Supplemental Vitamin D important during the winter

Posted February 25th, 2010 in Nutrition Articles, Vitamins by Rebecca Lane

Last week I was asked to write a monthly nutrition article for one of my good friends and client for many years, Lee of WoW Power Walking. At first I was quite nervous about the idea, but then realized that this is a great opportunity for me to start walking my talk. Or at least starting on that journey. Below is the first article that I’ve submitted to her for next month’s newsletter. If anyone has suggestions for the next article or articles, please let me know. And please feel free to pass along this article to anyone you feel could use the information.What is Vitamin D? What does it do?Vitamin D is the “sunshine” vitamin, manufactured from cholesterol in the human skin when in comes in contact with UVB radiation from the sun. It regulates the body’s absorption of calcium and phosphorus making it crucially important for the maintenance of bone density, healthy bones and teeth, and the normal function of the nervous system. Without sufficient vitamin D, taking calcium supplements is useless.How do we get it?From March to early Fall, there is sufficient UVB radiation from the sun to provide adequate amounts of Vitamin D to our bodies. However, from October until March there is not enough UVB radiation reaching the Toronto area to enable our bodies to synthesize Vitamin D, so we need to consider supplementation – whether through diet or a dietary supplement.Vitamin D production is further blocked when we apply sunscreen to our bodies. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, “the application of sunscreen with an SPF factor of 8 reduces production of vitamin D by 95%.” How do we get around this? Moderate, limited sun exposure of 10-15 minutes daily – without sunscreen – during the spring, summer and fall, from 11am to 2pm, on the face and arms, will provide enough UVB radiation for the individual to synthesize sufficient vitamin D. Are there food sources available?There are few natural food sources of vitamin D, but some excellent options include shrimp, sardines, cod and eggs (from World’s Healthiest Foods). It’s also available in mushrooms and dark leafy green vegetables such as kale, collard greens, and spinach. A vast amount is also manufactured synthetically and added to bread, milk and other fortified foods.Bottom line then is even when you’re enjoying the benefits of fresh air and sunshine during your winter walks, you’re actually not able to use the sun’s energy to make vitamin D because it isn’t strong enough. From October until March (or from Halloween until March break for all you Mom’s!), supplement with a daily dose of vitamin D or make sure that you’re eating fish and greens each week. My teens enjoy their morning spritz of D-day by Biocare (a Canadian manufacturer).

Wandering on the Web

Posted February 18th, 2010 in Great reading by Rebecca Lane

This morning I received a post from Marni Wasserman’s blog which sent me on a journey of discovery. There are so many products and people who are really making a difference that I’m astounded and thought I would share some of them here.First, there’s a campaign to reduce restaurant waste called Takeout Without You’ll love the ideas they suggest – so simple and we just don’t even think of most of the time. Plus it’s a way that we can make a huge difference.Then I found this blog that’s got my mind working in overdrive: So many great ideas and people who are really making a difference in the smallest of ways. Bring your own containers for everything. Where I shop at Nature’s Emporium in Newmarket, I really struggle with constantly taking plastic bags for the bulk products I purchase. I reuse them until they develop holes but I’d really like to come up with a solution that would mean that we don’t need to even have plastic bags as an option. I don’t want plastic touching my beans, nuts or flour.The final place I was really excited by is called People Towels What an idea – that’s it, from now on I’m bringing my own cloth towels with me so that I don’t need to waste paper towels (which are usually made from virgin wood, not recycled paper like you would expect). The ones at People Towels are really cute, but I’m thinking something more stylish, like a scarf hanging from my purse that does double duty as a towel.Anyway, hope you enjoy visiting these sites and that they inspire you in some way.

Olympics in Vancouver

Posted February 13th, 2010 in Uncategorized by Rebecca Lane

So the Vancouver Winter Olympics opened last night in a beautiful celebration of the diversity of Canada. I really enjoyed the poetry of the evening, especially that of slam poet Shane Koyczan (here’s the link to his poem ).However, one of the things that I’ve been thinking about is how the weather is really affecting this year’s olympics. It’s garnered even more news than athletic performance so far. Here’s an opportunity to have the world realize the physical implications of global warming. Realize that it’s not a scientific hypothesis but a reality that needs to be addressed – sooner than later.Coining the words of the games, “I Believe” that now is the time to start making daily changes for the health of our earth and all of its creatures. I also believe that we already have all the tools on hand to make the necessary changes. But change is hard to swallow. What will it mean for our day-to-day life? What will happen if we don’t – if we wait a little longer? How much harder to swallow will drastic change be then?

Psychology of Disease

Posted February 9th, 2010 in Psychology of Disease by Rebecca Lane

Finally, I finished the essay for Nutrition and the Environment. I thought I would never get through it. But then my beautiful friend Maria sent me an email entitled K.I.S.S. – Keep it Simple Silly (I probably would have said stupid – but there you go. This shows how truly beautiful this friend is!) and it made me really look at what I’m doing.My next assignment is on addictions – and I can tell you right now, without even filling out any questionnaires, that I’m addicted to perfection. I have been spending so much time on finishing assignments, readings and preparing for tests, that I seem to have forgotten the importance of spending time with my family and friends. Especially my friends. They seem to have fallen out the window since school started a year ago. I’m exhausted from trying to juggle everything – feeding everyone, keeping the house tidy, getting the kids to after school events (yes – I know its usually hockey but Emily requires Mom’s taxi often too).Maria asked a very relevant question: Who’s approval are we trying to gain at this point in our lives? I was stumped. I’m not sure. What is being given up in the pursuit of perfection? In my constant striving? What moments have been lost that can never be regained? What time have I lost that could have been spent with my children, husband and friends?I’ve been journalling about this question lots over the last couple of days. Haven’t come up with any definitive answers but know one thing. If I let go of all of this constant striving, and let GOD take the driver’s seat – my life will be very different. I would never have believed in the power of the Divine even five years ago. But now I feel that power every day – not every moment of every day yet, but I’m practicing! Not striving, which is what I almost wrote, but certainly enjoying the practice.So I choose to honour my spirit and my health by letting go and letting GOD – just for today. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?Don’t I have a test or something!

Vaccine Nation

Posted February 5th, 2010 in Vaccinations by Rebecca Lane

I spent the day yesterday working on – but really avoiding – my essay for Nutrition and the Environment. During my avoidance, I mean research, I came across the movie Vaccine Nation (it’s linked so you can watch it too when you have 1 1/2 hours).The environment course has me really struggling on so many levels – which is why I’m having a very hard time completing the assignment. I struggle with the knowledge that most people on this earth are good and do not intend to harm. I truly believe that most medical doctors honestly intend to help the human race stay healthy. And I think that most cleaning products were really developed because they do kill germs and make our world cleaner.But how did it all go so horribly wrong? How did all of that positive energy get turned around – was it hubris? Thinking we were right and not checking and re checking the results?How did we get to a place where we are poisoning ourselves and our children to the point where 1 out of every 6 women already has high enough levels of mercury in their system to cause damage to their unborn fetus? This statistic from Vaccine Nation really affected me. What happens to those tiny infants, born carrying a toxic load, and then we welcome them with adding to that burden by injecting them with known neurotoxins and heavy metals in vaccines? How can they fight back and stay healthy?Is this why so many of our children are struggling with ADD, ADHD, Autism, learning disabilities? When we introduce unnatural materials into our body, we create a burden on that body. When the body is healthy it will fight off the disease and/or chemicals and return itself to a more healthy stasis state. But if the body is already unhealthy and struggling to clear itself out, the burden becomes “unclearable” and chronic disease states occur.Yet, I choose to perhaps take a more “Pollyanna” view. Although all of this truly concerns and frightens me, I know that we, the human race, brought ourselves to this point – and are therefore totally capable of switching gears and turning this car around.Let’s accept the mistakes that we have made, learn what brought us to this point and move forward with a common goal to bring the Earth (yes, we have to focus on the Earth first) back to a stasis state so that it can heal itself – and all those who dwell here.

Why so clean?

Posted February 4th, 2010 in Alternative Household Cleaning Products by Rebecca Lane

I’ve been thinking about my last post and started to realize that we have a fascination with “whiteness”. How did that evolve? Because I’m certain that our forbearers on the farm weren’t obsessed with white dish towels!I’m thinking that perhaps we have been led by the manufacturers of cleaning products to expect a certain scent to mean clean – and that your home isn’t clean unless it sparkles. Look at the commercials for Mr. Clean and the Magic Eraser. Cleaning is effortless. Yeah – those Magic Eraser’s are so full of chemicals that make cleaning easier – chemicals that include Formaldehyde-Melamine-Sodium bisulfite copolymer which break down into hazardous decomposition products, namely formaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide and dust from foam which at the least may cause irritation of the respiratory tract.I don’t want to get caught up in details (but feel free to check the MSDS for the chemicals you cannot part with – perhaps they will help with the decision) – but all the chemicals we use to clean our homes are products of the petroleum industry and none of them are safe for us to be inhaling, ingesting or contacting.Where do my ideas of “clean” come from? Television and magazines expect my home to be effortlessly clean – advertisements have included a man dressed all in white, white kitchens, usually white hands cleaning white countertops or stainless steel that isn’t tea stained. I am influenced by all of this as are my children, as was my mother and hers before her – so my house “should be” sparkling clean. Generations have expected this – 4 to be exact.Before the petrochemical industry had so many bi-products to use up, there was not this sparkling expectation. Homes were smaller and often filled with more people. You would think that there would have been more diseases than now. Yes, perhaps acute infectious diseases were more common – but not the chronic diseases that plague us today. They are the result of the chemical soup we take into our bodies daily.I’ll be thinking more on this next time I worry what people will think of my stained dish cloths. And I do worry . . .. . . but not too much!