More Info For You (and Me)

Since you all liked the info I gave you about what my doctor said, I thought I would fill you in on some of the information I received today.

My mom and I went to Well Beings Health & Nutrition Centre Ltd this afternoon.  Ultimately it’s a vitamin and supplement store near where we live but it’s head and shoulders above any vitamin store that I have ever been in.  All their staff are extremely knowledgeable about how different supplements and foods interact with your body.  So here’s what we found out.

Bananas:  not something that our bodies here in the western hemisphere are meant to digest because they are a tropical fruit.  They cause constipation and tummy upset.  The banana actually ferments in your stomach rather than digesting. 

Dairy:  not something our bodies are meant to digest.  Humans are the only creature that continues to drink milk (and eat milk products) after we are weaned.  Bovine dairy is terribly hard on the tummy and can cause upset and cramping as well as flare ups of skin disorders such as excema.  Dairy is also not the best source of calcium although it is the most convenient for most people.  A better source is dark green leafy vegetables such as chard, mustard greens, kale, spinach and arugula.  If you are set on using dairy as your source of calcium, switching to goat-based dairy is a better choice.

Coffee:  strips your body of magnesium, calcium and vitamin B’s.  You know how they say that consuming coffee around your time of the month can worsen cramps?  Well the decrease in magnesium is one of the causes of that.  Magnesium is the body’s natural pain killer and anti-inflammatory and without it, cramps, sports injuries and bruising are all made worse.

Multi-vitamins:  are good but the ones that you buy in the grocery store (centrum, one-a-day etc) are mineral coated and can be very hard on your tummy.  Get one from a vitamin or supplement retailer that is a gelcap or is incorporated into something like the Greens+ supplement.

So what are some good things we found out?

Vitamin B Complex:  can regulate moods (keeps them more even), help with cramping and assist in clearing up skin issues (excema, cracked lips)

Magnesium:  as mentioned above will assist the bodies natural healing and pain killing process

Acidophilus:  an excellent probiotic that you can take in pill form.  Will even out digestive issues and put the good bacteria back in your digestive tract.

Almonds:  an excellent source of calcium (which I already knew but figured that someone would like to know that his almond addiction has yet another benefit)

Now, if you go back to THIS post and read my menu you’ll notice that to follow these guidelines above I will have to cut out 2 yogurts, coffee, one cheese string and a banana (not to mention oranges which do terrible things to my skin from the inside).  I realize that these guidelines probably seem over the top and are cutting out some convenient and basically healthy foods.  I agree completely.  I will, however, be doing just what she said.  I’ve reached the point that I am able to make additional changes to my diet to weed out even more items that are not serving my body well.  I realize that many people would find these recommendations overwhelming and difficult to stick to, I might find that as well.  One small change every now and then though will combine wtih other small changes and over time you will have the healthy lifestyle and diet that you want.  It is entirely personal how far you want to go.  Some people will be happy with simply cutting out or reducing processed foods while other people are willing and able to take it to the next level.  Both these are absolutely fine.  It is a personal choice and whatever you do for YOU that makes you feel healthy and happy with yourself is the right choice.

All that said I am now off to eat deep fried turkey!



  1. Bev said,

    February 2, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    If someone didn’t know you better they would think that the last sentence negated the whole rest of the blog! Enjoy your turkey.
    You did an excellent job of putting all the information in a readable format and enabling readers to make some informed changes (to the extent they feel comfortable, as we discussed earlier).
    Turns out the digestive enzymes that I got are also good for inflammation, sure makes me happy.

  2. Carol said,

    February 3, 2008 at 4:25 am

    What an interesting post.
    I feel that your blog must be helping and supporting so many people, keep up the good work and thanks.

  3. Marueze said,

    February 3, 2008 at 8:31 am

    Very Interesting.

    I have been taking acidophilus for years a Dr recommended it when I complained about the calories content of yogurt for the bacterial benefit.

    Giving up Diary is a hard one for me. I use mostly non/fat stuff except for cheese. Though yes, I have read quite a bit on it. Marilu Henner has written some interesting health/lifestyle books which are along these lines, you might find some interest in them. Don’t know how popular she is up North. She is an actor (taxi series) and dancer – I believe her story is that after having what she believed to be a significant weight gain she started working on her nutrician and lost the weight and because a health advocate….she was one of the first I heard discussing Bovine milk.

    Bananas – great for potassium and leg cramps – but there a supplements for that too.

    The greens supplements are supposed to be very good.

    I have heard that there is more benefit to drinking teas than coffee, so I usually tend to go that way except for an occassional cappacino or latte. I’ll have to try a soy latte so not to have 2 evils. lol.

    I think all of our bodies react differently to different food, ( ie food allergies) don’t know if you recall the blood type diet. We are just a bunch of Chemical mass and DNA.

    I think of moderation.
    I concur that little changes and if you see the results you need tweak your program.

    Incoming information is always a great thing to share. Thanks so much for putting down all the information for us to check out.

    Thanks for it all.

  4. Comrade GoGo said,

    February 3, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Thanks for all the new info, Shanny! I’m such a geek about these things ;).

    Hope the fried turkey was delicious!

  5. Ashley Kosenski said,

    February 4, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    I was interested in your comment about some brands of multi-vitamins being inferior. I had done some looking into this in the past and ran across a web site that posts user reviews of various health supplements, it has been a good resource for me to try to figure issues like this out. (They don’t actually sell anything there, so at the info isn’t biased toward any supplement.)

  6. madmargaret said,

    February 4, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Enjoy that turkey! And count me as among the converted about B-Complex vitamins. They absolutely do work !

  7. Princess Darcy said,

    February 4, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Some info from the Sis:

    Taking Vitamin B6 (not in a complex, but the actual B6) everyday can regulate your period (lighter flow, less cramps). There is not enough B6 in the complex to do this, and since there’s so little, it is not harmful to take both the B6 and the complex.

    The reason bananas are good for leg cramping is because of the potassium. Soymilk has 356mg of potassium and 366mg in milk… so if you’re looking for potassium for cramping etc… try soy milk…

    I also heard that part of the reason that the mass produced vitamins (centrium) are less effective, is that they process them so much that you don’t actually get all the health benefits out of them. The looser packed, less shiny and to be honest, stinkier the vitamins are, the better.

  8. luismacnailly said,

    February 5, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Hey thanks for that post about nutritionatree. I have seen a lot of popular products listed there with some very interesting opinions on them. Kinda highlights the scam products and shows what can actually work.

    Thanks again.

  9. ladybeams said,

    February 6, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    I thought I would pass this on to you in light of your post. Put out by the ‘Banana Chamber of Commerce’. Personally I eat 1 per day for the potassium. Enjoy=)

    Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90- minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes.

    But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

    Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

    PMS: Forget the pills – eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

    Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

    Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

    Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

    Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

    Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

    Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

    Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

    Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

    Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

    Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

    Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

    Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a “cooling” fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

    Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

    Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 th ey contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

    Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

    Strokes: According to research in “The New England Journal of Medicine, “eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

    Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

    So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, “A banana a day keeps the doctor away!”

  10. ladybeams said,

    February 6, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Sorry that got so long. It didn’t look that long before I put it here. LOL

  11. ladybeams said,

    March 1, 2008 at 7:24 am

    LadyShanny, you haven’t said much about this lately, but if you are still into this advice, my daughter has been reading “Skinny Bitchs” and evidently it has a lot of quality info in it along these same lines. Just thought you might be interested. She has decided to go Vegan, but like you, she isn’t quite ready to cut out dairy along with meat, etc. She’s taking one step at a time so as to not sabatoge (sp?) herself.

  12. ostrich said,

    June 20, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    hi lady shanny
    i was thinking to let it go but i dont agree with your this part

    Bananas: not something that our bodies here in the western hemisphere are meant to digest because they are a tropical fruit. They cause constipation and tummy upset. The banana actually ferments in your stomach rather than digesting.

    i would like to say banana is like a complet food contains all sort of nutrients

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