Vitamin D, Vitamin D for Me!

Vitamin D is my number 1 supplement! Another winter in the midwest, where the sun doesn’t shine has left me with suboptimal Vitamin D levels. Yes, I went to my  doctor and got a blood test. My levels were considered to be suboptimal. 😦

Why?!? Living in a northern state is a risk factor for becoming vitamin D deficient. The most common way to get Vitamin D is through the sun. There’s little sun to be found here in Chicago during the winter months.

Fun Fact: The body area that absorbs Vit D (from the sun) the best is the stomach! (Guess its time for a trip to the beach!)

Since, I would like to avoid becoming Vitamin D deficient, I’ve upped my vitamin D intake. I regularly eat foods fortified with Vitamin D such as milk, orange juice, tofu, and cereal; but apparently this was not enough for me. During the winter months, I’ll have to take a Vitamin D supplement. I have found that I like the chewy gummy options; they’re like candy. 🙂

Why is Vitamin D important? Vitamin D is necessary for proper bone growth. It also helps maintain calcium levels and assists in the bone remodeling. Not having enough Vit D3 can increase the risk of autoimmmune diseases, and nonskeletal chronic diseases. More concerning is that Vitamin D can also impact immunity, muscle function, and inflammation status.

How much? Most sources recommend supplementing with around 1,000-2,000 IU, but be sure check with your health care provider.Good food sources of vitamin D include egg yolks (see the omelette), dairy, orange juice, and cereals.


More Vitamin D Reading: NIH and EatRight

References: Dunford M, Coleman EJ. Ergogenic aids, dietary supplements, and exercise. In: Rosenbloom CA, Coleman EJ, eds. Sports Nutrition: A Practice Manual for Professionals. 5th ed. Chicago, IL: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; 2012:128.




Soulcycle= Spin for the Soul

Boutique fitness studios are becoming increasing popular. Barre, HITT, and Spin studios are popping up all over the place. Over the weekend, I got the chance to try out Soulcycle courtsey of Target- not once, but twice. #SoulcyclexTarget Here are my thoughts:

Loved: Format of HITT cardio, wonderful instructors, energy of the experience

Ehhh?/ Love to Hate: Loud music, variety of instructors, Upper Body Strength, the feeling that you have to exactly the same as everyone else.

Conclusion: If you love spin class, want a great workout, love loud music, and are willing to do upper body strength, then Soulcycle is the fitness studio for you. If not, do your thing- whether it’s strolling the neighborhood, running for your life, or pounding some weights- STAY ACTIVE!

Want to know more? Just ask. Meanwhile, I’ll be at gym or maybe another Soulcycle class.

Balance? Story of a Recovering Snapchaddict

Balance, I thought I had it. Sure, a few people have recommended that I need some more balance in my life. Work, running, and food are my 3 main things in life. I occasionally added in some yoga and sleep for “balance.” I thought I had balance with my typical day…

A typical day looked like this: Wake up, do yoga, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, snack, workout, dinner, and bedtime.

This is what I left out of the above schedule: my newly found communications habit. 2016 was the year- the year of me connecting with everyone- friends from the past, new friends, etc. So at breakfast- I’d shoot a few texts (or snaps), maybe do some texting on the way to work, answer a few texts at lunch time, and then when I came home- the texting game was really on. If I’m being honest, I spent a few hours texting, Snapchatting, and using other apps for a few hours every evening. I was ok with this- I figured it seemed more beneficial than a Netflix Binge and I was still getting in my fitness (see above schedule for reference of yoga and running!). How could it be so wrong to use for phone to communicating with people? How many Snaps is too many? 10 snaps a day seems reasonable to friends, right?

Well, I’ll share with you how it went wrong…

After about a month of increased phone communications, my neck and shoulder starting hurting. I assumed I slept “funny” so I briefly let the pain linger. After about week, I finally went to the doctor.  What was my diagnosis, you ask? “TEXT NECK!”

Sure, I had heard of “text neck.” It was a disease that plagued teenagers glued to their phone 24/7. Not me, it couldn’t happen to me. I exercise, I stretch, and I eat healthy! I only use my phone moderately for the most part (except for those binge sessions every evening). Clearly, I have a problem and need to fix and prevent text neck from ever occurring again.

My Game Plan is as follows:

  1. Continue to see the doctor and get some trigger point therapy to deal with acute pain/ situation
  2. Continue stretching and doing yoga at home
  3. Limit Snapchat usage to once daily for maximum of 30 mins and delete extraneous apps (p.s. 5 days into Feb and I think I am doing rather well)
  4. Turn the phone off and some enjoy some Netflix bingeing (suggestions welcomed)

Yes, I am embarrassed about my current situation, but I’ll continue to share, because I do not want it to happen to you. Text neck, don’t let it happen to you or your friends! Don’t become a snapchaddict. Just in case, you do get it here are some great stretches.

Happy stretching and powering down! Hope you find your balance,

Emily (Snapchat Username: keannutrition for delicious food and other healthy snaps)