body

Amy Poehler on Loving Your Body

LessonsFromAmy6

Photo borrowed from: inspiredbycharm.com

http://www.upworthy.com/yo-oprah-imma-let-you-finish-but-amy-poehler-has-the-best-body-image-advice-of-a?c=ufb2

I didn’t think I could admire this woman of comedy any more than I already did. But there she goes spreading wisdom, reminding me once again how to be kind to myself. All you beautiful beings who who tend to easily forget what perfectly imperfect beings you truly are (*guilty!*) will benefit from hearing this. Click the link and remember to be gentle.

Peace and Self-Love.
❤ Samantha

Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin

As we say goodbye to the winter months, we welcome the spring time with open and bare arms. We get to say goodbye to sweaters, scarves, and 4pm sunsets, and hello to sun dresses and sun-kissed cheeks. So for this Nutrient Spotlight, I thought I might talk about a vitamin we get from the wonderful, amazing, nutritious rays of the SUN! Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin responsible for an array of crucial bodily functions — maintaining bone density may be the most talked about. The primary role vitamin D plays in bone density involves allowing absorption of Calcium.

So, where do we get Vitamin D?

Did you know that most of the Vitamin D that our bodies make comes from sunlight? Now, it doesn’t take a day of sunbathing on the beach to reap the benefits of the sun’s nutrient-saturated rays. All you need is about 5-10 minutes of direct, UNPROTECTED sunshine (that means no sunscreen, with some skin showing) per day to get enough exposure. So, if you can make that happen, you’re covered! After your allotted Vitamin D time, definitely throw on that sunscreen to protect yourself from irreparable skin damage, which can lead to visible changes and skin cancer.

Here’s the process, from sun through skin:body-vitaminD

If 5 minutes of sunshine per day is not possible for you, as is often the case in the summer months here in San Francisco, do not fear. There are other ways to meet your D-quota for the day!

What are good dietary sources of Vitamin D? How can we make sure to get enough when the sun doesn’t want to come out to play?

The good news for those of us who won’t be getting to soak up the sun during summer months, or for those dreading the winter’s gloomy return, is that there are alternative sources of Vitamin D. Food sources are limited, but do exist. They include fatty fish, mushrooms, and fortified milk; egg yolks provide a small amount as well. A number of other foods may also be fortified with Vitamin D, including cereals and milk substitutes like soy. Just be sure to read the labels on these items, and try to avoid adding highly processed foods into your diet in the pursuit of added nutrients — my opinion is that it’s not worth the trade off.

mushrooms

 Keep it natural!

There has been some controversy over the use of UV (ultraviolet) lamps to increase vitamin D production. On one hand, the rays have been shown to increase the nutrient concentration in mushrooms, which produce Vitamin D the same way we do. Also, users of these devices have reported noticeable improvement in mood, and fewer symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during winter months. However, these lamps also come with risk of skin damage and cancer. It may be best to discuss the risks and benefits with your doc to determine if a UV lamp is right for you.

If you are still having trouble getting enough quality sun time, and feel your diet may be lacking, speak with your physician about getting a simple blood test to check for Vitamin D deficiency. Your MD may then recommend a Vitamin D supplement if you are deficient. I highly recommend checking your levels before starting a supplement, and always check with your physician before starting any kind of regimen to avoid dangerous interactions or toxicity (too much Vitamin D). Remember, supplementation will typically only provide benefit to those who are deficient in a nutrient. Otherwise, you might as well be swallowing capsulized cash.

 

What do you think?

What are some ways you clock some outdoor hours to make sure you get enough sun time? Do you take supplements, or use a UV light? Want to share your favorite recipe using Vitamin D rich foods?

Oh So Thankful

Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite holidays. It may be true that the story didn’t go down exactly as we were taught in our childhood, but I’ll take any excuse to gather my entire family in one place, and enjoy some delicious fall favorites (sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie–come to Mama), surrounded by loved ones and autumn colors.

This year, as I find the holiday quickly approaching, I’m noticing a number of stressors in my life. I’m finding it easy to get wrapped up in the whirlwind my life has felt like recently. My mind is becoming saturated with panic as I think about the case study I have due, the travel plans I have yet to finalize, and what I feel is a pretty unreasonable amount of personal issues I’ve been faced with over the past month.

But today I had a truly awakening experience while speaking to a patient who is over 60 years my senior. The conversation started as most of mine in the hospital do–wanting to check in on appetite, diet at home, and so on. As my preceptor and I had literally stepped one foot each out the door at the end of our interview, the patient said something funny that made her chuckle. Her stretched out smile, without any warning, transitioned into a somber lowering of the eyes, and then slowly turned to tears and sobbing. We sat back down, and asked her what was happening for her. She started to tell us about how sad she was in ending up where she was, with health problems she’d never dreamed would be hers.

She portrayed the decline of her health as a loss, “like losing a child,” she said, “it’s gone, and I’ll never see it again–I’ll never get it back.”

Choking back my tears, I stood back as my preceptor held the patient’s hand, comforting her until her smile returned.

I certainly don’t know where I stand on my belief in God and the ways of the Universe (I’m still working it all out). But today, I feel some force was on my side in placing this woman, and the lessons she had to learn in front of me.

Today, I can be thankful for my health. There may be many things in my life that are imperfect. But I can stand, and walk, and even run if I want to. I can make myself dinner, and can drive myself to work. I am self-sufficient, and it wasn’t until this afternoon that I learned what an incredibly beautiful and special thing that is.

So, what can you be grateful for today?

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Because this is about honesty…

While I love to preach moderation, and share with all of you tips and tricks to maintain such a lifestyle, I think it’s also important to own each of my actions, INCLUDING the not-so-moderate.

 

So, for the sake of honesty, and giving support to any of you who struggle with maintaining balance, I would like to share with you all that yesterday was a rough day. I was experiencing some… “feminine problems,” with pain unlike any other I’ve experienced before. I am not embellishing. Yesterday, for the first time in years, I went day #1 of every girl’s favorite week with no meds. I now know that for me that is NOT a good idea. I love to avoid medication whenever possible… But I now believe that is something my body might need. Coupled with this pain, I was having some insane cravings for some seriously processed food items. I’m talkin’ good ol’ Ben & Jerry’s, Annie’s Pasta Shells, and a Justin’s peanuts and chocolate bar. Alright, so I kept it somewhat organic. But that is hardly moderate. Below, some evidence:

 

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(That’s right — the full fat version)

 

I just wanted to share this information with readers to say that living a moderate lifestyle is NOT fool-proof. But I should mention that today I feel great. I feel like I listened to a craving, squelched it (with some undeniable vigor!), and am now ready to move on and get back up on the horse of moderation. No restricting. No purging. No crazy recovery detox diet.

 

And that’s not to say we should indulge EVERY craving. But–you get it–LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! It has more to say than you may realize.

 

That is all! Please check back soon for a new video :).

 

Tuesday’s Quick Tip

Tuesday's Quick Tip

Social networking websites like Tumblr, Pinterest, and various blog-o-spheres are filled with pictures and words to use as motivation. Instead of using pictures of others’ bodies as a catalyst for our own change, why not use other goals? For example: I would love to one day hold a hand stand away from the wall for more than 30 seconds. This allows us to focus more on the power of what our bodies can DO, rather than on how they LOOK. After all, that’s truly the objective for improving your health, isn’t it? 🙂

Quick Tip of the Day – Feb 15, 2013

STRETCH while waiting for copies to print!

Every day…

…It’s becoming more and more apparent. I need a regular yoga practice in my life. Immediately.