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10 Tips for Managing Multivitamin Use

Fit Life

December 21, 2016

tips for using multivitamins

With a well-crafted diet you can—and should—be getting almost all of the vitamins and minerals you need from foods. But if you prefer to have a little extra insurance, a multivitamin is probably your safest bet.

About one-third of all Americans take multivitamin/mineral (MVM) supplements. But not all MVMs are created equal. Here are 10 tips for managing your multivitamin/mineral supplement use:

1. Go generic. Consumer Reports found that store brands test as well as brand name or national brands. Their biggest winner? Costco’s Kirkland Signature, whose regular MVMs cost less than 5 cents per day.

2. Avoid megadoses. If you think 1000 percent of a vitamin is 10 times better than 100 percent, you are wrong when it comes to MVMs. Look for no more than 100 percent of the FDA’s Daily Value (DV) for vitamins and minerals. One exception is vitamin D, where the DV is 400IU and should probably be higher for most populations.

3. You may not need one. A number of large-scale studies have shown that taking multivitamins does not mean you are any less likely to be diagnosed with heart disease or cancer than those who don’t take vitamins. There’s virtually no data to support this almost $5 billion industry. While MVMs in moderation are unlikely to do harm in most cases, they may be a waste of your money.

4. Lifecycle categories may matter. Multivitamins for older adults may contain greater amounts of certain vitamins that are more important with age, such as vitamins B12, D and calcium. Female-specific vitamins typically contain more iron, calcium and vitamin D, which some women may need.

5. High potency, prescription strength and pharmacy grade mean nothing – avoid flashy marketing terms. These are not backed up by any regulations and may result in you spending more money on a product that isn’t any better than a generic.

6. If you’re pregnant you definitely need one. Women who are or might become pregnant should get 400 mcg/day of folic acid from fortified foods or a prenatal supplement to reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida.

7. Keep your eye out for too much iron. Adult men and postmenopausal women are advised to avoid MVMs that have 18 mg or more of iron. Unless diagnosed with iron deficiency, too much iron can collect in body tissues and organs and cause damage.

8. Store supplements out of reach of your kids. Iron supplements are the leading cause of poisoning in children. Keep adult and children’s chewable vitamins and minerals away from kids, who may mistake them for candy.

9. A word of caution for Coumadin users. If you take warfarin (Coumadin) to reduce blood clotting, be careful about consuming added vitamin K, the fat-soluble vitamin responsible for clotting blood. Talk to your doctor about all supplement use, but especially as it affects prescription drug use.

10. Don’t forget about fortified foods. In the United States, enriched grain products are fortified with iron, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and folic acid. Your juice may have additional calcium, and your eggs can have added omega-3s. Don’t forget that fortified foods also add vitamins and minerals and an MVM on top of that may be unnecessary.

Katie Ferraro

Katie Ferraro, MPH, RD, CDE is a consultant, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator based in San Diego, CA. She specializes in nutrition communications and is the author of Diet Therapy in Advanced Practice Nursing (McGraw Hill 2014). As an advocate for foods you can eat MORE of, Katie serves as a media spokesperson and writes the popular blog www.fiberisthefuture.com.

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Holiday Special 2016!

Get a jump start on 2017 and get in on our holiday special!

 

Our holiday special gets your year started right! The Advocare 24 day challenge includes two personal training sessions a week for three weeks! To sign up for the program or get more information, contact Mark Mayes at mayesm@fitness-resources.com

 

 

Avoid the Winter Workout Block

By Jude Burnside // December 2016

It’s easy to find the warmth of your home much more appealing than a trip to the gym. It doesn’t help that the holidays bring joy, laughter, and food. So, so much food. One thing leads to the next, and you’ve found yourself at a workout block.

We’re here to help you out of it. Here are our best tips and tricks for avoiding that wintry slump. Oh, and if you need a place to workout, we’ve got you. (24/7 too!)

8 Ways to Avoid the Winter Workout Block

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  1. Embrace the cold. It’s chilly. Not just chilly, but -10 degrees and that’s not including wind chill. But you know what will warm you up? A quick workout!
  2. Treat yo self, to new workout gear. Post-holiday gift cards have to be spent at some time. So, why not spend that new Target gift card on a new workout outfit? It’s sure to motivate you the second you slip into it.
  3. Take it slow. What’s the rush? Sadly, the snow isn’t going anywhere for at least two more months. So take it slow and steady. Try to workout 3 times a week at the minimum, and amp it up as beach season comes closer into view.
  4. Set a big goal. I know, we said to go slow. So set a goal that you can reach in 6-8 months. Keeping your eyes on the prize will get your butt into the gym, and if you can get past the snow and slush then you’ll be sure to reach it!
  5. Workout with a friend! This one goes without explanation, but did you know that Fitness Resources offers a discount for personal training lessons when you workout with a pal?
  6. Refresh your workout playlist. Whatever gets you in the mood, explore a little more of it. Use that iTunes gift card or Spotify subscription for some new pump-up tunes. Don’t have either? See #2.
  7. Spice up your diet. Or spice it down. Just change it up a little. Find some new healthy snacks and meals to make and get excited to add them to your personal menu. If you need some, we always have your back.

Free Weights Workout for Beginners

Free Weights Workout for Beginners

Remember to stretch and drink plenty of water!

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Day one:

  1. Bench press. 8-10 reps, 3 sets.
  2. Deadlift. 10-12 reps, 2 sets.
  3. Lunges. 10 reps each leg, 2 sets.

Day two:

  1. Military press. 8-10 reps, 2 sets.
  2. Decline sit up. 15 reps, 2 sets.
  3. Back squat. 10 reps, 3 sets.

Day three: Rest.

Day four:

  1. Bench press, 10 reps. 3 sets.
  2. Power clean, 8 reps, 2 sets.
  3. Planks, 1 minute reps. 2-3 sets.

Day five:

  1. Barbell row, 10-12 reps. 3 sets.
  2. Deadlift, 10-12 reps. 2 sets.
  3. Lunges, 10 reps each leg. 3 sets.

Day six: Rest.

Day seven:

  1. Military press, 8-10 reps, 3 sets.
  2. Decline sit up, 15 reps. 3 sets.
  3. Back squat, 10-12 reps. 3 sets.

Staying Healthy in Cold Weather

Staying Healthy in Cold Weather // Jude Burnside, November 2016

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Cold weather, cold season. While your coworkers and friends are coughing and sniffling, you can be sporting a healthy glow. Here are some things to do, and some things to definitely not do, if you want to stay healthy this winter.

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Dress for the weather. Even if you’re running out to your car in the middle of the day, make sure you don’t go outside without protective gear. Invest in a heavy jacket, thick gloves, a few knitted hats, and some warm workout gear. You can even treat yourself to warm, wool cabin socks. Your body will thank you later.

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Drink healthy. Make sure to drink plenty of water. This is a tried-and-true immune system booster. Throw a lemon in it every now and then too. They are full of antioxidants–great for detoxing and keeping your flu-fighters in top shape! Also, try swapping your morning coffee for green tea once in a blue moon. The antioxidants in green tea are plentiful, and the caffeine will last you longer than coffee. (Don’t like the taste? Add lemon, honey, or milk!)

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Get plenty of rest. Once again, a tried-and-true method to staying healthy in the winter. If you struggle to fall asleep, try lavender essential oils. You can put them in a diffuser or on the insides of your wrists. You could also treat yourself to a holiday blanket. Come on, you deserve a fuzzy addition to your bed.

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Take a (detox) bath. Need another way to warm up? Take a detox bath–great for your skin and immune system. This is a perfect way to hit the “reset” button on your health and body. Just add epsom salts, baking soda, and a few drops of essential oils (you can even use the lavender that helps you sleep!).

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Be mindful of your mental health. Wintertime is the season in which your immune system really needs you to step it up, but make sure you aren’t losing your mind in doing so. Take a couple of extra minutes at the end of each day to relax. You can journal, listen to music, dance, or sip some tea and stare at your snowy lawn. Whatever it takes to keep you sane, make sure you are doing it.

Skin Care in Cold Weather

Skin Care for the Cold Weather // Jude Burnside, November 2016

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Protect your skin in this cold weather. Don’t fall victim to cracked hands or chapped lips. This article has DIY masks and creams that you can make from items in your cabinet right now.

Moisturizing Face Mask

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Oats + Water + Honey. Mix together until it is not sticky, but is thick. Apply on face with clean hands. Wash off after 10-15 minutes, or when dry and tight. Repeat weekly.

Body Scrub.

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Raw sugar + Olive oil + Peppermint essential oil. Mix together until gritty, not runny. Apply in shower. Rub onto skin in circular motions for 3-5 minutes. Wash off. Repeat daily.

Exfoliating Lip Scrub.

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Brown sugar + olive oil + honey. Mix together until it reaches a gritty, solid consistency. Store in small container, apply to lips several times daily.

 

Follow these tips and see your skin glow as the thermometer drops. Need an inexpensive Christmas gift? Package up some of these DIY items and give someone else the gift of healthy skin!

6 Foods to Keep You Hydrated!

Stay Hydrated.

It’s more than drinking water, it’s also eating the right foods. Here are six healthy choices that come packed with H2O, to keep you hydrated even after your hardest workouts.

Cucumbers
Made of 96% water, cucumbers are also filled with fiber and do an excellent job of flushing out toxins in the body.
Strawberries
Made of 92% water, strawberries also have an abundance of antioxidants and vitamin C to keep your immune system super strong!
Watermelons
Also made of 92% water, watermelons are filled with vitamins A, B6, and C — all vitamins that are shown to decrease cancer formation in the body!
Pineapples
Pineapples are 87% water and carry a wealth of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals,including potassium, beta carotene, copper, calcium, vitamin C and fol-ate.
Tomatoes
In addition to being 94% water, tomatoes have an abundance of biotin, molybdenum and vitamin K.
Zucchini
Filled with a whopping 95% water, zucchini has a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids to keep your metabolism high and zinc to fight off illness.

Healthy One-Pot Veggie Chili. Perfect for Fall Days & Meal Prep!

By Jude Burnside // October 2016

Healthy One-Pot Veggie Chili

Prefect for meal prep and chilly fall days! Freezes and thaws well too!

What you will need:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 6 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup dry red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-ounce can no salt added kidney beans, drained
  • 1 15-ounce can no salt added black beans, drained
  • 1 cup corn, frozen

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil, red onion, red pepper, sea salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine.
  2. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently, to allow the onions to sweat.
  3. Add jalapeño, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, diced tomatoes, and vegetable broth to the pan and stir to combine.
  4. Bring to a low boil over medium high heat, then add the lentils and reduce heat to medium-low to simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the lentils are mostly tender, adding more vegetable broth as needed to keep the lentils fully submerged.
  5. Add the drained kidney beans, black beans, and corn, and stir to combine. Return to a simmer over medium heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt or pepper as needed.

Dinner, dessert, and drink: Healthy fall recipes to indulge in!

By Jude Burnside // October 2016

 

One-Pan Autumn Dinnerone-pan-autumn-chicken-dinner8-srgb

Ingredients

4 – 5 (6 – 7 oz) bone-in, skin on chicken thighs

4 Tbsp olive oil, divided

1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp each minced fresh thyme, sage and rosemary, plus more for serving

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large sweet potato (peeled if desired), chopped into 3/4-inch cubes

1 lb Brussels sprouts, sliced into halves

2 fuji apples, cored and sliced into half moons about 3/4-inch thick

2 shallot bulbs, peeled and sliced about 1/4-inch thick

4 slices hickory smoked bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pour 2 Tbsp olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and herbs into a gallon size resealable bag, add chicken, season with salt and pepper then seal bag and massage mixture over chicken while working to evenly distribute herbs. Set aside and let rest while chopping veggies.
  2. Place sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, apples and shallot on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil then toss to evenly coat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread into an even layer then set chicken over veggie/fruit mixture. Sprinkle bacon (separate any pieces that stick together) evenly over veggie/fruit mixture. Roast in preheated oven until chicken and veggies are golden brown, about 30 minutes (chicken should register 165 in center).
  3. Broil during last few minutes for a more golden skin on chicken if desired. Sprinkle with more herbs and serve immediately.

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Kale, Onion, Bean, and Tuscan Bread Soup

Ingredients

1 cup dried flageolet or other white bean (or 3 cups cooked beans)

1/4 cup olive oil

6 cloves garlic, crushed

2 cups thinly sliced shallots

2 large bunches tuscan kale

1 loaf crusty bread

1/2+ cup shaved parmesan

fresh cracked pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. soak dried beans overnight. drain from soaking water. add soaked beans to a crock pot or large soup pot and submerge under 2 inches of water. cook as directed on package or bulk bin or until a few beans just start to break apart. drain beans from cooking liquid.
  2. crush garlic and set aside for 10 minutes. in a large soup pop, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. saute sliced shallots (saving the shallot skins for your next batch of broth!) until translucent. add crushed garlic and saute for just 2 minutes longer. add the cooked beans and 3 quarts to a gallon of onion-skin broth and bring to a simmer until beans are perfectly tender. season to taste. finally, wash and de-stem the kale. slice into thin ribbons and set aside. To serve, brush slices of crusty bread with olive oil. top with a pile of shaved parmesan and broil until edges are brown and cheese is melted.
  3. serve parmesan toasts on side, or dunk into the soup… or for a classic take on tuscan bread soup, tear toasts apart and add the chunks to bowls of soup!

 

Glazed Apple Oatmeal Bread391b293914eea46a0e2d3b9af712eec7

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup old fashioned oats

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs beaten

1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1 cup applesauce (homemade or chunky style is best)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar (add more if needed to thicken)

1/4 cup applesauce

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease loaf pan. I used a 9.25 by 5.25 by 2.75 inch metal nonstick loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix by hand flour, oats, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, mix sugar, oil, eggs, yogurt, applesauce, and vanilla, then stir into dry ingredients by hand until just combined.
  4. Scoop the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45-48 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and whisk together the powdered sugar and applesauce for the glaze.
  6. When the bread has cooled for just a bit, pour the glaze over the top. It will settle into the cracks and keep the bread moist. The glaze will set, but will remain slightly sticky.

Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Muffinsf529dbd856dc84264e2c455bd5e92a2d

Ingredients

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (109 grams) whole wheat flour, whole spelt flour or all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cloves

1/4 cup (56 grams) coconut oil, melted or canola or olive oil

1/2 cup (120ml) maple syrup

3/4 cup (182 grams) pumpkin puree, room temperature

 

For the cinnamon sugar topping:

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar (make sure to use vegan certified sugar for a vegan version)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2-3 tablespoons (28-42 grams) unsalted butter (vegan butter or coconut oil for a dairy-free or vegan version), melted

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line muffin pan with 6 muffin liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour through cloves). Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oil, maple syrup and pumpkin.
  4. Add the dry mixture to the wet one and stir just until combined.
  5. Divide among the liners and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Invert the muffins onto a wire rack to partially cool, about 5 minutes, while you prepare the cinnamon sugar topping.
  7. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  8. Dip the tops and sides of the mini muffins in the butter and then roll in the cinnamon sugar.
  9. Serve immediately. Can also be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (in which case I’d warm them up before serving).

 

6dbc2e44766a47a41d112bfba6a3e3e9Healthy Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

Ingredients

1 Can of Coconut Milk

4 Tablespoons Pumpkin Puree

3 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup

2 Teaspoons Cinnamon

½ Teaspoon Nutmeg

¼ Teaspoon Cloves

Dash of Ground Ginger

½ Teaspoon Vanilla

 

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender until well-mixed.
  2. Add to coffee until desired flavor is reached (I add about 1 shot to my mug of coffee).
  3. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 

Slow Cooker Healthy Cranberry Apple Cider

Ingredientsslow-cooker-cranberry-apple-cider-www-thereciperebel-com-1-of-8

1 liter apple juice, pure unsweetened

2 cups orange juice, pure unsweetened

1 liter cranberry juice, unsweetened

½ cup sugar, stevia, honey or other sweetener (to taste)

3 cinnamon sticks, whole

⅛ teaspoon ground cloves

 

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to a 4 quart or larger slow cooker. Stir.
  2. Cook at least 3-4 hours on low or until hot. Keep warm as long as needed on the low or warm setting.
  3. *Leftovers refrigerate wonderfully and reheat just fine!

 

7 Habits to Cut for a Healthy Metabolism

By Tiffani Bachus / September 2016

Metabolism is a complex process that’s affected by more than just what you eat and how much you exercise. There are a number of factors that might be sabotaging your metabolism, and you might not even know it.

1. INCONSISTENT MEAL TIMES

Inconsistent meal times

When your meals times come at regularly spaced intervals, your body uses up the calories for fuel and burns more calories in between meals. If your eating pattern is erratic, your body gets confused and isn’t quite sure when the next meal is coming, so it goes into conservation mode. Calorie burn is reduced and more food is put into storage (fat cells and glycogen stores).

2. GETTING TOO LITTLE SLEEP

Numerous studies have shown that sleep is a key factor in gaining and losing weight. When you do not get enough sleep, hormones that control hunger and fullness go haywire. Too much ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and too little leptin (the fullness hormone) get produced, which leaves you feeling hungry all day and you lose the ability to know when you are full. Plus, more cortisol gets produced, which increases cravings for starchy, sugary and fatty foods. Recent studies on chronic sleep deprivation suggest that the calories you eat are burned less efficiently. Aim for 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep each night.

3. NOT EATING ENOUGH

Not Eating Enough

If you are “dieting” to lose weight, eating too few calories can actually backfire and keep you from achieving your goal. Yes, creating a calorie deficit will help you lose weight, but there is a point in each individual that cutting calories too low will put the body into starvation mode and slow down metabolism to keep you alive. Make sure you get enough calories and a balance of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) to keep your metabolism from crashing.

4. SKIPPING OUT ON STRENGTH TRAINING

Most people make the mistake of only doing cardio (aerobic) exercise because it burns a good amount of calories while it’s being done. But after the exercise is over, calorie burn returns to resting levels. Strength training is a key component of metabolism because it is directly linked to muscle mass. The more active muscle tissue you have, the higher your metabolic rate. Whether you lift weights, use resistance bands or use your own body weight for resistance, resistance creates microtears in the muscle tissue. As your body repairs these tears, muscle tissue grows and requires more calories to stay alive. One of the best ways to strength train to get the best response from your muscle is to focus on the eccentric (or lowering) portion of any move. Eccentric moves are more muscularly damaging and require more effort to repair than concentric movements (the lifting portion of a move), and thus increase metabolism more. So, slow down when you strength train to increase your metabolism.

5. SITTING TOO MUCH

Sitting Too Much

If you exercise an hour a day, but spend the other 23 hours sitting or lying down, your metabolism will slow down. Sitting for longer than 20 minutes can put your body into a more relaxed, non-energy-burning state. If your job keeps you chained to a desk or behind the wheel, get up once an hour to move around for a few minutes. Periodically moving is shown to help decrease triglycerides, blood sugar, waistlines and cholesterol as well as cause a small spike in metabolism.

6. WHAT YOU DRINK

Consider this tip a two-for-one: Drinking too little water leads to dehydration, which can cause you to burn up to 2% fewer calories. All your body’s cellular functions require water, so sip it often. Drinking ice cold water can increase your metabolism by a few calories as your body heats the water to body temperature. Aim for at least 2 liters of water a day; drink more during hot and humid weather and when you sweat. At the other extreme, too much alcohol can impact your metabolism because excessive alcohol causes your liver to focus on breaking down alcohol molecules instead of burning fat. Plus, the calories from alcohol can add up quickly and impact weight.

7. YOU’RE NOT GETTING ENOUGH CALCIUM

The mineral best known for building strong bones plays a key role in fat metabolism, which determines whether you burn calories or store them as fat. Some of the best dietary sources of calcium come from dairy—organic milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and cheese—which also benefit muscles because they contain whey and casein, proteins that help to build muscle and prevent muscle breakdown. Research from McMaster University showed that women who consumed more dairy lost more fat and gained more muscle mass than those who consumed less.

8. STRESS

Stress

We’ve saved the best for last. Stress is probably the number-one factor impacting metabolism. It increases the production of cortisol, a hormone that increases appetite and makes us reach for comfort foods. It can decrease our desire for exercise, even though exercise is a powerful stress-buster. Stress slows digestion, causing a lower need to metabolize calories. Plus, stress can impact both the quality of sleep and number hours we sleep, which, as described earlier, can decrease metabolism and promote weight gain