Tina Williams Presents

{February 28, 2012}   Happy National Pancake Day !

So a friend just posted that tomorrow is national pancake day and IHOP is giving away a free short stack pancake for the occasion. I looked it up out of curiosity. 600 calories and packed with sodium. YUCK! I also looked it up on livestrong.com and I would need to run at 5mph for 38 minutes just to burn that off. That ‘s just to keep from being in gain mode. I looked it up and found this healthy blueberry pancake recipe. Oh my goodness, blueberries in pancakes is so yummy – I’m going to give it a try tomorrow.

Post below if you have your own healthy breakfast alternative that you love – or if you try this recipe! Happy HEALTHY pancake day!




{February 26, 2012}   The dirty statistics. Yikes!

Heart Disease Statistics

  • Every 34 seconds a  person in the United States dies from heart disease.
  • More than 2,500 Americans die from heart disease each day.
  • Every 20 seconds, a person in the United States has a heart attack.
  • At least 250,000 people die of heart attacks each year before they reach a hospital.
  • Studies show that under-educated people are more likely to suffer heart attacks.
  • The countries with the highest death rates from heart disease are the Soviet Union, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. The countries with the lowest are Japan, France, Spain, Switzerland, and Canada.
  • Almost 6 million hospitalizations each year (in the United States) are due to cardiovascular disease.
  • Since 1900, Cardio Vascular Disease has been the number 1 killer in the United States for every year but 1918.
  • Every 33 seconds, a person dies from Cardio Vascular Disease in the United States.
  • Men suffer heart attacks about 10 years earlier in life than women do.

{February 26, 2012}   no two calories are the same

We’ve all heard it. Burn more calories than you consume, and you’ll lose weight. Simple, right? Then why doesn’t it work for a lot of people. Because no two calories are the same. Well, technically – and biologically they are. But the psychological and physical effects a calorie has on a person will change.

Recently I heard a doctor say, and this is profound, “Americans are consuming more calories today then ever before. But we are still starving.” What did she mean? It means we are malnourished. I know, when thinking of malnourished you think of the starving kids in Africa, right? Well yes, they are malnourished. But, so are we.

It was explained to me simply. If someone eats a 1000 calories a day and it’s all onion rings, and the other person eats a 1000 calories a day and it’s all leafy greens, vegetables, and proteins then one is going to gain weight, while the other loses. Think about the effect that a 1000 calories per day onion ring diet would have? First, you don’t even get that many onion rings. There are 200 calories for every 3 onion rings, and 63% of those calories is fat. So you’d get to eat 15 onion rings and you’re done for the day. From those onion rings, you’ve consumed 630 calories of fat.

Now let’s go to the person who’s taking in a 1000 calories with the spinach salad, veggies and so forth. 1 cup of spinach salad has 107 calories. Let’s say you add a whole tomato, (22 cal’s) a whole cucumber (45 cal’s), carrots (45 cal’s) – and you splurged and added ranch dressing. 137 cal’s per 1 oz. Your salad meal was less than 300 calories, add a flame grilled chicken breast for 227 calories.  That’s about 500 calories. You still have 500 calories left for the day to consume. You’ve also consumed Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. By the way, that’s from the spinach alone. How do you think your body is feeling? You may have enjoyed the onion rings more, but your body didn’t.

Still think calorie counting is the way to go? It is. You still don’t want to consume too many calories, and you don’t want to consume too little either. Speaking to a nutritionist or doing some research to find out what calorie intake your body needs would be the first step. Exercise to your show your heart some love – and just remember that no two calories are the same. So to speak.

Last night I went shopping. For the first time in years I’ve been excited by doing this. I had to buy a new pair of jeans last week because mine were falling off of me. My fat jeans that were tight before and gave me muffin top. Yeah, I said it. Gross, right? The new jeans I bought are two sizes smaller and fit loose.

I’ve found that when I go out I actually do my hair now. I use to think I didn’t do my hair because I was tired and busy, typical mom stuff. Guess I was wrong.

But, last night when I went shopping I was looking for shorts. Yes, shorts. I don’t even remember the last time I wore shorts. Apparently, the trend in shorts now is super short. Ok, this is way out of my comfort zone. However, I figured it can’t hurt to try it on, right? So here I am, in the dressing room at Target trying on some khaki shorts. I picked up the size I thought I was, maybe even too small, but I figured its motivation to make these fit better since I was still planning on losing more weight. Turns out they were a bit loose. That’s not the kicker though. I tried them on and looked in the mirror. Surely there was something wrong. My legs looked… good. It feels weird just saying that. I figured it was the distorted dressing room mirrors that always seemed to make you look thinner so I took a picture of myself. I can just imagine what the lady in the dressing room next to me was thinking when she kept hearing the clicking of my camera phone going off. Sure enough, I looked good in the picture too.

I sat on the stool in the corner of the dressing room for a few minutes just staring at the picture, every once in a while glancing down at my legs. A smile on my face the entire time. I looked good, and I felt good. I couldn’t believe I made it to this point. I looked down at the skinny caramel macchiato that I had with me as my Friday night treat. It was about 1/3rd of the way done, and I decided to toss it. Yes, it was the skinny version, better than the regular one I use to consume on a daily basis. But, still, I had a little ways to go, and I had found a new motivation.

You’re probably thinking that I bought those shorts and probably wore them home. Nope, they’re still back at Target. Looking at myself in the dressing room mirror is one thing, feeling good about walking out in public like that was another. Loosing the physical weight was one step, I realized there was also a mental barricade I’d need to lose as well.

I’m not quite where I want to be, but I’m halfway there. They say the last 10 lbs is the hardest to lose, that’s where I’m at now. I have 10 more lbs to go, 15 to get to my ultimate goal. But, nothing was harder than my first 10 lbs. I wasn’t just losing 10 lbs to begin with, I was losing habits I loved. There was a single quote that kept me moving.

Don’t let what you want today,  take away from what you want in the long run. That can apply to a lot of things, can’t it.

{February 25, 2012}   Vitamin D3

If you’ve made it to this post, then chances are you’ve heard my non stop chatter about Vitamin D. In my opinion, the most underrated vitamin out there. Ok, so now you’re interested in Vitamin D? This is where I get asked how many iu’s, what type, and where do I get my Vitamin D.

Did you know that taking the wrong vitamin D could do more harm than good? Please note, I am not a nutritionist. Just a well researched every day person. However, the info I’m providing below is from doctors. I’ve provided a link to one of the articles at the very bottom.

Dr Mercola, ”

Drisdol is a synthetic form of vitamin D2—made by irradiating fungus and plant matter—and is the form of vitamin D typically prescribed by doctors.

This is not the type produced by your body in response to sun or safe tanning bed exposure, which is vitamin D3

A recent meta-analysis by the Cochrane Databasei looked at mortality rates for people who supplemented their diets with D2 versus those who did so with D3, the form naturally produced by your body, highlighting the significant differences between the two. 

The analysis of 50 randomized controlled trials, which included a total of 94,000 participants, showed:

  • A six percent relative risk reduction among those who used vitamin D3, but
  • A two percent relative risk increase among those who used D2″

There’s overwhelming evidence that vitamin D is a key player in your overall health. This is understandable when you consider that it is not “just” a vitamin; it’s actually a neuroregulatory steroidal hormone that influences nearly 3,000 different genes in your body. Receptors that respond to the vitamin have been found in almost every type of human cell, from your brain to your bones.

Just one example of an important gene that vitamin D up-regulates is your ability to fight infections, as well as chronic inflammation. It produces over 200 antimicrobial peptides, the most important of which is cathelicidin, a naturally occurring broad-spectrum antibiotic. This is one of the explanations for why it can be so effective against colds and flu. So how much should you take of Vitamin D?

 based on the most recent research by Grassroots Health—an organization that has greatly contributed to the current knowledge on vitamin D through their D* Action Study—it appears as though most adults need about 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D a day in order to raise their serum levels above 40 ng/ml.4For children, many experts agree they need about 35 IU’s of vitamin D per pound of body weight.

At the time Grassroots Health performed the studies that resulted in this dosage recommendation, the optimal serum level was believed to be between 40 to 60 ng/ml. Since then, the optimal vitamin D level has been raised to 50-70 ng/ml, and when treating cancer or heart disease, as high as 70-100 ng/ml, as illustrated in the chart above.

What this means is that even if you do not regularly monitor your vitamin D levels (which you should), your risk of overdosing is going to be fairly slim even if you take as much as 8,000 IU’s a day. However, the only way to determine your optimal dose is to get your blood tested regularly, and adjust your dosage to maintain that goldilocks’ zone.

Resources: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/02/23/oral-vitamin-d-mistake.aspx 

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a startling number of things;

Cancer Hypertension Heart disease
Autism Obesity Rheumatoid arthritis
Diabetes 1 and 2 Multiple Sclerosis Crohn’s disease
Cold & Flu Inflammatory Bowel Disease Tuberculosis
Septicemia Signs of aging Dementia
Eczema & Psoriasis Insomnia Hearing loss
Muscle pain Cavities Periodontal disease
Osteoporosis Macular degeneration Increased C-section risk
Pre eclampsia Seizures Infertility
Asthma Cystic fibrosis Migraines
Depression Alzheimer’s disease Schizophrenia

{February 22, 2012}   25 foods good for your heart

25 Top Heart-Healthy Foods

With the help of these nutrition experts from The Cleveland Clinic and the American Dietetic Association, we’ve put together a list of the “best of the best” heart-healthy foods.

The foods listed here are all top-performers in protecting your heart and blood vessels. We’ve also got menu ideas — so you can easily bring heart-healthy foods into your daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

  1. Salmon

Omega-3 fatty acids.

Grill salmon with a yummy rub or marinade. Save a chunk to chop for a pasta or salad later on.

  1. Flaxseed (ground)

Omega-3 fatty acids; fiber, phytoestrogens.

Ground flaxseed hides easily in all sorts of foods — yogurt parfaits, morning cereal, homemade muffins, or cookies.

  1. Oatmeal

Omega-3 fatty acids; magnesium; potassium; folate; niacin; calcium; soluble fiber.

Top hot oatmeal with fresh berries. Oatmeal-and-raisin cookies are a hearty treat.

  1. Black or Kidney Beans

B-complex vitamins; niacin; folate; magnesium; omega-3 fatty acids; calcium; soluble fiber.

Give soup or salad a nutrient boost — stir in some beans.

  1. Almonds

Plant omega-3 fatty acids; vitamin E; magnesium; fiber; heart-favorable mono- and polyunsaturated fats; phytosterols.

Mix a few almonds (and berries) into low-fat yogurt, trail mix, or fruit salads.

  1. Walnuts

Plant omega-3 fatty acids; vitamin E; magnesium; folate; fiber; heart-favorable mono- and polyunsaturated fats; phytosterols.

Walnuts add flavorful crunch to salads, pastas, cookies, muffins, even pancakes.

  1. Red wine

Catechins and reservatrol (flavonoids).

Toast your good health! A glass of red wine could improve “good” HDL cholesterol.

  1. Tuna

Omega-3 fatty acids; folate; niacin.

Here’s lunch: Salad greens, fresh fruit, canned tuna. Keep “Salad Spritzer” – a light dressing — in your office fridge.

  1. Tofu

Niacin; folate; calcium; magnesium; potassium.

Tasty tofu is easy: Thinly slice “firm” tofu, marinate several hours, grill or stir-fry.

  1. Brown rice

B-complex vitamins; fiber; niacin; magnesium, fiber.

Microwavable brown rice makes a quick lunch. Stir in a few chopped veggies (broccoli, carrots, spinach).

  1. Soy milk

Isoflavones (a flavonoid); B-complex vitamins; niacin; folate, calcium; magnesium; potassium; phytoestrogens.

Soy milk is great over oatmeal or whole-grain cereal. Or, make a smoothie with soy milk.

  1. Blueberries

Beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids); anthocyanin (a flavonoid); ellagic acid (a polyphenol); vitamin C; folate; calcium, magnesium; potassium; fiber.

Cranberries, strawberries, raspberries are potent, too — for trail mixes, muffins, salads!

  1. Carrots

Alpha-carotene (a carotenoid); fiber.

Baby carrots are sweet for lunch. Sneak shredded carrots into spaghetti sauce or muffin batter.

  1. Spinach

Lutein (a carotenoid); B-complex vitamins; folate; magnesium; potassium; calcium; fiber.

Pick spinach (not lettuce) for nutrient-packed salads and sandwiches.

  1. Broccoli

Beta-carotene (a carotenoid); Vitamins C and E; potassium; folate; calcium; fiber.

Chop fresh broccoli into store-bought soup. For a veggie dip, try hummus (chickpeas).

  1. Sweet potato

Beta-carotene (a carotenoid); vitamins A, C, E; fiber.

Microwave in a zip-lock baggie for lunch. Eat au naturale, or with pineapple bits.

  1. Red bell peppers

Beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids); B-complex vitamins; folate; potassium; fiber.

Rub with olive oil, and grill or oven-roast until tender. Delicious in wraps, salads, sandwiches.

  1. Asparagus

Beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids); B-complex vitamins; folate; fiber.

Grill or steam slightly, then dress with olive oil and lemon. It’s a pretty side dish.

  1. Oranges

Beta-cryptoxanthin, beta- and alpha-carotene, lutein (carotenoids) and flavones (flavonoids); vitamin C; potassium; folate; fiber.

Got orange juice? Check out the new nutrient-packed blends.

  1. Tomatoes

Beta- and alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein (carotenoids); vitamin C; potassium; folate; fiber.

For a flavor twist, try oil-packed tomatoes in sandwiches, salads, pastas, pizzas.

  1. Acorn squash

Beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids); B-complex and C vitamins; folate; calcium; magnesium; potassium; fiber.

Baked squash is comfort food on a chilly day. Serve with sautéed spinach, pine nuts, raisins.

  1. Cantaloupe

Alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids); B-complex and C vitamins; folate; potassium; fiber.

A fragrant ripe cantaloupe is perfect for breakfast, lunch, potluck dinners. Simply cut and enjoy!

  1. Papaya

Beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein (carotenoids); Vitamins C and E; folate; calcium; magnesium; potassium.

Serve papaya salsa with salmon: Mix papaya, pineapple, scallions, garlic, fresh lime juice, salt and black pepper.

  1. Dark chocolate

Reservatrol and cocoa phenols (flavonoids).

A truffle a day lowers blood pressure, but choose 70% or higher cocoa content.

  1. Tea

Catechins and flavonols (flavonoids).

Make sun tea: Combine a clear glass jar, several tea bags, and hours of sunshine.


Phytoestrogensare substances in plants (like flaxseed) that have a weak estrogen-like action in the body. Studies suggest that flaxseed lowers the risk of blood clots, stroke, and cardiac arrhythmias. It may also help lower total and LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides, and even blood pressure.

Phytosterols are plant sterols that chemically resemble cholesterol — and seem to reduce blood cholesterol. All nuts and seeds, including wheat germ, have phytosterols.

Carotenoids are heart-protective antioxidants in many colorful fruits and veggies. Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene are carotenoids.

Polyphenols are another set of antioxidants that protect blood vessels, lower blood pressure, reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol. Flavonoid polyphenols include catechins, flavonones, flavonols, isoflavones, reservatrol, and anthocyanins. Non-flavonoid polyphenols include ellagic acid (found in all types of berries).

Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fatty fish like salmon) and alpha-linolenic fatty acids (found in plant foods like walnuts) help boost the immune system, reduce blood clots, and protect against heart attacks. They also increase good HDL levels, lower triglyceride levels, protect arteries from plaque buildup, are anti-inflammatories, and lower blood pressure.

B-complex vitamins — like Vitamin B-12 (folate) and vitamin B-6 — protect against blood clots and atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Niacin (vitamin B-3) helps increase HDL “good” cholesterol.

Vitamins C and E are antioxidants that protect cells from free radical damage. Magnesium, potassium, and calcium help lower blood pressure. Fiber-rich foods help lower cholesterol levels.

{February 22, 2012}   Heart Health Giveaway


Who doesn’t love giveaways?

Want to win a bottle of MonaVie Pulse?


MonaVie Pulse®is a heart healthy blend of 19 fruits, resveratrol, and plant sterols,* which have been clinically shown to help lower cholesterol. Featuring AçaVie—the purest, most potent form of açai available—this cardioprotective juice supports optimal cell health and healthy cholesterol levels. Do something good for your heart and enjoy MonaVie Pulse today.

Now fortified with more superfruits, beneficial fiber, and key vitamins A, C, and E, MonaVie Pulse features a heart healthy blend of fruits specifically chosen for their ability to nutritionally support cardiovascular health.

Açai, grape, pineapple, apple, pomegranate, prickly pear, elderberry, yumberry, bilberry, blueberry, cherry, maqui, cranberry, strawberry, aronia, acerola, cupuaçu, jabuticaba, camu camu.


* Foods containing at least 0.4 grams per serving of plant sterols, eaten twice a day with meals for a daily total intake of at least 0.8 grams and as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Two servings (4 ounces) of MonaVie Pulse contain 0.8 grams of plant sterols.

Key Benefits

  • Naturally lowers cholesterol.*
  • Boasts healthy levels of plant sterols to protect your heart and cardiovascular system.
  • Features resveratrol, which helps protect healthy blood vessels.
  • Fights oxidative damage and aging.
  • Features a wide array of essential nutrients for optimal health.
  • Delivers the antioxidant capacity of approximately 13 servings of common fruits and vegetables in just four ounces.

* Foods containing at least 0.4 grams per serving of plant sterols, eaten twice a day with meals for a daily total intake of at least 0.8 grams and as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Two servings (4 ounces) of MonaVie Pulse contain 0.8 grams of plant sterols.

Essential Facts

  • Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is a primary line of defense against heart disease.
  • Features an intermediate score of 57 on the Glycemic Index (GI), which measures how the foods you eat impact your blood sugar levels.
  • AçaVie™ is an antioxidant packed ingredient that combines our patented açai and juçara freeze-dried powder and puree with Enlivenox, a proprietary açai compound boasting 10 times more polyphenols than traditional açai.


MonaVie Pulse and Plant Sterols

*Foods containing at least 0.4 grams per serving of plant sterols taken twice a day with meals for a total daily intake of 0.8 grams, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Two servings (four ounces) of MonaVie Pulse contain 0.8 grams of plant sterols.





{February 22, 2012}   sodium

I’ll start with the basic stuff. All this info is from the CDC’s site so it’s not really major research here. But, we have plenty of time to get into some of the quirky info and controversial topics over the next month. We’ll start simple.

Key Messages

  • About 90% of Americans aged 2 years and older eat too much sodium.
  • Reducing the sodium Americans eat by 1200 mg per day on average could save $20 billion a year in medical costs.
  • Most of the sodium we eat comes from processed foods and foods prepared in restaurants.
  • 44% of the sodium we eat comes from 10 types of foods.
  • Different brands of the same foods may have different sodium levels. For example, sodium in chicken noodle soup can vary by as much as 840 milligrams (mg) per serving so be sure to read the labels on foods.
  • Over 800,000 people die each year from heart disease, stroke and other vascular diseases, costing the nation $273 billion health care dollars in 2010.

Vital Signs: Where’s the sodium?
There’s too much sodium in many common foods.

A woman reading the nutrition label of a prepared food item.The CDC Vital Signs program is a call to action each month concerning a single, important public health topic. For American Heart Month, the February edition of CDC Vital Signs focuses on the amount of sodium in Americans’ diets and what we can do to reduce it.

About 90% of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet.

Too much sodium increases a person’s risk for high blood pressure. High blood pressure often leads to heart disease, stroke, and other vascular diseases.

{February 22, 2012}   Kicking off Heart Health Month


Yesterday morning I was thinking about March and how we’ve done heart walks in the past. Everyone seems to be focused on different cancer awareness, which of course is important. However, so many people seem to neglect their heart. It’s ironic when you think about it, since heart disease kills more people in the U.S. then all cancers combined. This last year has been an eye opening journey for me. From the story of my friends newborn, to my husbands Airforce buddy who died yesterday at the age of 37 from a heart attack. This solidified my idea to start this campaign, and so here we are.

I realize it’s not quite March yet, but it’s never too soon to start, is it? From now until the end of March I will take you on a journey. The journey will include stories that will move you, stories that will shock you, and stories that you will bring you joy. Along the way we’ll learn together, the different ways to prevent and detect heart disease, and educate ourselves on all things related to the heart.

If you have a story you’d like shared during this campaign, please email me at tina_williamsmv@yahoo.com and remember to follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tinawilliamspresents where I do giveaways and post some fun articles and info.

You can also find me on Twitter @tinamariemv


Cheers to your heart!

et cetera