Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Vitamin Deficiencies with Healthy Eating?

I just love this CrossFit community. If there is any common factor that I've found it's that it is a group of people who honestly want to see one another succeed.  That's rare.  And awesome.

We all have our reasons for joining in on CrossFit.  Maybe it's to excel at sports, lose/gain weight or as for me, it's about keeping my body moving.  As I get older, it's more about keeping my mind and body healthy and less about what my max Deadllift is.  And I'm okay with that.

I've dabbled with a bunch of different eating plans over the years.  I mostly have just eaten whatever I was in the mood for but occasionally I've jumped on the bandwagon for one 'diet' or another.  I've been able to maintain my weight between 160lb-170lb without too much effort.  Well, a few weeks ago Lance and Chelsea over at CrossFit Victor announced a one month long Paleo Challenge that is going to start next week.  I guess that was a good enough kick in the rear end for me to re-think my diet because since they announced it, I've eliminated processed foods and dairy from my diet.  I've even stayed away from all the stuff you're supposed to - white potatoes, legumes, and rice.

I have to admit, even in just two weeks I feel great.  I thought I was feeling pretty great before but the difference is very noticeable.  I have more energy, my stamina and strength levels at the gym are higher and what I really have come to appreciate is the lack of muscle soreness. All from just eating well.  So with all these benefits, why go back to that bad diet?  This just might be a bandwagon I stay on.

One aspect of the diet that I was concerned about was if I was now susceptible to Vitamin deficiencies of any kind, especially Vitamin D.  I haven't had cow milk in at least two weeks so I wondered if I might have to supplement.

Enter the great CrossFit community...  I posted a comment up on my Facebook page last night asking all my CrossFit friends about any deficiencies that might come about and what I should do to supplement.  All of their answers were very helpful and they all come from people that I know and trust.  All of them are avid CrossFitters with years under their belt, some are seasoned, well-known and respected CrossFit gym owners, one is a Nutritionist and another a Chiropractor.  There was certainly a common thread among all of their answers.

I thought it would be really helpful to pass along what they told me.  Here's the question I asked and the answers I received.

Hey fellow CrossFitters:
Does anyone know of any vitamin deficiencies that can come about by eating strict paleo?  I've been free of dairy and processed food for about 2 weeks and feel great but wanted to make sure I wasn't lacking anything like maybe Vitamin D??
I'm wondering if adding a multi vitamin might be a good idea??

Gina ground this on Vitamin D "It also occurs naturally in a few foods - - including some fish, fish liver oils, and egg yolks"  I'd say if you feel the need to add anything, take Cod Liver Oil or a good Fish Oil (Omega 3) supplement.  If you are eating a good variety of protein and vegetables you should be getting everything you need.

Jeff Calcium is another one that people need to keep an eye on.  Almond milk is a good way to get calcium if you give up milk and dairy.

Matt Claire and I just started taking Vitamin D dissolved in sunflower seed oil to try to supplement during the winter, because the best way to get Vitamin D is to naturally make it with sun exposure.  Although, there was a big study that just came out against Vitamin D supplements being effective, and another one against supplements in general... I think Gina is right, just try to eat a variety of acceptable foods and you'll have an easy time at it.  Also, I've been reading Dr. Cordian's latest book and if you can get past the sensational subtitle, it's a really good read.  And cheap on Kindle too - 3 bucks!

Shane Your body gets all the vitamin D it needs from 20 minutes in the sun...

Theresa Dude.  You live in Rochester.  You need vitamin d this time of year!  Regardless!

Alex Vitamin D and magnesium.  I take Natural Calm before bed.  The raspberry lemon is pretty tasty.

Dave One of our clients is a doctor who literally wrote a book on vitamin D.  Everyone in the northeast should be supplementing with 3-5,000 iu a day.  It oxidizes pretty quickly too so if you don't go through a bottle in 30 days get a new one.  Cheap too.

Patrick I've read a lot about Vit D deficiency.  Yes, about 20 mins is all it takes, but that's full sun exposure, as in: laying out on the beach.  We need sun exposure all over, not just the face/hands/arms.

Adam I take vitamin D, fish oil (krill), and a multi vitamin daily.  Angle of the dun is too low until May to get the correct ultraviolet rays (b) in this part of the country for vitamin D production. UvB tanning bed would also work for D.

So here's a shout out of thanks to all my friends here who took the time to share their knowledge and experience with me.  I've decided to supplement with Vitamin D, Fish Oil and to grab a copy of that book Matt was talking about.