Sunday, January 31, 2010



Hello, hello! My name is James, I'm Lindsay's husband. I started this blog back in 07(I think) as a means to just update people on how I train and race. Lindsay then came into my blog and the past year it has been more posts from her than I! Since training and racing is just around the corner I will be posting more often from now.

Since Lindsay posts about nutrition I thought I would come in and talk to you about my new nutritional sponsor for 2010. I would like to introduce you to

Tried their product back in August while training in North Carolina with Justin Park. We were on a long ride and I bonking and cramping. Justin gave me some EFS and liquid shot and in a few minutes I was good to go. Justin introduced me to the entire line up once we arrived back home. None of the drinks use artificial sweeteners and the bars are GLUTEN FREE! Yes, first endurance bars are gluten free!! They are also very delicious.

The line up in top notch. Multi Vitamins, Recovery Drink (Ultragen), electrolyte beverage (EFS), Gels (Liquid Shot), and the Optygen HP which is suppost to be out of this world. I have been on the multi vitamin for about two weeks and am feeling great. The recovery drink, ultragen is fantastic and a must have after long training days.

Go and check them out.

Cheers for now,

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Perfect Line Up

First of all, I want to say THANK YOU Muscle Milk for sending me these samples. Okay, now onto my post.
Don't get me wrong, I love making my homemade protein drinks in my fancy blender, but there are days were I forget them or am lazy and need a little protein boost post workout or between teaching/training. Like TODAY!! I went into the gym early to do a weight training workout and before I knew it, I was needed to sub a spin class 20 minutes after I had finished lifting. I needed something quick that wasn't heavy on the stomach. I didn't have bar on me and I didn't have my home made smoothie on me either (because I thought I'd be going straight home post weight workout, haha!). So i grabbed a 100 calorie muscle milk lights. I love this stuff for snacking. Its the only muscle milk that doesn't rip my stomach apart because its lactose and gluten free. Check out the stats.

So needless to say, I made it thru teaching spin class just fine. No cramping, stomach upsets, etc. After that, it was time for REAL FOOD!!

Happy Almost Friday!! Thank Goodness!!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"tweaking" things

Okay, So I can't rave enough about April's yummy recipes. They always look awesome. I've been meaning to try her No Carb Muffins but being that we don't use soy flour or wheat bran, I needed to find a replacement that would work. So here's what I came up with and it actually WORKED! YUM!

Pumpkin Spice Protein Muffins

Liquid Ingredients:

•1/2 cup liquid egg whites (or one egg beaten)
•1/2 cup water
•1 tsp vanilla

Dry Ingredients:

•3/4 to 1 cup Plain whey protein powder
•1/4 cup flaxmeal or ground flax seeds
•1/2 cup almond meal
•1/5 cup coconut flour
•1/4 cup organic pumpkin pie mix
•1 tsp baking powder
•2 tsp baking soda
•1 tsp cinnamon
•1 stevia packet


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick baking spray set aside.

2.Mix liquid ingredients together, then mix in dry ingredients.

3.Pour into muffin tins, bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

NUTRITION- 12 Muffins

Calories 84.9 ,Total Fat 3.6 g ,Saturated Fat 0.4 g ,Total Carbohydrate 5.2 g, Dietary Fiber 2.4 g ,Sugars 0.3 g, Protein 9.0 g

Not bad, eh? Try 'em. Again, they go great with nut butter or greek yogurt!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Interesting Combo

So tonight I was craving sweet and spicy goodness. I looked around the kitchen and found some ingredients that caught my attention. Sweet potatoes and bananas. I thought, what the heck. I try something with it. So I diced the sweet potato, steamed them in the microwave a little bit so they were tender. Then I moved them to a pot where I cooked them more on medium high heat ALONG WITH one banana, chili pepper spice, a little REAL butter, almond milk, and black pepper. 5 minutes later, I removed them from heat, mashed all the ingredients together and added a little more milk and almond cheese (you can add laughing cow cheese or mozzarella cheese as well). Again, cooked on low until it was one big sweet and spicy mash came together. This was great paired with a salad and chicken tamales. YUM! You can also top the mash with greek yogurt for extra creaminess!

Oh, and it also goes well with this! Smooth........

Any other interesting food combo's out there? Do share!



Look forward to James posting next. He's got something up his sleeve!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The All or Nothing Syndrome

Happy Monday to all! Its actually been a good day, thus far. After my morning clients, I came home to receive (via email) one of Mark Sissons weekly "Primal Insiders." We subscribe to his blog and his articles always seems to catch my attention. Today's article really hit the spot for a lot of people I know, including myself and I just had to share. Cheers!

This week's Insider is yet another health challenge, but it's a little different this time. I've tailored the challenge to target the two main segments of the Primal audience - those who work out religiously, and those who like to take it a little easier. Both are good ways to go about it, especially if you're eating the right food, but there's always room for improvement.

To the ultra-dedicated gym junkies out there, I say this: take a break! I've been there, you know. I spent years running a hundred miles every week. Life was a constant state of carb-loading, training to exhaustion, resting, fighting off illness... and then getting up and doing it all over again. Of course, you might (rightly) point out that I was engaging in the dreaded chronic cardio, and that the Primal way of shorter, more intense workouts punctuated by low-level, long-lasting activity and play is far superior. I won't argue with that. I have great respect for the folks over at Crossfit, and I'm a huge proponent of lifting heavy weights and running sprints on a regular basis. But I also stress the importance of relaxation - of giving your body a rest every once in awhile. Especially if you're working out the right way (hard, fast, intense), your muscles are going to need as much rest as they can get.

To look at it from Grok's perspective, he approached fitness from a purely utilitarian, functional angle. He didn't have mirrors or marketing advocating a certain body type and nudging him toward a gym membership; he just got great exercise throughout the course of his everyday activities. For the most part, we don't have the same natural pressures forcing us to be fit, so some semblance of self-motivation is absolutely required. Just don't overdo it! Don't beat yourself over the head because you skipped a workout. On the same token, don't force yourself to workout against your better instincts. If you're feeling exhausted, worn out, and sore - take a break. Read a book. Try meditating, or check out the yoga class. Relax a little! Y! ou've ea rned it.

To the Blueprinters who maybe find it difficult to get to the gym, I say this: get out and move around! I know, I know. I'm constantly harping on the fact that weight loss is mostly about what you eat, and you're happy enough eating good Primal foods and dropping inches. That's fine. But there are other benefits to exercise, things you may not be considering.

The more lean muscle mass you have, the healthier you are.
The stronger you are, the better equipped you are to handle what life can throw at you.
Strength and fitness are hallmarks of youth; if you want to enjoy vibrant longevity, working out can help you achieve it.
Exercise can release endorphins, the hormones responsible for such enjoyable sensations as runner's high, lifter's ecstasy, and sprinter's joy (okay, I just came up with those last two, but they're still real).
As you should already know, exercise doesn't have to happen at the gym. Not every workout has to be hardcore. You should think of the world as your playground, and of exercise as play. Go for a hike, clamber over some rocks. Take a long walk around the neighborhood (remember, walks count!). If you feel up for it, do some pull-ups on a tree or dips on a park bench. Whether you're doing deep squats in the gym or just playing with your kid in the park, the important thing is that you're active.

Everyone, remember my fitness mantra:

Make your easy workouts longer and easier, and your hard workouts shorter and harder.

Marks Daily Apple

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Its Over?

The weekend is over? I feel like we worked all weekend? Were did it go? Bugger! Well, Sundays we usually chill and do a little training then church at night but today was different. James paced Kelly in the 3M half marathon today then had to work past 5pm. I did some of Janetha's HIIT workouts, trained clients in the morning, then packaged Healthy Bites (our little homemade organic snack business), ran errands & laundry, etc. We usually have our Sunday routine, 5pm Church at the Austin Stone then Whole Foods after, well not today. I did end up getting dinner from Whole Foods, it was just home prepared. We tried out their Yellow Fin Tuna Burgers (minus the buns) tonight. Pretty tasty. I broiled them with almond cheddar cheese with a side of Brussel sprouts and mushrooms sauteed in white wine and lemon herb dressing. TASTY and QUICK! Now its off bed for yet another 4:45am wake up call. Coffee is set, ready to zonk out. Hope you all had a great and RELAXING weekend.


Whats your "go to" post race or post workout craving?? My husband loves breakfast tacos after a good long run or race. Kelly got her pancake fix today after her big race. I am a sucker for any breakfast foods- eggs, bacon, etc.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Wine date & Random Goodness

Yes, thats our Saturday night. A little wine date with the hubs at FIONS Wine and Pub down the road, then a random dinner (including a new product review) back at the CASA. Sounds good to me! After a nice glass of red and good conversation, James and I were hungry for all kinds of food. What to cook? Italian, Mexican, etc???? So it came down to what was in the fridge and pantry.


Organic Turkey
Brown Rice Tortillas
Almond CHeddar Cheese
Spicy Chipotle Sauce

Turkey & Mushroom Cheddar Quesadillas with a Chipotle kick and topped with Avocado!

But the Randomness came with the new product, Lundberg Gluten Free Parmesan. IT was FABULOUS! My husbands exact words were "WOW, SO FREAKIN GOOD!" haha. I followed the directions to a T, BUT I did add a little organic cream of broccoli soup and black pepper to give it a creamier flavor. GOOD call!! Check out the end results.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Simple and Savory

I LOVE salmon. There are endless ingredients that can make salmon great! Last night I tried a new one and it was, well in one word......savory! The secret ingredient? Coconut butter. Here's a simple salmon dish. 1-2 tbsp melted coconut butter mix in with balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and black pepper. I added a little lemon as well. Then coat your salmon with this marinade and let it sit in room temp (covered or in a plastic bag) for 10 minutes or so. I just heat the oven while this is marinating. You don't want to put it in the fridge because the coconut butter will harden. Then bake accordingly. 400F at 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Most of the time its 15 minutes or so. See, simple and savory.

For more uses of coconut (butter, oil, milk, flour, etc.) check out the recipes and facts at Marks Daily Apple. YUM!

Happy Friday and Have a Great weekend!



Good luck to all my friends and clients running the 3M this weekend in Austin!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bread n' Butter

Okay, so I finally made the "Cotter version" of April's low carb sweet bread. April's recipes always look so delicious, so I knew I had to attempt at this one. Her recipe used wheat bran and soy protein and my stomach doesn't really handle either of those. So instead I used almond meal, sun warrior protein powder, and flaxseed meal. How did it turn out you might wonder?? Scrumptious! And yes, it goes wonderfully with a schmear of butter, REAL BUTTER!
See below for my recipe.

Wheat/Soy Free Protein Bread:


•1 cup almond meal
•1/3 to 1/2 cup ground flaxseed meal
•1 serving (35gr) Sun Warrior Vanilla Protein Powder
•1/2 cup pure pumpkin (for less moist use 1/3 cup)
•1/2 cup liquid egg whites
•1 egg
•1/2 cup hot water
•1 tbsp each baking powder and cinnamon
•2 tsp pure stevia extract


1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick baking spray.
2.Combine all ingredients.
3.Pour into baking pan, bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Here's what the stats look like.

Nutritional Info
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 128
Total Fat: 6.3 g
Cholesterol: 23.7 mg
Sodium: 219.6 mg
Total Carbs: 10.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.9 g
Protein: 10g
Serves 8-9 slices



Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cha Cha Cha Chia

Remember these?

No no, I am actually talking about these. HAHA!

So I've had a lot of questions about Chia Seed lately. What to do with them, what are they good for, etc? I found the information below quite helpful and now I love Chia Seeds even more, haha!

What makes the Chia Seed the super food that many claim it to be?
- 30% of the chia seed’s oil is Omega 3 oil. C40% of its oil is Omega 6 oil. This provides the nice balance those who take supplemental Essential Fatty Acids are looking for. The chia seed’s substantially dense percentage in alpha-linolenic fatty acid also makes this seed a healthy dietary source of fatty acids.

- You do not need to grind the Chia Seeds to digest it. It is a relatively easy to digest seed, whereas flax seeds are not. Often, one has to grind flax seeds to be able to process them in their digestive system. That is not the case with chia seeds.

- The chia seeds are great for athletes because they are highly hydrophilic. Being hydrophilic means it absorbs large amounts of water. Chia Seeds can absorb over 10 times their weight in water making them a great enhancer in hydrating our bodies.

-They absorb the water we drink holding it in our system longer.
Studies show that eating chia seed slows down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrate calories into simple sugars. This leads scientists to believe that the chia seed may have great benefits for diabetics.

-The chia seed gels when becoming wet and this gel, when in our digestive systems, helps prevent some of the food, hence calories that we eat from getting absorbed into our system. This blockage of calorie absorption makes the chia seed a great diet helper. Eating the seeds also helps dieters by making them feel fuller faster so they will be less hungry!

-Chia seeds provide antioxidant activity

-Mix Chia seeds into yogurt, sprinkle them on cereal in the morning, add to salads, or even add them to your baking. There are many ways to add chia seeds into your daily routine!

Information provided by

Beeks eats had a great recipe for Chia Seed Granola. I threw in dried cherries as well.

3 cups rolled oats, (we use gluten-free)
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I used dark Agave nectar instead.)
Vanilla extract and cinnamon to taste.
2 T safflower oil
2 T chia seeds
1/3 cup dried cherries or berries (add at the end of baking)

Mix all together in a bowl or directly on a cookie sheet, bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, making sure to mix up the granola one or two times while baking, to ensure it doesn't burn. Should be golden light brownish.

This is great for on the snacking, pre or post workout snacks, etc.

Let me know if you try it.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Meat.....its whats for dinner

When I see Organic Bison on sale, it is a must grab. Sprouts had a special on organic ground bison and I was super pumped! Now what to make with it?!?!?! Decisions, decisions. Tough. Anyway, I've been digging some of April's recipes lately and she had a yummy spicy meatloaf I just had to try. Of course I switched it up and added my own flare (bison versus turkey and green chilies versus jalapenos) but all in all it was DELICIOUS and super easy!

Green Chili Bison Meatloaf
Makes 4-6 servings


•16oz of raw lean ground Bison
•3 tbsp cornmeal
•1 small can of diced green chilies
•6 tbsp liquid egg whites (or 2 whites from whole eggs)
•1/3 cup fresh salsa
•a dash of black pepper and chili powder
Arriba Chipotle BBQ sauce


1.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
2.Mix all ingredients together.
3.Pour mixture into baking loaf, bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the top is browned and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean

4. Top with a little Arriba Chipotle BBQ sauce for the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Meat fix accomplished!




I've had requests to start my own blog but am torn to leave my husbands blogging style. Give me your thoughts????

Macronutrients vs. Calories

Lets just call Monday's "article days". I cooked all weekend and will post recipes later this week, but for a change of pace, here's a great article about the difference between Marconutrients and Calorie Need. I think everyone will benefit from reading this!

Calories vs. Macronutrients: What is the difference for proper dieting?
First steps to determining your weight loss

Jaclyn Cousins

So, you are unhappy with your weight. You have more fat on then you are comfortable looking at in the mirror or carrying around. It is having a negative impact on your life in many ways, including your self confidence, motivation, social life, and work endeavors. The bottom line is you want that extra weight gone. But where do you start? Your first step is, determining what the cause is. But do you really know enough to determine and pinpoint why and how this is happening to your body? Many skip this important step and jump to the subjective way of dealing with it – which leads to decisions and for the most part relying on crash diets, excessive, or fads in hopes of changing their bodies. What they don’t know is these may seem to be simple choices but they will never work. What you need are choices that will be made from rational decisions based on long term lasting results for your overall and well being. But first, what are the causes? It is first of all, important to get an idea of how our bodies work, and what our bodies need. Our bodies all require energy input in order for us to perform our daily functions. This energy of course comes from the foods we eat. All the building blocks of food (or macronutrients) give us energy. These macronutrients consist of fats, proteins, alcohol, and carbohydrates. The energy that we get from these macronutrients: fats, proteins, alcohol, and carbohydrates, are all measured in calories. A calorie is a simple measurement of heat. So once we ingest our macronutrients, our bodies burn them as calories.
Here are a few examples to see how all our macronutrients can provide calories.

1) 1 gram of fat gives our bodies 9 calories
2) 1 gram of protein gives our bodies 4 calories
3) 1 gram of alcohol gives our bodies 7 calories
4) 1 gram of carbohydrates gives our bodies 4 calories

So on a scale of 1 to 10 calories, fats and alcohol gives us the most calories, and protein & carbohydrates gives us the least amount of calories. But, that doesn’t mean you should avoid fats and alcohol altogether just because they produce a higher amount of calories. Consistency and balance are key. Also macronutrients are not the same as calories, so 500 calories worth of carbohydrates will affect the body much differently than 500 calories worth of protein.
I must stress again though, macronutrients are not calories, and calories are not macronutrients. Macronutrients are the foods (proteins, fats, alcohol, and carbohydrates) that give our bodies calories during . 500 calories will always be 500calories, as a centimeter will always be a centimeter, but it’s not the calories that matter to the body, it’s the quality of the nutrients that are being put into it.
Ok, so after all this distinction amongst calories and macronutrients, you are probably still wondering how to fix your . This is where things might get a bit complex. Other than the fact that you are most likely consuming more calories than your body can burn off as energy, leading to fat storage, and that the easiest solution in your mind would be to reduce your caloric intake, that may not be the sole problem here. The bottom line is, the solution to my weight problem is going to be different to yours. All of our bodies are different, and as you probably know the majority of fail. What you need to do is figure out the root source of your problem. Why are overconsuming these calories to being with? Is it a cause of stress in your home, your work, or because of emotional behavioral issues? Is it a cultural issue? Your reasoning for overeating is probably unique in the fact that it is not the same as that of Joe, Billy, or Sue. This is only the first few steps in determining how can happen. But, in the end, it must start with you.

Cheers and HAPPY Monday to those who have off!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Eggs Marinara for dinner.....need I say more?!

So I saw this recipe from FOOD RENEGADE and just had to try it. It was so quick, easy, and delicious.This dish is great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. So versatile! Love it.

Eggs Poached in Marinara

Whatcha Need-

•As many eggs from pastured hens as you want to serve.
•At least 1 c. of marinara or other favorite pasta sauce per egg (we used mushroom marinara).
•We added avocado on top and a little cheese (almond cheddar).

The How-To

In a deep dish skillet bring marinara sauce to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium low so that the sauce is no longer bubbling. With a spoon, create “slots” for your eggs — tiny indentations in the marinara that will act like “bowls” in the sauce and hold your eggs in their places. Crack open one egg per slot. It should look something like this:

Try it and let me know what you think!


Thursday, January 14, 2010

How do you like your oats?

So we've been on this protein kick lately. I add it to everything it seems like. Protein smoothies, protein pudding, etc. My favorite so far is a big bowl of Chocolate Whey and banana oats. Thick, hearty, great combo for a cold day. Easy to make and even better if you let them sit in the fridge overnight.

1. 1 cup old fashion rolled Oats
2. 1 scoop chocolate whey
3. 1 banana
4. 1/2 cup Almond milk
5. 1/2 tbsp almond butter (optional)

We use a kettle to cook our oats. So I boiled the kettle, poured the hot water over my oats, added the chocolate whey and stirred. Then I let them sit (covered) for a few minutes, stir again. Then add milk and almond butter, stir and cook in microwave for a minute more. Then add your banana on top (you can mix it all together or just leave the banana slices on top). I let our sit over night and that way they were even thicker in the morning. YUM! Yes, simple recipe but sometimes simple is good.

How do you like your oats?


Monday, January 11, 2010


doesn't look hard, but this is one of the hardest positions to lie. Called the founder.

Ringa pakia! haha no, I'm not about to bust out a HAKA. but maybe in later post

Taking superman to a new level. It burns

What am I doing? I'm doing foundation roots classes here in Steiner Ranch. Mr. Armstrong is incorporating Foundation workouts into his training program in prep for his 2010 Tour. I'm a huge Lance fan. Derick Fisher from Lakers is doing Foundation. Dr. Jeff is helping me out this year to become faster and stronger on my bike. Dr. Jeff moved to Austin via California and brought this class with him. His good friend Dr. Goodman and Peter Park founded Foundation roots in order to help people develop stronger cores and reduce back pain and issues. Dr. Jeff along with Goodman and Park is one if not the only one trained to teach foundation roots at the moment. Dr. Jeff will be opening up his chiropractic clinic in Steiner Ranch shortly and will continue teaching his Foundation classes.

The workout is focused on working your deep inner core muscles. Since my biking was weak and inconsistent in 09 my coach (Matt Dixon) and I decided to make big changes and put in more gym work (I guess you could say I'm a gym rat now) and more core work. There are a number of positions you go through that challenge your core/lower back/glut in ways I can't even describe. When I finish the sessions it is like I have awakened muscles I have never used before and strengthened the ones I have been using. I though my core was at best, moderately strong...I was humbled big time while trying to hold certain positions. In three weeks worth of classes with Dr. Jeff I can climb better seated on my bike, can maintain better posture during my 90 min plus runs, and my entire body feels much more efficent. I would encourage anybody in the Austin area to visit this class. You can be an athlete, somebody who suffers back issues, or your avaerage joe who wants a stronger core.

Here is the description for the class.
The principle behind Foundation training is creating powerful, flexible movement from the real "core" of the body, the deep postural spine muscles. Foundation training brings people back to a primitive movement pattern, the way our bodies are designed to move. In re-establishing these movement patterns injuries very frequently decrease and all too often disappear. All of this begins with a slightly different understanding of what our movement core is composed of.

We define the core as being bi-layered:
The primary layer is that of the deep structural muscles of the spine, pelvis, and pelvic floor. These muscles are responsible for our stability while standing, sitting, and even laying down. They connect individual vertebrae and are involved in nearly every movement we make.

The secondary layer is composed of the larger muscles of the spine, hips and of course the abdomen. These muscles are very important in our larger movements, but without the structural integrity of those small supporting muscles, there is no real strength.

For more information, check out:

Try this new class, taught by Dr. Jeff!
Foundation classes are now offered exclusively at Wild Basin Fitness in Seiner Ranch
Monday, 5:30 pm. Wednesday, 10:00 am. Thursday, 5:45 pm.


Whats all the talk about?

So Vitamin D has been a big topic of discussion at our house lately. How much do I need versus James? Is 5,000 IU too much to take in one day? Liquid formula is faster absorbed than capsule, right? Well, I found this article that helps explain a lot and thought I'd share.


From the blog post Dr. William Davis.

Monday, January 11, 2010
Getting vitamin D right

Vitamin D is, without a doubt, the most incredible "vitamin"/prohormone/neurosteroid I have ever encountered. Frankly, I don't know how we got anything accomplished in health pre-D.

Unfortunately, people I meet rarely take their vitamin D in a way that accomplishes full restoration of vitamin D blood levels. It really isn't that tough.

Here's a list of common tripping points with vitamin D:

"I take vitamin D: 1000 units a day."
This is probably the most common mistake I see: Taking a dose that is unlikely to yield a desirable blood level. (We use 60-70 ng/ml of 25-hydroxy vitamin D as our target.) Most men and women require 6000 units per day to achieve this level. There is substantial individual variation, however, with an occasional person needing much more, a rare person requiring as little as 1000 units.

"I bought some vitamin D on sale. They were white tablets."
Time and again, patients in my office who initially have had successful vitamin D replacement, despite being reminded that only oil-based forms should be taken, switch to tablets. While they initially showed a 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood level, for instance, of 67 ng/ml on 8000 units per day with an oil-based capsule, they switch to a tablet form and the next blood level is 25 ng/ml. In other words, tablets are very poorly or erratically absorbed.

I have had people use tablets successfully, however, by taking their vitamin D tablets with a teaspoon of oil, e.g., olive oil. Oil is necessary for full absorption.

"I'm going to Florida. I'll stop my vitamin D because I'm going to lay in the sun."
Wrong. 90% of adults over 40 years old have lost the majority of their ability to activate vitamin D in the skin. A typical response might be an increase in blood level from 25 to 35 ng/ml--a 10 ng increase with a dark brown tan.

There is an occasional person who, with sun exposure, increases blood levels substantially. This can occur in both fair-skinned and dark-skinned people, though I've never seen it happen in an African-American person. The occasional person who maintains the ability to convert vitamin D with sun exposure, or young people, should seasonally adjust their vitamin D dose, e.g., 6000 units winter, 3000 units summer, or some other regimen that maintains desirable blood levels. You can see that monitoring blood levels (we check levels every 6 months for the first 2 years) is crucial: You cannot know what your vitamin D needs are unless you assess 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels.

"I drink plenty of milk. I don't think I need to take vitamin D."
Oh, boy. This is so wrong on so many levels.

First of all, no adult should be drinking plenty of cow's milk. (A discussion for another day.) Second of all, cow's milk averages 70 units of vitamin D, often the D2 form (ergocalciferol), per 8 oz. Even if the FDA-mandated 100 units per day were present, an average adult dose of 6000 units would require 60 glasses of milk per day. Can you say "diarrhea"?

Likewise, other food sources of vitamin D, such as fish (300-400 units per serving) and egg yolks (20 units per yolk), are inadequate. This makes sense: Humans are not meant to obtain vitamin D from food, but from sun exposure over a large body surface area. And this is a phenomenon that is meant to occur only in the youthful, ensuring that nature takes its course and us older folks get old and make way for the young (i.e., unless we intervene by taking vitamin D supplements).

"My doctor said that my vitamin D blood level was fine. It was 32 ng/ml."
Let's face it: By necessity, your overworked primary care physician, who manages gout, hip arthritis, migraine headaches, stomach aches, prostate enlargement, H1N1, depression, etc., is an amateur at nearly everything, expert in nothing. Nobody can do it all and get it right. Likewise vitamin D. The uncertain primary care physician will simply follow the dictates of the laboratory form that specifies "30-100 ng/ml" as the "normal" or "reference range." Unfortunately, the laboratory often quotes population distributions of a lab measure, not an ideal or desirable level.

To illustrate the folly of population distributions of a measure, imagine you and I want to know what women weigh. We go to a local mall and weigh several thousand women. We tally up the results and find that women weigh 172 lbs +/- 25 lbs (the mean +/- 2 standard deviations). (That's true, by the way.) Is that desirable? Of course it isn't. Population average or population distribution does not necessarily mean ideal or desirable.

"My husband's doctor said he should take 4000 units per day. So I just take the same dose."
That would be fine if all adults required the same dose. However, individual needs can vary enormously. A dose that is grossly insufficient for one person may be excessive for another. Once again, vitamin D dose needs can be individualized by assessing 25-hydroxy vitamin levels in the blood.

"I don't need to take vitamin D. I already take fish oil."
I believe this mistaken belief is either because people confuse fish oil with cod liver oil, which does contain some vitamin D. (Cod liver oil is not the best source of vitamin D, mostly because of the vitamin A content; also a discussion for another time), or because they've heard that eating fish provides vitamin D. However, fish oil capsules do not contain vitamin D unless it is added, in which case it should be prominently and explicitly stated on the label.

"I don't have to take vitamin D. It's summer."
For most people I know, if it's a bright, sunny July day, where are they likely to be? In an office, store, or home--NOT lying in the sun with a large body surface area exposed. Also, most people expose no more than 5-10% of surface area in public. I doubt you cut the grass in a bathing suit. Because of modern indoor lifestyles and fashion, the majority of adults need vitamin D supplementation year-round.

I advise everyone that gelcap vitamin D is preferable. Some, though not all, liquid drop forms have also worked. Take a dose that yields desirable blood levels. And blood levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D are ideally checked every 6 months: in summer and in winter to provide feedback on how much sun activation of D you obtain.

If your doctor is unwilling or unable to perform vitamin D testing, fingerstick vitamin D test kits can be obtained from Track Your Plaque.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Frigid tempatures = CHILI NIGHT! no pun intended, haha!

Wow, I have not seen 17 degrees in Austin for over 5 years. Well, maybe because 2 of those years we lived in Hawaii, but still. My blood is thin and I get cold when it 70 degrees, haha! So yesterday I wore 2 shirts and a hoody, 2 pairs of sox and boots, and gloves. PATHETIC? Uh, ya! Anyway, I told James I need some make some good 'ol home cooked chili for dinner. He agreed! It was delish. I don't use beans in our chili, just lean beef, lots of tomatoes and onion and carrots, and don't forget SPICE! Cayenne pepper, garlic, black pepper,salt, cumin, you name it. Oh and I did throw in 2 small cans of green chilies. We like things spicy around here. Pair it with tortilla chips and your golden.

I like Carroll Shelby's chili mix because you can choose mild or hot. We choose HOT!

Sautee the beef with 1/2 and onion(chopped) and drain fat.

Then add the 14 oz. diced tomatoes, 1 or 2 small cans green chilies, 6 oz. of tomato sauce, chili mix, spices, any other vegetable you'd like, 4oz broth or water and simmer for 15 minutes.

Dish out, top it with some cheese of your choice, and get your grub on!

It sure warmed me up!