Importance of Vitamin D and Your Pregnancy

Here we are in the dead of winter, and I want to talk about the importance of Vitamin D during your pregnancy.

untitled presentation (3)Vitamin D is an essential chemical that in adults facilitates the absorption of bone and muscle strengthening ingredients like phosphorous and calcium. It’s also necessary for helping your baby grow healthy teeth and bones, as well. Vitamin D is also associated with lowering inflammation and risk of infection by bolstering the immune system for mom. It supports thyroid health, as well as nerve health that supports our brain’s ability to communicate with our body. Vitamin D has even been linked with cancer prevention, lowering blood pressure and risk of preeclampsia, preterm birth, and even reducing insulin resistance/risk of gestational diabetes.

It’s an amazing micronutrient!

Vitamin D is made in our skin through sun exposure or through certain foods such as mushrooms  (grown under UV light), fish and fish oils (tuna, mackerel and salmon), animal livers/liver oils, and eggs, or fortified products like cereals, orange juice, soy and dairy products. Those unable to get enough Vitamin D from either of these methods may take supplements (specifically Vitamin D3 / cholecalciferol).

Sure it’s harder to avoid making Vitamin D living here in Arizona in the winter with 299 days of sunshine each year. Studies have shown, though, that about 10 percent of the American population (especially in higher latitudes) is deficient in this important vitamin (which is recommended at 800-1,000 IU/day) due to the long winter months spent indoors.

And for pregnant women, that need is higher than the average population with a daily recommendation of 4,000 IU. Some studies have even shown intake of 10,000 IUs to be beneficial. 

While it’s impossible to “overdose” on Vitamin D from sunlight, care is needed when supplementing. Consult your primary care provider or dietitian before supplementing, though, of course. And take supplements as prescribed or recommended on the packaging.

 

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Need help meeting your nutritional needs?

Whether you are thinking about getting pregnant, are having difficulty

getting pregnant, or are currently pregnant and need

a little extra counseling about what makes a healthy meal,

get in touch with me! If you have questions or just have trouble planning meals,

click on the envelope below, and let’s chat.

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The Paradox of Positive Thinking

positive thinking

It’s everywhere, isn’t it? The power of positive thinking.

It will solve all of our problems, it seems to say. We are told to, “Look on the bright side,” “Think positively,” “Cultivate gratitude,”…

While these can be helpful to help us correct gross imbalances of negativity, it isn’t actually the whole answer to a life well-lived.  Continue reading

Girl Power for Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day and I am hoping to empower some of my female readers today – with song.

Women in America have had the tendency to sacrifice heart and health for others. We often feel our worth in every one else’s successes, and stand back proudly to support them in every way they require. While that sounds great in theory, we have forgotten one vital part – we are an individual, too. And spending all of our time supporting someone else often opens us up to being abused by those close to us. Some of us have endured, while others, battered and broken, have rediscovered their own power and stand twice as tall. And some of those latter women tell their stories to inspire others to do the same.

And song is a perfect medium.

I find it funny to examine women in pop culture music over the last few decades, and the transformation that female empowerment has undergone. From the free-spirited, independent party girls of the 1980s Madonna (Material Girl) and Cindi Lauper (Girls just Wanna Have Fun) to the angry grunge chick tunes like Bitch (Meridith Brooks) and just about anything by Alannis Morrisette at the time, women have tried to assert their individuality and the power of their gender. We’ve even seen some echoes of the 90s with latecomer to the party, Pink, with her in-your-face, fought-through-pain-and-now-on-top tunes, or hardcore I-don’t-give-a-sh*t, sassy, day-at-a-time pop punker Avril Lavigne.

But we are starting to see a rather interesting change.

I think women have begun to see that anger doesn’t empower or solve our problems as women. In fact, it’s rather counterproductive. Today, we are seeing more positive, reinforcing messages to young and mature women alike. We’re celebrating who we are. Our femininity. Our individuality. Our varied personalities, shapes, and sizes. And on top of it all, women have begun to allow themselves to dare to chase after their dreams.

My top favorite current girlpower songs are the following:

Brave – Sara Bareulis

I can’t get enough of this song – or Sara, for that matter. She’s strong, got a mind of her own, and wants to get us to drop the baggage holding us back (bad people, our past, our fears) and bring us all along with her.

Born This Way – Lady Gaga

This song is geared toward an open audience, but is still a very empowering song to dance wildly to in the privacy of your own living room and honor yourself as you were born.

Pocketful Of Sunshine and Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield

Natasha has a beautiful way of exploring femininity, its beauty and potential, and letting us know that life is amazing and our story is never written in stone. It’s never too late to become the women we always wanted to be. She preaches being kind to ourselves, and that we’re beholden to no one in our quest for happiness.

Firework – Katy Perry

Although her credibility as a female role model may be a bit questionable (singing about kissing girls, her scanty clothing – if any at all – in her videos, and do we all remember the Elmo clip controversy?), she has become the poster child for empowering messages for young girls.

Catch My Breath, and Stronger – Kelly Clarkson

Kelly has a unique storytelling side. I had once allowed some negative people into my life, and her songs carried me through these bad relationships where, as we woman are wont to do, we give everything even when we get nothing in return. But we learn, and realize our worth is greater than that. And we only accept those into our lives who believe the same.

Raise Your GlassPink

Although geared toward an open audience, Pink’s videos provide powerful imagery showing women her undaunted spirit, and inspire us all to be a little stronger, a little bolder, and a lot more confident. And she clearly tells us that we are not alone.

Do you like you? This song by Colbie Caillat directly challenges not only the beauty standards set by hollywood or movie making industry, but the fact that she has to come home loving her natural self and love who she is despite how she’s represented in many of her music videos. I love her message here, as she strips away the photoshopping, hair extensions, makeup, and stands nakedly natural, encouraging us to love ourselves and not feel we have to live up to those standards. Thank you, Colbie.

Although this video has gotten its criticism (as women who say they love themselves do), it’s an anthem for women to “wake up feeling” good about themselves no matter what, and “not need nobody else.” Feeling low? I’ll bet you anything, walking around with the mantra “If I were you I’d want to be me too” would clear that up in no time!

Do you dread asking for help?

Asking for help for me is like the tongue-in-cheek stereotype of the man refusing to ask for directions.

I actually get why men do it. It is so much more gratifying for me to be able to complete a task or “mission impossible” on my own without outside intervention. To ask for help indicates that I’ve failed in some way.

At least that’s how it feels.

For example, one day my husband and I were waiting around for a sales associate at a hardware superstore to come and help us with an item. After a few minutes, it became painfully apparent that if I didn’t find a bathroom – it would not end well. Continue reading

Two life coaches walk into a bookstore…

book

For my husband and I, the bookstore is our sanctuary. It’s become a joke between us that when we decide to go to a Barnes & Noble, we’ll “close down the store.” Because it never fails – we’ll go in when it’s still daylight and somehow never make it back out before dark.

We have our favorite genres, of course. My husband will wander over to the art and graphic novel section, or peruse shelves populated with ancient literature. For me, I often find myself thumbing through cookbooks or the craft section.

There is one section, though, that my husband and I overlap: Self-Help. Continue reading

Let’s talk about blood (post share)

A potent new feminine-hygiene ad gets unabashedly bloody to talk about periods—and, in the process, it nails what’s missing in the rest of the advertising world’s “female empowerment” movement. The ad for Bodyform, a UK maker of pads and liners, features a host of badass women—surfers, boxers, rugby players, dancers, and even a medieval knight—getting bloodied, but never backing down. From the blood-pumping score and quick cuts, […]

via “No blood should hold us back”: A feminine-hygiene ad finally gets women’s empowerment right — Quartz

Love, acceptance, and our “hair-down-there”

Down there.woman-1401617_1280

Such a personal place. And when it comes to our hairstyle preferences, especially down there, SOCIAL TABOO gets stamped all over it. But I’m going to bust that wide open for a few minutes. Because when our hair down there gets between us and love and self-acceptance, we need to talk about it.

So a few weeks ago, a friend and I were sitting on my couch, giggling and chatting as good girlfriends tend to do. Somehow we ended up on the subject of the twisted public image of women’s bodies. And as things go, we brushed up against the subject of sexual expectations.

She then told me a story about her, her hair, a play and an ex-boyfriend.

Continue reading

Can meditation reverse anxiety and low self-esteem?

meditate blog

Breathing can help prolong your life. Well, especially when you combine it with meditation.

In an age where we are constantly multi-tasking, plugged in, inundated with images, facts and emails and enduring constant over-stimulation, it’s no wonder we’re exhausted and a little frayed at the edges each day.

And when you have added stress, it can affect your body in many ways both physically and mentally. So whether you are going through a difficult time in your life or are struggling with an ongoing mental health issue, adopting mindfulness could be just what the doctor ordered.

Continue reading