Magnesium Deficiency

magnesium deficiency

According to the American Chiropractic Society, 68-80% of the U.S. population is deficient in the essential mineral magnesium.

I just found out that my levels were low so I wanted to share what I have recently learned about this subject.

Why is this happening?  The reason that most of our population is deficient magnesium is because of ongoing soil erosion has significantly depleted the mineral content of our soil within the last century. Consequently, many fruits and vegetables that were once rich in magnesium no longer contain it in adequate amounts, resulting in widespread deficiencies.

Symptoms of low magnesium could include: 

  • Muscle twitches and cramps
  • Mental disorders like depression and anxiety
  • Increased risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures
  • High blood pressure
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Insomnia and more

How to find out if you are deficient in magnesium:  Most physicians measure magnesium with a simple blood test, and many people are then informed that their levels are normal. But to get an accurate reading, you need to measure intracellular magnesium levels, which can be done by testing red blood cells.

While you can request an RBC (red blood cell) magnesium test via a blood test during a visit to your doctor or healthcare provider, you can also order one yourself through an independent lab, such as Lab Corps or Direct Labs.

The ideal range for RBC magnesium levels is 6.0 to 6.5 mg/dl (the normal reference range is 4.2 to 6.8 mg/dl).

magnesium

To get more of this essential mineral in your diet, make sure you are getting plenty of foods that are high in magnesium.

Top 11 foods that are rich in magnesium:

  • Dark Chocolate
  • Nuts
  • Avocados
  • Legumes
  • Tofu
  • Seeds
  • Whole Grains
  • Brown Rice/Quinoa
  • Some fatty fish-salmon, mackeral, halibut
  • Bananas
  • Dark Leafy Greens

BUT, because our soil is depleted in magnesium, fruits and vegetables that were once high in magnesium often don’t contain nearly the levels that they did many years ago.  Due to this, if you are low in magnesium, you will probably need to add a supplement to your diet via your doctor’s recommendation.

The Best Forms Of Magnesium

Magnesium citrate — Magnesium citrate is the most popular magnesium supplement, probably because it is inexpensive and easily absorbed. Since citric acid is a mild laxative, magnesium citrate functions as a constipation aid as well as a magnesium source. It is a great choice for individuals with rectal or colon problems but is unsuitable for those with loose bowel movements.

Magnesium taurate — Magnesium taurate is the best choice of magnesium supplement for people with cardiovascular issues, since it is known to prevent arrhythmias and guard the heart from damage caused by heart attacks. Magnesium taurate is easily absorbed (magnesium and taurine stabilize cell membranes together), and it contains no laxative properties.

Magnesium malate — Magnesium malate is a fantastic choice for people suffering from fatigue, since malic acid — a natural fruit acid present in most cells in the body — is a vital component of enzymes that play a key role in ATP synthesis and energy production. Since the ionic bonds of magnesium and malic acid are easily broken, magnesium malate is also highly soluble.

Magnesium glycinate — Magnesium glycinate (magnesium bound with glycine, a non-essential amino acid) is one of the most bioavailable and absorbable forms of magnesium, and also the least likely to induce diarrhea. It is the safest option for correcting a long-term deficiency.

Magnesium chloride — Though magnesium chloride only contains around 12 percent elemental magnesium, it has an impressive absorption rate and is the best form of magnesium to take for detoxing the cells and tissues. Moreover, chloride (not to be confused with chlorine, the toxic gas) aids kidney function and can boost a sluggish metabolism.

Magnesium carbonate — Magnesium carbonate is another popular, bioavailable form of magnesium that actually turns into magnesium chloride when it mixes with the hydrochloric acid in our stomachs. It is a good choice for people suffering from indigestion and acid reflux, since it contains antacid properties.

I hope that you found this article informative!  Please leave your comments below or share your experience with any magnesium supplements or testing.

Thanks for reading!

Changing Your Mindset

Our mindsets are formed through prior experiences and emotional milestones in our lives.

Unfortunately, if you are like most of the population, then you have developed several “counter mindsets” A counter mindset is one that holds us back and doesn’t help us produce the results that we want in life.  This mindset is a negative way of thinking and visualizing the world.

Changing your “counter mindset” is something that doesn’t happen by accident-it’s a conscious choice that we have to make and it takes some serious work.

Did you know that approximately 65,000 thoughts go through our minds each day?  The majority of these thoughts are negative, whether we realize it or not.  Most of us struggle with “ANTs”, which are automatic negative thoughts that occur so often throughout the day that we are most likely not aware of it.

Here are 7 steps that we can take to change our mindsets:

1.  Accept that your thinking needs an adjustment

The first step in any change is acknowledging that you need to make one!  Just identifying this will help you make a step in the right direction.

2.  Identify your “ANTs” (Automatic Negative Thoughts)

Pay attention to your negative self-talk and how frequently it happens.  Being aware and identifying these harmful thoughts is pretty eye-opening.  You may notice that your negative thinking can be narrowed down into a few key themes.  Taking a mental or physical note of this is a big step towards change because we can’t change what we don’t recognize in ourselves.

3.  Change your thought patterns

There are two fairly easy approaches to moving your thoughts from a negative to a positive.

The first one is to FORCE yourself to change your thinking.  For example, instead of looking in the mirror and seeing your flaws, compliment yourself!  It might feel phony at first, but once you get into the habit of consistently filling your mind with positive affirmations vs negative ones, you will start to believe yourself and grow.

The other idea is to try the “IF/THEN” approach which is a thought process that allows you to think past your negative thoughts.  For example, IF you start to say that you are too tired, too out of shape, or too lazy to exercise, THEN go straight to your closet and put on your workout clothes and go for a walk.  Sometimes just by taking one step in the right direction is enough to shut your ANTs down.  You can prepare yourself ahead of time by writing down several IF/THEN statements.

4.  Understand your “WHY”

Since most of our unhealthy habits and ANTs were formed when we were kids, changing our mindsets takes hard work to break.  Understanding your why can help you work towards a more positive outlook.  To set a why-think about a goal or dream that will have a transformational change in your life.

Examples of a why may be:  “To improve my relationship with my companion” or “To be happier in my career.”

Once you identify your why, write it down on paper and why it is important to you.

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5.  Realize that motivation is not enough

High achievers understand this reality so they stop mentally punishing themselves every time they stumble or fail to stick to a plan.  Knowing this will allow you to be emotionally freer which will encourage you to try again tomorrow and not give up!

6.  Start with super small goals

Set tiny, achievable goals that you can easily reach.  For example, if you want to reduce stress, try deep breathing for just 1 minute each day.  Or, if you want to start exercising, make it a goal to walk for 5 minutes.  Decide that your mini goal is the minimum and that you can do more if you feel up to it.  More times that not, you’ll feel awesome because you are over-achieving when you do more and if you just do the minimum, you’re still hitting your goal.

To ever make any serious change, we have to take small steps and repeat them daily.  This will create momentum towards positive change.  Consistently hitting our small goals will form new mindset habits.

7.  Acknowledge that you will FAIL

Highly successful people realize that the only thing that really keeps them from their goals is stopping, so they don’t stop!  They know that they’ll have obstacles and failures along the way but they give themselves permission to screw up because failure will help them learn and make adjustments as they see fit.  If you know that failure can happen and you accept it, seek feedback and make changes to get back into the game.

I hope these tips help you as much as they do me.  Do you have other healthy mindset habits that work for you?  I’d love to hear them!

 

How To Be More Positive

I am usually a very upbeat person but there are some days that I  battle with a very pessimistic view of myself or just life in general.  This happens to be one of those days, so I thought I would write about it.

I know that I have ZERO to complain about so I am puzzled why I sometimes struggle to count my blessings when I have SO much to be thankful for.

There are some days that are much better than others, but on the BAD days (today being one) there are things that I can do to create a more optimistic mindset.  I will admit, however, that I went out and had a few drinks with friends this past Saturday night and didn’t sleep well after, so right there I know that by not caring for my health, I am paying the price mentally….

Anyways, if you struggle with this same problem, here are some things that we ALL can do when we are battling negative emotions:

Do Something Kind For Others: 

It’s easy to get wrapped up with your own misfortunes.  Instead, try to step outside of your daily routine to help someone else.  This can provide you with a new perspective on life and fill you with positivity.  Aim to do one nice thing for someone each day-whether it’s a phone call to a loved one, writing a letter to a friend, complimenting someone at the grocery store, or buying a stranger a cup of coffee.

Practice The Two Positives Exercise: 

When you are not used to thinking optimistically, it can be hard to stop the negative flow of thoughts. This shift takes time. Be patient with yourself, and first just try to observe your thought patterns:  Are you judging others?  Are you focusing on your failures?   Do you find yourself complaining about your job?  Are you criticizing yourself or your body?

When you observe these thoughts, take a moment to counter each negative thought with two positive observations or gratitudes. Think of it as adding in two positives for each negative thought you recognize.

Practice Gratitude:

One of the quickest ways to shift your focus away from negativity, judgment, and disappointment is to list the things in your life for which you are grateful. Be grateful to have your jobby job, to be able to sleep in a bed each night, for the health of your family, for the sun that comes up each morning, for the people that love and care for you, for a chance to “start fresh” each new day, and for a body that lets you experience life.

Practicing gratefulness can cause almost an immediate shift in your perspective. Keeping a daily gratitude journal (even if it’s a list on your phone) can help remind you to keep life’s blessings at the forefront of your mind.

Have A Positive Posture:

My dear friend, Courtney Rouse, has the best posture out of anyone I know!  I am always complimenting her on this and you know what- she’s a pretty darn positive person so I do believe this is an effective strategy.

The mind and the body have an intrinsic connection—each greatly impacts the other. If you are struggling to move your mind into a more positive perspective, try moving your body there first. Try standing up straight, shoulders back, chin held high, stretching your arms out as wide as they can go. Feel powerful. Feel positive. Carrying yourself with “positive posture” will encourage your mind to feel more positive as well.  (This works…I swear-I just forget to do it!  Courtney Rouse…will you help remind me please?)

Smile:

Another way for your body to “trick” your mind into being more positive is through smiling. The simple act of smiling, even if you are faking it at first, can instantly change the way you feel internally. Whether you are sitting at your desk, driving in your car, or walking down the street, smile. You will be amazed how your mind reacts. Even better, try smiling at a co-worker or stranger you pass in the hallway or on the sidewalk. Chances are they will smile back.

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Surround Yourself With Positive People:

It’s hard to maintain a positive perspective if you are constantly pulled down by the negativity of friends, family, or co-workers. If you get trapped in a negative conversation, gracefully try to change the subject to something more positive. (I am guilty of NOT doing this….working on it though!)

If you are surrounded by a bunch of negative people, it may be time to reevaluate your circle of friends in an effort to be surrounded by uplifting individuals.

We all know that life is not always easy, and sometimes we get handed some majorly shitty cards to deal with.  However, it is our own perspective that ultimately determines if we will drudge through the mud and muck with a sour attitude or if we will brush our shoulders off and try our best to be a better version of what we were yesterday.

I hope these ideas help!  Let me know what you think or if you have other strategies that keep you feeling uplifted or lighter.

 

Nutrition & Mental Health

If you know me fairly well, you will know that I am extremely passionate about mental health.  That is because I have noticed a significant improvement in my own mood and mentality since I started taking better care of my body.

I used to battle with depression in my high school and college years and I believe that was mostly caused by the fact that I didn’t sleep well, I didn’t eat nutrient dense foods, I drank too much alcohol and not enough water, and I didn’t participate in a regular exercise program.

Mental illness runs in my family and my father was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was 17 years old, so I have really tried to make a conscious effort to improve my own mental wellness as well as the mental health of my family.

Over the last several years, I have noticed more research that has been done on the link between inflammation caused by certain foods in the body and mental illness.

A lack of key essential nutrients is now KNOWN to contribute to poor mental health in people suffering from:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • ADHD

The inflammation that causes these mental disorders starts in the gut and is associated with a lack of nutrients in our food such as:

  • Magnesium
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Probiotics
  • Vitamins/minerals that are essential for our bodies to function properly

Read this article right HERE to learn more.

The following list of foods are the BEST options to help boost mood, cognition, and metal health:

brain healthy foods

1.  Fatty Fish: salmon, trout, and sardines
2.  Coffee
3.  Blueberries
4.  Tumeric
5.  Broccoli
6.  Pumpkin Seeds
7.  Dark Chocolate
8.  Nuts
9.  Whole Eggs
10.  Oranges
11.  Green Tea
12.  Avocados
13.  Beets
14.  Celery
15.  Carrots

Try to incorporate these foods into your weekly diet as much as you possibly can.  In addition to adding these key nutrients from your foods, don’t forget to get outside for fresh air (away from your technology), hydrate your brain with filtered H20, get 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and consistently move your body every day.  Do these things and your chances of feeling depressed, anxious, and scatter-brained should greatly decrease.

Got any questions or feedback?  Let me know!

 

 

Creating & Keeping Healthy Habits

You don’t have to wait until the new year to start setting a couple of new goals or develop a new positive habit.

Here are some ideas to help you out:

1.  For any healthy habits to stick, you need to figure out your “WHY” for making positive change.

Ask yourself WHY you want to build a new healthy habit or change a bad one. Write it down. And hang it up somewhere you can see it every day.

2.  RECRUIT ALLIES: find a friend or group of friends to build the habits with you.

Studies show that people with weight loss goals that start them with a friend or group are 70% more likely to follow through than if they did it alone.
*Remember, those first few weeks are the toughest, which means they’ll require the most effort to get started.*

3. Never miss TWO in a row!

What happens if you miss a day? Who cares! One day won’t ruin you – but two days often times will-because 2 becomes 30 in the blink of an eye.
As pointed out in a research summary: “Missing the occasional opportunity to perform the behavior did not seriously impair the habit formation process: automaticity gains soon resumed after one missed performance.”   But, more than one missed opportunity and things start to go downhill…..

4) DON’T PICK HABITS YOU HATE

“Hey Sally, I know I should run so I’m trying to build a running habit even though I hate running.” STOP!  You can get the same results with a different habit, such as dancing or swimming. Pick a habit that isn’t miserable for you and you’re more likely to follow through on it.

*At the same time, there are tons of success stories from people who went from hating exercise to loving how it feels. It’s because they made the habit part of a bigger picture: “I am exercising at the gym because I am building a kick-ass body so I can start dating again!” It’s because they had a BIG enough why to overcome their initial dislike of exercise until they learned to love how exercise made them feel.

5) TRY TEMPTATION BUNDLING

Consider combining a habit you dislike with something you LOVE, and you’ll be more likely to build the habit. For example, allow yourself an hour of watching Netflix, but ONLY while you’re on the Elliptical. This is called “temptation bundling” and can be a powerful tool for positive change.

What temptation bundling does:

It reduces the amount of time that you devote to temptations. After all, you’re limiting the situations in which you’ll allow yourself to engage in the temptation.
It increases the likelihood that you’ll engage in desired behavior. That is, it makes it easier for you to adopt positive habits.
READY TO BUILD A NEW HEALTHY HABIT?

Start small: 1-2 habits to begin. For example, if you want to start exercising: instead of setting a goal to do it every day, start off with 2 days a week of 15-20 minutes and then slowly add on when you are ready.  Or if you want to eat healthier: start off by cooking one healthy meal per week and then add another meal the next week.

REACH OUT TO ME HERE IF YOU’D LIKE SOME HELP!