Friday, December 24, 2010

How to Take the Right Supplements

When it comes to taking vitamin supplements, many people find that they don't know where to start. Here is my criteria for choosing vitamins and getting the most for your money.

Identify your nutritional goals.

It doesn't make much sense to take vitamins if you don't know why you're taking them. My goals are to make sure I am not missing any important nutrients, maintain a good energy level, protect my cells, boost the immune system and optimize digestion.

Quality matters.

Your body won't be able to absorb and get the most from low-quality vitamins as it will from good quality ones. It's worth spending a little more so as not to waste money on fillers. In a few weeks you should be able to notice an improvement in your mood, energy level, etc.

Decide how many vitamins to take.

You should be able to meet your needs with about four supplements, two times a day. If you try to take more than this at one time, you may give up your routine all together. Here's a sample of what you could take:

A high-potency multivitamin and mineral
Vitamin C, 1000mg
An antioxidant formula
Essential Fats

When is the best time to take vitamins?

1.Take vitamins and minerals 15 minutes before or after a meal or during it.
2.Take most of your supplements with your first meal of the day.
3.Don't take B vitamins late at night especially if you have trouble sleeping
4.Take extra minerals, especially calcium and magnesium in the evening---they help you sleep.
5.If you're taking more two or more B complex or vitamin C tablets, take one at each meal.
6.Do not take individual B vitamins unless you are also taking a general B-complex in a multivitamin.
7.Do not take individual minerals unless you are also taking a general multimineral.
8.If you are anemic (iron-deficient), take extra iron with vitamin C.
9.Always take at least ten times as much zinc as copper. If you know you are copper deficient, take copper only with ten times as much zinc, for example, 0.5 mg copper to 5 mg zinc.
10.Take amino acid supplements on an empty stomach or with a carbohydrate food, for example, a piece of fruit.

If you really want to benefit from a supplement program, always take your supplements. Irregular supplementation doesn't work. Try to come up with a strategy that works for you. I find that taking my vitamins with a smoothie is easier than taking them with a meal. If I do have a meal, I feel better if I take them 15 minutes after my meal rather than before eating. You can see what works best for you.

Here are the supplements I take on a daily basis (see the link for wellness resources):

Daily Whey Protein
Daily multivitamin and mineral
Omega 3 and evening primrose oil or black currant oil
Vitamin C, 1000 mg
Digestive enzyme formula

On occasion I'll vary my routine to add a woman's hormone balancing formula, parasite cleanse, Stress Helper, or other supplement depending on the current state of my health. Your goals should determine which vitamins you choose.

Visit my site at Click the link below for more informations on designing a supplement program.

Source: The New Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford

These statements have not been reviewed by the FDA and are not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease whether physical or mental.Please see your licensed health care professional for all medical concerns.

Daily Energy Mutiple Vitamin">

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Costa Rican Jugo de Zanahoria-Naranja (Carrot-Orange Juice)

My husband and I currently live in Costa Rica. We really enjoy the "bebidas naturales" or natural drinks that are available just about anywhere. I've always known that fresh carrot juice is healthy but carrot-orange juice is the perfect flavor combination. It seems to be the national drink here since you can buy a carton of carrot-orange right alongside the traditional orange juice.

Vitamin A

Carrots are an excellent pro-vitamin A carotenes. Carrots' antioxidant compounds help protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer and also promote good vision, especially night vision.
Carrot juice is one of the richest sources of beta carotene that can be used in the daily diet. One cup of carrots contains 686.3% DV. It also ranks high as a source of the other vitamins, especially those of the B complex. Its mineral content is equally rich, and includes calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, chlorine, sulfur, and iron.

Acid-alkaline Balance

Our blood needs to have a specific pH to help us stay well. A blood pH of 7.4 or 7.5 is slightly alkaline and associated with good health. A pH below this range is increasingly acid. Vegetables are generally alkaline forming.
Some people have asked me about alkaline water. Well, I haven't researched it yet, but if it promotes an alkaline pH in the body it may have health benefits. Making fresh vegetable juices may be a cheaper way to improve acid-alkaline balance while providing nutrients as well.

Here's how I make carrot-orange juice:

3 medium carrots (you may need to experiment to get the right consistency)
pure water
Juice of 1 large orange
1 tbsp. agave nectar

Fill a blender with fresh, chopped carrots. Add water covering carrots by 1/2 inch. Blend juice and strain. Juice 1 large orange. Add agave nectar and stir.
The New Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford

These statements have not been reviewed by the FDA and are not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease whether physical or mental.Please see your licensed health care professional for all medical concerns.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Acid Reflux

The human digestive system is among the most perfectly designed systems in the body and should function without a hitch. It prepares food both physically and chemically for use by millions of cells in the body and disposes of what the body cannot use. If we are eating the right foods in the right way, we should not have to rely on antacids or potent laxative medications to get it to work right. Excessive belching, bloating and gas--no matter how commonplace--are not normal.

Most digestive distress can be eliminated by taking simple steps to change poor dietary and lifestyle habits. Diet and supplementation are imperative to restoring optimal function to the digestive system.

Please read the Woodland Health Series Title Managing Acid Reflux by Kate Gilbert Udall. This booklet discusses symptoms, contributing factors, nutritional supplements, antacid use, herbal help, stress, eating the wrong foods, etc.


Antacids work by neutralizing gastric acid. They may help calm the burning feeling, but they don't resolve the problem. They also have side effects that can inhibit the absorption of calcium and other nutrients.

Some antacids contain aluminum, (which is a toxic metal), and can cause constipation, while others contain magnesium which, in excessive amounts, can cause diarrhea. Acid blockers such as Zantac, Pepcid, and Tagamet, are now available over-the-counter and work by reducing acid secretion. Proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) such as Prevacid, Prilosec, and Nexium, are available by a doctor’s prescription and work by blocking the secretion of stomach acid (crucial to healthy digestion), for several hours at a time. Stomach acid is normal and vital to digestion. Of course heartburn and gastric acid that makes its way into the esophagus is not normal or healthy.

Many experts agree that the first place to gain control over heartburn is with lifestyle changes. Pat Baird, MD, RD, FADA, author of Be Good to Your Gut, says that, for many people, getting a grip on heartburn is a question of figuring out what your triggers are. “Some people can drink coffee by the gallon, but give them a glass of orange juice and they’ll have heartburn.” She says that there are five common trigger foods that can cause heartburn: citrus fruits, caffeine, alcohol, fatty foods, and chocolate. Baird suggests keeping a food diary that includes everything you eat and drink as well as all medications, supplements, and herbs you take to see if any patterns emerge.

Another factor besides food that can lead to heartburn is excessive weight. Carrying excess weight can cause intra-abdominal pressure, which forces food to move north instead of south, says David Peura, MD, FACP, FACG, chairman of the National Heartburn Alliance. Tight clothing can have the same effect. Dr. Peura adds that food associated with weight gain—anything deep-fried, fatty meats, rich desserts—also trigger heartburn.

If you have heartburn twice a week or more, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). When these symptoms are present, you will need to see your healthcare provider. Your doctor may refer you to a gastroenterologist- a specialist in disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.

There are a variety of natural options for helping to control heartburn. Nutritionist Sue Ayersman, CNS, CNN, says that licorice root (Glycyrrhizza glabra) can relieve heartburn and soothe the digestive tract. “Deglycyrrhizinated licorice root is best,” she says. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice root (DGL) does not contain the blood pressure raising properties associated with the whole root.

It’s believed that DGL can protect the stomach lining from stomach acid by stimulating the production of substances that coat the stomach and esophagus. This is something you can take 20 minutes before a meal. Check labels of licorice root supplements to see if the product contains licorice root or DGL.

Phosphatidylcholine (PC), a form of the B vitamin choline and an extract of lecithin, may be an effective remedy for acid reflux. Also available in supplement form, PC is found in many foods, including, eggs, liver, peanuts, soybeans, and wheat germ.

Aloe vera is also helpful for heartburn. “One quarter cup on an empty stomach in the morning can provide some relief.” It can also cause diarrhea, so be careful not to take too much. Two ounces, four times a day should be sufficient.

Digestive enzymes are another way to alleviate heartburn. Our bodies naturally produce an array of enzymes to help facilitate digestion. Each enzyme works by breaking down a specific type of food (e.g., carbohydrates, fats). Found in plants, enzymes are sold in supplement form in many different blends specifically for digestive disorders. Along the same lines, probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, also support the digestion process and, therefore, cut down on the symptoms of heartburn.

Use Caution

A few supplements can actually aggravate symptoms of heartburn—fish oil, red yeast rice, glucosamine, white willow bark, potassium and large doses of vitamin C may be troublesome. Also, be aware that there are some possible reactions for those taking medication with certain supplements. In conjunction with acid blockers, or PPIs, kola nut can increase stomach acid, while valerian and kava can increase drowsiness if used with acid blockers. If you’re taking Tagamet or Prilosec, gingko, ginger, garlic, and ginseng will increase the anti-coagulant effect. Reglan combined with ginseng, ma huang, hawthorne, saw palmetto, or licorice may increase blood pressure, while garlic may decrease it. It is not advisable to discontinue any prescribed medications without first talking to your doctor.

By talking with your health care professional, keeping a food journal, and making some lifestyle changes, you can take control of your symptoms of heartburn.

Click on the link below and go to the page on digestive care. Once there, you can read about digestive enzymes.

Daily Energy Mutiple Vitamin
American Dietetic Association Guide to Better Digestion by Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD (Wiley 2003); Mayo Clinic,; National Heartburn Alliance,; Personal communication: Pat Baird, MA, RD, FADA,: David Peura, MD; Claudia Poole, 7/06; Managing Acid Reflux by Kate Gilbert Udall;
The November 2006 issue of Remedies for Life magazine

These statements have not been reviewed by the FDA and are not intended as a substitute for professional medical care.This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease whether physical or mental. Please see your doctor for any serious symptoms. Do not discontinue prescribed medications without the consent of your doctor.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Favorite Smoothie Recipes

I drink smoothies for breakfast almost everyday. These are a few of my favorite recipes. You can order the protein powders from these recipes in the link on the bottom of this page. There you can also read about the benefits of high-quality whey protein. These protein powders don't taste artificial and they don't hurt your stomach like some commercial protein powder supplements. If you have any questions, visit me at

For Cocoa Nibs and other spices, go to mountain rose herbs link here. Look under Bulk Organic Herbs and Spices.
Mountain Rose Herbs. A Herbs, Health & Harmony Com

Double Chocolate

1 banana
3-4 cubes ice
1 or 2 tbsp. Cocoa nibs
1 scoop of Daily Protein Chocolate
½ cup or more almond milk or water
1 tsp to 1tbsp raw honey or agave nectar

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter

(add 1 tbs of peanut butter to the above recipe, or whole peanuts if you have a high-powered blender)

Blueberry Raspberry “Cream”

½ banana
1 cup frozen, mixed organic blueberries and raspberries
½ cup or more almond milk
1 scoop Daily Protein Strawberry
1 tbsp raw honey

Vanilla-Orange Flax

1 banana
1 orange, (seeds removed)
½ cup water or almond milk
3-4 ice cubes
1 scoop Daily Protein Vanilla
1 tbsp flax seeds

For Daily Protein, click on the link below:

Thyroid Energy Package"

These statements have not been reviewed by the FDA and are not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease whether physical or mental. Please see your licensed health care professional for any medical concerns.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Simple Ways to Get More Fiber

ReNew Life - #1 Digestive Care Company!
Click on this link to learn about how to start a cleanse.

The ADA recommends a daily intake of about 20-35 grams of fiber. Whether you need a little more or less may depend on your unique nutritional needs. What I've found in my nutritional evaluations is that clients seem to consume on average about 9 grams of fiber or less a day. This shows that many people need to find out which foods are high in fiber and which aren't. Lets see how we can revamp a very average day's menu to get some more fiber.

Lets start with the low fiber menu:


1 fried egg


Linguine noodles with plain tomato sauce


Chicken breast and white rice

Total Fiber: 5 grams

Which foods contain fiber? Did you guess the tomato sauce and white rice? The tomato sauce may contain about 4 grams of fiber and the rice, only 1 gram. We can find more negatives of eating like this but we'll just focus on fiber for now.

Now, we're going to revamp our menu. It's so easy!


1 fried egg and homemade whole wheat toast


Linguine with tomato sauce, steamed broccoli and a green salad


Chicken breast with brown rice and steamed sweet potatoes


1 medium organic apple

Visit my site at for more information.

By adding a slice of whole wheat toast, broccoli, salad, sweet potatoes, brown rice and an apple, we now have around 25 grams of fiber for the day! It's easy to become fiber-conscious. Just think in terms of vegetables, fruit and whole grains and add them to your meals.

These statements have not been approved by the FDA and are for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease whether physical or mental. Please see a licensed health care professional for all medical concerns.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Don't Throw Away Your Seeds!

Do you usually try to avoid eating seeds? While certain seeds shouldn't be eaten, others contain loads of nutrients. Lets look at good seeds vs. bad seeds.

The Good

Watermelon seeds: These seeds are edible and contain immune boosting nutrients such as zinc, selenium, vitamin E, and essential fats. They also are rich in protein.

To get the benefits of watermelon seeds, make a fresh juice.

Raspberry Seeds: Present in raspberries is ellagic acid which has been shown to neutralize carcinogens before they can damage DNA. One cup of raspberries contains about 8 grams of dietary fiber.

Frozen raspberries are great in smoothies. For a smoothie that blends seeds seamlessly into the drink, use a high-powered blender.

Tomato Seeds

Tomato seeds are a source of lycopene. This is an antioxidant that has been extensively studied and proven to have many health protective benefits.

To get the most of out of tomatoes, blend together a marinara sauce to make the nutrients available from the seeds. Team with broccoli and healthy oils to make the nutrients more bio-available.

There are more healthy seeds out there. These are just a few examples.

The Inedible Seeds or “Bad” Seeds

Some seeds are unsafe to eat. Seeds from apples, pears, peaches, plums, cherries and apricots contain varying amounts of cyanogenic glycosides (cyanide) that could cause sickness and even death. More amounts of the poison would be ingested from chewing as opposed to swallowing these types of seeds. So please don't swallow or blend these seeds into your drinks or food!

So the lesson here is don't spit out all of your seeds. Learn about which ones are good for you and which ones could be dangerous.

Visit my site at

For more information, see the sources below.
The New Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford

For a healthy, high quality whey protein to add to smoothies, go to the link below:
Daily Energy Mutiple Vitamin

Disclaimer: These statements have not been approved by the FDA. The information here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease whether physical or mental. Please see a licensed health care professional for all medical concerns.