Vitamin B12 Deficiency

B12We try so hard to make good health choices.  It’s hard to believe that some of those choices can lead to unanticipated negative consequences.  A good example is exercising causes muscle pain.  Vitamin B12 deficiency can occur when the body needs more vitamin B12 than it receives from your diet or a condition that occurs when the body is unable to use the B12 vitamin.  B12 is a very important vitamin which comes from bacteria that lives in an animals’ stomach.  Most B12 deficiencies are the result of a dietary imbalance, which is caused by not eating foods supplemented with vitamin B12, or staying away from meat.  Not eating a healthy diet puts you in danger of a B12 deficiency.  This deficiency is a health epidemic with rates as high as 20% among certain age groups.

What does Vitamin B12 do?

B12 performs a number of functions.  It helps support a healthy brain, your DNA and nervous system.  It maintains and manufactures red blood cells.  So a long-term deficiency can cause a host of health issues, like anemia, high levels of homocysteine, which increases the risk for heart disease.  Mild B12 deficiency can also impair brain function.  It can cause permanent nerve damage.  If you’re only moderately deficient in B12, symptoms may be more subtle, allowing the deficiency to steadily chip away at your health.

Causes of B12 Deficiency

Most B12 deficiencies are the result of a bad diet.  Because B12 is derived from animals, this deficiency is common among vegetarians.  These are not the only factors that cause low B12, there are other risks involved, which include:

  • atrophic gastritis;
  • anemia;
  • removal of a portion of the small intestine;
  • alcoholism;
  • Crohn’s or celiac disease;
  • autoimmune conditions;
  • prolonged use of acid-reducing medications; and
  • Fertility problems such as miscarriages or difficulty getting pregnant.

Signs of a B12 deficiency

The only way to know if you have a B12 deficiency is to consult a health professional.

Below are some symptoms to be aware of and monitor:

  • rapid breathing or heart rate;
  • dizziness or weakness;
  • pale skin;
  • chronic gastrointestinal problems;
  • a sore tongue;
  • easily bruising;
  • gums that frequently bleed, and
  • unexplained weight loss.

Please note that other conditions can produce these symptoms as well, as noted above please consult a health professional for a diagnoses of B12 deficiency.  Early treatment helps prevent permanent damage.  It is very important that you lead a healthy life, it’s time to step back and take a look at what you can change in your life.

Most people need 2.6mcg of B12 each day.  Pregnant women require a slightly higher dose per day.  B12 is potent so try and stay clear of substances that greatly exceed the recommendation.  If you consume meat, one may try to get B12 from lean organic meats, such as chicken, lean beef, and fresh fish.  Eating these types of meats is an alternative and help you stay healthy without causing weight gain.  If you’re a vegetarian or want to avoid meat animal products, take a B12 supplement or look for foods fortified with this vitamin.  Many protein shakes and health foods contain B12.  The following chart is the amount we should digest daily.

0-6 months 0.4 micrograms/day
Adequate Intake (AI)
7-12 months 0.5 mcg/day

Adequate Intake (AI)

1-3 years 0.9 mcg/day
4-8 years 1.2 mcg/day
9-13 years 1.8 mcg/day
14 years and up 2.4 mcg/day
Pregnant women 2.6 mcg/day
Breastfeeding women 2.8 mcg/day

Sources

Vitamin B12 is found in animal foods.  Clams and beef liver have extremely high amounts of this vitamin. The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements offers this list of foods that are high in B12.

Food Serving size Vitamin B12content
(micrograms [mcg])
% Daily Value
Clams, cooked 3 ounces 84 1,402
Beef liver, cooked 3 ounces 70.7 1,178
100% fortified cereal 3 ounces 6 100
Rainbow trout, cooked 3 ounces 5.4 90
Light tuna, canned in water 3 ounces 2.5 42
Cheeseburger and bun 1 sandwich 2.1 35
Haddock, cooked 3 ounces 1.8 30
25% fortified cereal 1 serving 1.5 25
Top sirloin beef 3 ounces 1.4 23
Low-fat milk 1 cup 1.2 18
Low-fat fruit yogurt 8 ounces 1.1 18
Swiss cheese 1 ounce 0.9 15
Beef taco 1 taco 0.9 15
Cured ham, roasted 3 ounces 0.6 10
Hard boiled egg 1 large 0.6 10
Chicken breast, roasted 3 ounces 0.3 5

It is also available in whey power, yeast extract spreads, some seaweed, blue green algea and Marine Plankton.  Vitamin B12 is available in pills, liquid or a shot.  These are known as cyanocobalamin, hydrocobalamin, and methylcobalamin.  The first is the most widely available and least expensive.

It is very important that you lead a healthy life, it’s time to step back and take a look at what you can change in your life.  Hi let me introduce myself, I’m Mavis and I’m here to help you incorporate healthy lifestyle habits and to make a difference in your life!  So let’s get started!  For more information visit my website for health tips in “The Lounge” at:  http://NspireHealthyLiving.com.

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design.  For more information or to schedule a holistic health assessment, please contact her today at:  Mavis@nspirehealthyliving.net or visit her website at:  http://NspireHealthyLiving.com.

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Chronic Stress – How It Impacts Long-Term and Chronic Illnesses

stressresponseStress is inevitable in everyday life in society today. It can be caused because of a job, family, finances, emotional or unhealthy relationships. However, when stress is experienced at a higher rate it impacts your immune and digestive systems, so people who suffer from a chronic illness – such as diabetes – it can create even worse problems. Diabetes is one illness which is stressful due to the difficulty of stabilizing blood glucose levels, diet and exercise being a significant part of your daily routine.

So what do we know about stress and where it comes from? Stress is more than just an emotion or unpleasant feeling; it is a biological response to a perceived threat or challenge. Stress has been around since the beginning of time when you think about it. The ‘fight or flight’ response that you may feel is because of stress. So animals have this same response – they will either fight or run when threatened; we act in the same way. The nervous system usually balances the body’s responses to daily events in order to maintain proper levels of alertness and relaxation. A little stress can be a good thing because it motivates you to improve performance (team sports or meeting a deadline); it can even enhance our memory ability. When stress becomes chronic and constant then problems will start to arise.

Back in the day of the middle ages society was different and people reacted differently to stress by either being aggressive or by fleeing but today’s society no longer allows that way of life. So not only has our stressors changed, but so has our way of dealing with them. Most people will just allow the stress to build up; this is chronic stress and can cause more negative physical consequences. It reduces ability to fight infections, increases gastrointestinal problems and heightens pain sensitivity. It raises blood pressure and impedes the breakdown of fat in the bloodstream increasing risk of a heart attack and stroke. Chronic stress also affects the brain.

The stress response is actually part of the biological system created in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal glands. Sensory information including stressful things is from the hypothalamus which will emit a hormone called corticotropin releasing hormone, which activates the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is the master hormonal gland and controls the production of hormones in many different parts of the body. It sends a signal through the blood telling the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline and cotisol. These are the hormones that ready the body for ‘flight or fight’ and will shut down many bodily systems (immune and digestive for instance) so that the body’s energy can be used entirely for the task at hand. This may be great for a short term strategy but in chronic stress will create long term havoc on the body, damaging tissues and increasing incidence of disease and disorders. It will also cause the hippocampus (the area of the brain that shuts down the stress response after it is no longer needed) to become damaged and impair its ability to shut down the stress response.

In the long run chronic stress can start to affect more areas of the brain causing lower ability with mental functions, reasoning, logic, planning, and can breakdown the filters in which certain substances – such as toxins and large molecules – can penetrate the brain. Reducing unnecessary stress will have wide-ranging positive effects, from lowering blood pressure to promoting cardiovascular health. There are many ways to lessen the stress in your life, different things you can do from yoga and exercise to creating a healthier lifestyle.

Want more information in stress reduction visit my website by clicking here. Do you need help with your stress reduction plans? Do you need help with designing a healthy lifestyle? If so contact me today!

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: Mavis@nspirehealthyliving.net or visit her website at: http://NspireHealthyLiving.com.

The Effects of Insomnia

InsomniaDo you have trouble staying awake during the day? Are you feeling tired and just don’t have any energy? Do you struggle falling asleep or staying asleep? You aren’t the only one, many people suffer from insomnia and unfortunately it’s a route many of us have bouts with from time to time. It can also be one of the fastest routes to being miserable.

It is suggested that both wake and sleep pathways play a role in insomnia. Insomnia can occur when they don’t work well together. It might be that your sleep neurotransmitters may be signaling your brain to sleep, but your wake neurotransmitters may not be turning off. When this happens it is hard for your brain to go into sleep mode.

This may be one of the reasons you have insomnia and you can’t sleep like you want to. Here are some safe remedies that might help:

Supplements

Here are some supplements that you can experiment with. But understand they won’t work overnight. Be willing to try them for a month or longer. They have been known to help sleep quality.

  • Melatonin
  • Valerian root
  • Chamomile tea

Practice Better Sleep Habits

Try and go to bed at the same time every night and rise in the morning at the same time. Don’t watch television or read in bed. Keep your room about five degrees cooler than the rest of the house. If sleep doesn’t occur after 30 minutes, get up and try again in an hour or so. Trying a relaxing routine. Don’t eat or drink at least two hours before bed. Try not to smoke and no caffeine.

Exercise

Daily exercise can help your sleep quality. Try and exercise 30 minutes a day in the morning or earlier afternoon. Don’t exercise at night it could cause you to toss and turn all night.

Meditation

Meditation can relax the anxious of minds. Focus on something calming, like the beach, your favorite place. You can simply count how many breaths you take in a minute. Work to quiet your mind.

Try a Safe Sleep Aid

If all else fails you can try a safe sleep aid. Antihistamines such as Benadryl can make you sleepy. Anti-motion sickness drugs cause sleepiness. They aren’t a good idea so only occasional use, not nightly. They are much safer than prescription or over the counter sleep aids and won’t cause havoc with your health.

These are just some ideas that may help with you insomnia. For more information about insomnia and help designing a healthy lifestyle visit my website here and then contact me!

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: Mavis@nspirehealthyliving.net or visit her website at: http://NspireHealthyLiving.com.

 

 

 

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10 Tips for Being a Healthy Role Model for Children

popeyeYou are the most important influence on your child as you do many things to help them including to develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. Offering a variety of foods helps children get the nutrients they need from every food group. They will also be more likely to try new foods and to like more foods. When children develop a taste for many of foods, it’s easier to plan family meals. Cook together, eat together, talk together, and make mealtime a family time!

Here are 10 tips for setting a good example:

1. Show by example – eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains with meals or as snacks. Let your child see that you like to munch on raw vegetables.

2. Go food shopping together – grocery shopping can teach your child about food and nutrition. Discuss where vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and protein foods come from. Let your children make healthy choices.

3. Get creative in the kitchen – cut food into fun and easy shapes with cookie cutters. Name a food your child helps make. Serve “Janie’s Salad” or “Jackie’s Sweet Potatoes” for dinner. Encourage your child to invent new snacks. Make your own trail mixes from dry whole-grain, low-sugar cereal and dried fruit.

4. Offer the same foods for everyone – stop being a short order cook by making different dishes to please children. It’s easier to plan family meals when everyone eats the same foods.

5. Reward with attention, not food – show your love with hugs and kisses. Comfort with hugs and talks. Choose not to offer sweets as rewards. It lets your child think sweets or dessert foods are better than other foods. When meals are not eaten, kids do not need “extras” – such as candy or cookies – as replacement foods.

6. Focus on each other at the table – talk about fun and happy things at mealtime. Turn off the television, take phone calls later, and try to make eating meals a stress free time.

7. Listen to your child – if your child says he or she is hungry, offer a small, healthy snack; even if it is not a scheduled time to eat. Offer choices, ask”which would you like for dinner: broccoli or cauliflower?” instead of “do you want broccoli for dinner?”

8. Limit screen time – allow no more than 2 hours a day of screen time like TV and computer games. Get up and move during commercials to get some physical activity.

9. Encourage physical activity – make physical activity fun for the whole family. Involve your children in the planning. Walk, run, and play with your child instead of sitting on the sidelines. Set an example by being physically active and using safety gear like bike helmets.

10. Be a good food role model – try new foods yourself. Describe its taste, texture, and smell. Offer one new food at a time. Serve something your child likes along with the new food. Offer new foods at the beginning of a meal, when your child is very hungry. Avoid lecturing or forcing your child to eat.

Do you need help with creating a healthy lifestyle design that includes your family? If so contact me today I can help!

Visit my website to learn more about healthy food here. Catch up on my other articles here.

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: Mavis@nspirehealthyliving.net or visit her website at: http://NspireHealthyLiving.com.

More Tips on Avoid Winter Weight Gain

weight-loss-tipsIn an earlier blog, I discussed ways to avoid winter weight gain. I have a few more tips for you. Vitamin D deficiency happens because most people are not able to enjoy the sunshine which in turn affects mood and a motivation to eat healthy and exercise regularly. – as it is also, according to research, associated with obesity. Eating certain foods will also help with levels of vitamin D being maintained, such as non dairy items soy milk, rice milk, fortified margarine, salmon, herring, mackerel, and eggs.

Hot meals are a way to help manage weight, heat up a light meal that you normally enjoy in the summer so that you don’t go for something heavier. Make oatmeal instead of cold cereal, a toasted sandwich with lean meats, and a slow cooked casserole made with vegetables and lean meat (only a palm size serving of meat will do). Make a half of your plate with salad so you don’t overeat on the heavy food. Add lots of green vegetables to salads and other recipes in order to keep up with nutrients. Find foods that are high in antioxidants and add them to meals and to salads, experiment and try new and different things. Instead of lettuce in your salad use spinach and try other things such as brown rice, quinoa and couscous. Also make sure to eat locally grown sourced seasonal foods for more nutrients.

Carbohydrates are necessary to have a healthy eating plan and in cold weather most crave them. Carbs help to boost serotonin levels which do fall in the cold winter months. Instead of choosing white bread and cakes try whole grains and vegetables so that you aren’t eating bad carbs. Try eating sweet potatoes (avoid white potatoes which turns to sugar in the body and raises your glucose levels), porridge, seeded breads (try to select flourless), and, of course, oatmeal (steel cut oatmeal has more nutritional value).

Don’t forget soup. If you have soup already in containers in the freezer, you can just heat them in whenever you crave a snack. It’s better than searching for something good to eat in the cupboards. It can also help you to cut back so you do not overeat during a meal. Researchers have found that eating a bowl of soup before lunch and dinner will reduce calorie intake by 20%.

Exercise is necessary as well. If you do not wish to do utilize these suggestions, I have a variety of recent posts with alternatives. Find a way to do resistance training at home, buy a stationary bike, or think outside the box. Take up rock climbing at an indoor center, cycling classes, or take tennis lessons or indoor badminton. There are actually lots of ways to exercise without doing the same old thing and you might discover some type of new passion in trying new ways to exercise. Many of you may know this, but my favorite indoor and outdoor activity is using the “jump rope.”

Remember you have to find the passion that will drive you to stay fit and trim not only with exercise but also eating healthy. Visit health food stores and find which health foods you would enjoy the most, use them in smoothies while also eating healthy.

Visit my website for more information on nutrition, health, food and fitness by going to the health lounge. Follow my blog so that you can receive up to date posts when they come out. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Remember, I am always looking for comments from you on any of these subjects; please feel free to offer your feedback.

Do you need help with creating your desired healthy lifestyle? Do you want more information about nutrition? Do you need to create a better wellness plan? If so, contact me today, I can help!

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: Mavis@nspirehealthyliving.net or visit her website at: http://NspireHealthyLiving.com.

Not So Secrets to Avoid Winter Weight Gain

avoid-winter-weight-gainThe majority of people will put on a little weight during the colder months sometimes out of boredom or because of impulse. The more organized you are with meals the less likely you will be to put on weight. The best way to be organized is to plan ahead. One way to avoid impulsive meals is to use recipes that are healthy and cook up lots of meals and freeze them.

You should cook from home at least 85-90 % of the time so that you can control what goes into your recipe. This is the one of the most beneficial ways to keep weight management easy, when you hand control over to someone else, such as a restaurant or fast food, then you don’t have the ability to eat healthy or choose what ingredients are used in your food. When cooking at home you also have the ability to cook extra so that you will have something healthy to eat at work as well. Get creative and find recipes that not only are healthy but are also different.

You can also substitute things like soup instead salad. It’s nice to have something warm during those colder months and you can fill yourself up with actual calories in order to keep hunger at bay. You can cook healthy vegetable soup and put them in containers to freeze for use with other meals or for lunches. You can add things like barley and bok choy for an added hearty taste and a quick meal. Again get creative, experiment a little by trying clear broth, lentil or vegetable. Don’t want to eat to warm up try a little herbal tea instead.

Colder weather also makes us form bad habits not just with food but also with exercise. No one wants to go out in the cold, snow or rainy weather but in order to help with weight management it is best to stay with moderate activity on a daily basis with a day off each week. It also helps to change up your workouts daily – don’t work out the same part of the body each day. There are ways to exercise at home without going out into the cold, get a yoga or workout video, get a jump rope and a place you can use it in the house, a bar for pull-ups, a workout station with a bench or a treadmill or other equipment that is similar. If you don’t mind going out in the cold but don’t want to run in, invest in a gym membership only if you’re to use it!

If you are planning on going out to a restaurant with friends or coworkers then plan ahead for the meal. Look into the restaurant’s menu and see what meals they offer and if they offer a healthy choices. If you are a meat eater, you may select grilled fish, or lean steak or broiled/boiled chicken and don’t get any potatoes, try to substitute potatoes with vegetables or brown rice. Drink water instead of diet pop or beer, it will help to fill you up. The biggest deal is to remember portion control as sometimes restaurants increase you portion sizes.

Are you in need of creating a healthier lifestyle? Do you need to find out more information about nutrition and healthy choices? Do you want more information about fitness? If so, contact me today, I can help!

Click here to visit my website and learn more information in the health lounge. Follow my blog and get caught up whenever a new one comes out. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: Mavis@nspirehealthyliving.net or visit her website at: http://NspireHealthyLiving.com.

23 Ways To Be More Fit While Sitting At Work Part 4

postureYou know that exercise is important but you work long hours sitting at a desk and just don’t have the time or energy to workout afterwards. You know that this is really an excuse and not a good one. Exercise itself means to be “in active operations” or “physical activity” and our bodies were not made to sit for prolonged periods of time. It just isn’t good for you. It creates back pain, headaches, listlessness, and can weaken your body’s muscles when they are being active.

I have been posting 23 ways of exercising while at work the first one was about cardio and was posted on Friday, the second on strength building posted on Monday, the third on stretching posted on Tuesday and I hope that if any of you know of ones that I may have missed you will leave me a comment so that I can add them. Give me your thoughts, suggestions and yes, workouts, if you have them while sitting at a desk 8-12 hours a day.

Today is a way to bring it all in and finish out this series.

Here are the last of them:

1. Do some invisible exercises – women can do kegels by tightening, holding and loosening their pelvic floor muscles. This helps to keep those muscles tight and prevents leakage.

2. Butt clenches – this can be done by tightening your buttocks, holding and relax. Do this 15 times.

3. Ab clenches – tighten tummy muscles and holding then relax. Do this 15 times.

Using every muscle in your body actively helps to keep it healthy. Here are some other helpful tips:

1. Walk during your lunch breaks – if you’re bored take a camera and get some great shots of the scenery. If you buy a pedometer it will count how many steps that you walk each day, the goal is trying to get to 10,000 steps a day.

2. Join a gym – if there is a gym near your office go there during your lunch breaks, if you are lucky enough to have a fitness room at your place of work, use it!

3. Don’t email – if you are emailing someone who sits in the next office or even down the hall – don’t. Get up and walk the distance.

4. Vending machines – walking to a vending machine doesn’t count as your activity; remember to climb a few stairs or walk during your break to get rid of those calories from the vending machine.

Create reminders on your phone, computer, calendars, a sticky note or an email. Don’t feel embarrassed about trying to find time for fitness while at work, if anything have others around you do these workouts with you. Find a walker buddy or a breaktime buddy that will do the same exercises as you or go to the gym with you.

If you missed the beginning parts of the series on cardio, strength building, and stretching please click the links. Again please leave a comment if there are any exercises that you may do or can be done at work for cardio and strength building in a minute or two.

Are you looking for a way to have a better plan for your lifestyle design? I can help, so contact me today.

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: Mavis@nspirehealthyliving.net or visit her website at: http://NspireHealthyLiving.com.