Vitamin D Deficiency Hits New Highs?

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This was an interesting topic to research.  Some studies suggested that there is a widespread problem with people who are vitamin D deficient, but other studies did not.  So, how important is vitamin D?  Well it does help with keeping your bones healthy, but again, don’t try to get it from fortified milk, since milk leaches this vitamin and calcium out of your bones.  (Suggestion, take regular vitamin D fortified milk, place a bone in it, leave it there overnight, and see how malleable that bone is in the morning – hint – it’s rather bendy, to say the least.)

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So, what to do?  My suggestion is to eat a vitamin D rich diet by eating the foods that are high in vitamin D.  These foods are: spinach, kale, okra, broccoli, collards, soy beans, white, navy and black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, mushrooms, almonds, various items made with soy including milk, yogurt, ice cream, tofu and tempeh, and fortified orange juice, rice, soy or almond milks.  You should also make sure that you take vitamin D in pill form.

One of the best ways to get vitamin D is to go outside for 10 minutes without sunscreen on.  That should also help, although keep that time short, as there is the issue of sun cancer.

It’s always preferable to receive your vitamins from your food.  The choices above are all plant based, however there are other foods that also have vitamin D.  I am not recommending them here since they are all linked to cancer and other various diseases.  Personally, I don’t really like kale, so I make sure I get a good amount of vitamin D from other foods such as spinach, broccoli and many of the beans listed above.  I love love love chickpeas!

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https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-optimal-dose-of-vitamin-d-based-on-natural-levels/

https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/sources-calcium-vitamin-d

 

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What I Learned from Working-out for 365 Consecutive Days

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One of my goals from 2018 was to work out every day.  There were many days when all I wanted to do was stay in bed.  Of course, once my alarm clock woke me, and I had to get up to shut it off, I usually realized that I had to use the bathroom (thanks to all that water drinking), and it was much easier to just stay up at that point.

So, what did I learn?  It’s dark at 4:30 a.m. for most of the year no matter what the season.  The air at this time of day is fresh, cool and clear.  Also, it’s quiet – unbelievably so.  The birds aren’t up yet and there are no sounds of cars or trucks on the road.  The morning is full of anticipation, promise and magic.

Another lesson – every day there is at least one “new” ache.  Yep, exercise hurts.  Sometimes it’s a knee, but it could be a shoulder, ankle, or something else entirely.  Of course, it could be all these together, plus more aches besides!  Also, when your back spasms, gets pulled, or whatever, drop to the floor, do some back rolls and curls for however long it takes, and just keep going to the best of your ability.  Not moving can be the worst thing you can do.  Of course, this advice is for those usual muscle spasms and pulls, not if you’ve got problems with your spine and vertebrae.

One of the best things you can do is modify.  If you hurt, modify the exercise.  If you feel it’s not hard enough, modify the set to be harder.  On the other side, if you have to, modify the exercise to be easier.  For example, I can’t do planks and t-stands barefoot due to problems with a bone in my left foot.  So, I modify by wearing my shoes.  It doesn’t hurt, and I’m still doing the set.

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Don’t do the same thing every day – it can get boring.  One day I lift weights and walk for cardio.  The next day I work on cardio.  My weight day is about 15 to 20 minutes longer than my cardio day.  Cardio is my favorite since it’s my short day.  I also hate it the most because it’s the hardest work-out as far as endurance, but once I’m done, I feel great!

Another lesson, if you let yourself, you can talk yourself out of anything.  I can’t tell you how many mornings I had to tell myself to shut up!  The endless whining, excuses, etc.  I drove myself insane with negative talk.  The best part though – you can do anything for 15 to 20 minutes, and once you realize it, you can just keep going.  Really, it’s a fact.  Once you get started keep at it to the end.  Nike has it right – “Just do it!”

Am I really fit?  No, but I’m better off than I would have been if I didn’t exercise.  Have I lost all the weight (and fat) that I wanted to?  No, but I’ve gotten more muscular, more flexible and more toned.  Is there room for improvement?  Always.  So, at the end of the year my major takeaway has been discipline.  It takes a lot of effort to fight your own negativity and keep going.  Working out has gotten to be a habit.  It’s just something I do.  No matter what time I go to bed, I’m up by 6:00 a.m. at the latest.  I can’t believe that I actually think that 6:00 is late.  After 365+ days, I have no intention of stopping – just look at the amount of days I’ve already proved that I can do this thing!

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2019 Goals

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I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the kinds of things that I want to accomplish this year.  While I did well with some of my goals in 2018, there were some that didn’t get finished.  So, most of my goals for this year include the ones that I was unable to fully accomplish last year.

Fitness and Health:  In my opinion, fitness should always be tied to health, since you really can’t be healthy without being fit (or at least exercise on a routine basis).  I want to continue with my goal of working out every single day this year.  I also want to work on eating a whole-foods plant-based diet.  There are too many times that it’s just so easy to buy prepared foods and eat those for dinner.  While this is tasty and easy, it’s not healthy.  So, again, I want to work on meal planning and cooking delicious meals.  So, weekly menu planning and shopping lists this year!

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Writing:  My goal is to have my children’s book finished by the beginning of April.

House Organized:  Like too many people, my home is filled with clutter.  It drives me crazy.  Right now, my desk is full of miscellaneous paperwork, books and – well, I’m not sure what the other “stuff” really is.  This is no way to work, and it’s too typical of how the rest of my house is.  Enough, I say!  So, I plan on tackling each room one section at a time and throw some stuff out, file other stuff, and give anything else away.

Paperwork/Filing:  Filing and dealing with the paperwork that seems to replicate itself on a weekly basis will be done at the same time as organizing.

Business:  Getting my business up and running has been on my goals list for more years than I care to think about.  This is the year.  Get that certificate, make the web-site and work!

Okay, so those are my major goals for the year.  Have you made a goals list for this year? If you have, feel free to comment below, and let’s encourage each other.

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2018 Goals in Review

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As 2018 draws to a close, I thought that I’d review some of the goals that I made almost a year ago.  The accomplishment that I’m most proud of is my fitness goals.  I’ve worked-out every morning this year, and I’ve walked 960 miles.  Next year I intend to build on what I’ve done and improve my fitness level.

My organization skills are still in need refining.  I did follow through on my menu planning more weeks than I didn’t, so at least that wasn’t a total wash.  My general organization has a long way to go, so it wasn’t a complete success.  Also, my fiction writing took second fiddle to my crazy daily haiku writing.  Now that the year is over, I won’t be doing that again.  I am glad that I pushed myself into writing a daily haiku, it forced me to write when I didn’t want to, and absolutely made me be creative when I simply “wasn’t feeling it”.

The other rather big thing that I wanted to finish this year was getting my business off the ground.  That is the one big thing that I didn’t accomplish.  I have been reading and studying various books, etc., but it was just a failure.  That being said, I have no excuse other than no confidence in myself – something I’ve been working on with my affirmations.  I wrote about how important I feel affirmations are, and they have been starting to work for me after all this time of saying them daily.

So, how did you do on your goals?  Let me know in the comments below.  I look forward to sharing my goals for 2019 soon.  Hopefully we will encourage each other!

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Becoming My Best Self

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As 2018 comes to a close, like many of you, I’ve been thinking hard about what my goals will be for 2019.  I really wanted to hit as close to home as I could for the coming year, but I also want to really push myself into becoming my best self.

I have a vision of what I’d like my life to become, and I fall far short of that vision on an hourly basis.  It feels like I would have to take a flying leap into a future that, to say the least, terrifies me.  I’ve been working so hard to change some aspects of my life, but I haven’t done the two things that are the most important to me – probably because they are also the most difficult.

When I was thinking of the title to this post, I actually was tempted to call it Becoming Hermione Granger, since she is close to what I would consider my best self (minus the bossiness of her younger years).  However, the point is to become my best self, not someone else’s best self.

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While I’m planning on working toward this goal, I am following some advice I read. Unfortunately, I can’t find an exact quote, but this is basically what it is:  Envision your best self, and even if you’re not there now, act like you are.  Good advice, right?  My goal until the end of the year is to figure out the attributes of my best self, write them down, and follow them.  This is going to take a lot of soul searching, and confronting how I’ve been hiding from myself for many, many years.

While 2018 was the year of the affirmations, those affirmations have gotten me to this point.  I will never stop saying my affirmations, but they have also led me to the realization that this is not the way I want to continue to be.  I want to become my best self.  How about you?

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Talking to Ourselves

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The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas can be full of anxiety and stress.  This would be a good time to consider what words you are saying to yourself, and how you’re thinking about yourself.  Don’t forget to be kind to yourself (and others).  Stress can cause us to be negative in our thinking.  Work on bringing positivity into your hurried days.  Be kind to yourself!