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January 2009 posts

Vitamin D: What's the Hype?

More than 40% of the population above age 50 may be vitamin D-deficient.  Since this vitamin is needed for utilization of calcium, even a small deficiency may promote the body to develop osteopenia and then later osteoporosis no matter how much supplemental calcium you take or get through diet.    Vitamind

Vitamin D is made from a precursor when UV (ultraviolet) light or sunlight hits the skin.  It is thought that at least 75% of vitamin D supplies come from the sun light.  Today, we are seeing more and more people who are vitamin D deficient and believe it is because we are taking precaution against skin cancer by using sunblock. 

Studies have shown that vitamin D may play a role in weight control, decreasing fatigue, prevention of some cancers, decreasing inflammation, supporting people who suffer from mental illness and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and multiple sclerosis. 

This time of year is the best time to ask your physician to test your plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D level. 

If you test low, it is common that your physician will suggest 50,000 IU of Vitamin D per week.  If your levels are normal, it can be a healthy practice to take 1000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day throughout the winter season. 

5 Dietary Rules We Should All Live By

I felt I should mention diet since it is January and everyone is excited to get started on their new diet program or get back to their previous healthy eating.  As many of you know, when working with clients on weight loss, my approach involves creating long lasting changes that one can maintain over time.  5dietaryrules Losing weight is not just about a 12 week program, a diet pill or a one week cleanse but instead a change of lifestyle that includes reshaping your diet, your daily movement and your emotional issues.  Understanding yourself and "what you are hungry for" will bring insight to why you eat when you do and why you choose the foods that you do. 

The following five dietary rules are important to consider for all not just for weight loss but for optimal health.  If it seems too overwhelming, start with one at a time and move through the list as you feel comfortable.

1.  Replace all soda, both regular and diet with water, sparkling water, seltzer and herbal teas.  

2.  Transition the "white" foods from your diet.  Including white bread, white rice, and white sugar.  Instead of white bread, choose whole grain, sprouted grain, spelt, millet or rice bread.  Instead of white rice choose brown or wild rice or even quinoa.  White sugar can be replaced with stevia, a natural sweetener from plants, honey, brown rice syrup, and maple syrup.  

3.  Remove fast food from your diet completely.

4.  Cut out "trans fat" or "partially hydrogenated oil" from your diet.  These fats are known to increase your risk of coronary heart disease as well as decrease your HDL levels.  Healthier options would include olive oil and butter in moderation.

5.  Switch from fried foods to roasted, sauteed, baked or steamed.

In Health,


What are your Intentions for the New Year

Happy New Year. 

January is always an exciting time for many people in that they feel it is a time to start fresh.  Having the holidays behind us, many people are anxious to get started or get back to healthy eating habits, exercise and routine.    Happynewyear

Instead of establishing New Year's Resolutions, I prefer to call them New Year's Intentions.  Setting intentions is an important activity.  I believe we each play a major role in creating our own reality.  Be specific with intentions and write them down in a journal.  Keep your journal in a place that is accessible, so that you may review as the year goes on.  Some people prefer to divide their intentions into categories, for example, personal, work, financial, relationships, etc. 

What do you intend to create for yourself in 2009?  Have fun and start the year with purpose.

Alison Finger, ND