All Posts tagged Healthy

Why is Vitamin D so Important?

Vitamin D.  

Technically, it’s not really a vitamin.  It’s in a class by itself.  The active metabolic product of Vit D is 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D, Vit Da secosteroid hormone.  Every cell in the body has a receptor for it and it affects over 1000 genes.

Vitamin D deficiency is a big problem.  It’s found in all ages and is especially prevalent in African Americans.  36-57% of Americans are Vitamin D deficient [1]

Vitamin D is critical for good health and protection from disease.  Healthy serum levels are in the 30-105 ng/ml range.  It’s a myth that you can get adequate amounts with 15 minutes in the sun every day.  You cannot.

Here’s why Vitamin D is so important.  It reduces your risk of:

  1. Cardiovascular disease and heart attack[2]
  2. Cancer, including colon, breast, ovarian and renal [3][4][5][6][7]
  3. Falls in women (neuromuscular control)
  4. All fractures[8]
  5. Multiple sclerosis[9]
  6. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma[10]
  7. Type 1 diabetes
  8. Contraction of influenza[11][12]
  9. Alzheimer’s disease, dementia[13]

How to supplement with Vitamin D:

First, choose a pharmaceutical grade brand such as Metagenics or Xymogen.  Note that each 100 IU of Vit D3 intake increases serum 1,25(OH)D by 1 ng/ml[1] over the course of several months.

d3 5000

I take 5000IU of D3 daily for maintenance of healthy serum levels.

Go to Metagenics Store to find medAge-approved Vitamin D supplements.

Contact us at medAge for more information on Vitamin D and other nutritional supplements and healthy lifestyle coaching.   828-684-1212

To Your Optimal Health!  Dr. Laura

[1] Barger-Lux et al. Osteoporosis Intl 1998;8: 222-30
[1] Holick, MF. High prevalence of Vit D in adequacy and implications for health. Mayo Clinic Proc. 2006;81(3):353-373
[2] Giovannucci E al. 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of myocardial infarction in men: a prospective atudy. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jun 9;168(11):1174-80
[3] Lappe JM, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85:1586-91.
[4] Garland CF et al. Breast cancer risk according to serum 25-hydrooxyvitamin D: Meta-analysis of dose-response. Amer Assoc for Cancer Res Ann Meeting. 2008.
[5] Gorham ED, et al. Am J Prev Med. 2007;55:234-9.
[6] Tworoger SS, et al. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007;16:783-8
[7] Mohr SB, et al. Int J Cancer. 2006;119:2705-9.
[8] Bischoff-Ferrari HA, et al. JAMA.2005;293:2257-64
[9] Munger KL, et al. JAMA. 2006;296:2832-8.
[10] Purdue MP, et al. Cancer causes control. 2007;18:989-99.
[11] Cannell JJ,  et al. On the epidemiology of influenza. Virol J. 2008 Feb 25;5:29.
[12] Grant WB, et al. Ther role of Vit D3 in preventing infections. Age Ageing. 2008 Jan;37(1):121-2
[13] Buell, J et al. 25 hydroxyvitamin D, dementia and cerebrovascular pathology. Neurology 2010;74:18-26

What Does medAge Have to do With Motorcycle Racing?

medAge sponsors Triple Threat Racing 2014 giving the team its competitive edge.

TT Racing is Tim Hunt #71, Laura Ellis #143 and Chase Mollak #126.  With Chase in his 20’s, Tim in his 40’s and me in my 50’s we demonstrate that extreme athletes of many ages need optimal health to remain competitive.

Last weekend we took first place in the ASRA Team Challenge endurance race, 75 laps at Roebling Road Raceway where Tim holds the all time track record.  I took first place in the Rookies Cup GTL.  Tim placed first in Formula 40 and 6th in Middleweight SuperBike.  A great performance for our first series of the season!

All medAge riders and crew members know the importance of eating right and staying hydrated.  It keeps us on top of our game.  Trina Pistor, Director of Exercise and Nutrition, is our resource for how to prepare meals for the track.

Laura and Tim at Palm Beach International Raceway, practice March 2, 2014

medAge keeps us fit, competitive and optimally healthy.  Full speed ahead!  Dr. Laura

Victory at the track and in health!


The holidays are coming. Do you have your menu prepared?

The holidays are coming and this can be a challenging time to stick to a healthy eating plan.  Trina has put together some suggestions for side dishes that your whole family will enjoy—and will nourish your bodies!  Happy Holidays!

Cauliflower Rice Stuffing

I make mashed cauliflower all the time as a substitute for mashed potatoes so this recipe made sense to me.


1/4 cup oil – I always prefer coconut, but olive will do as well

2 heads of cauliflower

1 chopped onion

3 chopped carrots

1 package of mushrooms chopped (optional)

2 cups diced celery

1/2 cup snipped celery leaves

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/8 teaspoon dried sage

1/8 teaspoon dried thyme

(if you’re into rosemary, that would be a nice addition/substitution as well)

2/3 cup chopped pecans

*water if necessary – the original recipe calls for it but the vegetables should provide enough

In a stock pot or dutch oven, warm up the oil. Add all ingredients except the pecans and water.  Sauté everything and keep stirring so it doesn’t stick.

Continue until the onions are golden. Add water if necessary. Bring to boil over high heat. Simmer for 2 minutes, remove from heat. Add pecans. Serve!

Feeds 5 with leftovers. If you want to make less, halve the vegetables, salt, and pepper in the recipe and keep the seasoning the same.

Velvety Butternut Squash

Prep 5 minutes / Roast 50 minutes / Bake 30 minutes
Serves 4

2 1/2 pounds butternut squash
2 tablespoons water
1 head garlic
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Ras el Hanout (is a spice blend from the Middle East and North  Africa)
1 large egg
1/4 cup pecan halves, chopped (reserve a few unchopped for garnish)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place cut-side down on the baking sheet and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water onto the paper around the squash.

Peel the loose, papery skin off the garlic, and wrap it in a piece of aluminum foil. Put the baking sheet of squash and the foil packet of garlic in the oven. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, until the squash is tender. Set both aside until they’re cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes.

Increase the oven temperature to 400 F.

When the squash is cool, use a spoon to scoop the flesh into the bowl of a food processor. Separate the garlic cloves and squeeze the roasted pulp into the bowl with the squash. Process the mixture to a smooth puree, then add the coconut oil, coconut milk, salt, and Ras el Hanout. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Beat the egg in a small bowl. Scrape the purée into a large mixing bowl and stir in the beaten egg with a wooden spoon until combined.

Grease the inside of a 3-cup casserole dish or individual ramekins with a little coconut oil, then add the squash purée. Top with chopped pecans and bake in the 400 F oven for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are a little bubbly and the top is golden brown.

If you can’t find Ras el Hanout here is how you could make your own, as a little bit of this and a little bit of that kind of cook myself. This to me is the fun part of making the dish your own.

2 (level) teaspoons salt
2 (heaping) teaspoons cumin
2 (level) teaspoons ginger
2 (conservative) teaspoons black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 (slightly rounded) teaspoon nutmeg
optional: 1 teaspoon saffron threads (I still don’t have saffron.)

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with bacon


1.5 lbs of Brussels sprouts

2-3 tablespoons of olive or coconut oil

4 slices of bacon, diced

salt and pepper

aged balsamic vinegar

Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Trim the ends and any old outer leaves from the Brussels sprouts. (Don’t throw away the leaves — toss ‘em in a container and keep ‘em in the fridge so you can make some Brussels Sprouts Chips later!)

Cut the sprouts in half and toss them with melted fat of choice, salt, and pepper.

Dump them on a foil lined baking sheet, making sure to keep everything in one layer. Sprinkle the diced bacon over everything and pop the tray in the oven.

The sprouts take about 30-35 minutes to roast, so set your timer for 10 minute intervals x3 to regularly rotate and flip the sprouts ‘n swine. Check for seasoning and drizzle some of your favorite vinegar on the finished dish.

That easy!

Here is any easier way to get your cranberry sauce and main dish done in one

Apple and Cranberry Turkey Roulade

Prepare the filling, stuff the tenderloins, roll, and tie them a day ahead.

Let them stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking. If you can’t find turkey tenderloins, use skinless, boneless turkey breast halves.


2 slices center-cut bacon, chopped

1 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon salt, divided

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

1 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth, divided $

3 cups chopped peeled Granny Smith apple (about 2 medium)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

3 (12-ounce) turkey tenderloins

2 teaspoons canola oil

3 fresh rosemary sprigs

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


Preheat oven to 325°.

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat 7 minutes or until bacon begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in onion, chopped rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook for 8 minutes or until onion begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 cup broth, apples, and cranberries. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until liquid evaporates and apples are almost tender (about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and cool slightly. Set aside 1 cup apple mixture.

Slice turkey tenderloins lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, the other side. Open halves, laying tenderloins flat. Place each tenderloin between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Discard plastic wrap.

Sprinkle remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper evenly over both sides of tenderloins. Spread 1/3 cup apple mixture over each tenderloin; roll up jelly-roll fashion, starting with long sides. Secure at 2-inch intervals with twine.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add tenderloins; cook 6 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Add remaining 1/2 cup broth and rosemary sprigs; bring to a boil. Cover and bake at 325° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 165°. Remove tenderloins from pan; let stand 10 minutes. Slice crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Strain cooking liquid through a fine mesh sieve over a bowl; discard solids. Combine flour and 1/4 cup cooking liquid, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Return flour mixture and the remaining cooking liquid to pan. Stir in reserved 1 cup apple mixture; bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly. Serve with turkey.

DESSERT – Baked Maple Pears or Baked Apples

Dessert can be a bit more tricky, no one wants to miss out on the pie. These 2 easy recipes will allow you to still have your favorite flavor without all the guilt.

Baked Maple Pears Ingredients

Pears (1/2 per person)

100% Grade A Maple syrup or honey

Sea salt

Pure vanilla extract

Chopped nuts of your choice

Optional spices: allspice, clove, ginger etc

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Line a baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Wash and halve the pears. Lay them in the pan with the cut side up.

Sprinkle with sea salt, spices, and nuts. Drizzle with a bit of vanilla and then the syrup or honey.

Bake 25-40 minutes depending on doneness. The skin will curl a little and the flesh should be soft. These will make your kitchen smell as wonderful as they taste!

Baked Apples Ingredients:

4 medium apples, washed and cored (use a single corer)

4 thin strips of lemon rind

1/2 cup dried currants or raisins

1 whole vanilla bean cut into 4 pieces (or use some vanilla extract for a budget friendly alternative)

4 cinnamon sticks (or ground cinnamon)

1/4 cup lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place apples in large glass oven proof bowl with lid. Place a strip of lemon rind, currants or raisins, vanilla and cinnamon inside each apple. Drizzle apples with lemon juice and scatter remainder of currants around them.

Bake covered for 60-70 minutes.


Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas

Whether you’re racing to make the school lunches or scrambling to dress for work, the last thing on your mind is breakfast. A quick cup of coffee and then head out the door? Think again. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, literally, as it “breaks the fast” and keeps your body’s metabolism in check. As your body sleeps, it’s “fasting” and your metabolic rate slows down. Your blood sugar is also low and if you don’t nosh soon, in a few hours you’ll grab whatever is in front of you. And, most of the time, that’s not a good thing.

So here are three options that will not only give you those much-needed calories but will set you up for a balanced day.



Make a smoothie. 

In a blender, mix some plain Greek yogurt, frozen berries, a scoop of protein powder and a scoop of chia seeds. Add water or coconut milk to dilute it and a dollop of almond butter for a savory, nutty taste. If you want a probiotic kick, add some super greens and/or a handful of spinach.




Add some fresh berries to a cup of plain Greek yogurt. 

Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon to lower your cholesterol and control your blood sugar. I prefer organic Ceylon and I order it from the coolest shop in Boulder, Colorado,, but even the shaker from Starbucks can do the trick. Sometimes I mince some fresh mint if I have an extra minute.




Supercharge your Oatmeal.

Heat for 3 minutes in the microwave:

  • 1/3 Cup of thick cut oats (not quick oats and not steel cut) which you can usually find in the bulk section of Earth Fare
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Chia seeds
  • 2/3-3/4 Cup of Coconut milk
  • Add some frozen berries during the last 60 seconds

Mix in:

  • 1/2 scoop of protein powder—I love Earth Fare’s private label “Show Me The Whey”
  • 1/2 scoop of super greens powder
  • Nice big scoop of almond butter (peanut butter if you prefer)
  • A little sprinkle of cinnamon

I love this breakfast because it has everything you need—fiber, Omegas, protein, fruit, vegetables, minerals, lots of vitamins. Enjoy!