Survival of the Fittest – Are you Vitamin D Deficient? Symptoms & Reasons why you need Vitamin D

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Vitamin D deficiency is incredibly common in the US, but many Americans mistakenly believe they aren’t at risk because they consume vitamin-D-fortified foods (such as milk).

There are very few foods that actually have therapeutic levels of vitamin D naturally and even fortified foods do not contain enough vitamin D to support your health needs.

Despite its name, vitamin D is not a regular vitamin. It’s actually a steroid hormone that you are designed to obtain primarily through sun exposure, not via your diet.

Signs You May Be Vitamin D Deficient

  1. You Have Darker Skin

African Americans are at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency, because if you have dark skin, you may need as much as 10 times more sun exposure to produce the same amount of vitamin D as a person with pale skin!

As Dr. Holick explained, your skin pigment acts as a natural sunscreen, so the more pigment you have, the more time you’ll need to spend in the sun to make adequate amounts of vitamin D.

  1. You Feel “Blue”

Serotonin, the brain hormone associated with mood elevation, rises with exposure to bright light and falls with decreased sun exposure. In 2006, scientists evaluated the effects of vitamin D on the mental health of 80 elderly patients and found those with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who received healthy doses.3

  1. You’re 50 or Older

As mentioned, as you get older your skin doesn’t make as much vitamin D in response to sun exposure. At the same time, your kidneys become less efficient at converting vitamin D into the form used by your body and older adults tend to spend more time indoors (i.e. getting even less sun exposure and therefore vitamin D).

  1. You’re Overweight or Obese (or Have a Higher Muscle Mass)

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble, hormone-like vitamin, which means body fat acts as a “sink” by collecting it. If you’re overweight or obese, you’re therefore likely going to need more vitamin D than a slimmer person — and the same holds true for people with higher body weights due to muscle mass.

  1. Your Bones Ache

According to Dr. Holick, many who see their doctor for aches and pains, especially in combination with fatigue, end up being misdiagnosed as having fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.

“Many of these symptoms are classic signs of vitamin D deficiency osteomalacia, which is different from the vitamin D deficiency that causes osteoporosis in adults,” he says. “What’s happening is that the vitamin D deficiency causes a defect in putting calcium into the collagen matrix into your skeleton. As a result, you have throbbing, aching bone pain.”

  1. Head Sweating

According to Dr. Holick, one of the first, classic signs of vitamin D deficiency is a sweaty head. In fact, physicians used to ask new mothers about head sweating in their newborns for this very reason. Excessive sweating in newborns due to neuromuscular irritability is still described as a common, early symptom of vitamin D deficiency.4

  1. You Have Gut Trouble

Remember, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means if you have a gastrointestinal condition that affects your ability to absorb fat, you may have lower absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D as well. This includes gut conditions like Crohn’s, celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and inflammatory bowel disease.

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Vitamin D also fights infections, including colds and the flu, as it regulates the expression of genes that influence your immune system to attack and destroy bacteria and viruses. In this interview above, Dr. Holick expounds on these and many other health benefits of vitamin D. For instance, optimizing your vitamin D levels can help protect against:

  • Cardiovascular disease. Vitamin D is very important for reducing hypertension, atherosclerotic heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. According to Dr. Holick, one study showed that vitamin D deficiency increased the risk of heart attack by 50 percent. What’s worse, if you have a heart attack and you’re vitamin D deficient, your risk of dying from that heart attack creeps up to nearly 100 percent!
  • Autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D is a potent immune modulator, making it very important for the prevention of autoimmune diseases, like multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Infections, including influenza. It also helps you fight infections of all kinds. A study done in Japan, for example, showed that schoolchildren taking 1,200 units of vitamin D per day during winter reduced their risk of getting influenza A infection by about 40 percent. I believe it’s far more prudent, safer, less expensive, and most importantly, far more effective to optimize your vitamin D levels than to get vaccinated against the flu.
  • DNA repair and metabolic processes. One of Dr. Holick’s studies showed that healthy volunteers taking 2,000 IUs of vitamin D per day for a few months up-regulated 291 different genes that control up to 80 different metabolic processes, from improving DNA repair to having effect on autoxidation (oxidation that occurs in the presence of oxygen and/or UV radiation, which has implications for aging and cancer, for example), boosting your immune system and many other biological processes.

Credit: Mercola

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Happy National Peanut Butter Day!!! – A History of Peanut Butter

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It’s National Peanut Butter Day! Peanut butter is a staple in over 90% of American households and the average person consumes more than six pounds of peanut products each year. Women and children prefer creamy peanut butter, while most men go for the chunky variety. 

George Bayle, a St. Louis snack food maker, started making peanut butter in the 1890s. For many years, manufacturers struggled with the oil separating from the grainy solids of the peaut butter. In 1923 Heinz became the first company to homogenize the peanuts into the spreadable butter we know and love today. Before long peanut butter was a classic American food.

Did you know that it takes 550 peanuts to make a 12 ounce jar of peanut butter? Peanuts are cholesterol free and an excellent source of protein. In fact, it’s the high protein content that causes peanut butter to stick to the roof of your mouth.

To celebrate National Peanut Butter Day, bake some peanut butter cookies, spread some tasty peanut butter on toast, or enjoy a spoonful right out of the jar!

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Happy National Pie Day!!! (Jan.23rd) – Tell us what’s your Favorite Pie?!!

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It’s National Pie Day! Pies have a long and illustrious history, but the sweet filled treats we enjoy today are a relatively recent innovation. The Greeks and Romans made some of the first pies in history. People filled pastry shells with different kinds of meat or seafood, flavored them with a variety of spices, and served them as part of the sweet course of the meal.

When the Pilgrims made their voyage to the New World in the late 1600s they arrived with English pie recipes for beef, lamb, duck, or pigeon. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that the first sweet pies emerged. These featured the ingredients we’re accustomed to today, and by the 1940s, pie had become the iconic American dessert.

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Whether you prefer apple, berry, pumpkin, or sweet potato, bake your favorite pie recipe tonight in honor of National Pie Day!

Happy New England Clam Chowder Day!!! – Recipe courtesy Dave Lieberman

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Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium onion, finely diced

2 celery stalks (reserve tender leaves) trimmed, quartered lengthwise, then sliced into 1/4-inch pieces

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 (10-ounce) cans chopped clams in juice

1 cup heavy cream

2 bay leaves

1 pound Idaho potatoes, cut into 1/2- inch cubes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pan Toasted Croutons:

2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes

3 tablespoons freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Pan Toasted Croutons:

Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and saute until softened, mixing often. Stir in the flour to distribute evenly. Add the stock, juice from 2 cans of chopped clams (reserve clams), cream, bay leaves, and potatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, stirring consistently (the mixture will thicken), then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 20 minutes, stirring often, until the potatoes are nice and tender. Then add clams and season to taste with salt and pepper, cook until clams are just firm, another 2 minutes.

For the Pan Toasted Croutons:

Melt the butter in a large skillet and toss the bread cubes in the butter until browned and toasted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper.

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This is your chance to Post on BLW!!! – Share your Thoughts, Stories & Ideas with us!!!

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WE AT BE LIKE WATER BELIEVE THAT WE ARE ALL PART OF THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE, SO WE WANTED TO REACH OUT TO OUR FRIENDS & FANS TO SAY WE APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT

AND WE WANT TO GIVE BACK BY SHARING YOUR OWN THOUGHTS, STORIES OR IDEAS ON OUR SITE.

SO, IF YOU HAVE A STORY OR TOPIC YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH US, JUST LEAVE IT IN THE COMMENT SECTION WITH A LINK TO YOUR TOPIC AND WE WILL POST IT ON BLW,

OF COURSE THE TOPIC HAS TO BE SHARED WITH OUR OWN PHILOSOPHIES. THANK YOU AGAIN!

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Happy National Popcorn Day!!! (Jan. 19th) – Tell us your favorite kinda of Popcorn

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National Popcorn Day 2013

Americans eat about 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year (about 51 quarts per person), which makes it one of the most popular snacks in the country. It is also one of the oldest.

Popcorn has been around for centuries.  Popcorn originated in Mexico, but eventually made its way north. In 1948, archaeologists in the state of New Mexico discovered ancient popcorn ears that were at least 5,600 years old! The Native Americans (in both North and South America) popped their corn by throwing it on hot stones over a fire.

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Today, we rely heavily on microwaveable popcorn, which was introduced in the 1980s. To celebrate National Popcorn Day, make your favorite kind of popcorn and enjoy it while watching a movie with your friends!

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Need a Pick me Up? – Ways to get you back into the Game when you’re feeling Down

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MAKE A LIST.   

Sometimes we are depressed simply because we are overwhelmed with all the things we have to do that we haven’t gotten around to doing. You might be into GTD, but sometimes every GTDer falls behind with his system, and sometimes you just don’t have the energy to do so. So all the “stuff” that’s in our head can overwhelm us. Start simply by picking up a piece of paper and a pen, and making a list of the most pressing things you have to do. Sometimes it’s work stuff, sometimes it’s stuff around the house that’s bothering us, sometimes it’s goal tasks, or a combination of these and more. Simply making a list can be a big relief — you’re getting things under control. You can see, right in front of you, what you need to do, and that alone can pick up your mood.

TAKE ACTION.

You’ve made a list, and you still feel overwhelmed? Well, get started on the first thing you need to do. Is it a big task? Break it down and just do the smallest task, something just to get you started. Once you get started, once you get into action, you’ll feel better. Trust me. You might still feel overwhelmed, but at least you’re doing something. And once you start doing something, you’ve got momentum, and that feels much better than lying around feeling sorry for yourself.

EXERCISE.   

I know, you might not be in the mood for exercise. But just do it! Taking a walk, going for a run, going to the gym, whatever it is you do for exercise — get out and do it now! You don’t need to do a real hard workout, but the simple act of exercise can lift your mood immediately. Just do it!

SHOWER AND GROOM YOURSELF.  

 Laying around in your underwear, smelling bad, is not going to do you any good. Simply showering, and feeling clean, can do wonders for your mood. Brush your teeth, comb your hair, shave, do whatever it is that you need to do to feel clean and good about yourself. Instant pick me up!

GET OUT OF THE HOUSE AND DO SOMETHING.    

Sometimes, if you stay home lying around, feeling depressed, just getting out (after showering and grooming) will change your mood. Staying home all the time can really get you down, and you may not realize this until you go out and do something. Preferably something on your list (see No. 1).

PLAY SOME LIVELY MUSIC.  

 I like Brown Eyed Girl, the Kinks, the Ramones, or an upbeat Beatles tune, but you might have your own brand of feel-good music. Whatever it is, crank it up, and let yourself move to the beat. It may just be what the doctor ordered.

TALK ABOUT IT.  

Got a significant other, best friend, family member, co-worker you can talk to? Bend their ear. That’s what they’re their for. If you don’t, there are hotlines, or professionals, you can talk to. And then there’s always online forums. These are great places to find someone to talk to. Getting things off your chest makes a big difference, and can be a huge lift. It can also help you work out the reasons you’re feeling down.

Credit: Zen Habits

Fix ya Grille!!! – Home Remedies for Yellow Teeth

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BAKING SODA 

Baking soda is one of the most effective remedy for yellow teeth. Mix some baking soda in a glass of warm water. Use it as a mouth wash, rinse your mouth with this thrice a day. This will lead to sparkling teeth.

STRAWBERRIES 

Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which helps to make your teeth whiter. Make a paste by grinding few strawberries, gently rub your teeth using this paste. Do this twice a day for 2 weeks, this will surely helps and vanishes the yellow tinge on your teeth.

LEMON 

Lemon has a good bleaching property which can be used to get rid of the yellow teeth. Take the juice out of lemon and add one teaspoon of salt to it then gargle your mouth with this. Scrubbing your teeth with lemon peel is also one of the best ways to make your teeth whiter.

HOLY BASIL 

Holy Basil have whitening properties, it also treats gum problems like pyorrhea. Take out few basil leaves and keep them in the sun for few hours, once the leaves become dry, grind them and make it as a powder. Use this as tooth powder or else you can make it as a paste by adding mustard oil in it.

ORANGE PEEL 

Rub your teeth with orange peel before going to bed and then in the morning rinse your teeth with water. The calcium and vitamin C present in the orange peel will combat with microorganisms. This makes your teeth whiter and stronger.

HYDROGEN PEROXIDE 

Hydrogen Peroxide has mild bleaching property, this helps to reduce the yellow staining from your teeth. Use this as a mouth wash, Gargle with hydrogen peroxide. While gargling make sure not to swallow the hydrogen peroxide.

BANANA PEEL 

Rub your teeth with ripe banana peel for 5 minutes, as it is rich in potassium helps to make your teeth whiter. Do this twice a day.

CHARCOAL 

Earlier times people used charcoal to clean the teeth. Charcoal has a crystal based chemical which helps to make your teeth whiter. Mix some charcoal in the toothpaste to get rid of the yellow stains.

Credit: Health Digezt

Happy National Hot Pastrami Day!!! (Jan.14th) – A Sandwich History

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Pastrami lovers across the country eat lunch in celebration, having their favorite sandwich, each year on January 14 as they celebrate National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day.

A very popular delicatessen meat, pastrami is usually made from beef however sometimes is made from pork, mutton or turkey.  Pastrami was originally created as a way to preserve meat before modern refrigeration and is made by the raw meat being brined, partially dried, seasoned with various herbs and spices, then smoked and steamed.

A wave of Romanian Jewish immigration introduced pastrami (pronounced  pastróme), a Romanian specialty, in the second half of the 19th century.  Early English references used the spelling “pastrama” before the modified “pastrami” spelling was used. 

New York kosher butcher, Sussman Volk is generally credited with producing the first pastrami sandwich in 1887, claiming to have gotten the recipe from a Romanian friend in exchange for storage of his luggage.  Due to the popularity of his sandwich, Volk converted his butcher shop into a restaurant to sell pastrami sandwiches.

  • Pastrami is typically sliced and served hot on rye bread, a classic New York deli sandwich (pastrami on rye), sometimes served with coleslaw and Russian dressing.
  • Pastrami and coleslaw are combined in a Rachel sandwich ( a variation of the Reuben sandwich using corned beef and sauerkraut)
  • In Los Angeles – The classic pastrami sandwich is served with hot pastrami right out of the steamer, sliced very thin and wet from the brine then layered on double-baked Jewish-style rye bread.  It is traditionally accompanied by yellow mustard and pickles.

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Poetry Mondays – Bread and Music (Conrad Aiken)

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Music I heard with you was more than music,

And bread I broke with you was more than bread;

Now that I am without you, all is desolate;

All that was once so beautiful is dead.

 

Your hands once touched this table and this silver,

And I have seen your fingers hold this glass.

These things do not remember you, belovèd,

And yet your touch upon them will not pass.

 

For it was in my heart you moved among them,

And blessed them with your hands and with your eyes;

And in my heart they will remember always,—

They knew you once, O beautiful and wise.

Conrad Aiken- Selected Poems