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.

Running

I did some running when I was in my 20’s. I wasn’t very fast, but I enjoyed it and it was good exercise.

I took a break from running when my children were young and then started again when they began running cross country. I found out some things had changed over that break, most notably, my knees. X-rays confirmed arthritis in both knees, and I was advised to give up running. I learned from a chiropractor that strengthening the muscles in my legs would help to support my knees, but I filed that information in the back of my mind and settled for occasional walks.

Fast forward to three years ago. Osteopenia finally woke me up to the need to exercise and I began a regimen of weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises. Even though I had given up running, I walked in some 5K races in the area. My goal was twofold but simple: to finish in under an hour and not to be the last person to cross the finish line! My time was usually between 55 and 59 minutes, and I usually spent the rest of the day with legs elevated, icing my inflamed knees.

But every now and then, I dreamed that I was running. In my dreams, I had found a way to run without touching the ground! I described those dreams to a Trak Shak salesperson who recommended a Hoka running shoe for me.  Walking in Hokas has been the next best thing to running without touching the ground.

With three years of exercise behind me and Hoka shoes to support me, I started running again. In June, I walked/ran 3.1 miles (5K) in my neighborhood and finished in 47 minutes- not great, but almost nine minutes faster than my fastest walking 5K.

Is it possible that my recently improved diet could already be strengthening my muscles and joints? I’m able to run almost a mile without pain now, and my current 5K PR in the neighborhood is 44:33. I’m still slow compared to almost everyone else I encounter on the trail, but I have a new twofold goal now: to run as much as I can without causing injury and to run without concern about others being faster.

What about you? Do you run for exercise? What are your goals? Tell me what motivates you to keep moving. And tell me about your shoes!

Melissa and Morgan, Smith Family Resources
Morgan is my post-run encourager!

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!

 

SuperMom – More than the RDA?

SuperMom vitamins are fortified with green foods and are chock-full of vitamins and minerals, including Beta-Carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and the all-important B vitamins.  If you peruse the ingredient list below, you’ll notice that the quantities of some vitamins and minerals actually exceed the RDA.

More than the RDA?  Should you take more than the Recommended Daily Allowance?  In many cases, yes!

The RDA is based primarily on the prevention of deficiency disease, rather than the promotion of optimum health.  Consider the lesser-known UL, which stands for Tolerable Upper Intake Level.

Take Vitamin C for example…  The RDA of Vitamin C for females aged 19-70 is 75 mg. SuperMom provides 500 mg, 830% of the RDA.  That sounds excessive until you consider that the UL of Vitamin C for females aged 19-70 is 2,000 mg.

Check the numbers for yourself at the USDA National Agricultural Library website.  You’ll find that SuperMom provides more than just what you need to get by; it provides what you need to actually feel better!

Nutrition Facts

SuperMom is available in tablets and Vcaps.  The nutritional content is the same (2 tablets = 4 Vcaps), but some women find the Vcaps easier to swallow.

Serving Size: 2 Tablets or 4 Capsules
Supermom Tablets Amount Per Serving % Daily Value
Vitamin A (100% as Beta-Carotene) 10,000 IU 200%
Vitamin C (from Calcium Ascorbate and
as Ascorbic Acid)
500 mg 833%
Vitamin D (as Ergocalciferol) 400 IU 100%
Vitamin E (as d-alpha Tocopheryl Succinate) 200 IU 667%
Thiamin (Vitamin B-1) (from Thiamin HCl) 40 mg 2667%
Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2) 45 mg 2647%
Niacin (Vitamin B-3) (as Niacinamide) 50 mg 250%
Vitamin B-6 (from Pyridoxine HCl) 45 mg 2250%
Folate (as Folic Acid) 400 mcg 100%
Vitamin B-12 (as Cyanocobalamin) 100 mcg 1667%
Biotin 100 mcg 33%
Pantothenic Acid (from Calcium Pantothenate) 50 mg 500%
Calcium (from Calcium Carbonate and
Calcium Ascorbate)
100 mg 10%
Iron (from Ferrochel® Ferrous Bisglycinate)
(TRAACS®)
10 mg 56%
Iodine (from Potassium Iodide) 125 mcg 83%
Magnesium (from Magnesium Oxide) 50 mg 13%
Zinc (from Zinc Picolinate) 15 mg 100%
Selenium (from L-Selenomethionine) 50 mcg 71%
Copper (from Copper Bisglycinate) (TRAACS®) 1 mg 50%
Manganese (from Manganese Bisglycinate)
(TRAACS®)
5 mg 250%
Chromium (from Chromium Picolinate) 100 mcg 83%
Molybdenum (from Sodium Molybdate) 50 mcg 67%
Potassium (from Potassium Chloride) 50 mg 1%
Choline (from Choline Bitartrate) 50 mg
Inositol 50 mg
PABA 25 mg
Organic Spirulina 400 mg
Organic Chlorella (Broken Cell Wall) 50 mg
Alfalfa Juice Concentrate 50 mg
Alpha Lipoic Acid 50 mg
Green Tea Extract (Leaf) 50 mg
Milk Thistle Extract (Seed) (Standardized for Silymarin) 50 mg
Rutin Powder 25 mg
Chlorophyll 9 mg
Alfalfa (Leaf) 4 mg
Rose Hip Powder (Fruit) 4 mg
Lutein (from Marigold Extract) (FloraGLO®) 250 mcg
Lycopene (from Natural Tomato Extract) 250 mcg
Octacosanol (Wheat-Free) 100 mcg
Amylase 50 SKB
Lipase 800 LU
Bromelain (from Pineapple) 48 GDU
Papain (from Papaya) 50,000 USP
Supermom VCaps
Same as above except:
Thiamin 50 mg 3333%
Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2) 50 mg 2941%
Vitamin B-6 (from Pyridoxine HCl) 50 mg 2500%
Iodine 150 mg 100%
PABA 30 mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on 2,000 calorie diet.
† Daily Value not established.
Suggested Use VCaps®: Take 4 capsules daily in 1 or 2 divided doses, preferably with meals. Tablets: Take 2 tablets daily, preferably with meals.
Other Ingredients Capsules: Cellulose (capsule), Magnesium Stearate (vegetable source), Cellulose Powder, Stearic Acid (vegetable source) and Silica. Vitamin E from soy.

Tablets: Cellulose, Croscarmellose Sodium, Stearic Acid (vegetable source), Silica, Magnesium Stearate (vegetable source) and Vegetarian Coating. Vitamin E from soy.

Click here to order SuperMom

Where to Start?

Where to startI’ve been asked several times lately where to start with vitamins and supplements and just generally being more healthy.  As I’ve said many times before, I’m not a doctor or a natural health expert.  I’m just passing on the things I’ve learned and recommending some products that have helped my family.

Sometimes I get excited about something I’ve learned and my gush comes across sounding like, “You really ought to try this!”  But what I really mean is, you really ought to read about this and see if you think this will be good for you or your family.

So, where to start?  The first thing to do is to check your daily water intake.  If you’re not already drinking half your body weight in ounces of water every single day–more if you’re exercising or working outside–start now.  If you weigh 120 pounds, drink at least 60 ounces of water every day.  Just rehydrating your body can do wonders for your overall health.  How cool is that?  You don’t have to order anything to get started!  Click here to read more about the benefits of drinking water.

If your diet is providing all the essential vitamins and minerals needed for good health, great!  But, if it’s not, consider taking a multivitaminBeeyoutiful provides a multivitamin for every member of the family:  SuperMom, SuperLady, SuperDad and SuperKids.  You can click on the links to read about each one, or you can click here to see all our vitamins on one page.

If you have specific health interests, search this blog and others you trust.  Read, read, read.  Talk with your health care provider and make informed decisions before you add supplements to your health regimen.

There are ten products, some of which have already been mentioned, featured in the picture at the top of this post.  You can click on the links below to read more about each one and to decide if one or more of these might be a part of your own getting started.

SuperMom

Tummy Tuneup

Miracle Skin Salve

Paraben-Free Moisturizer

Pure Olive Oil Soap

Cod Liver Oil

Odorless Garlic

Odorless Garlic

Vitex with Dong Quai

Red Raspberry Leaves (web)

Red Raspberry Leaves

Beeyoutiful Essential Oils

Let us know how we can help you as you get started taking care of yourself and your family!

Where to start

We want you to have this book!

As you know if you’ve been reading this blog, my thinking about bones and learning to treat my osteopenia led to thinking about food and nutrition.  I’m learning a lot from friends and from my newest favorite book, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon

Nourishing Traditions is an amazing handbook of information about food, health and nutrition.  It has 688 pages and 773 recipes!  We want you to have one of these for your kitchen or home library.  For a limited time, when you purchase Nourishing Traditions from Smith Family Resources, we’ll send it to you along with a free (surprise) gift!  Click on any link in this paragraph to shop.  Just add Nourishing Traditions to your cart and the gift will be sent to you automatically.

In case you’ve missed any of the recipes we’ve shared, you can click on the links below…

Onion Compote
Strawberry Smoothie
Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins
Pizza Omelet
Banana Bread
Honey-Lime Fruit Toss
No-Bake Protein Energy Bites

Do you have a recipe for us to try?  Please share!  Comment below or email it to smithfamresources@att.net.  Thanks!

Vitamin B Complex

Just what is the Vitamin B complex?  The vitamin B-complex refers to all of the known essential water-soluble vitamins except for vitamin C:  thiamine (Vitamin B1), riboflavin (Vitamin B2), niacin (Vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), pyridoxine (Vitamin B6), biotin, folic acid, and cobalamin (Vitamin B12).

I’ve been gleaning as much nutrition information as I can from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions.  Here are some excerpts about B vitamins and their importance to our overall health:

Nourishing Traditions, Sally FallonDark green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach, chard and beet greens contain abundant vitamins and minerals, particularly B vitamins, calcium and trace minerals, and should be included in the diet on a regular basis-at least once or twice a week.

Pineapple is high in fiber and contains carotenoids, B-complex vitamins and vitamin C.

Deficiency of the B vitamin complex can result in the enlargement and malfunction of almost every organ and gland in the body.

If you aren’t sure your diet includes a sufficient quantity of these very important B vitamins, consider supplementing with Beeyoutiful’s B-BetterB-Better contains thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, biotin, folic acid, and pantothenic acid.  Click on the links or the picture below for complete nutrition facts.  B-Better

Help for Hypoglycemia

I was recently asked to recommend supplements for someone who deals with hypoglycemia.  Since I didn’t know much about hypoglycemia, I turned to the official website of the University of Maryland Medical Center where I found suggestions for nutrition and supplements.

Following these nutritional tips may help reduce symptoms:

  • Eliminate suspected food allergens, such as dairy (milk, cheese, and ice cream), wheat (gluten), soy, corn, preservatives, and chemical food additives.  Your health care provider may want to test you for food allergies.
  • Eat foods high in B-vitamins and iron, such as whole grains (if no allergy), fresh vegetables, and sea vegetables.
  • Eat antioxidant foods, including fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes) and vegetables (such as squash and bell pepper).
  • Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas, and sugar (unless you need them for an immediate blood sugar increase).
  • Soluble fiber, such as flaxseed and pure oat bran, can slow the rate at which dietary sugars enter the blood and help regulate blood sugars throughout the day.  Consume 1-3 tsp. of either of these fiber sources before meals.  Talk to your doctor first if you have a history of digestive disorders.
  • Some doctors may suggest a high protein diet, although evidence is mixed on the benefits.   A “Zone”-style diet combines proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in a 30/30/40 ratio and can be very helpful in maintaining stable blood sugar throughout the day.  Eat lean meats, preferably those that do not contain hormones or antibiotics.  Cold water fish or beans can also be used for protein.  Limit the intake of processed meats, such as fast foods and lunch meats.
  • Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil or coconut oil.
  • Reduce or eliminate trans fatty acids, found in commercially baked goods such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine.
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco.  Lower caffeine intake, as caffeine impacts several conditions and medications.
  • Exercise, if possible, 30 minutes daily, 5 days a week.  Light exercise may be advisable at first until you learn how to control your blood sugar and how to manage your diet to tolerate higher intensity exercise.

You may address nutritional deficiencies with the following supplements:

  • A daily multivitamin, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, the B-complex vitamins, and trace minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium.  SFR recommendation:  SuperDad, SuperMom, or SuperLady
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, to help decrease inflammation and help with immunity.  Omega-3 fatty acids can have a blood thinning effect.  People taking blood thinning medications should speak to their doctor before taking omega-3 fatty acids.  SFR recommendation:  Omega-3
  • Vitamin C, as an antioxidant and for immune support.  SFR recommendation:  Rosehip C
  • Magnesium, for nutrient support.  If you are taking blood pressure medication or other heart medication, speak to your doctor before taking magnesium.  Magnesium can interfere with certain medications, including some antibiotics and biphosphate medication.  SFR recommendation:  Magnesium Citrate
  • Chromium, for blood sugar regulation.  People with liver or kidney issues or history of psychiatric issues should talk to their doctor before starting chromium supplements.  SFR recommendation:  SuperDad (50 mcg of Chromium per serving); SuperMom (100 mcg of Chromium per serving); or SuperLady (150 mcg of Chromium per serving).
  • Probiotic supplement (containing Lactobacillus acidophilus), 5-10 billion CFUs (colony forming units) a day, when needed for maintenance of gastrointestinal and immune health.  SFR recommendation:  Tummy Tuneup (provides eight strains of bacteria, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, with 4 billion cultures in each capsule) OR Acidophilus Blast (provides one strain of bacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and has 8 billion cultures per capsule). 

If you have hypoglycemia, please talk with your health care provider BEFORE adding any of these supplements to your daily regimen.  If you’re given the go-ahead to try these supplements, consider adding just one at a time.  Try it for a month or so before adding another, so that you can determine which supplements work best for you.  If you are helped by these suggestions and supplements, we would love to hear from you!bee