Add Some D to your Day

Add some D to your day. Vitamin D, that is.

You probably already know that Vitamin D helps regulate calcium and promotes absorption which helps with bone mineralization. Did you also know that Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to blood sugar problems, low back pain, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, kidney stones, psoriasis, depression, seasonal affective disorder, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and auto-immune diseases? If you are dealing with any of these issues, consider adding Vitamin D to your day.

The most natural way to add Vitamin D is to get outside. Sunlight actually causes the body to produce Vitamin D. “If you’re going to get it from the sun, about 20 to 25 minutes of exposure is helpful,” says Stephen Honig, MD, director of the Osteoporosis Center at the Hospital for Joint Diseases, in New York City.

You can also get it from your food. Fatty fish (including salmon, trout, and tuna) and eggs are good sources of Vitamin D.

Most of us don’t get enough sunlight or foods rich in Vitamin D to provide all that we need, and that’s where supplements come in. Click here to check out more than 12 different supplements containing Vitamin D.  Talk with your healthcare provider about your specific Vitamin D requirements. Then read supplement nutrition facts to determine which of these products will best meet your needs.

Vitamin D Supplements

Now’s a particularly good time to consider Beeyoutiful’s D3. These Vitamin D softgels are  small, they’re easy to swallow (even for those who usually have trouble swallowing pills), AND they’re on sale. For a limited time, you can purchase a 4-month supply of Vitamin D3 for about 7 cents per day!

Click here to purchase D3 softgels and make an affordable investment in your health!

Go ahead! Add some D to your day!

More About Rose Hips

More about Rose Hips
Photo Credit: Helena Beautification Board, Helena, Alabama

After my last post, a friend wanted to know more about Rose Hips. She had visited a website that raised questions about possible deterioration of the Vitamin C during processing and storage. I asked Stephanie Tallent of Beeyoutiful for her insights and I thought you might enjoy reading her response.

“First of all, Beeyoutiful’s Rosehip C has both the whole Rosehips ground up in it as well as other forms of isolated stabilized Vitamin C. That being said, the amounts on the label are the guaranteed, tested, stable potency and quantity all the way through till the best use by date printed on each bottle.

“Second of all, while nutrients do indeed deteriorate in whole food supplements under certain manufacturing conditions such as high heat exposure/open to oxygen storage along with many other factors, there is still in my opinion value in including whole food forms of nutrients in formulations. Our bodies are designed to recognize and utilize nutrients *from food* and it is my personal belief that absorption of all nutrients are optimized when it is taken in conjunction with whole food.

“We carry several forms of Vitamin C . . . and have had years to use the different forms ourselves and to get feedback from our customers. I personally feel as though the Rosehip C formulation works more effectively for my body than formulations that do not contain whole foods.

“Obviously, there aren’t slews of studies documenting the nuances of absorptions between all doses, all forms (although maybe one day soon! Studies are ever increasingly being done with nutritional supplementation) but for now what we do know that is absolutely documented and tested to be fact are the types and potencies tested.

“There are many ways manufacturers can optimize and extend the nutritionally active parts of whole foods and we are fortunate to work with one that opts to take all available measures to ensure the maximum benefit possible.”

On another note, it’s easy to reach for those Vitamin C powders that are available in almost every pharmacy and grocery store. Before you bring it home, read the ingredients. Most of these contain SUGAR which most people avoid when trying to prevent sickness. Rosehip C contains no sugar- another good reason to consider adding it to your regimen for staying well!

Click here to purchase Rosehip C.

The Beauty of Rose Hips

Rosehip, Helena Beautiful
Photo Credit: Helena Beautification Board, Helena, Alabama

In case you ever wondered if roses have fruit, the answer is yes. The fruit of the rose is the beautiful rose hip. Most modern roses don’t produce rose hips, but they are commonly found on rugosa roses (Rosa Rugosa) and dog roses (Rosa Canina). The rose hip pictured here is courtesy of ‘Lena,’ a shrub rose in the Helena Earth Kind Rose Trial and is shared with the permission of Brian Puckett of the Helena Beautification Board.

Did you know that a fresh rose hip can have more than 60 times as much vitamin C as one orange? David Hoffmann in The New Holistic Herbal: “Rose hips are one of the best sources of vitamin C, which will help treat infections and boost the body’s immune system.”

Vitamin C has also been found to assist in the absorption of iron, making it a helpful ally for overall health, specifically anemia and other iron absorption disorders.

Additionally, studies conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center indicate that vitamin C is also helpful for the production of collagen, an important element in the structure of bones and muscles. This may be related to the findings of another study performed by the Institute for Social Medicine in Berlin. Their findings, published in International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology on February 1, 2010, suggest that the use of rose hip powder can reduce symptoms related to rheumatoid arthritis.

David Hoffmann also suggests using rose hips for cough or throat issues. Here’s his recipe:

  • Remove the seeds from the hips and add to one pint of boiling water.
  • Pour the boiling rose hip liquid onto 3/4 lbs. of sugar, stirring gently until sugar is dissolved.
  • Store your rose hip syrup in the refrigerator and use as a cough medicine, as well as a tonic or throat gargle.

If you prefer taking your Vitamin C in tablet form, consider Beeyoutiful’s Rosehip C. (nutrition facts below). Rosehip C is a big part of our family’s sickness-avoidance regimen and was featured in Staying Well last month.

Thanks again to the Helena Beautification Board for the photo of the beautiful rose hip. And thanks to the health researchers who have helped us discover its beautiful health benefits!

ROSEHIP C NUTRITION FACTS
Serving Size: 1 Tablet
Servings Per Container: 250
AMOUNT PER SERVING % DAILY VALUE
Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid) 500 mg 830%*
Citrus Bioflavonoids 100 mg
(37% total bioflavonoids as Hesperidin)
Acerola Powder 100 mg
Rose Hips Powder (Rosae canina) (Fruit) 100 mg
Rutin Powder 10 mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on 2,000 calorie diet.
† Daily Value not established.
SUGGESTED USE As a dietary supplement, take 1 tablet 1 or more times daily, preferably with meals.
OTHER INGREDIENTS Dicalcium Phosphate, Stearic Acid (vegetable source), Magnesium Stearate (vegetable source), Cellulose and Vegetable Coating.
ALLERGEN INFO Not manufactured with wheat, gluten, soy, milk, egg, fish, shellfish or tree nut ingredients. Produced in a GMP facility that processes other ingredients containing these allergens.
 Click here to purchase Rosehip C

Stay Well!

It seems that almost everyone I know is either sick or afraid of getting sick! If there was ever a good time to work on boosting your immune system, this is it.

Two years ago, I shared some tips for immune system support. You can click to read those posts for some general advice and some products to consider: Be Immune! and Immune System Health.

But this year, I’d like to share some advice that’s a little closer to home. With so much sickness around us, we’re all trying to do what we can to stay well. Maybe you’d like to know what I have recommended for my own family.

Immune System Support Supplements from Smith Family Resources

Vitamin C  For general sickness-avoidance, I encourage everyone to increase their intake of Vitamin C. The best way to do that is to get it in food. Some of my favorites are sweet potatoes, blueberries, kiwi and kale. You can also take Rosehip C. And that reminds me, if you aren’t already taking a good daily vitamin, now would be a good time to add a super multivitamin. Our bodies need the right nutrients to be able to avoid sickness, so good food with the right supplementation is important.

Berry Well  For those exposed to respiratory viruses including influenza, I recommend taking the maximum dose of Berry Well at least twice a day until the length of the virus incubation period is past. Berry Well is an elderberry syrup that contains bee propolis, raw honey, organic echinacea root extract, and raw apple cider vinegar. The elderberries in Berry Well are grown naturally without the use of pesticides or chemicals but are not certified organic. Raw honey provides live enzymes that help the body fight colds and respiratory infections of all kinds. Propolis and echinacea are both considered to be natural antibiotics. Apple cider vinegar increases your body’s alkalinity, and the potassium in raw vinegar helps cells fight bacteria and viruses.

Monolaurin  Monolauricin is the substance found in mother’s milk believed to be responsible for that early boost in a baby’s immune system. Our favorite source for monolaurin is Lauricidin®. Lauricidin contains pure lipid monolaurin derived from coconut oil and some of our friends and customers have reported amazing things about its role in immune system support.

Garlic  I like to add garlic to food or to teas to help build healthy immune systems. But when there just isn’t time or I don’t want the smell, Odorless Garlic is a good substitute. The softgels are small and easy to swallow, but they can also be chewed. The taste is very mild and it really is odorless- no bad breath!

Probiotics  I shared a fun video about the importance of probiotics a while back, and it’s worth watching again. Our favorite probiotic is Tummy Tuneup, and during “sick season,” most of us take two capsules every day.

Click the picture to see the video!

And, as always, I remind everyone to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water every day, and get plenty of rest! These are the things I tell my own family, and they aren’t meant to be prescriptions for everyone, but I hope you found something helpful here! Stay well!

Family Business

Blogging about our beginning led me to reflect on how our business has impacted our family.

Before we were officially launched, we decided to involve our children as much as possible.  They listened in on phone calls with city hall while we were learning about business licenses and sales taxes. They watched us count the cost of inventory and office supplies and shipping materials and website subscriptions. They helped us with proofreading and organizing and planning.

The whole family has been involved in every aspect of the business including purchasing inventory, advertising, selling, preparing orders for shipment, remitting sales taxes, and renewing business licenses. Two of our children earned school credit for Business Math and General Business. One is presently working on credits for Entrepreneurship and Career Preparedness. Some have been more involved than others, but it has been educational for all.

And I don’t see how there can be any better place than Helena to operate a family business. The other business owners in this town have welcomed and supported us and have been an important part of our children’s education and work experience. My son started attending Helena Business Association meetings with me when he was an elementary student, and all of our children have helped at First Fridays. Helena is an awesome place to live and raise a family- and to own a family business.

So has owning a business been good for our family? Absolutely! It’s obviously a blessing to have access to great health supplements, and the income from providing supplements for others is a good thing, too. But it’s been really great to be able to introduce our children to the real world of small business with a real business.

Thank you, friends, for making all of this possible for our family!

First Friday July
Melissa and Matthew at Helena First Friday, July 2014

 

Beginning

Day two of the November Post Challenge, and here goes my first post!

I’d like to share the story of the beginning of our family business.

A long time ago, when we had five children 9 and younger and I was definitely NOT feeling like SuperMom, I saw a Beeyoutiful ad for SuperMom multivitamins in a homeschool magazine. I had taken other vitamins over the years and had never noticed any change in my energy level or overall health. I decided to give Beeyoutiful a try.

By the time I got to the bottom of the bottle (about 8 weeks), I noticed a big difference in the way I felt. I had more energy, less sleepiness in the late afternoon, and my iron level began to improve. After that, we tried other products from Beeyoutiful: Tummy Tuneup (probiotic), SuperDad and SuperKids. Then we discovered Miracle Skin Salve. We loved every product we tried.

We told our friends, and pretty soon, we were ordering products for friends every time we ordered for ourselves. After several years of gathering group orders, we decided to take the plunge and start our own business. We’re not much bigger than we were at our small beginning, but it’s still kind of a dream come true. I get to manage a business while staying at home with my family and providing a useful service for other people as well.

small business dream

I’m a day behind on the post challenge. I don’t know if I’ll double up or run behind or combine some themes in the next few days, but I love having some themes for inspiration. Let me know if you’re taking the challenge, too!

Back to Bone Ami

I never realized how difficult it is to get the necessary Vitamin D, calcium and magnesium in food! After a month of keeping a food diary and tracking my nutrients on Cronometer, it has beome apparent that even my healthier diet with 6-9 cups of fruits and vegetables every day is not supplying what I need for bone health.

So, I’m turning to an old supplement friend, Bone Ami. This time, I’m choosing the liquid version which supplies 400 IU of vitamin D, 500 mg of calcium, and 250 mg of magnesium in every dose. The liquid form is more readily absorbed, and, in case you’re wondering, it tastes really good! I still have to make good food choices to reach my target goals for these nutrients, but the goal is now possible, thanks to Bone Ami.

My next bone density scan should happen in October 2018. I lost ground from 2012 to 2014 and barely maintained from 2014 to 2016. I’ve been told that women in my demographic can’t gain bone density, that we just have to work hard to keep from losing. Maybe that’s true- but what if it’s not? I’m giving my bones my best shot. I’m eating well, nourishing them from within, and I’m exercising, strengthening them from without. And now I’m giving them a little extra help from Bone Ami.

So, friends, is it possible? Have any of you actually gained bone density? Have any of your Bone Densitometry reports ever shown improvement? I would love to hear some success stories!

Bone Ami Liquid 2

Click here to learn more about Bone Ami.

Progress Report

At my first health coaching session, Rebecca gave me some homework: increase my intake of fruits and vegetables to 9 cups a day and start tracking my nutrients.

Background information: I haven’t been eating anywhere close to 9 cups of fruits and vegetables a day. In my last post, I blogged that I had taken the baby step of eating a fruit or vegetable at every meal. Even so, I was eating no more than 1 or 2 cups a day. Nine cups is a BIG baby step!

Rebecca suggested Cronometer, an online tool for tracking nutrition, fitness, and health data. It will track a lot of things, but my focus is on vitamins and nutrients. (There’s a free online version, but I opted for the $3.99 app.)

Cronometer app

Since I started keeping up with my fruit and vegetable intake, I’ve hit the goal once and come very close several days. Even though I’m not consistently meeting my goal yet, I feel better already- more energy, better sleep, and less pain.

I’ve been trying to learn more about nutrition for several years now, but the design of the Cronometer app has helped me to see more clearly what I’m actually getting from my food. I can tell at a glance whether or not I’ve gotten the nutrients needed for the day. That information helps me eat things that will actually nourish me and not just fill me up.

One evening recently, I was going to skip dinner and just eat a bowl of cereal. I searched my intended cereal in the app and discovered that there was almost no nutritional value whatsoever. Even though it’s a gluten-free, organic, supposedly healthy cereal, it would basically be empty calories!

I’ve also been confirmed in my belief in the amazing contribution of SuperMom to my overall health. Here are two screenshots of my breakfast this morning:IMG_9882[1]

IMG_9883[1]

The first is my breakfast before SuperMom. Notice in the bar at the bottom that my nutrient target goal is at 28%. The second screenshot is after taking the SuperMom. Now my nutrient target goal is at 69%. Wow!

Unfortunately, I’ve been relying on SuperMom to make up for the deficits in my diet, and, as super as it is, it just can’t do it all. I can see in my nutrient reports that I’m still not consistently getting enough Vitamin D, Magnesium, or Potassium every day. Those are important nutrients for healthy bones which probably explains why I’ve had issues with arthritis and osteopenia.

So, enough about me! I’m excited about my progress, but my reason for sharing is to encourage you in yours! Please share your own progress in the comments or by email. I’ll be glad to hear from you!

About those Baby Steps…

Seven years of baby steps… A lot of progress can be made in seven years, but my steps have been small, and I find myself very near where I started. I’ll have my first session with health coach Rebecca Mills-Anderson tomorrow, and I’m ready to learn take some bigger steps with diet and nutrition. I’m eager to move closer to the goal of better health.

So, about those baby steps… In preparation for the health coaching to come, I’m reflecting on the progress- however small- that I’ve made thus far.

  1. I eliminated caffeine. I took this step as a young adult when I realized that my daily Diet Coke and ever-present glass of sweet tea were creating problems for me. That first step could have been a bigger step if I had known to replace the offenders with water, but I simply replaced them with decaffeinated sweet tea. Still, it was a baby step in the right direction!
  2. I began taking a daily multivitamin. SuperMom was the first vitamin I’d ever taken that actually made a noticeable difference in the way I felt.
  3. I eliminated fried foods. Gall bladder pain prompted this step, and it was not hard at all. Pain is a powerful motivator!
  4. I increased my water intake. If you follow this blog, you’re probably tired of hearing about drinking water! But, this has been huge for me. I went from drinking almost no water at all to half of my body weight in ounces. This big step is probably the main reason I’ve remained reasonably healthy in spite of the deficiencies of my diet.
  5. I began exercising regularly. I started for my bones but am gradually realizing the benefits of exercise for the whole body.
  6. I eliminated high fructose corn syrup from my diet, and I cut way back on processed foods.
  7. I realized that I was relying on supplementation and elimination to get me to better health. I’ve added some things- vitamins, water, exercise- and I’ve taken out some things- caffeine, fried food, high fructose corn syrup. But I’m just now facing the fact that my diet doesn’t include all the nutrients and vitamins I need to be truly healthy.

Okay, #7 may not be a true step. But that realization is already making a difference. In the last few weeks, I’ve made a conscious effort to eat three healthy meals every day, no matter how busy I am, and I’ve eaten a fruit or vegetable at almost every meal.

And that’s where I am today. On to bigger steps tomorrow!

Baby Steps

So, I’ve been taking baby steps now for about 7 years. I’m definitely moving in the right direction, but I really have not made much progress toward better health.

I know some of you are stepping along with me: drinking more water, taking multivitamins, and trying some nutritious recipes. Those are great steps, and I celebrate the progress- yours and mine! But I still have a long way to go.

This post isn’t leading to a happy ending or to a product recommendation. I’m just letting you know that I’m still baby-stepping my way to better health and I thought a little transparency on my part might help you on your way as well.

It was almost three years ago that the technician who did my bone scan uttered those dreadful words, “Whatever you’ve been doing, it hasn’t been enough.” I blogged then that I realized I hadn’t added much calcium to my diet and I hadn’t learned much at all about the importance of other vitamins and minerals. Well, I’m sorry to say, three years later, I’m only a few steps out from that place of not-enough.

With the help of a few perfectly-worded questions from a holistic health coach recently, I  saw for the first time that I’ve been relying on my supplements to make up for the deficits of my diet.

Nutrition overwhelms me. Food overwhelms me. Even grocery lists overwhelm me! Can anybody else relate or is this my own strange struggle?!

I’ll be meeting with a health coach regularly for the next six months and I’m really excited about learning more about the unique needs of my body and about how to feed it nutritiously. I’ll share my progress in hopes that it might help someone else. And I would love to hear from you, too. I would like to encourage you if you’re just taking your first baby steps. And I would love to learn from you if you’re ahead of me by leaps and bounds!

Speaking of baby steps, here’s my son in his first walkers.

baby steps MK

He’s holding on for support, but he’s taking steps. He’s happy! He’s out of the stroller. He’s walking on his own feet. He isn’t discouraged at all that he can’t run across the room yet. And I’m drawing analogies… Here’s to baby steps!