Monthly Archives: January 2022

Are Multivitamins Really That Important?

I’m certain that each of us has heard “take your vitamins” daily throughout childhood and almost as often as adults.   Guess what?  They really are important!  I hope you’re all taking them still, and if you aren’t, go on and add them back into your daily routine!  Here’s why –

Even when eating clean and making sure that you’re taking in the proper nutrients, multivitamins help fill in any nutritional gaps.  Think of vitamins as additional nutrient insurance, regardless of age, stage of life, and dietary preferences. There are as many reasons to take a good multivitamin as there are formulations for them:

  • They boost immune function
  • They boost longevity
  • They boost brain health (help prevent the onset of dementia-related diseases)
  • They boost healthy hair, nails, and skin
  • They boost bone and muscle function
  • They boost heart health
  • They boost overall eye health

Need a boost?  Maybe taking that multivitamin is a good idea after all!!

So you’ve decided to add vitamins back into your daily routine, but there are SO many choices!  Which brand and which formulation is best for you?  Here are a few tips, per UT Southwestern Medical Center:

  • Look for the USP (U.S. Pharmocopeial Convention) verification logo or seal.  You can check your vitamin online through or
  • Choose a vitamin with 100% of the daily value of most of its ingredients.  
  • Look for the right blend for your gender and age, as nutrient needs can vary depending on these factors.  If you are in any phase of menopause or perimenopause, you will need higher concentrations of calcium, Vitamins B6, Iron, etc.  If you have questions, ask your doctor, nutritionist, or pharmacist for suggestions.
  • Be sure to look for essential micronutrients such as:
    • vitamin c, 
    • calcium, 
    • magnesium, 
    • iron, 
    • potassium, 
    • Thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin
    • Selenium,
    • Zinc,
    • Vitamins B6, B12, and folate
    • Vitamins A, E, and K
    • Vitamins D2 or D3

One other tip is that, while gummy vitamins are certainly easier for those who have trouble swallowing large pills, the quality and quantity of nutrients will be less than the standard form due to how they are made.

While finding the right brand and formulation can be daunting, rest assured that simply adding a multivitamin to your daily nutrition will be a huge boost!   I personally recommend taking vitamins in the morning WITH your first meal.  I never take them on an empty stomach.

If you aren’t already using a multivitamin, I highly recommend that you do.  Filling in nutritional gaps will surely help you reach your goals and maintain your health and immunity!

Stay Thirsty, My Friends!

If you know me, you already know how I feel about drinking water.  Water is SO, so important for our bodies, for our health.  Of course, water is the lowest calorie drink we can take in; it’s also the purest with no added chemicals, preservatives, sugars or artificial sweeteners.  There are countless benefits. . . and ZERO adverse side effects.  

Here are just a few reasons you should be drinking water daily, as provided by Harvard Health, Healthline, and Medical News Today – just to name a few:  

  • carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells
  • flushing bacteria from your bladder
  • aiding digestion
  • preventing constipation
  • normalizing blood pressure
  • stabilizing the heartbeat
  • cushioning joints
  • protecting organs and tissues
  • regulating body temperature
  • maintaining electrolyte (sodium) balance.

Keep in mind, while you should drink at least 64 to 80 ounces each day, you need more water when you are:

  • Outdoors in hot climates
  • More physically active
  • Running a fever
  • Experiencing nasal congestion and/or drainage
  • Experiencing digestional upset (vomiting or diarrhea)

I know some of my clients just don’t like water – because it doesn’t really have any flavor, or they are really hooked on drinking sodas, flavored sports drinks, and sweet tea.  Here are a few things to keep in mind about these drinks:

  • In addition to having too many chemicals and sugars, sodas are also dehydrating.  There’s simply NO good reason, nutritionally speaking, to drink these.
  • Flavored sports drinks, such as Gatorade and Powerade, typically contain more sugars than electrolytes.  Look for a healthier alternative that is lower in sugar.
  • All alcoholic beverages contain hidden sugars and can be dehydrating.
  • Any drink you have that is dehydrating will require you to drink additional water to insure you’re properly hydrated!

If you weren’t already sold on the benefits of water, are you ready to do better with your water intake?  Here are a few tips to help!  

  • In keeping with better, cleaner nutrition, add protein powders into your meal prep.  Instead of using milk or almond milk, use water.  Boom!  You can add eight (8) to 12 ounces of water with a healthy snack.
  • Invest in a really pretty or fun bottle for yourself.  Even though it seems like a silly mental trick – it works!!  It’s like a little reward for doing something good for yourself.  You can refill it as needed throughout the day.
  • Order water when eating out.  It goes with ANY dish, and will also save you money.
  • My favorite soda alternative is Spark (made by AdvoCare).  Not only does it have caffeine, it also contains Vitamin B6, B12, Taurine, among other amino acids.  I always mix it with at least 12 ounces of water!  
  • Add a wedge of lemon or lime.
  • Use a straw.
  • Create a competition with a friend or group of friends.
  • Track how much you drink each day.

Our bodies NEED water!  Every single one of us will feel better if our bodies are hydrated.  What have you got to lose?  You’ll feel better, be healthier, AND save money!  Cut back on sodas and sugary drinks.  Just give it a try for a few weeks – prove me wrong!! 

Nature’s Super Food ~ Flaxseed

You will never hear me tell you about a “magic” pill or potion, because that simply doesn’t exist.  Improving your fitness level, your health, and losing or maintaining your body weight will best be achieved through maintaining a healthier lifestyle.  In order to be successful, you will have to put in some consistent effort, and you will need to be disciplined.  The GOOD news is that it is NOT impossible, and it honestly isn’t as hard as some people believe.  There are some “super foods” that can help us achieve and maintain a healthier lifestyle!  

Let’s look at a true super food that nature gives us – NO chemicals or preservatives required!!  It’s flaxseed!  You can find it in many forms – ground, whole seed, and oil.  The whole seed is the only form not recommended, simply because the hull stays intact, and digestion does not take the nutrients.  Either ground flaxseed or flax oil can easily be added into your favorite recipes.  It’s SO easy!  I mix it into my protein coffee in the mornings.  

Flaxseed has multiple benefits.  I researched several resources – WebMD, Cleveland Clinic, HealthLine, BetterMe, and Women’s Health to find that they all agree on the top benefits.  These are:

  • Omega 3 essential fatty acids:  These are the “good” fats that have been proven to improve heart health.
  • Prevent cancer:  Many recent studies show that flaxseed may have protective effects against certain cancer cells.  The plant omega 3 fatty acid found in flaxseed inhibited tumor growth in some studies.
  • Lignans:  These have both antioxidant and estrogen properties.
  • Helps prevent Cardiovascular disease:  The plant omega 3 fatty acids are at work again!  Flaxseed also has anti-inflammatory properties that aid in normalizing the heart beat.  Newer research shows that flaxseed also can aid in lowering blood pressure AND cholesterol.  There have also been studies showing that diets which include flaxseed omega 3’s aid in preventing the hardening of arteries!
  • Helps decrease inflammation:  Two components in flaxseed, ALA and lignans, may help reduce the inflammation that accompanies certain illnesses. 
  • Helps decrease hot flashes:  Many studies have proven that the addition of flaxseed decreases not only the occurrence of hot flashes, but also the severity.  I can attest to this personally.  I am post menopausal, but recently I felt “under siege” with hot flashes.  My personal research and discussions with dieticians and nutritional experts convinced me to add flaxseed into my daily diet.  It may take up to two weeks to feel the full result, but it definitely works!  Initially I added 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed into my protein coffee.  I’m now using flaxseed oil.  I have seen a definite decline in how often the hot flashes occur, as well as in how severe and how long they last.  I definitely recommend the use of flaxseed – if for no other reason than help with these!
  • Boosts immunity:  Flaxseeds are a great source of magnesium, which is a mineral essential for the proper function of our nervous system.  It also helps regulate our blood sugar levels, and can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and even migraine headaches.  If you’re experiencing any of the following, you may have a magnesium deficiency – diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, insomnia, and migraines.  Try adding in some flaxeed!
  • Promotes weight loss:  Due to the high fiber content of flaxseed, it can help improve your gut health and help you feel fuller when you eat.  This also helps prevent constipation and keep your digestive system working properly.

So, flaxseed sounds amazing, doesn’t it?!  Are you ready to add a little into your daily routine, but wondering how?  There are so, so many fabulous options!  Try adding either the ground flaxseed or flax oil in any or all of these options:

  • Protein shakes or smoothies
  • Sprinkled into yogurt
  • Sprinkled over a salad or into salad dressing
  • Baked into muffins or breads
  • Add it into soups or stews
  • Add into casseroles
  • Add into oatmeal
  • Mix into water and drink
  • Mix into coffee

Give flaxseed a try!  Just remember to use either the ground flaxseed or the oil rather than the whole seed.  No, flaxseed alone won’t change your life.  However, it will certainly aid in improving many areas of your health and in maximizing your efforts in cleaning up your nutrition!  Make sure you keep consistent workouts in the mix, and you are well on your way to your best self!

If you find that you want or need any additional help or support with your exercise or nutrition, I would love to help you!  Your health is definitely a wise investment – for your family as well as for yourself!

Motivation Versus Dedication

Have you seen people in your gym or in your circle who seem to have an easier time or more success than you in reaching their goals?  Someone whom you believe has something you don’t?   Don’t you dare fall for that!  No one is always motivated, and crushing goals is just as hard for everyone.  Those “lucky” people you see who seem to always crush their goals aren’t nearly as lucky as you think.  And they aren’t always motivated each and every day.  Every single human has obstacles; success or failure all stems from how we handle those obstacles.

Dedication (discipline) will take you a lot farther than motivation.  Pick a goal or an athlete/person who motivates you.  That’s  a fantastic way to start!  Just remember that ideal physique that is motivating cannot possibly be responsible for your goal.  It’s all up to you!  So, set and then commit to your goal – and plan each day around reaching that goal.  It’s absolutely ok to dream big!!  A dream is simply a goal with a deadline.  So set those goals – maybe even a long-term goal and a few short-term goals.

This isn’t a vague idea or notion.  Need some concrete steps to move forward?  Here you go:

 1. Write it down!  Begin a journal and write down your goal(s).  Set a deadline for yourself.  Make a plan.  Date each journal entry, including the first day.  Write down any beginning standard of measurement – weight, measurements, energy levels, clothing size, fitness ability (running distance, lifting max, etc.,)

 2. Write important dates and reminders in your calendar or planner.  Enter them on your phone.  Scheduling important steps will be reminders on the days that motivation can’t be found.  This is where dedication kicks in.  Follow your plan!

 3. If healthier eating is something that will help you reach your goal, write out grocery lists that consist of clean, natural foods.  Schedule one or two days to do your grocery shopping, and DO NOT deviate from your list!  

* Schedule a day or two every week to cook and prepare healthy meals ahead of time.  Separate foods into meals and put into easy to grab containers for on-the-go.

 4. Getting workouts in consistently each week will also help you reach your goals.  Schedule these as well, even down to what you plan to do each day.  For example:  Fitness class on Mondays and Thursdays, resistance training Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, boot camp or yoga on Saturdays.  

* Pack your gym bag with everything you’ll need the night before.  If you’re heading to the gym or fitness studio after work, you’ll be ready.  

 5. If you’re not sure what steps to take, need consistent accountability, and/or are truly dedicated to crushing your goals, seriously consider hiring a personal trainer.  Leaving the “heavy” planning to a professional relieves a lot of stress for you.  All you do is follow the plan!

 6. DO NOT GIVE UP.  No matter what happens, no matter what types of obstacles life throws at you – keep going!  We all have off days.  We all make mistakes and slip off track.  Beating yourself up and giving up is never the answer.  Give yourself some grace.  Get right back on track.  

* If you get sick, let your body rest and recover.  Stick with healthy eating.  Your body will recover more quickly!  

Being motivated is fantastic!   It definitely gets you moving in the right direction in setting goals and in taking those first steps.   That initial motivation will waver and wane… make that commitment, establish a plan, and be intentional, be disciplined.   Look for that professional personal trainer to help you establish a realistic plan.  YOU are in control!!

Ahhh Sugar, Sugar

Who doesn’t have a sweet tooth?  Who doesn’t love dessert?!  Even though most of us have different preferences, the vast majority of us crave sweet treats.  For goodness sake, there are holidays all about candy and treats!  While we all know that these sweets are unhealthy for our bodies or our teeth, everyone may not know how many hidden sources of sugar we ingest daily. I also doubt most people know just how dangerous sugar is!

Since the Corona virus pandemic hit in 2020, people are more concerned with staying healthy than ever.  God designed our bodies to protect our natural immunities – provided we take the proper care of them!  Obviously, clean, natural foods are best for us.  Each of us knows the obvious; for example, that we need vegetables more than we need cookies or donuts.  But there are too many hidden sources of sugar in our diets daily:

* concentrated fruit juices

* sweetened yogurt

* children’s cereals

* individual packs of fruit (orange slices, diced peaches)

* ketchup

* low-fat snack packs

* energy drinks

* energy bars

* recovery drinks like Gatorade and Powerade

* salad dressings

* crackers

* dried fruit

* potato chips, cheetos, etc.,

* bread

* alcohol

Your safest choice is to avoid processed foods.  Refined, processed white breads, chips, pastas, fruit, etc., will be loaded with hidden sugars in addition to many other chemicals and preservatives that just aren’t healthy for you.  Now you have an idea how and where sugars can hide.  Are you aware of all of the dangers of sugar?  Let’s talk about some of those:

* increase your risk of heart disease

* will cause weight gain

* has been linked to acne

* increases the risk of Type 2 Diabetes

* could increase risk of cancer

* could increase risk of depression

* could increase skin aging process

* could increase cellular aging

* can suppress your immune system

* can cause tooth decay & gum disease

* will affect cognitive function and ability to focus in children

* increases stress

* can take the place of important nutrients

Are you worried that you may be taking in too much sugar?  Here are a few symptoms of too much sugar:

* brain fog

* decreased energy; energy crash

* difficulty sleeping

* heart disease and heart attack

* mood disorders

* skin issues – acne and wrinkles

* tooth decay

* cravings and weight gain

* Type 2 Diabetes

* high blood pressure

* digestive issues

* you’re always hungry

* joint pain

* constantly bloated

* loss of strength and/or muscle mass

* loss of motivation to work out

* food never tastes sweet enough

Your health and longevity is worth far more that yummy treat!  Find a balance and alternatives to satisfy your sweet tooth. There ARE alternatives that are just as yummy! I promise you’ll feel better – now and for the long haul.  Always see your doctor if you have concerns about your health.  It’s better to rule out an issue and have peace of mind in moving forward.  And always reach out to a personal trainer or nutritionist if you want accountability and/or assistance in establishing a plan!