MVI

MVI- medical slang for multivitamins.

What do you think about multivitamins: yes, no, maybe so?

WARNING: This post may be a bit long and broken up because I want to focus on two parts:
1) Who should take multivitamins and why  &

2) What to be weary of when choosing a product

Tens of millions of U.S. adults take multivitamins. In fact, I read somewhere that around 47% of the US population take multi’s. But why? Of course we know that vitamins are quote “life sustaining amines (minerals)” for our bodies and without the essentials like Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin A or biotin we would have scurvy, rickets, night blindness or hair loss, respectively-  but why take a supplement? My answer: I have no idea.

You see, I am a foodie. I believe in food, not pills. We can easily get all the vitamins and minerals we need from eating good food. Sure some may be harder to get then others (i.e. vitamin D only comes from fortified dairy or the sun, while b vitamins are in almost any fruit or vegetable, grain, or enriched product), BUT it is completely possible to avoid deficiencies by  consuming edible things. If you can, save your money and skip the supplement aisle and go straight to the produce aisle.

Now there is a caveat, some population groups do need to supplement. Woman who are/ have any chance of being pregnant benefit from taking a multivitamin. This is a time of life where the demand for nutrients is (obviously) increased and a supplement can ensure the extra requirements are met. Especially to make sure you get the right amount of folate to avoid spina bifida, cleft palate, or other congenial defects. Same goes for old folks. Elderly experience a lot of physiological changes as the years wear on, and one consequence is decreased digestion and absorption capabilities. So even if you are 90 years old and eating your fruits and veggies like a boss, you might still need to supplement- especially Vitamin D and calcium or vitamin b12 or folic acid which are better absorbed in their synthetic form. Also any sort of conditions that prevent you from getting enough vitals orally. Such as illness, a diagnosed deficiency, metabolic disorders, etc. Or if you are straight up picky and refuse to eat fruits and vegetables, then you better take a multivitamin for your safety net.

If you are currently taking a multivitamin, and based of the previous paragraph, you feel you don’t actually need it, I’m not forcing you to quit. If you want that comfort each day knowing your gums won’t start bleeding and rot out or you will have super vitamin B energy, I wont take that form you. But be wary…

If you are getting more than enough water-soluble vitamins (the b’s, and vitamin C) you will just pee it out. A lot of times your blood will saturate with a vitamin at a certain dose and anything beyond that just goes to waste. For example: most vitamin C tablets or chewables come in 500 -1,000 mg doses, but your blood levels saturate at 250 mg and excretes the rest. So if you actually want to get your 500 mg in, cut the pill in half and take it twice a day. But this makes a good point here: are you actually absorbing or getting what you think you are out of a multivitamin? Or are you literally wasting your money? And what about vitamins and minerals that compete for the same absorption sites- are you going to absorb the calcium or the iron when you take your multi? Because it’s most likely going to be one or the other.

This will lead us into what kind of product to look for. So I will cut here. Please stay tuned. Happy Saturday.

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Spinach for Breakfast

Let’s talk about breakfast. Why is it sooo many of you don’t eat breakfast!? I guess I can’t relate because hunger comes simultaneously with waking up for me. But still, after all the excessive research (good luck with the thousands of articles there), people still struggle.

{Key high lights of the research include:}

breakfast jump starts your metabolism

breakfast increases focus and concentration at work and school

breakfast can promote good blood sugar control

breakfast is associated with fewer calories consumed over the day

breakfast can add more energy throughout the day

breakfast can control excessive hunger, etc

It’s not really news that when you skip breakfast or wait until the afternoon to eat, you will likely over-eat to compensate for the missed meal. Breakfasts skippers or two-meals-a-day-ers almost always eat more for lunch and dinner or from the handful of snacks in between then they would have otherwise if they just ate a good breakfast.

But let’s talk about the quality of breakfast as well. Say you are in a hurry to get to work, and low and behold sitting right on your counter in front of you is some left over lemon cake from the night before. So you crab a slice and chug down some o.j. (at least you were thinking of Vitamin C). By about 10-10:30 you start to feel a little sluggish. You’re even starting to feel hungry and some unknown gravitational force is pulling you towards the vending machine. The problem here is, although you ate breakfast and got a pretty good amount of calories down, the nutrients in your breakfast = straight sugar. Sugar or simple carbohydrates digest in your body very quickly and leave your stomach empty and feeling hungry in about 2 hours. Typically, when eating a healthy balanced diet, we should feel satiated for around 4 hours post meal. Feeling hungry so soon will cause snacking and/or starving and then binging at lunch.

So what’s a healthy breakfast? Anything that has some complex carbs -which take longer to digest because of the ridiculously long carbon chains- or protein and fat which slow gastric emptying and digestion. It also doesn’t hurt to get some fruits or veggies (yes I said veggies) in at breakfast because if you need >5 servings a day, you better start packing them in! What I really encourage people to do though, is get protein in first thing in the morning. It’s the only way I ever make it to lunch time without collapsing in hunger.

Breakfast ideas:

  1. Scrambled eggs– Although I am not a huge egg fan and this sounds boring, I have found this to be the golden breakfast. For one you get the good protein, but also it’s the best way to use up your left over produce! Throw in some spinach or leefy greens, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, asparagus, peppers, potatoes, you name it. Scramble it all up with a little cheese and s&p and you have a healthy recycled breakfast!
  2. Green smoothies- I am all about this trend. No you do not need a Vitamix or crazy expensive utility, I use my $30 hand-me-down Oster blender. Throw in any leafy greens you have (expect maybe not ice berg lettuce…) some milk or juice, berries, bananas, oranges, some greek yogurt or protein powder, some peanut butter, some flax, etc and blend a delicious breakfast together.
  3. Oatmeal– high fiber= feeling full for a while! Add berries, milk, and nuts to add some extra something something. Instead of brown sugar try some agave, a little goes a long way.
  4. Left Overs- This isn’t a joke. When you are in a hurry, why not have left over salad or soup for breakfast? I have even had cold chicken breast and potatoes (something about not reheating it makes it seem more breakfasty). Try it sometime- I dare you.
  5. Greek yogurt and fruit- there are a million varieties on the grocery store shelves these days. Greek yogurt provides more than double the protein content as your regular yogurt. This stuff is designed to keep you full and focused. And definitely satisfied because it’s delicious!
  6. Protein bars- this is my go to when I am in a hurry. Take one on the road or snack on it throughout the morning. My favs are Cliff bars, Balance Bars, and Think Thin bars.
  7. Breakfast salad– a little combination of all the above. Combine fruit (apples are a really good one to have for this), some nuts, some sprouts, and a dollop or two of greek yogurt to make a fruit salad of sorts.

Now that you have some recipes to get you through the week, go out and do it! IMG_2933** cut down the time it takes to prepare your green smoothie- chop up all the ingredients before in individual baggies, freeze, and add to the blender with milk and juice and you’re on your way!

IMG_2934I am pretty serious about my protein bars!