Two friends train for a marathon. They follow the same training plan and meet for long runs on Saturday mornings, keeping each other accountable to their goals. When the big day arrives one crosses the finish line with a smile on her face and arms raised in triumph. The other hobbles across, much later, ready to collapse in pain.
Our late finisher didn’t get injured. She trained hard but she neglected to pay attention to her fuel and her rest. Rest and recovery are THE difference makers not just in race training but also in fat loss, fitness and overall health. Giving your muscles time to recover and rebuild is key to a healthy and strong body that will carry you wherever you want to go. Getting plenty of quality sleep and including scheduled rest days gives the body time to recharge, repair and be ready for the next workout.
Finding the right calorie balance to meet your training level is just as important as finding the right running shoe. A balanced plate MUST be part of the training and recovery plan. Lean protein, smart carbs, and healthy fats provide fuel to replenish energy stores and rebuild muscle. Eating too little can leave you drained, while eating too much of the wrong things (like over carb-loading or surviving off fast food) can also leave you feeling sluggish. (more…)
I’m not afraid to admit I get a little bummed out as summer transitions to autumn, and then to winter. The perfectly named Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is an affliction of which I’ve always suffered, but for the longest time I thought I was being an overly sensitive wimp. After a mild and jovial summer, the cool air that gusts melancholy over the Midwest in early September had me wondering if I was about to get SAD again, if it was a legitimate condition, and if so, what I could do fight it.
I shot our resident mental health expert, Brooke Randolph, LMHC an email asking her about SAD, and she revealed that after two decades of speculation, SAD had officially been classified as a common disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). In 2008—before SAD was an official diagnosis—Brooke wrote, “Our natural response to the seasonal changes only becomes a disorder when the distress is in excess of what would be expected from the stressor (seasonal change) and/or when it interferes with functioning in more than one key life area.” For example, if seasonal change begins to negatively impact your responsibilities as an employee, student, or partner, you probably have SAD. (more…)
Humans do not make their own vitamins, and they must get them from food or a supplement. Almost 80 percent of Americans do not eat at least five helpings of fruits and vegetables a day, the recommended minimum amount believed to provide sufficient essential nutrients. Even people who eat five daily servings of fruits and vegetables may not get enough of certain vitamins for optimum health. That is why it is prudent to take at least one multivitamin pill each day, as well as fish oil supplements to provide omega-3 fatty acids.
If you’re new to supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals, this essential supplement pack will get you started on the right foot. No hype, nothing you don’t need.
The Essential Supplements Pack from Puritan’s Pride was hand-selected by our Mary Hartley, RD. One winner will receive one bottle each of the following vitamins and supplements, valued at $71.95:
- Omega-3 Adult Gummy with Vitamin D3, 75 gummies
- Sunvite Chewable Vitamin D3, 180 tablets
- High Potency Calcium, 250 coated caplets
- High Potency Timed Release Ultra Woman Daily Multi, 90 coated caplets
- Omega-3 Fish Oil, 100 softgels
TO WIN THIS PRIZE PACK:
1. Tweet This on Twitter!
2. Share This Facebook Post!
We’ll draw one winner on Friday, September 13 to receive the essential supplements pack from Puritan’s Pride. (more…)
While many of us will probably get plenty of vitamin D in the summer sunshine, there’s some potentially welcoming news for those who prefer to get theirs from dietary sources (which is always a wise idea anyway). According to new research, mushrooms produce enough vitamin D without the need for supplementation.
There are many reasons vitamin D is important to our health. For instance, adequate vitamin D levels are necessary for promoting healthy bone development, muscle strength, and reducing the risk of bone fractures. Vitamin D is also essential in helping strengthen your immune system and reduces the risk of certain types of cancer, depression and diabetes.
Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine examined 30 healthy adults who were randomly given capsules of 2,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin D2, 2,000 IU of vitamin D3, or 2,000 IU of mushroom powder (with vitamin D2). They took these daily for 12 weeks in the winter months. (more…)
By Gale Tern
Can arthritis be cured through diet? Is there such a thing as an anti-arthritis diet? Science and our own government have shown that almost every chronic degenerative disease acquired by Americans is the result of a nutritional deficiency. Many years ago, while researching the effects of nutrition on health, I ran across a stunning newspaper article with a heading that read, “21-Year Cover Up: Suppressed 1971 U.S. Report Linked Diet, Disease”.
This article explained how our own government through the USDA had suppressed a U.S. government report that had been released way back in 1971. The report was called Human Nutrition, Report No. 2, Benefits from Human Nutrition Research. This report was the culmination of $30 million worth of federal nutrition research and it revealed for the first time that all major health problems and killer diseases were the result of poor diet and nutrition.
The upshot of all this is that arthritis, like many other diseases, has its roots in nutrition. So what diet works for those who suffer from arthritis? Well arthritis is an umbrella term. The word arthritis literally means joint inflammation, but is often used to refer to a group of more than 100 rheumatic (inflammatory) diseases that can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. These diseases may affect not only the joints but also other parts of the body.
Thus, an anti-arthritis diet must be tailored to the condition you suffer. However, in the main I can tell you what has been found to work for most sufferers of arthritis. (more…)
According to a recent study published by a joint venture of the University of Texas Southwest’s Medical Center and the Cooper Institute in Dallas, having low levels of vitamin D can be linked to depression.
What is Depression?
Major depressive disorder (MDD) or depression, as it is widely known, is a mental disorder where extreme feelings of sadness persist for months or even years. People that suffer from depression can’t seem to shake the feelings of sadness, hopelessness and despair that they experience. They also tend to lose interest in the activities that they once enjoyed and withdraw from loved ones and friends.
The study followed 12,600 adult men and women over a four year period. Participants were divided into groups based on whether they had a past history of depression or not. Their vitamin D levels were tested in addition to taking into consideration whether or not they were currently exhibiting symptoms of depression. (more…)
The supplement aisle of any supermarket or natural grocery store can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of products on the shelf, all claiming different benefits. Some are labeled with a letter of the alphabet, others are named after a tree root, and some seem like they belong on the spice aisle.
With an industry so big and so confusing, it’s alarming that there are still no strict regulations for these over the counter products. This has been an on going health frustration, leading doctors and legislators to speak out.
In 1994, President Clinton signed the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA). This placed dietary supplements as a subcategory of food. Therefore supplements can go to market without submitting proof of safety or efficacy to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 17 years later, this law remains despite the stories of harm and the urging of physicians for change.
Here in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates food safety. Denmark’s equivalent to that is the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, also known as the DVFA. Stateside, we tend to think of extra vitamins as a positive thing but in Denmark, vitamin fortified food is a diet-don’t. The DVFA has made it clear that their stance on fortifying foods with vitamins and minerals is one of suspicion and concern.
The theory held within the DVFA is that a properly balanced diet negates the necessity for supplementing with extra vitamins. In fact, they believe so strongly in the dangers of vitamin and mineral overdose that fortified foods must first be approved through a pricey application process. Foods found to contain what the DVFA classifies as dangerous levels of fortification are not granted approval.
Among the products recently pulled from the shelves of a small Copenhagen store is Ovaltine. At my home, we use Ovaltine as a chocolate milk treat because it’s nutrient enriched- I feel a lot better about that decision as opposed to pouring a giant glob of chocolate flavored syrup in to my son’s cup. What strikes me as particularly odd is that Ovaltine hasn’t yet been granted shelf-space and yet Red Bull (with its copious amounts of both vitamins and caffeine) has, according to the New York Times.
As the first official week of summer is now behind us, we find ourselves outside more and more. You may be wanting to get your daily dose of Vitamin D. You might be training for that next 5K, marathon, triathlon or playing in a summer softball league. We want to make sure we protect ourselves from injuries, but also protect ourselves from sunburns! Damage from the sun can lead to early skin aging, wrinkles or skin cancer. Sunscreen is an important way to protect your skin from harm, and because of this, the industry is about to get a major overhaul.
The Food and Drug Administration has proposed new regulations that will change the way information on sunscreens is presented to you, the consumer. Currently some of the information can be misleading and
Are you bad to your bones? There is a growing trend in the United States and Canada: calcium and vitamin D deficiency. Bone mass reaches its peak around age thirty so calcium and vitamin D are critical in helping you to prevent breaks or fractures down the road. As important as strong muscles are to your overall health, bones are what hold us together. Otherwise we’d just be a puddle on the ground. I’m hoping I can shed some light on all the benefits that calcium and vitamin D have to offer.
What is vitamin D and why do I need it?
Vitamin D is key in helping to produce strong bones. It also helps absorb calcium from the intestines so that is why you find so many products with the two in combo. The current recommendation depends on age, but for a woman age 18-30 you are looking at around 600 internal units (IUs) per day. Our bodies naturally convert vitamin D into a usable form from midday sun (between 10 am and 2 pm). People like me who live in northern parts of the world and get to see old man winter usually do not get enough midday sun to make our own vitamin D.