Category Archives: Nutrition

Chia Pudding Detox

Chia-seed-pudding-641003030_5184x3456.jpeg

Toni Julian, health advocate, author and creator of TONI’S Protein Meals

I’m excited to share a recipe with you based on one of my most favorite power foods, the mighty chia seed. These tiny seeds are packed with antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, Omega 3 healthy fats and protein to boost the immune system.

Chia sees were prized by the Aztec and Mayan civilizations, and it was used as a ritualistic offering to their gods, as well as for medicinal purposes.

Today, they are available at most specialty food markets. Have you ever sprouted a chia seed? It’s simple, just stir it into fluid and watch it absorb within about 15 minutes. This property makes the chia seed a perfect go-to healthy detox ingredient and delicious pudding. The fiber and gelatinous substance helps absorb toxins, fights constipation and the fiber will help keep you, ahem, regular.

  • The mighty chia helps remove toxins from the colon to help the process of detoxification
  • The Omega 3 fatty acids strengthen the immune system
  • Chia seeds are anti-inflammatory and reduce pain and inflammation
  • Absorb up to 30 times their weight in moisture for improved hydration

 

Chia Pudding

3 cups unsweetened almond milk

2/3 cup chia seeds

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

2 packets Truvia or Stevia (optional for sweetness)

Switch it up! Add a tablespoon of cacao powder and mint extract instead of cinnamon and vanilla, or add your own mix-ins!

Place all ingredients in a sealable glass container. A mason jar works best so you can give it a good shake to blend all the ingredients. Keep refrigerated and help yourself to a bowl of yummy deliciousness anytime you need a quick energy boost. It keeps fresh for up to a week, if it’s not eaten first!

If you’re interested in more healthy, detoxifying, energy-boosting superfoods, check out TONI’S Hot Protein Meals here and get 25% off my sampler pack. (Use promo code DOUBLEFUEL). They are the perfect balance of lean protein–18 grams– complex carbohydrates for high fiber, and a full serving of Omega-3 fatty acids in each meal.

Please share this with your friends who are interested stepping up their wellness game!

From my heart to yours,

Toni Julian is a nationally renowned health advocate, nutrition adviser, fitness expert, and author of BITE ME! Change Your Life One Bite at a Time, as well as a 50-something mom of four!  She is also the creator of TONI’S High Performance Meals, a complete and healthy hot protein meal with 18 grams of protein and that’s ready in minutes. Get your sampler pack here and use promo code DOUBLEFUEL for 25% off!

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LOVELY LEMONS: Balance Your Body by Doing This One Simple Thing

Lemon Stars

Try this simple recipe to make sure you always have the benefits of lemons all year-round!

{Check out my BIG BANG LEMONADE recipe below!}

A lemon is a superfood! Ingesting both the juice of a lemon and its essential oil can prevent and fight a multitude of diseases and afflictions. It has anti-oxidant properties, balances pH, and speeds up the healing process. One common myth is that lemons are acidic to the body. While they are a citrus fruit and have many of the acidic properties of its cousins, our bodies actually process it differently. We actually become more alkaline and balanced when we digest lemon juice! Amazing, no?

Ingesting lemon juice and its oil is good for:

  • Colds and flu
  • Coughs
  • Dry mouth
  • Heartburn
  • Hiccup
  • Immunity
  • Increased healing/recovery
  • Kidney stones
  • Laryngitis
  • Pregnancy complaints
  • Skin cancer
  • Sore throat
  • Tumors

As you can imagine, there are a host of benefits from lemons if you consider the other effects that result from a balanced pH and a healthier, detoxed body:

  • Better sleep
  • More energy
  • Mental clarity
  • Positivity
  • Weight loss
  • Flexibility
  • Strength
  • Lessens inflammation/pain
  • Lessens hair loss
  • Reduced allergies
  • Less likely to contract illnesses such as colds, virus, fungal infections
  • Your body becomes an inhospitable environment for cancer to grow

I have discovered an excellent way to get the full benefits of the entire lemon: juicing! Juicers will extract the juice AND oils from the lemon and rind. The various beneficial chemicals and vitamins present in lemons are usually lost in the juicing process when making lemonade because we don’t consider the whole lemon! Undiluted lemon juice weighs in at only 7 calories per ounce.

Lemon Stars

Have fun making little “cube-lets” with unique ice cube trays. These frozen lemon stars are about half the size of a regular ice cube so perfect for individual servings.

I usually stock up when lemons are in season and freeze the juiced liquid into ice cubes. Look at the difference juicing makes in the next picture. You can see the oils stream off the cube as it disintegrates into a really tasty lemon galaxy!

Lemon Galaxy

Watch your frozen stars dissolve to create your own thirst-quenching lemon galaxy!

 

It is super simple to save an entire year’s worth of cubes. Wash whole lemons, remove the stems, and cut them into pieces that will easily fit into the mouth of your juicer (usually just cut in half). Juice the lemons carefully and pour the liquid into ice cube trays. After they are frozen, transfer the cubes into a gallon Ziploc bag and store in your freezer. It takes a small amount of preparation, and it ensures that you won’t ever be short of lemon water at the gym, or work, or wherever!

Try my easy recipe for life-sustaining

Big Bang Lemonade!

1 lemon cube

16 oz water, preferably in a glass container

Your chosen sweetener (optional), like honey, stevia, etc.

Plop the cube-let and sweetener into your glass of water and stir until fully dissolved.  Drink up the goodness!

Lemonade

Toni Julian is a Northern California-based health advocate and nutrition advisor, fitness expert, author of BITE ME! Change Your Life One Bite at a Time and creator of Toni’s OatMEAL–Healthy and Completely Balanced Meal Solutions. For more information visit ToniJulian.com

For more healthy and easy recipes, check out BITE ME! Change Your Life One Bite at a Time

Try This to Burn More Fat While you Sleep

Burn calories by increasing your metabolic rate while sleeping or at rest!

We all know that we burn calories when we exercise, but did you know you can design your workouts to make your body more efficient at burning calories even after you exercise? And are you aware you can exercise for less time and burn more calories as compared to one of your typical workouts simply by changing how you exercise? Don’t exercise harder, exercise smarter to achieve greater benefits!

Here’s how. It’s called interval training and even the most de-conditioned person can reap the benefits. And the good news is, you can apply the interval training concept to all types of exercise, including walking, running, cycling in the great outdoors or even on cardio equipment at your local gym.

A group of Canadian researchers from Laval University performed trials on two groups. They compared regular endurance or aerobic conditioning to interval training and discovered the group who performed interval training burned twice as many calories in half the amount of time. They were also able to reduce their body fat many times more than the endurance group by increasing their resting metabolic rate (this is how many calories you burn while not exercising).

I recommend incorporating interval training 2-3 days per week and preferably alternating with resistance training (weight training) on the other days to improve your bone density and also boost your metabolism. It’s a winning combination!

Toni Julian, Health Advocate and Fitness Expert

It’s important to note that if you are new to exercise, be sure to have your physician give you the thumbs up before proceeding.

For Beginner Levels:

If you are mostly sedentary and are accustomed to walking 30 minutes, start slowly.

1. Start off with five minutes of gentle walking for your warm-up. (Rather than miles per hour I go by perceived exertion level where a 1 is you’re lounging on the sofa and 10 is you’re going all out and ready to lose your breakfast (we never want to hit a 10). You should be at around an exertion level of 4 and able to sing to your iTunes comfortably.

2. Speed up your walk to what feels like an exertion level of 8 for the next 60 seconds. Here you will feel shorter of breath and feel your heart beating stronger.

3. Slow down your walk now to a level 3 for 2 minutes. You will feel your heart rate begin to drop and your breathing will normalize. The more fit you become over time, the faster your heart rate will recover to this level.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 five more times.

5. Finish with another five minutes of level 4 perceived exertion.

For Advanced Levels

1. Five minute warm up at Level 4 of perceived exertion whether cycling, light jogging or other activity

2. Step it up to a perceived exertion level of 8 or 9 for the next 60 seconds

3. Slow down to a perceived exertion level of a 5 for the next 90 seconds

4. Repeat the above steps 2 and 3 five additional times

5. Cool down for five minutes at a perceived exertion level of 3.

Pat yourself vigorously on the back, do a happy feet dance and remember to replenish with a light snack of complex carbohydrate, lean protein (check out Toni’s high protein meal solutions) and plenty of pure water.

How to Feel Fuller, Longer: So You’ll Eat Less and Feel Fabulous!

Have you ever eaten an apple for a snack, only to be hungry again an hour later? Or a bowl of cereal in the morning, but by 11AM you find yourself thinking “I wonder if I have any Girl Scout cookies in my trunk”.

So how can we feel more satisfied and stay fuller for longer? Being satiated with wholesome foods, in the right combination, translates into increased energy and improved vitality. It can also mean making better food choices and avoiding those annoying cravings in the afternoons and evenings. You know the ones, where you’ll do anything to get your hands on something salty-chewy-sugary-crunchy-greasy; in other words, dense carbohydrates for instant fuel.

It all comes down to regulating your blood sugar. Let’s go back to that apple which is made primarily of carbohydrates. It begins to break down with help from enzymes in your saliva as you chew. Carbs, especially the simple ones, metabolize very quickly which raises your blood sugar.

Blood Sugar Balance Chart

Your body responds by secreting a rush of Insulin from the Pancreas to drive the extra glucose for storage into your fat cells. There is an opposing hormone, called Glucagon, which works to elevate your blood sugar when glucose levels are low. These two hormones work in harmony to keep your body in balance. Imagine the arcade pinball game where you are using your right and left paddles to keep the pinball in the middle, right where your blood sugar level should be; between 80-120 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter). Abusing those hormones on an ongoing basis by eating overly-processed foods and too many simple carbohydrates–especially sweets–and you’ll be setting yourself up for insulin resistance and the potential for Type II diabetes.

Once you combine your carbohydrate, such a vegetable, brown rice or quinoa, with a lean protein (I’ll use a chicken breast as an example) and a healthy fat (such as avocado), you have designed a meal that will metabolize much more slowly. Your body will release the calories at a slower rate so your blood sugar won’t spike. Because it metabolizes gradually, you will enjoy sustained energy for a longer period of time, feel more satiated for longer, your hormones will be regulated, and unless you are a purely emotional eater, you’ll find yourself eating less!

With our ever increasingly busy lives, it’s often challenging to find lean proteins on-demand, and even more so to have the convenience of healthy meal options designed with the optimal balance of lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.

What started out as my own desire to make healthy foods more convenient for my family and friends–especially as I began to witness many of them becoming sick–evolved into a passion and stewardship for others who share in this common goal.  I’d like to introduce you to Toni’s OatMEAL which I designed to keep you FULL and FUELED for hours! It’s the perfect blend of lean protein (whey, egg white or plant-based), complex carbohydrates (whole rolled oats) and healthy fats (flax and nuts, depending upon the blend).  It is delicious and convenient, just add hot water and go!

5BTJ-Universal-lid-ACTUAL_SIZE-no-bleedFor more information and to order your two complimentary samples click here! (This offer is available for a limited time only)

For product inquiries, to order or inquire about custom blends, email or call Toni at (408) 206-1405. To order visit www.ToniJulian.com/OatMEAL

About Toni Julian

Toni Julian is a Northern California-based health and nutrition advocate, author of BITE ME! Change Your Life One Bite at a Time, Fitness Expert, creator of Toni’s OatMEAL and 50-something mom of four. She shares her knowledge to inspire people to lead sustainably healthy lives. For more information visit her at www.ToniJulian.com

NEW! SPECIAL EDITION: BITE ME! e-book

SPECIAL EDITION–BITE ME! Change Your Life One Bite at a Time e-book

160 Pages, Full-color, 8.5 x 11 PDF file  

SPECIAL EDITION Book Cover

GET INSPIRED. I’m proud to announce a more user-friendly, updated version of my book. It’s available only here on my website in an immediately downloadable PDF format, so you can enjoy full color pictures, my Detox Smoothie recipe, and some useful tools like my Wellness Assessment so you can track your lifestyle progress for sustainable results. You will also have access to my Health-e Tools such as the Meal Planner and Food Journal that you can print directly from your PC.

GET ORGANIZED. Start your own reference binder with my meal solutions and recipes that you can easily use in the kitchen, and keep your journal, assessments and other useful information at your fingertips.

GET IN THE KNOW. Be sure to follow my blog for up-to-date nutrition and fitness information and new meal solutions–which are being created every day in Toni’s Test Kitchen! Stay healthy and stay tuned!

Detox Smoothie — For Those Who Can’t Wait to Lose Weight

Detox Smoothie Ingredients 2

I am excited to share my latest meal solution with you! It is a naturally detoxifying, nutrient-dense, and low-calorie meal which ensures you get roughly one-third of your daily protein requirements, plus three servings of vegetables and three servings of fruits! You are well on your way to feeling energized with this super-food powerhouse. Because of the berries and tomato it’s full of antioxidants, and the greens make it high in phytonutrients—those cleansing and detoxifying little miracle workers—while the lemon further boosts it alkalinity. It’s also organic if you stick with said produce, and almost entirely raw, so it retains all the nutrients that may typically lost through processing or cooking.

If you are hungry for more detailed nutrition information, you’ll be thrilled to know this smoothie provides all the Vitamin K you need in a day, plus 50% of the calcium, 60% of the iron, 40% of the potassium, 50% of the fiber, B12 and B6 for an average person. Plus, an immune system enhancing 340% of your RDA of Vitamin C!

I should forewarn you that the color may not be aesthetically appealing for anyone who is new to blending fruits and veggies. For you color enthusiasts, what hue do you get when you mix green and red? Brown, and in this case a kind of brownish-violet concoction from combining so many highly nutritious fruits and vegetables! So I will encourage you to get over your potential visual aversion and your body will be thankful for it. And if you still can’t get past the color then just close your eyes and drink it up, because it is truly satisfying and quite delicious.

Substitution Options: I use Almond Milk because it has a healthy fat content—which combined with complex carbohydrates and protein—is digested more slowly and allows you to feel satiated for longer, and is a good non-dairy option as well. You can always substitute with low or non-fat milk or a rice drink beverage if you prefer, and especially in the case of nut allergies, but keep it organic. You can also use this recipe as a template and use what you already have in your refrigerator; for example use spinach instead of kale, or strawberries instead of blueberries, or toss in a bit of left over fresh zucchini.

Boosts Options:  

These are a great way to enhance an already powerful meal solution.  I typically add about one tablespoon of a plant-based “green” powder that is full of Spirulina, dandelion greens, sea kelp, wheat grasses and other greens that I would not likely have fresh on hand or easily accessible. There are many brands on the market, so be sure to read the labels to ensure it is 100% organic, pure dried plants without fillers.

The protein powder is very clean and based on whey protein concentrate and isolate, and absent of sucralose, or other artificial sweeteners. Vanilla is a neutral flavor that goes well with this recipe.

If you take a multivitamin, you can simply add it in before you blend your drink. It will ensure you get your trace minerals and if you’re like me, you won’t have to try to choke it down with water later!

Makes 1 Large Serving

NUTRITION PROFILE                 CAL-290/PRO-29/CARB-50/FAT-3/SAT-0/CHO-20/SOD-224/FIB-12

PERCENT CALORIES FROM    PRO-31%/CARB-46%/FAT-23%

What to Buy:  Organic Produce and Support Local Growers Whenever Possible

1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk

1 small Lemon, ( juiced or puree with the rind in your juicer)

2 large Kale Leafs (any variety)

½ cup Berries (raspberries, blueberries, marionberries)

1 Carrot

1 small Tomato

1 small Apple (cored)

Boosts:

1 Scoop each Vanilla Whey Protein Powder and Green SuperFood, such as Vitamineral Green — included in nutrient profile

2 Ice Cubes, for desired consistency

Optional: Multivitamin

Sweetener: Stevia or Truvia packet to taste

What to do:

It’s best to use a Vitamix or Nutri-Bullet blender. If you have a standard kitchen blender you can still enjoy this smoothie, however you will want to strip the stem out of the kale as it’s very fibrous. Add almond milk first. Wash your fruits and vegetables then cut your produce into manageable portions to blend. Add the remaining ingredients at once and blend thoroughly. If you prefer your beverage colder or to have more of a shake consistency, you may add a few ice cubes. If you are using a Vitamix, you may use the tamper which helps force the ingredients to the bottom of the mixer for blending. Otherwise, you will need to cut your produce into smaller sizes to mix and may need to add a small amount of water to help blend. You will not likely need to add water if using a more powerful blender.

BE SURE TO VIST TONI AT WWW.TONIJULIAN.COM

Award Winning Author Voted Best Nutritionist in the Area by Times Media

Toni Julian Awarded Best Nutritionist in the Area by Times Media

Confusing Choices: GMO, Gluten Free and Organics

Image

BRENT P., Medford, OR: “I have a question, between GMO, organic, and gluten free options, are any of them that big of a deal? I’ve been eating every pesticide ridden, GMO tainted, enriched flour thing I could find since I was a kid and I don’t seems much worse for the wear. Food costs are skyrocketing and organic food is expensive. Can’t I just settle for non organic fruits and veggies and genetically modified whole grains? I’m not saying Monsanto isn’t an evil giant, but these food decisions seem exacerbating. Maybe this whole trend is a scare tactic to get us to pay even more for food? Thoughts?”    

TONI: Brent, your question is one that is on the minds of most people. There is so much confusion around all the latest science around the food we eat. And as you mentioned, self-serving food manufacturers spinning messages and obfuscating the facts make it even more frustrating for people who just want straight answers. You asked “what’s the big deal”? and I’ll share my perspective with you.

Gluten free foods are all the rage, and I find most people associate good health with going gluten free. That’s not entirely accurate though. If you have a serious gluten issue–that is a toxic reaction to gluten, called Celiac Disease as my two daughters have–then the answer is an overwhelming yes, by all means, go gluten free. The gluten eats away at the villi in the small intestine causing mal-absorption of important nutrients and even fertility and joint issues. If you have an allergy to gluten–the protein found in wheat–then eliminating or reducing it from your diet is beneficial. Many people association of gluten free products proliferating on store shelves with good health, but look closely at the labels. They often are the means of loading extra sugar and unhealthy fat into your diet. Best to stick to whole foods, rather than the processed, gluten-free counterparts.

As far as organic foods are concerned, there has been quite a bit of controversy over the subject and it’s way too complicated to go into here, but the bottom line is, if you have an opportunity to rid yourself of harmful chemical and toxin exposure, you should. Buy organic as you can afford. Yes it’s more expensive, but when it comes to what you’re buying (and even what you’re NOT buying — chemicals) your health is worth the investment. You can reduce the cost by going to local Farmers Markets and if you can catch them before they close for the day, they discount all their produce because it will spoil otherwise. Prioritize the organics you buy, such as the leafy greens and produce without skin. That will help reduce the chemicals you ingest, and at a minimum, wash your produce before you eat it to reduce pesticide consumption.

You also mentioned GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms), apply to all living things–plants and animals alike. I think scientific modification is different from farmers selective growing of their produce for size, flavor, insect resistance etc., which has been going on for hundreds of years. The wheat that was grown and consumed in the 1800’s is much different than it is today, genetically. This to me, is far safer than foods that are genetically modified through cross-breeding and the hormones fed to chickens in inhumane conditions. Part of your decision, I would imagine, depends upon social responsibility, humane conditions, food quality, cost, sustainability and convenience. It’s a lot to weigh and everyone must make their own decision. You mentioned you are not “worse for the wear” and the fact that you took the time the pose these questions tells me that at some level you are concerned, as you should be.

I’ve had way too many family members and friends become diagnosed with cancer, and I’ve lost people close to me. I’ve been up close and personal with people who thought they could “get by” with their current lifestyles and behaviors. What you don’t know is what is going on on the inside. Consider yourself very fortunate that you are young and disease free. Look around at family and friends, evaluate their choices and lifestyle, and how that has reflected on their health for better or worse. Some people abuse themselves and live long lives, some people take impeccable care and are called way too early. Life’s not fair, and there are no guarantees, but I hope you will consider taking proactive steps to ensure you wellness. You are far too beautiful of a man to get sick and you have many in this world who love and care for you. Take the opportunity to make some good choices.

Stay healthy and strong!

Toni 

BRENT: That was a terrific response and super insightful. I hope others read it and it helps clarify decisions for them too. Believe it or not, I was getting stressed out over all the choices! The media discusses one or two different options here or there, but never really puts the whole conversation in context. Thank you!!!!! Hope you continue to grow your book brand big as it’s well deserving. I’m on the phone with Oprah now telling her all about it.  Thanks for the complements too!!

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON GMO’S VISIT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_organism

Political Food Fight

This morning the San Jose Mercury News featured a story on the latest political debate in our community; a proposal to ban sugary drinks at city properties and events, pitched by our local City Councilman Ash Kalra.

“Are you freakin’ kidding me?” is the disappointing response by Councilman Pete Constant. He further went on to call the proposal “crazy” and “stupid”. (In my experience people typically stoop to name calling when they don’t have sound evidence for a fair argument or the educational background to make one—however, I digress.) Councilman Constant believes we need to fix our city and not to tell residents how to live their lives.  Herein lies the disconnect; I believe the health of the city is dependent upon the health of its residents and the health of the residents is dependent in part of the quality of food we feed ourselves, and our children.

Over 90% of how we look and feel (and therefore behave and perform) is based on the quality of our food, I would argue the foods—and beverages– made available have a tremendous impact on the lifestyle and consequently the health of our communities.

Many of the burdens placed on our society is due to what I call “The American De-condition”1, a gradual decline in the state of our health based on poor lifestyle habits, lack of fitness and nutritional education. It is a well-documented fact that nearly 70% of all Americans are either overweight or obese, one of the leading contributors to a proliferation of medical issues. This may in fact be the first generation when parents outlive their children due to our deteriorating health condition as a nation.  Inexcusably, we have passed down our sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits to our children. We allow our children to eat the most convenient and lowest quality foods possible, and they have no idea how negatively their growing bodies are impacted by sugar consumption, displacing needed nutrients they would have received by having healthier options more readily available.

Our personal passivity and demand for convenience are our own worst enemies. Certainly we need to be accountable and make our own decisions as to what we put in our mouths, but why create a temptation in the first place? We as adults know how difficult it is to resist temptation, especially one that is genetically engraved in our DNA to survive, by craving sugar, salt and fat. Imagine how difficult it is for children and teens, who are a bit more impulsive, to make a healthier choice. Consider this: You have a bowl of M&M’s and peanuts on your kitchen counter or at your desk at work. If you have to pass by it wouldn’t you be tempted and even likely to graze on it all day? You could realistically consume an additional 1000 calories each day of unnecessary sugar and fat. But if it wasn’t so convenient, wouldn’t you likely be less impulsive to mindlessly reach for it, and further, would it even cross your mind at all?

By Councilman Kalra’s proposal, we are not dictating the decisions of how people should eat or drink, merely eliminating a few out of a multitude of opportunities for making a poor nutritional choice with the added benefit of providing options to make it simpler for us all to make healthier decisions. The proposal is also being criticized for inconsistencies, for example, why offer healthy whole juice choices when corn dogs are still served? Take a step back, a deep breath and look at the big picture.  Why are high-fat, overly processed foods being served in the first place?

It’s simple, it’s called social responsibility. The proposal is a solid first step in effecting change. We have an unprecedented opportunity here to change our lives, our family’s lives, the lives within our community, and beyond. Simple measures to help guide our communities to make healthier lifestyle choices seem common sense to me.

Councilman Ash Kalra has my full support as a health advocate, nutritionist, 50-something mom of four and San Jose native. If it’s a food fight you’re looking for, count me in.

1Julian, Toni (2011). BITE ME! Change Your Life One Bite at a Time—An Inspirational Journey of Reinvention to a Healthy, Sustainable Lifestyle. (1st ed). San Jose, CA: AABS Nutrition & Fitness

San Jose Mercury News, Ban on Sugary Drinks Pitched August 24, 2013

Multivitamins–Too Much of a Good Thing?

Taking a multivitamin every morning stems from a concerted effort by people to be healthier and keep their bodies in peak condition. What most people don’t know, however, is which micronutrients on that list on the bottle are putting them at risk due to toxicity–called Hypervitaminosis–and can result in issues such as liver failure, migraines, anemia, birth defects, and a host of others due to higher than needed levels of any particular vitamin. Vitamins A, D, E and K are considered “fat soluble” and are stored in your body whereas water-soluble vitamins have less potential for over-dosing as they are more easily flushed from your system, such as Vitamin C for example. Following the RDA or “Recommended Daily Allowance” amount for each vitamin, as well as getting lab work to check for deficiencies, is essential.

Some, but not all, vitamins have a UL or “Upper intake level”. These are the vitamins that, in large doses, can create the problems listed above, including a host of others. These “mega-doses” are benign with most vitamins, but the list below breaks down each potentially toxic vitamin and its mega dose side effect:

Vitamin Toxicity Symptoms

The difficult part is finding a multivitamin that will keep these toxic vitamins at the RDA and supply your body with the necessary nutrients where you may be deficient. For example, the UL of Niacin is about 35 mg. A certain popular vitamin touts 40 mg. Taking this vitamin daily has the potential to be dangerous because of its cumulative effect over time.

It’s common to grab vitamins off of the shelf without doing the research. Be sure to bring a list of RDA and UL amounts for the vitamins above when you go to buy a multi and enlist your doctor’s help to prescribe appropriate doses if you are deficient; it just might save you a lot of trouble, and at the risk of being overly dramatic, perhaps even save your life.

• Link to RDA and DRI (Dietary Recommended Intake) of vitamins:
http://www.iom.edu/Activities/Nutrition/SummaryDRIs/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Nutrition/DRIs/5_Summary%20Table%20Tables%201-4.pdf
• Link to UL of vitamins:
http://iom.edu/Activities/Nutrition/SummaryDRIs/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Nutrition/DRIs/ULs%20for%20Vitamins%20and%20Elements.pdf

References

DRI Tables | Food and Nutrition Information Center. (n.d.). Home | Food and Nutrition Information Center. Retrieved June 11, 2013, from http://fnic.nal.usda.gov/dietary-guidance/dietary-reference-intakes/dri-tables
Insel, P. M., Ross, D., McMahon, K., & Bernstein, M. (2013). Nutrition: My Plate update (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Vitamin Toxicity – definition of Vitamin Toxicity in the Medical dictionary – by the Free Online Medical Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.. (n.d.). Medical Dictionary. Retrieved June 11, 2013, from http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Vitamin+Toxicity