Benefits and Sources of Vitamin D

HELLO SPRING SUNSHINE☀️ & VITAMIN D!

Anyone else ready for bikini season? Yeahhh, I’m over the chilly winter weather! Spring equinox is HERE! Give me some more naturally Vitamin D!

Benefits and sources of Vitamin D by Strong Sweet Caroline

☀️Did you know Vit D could actually be considered a hormone, not a vitamin? That’s because it can be synthesized from cholesterol after sun exposure. Depending on the amount of melanin in your skin, 20 minutes of total body sun exposure produces approximately 10k-20k IU of Vitamin D, which is the minimum dose to produce pink skin coloration. However, that is not always all processed by the body, as it has to go through a handful of processes inside the body.

☀️Benefits: Metabolism, Cardiovascular Health, Immunity, Pregnancy Health, Nervous System, Musculoskeletal Health.

☀️Depending on the source, FDA recommends 800 IU/day, while the Endocrine Society recommends 1500-2000 IU per day. If you are having issues with your period, acne, muscle soreness, you might consider working with your health coach or doctor about increasing how much you get in one day. And when we cannot get it from the sun, we definitely should consider our diet or supplementation to get this important nutrient in our body.

☀️2 types: D2 & D3. The difference? Not a whole lot, except their structure and source, but they are both converted by the liver into the same form of Vit D that is measured in a person’s blood test. Vegans often choose D2 for plant based, as D3 is usually sourced from animals.
☀️D2 Food – shiitake mushrooms
☀️D3 Foods – fatty fish, egg yolks, cod liver oil

What’s your Vitamin D intake right now?

Accepting new coaching clients. Send me an email at strongsweetcaroline@gmail.com to get started to reaching your health goals!

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9 Things People Don’t Tell You About the Fitness Industry

The deeper I get into health and fitness, the more passionate I become about specific areas and things individuals or companies are doing. Right or wrong, I compiled 9 facts below that I believe everyone should know that are not explicitly stated by everyone in the industry. I’d love to hear other ones you have in mind and which resonates most with you!

9 Things People Don't Tell You About the Fitness Industry by Strong Sweet Caroline

1- That being a personal trainer, online or in person, requires relationship-building skills for long term success.

2- That these ‘instafamous’ IG models are posing and holding shots for minutes on end, trying to get the right angles and flatter themselves best.

3- That the majority of supplement companies are using very similar or the same recipes & ingredient sources and are just marketing differently to get your dollar.

4- That in order to ‘drop weight quick’, you cannot just hire someone. You have to put your head and heart in it too, and follow through.

5- That many of these pros promoting an abundant, jacked and tanned, luxury lifestyle with sports cars and scenic backgrounds usually have one or two photoshoots to get the pics and may really be living a life of the complete opposite, and similar to you, are just trying to make ends meet.

6- That there is no magic tea, pill, waist trainer, workout program or nutrition guide to replace consistent, hard work.

7- That ‘free advice’ from a coach you aren’t paying is usually surface level information until you become a paying, dedicated client to have access to their knowledge.

8- That many workout videos online of ‘secret movements’ to grow or tone a body part are just eye candy… These people used normal compound movements first to develop their physiques.

9- That it’s no one else’s responsibility but your own to do the research, verify information and have dignity for yourself about who you follow & hire and what you purchase for your goals.

Would love to hear your thoughts on these! Comment below 🙂

2 Supplements for period health and stress

If you’ve ever been concerned about your period health, it may have caused you some stress. I know it has me. During this time of my competition prep, it has put more stress on my mind and body but I have found 2 staple things to keep in my diet/supplements that help regulate it naturally.

Do note, I am not using and never have used conventional birth control. These are natural remedies and if you are currently on BC, you many not have the same results.

2 Supplements for Period Health

1)Phosphatidylserine (PS)

This amino acid is found in brain cells of humans. It’s a fat-soluble phospholipid, especially helpful in cellular functions. It’s very difficult to find in our foods. It’s best known to help cognitive functionality and lower cortisol.

Dosage: minimum 100mg per day, effective at 300mg/day.

2)Diindolylmethane (DIM)

Derived from compound indole-3-carbinol, DIM restores healthy hormone balance by adjusting the balance of bad estrogens to good estrogens, and by blocking aromatase, which converts testosterone to estrogen. Meaning: it can help with the big issues from hormone imbalance like acne, PMS, and cancer decelopment.

It is found naturally in cruciferous veggies, highest in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and bok choy. But, only getting it from veggies can be hard on your thyroid, as they release  goitrogens. That’s where adding in the supplement can help.

Dosage: 100mg/day up to 400mg/day, take a break after about 6 weeks use

Check out my full description on them in this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/gVuitij79v0

I started using both of these during my first prep in 2016, but the dosage was not as high as I use now. Probably due to increased stress. I am also more aware of my body and its needs.

Questions? Ask away! I have a few products I’ve used I prefer, some including both ingredients. I am also accepting new clients. If interested, please email strongsweetcaroline@gmail.com

GREENS DRINK for acne

This post shares my personal thoughts. I am now an ambassador for BIOHM Health and may receive compensation for purchases using my code.

I’ve been doing a lot of reflection lately as we approach the end of the year. One of my constant battles has been with my gut health, digestion and skin. You can see in the photo below that among my freckles, I had some acne on my forehead and even a few spots on my upper chest.

It is super embarrassing and makes me uncomfortable in my own skin. And I’m 26. Why am I breaking out like this?!

Most of it stems from 1) hormones and 2) gut biome. If either are off, this is usually reflected on our faces. I want to treat my conditions from the inside, out. So the process continued.

I’ve spent lots of time, money and energy researching, testing and reviewing what is going on with my body and what has worked a little, a LOT or might just be a marketing hoax. I mostly focused on foods I was eating and trying to get more benefits from things like salmon for its Omega 3s, more leafy greens like kale and spinach and increasing seeds and nuts like almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds.

One thing that for a long while I felt was not making much difference was greens powder. There are SO MANY OF THEM on the market. Like, how do you even pick?!?! 

I’ve tried a few and have FINALLY found a product from BIOHM I like and I’ve felt a difference! I purchased during their Cyber Monday deals so I could also get a colon cleanser and gut health kit (aka stool test).

greens drink for acne by Strong Sweet Caroline

During my search and experimenting, I realized that I was lacking a large amount of nutrients, specifically ones call “micronutrients”, that are found in specific foods, like fruits and vegetables. When living by a more “routine” or “restrictive” diet, you often lack these micronutrients and are missing out on additional vitamins and benefits they can bring your body.

Using a greens powder can help bring some of those micros to your daily nutrition. BIOHM Super Greens contains ORGANIC, US-sourced plant extracts, digestive fiber and enzymes. It offers 15B active probiotics, working to break through digestive plaque and help restore and maintain optimal gut balance.

greens drink for acne by Strong Sweet Caroline

One thing I’ve enjoyed with them so far is the taste is subtle and delicious. You might also know from other greens that they need to be shaken or stirred pretty rigorously in order to fully blend the probiotics.

I’m eager to continue using them and see how my skin and body respond. I already know that they have helped with my regularity LOL!

Get them for 20% off for the holidays December 17 through December 19! Look for more updates on my skincare and gut health in the future. This is a front burner issue in my life and I hope to help those of you prevent it from becoming an issue or help you find your solution!

Save on all additional products — code: CAROLINE

greens drink for acne by Strong Sweet Caroline

New Healthy Dessert Ebook!

Guess WHAT?!?! It’s been a few months coming and it is finally DONE.

 

I have published my first healthy dessert ebook! Over the past four years, I have been trying and practicing various baked good recipes. Some I figured out on my own with just one or two tries. Others it was… a process to say the least! Many did not make the cut. But, that just leaves room for continued improvement later on.

Strong Sweet Caroline 50 Healthy Dessert Recipes Ebook

I want you to check out these first 50 recipes I have shared. There is quite a variety from

…chocolate chia cookies

…brownie cookie dough cake

…whole wheat pie crust

…donuts

…protein puppy chow

…lemon bars

and so much more! Some are vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten free, nut free, dairy free, lower sugar and higher protein!

Valued at $29.99, the ebook will launch for a special discounted price of $14!

Click this button to order today. Let’s bake healthy together!
 

5 minutes a day can improve your life

It’s only five minutes. You can do it. Just five minutes of your day.

I started meditating in 2017. It was a stressful planting season. Working in corn and soybean sales is no easy job. And I was wearing myself thin. I already worked out, went to bed early, ate a balanced diet and drank water. My sleep habits were OK but can always improve. What else could I possibly work on? That’s when I discovered meditation.

I think I had just finished reading 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris. At first, I was a skeptic myself. But I decided to start with a little goal. 1 minute.

How 5 minutes per day can improve your life by Strong Sweet Caroline

If I could clear my head and mind for one minute each day, that was the start. So, I did that for one week. Easy peasy. I advanced to three-minute sessions. That became more challenging. But, after about a month, I worked myself up to five minutes a day.

Those 5-minute daily meditations changed my life. It was not just a way to clear my mind and open my head space. It empowered me. Here’s how it empowered me and might have a similar effect for you.

  1. I created a rhythm and routine. Each day, I would wake up at the same time, start with drinking a big glass of water and sitting down to meditate. Some might find it odd I meditate in the morning. However, I found that gave me a clearer vision for the day ahead. Others might enjoy meditating over lunch break or before bed. I like consistency and most humans do well with schedule. Otherwise, just make sure to include it DAILY.
  2. Improved focus. It might seem weird, but the attempt to clear your mind and focus on absolutely nothing is pretty refreshing. And I realized that by doing it, I was able to focus better on tasks and projects at hand. There are hundreds of thoughts, images, ideas, people, memories and senses that flood our brains. It’s actually quite remarkable if you can clear your mind for a few moments. By practicing meditation, you practice improved focus. And in your day to day life, it will become less likely you will get distracted.
  3. A method of stress relief. Have you ever felt overwhelmed or in a crisis situation? What did you do to overcome it? You may have heard of people taking deep breaths, counting to 10, etc.? What about spending 5 minutes to close your eyes, level your breathing and focus on NOTHING? It works wonders. Studies also find that practicing daily meditation will lower cortisol and increase mood over time.

How 5 minutes per day can improve your life by Strong Sweet Caroline

These are just three reasons I meditate. Try it out yourself! Once you start the habit, don’t stop. Let your breathing methods grow and improve over time. You can be in complete silence, ambient music, guided meditation video or use the song I do, “Weightless” by Marconi Union. At the end of the day, that’s all we can do. Focus on continued self improvement. For five minutes a day, your personal bliss is worth it.

When life gets heavy, make some Protein Cherry Cheesecake bowls

It amazes me how often life can bring new surprises and opportunities. A handful are easy to accommodate, appreciate and take in. Others seem heavy.

They can cause confusion, misinterpretation, emotional withdrawal, overwhelm and senseless actions. Most of the time, those are the ones that we cannot control the end outcome. We need to analyze and act quickly, the best we can. How do you take time to think and mentally prepare?

Over the past several years, my “think zones” are one of two places.

  1. In nature. I love to explore a new park, a rural area away from the city scene and just escape the buzz and commotion. Whether it is greenery or floriculture, I have a strong connect to the gifts Mother Nature first instilled on the planet.
  2. In the kitchen. I can clear my head and mind of most everything to just create, cook, bake and try new recipes. It’s so soothing for me. And if there is a lot in my head, I will usually walk to the kitchen to refocus and shift my energy to productivity.

After I’m done, I can come away with a clear head. And some tasty meals or sweets 😀

Strong Sweet Caroline cherry cheesecake bowl

This one in particular, I came up with after a craving for some cheesecake. No point in spending money on sugary, less healthy cheesecake when I could make my own macro-friendly and gut healthy version.

The base was cream of rice, just like my post workout meal is supposed to be. But instead of doing just whey protein isolate and berries, I changed it up.

I don’t do this every day but on occasion, I will be within my macros and make slight changes to keep me accountable.

Strong Sweet Caroline Cherry Cheesecake Bowl

If you aren’t a cherry fan, you can easily do this with alternative berry like strawberries, blueberries or raspberries. Berries are lower in calories, lower on the glycemic index and pack a punch of antioxidants and beneficial vitamins.

And a touch of two crumbled Annie’s Honey Graham Crackers made the look and feel even more darling.

Now that I think about it, a touch of whipped topping (coconut or dairy version) would have made it even better! I typically stay away from fats post workout. So if I recreate again, I’ll add that on top.

What truly added the thickness and texture to the “cheesecake” was my Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin. Before you get your panties in a bunch, it is unflavored and per two scoops, provides 20g of collagen and 17g of protein! Talk about WINNING for a healthy gut!

Strong Sweet Caroline Cherry Cheesecake Bowl with Vital Proteins

After I made this, I ate it slowly, enjoyed each bite and took a epsom salt bath. I left my phone in another room and just zoned out. It was amazing.

After that 15 minutes, I did not feel any heavy burdens. I was refreshed. You don’t have to do exactly what I do. It might be surrounding yourself with people. I like some alone time. It might be playing a game, drawing, coloring, or listening to soothing music. Find what works for you. Do you, boo boo!

If you’re keen on a new recipe, try this out. You don’t have to use Beef Gelatin. Instead you could try another Collagen Whey Protein or regular whey protein. Alter as you see fit and have fun with it!


Protein Cherry Cheesecake Bowls

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup fresh cherries, washed, de-pitted and stems removed
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Fage Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or milk of choice
  • Handful of ice cubes
  • 2 scoops Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin or alternative Collagen Whey
  • 2 drops liquid stevia
  • Pinch baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cream of rice, cooked in bowl

Process

  • Cook cream of rice as directed on box. I usually use less water to make a thicker consistency. Once cooked, use spoon to push to sides and bottom of bowl to form “crust”.
  • In Vitamix or blender of choice, combine cherries, yogurt, milk, ice cubes, gelatin, stevia and baking powder. Blend on high for about 10-20 seconds until smooth.
  • Pour into cream of rice crust and top with piece of fruit and if you’re like me, a ground up cracker (or two).
  • Eat immediately or place into freezer for 10 minutes to set. YUMMY!