to decline of the immune system. A weakened immune system can wreak havoc on your health. By interrupting oxidation reactions, as well as stimulating and fortifying immune function, carotenoids maximize the body’s natural defense systems and may lower the risk of disease development.

Continue Reading »

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bigstock-Garlic-799925a copyI heard from several friends recently that the flu and cold was going around, that they had had it or their friends and family had had it. This was news to me. It was not my or my family’s experience this winter. I wonder why? My thought is that the one difference we have made this year is to take a Garlic Allium food supplement daily to ward off bacteria and viruses. And I’d say it’s working! We (my husband, his Mom and our 23 year old son, all currently living under the same roof) have not had a cold or flu this season.

Have you heard the saying “You are what you eat?”  In 1942, Victor H. Lindlahr, nutritionist, published his book You Are What You Eat: how to win and keep health with diet.  In 1954 Adelle Davis, MSc, nutritionist wrote her book “Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit”.  I think these two books make strong cases for the aforementioned saying “You are what you eat” and I think many of us underestimate the power of foods to help keep us healthy!

Garlic, a pungent super food, belongs to the allium genus, an acrid-smelling group of vegetables whose odour derives from health-promoting sulfur compounds. Other allium vegetables include onion, leek, shallot and scallion. Alliums have always been a natural part of the diet. Throughout history, people worldwide — the Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, Indians, Koreans, Romans, Babylonians, and Vikings — have used allium vegetables to enhance health. The antimicrobial powers of allium vegetables are renowned. Even very dilute garlic juice is capable of inhibiting bacteria, fungi, and yeast. Onion tea has long been used in China for fever, headache, cholera, and dysentery. In 1858, none other than Louis Pasteur reported that garlic and onion were antibacterial. Later, Albert Schweitzer used garlic alone to treat amoebic dysentery in Africa. And in both world wars, garlic was used as an antiseptic to prevent gangrene.

Most recently, Bryan Rade, Naturopathic Doctor based in Halifax was quoted as saying: “If you happen to come in contact with a flu virus, garlic can help destroy it before it becomes a full-blown flu in the body”.

So, what makes allium vegetables do that, you might ask? Have you ever wondered why a a clove of garlic or onion bulb that is intact is relatively odorless compared to the diced vegetable? The answer is in the chemistry! In garlic, unbroken cloves contain a stable, odorless chemical called alliin, which has no known biological activity. Cutting or crushing garlic, however, causes the release of an enzyme called allinase, which quickly converts odorless alliin to allicin, the smelly sulfur compound that gives garlic its characteristic scent and taste. Allicin accounts for most of garlic’s antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial activity and most of its antiparasitic action in the intestinal tract.

To reap the benefits of allium vegetables, you have to eat them consistently and in quantities that can cause painful or socially undesirable consequences — bloating, flatulence, heartburn, belching, and bad breath. Allicin, the key to many of garlic’s health benefits, is what makes garlic smell. But sometimes it’s hard to take the good along with the bad. And those who do consume allium vegetables or supplements may find they are not reaping full benefit. Aged garlic, for instance, contains only 5% of the active compounds in raw garlic. Cooked or deodorized garlic does not contain significant allicin and thus has little or no antibacterial or antiviral activity. In addition, crushed allium vegetables or supplements without an enteric coating may fail to deliver much allicin. Therefore, I advocate supplementation with a broad spectrum whole-food supplement that is enteric coated, rendering the product insoluble in stomach acid. When the tablet reaches the alkaline environment of the intestines, however, it rapidly dissolves to deliver bioactive compounds for maximal stability, absorption and effect. Targeted delivery such as this also avoids the breath odour and aftertaste problems that can follow consumption of allium foods.

So, remember, “You are what you eat”!  Enjoy eating your allium super foods often, raw if possible, and for maximum benefit and to ward off colds and flu’s, consider an enteric coated whole food supplement, like GNLD’s Garlic Allium Complex.

How about you? Share your tips for warding off flu and colds. I love getting feedback! And remember to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one using the commentluv feature here on my site.

Wishing you vibrant health always!

Lynn

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Happiness

Happy New Year everyone! With a brand new year comes the opportunity to start fresh. Whether we want to trim down and get fit, adopt healthier eating habits, be more centered and peaceful or experience better relationships (with yourself and others), now is the perfect time to take the first step. Here are 8 steps to help us get the year started on the track to attracting what we truly want, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually in 2013! Thank you to Dr. Susan Biali M.D. for her ideas and inspiration.

1. Decide what matters most to you. For example, pick four Goals or core values, (e.g. family, spirituality, health, or leaving your legacy) that matter more to you than any others. Then, hold up every opportunity or decision you make against this list. Living on purpose maximizes joy and fulfillment and minimizes stress.

2. Get 8 hours of sleep. Sleep is one of the most powerful (and free!) resources we have to support optimal health. When we skimp on sleep, we age faster, are more likely to gain weight and get sick, have low energy and be more vulnerable to stress. So, hit the pillow and recharge your body, mind and spirit!

3. Reach for a fruit or vegetable every time you eat. Fruits and vegetables are our best defense against aging and chronic disease, yet it can be difficult to get enough servings (nine recommended!) each day. This year, every time you reach for a snack, commit to having at least one vegetable or fruit accompanying it.

4. Take time with your fabulous friends. Did you know that positive, like-minded relationships promote optimal health and longevity? So writes Dr. Biali. Spend a “quantity” of “quality” time with friends that you feel good with and avoid those who drain your energy or stress you out.

5. Just say “no”! Are you over-committed? Do you have all sorts of reasons why you don’t say no, for example, out of guilt or wanting to please others? Make 2013 the year you think twice before saying yes to anything and say no when it doesn’t feel right for you! Free yourself from that frazzled feeling of an over booked schedule, and breathe in the peace! You are living on purpose…your purpose!

6. Supplement your health! Eat the very best way you can to get optimal nutrition, and then supplement to fill any gap you might have. Consider adding an Omega 3 Fish Oil to your regime. The Journal Of The American College Of Cardiology has published an article that says essentially everyone (in their words, “individuals without overt cardiovascular disease”) should get a minimum of 500mg of omega-3 fatty acids every day! And those with cardiovascular disease or known risk of cardiovascular disease should get 1,000mg a day. This amount is also the current recommendation of the American Heart Association.

7. Take special time for yourself.  Treat yourself to a spa appointment, a reflexology or reiki session, or to whatever feels special to you. Indulge yourself and try something new! Take several mini vacations this year (e.g. more weekends away), to keep yourself balanced and energized. Force yourself to take more time for fun and play this year by scheduling it in ahead of time.

8. Commit to your spirit. According to Dr. Biali, a rich spiritual life forms the bedrock of a healthy physical life. Make this the year that your favourite spiritual practices become habits as automatic as brushing your teeth. How might you take your spiritual life to new heights? Try daily meditation, Tai Chi or going on that longed for yoga retreat this year.

Make no compromises! My son and his buddies call their paintball team “Zero Compromise”. This is so apropos for these tips too, wouldn’t you agree? There is no sacrifice required; in fact they’re all about increasing what’s good rather than depriving ourselves in any way. So, zero compromise! Commit to just a few of these tips and have a firm foundation from which to launch this year and the rest of your life!

I’d love your feedback! Here on my blog, you’ll get commentluv. This is a wonderful opportunity to leave a link back to your own blog when you leave a comment.

May 2013 be our best year ever!

Lynn

 

 

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bigstock-vitamin-c-pills-41814007In my last two blogs, Who Needs Food Supplementation? and The Need For Food Supplementation – Part 2, I have been responding to a comment one of my readers wrote;

If you’re generally healthy and eat a wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy products, lean meats and fish, you likely don’t need supplements.

It has been an interesting inquiry into who does need supplementation and why we need to supplement our diets to boost nutrient density and diversity for optimal health and well-being.

Here in Part 3 and the conclusion to my response, I am addressing:

  • Farming and Farming Practices
  • Transportation and Storage
  • Food Processing, including Refining
  • Cooking

Farming: The nutrient content of soil can vary greatly from one farm to the next. Essential nutrients, especially minerals, can become depleted after years of farming the same soil. This points to the likelihood that the nutrient value in foods are inconsistent. Modern farming technologies also impact nutritional value. For example, genetic engineering led to the development of special varieties of tomatoes that have a uniform size convenient for canners, and a thicker skin necessary for machine harvesting. But engineered tomatoes have less vitamin C and lycopene, an important phytonutrient (plant nutrient), than their natural cousins. Farming practices can also have a negative impact. Farmers frequently harvest produce before it is ripe, robbing plants of the chance to attain the nutrient density and diversity that develop with the natural maturity of, for example, tomatoes ripening on the vine in the sun. Moreover, air and water pollutants, such as smog, insecticides and herbicides, can also act as chemical antagonists and rob fruits and vegetables of some of their nutritional value.

Transportation and Storage: After harvest, food may be stored on the farm in barns or silos before it’s sold to food brokers and transported to warehouses. It may sit for months there before it is transported to grocery stores to be stocked, displayed, and sold. During transportation and storage, factors such as temperature, light, moisture, and even time itself, act to lessen the nutritional value of foods.

Processing: Food processing – a wide array of techniques that modify foods for storage, convenience, taste, etc. – can further drain the nutrient value from food. Produce, for instance, is often peeled, cored, cut, shredded, or chopped before it is frozen, canned, or cooked. Such processing strips away nutrient density and diversity.

  1. Freezing - In the interest of convenience and storage, much of today’s produce is available frozen. The produce is shipped from a broker’s warehouse to a processing plant where it can be held for several days prior to freezing. In the meantime, the foods may be sprayed with chemicals to delay spoilage and repel insects. Many types of produce are blanched (boiled for several minutes and cooled rapidly) before freezing. This process can destroy much of the vitamin C, thiamine (a B-vitamin), and enzymes. While freezing will help preserve the remaining nutrients, the food’s nutritional value will continue to fade with time.
  2. Canning - Canning too, can degrade the nutritional value of food. Canned food often undergoes harvesting, soaking and washing, sorting and grading, blanching, peeling and coring, can filling, air removal, can sealing, cooling, labeling, packing, and storage. A form of baking soda may be added to very acidic foods with the result that B-vitamins are destroyed. Food may also be treated with additives to preserve color and texture. The high heat necessary for canning can lead to major losses of minerals, and canning fluids provide a reservoir into which vitamins can leach.
  3. RefiningWe accept without question the fact that the health of crops and livestock depends upon the nutrients they are provided. Yet many people attempt to build healthy bodies by consuming highly processed, refined foods with inadequate amounts of crucial nutrients. Ironically, the nutrients removed in refining processes from these products are often fed to livestock to improve their health!

Refining strips grains of much of their nutritional value. For instance, most of the nutrients in rice are concentrated in the husk, which is removed during processing to make white rice. Similarly, when wheat is refined, the germ and hull are removed, eliminating most of the fiber, B-vitamins, vitamin E, and lipids and sterols (healthy essential fatty acids).

In its raw state, sugar is a nutritious food containing a great number of vitamins and minerals. During refining, these nutrients are removed as raw molasses, which ranchers add to animal feed – along with the wheat bran and wheat germ removed from refined grain – in order to raise healthy livestock. We consume the dead, empty calories that remain. Refined sugar is 100% carbohydrate and has no value to the body except as calories.

Refining or processing fruits and vegetables may remove healthful phytonutrients, as they tend to make fruit juices bitter and can contribute to rancidity. Similarly, carotenoids – plant pigments which research has shown support immunity and cardiovascular health – are often removed from plant oils to “de-colorize” them. And processes such as canning can destroy lutein, a phytonutrients in spinach and other green, leafy vegetables that is important to eye health.

COOKING:  Cooking is often the last step in the preparation of food before it reaches our table. Heat, oxidation, or other chemical reactions during this process can destroy vitamins (especially B and C), amino acids, and enzymes. Also, boiling or blanching foods can cause vitamins and minerals to leach out of foods and into the cooking water.  Even steaming fruits and vegetables – second in nutritional value only to consuming them raw – can cause nutrient loss.

*GNLD Distributor Business Tools Guide

In conclusion, the bottom line is that your food may not be as nutritious as you think. Every day nutrients are processed out of our food in the name of convenience. Even if you pick the right foods – and most of us don’t, you may not be getting the nutrient density and nutrient diversity you need for optimal health and vitality. While one solution would be to eat only fresh, raw, or slightly cooked foods in as close to their natural form as possible, few of us can spend our entire day hunting, gathering, and carefully preparing our food. We must look for practical alternatives. The key to an optimal diet is good whole foods and good whole-food supplements.

On June 19, 2002, The Journal of the American Medical Association published the results of “Vitamins for Chronic Disease Prevention in Adults, Clinical Applications”, written by Robert H. Fletcher, MD, MSc and Kathleen M. Fairfield, MD, DrPH. The article concluded:

Suboptimal folic acid levels, along with suboptimal levels of vitamins B6 and B12, are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, neural tube defects, and colon and breast cancer; low levels of vitamin D contribute to osteopenia and fractures; and low levels of the antioxidant vitamins (vitamins A, E, and C) may increase risk for several chronic diseases. Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone. Pending strong evidence of effectiveness from randomized trials, it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements.”

That was 10 years ago! I suggest that it is even more prudent and pertinent today!  So, Take charge of your health! Eat the very best way you can and supplement your diet with whole food supplements to fill any gaps that may be missing. The nutritional value of your entire dietary intake, including your supplements, has a vital impact on your health today and on your health and well-being of all your tomorrows!

Eat well, live long! Take your vities!

I’d love your feedback! Here on my blog, you’ll get commentluv. This is a wonderful opportunity to leave a link back to your own blog when you leave a comment.

Until next time,

Lynn

 

 

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bigstock-Concentrated-Fiber-Capsules-OR-37466140Welcome Back to Part 2 of my previous blog!  A recent reader responded with a great comment regarding the need for food supplementation to this blog I’d written.  I am sharing the comment and my response with everyone.

The comment read: “If you’re generally healthy and eat a wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy products, lean meats and fish, you likely don’t need supplements.

Today we are continuing this conversation about the need for food supplementation to boost nutrient density and diversity in our diets. The goal is for all of us to enjoy optimal, vibrant health and prevent “dis-ease” in this day and age!

What is the actual nutrient content in the food you eat as you put it into your mouth? There are many steps that take place before the food actually gets to your fork. Let’s look at the concept of “Farm to Table”, i.e. Farming, Transportation and Storage, Processing, and Cooking.

We are no longer hunter gatherers. Today, getting food is merely a matter of satisfying our personal whims and fancies. Our choices are no longer limited by local seasons or climate. In fact, individual foods are usually in season somewhere and may be shipped halfway around the world just for our convenience. Our food supply has never been more abundant, and feeding ourselves has never been easier.

Technological advancements in farming, transportation, storage, and processing of foods have made this bounty possible. Whereas in the past people bought fresh produce, dairy products, and meats directly from the farm, people today rarely have time to plan well-balanced meals and track down local foods to use in their preparation. For convenience, we tend to buy our food in grocery stores or restaurants. And, unlike our ancestors, we eat convenience foods of all types. In choosing convenience, however, we may be sacrificing nutrition. From harvest to tabletop, our food may be stored, processed, refined, cooked, frozen, packaged, and shipped. And at each step, several factors can lessen food’s nutritional value.

Let’s look at some of those factors*:

Chemical changes: Storing food can lead to oxidation and fermentation. This may cause foods to deteriorate. For instance, oxidation can destroy vitamins A and C.

Heat: Meat, fish, poultry and some fruits and vegetables can become inedible in less than a day at room temperature.

Cold: “Chill injury” and “freezer burn” can lead to nutrient destruction. So, too, can repeated freezing and thawing.

Light: Light can spur the destruction of nutrients, especially riboflavin (a B vitamin) vitamin A, and vitamin C, and can induce the oxidation of fats.

Irradiation: This technique kills microorganisms but can inactivate enzymes which occur naturally in foods. We need the enzymes to utilize the nutrients in the food.

Moisture: Damp storage conditions can hasten the destruction of nutrients.

Natural food enzymes: The same enzymatic reaction that causes fruits and vegetables to ripen will continue to the point that produce rots.

Microorganisms: Bacteria, yeast, and molds lessen the nutritional value of foods.

Macroorganisms: Insects, parasites, and rodents can destroy foods.

Physical stress: Food preparation may include peeling, cutting, dicing, and shredding — all of which can reduce nutrient content.

Time: Fresh corn and peas, for example, lose nutritional value within hours of harvest. And if you let a fresh vegetable sit in the crisper for a week, you might be better off with a frozen or even canned vegetable for dinner!

*GNLD Distributor Business Tools Guide

So, you can see how and why the food that is on your fork may or may not contain the nutrients that you think are in it. You may not be getting the nutrient density and nutrient diversity you need for optimal health and vitality! I think the need for food supplementation  has never been greater than it is today!

There is so much more to discuss with respect to Farming, Transportation & Storage, Processing and Cooking though. Looks like that will have to be in the next blog, or this one will be too long.

Please send me your comments. I love getting feedback! And don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one using the commentluv feature here on my site.

Please stay tuned for Part 3 as “The Need For Food Supplementation” continues. In the meantime, buy fresh, local and buy often, reducing storage time. AND take your “vities”! To our vibrant health!

Lynn

 

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6841054_sThank you to a recent reader, for responding with a great comment regarding the need for food supplementation to this blog I’d written.  I thought I would share the comment and my response, with everyone.  I will have to do it in parts because there are a lot of things to consider in this statement…so please tune in for “Part Two” in a couple of weeks.

The comment read: “If you’re generally healthy and eat a wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy products, lean meats and fish, you likely don’t need supplements.

Part One:

I have to agree with this statement! I would say it is right on, especially with the big “IF” the comment is started with…

• IF you are generally healthy…that means a lot of different things to different people. For example, I know a woman with elevated blood pressure (takes medication) and diet controlled Type 2 diabetes who believes she is “generally healthy”.

• IF you eat a wide variety of foods…that are whole and unprocessed I might add! But how many servings and how many varieties?

• IF you eat FRESH fruits and vegetables…preferably organic and free from contaminants I might add.

• IF you eat the recommended number of servings from Canada’s Food Guide:

  • 8 – 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily (at least one dark green and one orange vegetable daily),
  • 6 – 8 servings of whole grain daily (barley, brown rice, oats, quinoa, wild rice, whole grain breads, oatmeal or whole wheat pasta),
  • 2 servings of milk or alternatives daily ( fortified soy milk, yogurt, cheese),
  • 2-3 servings of meat or alternatives (legumes, tofu, nuts, eggs, poultry, nut butters) daily, including omega 3 fatty fish (herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines and trout) twice a week.

• IF you limit your intake… of saturated fats from fatty meats, butter, lard, shortening and hard margarine, sugar from desserts and soft drinks, foods and beverages high in calories, fat, sugar or salt and avoid foods with trans fats.

And remember to include another “IF”:

• IF you are active every day. Physical activity is a step towards better health and a healthy body weight. 2 1⁄2 hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week is recommended.

These are a lot of “IFS”!

According to Statistics Canada, “Fruit and vegetables are an important source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables may reduce the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer.”

“Stats Can” reported the results of the Canadian Community Health Survey, 2011:  “In 2011, 40.4% of Canadians aged 12 and older reported that they consumed fruit and vegetables five or more times per day, down for a second year in a row since 2009 when the estimate peaked at 45.6%. In 2010, fruit and vegetable consumption had declined for the first time since 2001.

From 2001 to 2011, females were more likely than males to consume fruit and vegetables five or more times daily. In 2011, 47.2% of females consumed fruit and vegetables five or more times daily, compared to 33.5% of males”

This Canadian Community Health Survey reports that people responded that they consumed fruit and vegetables at least five times daily. We don’t know how many people reported consuming more than five servings and how many more servings that might be. We do know that females consumed more than males.

Never the less, according to this survey, less than half of us are actually consuming the national recommendation for fruits and vegetables! Those are our latest stats.

So, we may think we are eating optimally, but more than half of us are, in fact, not!

I rest my case!

And I suggest that whole food supplementation is prudent insurance to ensure adequate nutrient intake for overall maintenance of “general health”, as my reader calls it, AND prudent for optimizing health to reduce the risks of heart disease and cancer!

Then there are also the facts about our food supply to consider, i.e. the concept of Farm to Table: Farming, Transportation and Storage, Processing, and Cooking. What is the actual nutrient content in the food as you put it into your mouth?  Well that is for another blog.

Please stay tuned for Part Two. We will continue this conversation about the need for food supplementation to boost nutrient density and diversity in our diets so that we enjoy optimal, vibrant health in this day and age!

I’d love your feedback! Here on my blog, you’ll get commentluv. This is a wonderful opportunity to leave a link back to your own blog when you leave a comment.

Stay tuned for Part Two,

Lynn

 

 

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Getting Adequate Vitamin D

bigstock-Hand-Sun-And-Blue-Sky-7852193Are You Getting Adequate Vitamin D?

Happy Autumn Season everyone! As we transition into fall and then winter and the weather changes, I start thinking about taking care of myself in a different way. It is time to switch from all the activity that summer brought, to a slower paced, more inward looking way of being. I notice the difference in the sun’s warmth these days, the overcast days that come with the season change, the shortening of the day light hours and the resulting lowering of my mood some days. I am reminded that due to less exposure to the sun’s rays, we don’t receive as much Vitamin D as we need. What about you? Are you getting enough Vitamin D?

Vitamin D from the sun helps regulate the production of the brain hormone serotonin, which helps increase our sense of well-being. When the skin is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, a cholesterol compound in the skin is transformed into a precursor of Vitamin D. During the fall and winter, adequate exposure to have this happen can be a challenge.

This is one of the reasons Health Canada recommends Vitamin D supplementation in it’s Canada’s Food Guide.  The “Advice for different ages and stages” section reads: “The need for vitamin D increases after the age of 50. In addition to following Canada’s Food Guide, everyone over the age of 50 should take a daily vitamin D supplement of 10µg (400 IU).”

Vitamin D is also important for children. It is necessary for growth, as well as the normal growth and development of bones and teeth.

Vitamin D is required for the absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus.  It protects against muscle weakness, is involved in the regulation of the heartbeat, enhances immunity, and is necessary for thyroid regulation and normal blood clotting.

Phyllis A Balch, CNC, in her book “Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes that studies have shown that at least 40% of people have less than optimal levels of Vitamin D in their blood. She goes on to say that those who live above the 37th latitude obtain virtually no Vitamin D from sunlight between November and March. That would be we Canadians!

The form of Vitamin D that we get from food (or food supplements) is not fully active. It requires conversion by the liver and then by the kidneys, before it becomes fully active. Intestinal disorders and liver and gallbladder malfunctions interfere with the absorption of Vitamin D. Some cholesterol lowering drugs, antacids and steroid hormones such as cortisone can also interfere with absorption. Food sources of Vitamin D include cod liver oil, fatty saltwater fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines, tuna, halibut) oysters, dairy products, eggs, butter, liver, shiitake and chanterelle mushrooms, sweet potatoes, vegetable oil and herbs including alfalfa, nettle and parsley.

Phyllis Balch, CNC also writes that not getting enough Vitamin D in the diet or from direct sunlight has been linked to the development of several diseases, including heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and cancers such as breast and colon. As baby boomers age, the risk of osteoporosis increases. Taking more than 400 IU of Vitamin D has been shown to reduce the risk of fractures by 20% in those over 65 years of age. But how much is needed is needed to optimize health is still open to debate.

I reiterate, Health Canada recommends that in addition to following Canada’s Food Guide, everyone over the age of 50 should take a daily vitamin D supplement of 10µg (400 IU).”  My advice is eat the very best way you can, (for a summary see this post), include Vitamin D containing foods as mentioned above and consider supplementation, especially at this time of year. It’s your body, your health. You decide!

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Enjoy the beautiful fall season!

Lynn

 

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