Basic Multivitamin (How to pick a good one)

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A basic multivitamin is a good thing to add to any diet plan. Even if your eating healthy and taking care of yourself, you still can be lacking some nutrients that your body needs to function properly everyday. But when strolling down the multivitamin isle, you can be a little overwhelmed at trying to find the best one. Which brand do you choose? Do you choose one that’s a pill form, gummy form? Do you choose one that’s meant for a man or woman? There are a lot of questions to ask yourself.

1. Why you should take one- well there is the obvious fact that your diet on some days is going to lack all the nutrients your supposed to get, its almost inevitable unless you seriously carry around a bag full of fruits and veggies with you all day everywhere you go.. lol. Plus it will make you feel better and you’ll most likely have more energy and function better too.

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2. What to look for-

  • Look at the label and see what’s included in the vitamin. All the ingredients are listed, make sure that the amounts will work for your diet, you don’t want too much vitamin c because you’ll just end up peeing it out. (sorry for being so blunt- but its true) If your diet already consist of a lot of vitamin A already, your not going to need a vitamin that’s high in it. Get my drift?
  • On the flipside, don’t overdo it either, you don’t need a multivitamin that has like 120% of the DRV (Daily Recommended Values). Too much can either make your body sick (headaches, nausea, etc.. ) and also can be toxic towards the body.
  • Shoot for basic nutrition – B1, B2, B5,B6,B9, B12, vitamin C, Vitamin A, vitamin D, potassium, iodine, zinc, magnesium…
  • Choosing the ones geared toward sex and age. Woman’s multi is geared toward the baby making years. Men’s are geared toward the basics and 50+ multi is obviously geared towards that age, your bodies ability to absorb certain nutrients slows down, so they may have some more of a certain vitamin in theirs.

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Choosing the best form is a personal thing, whether you find it easier to swallow basic pills, taking a gummy or even using a powder form, you have to choose the best one for you.

* be sure to check expiration dates, they don’t last forever.

* make sure you take it with food to avoid getting that horrible nauseous feeling!!

Benefits of Egg Whites

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Eggs have been given a kind of bad rep because they are high in cholesterol and fat. But if you take out that yolk you save about 50 calories alone, along with no cholesterol or fat at all. Mission accomplished!

Even though you’re taking out the yolks, the protein from the egg white alone is still a good and high quality protein. The egg white contains the nutrients along with amino acids your body needs to function through out the day.Yes, you need fats in your diet to be healthy but make those fats come from things like nuts, seeds and healthy oils preferably.

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Egg whites are very low in calories as well, an average egg contains around 70 calories per egg, cut out the yolk and you cut out about 55 calories leaving you with anywhere around 15 calories total per egg white (give or take the size of the egg). So with weight management, egg whites are beneficial because you’re still getting all the nutrients you need without the extra fat and calories. Even if you were to make an omelet with 2 whole eggs and one egg white your still saving calories… and this might be an easier transition to eating healthier.

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How to Read Nutrition Labels

So reading nutrition labels can be scary, its ok to admit it. Half the time all I see when I pick up a product I have never heard of it looks like “kjsdkfbsjdfbosb” is in it… sometimes I can pick out what I think that could possibly be and other times I don’t even try because its obviously something insane!

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Here are some of the things that are a basic that I think everyone should know just in general but also know to kind of look out for when purchasing foods for themselves and family. I’m going to give your the basics of what everything means as well! =)

** Basic things I check is first what’s in it? How many ingredients are in it ? Carbs, protein, sugar and then calories… ***

  1. What’s the serving size? (go look at the serving size of your saltines, I bet its around 3-4 crackers. Do you eat that many.. honestly? No you eat like 10. Been there done that! Make sure you look at the serving size, say the labels says 4 crackers and that there are 3g sugar in 2 crackers (that means there are 15 g sugar in those 10 crackers). This goes for calories and everything else too, not just sugar. Keeps you eating the right proportions is knowing the serving sizes to begin with! =)
  2. Ingredients: They are labeled in order of quantity and volume, meaning that if sugar is like the second thing on the list don’t bring it home! The higher up whatever ingredient is in the list, the more the product contains of it and the lower the ingredient on the list the least of it. Watch out of hidden words like “dextrose, glucose High fructose Corn Syrup, Syrups, Aspartame.” These are still sugars you want to avoid. They put these ingredients as different names in hope of people not knowing what they are so they will buy more of it. Even when looking at the actual grams of sugar it contains, they don’t split it up and say where the sugar is coming from (like fructose comes naturally through fruit) So be sure to look at the actual ingredient list and know where your “sugar” form is coming from. Not all sugars are bad, its the syrups and fake sugars to watch out for!
  3. Calorie Count- How many calories does it contain per serving? This is where people can get confused when it comes to nutrition. Usually people just look and see if it contains a lot of calories or not, not even looking at the nutrients. In example something that contains a high amount of calories doesn’t necessarily mean its a bad food- it may contain a lot of nutrients. So don’t just look and see that it has 400 calories and then put it back onto the shelf, look and see where those calories may be coming from. Also don’t go after every food you can find that has little to no calories either. Just because it has 0 calories doesn’t mean its a healthy for you option. There are lots of things (unless its like fruits and veggies) contain 0 calories that have a million ingredients and fake sugar galore!!! Quality Vs. Quantity is a good example here.
  4. Where are your Vitamins, Minerals and Nutrients at? – (DV) Daily Value is considered ideal and most sufficient when it comes to a basic diet. If it contains anywhere from 10-15% of your DV, its usually a better choice! The higher the better! You need all those nutrients to sustain energy, and keep your metabolism up and running good!!
  5. Sodium -When you’ve had too much sodium it raises your blood pressure. Also some foods have more than 3,000 milligrams alone in one serving when your daily amount is 2,300 (which I still think is too high personally- I would shoot for no more than 1500 ). The way I look at it too, the more sodium usually means its highly processed and should ideally stay away from. Things like frozen premade dinners have around 800 or more….. where as a green bell pepper has 4mg pepper.
  6. Carbohydrate- Here’s something tricky when reading carbohydrate on the label, it also includes complex carbs, fiber and sugar… I know how annoying?! So ideally shot for around 150-300 carbs a day at MOST! (keep in mind, depending on your level of physical activity could very with this and what kind of a diet your on as well. ) Some people go to extremes and do very low carb diets (which I’m not a huge fan of- because your body uses carbs as fuel) *note: I mean you should eat “good carbs and not “bad carbs” when I state that you should eat them. Some examples of good carbs include: Fruit, Veggies, 100% Whole Grains.. Bad carbs include: Refined grains and sweets with way too much sugar or fake sugar.
  7. Protein –  Depends on if your trying to build muscle, but usually shoot for around 40-50g a day. 35% of your calories should come from a clean protein source.
  8. What Kinds of Fats? – There are many types of fat and not all fat is bad for you. Your body needs fat to survive and function properly. The ideal type of fat is (Unsaturated fat), your usually clear if it doesn’t contain too much and/or (monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fats) These come from oils and other foods like olives, avocado, nuts, seeds and natural butter spreads (like almond butter or peanut butter) and fish . The ones you want to stay away from are the… (trans fat and saturated fats) If your food contains lots of this type of fat, just put it back and don’t even try to justify it. Its not healthy and not worth it! This usually comes from animal sources whether that be from the animal meat itself or something that comes from the animal, like dairy or eggs.
  9. Fiber- Always look for high fiber in anything, not if your eating enough veggies and fruits (which you know if you are because you will be eating them all the time..right?! ) then you don’t really need to worry about getting enough fiber, but always good to look for (shoot fore 3g or more)
  10. Sugar- The lower the better, but make sure your making sure there is “fake sugar” in it because that even worse! Shoot for natural sugars from things like fruit, veggies and some whole grains rather than the sugars in pre-packaged and processed foods. Your tummy will thank you! Try not to consume more than 30g sugars a day (Which is still kinda high)

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Benefits of Flax Seeds!

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I love adding flax-seed to my recipes, if you haven’t noticed! So here I’m going to tell you why they are so amazing and some of the benefits they can provide.

So they are most commonly known for providing a good source of Omega-3, but they also have a good source of ALA  (alpha linoleic acid), fiber, and micronutrients. They are known to protect against things such as cancer, heart disease, inflammation, diabetes, arthritis, improving blood sugar, lowering cholesterol and many other things.

You can choose different forms of flax whether you want an flax oil, the whole seed or a seed that’s been ground into to a powder form (ground meal flaxseed). Store in a cool dark and dry place for optimum freshness. ( I keep mine either in the pantry or fridge).

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Flax seed can be added to virtually many dishes because its easy to add into baked goods, oatmeal, smoothies and even meats (like a meatloaf or meatballs).Also, as you shop, you’ll probably notice that more and more things are starting to add it in because it’s so healthy! (yay) It has a light nutty flavor but isn’t too overpowering.

So whether you buy ground meal, whole seeds or an oil, enjoy the benefits and hopefully enjoy the taste! =)

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