Sunday, January 24, 2010

Vitamins for Women: I Raise My Protein Shake and Salute You!

One of the hardest things I had to do was re-train my brain and body to consume  lighter, more nutritious meals every day.  Man, is the breakfast, lunch and dinner routine entrenched in my being!

I was having trouble losing those last 10 pounds.  I tried everything, including not eating and all I managed to do was feel more tired and depresssed.  Then my friend, Jeff, talked to me about the body's metabolism and how intense meals of protein stimulate lean muscle mass and ultimately weight loss.  I adjusted my intake of protein.  Started using WomenVitamins  Basics P3 (Protein Power Powder), a whey protein isolate that supplies you with 20 grams of protein per serving.

I then decided to try the 5 meal plan, even though it seemed a little awkward, especially in school.  But it works!  I am not hungry, I lost the 10, I have energy and I feel satisfied (both in the not hungry and the not needing additional sweets categories).

Personally, I like to mix fruits in with the protein shake.  Bluberries, strawberries, and bananas are my favorites.  I have tried melon and raspberries, kiwi, you get the picture. Every flavor is a new adventure.

Active women, dieters, athletes, body builders are all drinking protein shakes.  I was surprised to discover that most women and girls are deficient in their daily intake of protein.  Seeing as how protein is the essential part of every cell in my body, I know I need to increase my protein intake, and decrease my intake of carbs and sugars.  

I read a great book, years ago, by Dr. D'Adamo who wrote about Eating Right for Your Type.  Since I was little, I have known that protein (especially meat) makes my body happier.  (By the way, I have O- the original human blood type...the hunter/nomad...hence my propensity for meat.)

Protein repairs cell and body tissues, assists with hormone and enzymatic production, builds bones, muscles, skin, blood, and cartilage. You get the picture, it is IMPORTANT.                                                   

Sources of high-quality protein:

  • Beans & Legumes: contain a great supply of fiber and the most protein found in any vegetable
  • Beef: an excellent source of protein, especially if it is grass-fed
  • Eggs: free-range organic chickens  are the happiest and healthiest...
    Free range hens, near their coop and surrounde...Image via Wikipedia
    don't over cook the eggs 
  • Nuts: be moderate, nuts offer a lot of protein power in a very small package, most sources recommend a serving of a nut, like an almond at 15 pieces/ not think the roasted, salted nuts are as beneficial as the raw nut
  • Poultry: remove the skin and benefit from a good protein source without saturated fat.

The Right Protein Powder:

WomenVitamins Basics P3 (Power Protein Powder) is a great source of protein and works well as the small meals in the middle of the morning and afternoon.

I usually drink my Basics P3 protein shake for breakfast because it is easy to fix, tastes great and blends so well with a serving or 2 of fruit.

Basics P3 also has 100% RDA of 10 vitamins and 14 essential minerals...PLUS it uses flax seed for additional Omega 3 fats, and has a proprietary blend of digestive enzymes....

So, when you need the right proteins delivered in the most pleasant, economical, and effective way to guarantee peak benefits from head to foot, try Basics P3.  It can:

  • Aide your beneficial gut bacteria
  • Assist your joint and muscle health
  • Bolster your immune health
  • Boost our energy
  • Promote your muscle strength, endurance and recovery
  • Protect all your tissues' cells via its antioxidant properties
  • Provide critical amino acids and proteins for overall optimal health
  • Support your body's optimal metabolic rate and fat burning level

I lift my protein shake up high and salute your good health and the loss of those last few pesky pounds! Take your women vitamins, be healthy, and ... Be Blessed, Kersten

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Vitamins for Women: Consider the Pesticide: 12 Fruits and Veggies to Watch

PASADENA, CA - APRIL 30:  Vegetable garden see...
We have had a really cold and dreary winter for Texas.  I have only lived here 6 years, but this is the gloomiest I remember...and the wettest...and the coldest.  I look out on the backyard that I spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to create a tropical paradise for myself, and I see dead and damaged plants, trees, vines and shrubs everywhere.  I am trying not to be too pessimistic, until it warms up again and I can see what is left and what is gone.

Thankfully, I can count on warmer weather within the next 60 I am cruising through the internet looking for new items to plant.  I am remembering which plants didn't do as well as I had hoped, which were too big for their spot, which weren't interesting enough to replant.

I would like to try a small raised bed vegetable garden as well.  I love growing my own veggies.  They taste better, there is a satisfaction in eating the fruits of your labors....  plus I know exactly what has and hasn't been done to them.  

Living for years in rural Dakota, I know that farmers need to use fertilizers and pesticides to grow the volume of food necessary to sustain us.  The topic of soil depletion and the loss of nutrient and vitamin content in our food is of great concern to me, as is the subsequent need for a reliable and complete vitamins for women.  But some facts, especially about pesticide use are even more alarming. 

Considering that there are over 60 million species of insects in the world, only 1 million of which have been identified.  Less than 1,000 of these are considered to be "pests" to people.  Still we end up using:
Approximately one billion pounds of pesticide active ingredient are used annually in the U.S., and over 16,000 pesticide products are being marketed in the U.S.
In addition, it has been estimated that about 70-75 million pounds of over 300 different active pesticide ingredients are applied to lawns and gardens yearly.  The Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides has a great website full of articles and alternatives to the broad and sometimes indiscriminate use of pesticides.

Tens of thousands of pounds of  pesticides are applied to our lawns, playgrounds, parks, and foodstuff crops. But less than 0.1% of  applied pesticide reaches the targeted pests, leaving 99.9% as an unintended pollutant in the environment that can also leech its way into our water and food sources on an annual basis. 

These pesticides do show up in the grocery store foods that we buy so:
You can raise some of your own fruits or vegetables, or consciously buy them from local organic farmers' markets or from certified organic food sections in your grocery store.

You can raise some of your own fruits or vegetables, or consciously buy them from local organic farmers' markets or from certified organic food sections in your grocery store.

FYI: the following 12 fruits and vegetables had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy or grow organic:
  • Peaches 
  • Apples 
  • Sweet bell peppers 
  • Celery 
  • Nectarines 
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries 
  • Lettuce 
  • Grapes 
  • Pears  
  • Spinach 
  • Potatoes  
Take your vitamins for women, and be blessed!  Kersten

The National Organic Program administers the O...

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Women Vitamins: Our Selves, Our Kids and Our Sodas

I do not drink soda any more. It is a taste thing I guess. After not drinking it for a while, I found that the overly sweet flavor no longer appealed to me.

So I am amazed by the amount of soda that is consumed by Americans on any given day. Driving through the neighborhood on trash/recycling day reveals bags and bags of soda cans. On Tuesdays I have morning outside duty. I watch the middle school kids pile out of their cars, in front of school, and see the super-sized soda cups and extreme power drinks clutched in their little hands. I shake my head, knowing that they will be buzzed for the first few hours of classes...then there is the slump before lunch, and the inevitable slide through the end of our day.

I have randomly asked and found that about 2/3 of them don't eat breakfast, they drink it.... They are not getting protein for their growing bones and muscles and nor fuel their brains. Instead they are getting high index refined suger, AKA high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), AKA the BIGGEST source of calories in their day.

Typically, soda pop is 24% of what 11-14 year old kids are drinking. According to Liquid Candy, a report published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, teenage boys drink an average of 32 ounces per day, which is about 379 calories, or roughly 26 teaspoons of sugar. Girls average 23 ounces, at about 272 calories or 19 teaspoons of sugar. There is no nutritional value in soda...none...

Researches at the University of Texas Health Science Center found that diet sodas put us at a higher risk of becoming overweight. According to their research, "artificial sweeteners can interfere with the body's natural ability to regulate calorie intake. This could mean people who consume artificially sweetened items are more likely to overindulge." And we wonder why obesity is rampant in our youth!

As a child, my mom would give us pop, infrequently, as a treat. In the 60's kids drank 3 cups of milk for every cup of sweet drink (including kool-ade type drinks). Now the facts are flipped. Kids drink 3:1 sweetened drinks to milk.... Soda is not a healthy replacement drink for water or milk. In fact, soda dehydrates the body, so while you think you are quenching your thirst you are not....

Lessening amounts of milk seem to account for the lowering of bone density and higher occurrences of osteoporosis in men, women and children. Several studies focus on the increasing incidence of broken bones in children and it seems to corrolate with the rise in soft drink consumption. Women who drink cola everyday have a lower bone mineral density than those who don't, probably because most colas contain phosphoric acid which drains calcium out of the bones.

Other harmful ingredients in soda are carbon acid and phosphoric acid which increase the acidity of blood. Sodais the most acidic beverage you can buy, with a pH of about 2.51, about the same as vinegar, but the sugar content disguises the acidity. When the body's chemistry becomes acidic, it can open the door to diseases like cancer and arthritis which are more likely to develop in acidic conditions. Acids in soda erode tooth enamel and advance dental decay, and interfer with normal digestive acids causing bloating, gas, and heartburn.

There is evidence that consumption of too many soft drinks puts you under increased risk for liver cirrhosis similar to what chronic alcoholics have.  Another study found that drinking two or more colas a day (whether artificially sweetened or regular) was linked to a twofold risk of chronic kidney disease.

Soda can affect the developement of childhood diabetes. According to the Children's Hospital Boston, "when sugar enters the bloodstream quickly, the pancreas has to secrete large amounts of insulin for the body to process it. Some scientists believe that the unceasing demands that a soda habit places on the pancreas may ultimately leave it unable to keep up with the body's need for insulin. Also, insulin itself becomes less effective at processing sugar (Insulin Resistance); both conditions contribute to the risk of developing diabetes."

Researchers found that women who drank one or more sugary drinks a day gained more weight and were 83% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who imbibed less than once a month. 

Finally, if all of this information doesn't affect you, consider that Americans spent almost $70 billion on carbonated soft drinks last year, for an average of 828 eight-ounce servings per person.  The same amount  "$70 billion is spent on medical research in 2007 in the United States" 

Women, mothers, sisters, grandmas and aunts....let's watch what we and our kids are drinking. Let's monitor and censor the soda. Let's retrain ourselves and model healthy behaviors to our kids.  Life is too short to shorten it with bad choices, and life is already sweet enough, we don't need the sweeteners...

Live well, take your women vitamins, be blessed, Kersten