Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hidden Mothers, Artlines, Music, Money and more...

Looking up images of the niquab to enable a succinct contribution to the debate as to whether doctors and nurses should be able to wear the veil at work, I found myself rather distracted not by the usual images, but something I’d never seen or heard of before: HIDDEN MOTHERS. Good grief! In early photography, if the subject for the image was your squirming bundle of joy and poor old mamma was to be kept out of shot, the photographer would drape a suitable swatch of damask over her bonce! So - the resulting historical images are known as Hidden Mother Photographs. As to the ‘debate’ on the niquab, I’d much rather hear what the women involved think, rather than politicians and hacks putting disquiet in our minds where it never was in the first place. The molecular biologist and activist, Sahar Al Faifi at least talks about wearing the niquab, first hand and perhaps sets the scene less sensationally.

And with fleeting thoughts on misogyny in mind, news that Tony Abbott has appointed himself as minister for women's issues in a cabinet of 19, where there is as yet, one female minister, brings no surprises. I wonder if UKIP will offer the ludicrous MEP (‘’re all sluts’) ((Oh - and 'everybody laughed, including all the women.' Well that's alright then)) Godfrey Bloom to serve on Abbott’s crack team, I’m sure there’ll be some old post-colonial sabbatical opportunity for him. 

Back to Blighty and some excellent news from my colleague Langley Brown, to whom my biggest thanks.

Arts for Health and Special Collections at Manchester Metropolitan University have received an award from the Wellcome Trust to commission an archivist and a conservator to assess the extent and condition of archives relating to arts and health, and to make recommendations as to how best to preserve, link, develop and promote these collections.

This award follows an AHRC funded audit by Dr Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt of archives held by organisations across Greater Manchester, and a UK national consultation by Arts for Health Research Fellow Dr Langley Brown as to the wishes of organisations with regard to any archives held. Those organisations who expressed appreciable interest in the archives project, and whose work is representative of the field, will form the first strand of a long-term project to link such archives worldwide, and to grow ARTLINES as an evolving timeline and family tree connecting culture, health, the arts and wellbeing across time and place, and among domains of knowledge and experience.

The time from today back to the expansion of the arts:health movement in the 70s and 80s represents a career span; this means that those who were involved at the beginning of this journey are approaching or have attained retirement age. Some have died. If we are to gather together the patchwork of histories that have formed the arts:health phenomenon, we must act quickly to ensure that the documentary evidence is preserved, coherently managed, and made accessible to researchers and public, whilst the pioneers are still around to help contextualise the material.

Those represented in this first phase of the archives project are the network of 13 Greater Manchester organisations including Arts for Health and Lime, the Centre for Medical Humanities at the University of Durham, Healing Arts Isle of Wight, and Artlink West Yorkshire. 

Archivist Judith Etherton and conservator Helen Lindsay will be based at Manchester Metropolitan University during November, and their report will inform the next phase of the ARTLINES project. If you’d like to know more about ARTLINES, email 

Music for Health has moved from the RNCM to become part of the award winning charity Lime, forming Lime Music for Health which will deliver a comprehensive music programme at Central Manchester University Hospitals. You can read more about this on Music for Health patron, Jules Holland.

With the continued support of the Charitable Funds Committee and a significant investment from Youth Music, the Music for Health team is now looking to recruit three new Apprentice Musicians to join a team of Experts (Ros Hawley, Mark Fisher and Holly Marland) and Mentors (Cecily Smith, Ruth Spargo and Tom Sherman) for the Medical Notes Programme which will run for 2 years at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital. 

A description of the programme, the brief for Apprentices and application details are available on the Blog.

Esmée Fairbain Trust
Esmée Fairbairn aims to improve the quality of life throughout the UK. They do this by funding the charitable activities of organisations that have the ideas and ability to achieve change for the better. The Foundation like to consider work which others may find hard to fund, perhaps because it breaks new ground, appears too risky, requires core funding, or needs a more  unusual form of financial help such as a loan. They also take the initiative where new thinking is required or where we believe there are important unexplored opportunities. Main Funds are within four areas of interest – the arts, education and learning, the environment and enabling disadvantaged people to participate fully in society. They prioritise work that:
· Addresses a significant gap in provision
· Develops or strengthens good practice
· Challenges convention or takes a risk in order to address a difficult issue
· Tests out new ideas or practices
· Takes an enterprising approach to achieving its aims
· Sets out to influence policy or change behaviour more widely.
Application Deadlines: First stage applications can be made at any time, if successful applicants will be advised by the Foundation on how to proceed with the next stage. Full details of the application process can be accessed via the following link: 

British Academy Small Research Grants 
The British Academy, the UK’s national body for the humanities and social sciences, has announced that it is planning to issue a call for a further round of Small Research Grants on the 4th September 2013. Under the Small Research Grants programme grants of between £500 and £10,000 over two years are available to support primary research in the humanities and social sciences. Funds will be available to:
· Facilitate initial project planning and development
· Support the direct costs of research
· To enable the advancement of research through workshops, or visits by or to partner scholars. The closing date for applications will be the 16th October 2013. Read more at: 

And finally, my massive thanks to the artist Sarah Lawton this week, who has helped me with a big NHS Modernisation project that I hope to reveal over the next few weeks.  

Thank you as ever for reading....C.P.


This blog began as a spin-off from my home decor/organization blog, Honey We're Home.  I wanted a place to write about health and fitness, and share with people how a busy, working mom attempts to live a healthy lifestyle.  But, there are more aspects than just clean eating and exercise that are critical to living really well.  It's a combination of relationships (with girlfriends, kids, parents, coworkers, and significant others), career, financial freedom, creativity, play, hobbies, and finding joy, being authentic.  We are physical, emotional, sexual, and spiritual creatures.  For me, a major component of life includes my faith in God and my relationship with Him.  I went to church very infrequently as a kid, (we went typically at Easter and/or Christmas) but my parents always instilled in me the knowledge that there is a big God who knows me intimately and loves me very much.  

It's pretty difficult to manage to have all areas of your life gelling at once.  Your career and kids are doing good, but your marriage sucks.  Or your relationships are blossoming, but you are in debt.    Maybe career (be it at home or outside) are humming along but you have no energy and are out of shape.  Regardless of the hardships we endure, if our FAITH is strong, it seems to help hold us together.  Lets us know that, "this too, shall pass."

Jeremiah 29:11-12

In law school, I became actively involved in my church and choir and developed a deeper relationship with God.  After half a decade in the choir, and being newly married, I stepped down to devote my time to my new marriage.  The choir was a big time commitment and I felt that I should spend more time at home.  But I missed it terribly.  I recently came home to the choir.  When I returned to choir practice for the first time and we began worshipping, the very tangible presence of God filled the room and it was so beautiful I could cry.  I felt it immediately and am so THANKFUL.  I'm thankful that our rehearsal is a church service in and of itself. I'm thankful for the family of friends I've made, many of whom are still there and welcomed me back (after 5 years!) with warm, open arms. 

I still have to practice daily prayer- talking to God- and be mindful of His Word and His promises.  It's not necessarily second nature even after all of those years of being closely connected.  But I'm reminded that He is always there for us, always ready to receive our hearts, and will forgive our sins when we go to Him with a heartfelt confession.  I'm so humbled by that.

I get a lot of joy from encouraging you in the health and fitness arena, and I want to encourage you in your FAITH too.  I'll be sharing some inspiration from time to time on Sundays if you want to pop in, you are always welcome.  

I received a Bible from my law school boyfriend and it's been one of the best gifts I've ever been given. It's gotten tattered and worn over the years, and I've been given new Bibles since, but I always return to this one.  

and then I looked up Hebrews 4:12 -- I LOVE that it says God knows the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  Doesn't that give such a sense of peace? He knows my heart.  He knows YOUR heart. 

I would love it if you felt compelled to leave a scripture in the comments.  Someone needs to hear it. 


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Spin Class

Are y'all doing spin class?  I haven't done it in a really long time and miss it!  I've been doing most of my cardio on the stairmaster lately and was thinking of other cardio I could do for variety and spinning came to mind.  The only bad thing about spinning is that you usually have to be a member of a gym to take a class or go to a studio.  I'm going to find a class at my gym soon.  

I've found that the best classes are the ones with an instructor whose style you like the best and who plays the best music.  If you've never taken a spin class, just arrive a few minutes early and talk to the instructor.  They will help you adjust the bike to your height and explain how to dial up or down the intensity.  You can go at your own pace though and work as hard as you feel comfortable. 

Spinning is such an awesome workout and not just for your legs.  Some teachers have the participants do push-up motions on the handlebars, etc.  Unless you sneak out of the class early, you are pretty much guaranteed a good 45-minute workout.  Being in a class definitely helps you keep going, as opposed to when you're on your own, you might have quit earlier.  I've read that spin class burns between 400-600 calories and, depending on how fast you pedal, a 40 minute class is the equivalent to 15-20 road miles.  

My word of caution is definitely bring a large bottle of water with you to class- and a towel.  It gets pretty sweaty- in a good way!  Oh, and you might be pretty sore in the "crotch region" after the first couple of classes- sorry, no real way to avoid that, but you can buy padded shorts or a seat pad that actually does help.  I've used one before, but then forgot to take it off the bike seat/saddle and left it behind. You don't need special shoes, regular tennis shoes work fine, but if you get to liking the class so much and you're doing it often, they do make special shoes that clip into the pedals as opposed to your regular tennis shoe being strapped to the pedal.

One more thing, about group classes in general- if you find one you like and start going regularly, you'll end up seeing the other "regulars" and it gets to become kind of a connection-sharing thing.  You become friendly with the other members and get used to meeting up with them at class and that can be inspiring and fun to have a regular group of people to workout with.  You never know who you'll meet- just sayin.

So, do share- are you spinning, thinking of starting?? 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

You Can Do This

Most days I'm a very loving and kind person.  Sometimes I need tough love.  When I saw this quote on Pinterest it really resonated with me.

No sweet words of encouragement.  No gentle reminders to take care of yourself.  Just straight-up truth.   I needed that.  Maybe you do too. 

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You can follow Honey We're Healthy on FACEBOOK & PINTEREST.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Quark for Health...

A small blast from Italy
What a week! I AM: Art as an agent for change has seen the fourth partnership meeting in Pescara, Italy. As guests of the Italian health agency, FeDaSerD people from Pescara and Pistoia in Italy, from Kütahya in Turkey and from Liverpool and Manchester in the UK have begun designing an artists exchange between the three countries which will see a series of artist led workshops, exhibitions and symposium exploring culture and the arts in the addiction/recovery process.

I am thrilled to announce that we will be working with some quite outstanding international artists who each in their own way, have ploughed a unique furrow. Ali Zaidi (UK) will be pulling all the artists together and his work around food and our eating together, promises to excite and engage and be invaluable to the collaborative process. Cristina Nuñez through her beautiful and provocative photography, explores self-portraiture, creative identity and self-esteem - particularly through moments of crisis. Selda Asal is a film-maker who enables people to tell their stories in distinctive ways, often people marginalized by forces seemingly beyond their control. Leon Jakeman is an artist who constructs work that responds to his own experiences, stripping away original meaning and creating new identities in the materials he works with.

Unique and challenging, all of them - but working together to explore just how the arts might be central to the recovery process. I’m pleased to say that building on our Manifesto for arts/health/wellbeing, I will be working with all the artists and partners involved in this work, to develop a European Recovery Manifesto to be launched between July and September 2014. Think bill of rights, think what it is to be human, think again that, “standing on the world's summit we launch once again our insolent challenge to the stars!”

A big thanks goes to Nicoletta D’Alosio for being such a wonderful and generous host and to Giuseppe (Joe) D’Abruzzo who was the kindest and most giving of friends, even with advice on my own fragile health! And a HUGE thanks to Dr. Giovanni Cordova and all at LAAD for their warmth (and food)...and of course, the indefatigable Mark Prest.

Getting International in Arts and Health
Artists International Development Programme
The Artists' international development programme is a £750,000 fund, jointly funded by the British Council and Arts Council England. The programme offers early stage development opportunities for individual freelance and self-employed artists based in England to spend time building links with artists, organisations and/or creative producers in another country. The next deadline for applications to the fund is 5pm Friday 4 October 2013.  Decisions made mid-November. Read more at: 

Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation Grants Programme 
Organisations and schools in the UK that wish to develop links with Japan and Japanese schools are able to apply for funding through the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation. The Foundation makes small grants to support activities that support the study of the Japanese language and culture, School, Education and Youth exchanges. In the past the Foundation has made grants towards visits the between the UK and Japan between by teachers and young people and the teaching and development of Japanese language and cultural studies in schools.

It seems that the Australian media (well the Sunday Telegraph at least) were right in their almost prescient front-cover, which I reprint here for the sheer bliss of sharing an oh-so-subtle, unbiased, politically neutral 21st century press. I am thrilled to be speaking at the 5th International Arts and Health Conference in Sydney this year between 12 - 14 November and hosted this year, by the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales. More details can be found by clicking on the Koalas below! To find out a little more about what I'll be speaking about, click on, fiction-non-fction.

On the joys of European working...
Driving from Pescara to Rome through the most outrageous landscape, I dwelt heavily on the week’s work. I’ve spent time with some remarkable people...exhausting, committed and wonderful people. My traveling companions this week have been a heady crew: Musical score by Bill Callahan (Smog), Knock Knock - Film and light entertainment provided by Frederick Wiseman, Titicut Follies and something light to read - Sarah Kane, Blasted and 4:48 Psychosis.

Melancholic by nature, I was lifted from my torpor and found myself near to hysteria by the strange charms of idyosyncratic translation. I’d recently been interviewed by the Turkish news channel, TRT - and probably talking much hyperbole and gibberish, they dubbed over me (if you speak Turkish, please tell me, what they said, that I said!!) So, throwing ego out of the window, I share with you a snippet of this interview and my new identity! Excuse the sweaty pallor and over-enthusiastic nature. Please note my full name and place in the universe.

Footnotes on Fundamental Cheese-Based Products...
A Quark is an elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter. There are six types of quarks, known as Flavours: up, down, strange, charm, bottom and top! 

Quark is a type of fresh dairy product, made by warming soured milk until the desired degree of denaturation occurs. It is soft, white, unaged and curd-like.

Good grief...C.P.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Protective Style Lookbook || Classic Summer Updo

By popular demand, this is a series showcasing various protective hair styles.  Protective styling does not have to be boring. :o)

Model: Nyla K

Difficulty level: 2/5

Description: Elegant updo on a twist-out, braid-out, or other textured hair.

Healthy Recipes || Coconut Milk Popsicles

{Image from "This Rawsome Vegan Life"}
All you need are coconut milk, a natural sweetener (e.g., cane sugar, agave, date paste, or bananas), frozen fruit of your choice, and an herb (optional).  

For the full recipe, visit This Rawsome Vegan Life.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Waist-to-weight ratios in pictures: The John Stone transformation

John Stone is a bodybuilder and founder of a bodybuilding and fitness web site (). There he has provided pictures and stats of his remarkable transformation, which were used to prepare the montage below.

John’s height is reported as 5' 11.5". Below the photos are the months in which they were taken, the waist circumferences in inches, the weights in lbs, and the waist-to-weight ratios (WWRs). Abhi was kind enough to provide a more detailed plot of John Stone’s WWRs ().

Assuming that minimizing one’s WWR is healthy, an idea whose rationale was explained here before (), we could say that John was at his most unhealthy in the photo on the left.

The second photo from the left shows a slightly more healthy state, at a reported 8 percent body fat (his lowest). The two photos on the right represent states in which John’s WWR is at its lowest, namely 0.1544. That is, in these two photos John minimized his WWR; at a reported 14 and 13.8 percent body fat, respectively.

When we look at the WWRs in these photos, it seems that he is only marginally healthier in the second photo from the left than in the leftmost photo. In the two photos on the right, the WWRs are much lower (they are the same), suggesting that he was significantly healthier in those photos.

Interestingly, in both photos on the right John reported to have been at the end of bulking periods. Whenever he entered a cutting period his WWR started going up. This suggests that his ratio of lean body mass to total mass started decreasing just as soon as he started cutting. I suspect the same would happen if he continued gaining weight.

Which of the two photos on the right represents the best state? Assuming that both states are sustainable, over the long run I would argue that the best state is the one where the WWR was minimized with the lowest weight. There whole-day joint stress is lower. This corresponds to the photo at the far right.

By sustainable states I mean states that are not reached through approaches that are unhealthy in the long term; e.g., approaches that place organs under such an abnormal stress that they are damaged over time. This kind of damage is essentially what happens when we become obese – i.e., too fat. One can also become too muscular for his or her own good.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Small Steps Everyday

via A House in the Hills

All those little, difficult, kickyourass steps are worth it.  Over time, they add up to a lot of distance.  And only you can take your steps so YOU OWN THEM.  No one can take your steps away.  Be proud of them.  I'm proud of you.  Today I am thankful for every woman who has written to me and trusted me with her story, her struggle and who has taken the time to encourage me too.  I think we need each other. 

I had a beautiful breakfast with my two close girlfriends this weekend and it was long overdue.  We used to do breakfast regularly at "our place" but now I can't remember the last time we were all together in the morning.  So, I'm thankful for those two women who give me strength and who appreciate me, flaws and all.  I always say there's nothing better in the world than a little baby, but girlfriends are pretty high up there too. 

I hope you have a great week!  Take a small step today.  


“MILLIONS of dollars in taxpayer-funded grants for obscure research projects - such as the role of public art in climate change - will be scrapped or redirected to find cures for dementia and other diseases as part of a Coalition crackdown on government waste.”

There’s a sentence to strike fear into our hearts eh? Sounds like histrionics? Well actually, its from the Australian press last week and preceded the ‘landslide’ victory of Tony Abbott as the new premier. Worrying times ahead eh? Great news that he’s going to find a ‘cure’ for dementia, but in the meantime, perhaps invest in some research around how arts and culture might just improve the quality of life for people living with dementia. Click on the apparition above to read the article.

A Small Scale Global Phenomenon
Working with colleagues across the UK and more recently in Lithuania, Italy and Turkey, I've had the opportunity to begin to understand some of the complexities of working in the arts and health field across different cultures and in different languages. This podcast is a version of a paper that I gave as the opening address to the Art of Good Health and Wellbeing International Arts and Health Conference, in Australia 2012. This was work that I had been developing in Lithuania (in Menas Žmogaus Gerovei) and which I presented at the first UK Arts and Health Research Network seminar at the University of Nottingham in March 2013. More recently, I worked this up into a journal article (Inequalities, the arts and public health: towards an international conversation) with Mike White for Arts & Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice. This podcast then, is an early iteration of these thoughts. If you find it too turgid listening to my ramblings, let me know and I’ll send you a pdf.

Arts Council England (ACE) Guidelines in Paying Artists
ACE has issued some handy guidelines for all applicants to their GfA lottery grant programmes on information on rates of pay for artists. The guidelines are available by clicking on the typology above:

As far as I can see, their key piece of advice is: “Following a ruling by the Office of Fair Trading on competition law, we are not able to offer guidelines on rates of pay for artists.”

If you find this sage advice a little too benign, I suggest shouting from the rooftops - I WANT A DECENT LIVING WAGE! Perhaps then, my advice isn’t to click on the not-so-ace guidance, but go for the jugular instead.

BLAST TWO ( B A N G ) - Why not read the excellent David Pledger’s, Re-Valuing the Artist in the New World Order published by Currency House. Here’s a taster, but click on the book cover below for more details.

“What is the real value we put on our artists? The author examines the long-awaited National Cultural Policy and finds it offers much to praise but fails ‘to penetrate the lower depths wherein the independent artists hang out’. His paper addresses the problems and achievements of the independent artist and their role as outriders of the arts, sometimes so far ahead they are out of mind. What kind of an industry do we work in, he asks, when its primary producers live on or below the poverty line? What would happen if artists decided that they would no longer work under these conditions? Pledger proposes action to find out.”

OK - a pause for some uplifting music, because music can remind us, life is beautiful...

Department of Health Innovation, Excellence & Strategic Development Fund (England)
The Department of Health (DOH) has announced that its 2014-15 Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development Fund (IESD) is now open for applications. The fund is open to not for profit organisations that are be carrying out activities that involve  providing a service similar to a service provided by the National Health Service or by local authority social services.  The Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development Fund (IESD) provides funding to support proposals in the health and care field, supporting projects with the potential for national impact in line with DH objectives of better health and wellbeing and better care for all. Organisations can apply individually, or in partnership with others. All proposals under this Fund will need to demonstrate they will have a national impact. The closing date for applications is 12 noon on the 25th October 2013. Read more at:

Can I recommend something? Am I allowed?
"nous magazine is a Manchester based publication dealing with contemporary philosophy. If you look up the word nous in your dictionary it will tell you that the ‘nous’ is necessary for understanding what is true or real. It is the processes working within us - our mind or our soul. nous is taking its readers on a journey to a land we may never completely understand even though it lies within us. A land we often pay no attention to in our hectic everyday life. What do we care about? What is really important to us? How do we share our compassion with the ones around us? We believe that dealing with our fears and hopes in a creative way and being more conscious of this part of ourselves can not only help prevent and deal mental health issues but also make living in our society easier. We give young creatives of all fields a platform to present their work addressing the nous but also will make mind culture gain centre stage again. nous is published quarterly with changing topics orbiting the depression and mental illness. More details by clicking above."

                              Vladas Urbonavičius
I’m thrilled to be working with friends and colleagues in Lithuania this autumn, delivering artist’s training for practitioners new to the arts and health field. This builds on the bespoke training that I offer each year here in Manchester, which explores individual artist’s practice and some of the knowledge and skills needed to embark on this ever-evolving field of work. This work is being developed in partnership with the Vilnius University Oncology Institute, the British Council and the team at Socialiniai Meno Projektai.
For more details, click on the pipe above!

I am working away this week, so please excuse the lack of response to email. 

                                                         Clean Mad Vision...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Caprese Salad

Sometimes, like last night, all I wanted to eat was a big fresh bowl of caprese salad.  Tomatoes, mozzaralla, basil and olive oil.  Can it get any simpler or more beautiful?

I buy cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls in liquid, and fresh basil for the best tasting salad.

Slice the tomatoes in half with a serrated knife.

Then the cheese.  Try not to eat it all before it gets into the bowl.

Tear up some fresh basil and toss it all together.  Add a sprinkle of olive oil and a dash of balsamic vinegar. 


Also, I created a Honey We're Healthy PINTEREST board.  Go HERE to follow!

Hair Diary || Updated Washing Frequency with New Exercise Routine

So for the past few months I have been working out more regularly than I usually do - at least 3x a week.  (Check out this previous post for details.)  That being said, I have come to terms with the reality that I have to up my washing frequency.  Previously I could go as much as two to four weeks between washes, but now?  Now, I'm going weekly at the maximum.  I just cannot deal with the idea of having a sweaty, bacteria-laden scalp for much longer than that.  I'm also not a fan of the witch hazel routine (though I kind of used to be) to keep washing at bay.

Anyway, with this new washing frequency, I cannot keep my twists in for longer than three weeks (or they'll lock up on me), but that's honestly okay and has worked out fine thus far.  (I wore twists for about two to four weeks -- usually four -- with my previous regimen.)

And now for more hair pics:

After washing twists. (8 days later.) Edges re-done after wash. 
Wrapping up week #2. (13 days later.)
Wrapping up week #2. (13 days later.)
Twist-out after about 3 weeks in twists.  (Worn for a few days.)
Finger detangled, washed, conditioned, sealed, and stretched (via rollers).  
Worn like this for a day or so, then re-twisted.
Re-twisting. Bigger sections.

My Top 4 Favorite Hair and Body Oils!

Coconut oil.
I use it to pre-poo and in my shea butter mix.  It helps to protect my hair against damage and dryness from washing.  It also helps to minimize breakage (during manipulation).

Safflower oil.
Very inexpensive yet effective.  I use it in my shea butter mix and on my elbows and knees.  I also use it to moisturize my face at night before bed.  It helps to keep my skin and hair smooth.

Olive oil.
I use this in my shea butter mix and have used it mixed with conditioners.  It enhances the moisturizing/sealing properties of the mixture.  I also love this oil for cooking since it is a healthier option than many other oils.

Grapeseed oil.
I use this in my shea butter mix and on my face (at night) during the winter.  It protects against moisture loss.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Essential Daily Vitamins for Women

I think we all know it's important to take vitamins, but we don't always do it.  At least I didn't.  Part of the reason is because it feels like there is so much information on vitamins, I don't know what to take or where to start.  So, the easy thing to do is simply take a multivitamin and be done with it- if you remember to take it.  

I've been researching what Dr. Oz recommends because I trust his information and can understand what he's saying.  Here's what I found he suggests and what I'm currently taking.  

A Multivitamin

Dr. Oz says that we only need 100% of the daily value of the 12 essential vitamins and minerals, with iron for pre-menopausal women.  When purchasing your vitamins, check for bottles labeled 100% daily allowance on label. 

Multivitamins fulfill your nutritional needs for the day.  Multivitamins contain:

Vitamin A – critical for healthy vision and skin

Vitamin B – a metabolism booster

Vitamin C – keeps your immune system strong, especially important during cold and flu season.

Vitamin D – promotes healthy bones (and your immune system)

Vitamin E – for healthy development of muscles and brain function

The Dose
Take half in the morning and half at night to maximize absorption.

Calcium Cocktail (Calcium + Additional Vitamin D + Magnesium)

Calcium is a necessary supplement for strong, healthy muscles, bones and teeth. You need to take it in combination with magnesium (to prevent the negative side effects of calcium) and vitamin D (to help the body absorb calcium) in order to get the maxium benefit.  
It turns out that vitamin D is crucial when it comes to fighting off colds. An important part of Dr. Oz's anti-aging checklist, vitamin D plays a number of roles in our bodies, including:

 *Promoting absorption of calcium and bone health
 *Boosting immune function
 *Reducing inflammation
 *Healthy neuro-muscular function
 *Protecting against some forms of cancer

The Dose
Calcium (600mg) with Magnesium (400mg) and Vitamin D (1,000 IU)
Take dose with a full glass of water, 2 hours after eating.  Calcium can block the absorption of other supplements and prescriptions, so take it separately. 

Fish Oil (Omega 3’s)

To keep your brain, heart and eyes healthy, take Omega 3’s every day. 

The Dose
For women, the daily dose of Omega 3s is 1000 mg; for men, the dosage is 600 mg.


Although Astragalus isn't a vitamin, I take it daily for energy and anti-aging.

According to Dr. Oz, aging is the primary reason why your body feels depleted of energy. Add to that the boatload of daily tasks most of us face – work, household chores, childrearing – and it’s no wonder we're exhausted.

The supplement astragalus can help keep you going. This root, used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, contains a special chemical that research has shown may actually help slow the aging process. This chemical activates the enzyme telomerase, which works on a cellular level to protect DNA from breaking down, thus warding off exhaustion and a host of other age-related symptoms and diseases.

The Dose
Take 200 mg of astragalus twice a day, in the morning and at night. 

To help me remember to take my vitamins, and to keep me from asking, "Did I take that today?" I bought a daily vitamin holder at Target.  I love it because it's got a side for am and pm and each compartment is large enough to hold all my pills.  I take the calcium pill by itself in the afternoon. 

Are you taking vitamins?  Which ones?  Where are you finding your information about which vitamins to take?  

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