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Heels To Laces is on a mission to break through the clutter of health and fitness and make it easier to live healthier – and have a ton of fun doing it.

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“A strong woman looks a challenge dead in the eye and gives it a wink.”~ Gina Carey

Each week we will present you with a truth or dare. It’s your job to tackle it with gusto and make it happen. Often, by just focusing on one change…just one, it’s much more palpable and achievable and becomes the jump start you need. This week, we dare you.

Dare: Commit 3 days/week
We all know the new year garners the need to “get healthy”.  According to Business Insider, “80% of people fail to stick to their New Year’s resolutions for longer than six weeks.” Why? Because most of us have an all or nothing mentality – which is the main trigger for yo-yo dieting and “falling off the wagon”. When we’re good, we’re oh so good. When we’re bad, well…you get the gist. You’ve heard it before…just be consistent.

Now here’s the dare: commit yourself to 3 days of exercise a week. Write it in ink and do not let anything get in your way. Preferably, every other day (ie. Mon/Wed/Thurs). Start with 30 minutes of walking, running, HIIT training, cycling…there are so many workout apps and Amazon videos there are no excuses. Commit to it. For 6 weeks. It will become a part of your weekly routine that you will look forward to and start to quickly reap the benefits (less stress, more toned, natural endorphins, mental clarity, clothes fitting better…and so on, and so on…)

We don’t claim to know everything – so sometimes we have to ask the experts.

We received such an incredible response to the mention of food sensitivity tests, we thought we’d dig a little deeper this week and turn to one of our local experts – Kate Motz, INHC, AADP  founder of Integrative Wellness Advisors. Kate is a food sensitivity testing guru and opens our eyes as to why it can be a game changer. We asked Kate “what’s the deal”  and how does it work, and this is what she told us:

Food Sensitivities – Invaluable Insight
Food sensitivities cause inflammation in the body, which leads to weight gain and a whole array of conditions such as headaches, low energy, indigestion, constipation, bloating, diarrhea, skin conditions, mental fogginess and loss of libido.  When we eat foods we are sensitive to, the body correctly identifies the food to be foreign and sends a response to destroy and remove the offending food, much like it would for a bacteria or a virus.  To understand you body, it takes a deeper level of understanding of the interaction of our hormones, immune system, neurotransmitters, environment, emotions, and genes.

Food sensitivities are not the same as food allergies. Symptoms can be very subtle (such as bloating, indigestion or eczema), and it can be difficult to make the connection between what you’ve eaten and how you feel. Over the years, this sensitivity takes a toll on the immune system, which is mostly located in your gut, and we trigger a hormonal, immune and neurotransmitter response.

Inflammation is one of the biggest causes of weight gain and disease. A simple food sensitivity test (an easy finger prick, blood spot test done at home) can give you invaluable insight and critical component of any comprehensive approach to good health.  The blood test measures sensitivity to certain foods from an antibody-mediated immune response. The antibody measured in this test is IgG (Immunoglobulin G). Research and clinical studies suggest food sensitivities identified by IgG testing can be a major contributing factor in many chronic health conditions.

You can contact Kate if you’d like to learn more about potential food sensitivities that could be causing your health challenges: kate@integrativewellnessadvisors.com

Migitty -Mag
We also touched on a magnesium product last week that could help you attack stress issues. But why and how is magnesium a go-to for not only stress, but so many other health benefits?

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and plays several important roles in the health of your body and brain. Almost 50% of the population does not get enough magnesium.

Modern scientific research reveals the top health benefits of incorporating magnesium into your diet:

  • Facilitates hundreds of biochemical reactions in your body – every cell in your body contains it and needs it to function. It is involved in energy creation, protein formation, gene maintenance, muscle movement and nervous system regulation
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits – low magnesium is linked to chronic inflammation. Adding magnesium to your diet can reduce inflammation in your body. It has been shown to reduces the inflammatory blood marker CRP.
  • Fights depression – magnesium is directly correlated to brain function, mood (including PMS), insulin and stress hormone levels. Low levels are linked to depression and mental illness. “In a randomized controlled trial of depressed older adults, 450 mg of magnesium improved mood as effectively as an anti-depressant drug.”*
  • Enhance performance – magnesium has been shown to enhance exercise performance.
  • Prevents migraines – In one study, supplementing with one gram provided relief from a migraine more quickly and effectively than a common medication.

The great news is magnesium is safe and available. The recommended daily intake is 400–420 mg per day for men, and 310–320 mg per day for women – which you can get from both food and supplements.

Some food sources high in magnesium (from highest to lowest) include: pumpkin seeds, boiled spinach, boiled Swiss chard, dark chocolate (70–85% cocoa; raw cacao is the best choice), black beans, halibut, nuts (almonds & cashews), avocado and salmon.*

As mentioned in last week’s blog, we think Calm is one of the purest forms of magnesium. You can find it here.

*source: Healthline.com

Sometimes, you just gotta have it…

Gimmie an M, Gimmie an S, Gimmie an M – What’s that spell? M-S-M!
This cheeky little supplement is more than meets the eye. It is marketed as helping reduce chronic joint pain (osteoarthritis, joint inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis) – which it does…brilliantly (we use it!), leaky gut syndrome, autoimmune disorders, osteoporosis, susceptibility to bone fractures, tendinitis, allergies and asthma. However, one of the other side effects of this natural phenomenon that is not so widely talked about is what it does for your skin, hair and nails. It is a key xomponent of collagen & keratin and eliminates free radical damage of your skin by supporting glutathione production. Double wammy. You can take the flakes mixed in a liquid (true confessions – it’s extremely bitter) or in a capsule. Read more here.

Feelin’ Bubbly…or Not
Our go-to beverage of choice here at HtoL is Riondo prosecco. Smooth, not to sweet or dry and just the right amount of happy. What we recently discovered is some health benefits of prosecco: it can reduce blood pressure/improves circulation, it has natural trace elements of zinc, magnesium, and potassium, it contains anti-oxidants and flavonoids, and can smooth, even and plump your skin. If bubbly is not your style, we recently came upon a new brand FitVine Wine that is specifically targeted toward health and fitness enthusiasts as it has less sugar, less carbs and low sulfites. We tried it and we liked it. Best Cellars in Summit, NJ is offering 10% off to all HtoL subscribers (and their prices are already competitively low). Just mention HtoL and ask for Jack.

Cinnamon has some stellar health benefits (anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol, is immune building (it’s a natural anti-microbial, anti-biotic, anti-fungal and anti-viral agent)…however, not all cinnamons are created equal. Most cinnamon in supermarkets are the less expensive cassia cinnamon – which may contain coumarin (said to damage the liver). One of the best sources of cinnamon is Ceylon cinnamon. Two great options: for those that use it a lot (like we do) this or less frequently, this.

All of our recipes will always be quick, healthy, easy, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, mostly dairy-free, SCD legal and Paleo friendly. And yes, all sorts of deliciousness.

Recipes that are sweet and savory can serve as a meal, a snack or just fulfill a craving. This yumness does it all while incorporating 3 cups of veggies you do not even taste – and it’s super, super easy. Put it in the fridge for a perfect go-to option.

Paleo Coconut Flour Zucchini Bread (thank you, Detoxinista)
Makes 1 standard loaf (or 12 muffins)

3/4 cup coconut flour
6 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (we sub raw organic honey – and use a little less)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini, tightly packed

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a standard (9-inch by 5-inch) loaf pan with parchment paper. (If you’re making muffins, line a standard muffin tin with 12 baking cups.)

In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, eggs, maple syrup, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda and use a whisk to stir well, breaking up any lumps as you go. The batter will most likely be thicker than the cake-like-batter you’ve come to expect when making quick breads. Stir in the shredded zucchini then scoop the batter into the loaf pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. (Or divide the batter into the 12 lined muffin cups.)

Bake the loaf at 350F for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is golden and firm. If baking muffins, bake them at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. It’s a very moist bread so it’s recommended to store it in the fridge for best shelf life. It should keep in an airtight container for up to a week– if you don’t eat it all before then!

Have a product you’d like us to try and review for potential inclusion in our newsletter? Simply contact us: info@heelstolaces.com

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Disclosure: some product recommendations are affiliate sites, which simply means we get a small compensation from the companies that sell the products we endorse. We will never endorse a product we do not personally use or love. Opinions expressed are solely those of Heels To Laces.


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A Few Of My Favorite Things…

Ala Oprah style (without the freebies)

The more I read and learn about health and fitness, the more amazing products and trends I discover. Many of you have been asking, so here is a list of some of my current favorite things:

Green Vibrance
Green Vibrance is the “original concentrated green superfood”. It contains 58 certified organic, concentrated foods and extracts, all of the highest quality, along withan industry-leading 18 billion probiotics per serving. It’s a nutritional powerhouse that improves energy and endurance, strengthens immunity and improves digestion and circulation. According to the package, Green Vibrance has more nutrient density than any other green-food product on the market.

Where to get it: Found the best price on Amazon – but also available at the Summit Health Shoppe on Springfield Ave in Summit (which is one of our sponsors offering Heels To Laces members a discount on products! hint, hint).

Latest version with protein:
I originally used Green Vibrance daily and mixed in my own protein…until Maximum Vibrance came out! Each serving has 23 grams of protein, in addition to the original multi-vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes and probiotics to increase vitality, energy and achieve
optimum health. Maximum Vibrance contains 120 ingredients including 80 plants, 26 antioxidants, 6g of fiber, 7 servings of fruits and vegetables, 7 vegetable based digestive enzymes, 23 grams of protein and is gluten free.

Where to get it: Amazon & Summit Health Shoppe

Whey Factors 100% Whey Protein
I have searched high and low for a pure high quality protein without artificial or added ingredients. And I finally found it:

Whey Factors, 100% natural whey protein powder, is a pure source of high quality whey protein. No GMO, BSE, rBGH or added sugar. No artificial preservatives, colors, sweeteners, starch, wheat or yeast. It is unflavored but still tastes good. It’s perfect to add to a protein shake or smoothie (suggest blending with fruit and/or milk to make it more tasty).

Where to get it: Summit Health Shoppe

Natural Vitality CALM – Anti-Stress Drink
Natural Calm is the most effective, fast-acting, pH-balanced magnesium available. It is a 100% natural, water-soluble magnesium powder of the highest quality. Magnesium is said to have powerful healing properties and most Americans do not ingest nearly enough of this beneficial mineral. It is said to help you:

  • sleep better
  • relax the nervous system
  • elevate your mood
  • build bigger, stronger muscles
  • have better flexibility
  • help with regularity
  • return the body’s natural pH balance
  • hydrate
  • and prevent several health conditions like diabetes

I use it as a natural anxiety remedy – and it works brilliantly. It comes in raspberry lemon or lemon.

Where to get it: In addition to the larger container, The Summit Healthe Shoppe on Springfield Ave sells single-dose packets for $1.00 each. Awesome for travel and convenience 😉

NOW Foods Liquid Vitamin D-3 1,000 IU Dropvitd
I was continually looking for a vitamin D my kids could take since my son couldn’t swallow any pills. I found this vitamin D with a dropper – which lasts forever and is super easy to dispense. The kids love it! And you all know by now after reading our blog how important Vitamin D is.

Where to get it: Summit Health Shoppe and Amazon.

Cruncha ma-me Edamame Veggie Snack salt n pepper
Yum, yum, yum! Salt n’ Pepa here!

Rich in protein (8 gram per bag) same as a large egg, high in fiber (3 gram per bag – same as an apple), gluten-free, non-GMO ingredients and great edamame taste!Perfect filling snack when you need a little somethin’ somethin’. Comes in several flavors including Salt and Pepper, my personal fav.

Where to get it: Kings, Whole Foods & Amazon

Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacomole97951-reduced-guilt-chunky-guacamole-di2
I eat it by the tub.

Made with low fat greek yogurt, it has 50% less fat and 40% fewer calories that the regular guac with the same awesome benefits and it is DE-Lish! Simplest ingredients ever: low-fat Greek yogurt blended with hand-scooped avocados, tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, garlic, black pepper, fresh lime juice, and a bit of jalapeño.

Where to get it: Trader Joe’s, of course.

Not gonna lie – our super amazing, young, hip, gorgeous cousin works for the company. She sent me a pair and I loved them. Ergonomically designed silicone ear buds to fit women’s ears. They twist into place so they won’t fall out during the most intense workout and feature water-resistant protection that lets you train in any conditions. Other features:  includes two sizes of enhancers, sweat, water and germ-resistant, “ambient noise awareness” and four-foot cord. And they’re super-cute too. Love the packaging.

Where to get it: They are all over – but found them at Target.

Riondo Prosecco
Pretty sure I wrote about this one before. Perfect summer drink. Cross between white wine, champagne and beer. My husband loRiondo Prosecco-500x500ves it too, so it passes the “manly” drink test. Refreshing and light, not too sweet, and no morning hang-over (even when you drink the whole bottle – for those seasoned drinkers like myself ;-).

Where to get it: I buy it by the case for a 15% discount at A&P Liquor in Summit right off Summit Ave by the Delta gas station (looks like a dive, but it’s a great deal!).

Had to include this one. For the past couple of months, I ditched my old-school one-hour workouts and replaced them with 30-minute Tabata classes– a form of HIIT (high intensity interval training).  Tabata has anaerobic and aerobic benefits – it is a perfect combination of cardio and strength training. Most of you know Lisa and I teach Tabata locally and our clients have had tremendous results! At the end of our first 8-week program, our Tabata Bootcamp group lost a total of 41 inches and dropped 7.9% body fat!

I have literally cut my workouts in half and have seen a huge difference.

Where to find it: Summit, NJ with Lisa and Debra. Email us for the latest schedule:  info@heelstolaces.com 😉

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Vitamins and Minerals: What, Why & How Much?

Vitamins and minerals are micro-nutrients, part of the 6 Essential Nutrients, required for your body to turn food into energy.  Whole foods are the best source of vitamins and minerals, but it sometimes difficult to figure out if you are getting enough from the foods you eat.  Below is a list of the most important vitamins and mineral women need and suggestions as to the best food sources.  Note: Recommended daily allowances (RDA) listed below are for an average 45 year-old female.Healthy-Nutrition-For-Optimal-Tennis-Fitness


  • Why you need it:  The body uses calcium to build and maintain strong bones and teeth, to help muscles and blood vessels contract and expand, to secrete hormones and to carry messages through the nervous system.  Women start to lose bone density in their twenties which can lead to osteoporosis over time.  Calcium is one of the best defenses against bone loss.
  • Where to find it:  Milk, cheese, yogurt and dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and kale.
  • How much you need: 1000mg.  Do not exceed 2,500mg.


  • Why you need it:  Iron carries oxygen in the body, aids in the production of red blood cells, supports immune function and cognitive development, and is essential for cell growth.
  • Where to find it:  Lean red meat, chicken, turkey, fish, cereals, whole-grains, beans and dark leafy vegetables. Also remember that vitamin C rich foods enhance absorption of iron.
  • How much you need: 18mg.  Do not exceed 45mg.


  • Why you need it:  Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including maintaining normal muscle and nerve function, keeping heart rhythms steady, supporting a healthy immune system, regulating blood sugar levels and promoting normal blood pressure.
  • Where to find it: Leafy green vegetables, whole grains, almonds, cashews and other nuts, avocados, beans, soybeans and halibut.  Note that a diet very high in fat may cause less magnesium to be absorbed.
  • How much you need:  320mg.  Do not exceed 350mg in supplement form.

Vitamin A:

  • Why you need it:  Vitamin A ensures proper development and function of eyes, skin and immune system and may prevent some types of cancers.
  • Where to find it: Leafy green vegetables, orange and yellow vegetables, tomato products, fruits, dairy, liver, fish and fortified cereals.
  • How much you need: 2,310 IU.  Do not exceed 10,000 IU.

Folate (Vitamin B9): 

  • Why you need it:  Folate helps to produce and maintain new cells.  It is necessary for proper brain function for mental and emotional health, and helps protect against birth defects.
  • Where to find it: Leafy green vegetables, fruits and beans.  It is also often added to cereals, breads, pasta and rice.
  • How much you need: 400 micrograms.  Do not exceed 1,000 micrograms in the synthetic form.

Vitamin C:

  • Why you need it:  Vitamin C facilitates normal growth and development, and repairs bodily tissue, bones and teeth.  It is used to produce collagen, functions as an antioxidant to block some of the damage caused by free radicals and boosts the body’s immune system.
  • Where to find it:  Most fruits and vegetables especially citrus fruit, red peppers, broccoli, tomatoes and strawberries.
  • How much you need: 75mg.  Do not exceed 2,000mg.


  • Why you need it:  Biotin plays an essential role in energy production and the metabolism of sugar and fats.  It is also believed to aid in healthy hair, nails and skin.
  • Where to find it:  Nuts, eggs, soybeans, cauliflower, fish, avocados and berries.
  • How much you need:  There is no RDA, but generally 30 to 100 micrograms.

Other B Vitamins:

  • Why you need them: The B vitamins help the body convert food into fuel for energy.  They contribute to healthy skin, hair, and eyes and also help to maintain muscle tone, metabolism, nervous system functions and memory.
  • Where to find them:  Fish, poultry, meat, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and many fortified cereals and whole grains.
  • How much you need: 
    • B1 (Thiamine):  1.1mg.  No upper limits have been set.
    • B2 (Riboflavin):  1.1 mg.  No upper limits have been set.
    • B3 (Niacin):  14mg.  Do not exceed 35/mg in supplement form.
    • B6 (Pyridoxine):  1.3 mg.  Do not exceed 100mg.
    • B12 (Cobalamin):  2.4 mg.  No upper limits have been set.                         

Vitamin D:

  • Why you need it:  Vitamin D regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorous in our bones and it is needed for bone and cell growth.  It also helps to reduce inflammation.
  • Where to find it:  Fortified mils and cereals, eggs yolks and fish.  The body can make Vitamin D from exposure to sunlight.    
  • How much you need:  15 micrograms.  Do not exceed 100 micrograms.


  • Why you need it:  Omega-3 assists in proper brain function, helps reduce high blood pressure and calms inflammation.
  • Where to find it:  Fish, especially salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel, flax seeds and walnuts.
  • How much you need:  There are no standard doses for Omega-3.  Check with your doctor to find out your specific needs.

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  • Virginia

    Great information!

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