Fitness Friday: Let’s Talk Vitamins and Minerals
I am not a physician or any type of health professional so the opinions and experience expressed in this very informative and educational post are solely my own and should not be considered medical advice, or even any kind of advice.
Let me take you back to the long weekend in May 2008. Lil C, my second child, was 9 months old. He had enjoyed his last breast milk about a week before. For 3.5 years I had either been pregnant or nursing with only a couple of months break. I was happy to have my body back.
I was also excited to be meeting three girlfriends in New York City for the weekend.
Early Friday morning I boarded the plane. I had a quick cup of coffee on board and enjoyed People magazine the rest of the way, planning my must-have purchases and my shopping routes.
A couple of hours later I was standing in Rockefeller Center waving at the other three girls who had flown in from Toronto together and were already at it. We all sat down for fuel at a coffee shop, caught up, exchanged “must-dos” for the weekend, and we were off again.
We shopped all afternoon, had dinner and a glass of wine near the theatre and then headed to a play on Broadway. We were all exhausted from our early morning, but we stopped for a quick coffee/shared dessert on the way back to the hotel (much to chagrin of my hard-partying bestie; her husband will be shocked if he reads this).
The next morning we were off. Brunch at Pastis. As I enjoyed a plate of cheese, nuts, and fruit, I started to feel nauseous and dizzy. I was sweating and I put my head on the table. We decided one of my friends would take me to the bathroom. I stood, took two steps and the next thing I knew I was lying on the floor surrounded by half the restaurant staff.
Let’s sum up the rest of the story up in point form:
- giggling girls getting a ride in the cop car following the ambulance
- an emergency unit filled with detoxing street people
- an ECG (slightly abnormal, but “get it checked by your doctor at home; not urgent”)
- two bags of fluid.
Ninety minutes later, I felt better. We were off on foot to Soho for more shopping. Guess what, the ambulance had taken us closer to our next destination! The rest of the weekend continued as planned.
So, what was it? Why did I pass out? We have come to no real conclusions though here are a few things I have learned about myself since then:
1) I have low blood pressure which drops even lower when I do certain things.
2) I was dehydrated (coffee, coffee, no water, wine).
3) My iron stores (feratin), and B12 levels were low. When I returned from New York I had a blood work and ECG to make sure there was nothing serious going on.
4) I was short on sleep.
Well of course I was short on sleep. I had two children under 2.5 yrs. My body stores were also depleted from pregnancy and nursing. I never took supplements during this time because the multivitamins that were initially recommended made me so nauseous. I clearly should have experimented with the individual vitamin/mineral formulations.
But here I am almost 3 years later. Wow girls, it’s been 3 years! I have more energy and can get more done than ever.
So what is different?
1) I take supplements. I realized my diet is never going to give me everything I need because of my taste preferences.
2) I eat 5 to 6 times per day. I used to eat 2 or 3 times per day.
3) I exercise vigorously 3-5 times per week.
4) I sleep 7-8 hours per night.
5) I try to drink enough water. I aim for 3 L per day though I am not consistent. I also need to remember to increase this on high coffee-drinking days.
I mentioned last week that I take protein supplements. But what vitamins and minerals do I take? Here’s the list:
- Iron in the form of ferrous fumarate, 1 per day. This is much easier on my stomach than other forms which have caused me nausea in the past.
- B12, 1200 mcg
- Vitamin D, 2000 iu per day
- Omega 3 in the form of fish oil when I remember to add it to my protein drink
- Omega 3, 6, 9 complex for skin, hair, nails, 2 capsules per day (again, for some reason I have a hard time remembering this one. It’s cause the bottle is not with the others – gotta move it).
I really wish I could get everything I need from food, but I now know it’s just not possible for me. Anyone else notice a huge difference since beginning a regimen of vitamins or minerals? I would love to hear your stories.
Now, let’s talk workouts for this week.
Saturday – 8.75 miles (14 km) outside with Elation Centre Run Club – 9:20 per mile (5:50 per km) pace
Monday – 6.2 miles (10 km) easy run on the treadmill at 8:57 per mile (5:35 per km) pace.
Wednesday – 6.25 (10 km) tempo run on the treadmill – 1 mile warm-up (1.6 km) at 9:12 per mile (5:45 per km); 3.75 miles (~6 km) at 8:00 per mile (5:00 per km); 1.5 mile cool-down (1.6 km) during which I did some speed intervals cause I was getting bored and needed to get home (my mom was cuddling with my sick child).
I’m really starting to believe that I can run faster than I thought. My trainer was explaining to me that this is part of the purpose of the tempo run – to teach your legs, and for me, more importantly my mind, that they can hold a faster pace. Next week I’m going to set a time goal for the March 12th 10 km race, and it’s going to be based on these tempo runs.
Strength Training Stats
Monday: Greco Lean and Fit class with Derek. The room was packed. I wiped out on the slippery floor. May not go to this class anymore since it’s so busy and sweaty. But I did manage to do clapping push-ups on the Bosu ball on all 3 rounds of the circuit.
Wednesday: Missed this workout altogether since my mom had only 90 minutes for me and Lil C was so sick. No biggie.
Friday: Workout with Matthieu. Last week my legs were crying all weekend. In a good way.