I should know this!

This weekend I will be meeting one of my sisters and my two nieces in Minneapolis. From there we will be driving to North Dakota to visit family for a few days. I haven’t been back to visit in at least 5 years!

We planned this trip because I will be in St. Paul for a “Certificate of Training in Childhood and Adolescent Weight Management” (that’s a mouthful) 9/8-9/10 and I decided to make it into a vacation!

In doing the readings for the seminar and tracking my intake on Cron-O-Meter I’ve realized that I should be better able to identify which foods are a good source of nutrients that most people aren’t consuming enough of. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans has identified the following nutrients to be shortfall nutrients:

Vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin C, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, fiber, and, for adolescent and pre-menopausal women, iron.

If you would like to find out how much of these nutrients you need you can find the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) here. I love the Cron-O-Meter app because it tracks micronutrients as well as macronutrients which has shown me that I, like many Americans, am not eating enough iron, folate, vitamin E, vitamin D, and potassium! Crap!

So why are these nutrients important and what foods can we eat more of to meet our needs? I will post this info in a series of blog posts, starting with Vitamin A!

Vitamin A:

Vitamin A plays a role in

  • Regulating gene expression
  • Growth and specialization of cells in the body aka differentiation
  • The visual system and eyesight.
  • Normal function of the immune system (side note: this may be one reason that I get sick much less often since beginning a cod liver oil supplement)
  • Prenatal and postnatal development- because vitamin A is responsible for cell differentiation it plays a significant role in fetal development of heart, eyes, ears, lungs, limbs, and other visceral organs.
  • May also play a role in red blood cell production (erythropoeisis)

Nutrient interactions:

  • Zinc deficiency is thought to interfere with vitamin A metabolism is several ways but health consequences of this have yet to be determined
  • Iron deficiency and vitamin A deficiency often coexist and increase risk for iron deficiency anemia. “The combination of supplemental vitamin A and iron seems to reduce anemia more effectively than either supplemental iron or vitamin A alone”

Deficiency:

  • Occurs with inadequate vitamin A intake. Other individuals at risk include those with impaired fat absorption (vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin) such as individuals with IBD like Crohn’s disease (dz) or Celiac dz.
  • Is a major cause of preventable blindness. An early sign of deficiency is night blindness.
  • May increase risk for infection.”vitamin A deficiency can be considered a nutritionally acquired immunodeficiency disease”
  • Thyroid dysfunction

Sources

  • Yellow and orange colored vegetables (sweet potato, carrot, squash)
  • Leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, collards)
  • Beef liver (I tried to stomach it a few times.  Will try again later…)
  • Cod liver oil (I like this stuff– lemon flavor though. Unflavored is nasty)
  • Fortified cereal
  • Cow’s milk
  • Cantaloupe
  • Mango

Stay tuned! Next up will be Folate, because I’m doing this alphabetically and Folate is a B vitamin. Tr-tr-tr-tricky!

 

This podcast makes me want to…

I listened to this podcast, Food Sleuth Radio, Will Harris Interview, yesterday and it makes me want to be more intentional about the animal products that I consume. The way livestock is raised impacts our health, animal welfare, and the health of our environment. The interviewer asks Will Harris what policies would help support sustainable, ethical agriculture and his answer is that the consumer has to demand the products. Legislation won’t happen if people are content eating chicken that costs $1.50/lb when it’s raised in the factory farm setting while pasture raised chicken costs $4/lb to produce. I can’t really expect people to pay more for their meat because I think it’s important, but I should start supporting local farmers that are raising their meat responsibly. I can also choose to eat meat free foods when I’m out. Here’s to more beans and lentils in my life!

Note

I want to learn more about logical fallacies and other philosophical concepts related to logic, and I guess life. This is just a reminder to look it up when I’m not working on something more time sensitive!

Dude

Last night I set my alarm for 4:30 AM. I was planning to go swimming to train for the sprint triathlon I signed up for. Before going to bed I received an email stating that not enough people had signed up for the tri, and the race organizers decided to cancel it.

I decided I would wake up at 4:30 anyway, walk Lucas, and do a yoga video I have been wanting to try but haven’t done because… excuses.

I actually followed through with my plan and I feel great! I should do this more often… 🙂

 

Self Efficacy

I’m reading a bunch of required readings for a training that I am doing in September. The readings have me thinking about self efficacy and my mind wandered away from the text to considering my life. Specifically  my professional life.

Self efficacy was first described by Alfred Bandura as “as one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task”. I’ve always understood the importance of self efficacy when relating it to behavior change in people targeted by public health interventions or interventions delivered by me. I have high self-efficacy when it comes to doing sports-y things because I’ve always been athletic. This jock mentality has led me to believe that I have high self efficacy in general, but I just realized today that I have low self-efficacy when it comes to my job. This led me to google professional self efficacy and I found this interesting article:

Self-Efficacy in the Workplace: Implications for Motivation and Performance

I was going to get a little more vulnerable but got distracted and I’m no longer in the mood. It’s a good article though! You should check it out.

Donald Maroney

Donald Maroney is a tumblr account where quotes from Jenna Maroney (30 Rock) have been placed on pictures of Donald Trump. Jenna’s character is intended to be a thin skinned narcissist and many of the things her character says seem like they could have come from the Donald. It’s pretty entertaining.