BEWARE! The Secret Cause Behind Common Health Issues!

secret gif

We live in a world where our bodies are being taxed ALL the time by stress–our jobs/career, families, environment, medications…you name it. It’s no secret that stress is NOT benign! Furthermore, our body has to use many nutrients just to keep your organs healthy, especially under chronic stress.

As with everything, there are consequences and eventually all that stress and strain on our bodies can cause nutritional deficiencies. In the cases of chronic stress-induced fatigue, headaches/migraines, constipation, sleep issues, anxiety, Restless Leg Syndrome or muscle cramps, it could all be caused by a hidden nutrient deficiency. MAGNESIUM! Yup, the hidden cause your doctor may be overlooking is hypomagnesemia or low magnesium.

magnesium-rda-intake

Health experts claim most of us are magnesium deficient due the body’s high demand for this nutrient in metabolic processes. Recommended daily intake is 310-320mg for adult women and 400-420mg for adult men. Adults can safely take up to 1000mg, however, be careful and gradual with dosing because sudden high intake of extra magnesium can quickly reverse the constipation into diarrhea.

Also, be sure to ask your doctor if you’re on any medications that can deplete magnesium stores such as diuretics, ACE inhibitors, or even antibiotics. Sometimes taking too much calcium or vitamin D can create a magnesium imbalance too!

Click this link to learn more about magnesium.

Magnesium can easily be supplemented into your diet from eating the following foods:

mgfoods

Courtesy Google Images

For those of you who don’t want to put the extra effort to supplement your intake all by food, take a daily supplement! My favorite magnesium product is Alka Calm by Professional Complementary Health Formulas.* It is a combination of powdered magnesium and potassium that morphs water into a fizzy yummy drink. I usually drink my cup about 30-60mins before bedtime to calm my nerves, muscles, and thoughts, into a relaxed state ready for sleep!

As always, please consult your doctor first before making any changes in your health regimen. Cheers to health!!

*No company affiliation or compensation are associated with the recommendation of this product. 

3rd Year So Far: Attempting to establish contact with the outside world again

miss piggy (26) Animated Gif on Giphy

Hello World! Did you miss me? You should have…we have a special thing going on. In fact, by my calculations, you should be pretty deficient by now from not receiving your doses of Vitamin Ray. Are you ready…open wide….

Whoever said 3rd year is much easier and chill is a LIAR!! Since day one I’ve been running fast out the gate and the only two times I’ve slowed down have been due to getting sick. Ha! Yea, sick twice in 5 weeks!! That’s what happens when you’re at 31.5 credits (13 classes) and doing two clinic shifts. You ready to trade lives for a day??

If you think taking vitamin C, D, multivitamin, probiotics, greens, Chinese herbs, etc will save you, think again!! They help, but none of it matters if you don’t get rest. Of course rest/sleep is overrated in med school. Just like Etna Mode (The Incredibles) saying “NO CAPES!”… med school tell me “NO SLEEP!” The bastard!

Don’t listen to it! One of the biggest allies in staying healthy and sane = SLEEP! It’s not advice, it’s down right fact.

Moving on to new business, what the heck am I’m doing with this blog this year?
My answer: I HAVE NOT A CLUE!

If you don’t mind, I’m just going to feel it out and be whimsical. You may see some article postings, random recipes, the occasional vent, and more entertaining visual graphics depending on how easy I find them (I don’t make ANY of these gifs). I certainly won’t be able to always post daily. Unfortunately, there is just not enough time for me to do that. However, I’ll do what I can to keep you all satiated with healthy doses of Vitamin Ray!

As always, thanks for the support and love! Stay tuned to my never-ending shit-show 😉 XOXO

Best kept secrets about….VITAMIN C

I came upon this article touting the multiple valuable benefits of Vitamin C. This article came right on time for me in my life considering I’ve been battling extreme adrenal fatigue.

If you didn’t know, our adrenal glands (which sit on top of our kidneys) are the work-horse of the body in my opinion. These glands produce important steroids (cortisol, glucocorticoids, etc) that affects our blood sugar, circadian rhythm (ability to wake up in the AM/go to sleep at night), how we store fat (too much cortisol increases our ability to store more fat…thus too much stress=> weight gain), affects our energy levels, our sex drive, and many other aspects of our bodies, mind, and emotions.

As you can see, these little glands can pack a whopping punch to our health if we don’t do the things necessary to keep them balance.

Now how does vitamin C enter this picture? Well, adrenal glands and vitamin C are like “peas & carrots” or “Forest Gump & Jennnnayy” 🙂 When our adrenals are overworked and stressed, our vitamin C stores deplete…BIG TIME!

As pointed out in the article, vitamin C isn’t just for immune health! I think it’s a vital part of daily health and well-being. It’s changed my life in more ways than one. It’s helped with my adrenal fatigue, it’s kept me from being hypoglycemic (side effect of adrenal fatiuge), decreases my morning brain fog, regulates my bowel health, and just makes me feel GOOD!

Check out this article and read more on how vitamin C can possibly make you feel good too!!

courtesy google images

Injection Practice in Stab Lab goes a little like…

 Animated Gif on Giphy

Vitamin B12 shots anyone? 😉

The top 10 breakfast cereals most likely to contain Monsanto’s GMO corn

As a follow-up to last week’s post, here is an article that names popular cereal brands that contain genetically modified corn products. Many of us probably consumed a lot o these cereals either as children or at some point in our adulthood. I know they taste good (coming from a former sugar cereal lover)..but here is more proof why these cereal brands are not good for you and your long-term health. Despair not!! There are yummy healthy and non-GMO alternatives you can switch to 🙂

The top 10 breakfast cereals most likely to contain Monsanto\’s GMO corn

via The top 10 breakfast cereals most likely to contain Monsanto\’s GMO corn.

MEAN GREEN ANTIOXIDANT MACHINE!

Greetings Everyone, I have a treat for you today! Since the weather is beginning to warm up, the cold smoothies and drinks are making a come back! If you’re like me, I never stop drinking them even when it gets below freezing outside and you’ll soon understand why.

Today, I’m sharing my smoothie recipe for the Mean Green Antioxidant Machine. It is a recipe that is highly adaptable based on your tastes or different needs, but below is the basic recipe that is great as itself. In this recipe, you will receive great doses of vitamins A, B, C, E, K, iron, potassium, folate, and many more to boost your vitality. I usually drink this smoothie 3-5 days a week. For you “dieters” and “detoxers,” this drink is low calorie, so you can sip away knowing you’re not filling up on empty, nutrition-deficient calories as you would with a diet soda or diet shake.

Mean Green Antioxidant Machine Recipe

Extracted from Google Images. One day folks...I'll invest in a good camera and take my own pics 🙂

2-3 cups of fresh organic spinach leaves

1/2 cup of fresh organic parsley leaves

3/4 cup of water

2-3 ice cubes

1/2 a small apple (chopped)

1/2 a banana (sliced)

1/2 tbsp of lemon juice

*1/4 tsp of powder probiotic (optional)

*1 tbsp of ground flax seed (optional)

Blend all ingredients in blender on high until completely liquefied. If you don’t have a Vitamix or something similar, you may need to use a spoon to help coax along the blending. Avoid adding too much extra water or it will become too watery and bland. 

Bottoms up….drink to your health!

**Feel free to tweak the recipe around to your taste. Sometimes I add frozen blueberries or strawberries. You can also use other types of greens such as kale, romaine lettuce, etc. If you want it as a meal replacement, you can add protein powders, milk, yogurt, avocado or even nut butters. The sky is the limit!

Want more drink ideas? Additional Vitamin Ray-Approved super-drink recipes  are at Dr. Oz.com.

Also, check out this link to see the vitamin and nutrient information for different fruits and vegetables. This can be a great tool for helping you to tailor your super drinks to what you feel your body needs in nutrition. (link extracted from healthalternatives2000.com)

SPRING CLEANING!

Image courtesy of Google Images via livingajoyfullifenow.com

The Spring season symbolizes a myriad of meanings. It is the time we transition from Winter, the season of our most holiest holidays, and the beginning of renewal and bloom. Spring cleaning is not only the clean up of our homes and gardens, but also of our bodies and mind.

I utilize the Spring to detox my mind and body from the impurities I have accumulated over the Winter months. I see it as a personal “Spring cleaning.” I found a couple of articles that offer great detox advice. Feel free to peruse the links and see if they can be useful in your own Spring cleaning.

1.) Ten tips for a spring detox to rejuvenate your liver (Natural News)

2.)  7 detox recipes for a healthy cleanse (NewHope360: Delicious Living)

AACHOO!! There Goes My Allergies…

‘Tis the Spring season, and with it comes the Spring allergies. Many people  fall victim to pollen’s stronghold and experience unwanted symptoms of  sneezing, coughing, itchy/red eyes, and more. And what’s worse, I often hear people express frustration with the over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription allergy medications because they receive either little to no relief for their symptoms. Finally, your prayers have been heard and I’m here to present some all natural remedies to give you that coveted relief.

TOP 5 NATURAL REMEDIES FOR ALLERGY RELIEF

1.) NETI POT/ NASAL IRRIGATION: It sounds crazy to pour water into your nose and have it come out through your other nostril, but it actually works. Why does it work? When you irrigate (or pour water inside) your nose with saline solution (salt water), this action helps to clean out any pollen, dander, dust, etc that may be sticking inside on your sinuses. And if your nose is free of these irritants, then VIOLA…no sneezing or other nasal symptoms. See neti pot video for a demonstration of how to use it.

2.) STINGING NETTLE TEA/ SUPPLEMENTS: Stinging nettle is an unique plant weed (common in the United States) that has the ability to block your body’s histamine response. In other words, it’s an all-natural antihistamine without any of the bad side effects of OTC or Rx drugs. You can experience it’s benefits by making your own tea from the leaves or taking 300 mg/day of the freeze dried extract. For the tea, you can purchase the stinging nettle teas or leaves from a specialty health food store or from online.  To brew, simply add the tea/leaves to boiling hot water, remove the pot from heat, and let it steep for 20 minutes. You can drink this tea 2-3 times a day for allergy relief.**Butterbur is another common weed with antihistamine properties, but be careful not to take this if you’re allergic to ragweed or it’ll worsen your allergy symptoms.

3.) QUERCETIN: Quercetin is a bioflavonoid and antioxidant found in a myriad of fruits and vegetables (i.e. apples, red onions, red grapes, citrus fruit, broccoli, leafy greens, etc). It has powerful anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties. A good abundance of this flavonoid helps keep allergy symptoms away. If you rather pop a vitamin form of quercetin, purchase the 500mg capsules and take one capsule twice daily. For better absorption, you can also take 100mg of bromelian along with the quercetin. **Remember to consult your physician first before your begin this supplementation.

4.) HONEY: That’s right, I said honey! Incorporating at least 1/2tsp daily of local  honey (or local comb honey) into your diet actually improves your allergies. Essentially, you’re doing another form of “natural” immunotherapy. Local honey is made from local bees who use the pollen of local flowers to create their honey. Ingesting this local honey prepares your immune system for the local pollen that usually aggravates it when Spring arrives.

5.) MEDITATION/STRESS RELIEF: Now this may seem as a surprise, but there is a strong correlation between allergies and stress. Keep in mind, our bodies function at their best when we are in balance. Being in balance includes maintaining harmony with your mind, body, and soul. When one of the three is in distress, the other two will experience a strain or stress as well. In the case of allergies, experiencing excessive stress or trauma can strain your adrenal glands and cause an immuno-response (a.k.a allergies) to develop. One example is if you find yourself experiencing worse allergy symptoms now than ever before, then there might be another stress factor involved other than pollen. So do yourself a favor…take a few moments each day to relax or de-stress.

Additional Helpful Reads:

1.) Homeopathic Remedies Help Allergies and Hay Fever

2.) Natural Allergy Relief

3.) Acupuncture Clears Seasonal Allergies

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe…A Guide to Choosing Your Vitamins

Due to popular demand, I decided to post a quick guide that can help make the task of choosing a good vitamin less daunting. This guide contains suggestions on the kinds of vitamins you can take daily, the recommended daily allowances, the best vitamin brands to purchase, and where you can find these brands.

Before we get started, please remember these are my personal recommendations, and you should first consult your physician before beginning a new vitamin or supplemental regimen. If you are currently taking any prescription medications, please do your proper due diligience to make sure your vitamins and supplements do not adversely interact with your prescription drugs.

I.) BEST DAILY VITAMINS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR DAILY DIET

A.) MULTIVITAMINS: The easiest way to get a comprehensive amount of all the daily supplements you need to keep your body in internal balance is a multivitamin. Many of us lack the patience and the time to sit down and pop back 20-30 different vitamin supplements individually or juice a large variety of fruits and veggies.

Multivitamins are perfect for delivering great nutrition in just one pop. Look for a one-a-day type of multivitamin that contains usually 100% or more of the daily requirements of Vitamin A, Vitamin B complexes, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, Vitamin  K (K1 & K2), etc. In addition, you want it to contain a good amount of Calcium, Magnesium, Iron (for women only), Folate, Chromium, etc. To make sure you’re getting what’s best for you body, women and men should avoid buying the unisex vitamins and aim for either the women’s formula or men’s formula respectively.

B.) ADDITIONAL VITAMINS: There are optional vitamins you can take in addition to your multivitamin that further aids the body in achieving balance and boosting immunity. The two most popular ones are Vitamin C (1000-2000 mg/day) and Vitamin D3 (1000-4000 IU/day). Research has now proven that these two vitamins are dietary necessities due to their multifunctional properties and incredible abilities in fighting cancers and other adult diseases. Both can be taken in mega doses without any report of adverse side effects. To determine the right amount you should add to your regimen, talk to your physician or nutritionist.

II.) ALL VITAMINS ARE NOT MADE EQUAL

A.)  SYNTHETIC vs. WHOLE FOOD INGREDIENTS: It’s no question that the vitamins we buy in the store are synthetically produced. However, not all vitamins are made of the same ingredients. Now, this may seem a tad puzzling because you would assume that if the label says “Vitamin C” then the ingredient is indeed just Vitamin C. But you have to account for how they MAKE the vitamin itself. What holds the Vitamin C in that particular vitamin? What makes a vitamin look like a vitamin pill or capsule?

Well my friends, the answer to those questions are other ingredients and additives of course. Hence, why you need to develop good label reading skills to determine which additives are good and which are excessive and unnecessary. Read the ingredients list on the vitamin bottle and avoid buying vitamins that contain artificial dyes and colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, and other fillers that you cannot pronounce or don’t know what they are. Usually vitamins that are vegetarian or vegan formulated are less processed with filler ingredients. Double click on the labels below to see a comparison of a synthetic ingredient vitamin versus a whole foods one.

You also want to look for the certification on the bottle that confirms the vitamin has a high absorption rate once it is consumed.

Synthetic Vitamin Label

Whole Food/Raw Vitamin Label

 

III.) BEST BRANDS & WHERE TO BUY

My top three recommended brands are the following:

1.) New Chapter: They specialize in producing an organic whole foods type of vitamins that are mild on the stomach and easily absorbed into the body. Look at their ingredients lists on the vitamins and see the powerhouse of herbs and minerals. Where to Buy: GNC, The Vitamin Shoppe, Whole Foods, etc.

Website: http://www.newchapter.com/vitamins

2.) Garden of Life: They are the makers of RAW One for WomenRAW One for Men multivitamins. The Raw ONE for Women is my personal favorite multivitamin to take. Again, these type of vitamins show to have a higher absorption rate due to the formula and its use of whole foods ingredients in the vitamins. They offer other great vitamin as well. Where to Buy: Whole Foods, TheVitamin Shoppe, etc.

Website: http://www.gardenoflife.com/ProductsforLife/THEVITAMINCODEsupsup/MultivitaminFormulas/tabid/1647/Default.aspx

3.) Nature’s Way: This company manufactures another great whole foods vitamin called Alive! They have formulas for men, women, seniors, etc. They also have additional vitamin complexes you can take in conjunction with the multivitamin that are great for improving heart health, colon health, immunity, and more. Where to Buy: Walmart, Rite Aid, Walgreen’s, Publix, Whole Foods, CVS Pharmacy, Meijer, etc.

Website: http://www.feelalive.com/

**All of the manufacturer’s websites have either  a “Store Locator” or “Where to Buy” link that can further aid you in finding these brands of vitamins.

FINAL NOTE: Vitamins are a great way to get added supplementation, but they do not replace the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Please make sure you continue to get at least 5-6 servings of fruits and veggies each day. Eating vitamin rich foods is ultimately the best way to obtain and absorb the proper amounts of vitamins and nutrients.

The best time to take your vitamins is with a meal. Vitamins containing the B-complex or C should be taken earlier in the day at breakfast or lunch since they have a tendency to rev up your energy level and affect sleep. However, there are certain exceptions such as calcium, which is taken at night for better absorption.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

http://www.naturalnews.com/023628_health_vitamins_multivitamin.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/026670_vitamins_calcium_fiber.html

https://www.drweilvitaminadvisor.com/?aid=333316&aparam=VArosnav