Sunday Supplement: Magnificent Magnesium

My main purpose in adding this health section to my site was brought on by the Coronavirus. I took an interest in researching whatever extra protection might prevent me and those I care about from getting a serious case of Covid.  I’ve been learning a lot in the process and realize that there are many components to overall health.  Having said this, I’m not a fanatic in any sense about taking high dosages of just anything and everything I see on the shelves.  I’m only sharing what I deem to be the most important missing pieces of a complicated puzzle.  Of course, our bodies are very complex propositions, but what I know for sure is what you know too – those of us with a weakened immune system are the first to get knocked down.  I started with Vitamin D last week. Now let’s check out several more Covid Combatants starting with…

Foods containing natural magnesium. Chocolate, banana, cocoa, nuts, avocados, broccoli, almonds.

MAGNESIUM may be the MOST important mineral/electrolyte in the body.  Indeed, if you were forced to only take one nutritional supplement, Magnesium would likely be your best bet. That’s because no other single nutrient plays as many roles as Magnesium as it’s essential to 300+ (some claim the numbers to be much higher) enzymatic reactions.

(Health Secrets) After oxygen, water, and basic food, magnesium may be one of the most important elements needed by our bodies.  It is vital for heart health, bone health, mental function and overall body maintenance.

Magnesium is more important than calcium, potassium or sodium, and it regulates all three of them. Contrary to popular misconceptions, it is magnesium that is actually most important in building strong bones and preventing bone loss. Recent research has revealed that lack of this mineral may put your heart and your overall health at significant risk.  This research also found that a deficiency may be linked to cognitive dysfunction and mental decline.

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of magnesium for adults is 420 milligrams (mg) per day. Yet that’s an average amount since it depends on a number of other factors such as one’s body weight, level of physical activity and the amount of sugar one consumes. Generally speaking, the heavier you are, the more active you are, and the more sugar you consume, the more your body needs on a daily basis.

So what are the best food sources of Magnesium? High-fiber foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, unrefined grains, nuts and beans. Yet since so many North American diets are lacking in this regard, it should come as no surprise that most diets are 40-80% deficient.  Most people can get enough magnesium by eating the right foods but If you’re concerned about low magnesium, ask your doctor for a blood test, preferably an RBC (red blood cell) magnesium test.

*Magnesium is needed for many cellular metabolism tasks. It’s involved in more than 300 chemical reactions in the body. Muscles need this mineral to contract; nerves need it to send and receive messages. It keeps your heart beating steadily and your immune system strong.

However, low magnesium intake is relatively common.

It’s primarily found in people who follow a typical Western diet, one containing lots of processed foods and refined grains while lacking in leafy green vegetables and legumes, which provide magnesium and other important nutrients.

**The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium for adults is 310–420 mg depending on age and gender.

I eat exceptionally well and supplement with an additional 300 (sometimes less) mg of  Magnesium Citrate daily.

But every individual is different. The table below shows the recommended daily allowance (RDA) or adequate intake (AI) of magnesium for adults, infants, and children.

Age Male Female
Birth to 6 months (AI) 30 mg 30 mg
7–12 months (AI) 75 mg 75 mg
1–3 years (RDA) 80 mg 80 mg
4–8 years (RDA) 130 mg 130 mg
9–13 years (RDA) 240 mg 240 mg
14–18 years (RDA) 410 mg 360 mg
19–30 years (RDA) 400 mg 310 mg
31–50 years (RDA) 420 mg 320 mg
51+ years (RDA) 420 mg 320 mg
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency:
The symptoms of magnesium deficiency are usually subtle unless your levels become severely low.  If you believe you may have a magnesium deficiency, your suspicions can be confirmed with a simple blood test.
You may have a deficiency if you feel the following…
Muscle spasms, cramps or pain, fatigue, high blood pressure, insomnia, anxiety, headaches, heart arrhythmia, osteoporosis, nausea, weakness, decreased appetite.
  • As magnesium deficiency worsens, symptoms may include: numbness and tingling.

Here’s an excellent book on the subject written by a medical doctor and researcher who is considered to be the world’s leading expert on the actions and uses of this vital mineral.

Source:

*Harvard Medical:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/what-you-should-know-about-magnesium2

** Healthline.com (for different types of Magnesium Supplements):

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-dosage#recommendations-by-age

 

Sunday Supplement: Vitamin D

Welcome to my new weekly supplemental. Every Sunday I’ll be featuring an important vitamin and the reasons why it may be vital to your health. 

Vitamin D: Immune System Superstar

I’m not pretending to be an authority on the subject – that I’ll leave for the experienced professionals.  Although I have an interest in health, I can at least share some knowledge I’ve gained from these experts. Some of them I know personally, and all agree that Vitamin “D” is of ultimate importance, especially right now with Covid.  I’ve done my own research too. What I’ve found out is that most people are deficient in Vitamin D and even if you eat really well, there are some vitamins (D being one of them) that you cannot create enough of from food alone.

D boosts the immune system and protects against respiratory infections. However, it is found in few foods and the body only replenishes its stocks through sunlight on the skin.

Vitamin D deficiency has emerged as a primary risk factor for severe COVID-19 infection and death. Higher vitamin D levels have even been shown to lower your risk of testing positive for the virus in the first place.  According to a Spanish study, 82.2% of COVID-19 patients tested were found to be deficient in vitamin D.

Dark skin color, increased age, pre-existing chronic conditions and vitamin D deficiency are all features of severe COVID disease. Of these, vitamin D deficiency is the only factor that is modifiable. As such, it would be foolish to ignore, especially since vitamin D supplements are readily available and low cost.

*The Scottish Government is giving out free vitamin D supplements to the most vulnerable to help boost their immune system.  People who have been shielding are to be sent a four-month supply to compensate for a lack of natural sunlight. (see link below).  

So I’ve upped my intake to 5,000 UIs a day in the winter months (some take more).  In the summer I take 1000 – 3000 UIs depending on how sunny it is.  Most medical doctors will suggest 400 UIs is enough.  However over a dozen research studies completed in 2020 alone show that we need at least ten times that amount to get optimum immune system benefits.

We already know that Vitamin D is good for a variety of illnesses and disorders such as depression (no surprise here – sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.  Oh; you too?), hypertension, Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, oral health, inflammation…

The point being there’s tons and tons of research out there. I’ve narrowed it down to some choice statements taken from various sites.

  • **Dr. Michael Holick, professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine and colleagues studied blood samples of more than 190,000 Americans from all 50 US states and found those with deficient levels of vitamin D had 54% higher COVID positivity compared to those with adequate blood levels of vitamin D. The study was published in PLoS (the Public Library of Science One) peer-reviewed journal. Many people are vitamin D-deficient because there are only small amounts in food, Holick said.

For the Top 25 Vitamin D Publications in 2020 go to:

*Sunday Times UK – Coronavirus in Scotland: Vulnerable will receive vitamin D supplements:

 
Out of curiosity, how much Vitamin D do you take regularly?
 

2021 here we come

Okay let’s be real; 2020 sucked Big time!

Leap Year
An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves –  Bill Vaughan (American columnist and author).  Is it possible to be both an optimist and a pessimist?  I think in this case it is.

 It’s already 2021 Somewhere

Here are some things to consider as we get ready to close the door on one of the most horrible years of our lifetime:

The dumbest thing we could have ever bought was a 2020 planner.

The world has turned upside down. Old folks are sneaking out of the house & their kids are yelling at them to stay indoors!

Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pajamas should be reserved for quarantine and bedtime (even though I’ve actually worn mine under a coat – but only on occasion.  I  mean, who’s looking?).

This virus has done what no woman has been able to do. Cancel sports, shut down all bars & keep men at home!

I never thought the comment, “I wouldn’t touch him/her with a 6-foot pole” would become a national policy, but here we are!

I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator.  You too?

I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip to the Backyard. I’m getting tired of the Living Room.

Never in a million years could I have imagined going up to a bank teller wearing a mask to ask for money.

While we’re on the subject…

Regardless of whether you are FOR or AGAINST masks, FOR or AGAINST social distancing, FOR or AGAINST shutting down the entire economy, FOR or AGAINST the vaccine, FOR or AGAINST being able to meet with a few healthy friends or even healthy family members, FOR or AGAINST the mainstream media, our governments and even the medical establishment not even uttering a single word about the importance of maintaining a robust immune system through proper diet, supplementation (hello vitamin D), exercise, stress-reduction, etc., we are quickly falling down a rabbit hole with no end in sight.

My brother Brad King (health + nutritional expert) added…

You are the only ones who can make a difference in your overall health – YOU! Stop living in a constant state of reaction and start becoming proactive. If you sit on your behind and expect your health to be taken care of for you, you are sadly mistaken.

Wake up, move your body, eat some healthy food, stop watching so much negative news, smile more (yes even with a mask on), breath some fresh air (please don’t say you wear a mask when you’re out hiking or taking a walk outside), expose your skin to real sunlight (obviously never get burned), sleep deeply and love with all your heart.

Here’s to a much, much better 2021 and beyond. Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

 

Fun Food Facts

Little Healthy Tidbits of Info.

Now, more than ever, we must strive to stay the healthiest we can.  We already know what food groups are most beneficial for us, however we don’t always look into the science behind why that is.  Thought it would be of interest to share the science behind An Apple A Day – taken from Edible (the magazine for Vancouver food & wine country).

What role does the proverbial apple-a-day have in keeping the doctor away? The fruit is rich in bacteria, and some of those are highly beneficial to human health. A single apple can carry more than a 100 million microbes, according to a July 2019 article in The Guardian.

Once in your gut, those bacteria colonize and improve your personal microbiome, which research suggests is linked to overall health, including mood and cognition.  In Gut feelings: How food affects your mood (Harvard Health Publishing), Dr. Uma Naidoo reports that 90 percent of serotonin receptors are found in the gut.

Diversity is an important factor for a thriving biome, and organic apples reportedly have a greater range of microbes – yet another reason to choose organically grown apples if you can afford to.  Most of the bacteria will be killed by cooking, so eating the raw fruit will make your biome happiest.

Vitamins to help boost your Immune System

In light of all this pandemic panic we can use a little humour:

sometimes we dogs have to laugh

However on a more serious note:

I, like countless others am staying put right now.  Of course I’m still walking my dogs outdoors and I have gone to yoga (with my own mat) but for the most part avoiding social  interactions as much as humanly possible.  Taking the COVID-19 situation more seriously now especially since I’m still in California, planning to make my way back to Vancouver very soon. So many events are cancelled.  It takes something really major to cancel popular sporting events, parties and music festivals.  Many businesses have already begun to suffer.  Hope we get back to some normalcy soon.  Only time will tell, for better or for worse. 

Until then, trying to stay healthy with a morning tea concoction of fresh squeezed organic lemon, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, apple cider vinegar + organic raw honey.  It’s delicious. Followed by a cup of coffee with added cinnamon to the grounds. This incorporates some of the super spices. Mid morning I usually make a smoothie using frozen organic blueberries or açaí, half a banana, fresh (or frozen) ginger, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, topped with organic unsweetened almond or coconut milk, 3 Tbsp. of organic whey protein (grass fed bought at market) + a little turmeric powder. It’s the best! Taking lots of vitamins too and trying to get plenty of restEmphasis on trying. 

My lineup includes Super Omega-3, Ester-C, Advanced Turmeric (because I broke 2 fingers), Mega B complex, Vitamin D3, L-Lysine, Enhanced Super Digestive Enzymes, Probiotic (has Prebiotics from Inulin), Extend-Release Magnesium. Layla + Jia Jia are stress releasers (sometimes not so).  Not shown: *Leaf Source + **Samuraw Organic complete but only because I’m out.

Other recommended supplements to help boost your immune system: QuercetinN-A-C (N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine) to treat respiratory issues such as bronchitis – an amino precursor to glutathione, and 2 grams of Vitamin C per day.  

What’s the difference between an Epidemic and a Pandemic

An epidemic is defined as “an outbreak of disease that spreads quickly and affects many individuals at the same time.” A pandemic is a type of epidemic (one with greater range and coverage), an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population. While a pandemic may be characterized as a type of epidemic, you would not say that an epidemic is a type of pandemic.

Epidemic is a term that is often broadly used to describe any problem that has grown out of control such as an event in which a disease is actively spreading. In contrast, the term pandemic relates to geographic spread and is used to describe a disease that affects a whole country or the entire world.

Even so, it doesn’t do much good to panic….unless of course, you test positive for the virus. And even then, your survival rate depending on factors of age and overall health are not dire.

Wishing you a weekend of wellness.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed (and washed) that this terrible virus will go away in short order. 

I recommend the two products below available online and in select health stores.  Full disclosure: both are formulated by my brother Brad King.  Aside from him being my brother, you should know that I believe these are excellent quality products and would take them regardless.

*Leaf Source: The world’s cleanest + most powerful humic – fulvic acid complex.  Find out more at:  https://leafsource.com/

**SAMURAW NUTRITION: the very first truly natural 100% whole food derived multi-vitamin/mineral/probiotic.  Available at:  https://www.samuraw.com/

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

 

 

SAMURAW; you complete me

First off, I’m not a vitamin fanatic.

I have a fairly clean vitamin protocol and don’t go overboard with what I believe is not necessary.  I like to simplify my life with not having too many bottles of vitamins (many of which I end up forgetting to take) take up too much of my sought after shelf space. However, I do believe in adding some indispensables because it’s almost impossible to eat a complete balanced daily diet.   Even if you think you are; you are not.

Which brings me to my latest addiction…SAMURAW organic complete. It’s easy because all you have to do is add one scoop to pretty much anything.  It has no taste therefore it doesn’t compete with anything else you drink such as juice or smoothies.  It’s almost impossible to believe how many vitamins/minerals  is in one little scoop. I’m proud of my brother Brad King for having formulated this product.

It was first formulated with children in mind because it’s so hard to get them to take anything.  So now there’s an adult version thankfully for us adults who never grow up and I’m really happy about that.  Just had to share the wealth of wellness.

And if that’s not enough, here’s another testimonial from none other that Dr. John Gray; Author of the famous best selling book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zft5kR5zgXE

Website:  https://www.samuraw.com/

 

Self-care: Pilates Plus

So I finally broke down and joined the club

Machines they call PROformers. d. king

The club with those scary machines.  The kind that come with interchangeable spring loads and all kinds of kinky ropes and gadgets that are supposed to whip you into shape.  It’s quite intimidating. At least at first. It’s been a month now and I’ve only missed a couple of days.  I did a class called Ass & Abs which is slightly above my level of expertise and now I’m sore.  But it’s a good sore.  The sore where I can feel my muscles….it’s a start.  I’m not aiming to have a six-pack exactly…I’m looking to tone, strengthen, have more flexibility and improve my balance.  Oh hell who am I kidding. I want ABS dammit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pilates Plus in Palm Springs has three rotating instructors; all excellent in different ways.  They watch you and they will never let you get away with doing things incorrectly.  Believe me; I know!  I’ve been reprimanded more than once.  I must say the non-stop 50 minute workout goes by very quickly and in all honesty I’m hooked now.  Hooked on a feeling….and the reality of liking what I’m beginning to notice.  Also, my eating habits are getting lighter too except for last night when I ate a lobster roll at Dead or Alive wine bar.  But the key to Life is Balance.

Proformer. d. king

Before this I did mat Pilates on occasion.  Here’s a bit of history:

Pilates was created in the 1930s by Joseph Pilates and quickly became popular among dancers as a method of training and rehabilitation. There’s no denying that Pilates offers some great health benefits. Included is core strength and stability, improved posture and balance, flexibility, and the prevention and treatment of back pain.

Pilates on a Mat vs. Pilates using a Reformer

Pilates allows you to work your muscle groups with no impact on joints. It also works your precise, small muscles in controlled ways. The machines are the basis of a core-burning workout that blends Pilates, cardio and strength training.

The simplest way to do Pilates exercises is on a mat. The more challenging and effective way is on a reformer, a device which uses pulleys and springs to create the resistance that’s impossible to generate by simply using the body.

What about weight loss?

Weight loss is a result of creating a calorie deficit whereby you eat fewer calories than you burn and then you drop pounds. Now in some cases, hormones and other metabolic factors come into play, but the primary driver of weight loss is calories in versus calories out.

Pilates Reformer is a great exercise for core and it can help you burn calories, but maybe not as much as certain other activities. And, like any movement, how many calories you do burn depends on how long your session lasts, the intensity of the session, your ability (if it’s new for you, you’re likely to work harder and burn more calories) and your size.  So it’s best to do a mix of some cardio like biking, running, swimming, hiking, fast paced walking combined with pilates and/or yoga.

Yes; it’s work indeed.  But well worth it because your body is a machine.  One that you want to make sure is in  tip-top working order. So she says! 

In Vancouver I’m going to source out a couple of studios.  I already belong to a gym close to home that offers varied daily yoga classes and mat pilates with good instructors. And truth be told, if it’s not within close walking distance to where I live, I probably won’t go.

How about you? Have you tried the reformer, proformer or megaformer?  What are your parameters for working out and how often?

Feel-good Friday: Fido Friendly Fitness

Well here’s something refreshingly fun. 

We already know they’re more dog friendly than most places in and around Palm Springs but here’s a place where you can actually work out with your pooch.  It’s called Venus de Fido and it’s in Palm Desert.  I mean I’m not sure my two are up for pilates or anything like that, but Layla is bugging me to get a membership to this place.

Not only that, but they have a specialty retail doggy boutique that’s dedicated to offering stylish, high-quality, unique products.    After your work-out you can check out the fashion-forward designer apparel, carriers, accessories, eco-friendly grooming and spa care products, novelty toys, premium pet foods, treats to share and other fabulous dog gifts and goodies.  Oh; now I see…that’s probably what Layla really wants.

Fido & You Fitness Class

The Fido & You fitness class combines light cardio, with yoga and core strengthening exercise for you while providing agility and trick training for your dog.  You can check out Fitness Class/Workshop Calendar for dates and times.

These classes are reason enough to move to Palm Desert:

Make Over Monday – All Day Spa Special and Happy Hour (4-6p)

Trunk Show Tuesday – Happy Hour (4-6p)

Wine Down Wednesday – Happy Hour (4-6p)

Yappy Hour Thursday – Happy Hour (4-6p)

Website: http://venusdefido.com/fitness-schedule/

The thing is, will you be able to keep up to your canine?

 

 

Film/Culture: Le Ride

A bad attitude is like a flat tire.  If you don’t change it, you’ll never go anywhere.

Cycling is an enjoyable sport.  Recently I’ve gotten on my bike to do a grocery run,  pick up pizza from a nearby restaurant and meet friends for coffee.  Sometimes it’s fun to be part of a local event even if you’re not a big enthusiast.  But I might become one.

The *Tour de Palm Springs may not be The Tour de France but there are some similarities.  For instance, thousands of cyclists riding along gorgeous scenery while challenging themselves for many miles to help fundraise for a variety of charities.

February 10th: I just did the 100 10 mile tour which although hardly challenging, was worthwhile and rewarding in the sense that I tried it out for the very first time.  It wasn’t a race, it was a ride – there’s a difference. Bands and cheerleaders entertained us by playing the American anthem & then as we began filing out, the theme from Rocky.  With so much energy it made us feel like athletes.  Actually, there were some authentics. 

What was really great was attending a carb loaded dinner with outdoor seating the night before, then watching an award winning documentary at the **Palm Springs Cultural Centre (used to be the Camelot Theatre).

In partnership with the American Documentary Film Festival, Tour de Palm Springs presented Le Ride The story of the first English speaking team to ride the Tour de France.  Multi Award winning producer Phil Keoghan (creator The Amazing Race) showed us what it was like to do the ride in 1928 when he re-created a history that many are not aware of.  He challenged himself to the toughest road race in the world by retracing the 1928 Tour de France riding an original vintage bicycle with no gears, breathtaking scenery all along the way.  Keoghan was in attendance for the screening and for a Q&A at the end. He was also riding on the Tour de Palm Springs. But I have a feeling he did the whole 100.

The **Palm Springs Cultural Center, a non-profit organization, was established to encourage the development of the cultural arts in the Coachella Valley with a specific focus in the areas of film, fine art, live performance, dance, music, and community festivals. The Center is dedicated to advancing education, to nurturing community-wide participation in the cultural arts, and to sponsoring scholarship awards for deserving individuals.

*Tour de Palm Springs is a sponsored event designed to raise money for nonprofit organizations in the Coachella Valley and helps support more than 100 local charities.  It’s also great exercise.

  Have you ever done one of these?

Self-care: take this!

I always thought of self care as more than mud masks and bubble baths.

contributed image – thecord.ca

It really is a total package encompassing mind/body/spirit + other life essentials.  So when I saw this article from another website it was only fitting to share it with you.  Because life is simple and complicated at the same time.  We need to focus on what needs to be fixed on the outside in order to feel good on the inside.  I’m not the only one who thinks this way.

Self-care is often a very unbeautiful thing – by Brianna Wiest: thoughtcatalog.com

It is making a spreadsheet of your debt and enforcing a morning routine and cooking yourself healthy meals and no longer just running from your problems and calling the distraction a solution.

It is often doing the ugliest thing you have to do, like sweat through another workout or tell a toxic friend you don’t want to see them anymore or get a second job so you can have a savings account or figure out a way to accept yourself so that you’re not constantly exhausted from trying to be everything, all the time and then needing to take deliberate, mandated breaks from living to do basic things like drop some oil into a bath and read Marie Claire and turn your phone off for the day.

A world in which self-care has to be such a trendy topic is a world that is sick. Self-care should not be something we resort to because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own relentless internal pressure.

True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.

And that often takes doing the thing you least want to do.

It often means looking your failures and disappointments square in the eye and re-strategizing. It is not satiating your immediate desires. It is letting go. It is choosing new. It is disappointing some people. It is making sacrifices for others. It is living a way that other people won’t, so maybe you can live in a way that other people can’t.

It is letting yourself be normal. Regular. Unexceptional. It is sometimes having a dirty kitchen and deciding your ultimate goal in life isn’t going to be having abs and keeping up with your fake friends.  It is deciding how much of your anxiety comes from not actualizing your latent potential, and how much comes from the way you were being trained to think before you even knew what was happening.

The act of self-care has become yet another thing women are expected to be good at. Did you use the right filter for that ‘gram of your impeccably prepared acai bowl? Are the candles you just lit in your Snap story made from organic hand-poured soy or are they that mass-produced factory shit? And how can we stem the inevitable capitalist tide from turning something as simple as self-care into yet another thing to be bought and sold? These are all things I wrestle with as I order Dominos in sweatpants under the guise of ‘being good to myself.’ –  Amil Niazi

If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness.

It is no longer using your hectic and unreasonable life as justification for self-sabotage in the form of liquor and procrastination. It is learning how to stop trying to “fix yourself” and start trying to take care of yourself… and maybe finding that taking care lovingly attends to a lot of problems you were trying to fix in the first place.

It means being the hero of your life, not the victim. It means rewiring what you have until your everyday life isn’t something you need therapy to recover from. It is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a life that feels good. It is giving the hell up on some goals so you can care about others. It is being honest even if that means you aren’t universally liked. It is meeting your own needs so you aren’t anxious and dependent on other people.

It is becoming the person you know you want and are meant to be. Someone who knows that salt baths and chocolate cake are ways to enjoy life – not escape from it.

Well said! Who else agrees?