#75 Check for Vitamin Deficiencies

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#75

Check for Vitamin Deficiencies

When was the last time you had a physical? And in particular, did it include a thorough vitamin panel to check for deficiencies? Our bodies have a method for letting us know but when we don’t know the signs, we aren’t able to ‘hear’ what our body is saying. Some vitamin deficiencies can lead to extreme health problems – others can create chronic difficulties.

Here are the things to pay attention to:

Omega 3’s

Fatty acids are essential for our skin. They act as lubricants for our body and when we are low, we are likely to see flaky skin, especially on the scalp. Cracked and peeling skin on the hands and feet are also a fair sign that your body may be low in Omega 3’s.

Fixing this problems is primarily accomplished by eating foods containing the vitamins; fish, nuts, and oils up to just over a gram a day for most adults. An average piece of salmon will contain almost a week’s worth; throw in a few nuts and a little oil and you’ll be all set.

B Vitamins

We need several of the B vitamins; B1 (Thiamine), B6, and B12. Beginning with Thiamine, a deficiency is rare in the United States but people who drink alcohol excessively are susceptible to Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome and may experience tingling and numbness in their extremities, weight loss, confusion, and weakness to name a few symptoms.

Eating meats, whole grains, and beans as part of a normal diet will generally offer enough of this vitamin

B6

People with kidney dysfunction, autoimmune disorders, and alcoholics have difficulty absorbing enough Vitamin B6 from their diet. Poultry, fish, and non-citrus fruits will help but so will adding a supplement (do so only with a doctor’s recommendation).

B12

As many as 15% of Americans don’t absorb enough vitamin B12 – they may consume it, but lots of factors may prevent the absorption. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite and weight loss, numbness, tinglings, depression, poor memory and a few others.

Most multivitamins contain B12 and a doctor can prescribe an additional injection if a deficiency is found.

D

The human body needs more vitamin D as it ages and the food we eat doesn’t naturally contain a sufficient supply. As you probably know, the sun is actually the source for most of our vitamin D supply and yet depending on where you live or how much exposure you have to daylight, you may not be getting enough.

Deficiencies in vitamin D causes brittle bones and leaves people susceptible to breaks and fractures. It can, in extreme cases, cause Rickets.

It is easily remedied with supplements but you can also get too much so it’s imperative to have your levels checked before adding supplements.

These are the major vitamins that affect your mind and body but certainly not the only ones. A blood test will give you more information so the next time you see your physician, be sure to…

Check for vitamin deficiencies.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#171 Go Camping (or Glamping)

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#171

Go camping (or Glamping)

I didn’t exactly grow up camping the way so many people have but it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with getting away and sleeping outdoors, once I did.  There’s just something very natural about sleeping outdoors. Perhaps it calls to our ancestral memories when outdoor living was the only option. When we can spend time outdoors (or with the essence of being outside) without the frustration of insects, bad weather, or discomfort – it’s a wonderful experience that resonates deeply for most of us.

Options

Camping accommodations are about as diverse as there are places to camp. When you’re young and broke, tent camping is a great place to start. Small, easy to set up tents are inexpensive as are tent camping sites – especially at National Parks. There are pop-up campers, hard shell campers, fifth-wheel traveling homes, cottages, cabins, yurts, and various contraptions that have been turned into camping rentals (i.e., treehouses, cabooses, etc.). Likewise, prices run from just a few dollars a night to potentially hundreds if you’re Glamping in an elaborate tree house with all of the comfort amenities.

Comfort

Glamping is a relatively new twist to the idea of camping – taking all of the reasons people don’t camp – and erasing them. Glamping is perhaps the very best way to experience a change of scenery away from home while embracing a bit of the best camping elements. Glamping give you a chance to do all of the things that are great about camping; cooking on an open fire, eating outside, stepping out of your sleeping area and taking a hike, embracing copious amounts of fresh air, etc. By definition, Glamping is where campling and modern comforts (bed & flushing toilets) – collide.

Rental

The idea of Glamping has become so popular that AirBnB lists dozens of owners who are now making money by offering ‘accommodations’ that take camping to a whole new level. RV’s – Tents with beds, and treehouses are only a few of the offerings available now on these online overnight reservation services. Imagine the owner of a farm in western New York who puts up a large tent out on the edge of his tree line, lays in a throw rug, a queen sized mattress with high end linens, a few high powered battery operated lamps, lots of throw pillows, prepares a fire ready to light, and then leaves a tray with s’more fixings for you to enjoy at some point in the evening. Oh… and don’t forget the chemical toilet that’s available so you won’t have to succumb to any ‘out house’ experiences. That farmer… smart guy!

Certainly, throwing down a sleeping bag next to a babbling brook after sundown and watching the raccoons try to steal the bag of hot dog buns you left on the picnic table while you roast marshmallows over a fire you made by collecting scraps of wood across the forest floor… there is a beauty to that simplicity as well.

Perfect timing.

It’s that time of year in the Northern hemisphere where camping is prime… warm days and cool nights. Leaves will be changing colors and there will be a crispness to the air that is attractive no matter where you stay. It’s a time of year when the mountains call. There’s so many advantages to getting away from the daily stressors of your life and communing with nature – even if you do it in comfort! Your stress level will reduce, your exposure to Vitamin D will rise, your connection to family and/or friends will strengthen and your opportunity to ‘get grounded’ improves dramatically when you…

Go camping (or Glamping).

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#256 Spend a Day Nude

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#256

Spend a day nude

The more modest of you may cringe at this idea and yet I am confident that most of you will find it liberating.

There are benefits to living some of your life (or occasionally part of your day at least) in the buff.

Better Skin

This suggestion is especially important for those of you who have skin problems. Clothing can exacerbate many of those issues because fabric can be abrasive and tight enough to compromise circulation. Air freely circulates when we don’t cover our bodies and perspiration evaporates more effectively.

Better Sex

Connecting skin to skin promotes the release of oxytocin – a chemical in our brain that helps us feel good. It’s the love hormone. Just the act of being naked for a prolonged period will entice you to want sex; you’ll feel sexier. Your libido will increase.

Reduce Shame

The more comfortable you become with your body, the better your self-esteem and the more quickly any accumulated / taught shame you may have been taught about your body, will dissipate.

Higher Vitamin D Levels

When you allow ALL your skin to capture sunlight, there is a vast increase in vitamin D absorption. Of course, that’s a happy vitamin. Higher levels of Vitamin D will contribute to higher feels of well-being.

Better Sleep

We all sleep better when we are cooler and so instead of lowering the air temp in your house by cranking up the AC… ditch the jammies and you’ll reduce your body temperature naturally.

These are just a few of the benefits of stripping down to your birthday suit for a bit of time. I’m not suggesting that you join a nudist colony but you may find a week’s vacation on a nude beach gives you the experience and benefits we’re talking about here.

Just one warning… on my first experience at a nude beach I lathered all exposed areas heavily with sunscreen with focus on those places that were not acquainted with sunshine. In all the preparations – I forgot my ears! Blistered earlobes are not any more comfortable than burned butt cheeks so lather freely with a high level sunscreen!

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#348 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

My goal is to share a daily life lesson, tip, or hack. They are the things I want my children to know and the things that I teach to clients. They are the things that make my life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#348

Face the sun

This tip is specifically for those winter months or rainy grey days that may plague our mood or drain our sense of well-being. At those times – when the sun isn’t shining or is only accessible for a short time – our exposure becomes limited. It is likewise restricted for those of us who work indoors 7 to 8 hours a day, regardless of the time of year.

Exposure to sunshine helps our body produce vitamin D. Healthy vitamin D levels are essential to feeling good and when the sun is stubbornly hibernating, supplements may be helpful. An additional benefit to absorbing sun rays is the recent discovery that they promote immune function. Furthermore, sunlight supports the production of serotonin, another chemical that induces feelings of happiness.

When the sun IS shining, a helpful trick is to sit as close to a window as possible – assuming it is too cold to be outdoors – and position your face (eyes closed) toward the rays. Sit there as long as possible so that your skin can absorb as much of the vitamins and energy as possible. If the weather is nice of course, go outside so that there isn’t any barrier between you and the sun’s rays. I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you to wear sunscreen for this exercise regardless of the time of year. For people with limited access to daytime sunshine due to working conditions, I often recommend that they eat lunch or take a break in their cars utilizing the same techniques. If making time to ‘face’ the sunshine is literally unfeasible for some reason, a sun lamp is a fair alternative.

It’s important to note that people who are afflicted with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) have probably been advised of these techniques and yet they are advantageous for all of us – all year long. For all of us, grabbing a little more Vitamin D and purposefully manufacturing natural serotonin is as easy as being sure to turn and…

Face the sun.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.