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…

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Vitamin B12 shots anyone? 😉

Lessons from a Naturopath: When homemade herbal medicine backfires!!

It comes as no surprise that with “burn-out” there can be sleep issues. For me, I can be utterly exhausted by the end of the day but when I try to close my eyes and sleep my brain is still full throttle. So being the little astute naturopath that I am, I decide I will make my own sleep/relaxation tincture (click here to find out what a tincture is). Here are the results:

After 15min of taking my tincture last night…

What went WRONG was the effects didn’t wear off! I spent today feeling like this…

Stoned. Thumb it up... look at my profile for more funny gifs and videos

Lesson I learned: Do not take a double dose of herbal extracts made from very powerful botanical sedatives & relaxants. Especially if I haven’t tested the potency of the medicine yet and have school/work the next day. It will create the effects of feeling “high” and dropping my I.Q.  by 30 points for at least 16-18hrs. Oops!!!

P.S. I’ll have the medicine making more mastered before you guys become my actual patients 🙂

 

Magnesium & High Blood Pressure

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Courtesy Google Images

I often read the Natural Medicine Journal to see what are the latest evidence-based research studies that prove the validity of naturopathic medicine treatments. The most recent study I read about was on the effects of magnesium on lowering high blood pressure. The study yielded significant results. In science jargon, it means that the effects were not a fluke and indicates promise in the use of magnesium for future treatments in hypertensive patients.

Below is the link for the research article. Perhaps at your next doctor’s visit, you can show him or her a copy of the study if you’re one of the thousands of people who suffer from hypertension. If you don’t have the condition, then pass along the article to someone who can also benefit from this knowledge. Remember, knowledge is power!

Magnesium and High Blood Pressure (Natural Medicine Journal)

Is Old Man Winter Beating Up Your Hair?

Picture copied from mag4style.com; found via Google Images

Salutations!!

If your hair is having a bit of the winter blues (i.e. dry ends, brittle, less shine, etc), then read this article on using vitamins and herbs to grow strong, healthy hair.

I view these tips as hair food recommendations. The way I see it, if you want more healthy hair growth then eat the proper foods and supplements that can feed its growth. Give your follicles a little BOOST!

Enjoy the read and Namaste!

Love,
Vitamin Ray

THE RETURN OF VITAMIN RAY

HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!!!

It time to resume your doses of Vitamin Ray!

I’m glad to finally make my return to blogging after an eight month hiatus. It’s great to be back!!  I look forward to sharing my new adventures, teachings, and discoveries with all of you. However, there will be a few new changes for the new year.

My new entries will not include my medical opinion, suggestions, or advice because it can be misconstrued as “practicing medicine” since I am now a current medical doctorate candidate. Even my well-advised disclaimers are not enough legal protection, and violation could prevent me from  obtaining my future medical license. The good news is that my previous entries written prior to my enrollment are technically safe to remain active thanks to the first amendment.

Now that the legal stuff is out of the way, let’s answer the more pertinent question…what have I been doing on my hiatus? Well, glad you asked…here’s a brief recap:

May-July 2011: Preparing for the BIG move out west. Working, packing, and making more phone calls then you can imagine (Seriously, my phone bills during those months were INSANE!).

July 16, 2011:  Finally arrived in Portland, OR  (cue “gates of heaven opening” music)

July 16-September 11th: Exploring my new city, making new friends, enjoying final weeks of freedom before the grind.

September 12th: First official day of new life begins (a.k.a. first day of med school, yay!!)

September 12th- December 9th:  First Fall Term (my academic BOOT CAMP. Status: successful completion! )

December 9th- Now:  RECOVERY MODE!!!

What to expect from my revamped blog:

I will still post links to my favorite news stories and couple them with my own naturopathic philosophy and teachings. In lieu of advice,  I will post mini-reviews on different books and documentaries, so you will know which resources to search if you have a certain health or medical question.

Also, stay tuned to hearing about my personal adventures with school, health, and business related experiences. As I expand my yoga practice, I will try to post different poses and tips that you can use in your own practice. And of course, an occasional delicious recipe post is a must!

As you can imagine, school is a huge balancing act in itself. Nonetheless, my goal is to post at least once a month. Please continue to pass my blog along to different friends and family who have not read it yet. I guarantee that if you stick it out with me over the next few years, you will not be disappointed!

And as always, feedback is welcomed so leave your comments, questions, blurbs, etc. I am signing off for now…but not for long this time!

Peace, Blessings, and Love!


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

TO JUICE OR NOT TO JUICE…

Juicing for your health: Fact or Fad?

Who hasn’t seen the countless infomercials for Jack LaLanne’s Power Juicer or the Juiceman Juicer over the years? We have all heard the hype about how great and nutritious it is to drink freshly juiced fruits and vegetables. There have been numerous testimonies on the healing powers of  juice.

So what’s the verdict? FACT!!

That’s right people, this isn’t just a fad. There is empirical and medical evidence that validates how beneficial it is to drink freshly juiced produce. The Nutrition Journal is one resource that has multiple scientific studies on the importance of drinking 100% fruit and vegetable juice (see links below). Furthermore, the USDA, CDC, and American Cancer Society all recommend we get 5 or more servings of fruits and veggies a day. What better way to meet that requirement than to juice and drink some of your daily servings. 🙂

What’s in fresh juice that makes it so great? Live enzymes and easily absorbed vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, complex carbs, and protein (yes, PROTEIN). For optimal absorption, consume fresh juice soon after juicing and on an empty stomach or 2-3 hrs after eating a meal.

Why consume on an empty stomach? Food present in the stomach can block the juice from having proper absorption by the digestive tract. Thus, limiting the amount of vital nutrients we can receive from the juice. In layman’s terms, you get more bang for your buck if you drink when your stomach is clear because there is no food present to run an interference against scoring your nutrient touch down.

Bottom-line, juicing is the easiest and tastiest way to supplement. People who juice regularly can slow down signs of aging, maintain higher energy levels, limit the effects of various diseases, prevent and reverse cancer, lose weight, and enjoy a plethora of other benefits. If we tried to eat the amount of fruits and veggies needed to produce the same beneficial effects, we’d spend all of our days chewing instead of doing more important tasks like living a life.

So do yourself a favor…get a juicer and start juicing today!

Vitamin Ray’s Favorite Go-To Morning Juice for Longevity:

2 small organic green apples (no stems and cored)

3 medium- large organic carrot sticks (remove leafy tops)

Juice up and enjoy!

 

Side Note: There are several types of juicers on the market. Check out the buying guide websites to see which is right for you. I have a Jack LaLanne’s Power Juicer Express. I bought it because it has a reasonable price, a lower RPM of 3600**, a large spout so you don’t have to chop your veggies and fruit before juicing, and it is dishwasher friendly.

**Lower RPM means your juicer will create less heat while it’s juicing. You want less heat so you can minimize destroying the live enzymes in the fruit. Plus, a lower RPM makes for a quieter juicer.

Buying Guides for Juicers:

Nutrition Journal Juicing Study:

News Article On Juicing:

Yummy Juicing Recipes:

Veni, Vidi, Vici: How to Conquer Winter Viruses Before They Conquer You

By this time in winter, many of you  may have already experienced your first cold (or two). For those who still haven’t, congrats on your sustaining victory! Either you have one hell of an immune system or you’ve learned how to play the “Dodge Sick People and Germy Places” game very well. But eventually, we all catch one of those pesky cold and/or flu viruses at some point in our lives. But you’re in luck! I have compiled a short how-to-guide of tips that will aid you tremendously in staying healthy all 365 days.

BEFORE YOU READ WARNING: Remember to always consult your physician before you begin a new regimen of vitamin or herbal supplements. I don’t want anyone to take anything that contraindicates (i.e. adverse effects) your current prescription drugs or treatments. Always safety first kiddos 🙂

VITAMIN RAY’S TOP CURES FOR THE VIRAL WINTER BLUES:

1.) Make Vitamin C & D3 Your Best Friends

Whether you take a daily multivitamin or not, I bet most of you are still not getting enough of these two key immunity-  building vitamins. Scientific research has proven Vitamin C to be a powerful anti-viral and immunity booster. And Vitamin D3 is not only great for your bones and calcium absorption,  but it’s also an important enhancer of immunity. And no, a glass of milk or OJ will not simply do the trick.

  • Suggested  Dose: Vitamin C (500-1,000mg); Vitamin D3 (1,000-2,000IU)
  • Vitamin Ray’s Dose: Vitamin C (1,000-2,000IU); Vitamin D3 (1,500IU)

2.) You Must Get Plenty Of Rest To Be At Your Best!

I know sleep can get in the way of work, school, and having an active social life. However, lack of sleep will eventually weaken your immune system and leave you miserable. You’re not invincible, and even the super hero needs some type of normal sleep schedule to be efficient. Aim for 7-8hrs/night (or day for you night owls).

3.) Wash, Wash, Wash Your Hands

Before you eat or touch your face and mouth, remember to wash your hands first. So many germs and viruses can get into your system just by touching your eyes, mouth, nose, etc. I’m not saying to become OCD about it. But do be mindful and conscientious. Remember, some cold viruses can live on certain surfaces for  up to 6hrs or more. Yuck!

4.) Sanitize Your PHONES

Cell phones…the one thing most of us digital folks can’t live without. Sad to say,  they are also germ magnets. When was the last time you took the time to wipe down your cell phone with a alcohol-based wipe? Can’t remember? Gross! You have to wipe these devices regularly. There are studies that revealed cell phones to contain more bacteria than a toilet handle! Some cells even tested positive for MRSA…yikes. 

http://www.naturalnews.com/026264_MRSA_infection_hospital.html

5.) GET PHYSICAL!

Whatever your method of fitness (walking, running, climbing, Zumba, yoga, etc)…just do it! Health experts have the statistics to support the immunity benefits of keeping an active lifestyle. People who exercise on average 4-5 days a week for at least 20-30 minutes/day tend to stave off cold and flu viruses better, and if they do get sick then the duration time tends to be much shorter. And let’s say you think it’s too cold to exercise and just rather cuddle with your sweetie. Well hey, I’m sure there are other forms of indoor exercise you two can come up with to still produce some great benefits 😉

http://www.naturalnews.com/031089_flu_infections_physical_fitness.html

Thanks for tuning in! Hope this helps you stay healthy and happy this winter 🙂

Namaste