Archive for Author Rebecca Coleman

Magnesium Supplements

Friends! Hello!

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So, I’ve been absent for a few weeks, taking some much-needed time off. I spent a chunk of it on a floatie on a lake in the Okanganan. I spent a chunk of it sick in bed. A lot of that time I spent thinking about this blog (and my other ones) and what the heck I’m doing here, and what I want the future to look like. But more about that later, in more relevant post.

This post is about something new I’m doing for my health. So, I should start by saying that I think I live a fairly healthy lifestyle. I mean, I eat french fries. And donuts. Duh. Because life without those things would not be worth the living. But while I do enjoy fries-donuts-pies, I try to not eat those things every day. In fact, sometimes I don’t even eat them once a week or even less. I don’t eat meat, so my diet is pretty vegetable-forward, and while I still haven’t joined a gym, I live an accidentally pretty active lifestyle, that includes a lot of walking and riding my bike.

In terms of supplements, I’m not a huge fan of the “oh, I eat a shitty diet, so I’ll just take a multi to make up for it” kinda attitude. I like to try to get what I can, as much as I can, from my diet. One thing I do sometimes take is Iron or B-12, as those can sometimes be tricky to get enough of when you don’t eat meat.

This summer, however, I started taking magnesium supplements.

Magnesium Spray

There’s a few reasons why. First off, my sleep has been wacko. I have been experiencing what I call “donut sleep,” which is when I fall asleep at the normal time, then wake up somewhere usually after 2 am, but can’t get back to sleep for hours. What’s the deal with this? It could be partially due to hormone changes (here in my 40’s), but it likely is related mostly to stress.

You see, friends, I have an awesome, really smart brain. That drives me crazy. It’s like there’s a hamster in there all the time, just running and running, and it never takes a break! I have a very busy brain, constantly making lists, worrying, puzzling shit out.

So while that might be great for me in some other areas of my life, when it comes to sleep, not so much.

I was also having some serious muscle twitches (also at times of great stress, of which, sadly, there was kind of a lot this summer). I have tried natural solutions like melatonin, but it doesn’t really work for me, and makes me feel all weird and spacey the next day.

So I started doing some research, and one of the solutions that came up was a magnesium supplement. Turns out most of us don’t get our recommended daily allowance of magnesium (which ranges from around 300-500mg/day) from our diet alone.

Foods that contain magnesium:

  • Green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach and kale)
  • Fruit (figs, avocado, banana and raspberries)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes (black beans, chickpeas and kidney beans) and tofu (soy bean)
  • Vegetables (peas, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, artichokes, asparagus, brussels sprouts)
  • Oily Seafood (salmon, mackerel, tuna)
  • Whole grains (brown rice and oats)
  • Raw cacao and dark chocolate

What Magnesium does for the body:

Magnesium really is everywhere in the body – it’s the 4th most abundant mineral. It’s involved in hundreds of different biochemical reactions and enzyme systems, supporting processes like protein synthesis, cell growth, and energy production. It has roles in nerve function, muscle control, and blood pressure. Even blood sugar regulation depends on magnesium.  —ScienceBasedMedicine.org

Some folks have experienced success taking magnesium to help with things like restless leg syndrome (or my eyelid tic) and cramps, fibromyalgia, headaches/migraines, and osteoporosis.

It’s also been reported to help with anxiety, stress and insomnia.

sleep patterns magnesium

Sleep patterns, before (top) and after (bottom). The white bits are “awake sleep.”

Ways of taking Magnesium Supplements:

Tablet/pill format. Ideally, you want to take your magnesium supplement later in the day so it has the best possible effect. I usually take mine in late afternoon or early evening.

Topically. Okay. Let’s talk about poop here for a sec. Taking a magnesium supplement can have a, um… shall we say, laxative effect on your digestive system. If you’re not super regular anyway, this can be a good thing. But if it’s an issue for you, topical application of magnesium is for sure an option. There are sprays, creams, and also epsom salt baths. I’ve been using a magnesium spray (from a local company called Promedics) before bed. You can spray it on your feet or on your belly, but keep it away from delicate skin. Just FYI, you may experience a tingling sensation with a topical magnesium supplement.

So, yeah, things are better now. I’m sleeping better. Most nights I sleep right through the night. Sometimes I wake up, but I’m more able to go back to sleep, and not be awake for hours tossing and turning.

I’d love to hear from you! Have you tried magnesium supplements, and for what? Did they work? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

References:

Foods that Contain Magnesium

Magnesium: the cure to all disease? 

 

Explore Victoria BC

Hey, YYJ! It’s been a minute.

Victoria has traditionally been a place I’ve visited quite a lot. I have a ton of great friends there, I like to get to Social Media Camp when my schedule permits, and they do cocktails like no other.

Having said all of that, it’s been quite some time since I vacationed in our Province’s beautiful and historic capitol. This time around, I also had Michael with me, so the focus of this post will be a family-friendly version of vacation (although I did drag him to several wineries, cideries and distilleries).

So our trip this time around was a mix of some of our favourite things to do in YYJ, and some new things as well!

Where to stay

Hotel Zed Victoria

When I travel with my kid, we have a pact: it’s imperative we stay at a place with a pool. I often joke that he’s half fish, and he is happy as long as he’s in the water. So this time around in Victoria, our home base was the Hotel Zed. This is a great location for families. First off, it’s fairly close to downtown (and the hotel provides a shuttle–my dream car, a Volkswagon Bus–to take you to where you want to go), and it’s across the street from the Mayfair Mall if you forgot anything, or you want to shop. It has tons of amenities for kids–from the pool with its built-in waterslide, to ping pong and video games, board games, roller skate and longboard or bike rentals, and lots of comics. I’m a fan of mid-century modern style, and there’s tons of vintage flare here.

Simply put, Hotel Zed is unique and funky. It’s not just another cookie-cutter motel. It has loads of personality, and is a fun place to stay while you’re in Victoria BC.

What to do

Victoria Inner Harbour Tour

There’s much fun to be had here. The Royal BC Museum is something Michael always requests when we come to Victoria. The latest exhibit, about Egypt, is quite in-depth and fascinating. Plus you get to take a selfie with a wolly mammoth! We also took a tour of the inner harbour with Victoria Harbour Ferry. They take you out on these cute little water taxis, and give you a tour you can’t get any any other way. It was really interesting to see the city from that angle and learn about local culture, history, and the environment. By the way, if you take the tour, one of the stops is Fisherman’s Wharf, which is a great place to stop for lunch.

Book lovers paradise

If you are a bibliophile, Victoria is for you. They have loads of independent bookstores, some new, some used. Munro’s is not only a beautiful space, but it was co-founded by a  Canadian literary treasure–Alice Munro. For used books, you can’t beat Russell’s.

Brunch

Brunch The Ruby Victoria

Victoria BC is the brunch capital of Canada. When I say they are hard core about brunch, I mean, they are hard core. Rebecca Wellman, a local foodie and photographer, has written the book on brunch here. First We Brunch features all the best places to get your brunch on while in YYJ. I’ve tried many of the brunch options here, but this time around, we brunched at The Ruby (because it was conveniently located at our hotel) and we also checked out Rebecca’s current #1 brunch pick: Agrius.

Cocktails

courtney room cocktails victoria

The city has a young, tech-savvy population, and some of the best cocktails I’ve ever had. Clive’s the classic cocktail experience here, but I also adore Little Jumbo and Veneto. This time around, however, I was very much excited to check out The Courtney Room. It’s a brand-new space just opened up in the Magnolia Hotel. The room is beautiful, with souring ceilings and a real Parisian bistro vibe. They do a fantastic happy hour with cocktails and appies that is worth making time for. Potatoes Courtney VictoriaEspecially of note: Potatoes Courtney. I don’t know what wizardry they do to make the potatoes into such perfect little squares, but they are incredibly addictive. Just do yourself a favour and order two right off the start. Trust me, you’ll finish them all.

Bakeries

croissant fol epi victoria

Since being in Paris last summer, I am more obsessed with pastry than ever. I’m constantly on the hunt for a good, authentic croissant. This was the first time I really kept my eyes open for bakeries in Victoria BC, and I wasn’t disappointed. Fol Epi is pretty amazing. The croissants there were everything they should be–crispy, flaky, and light. These guys know how to do croissants right. There were a ton of other options as well. Cronuts Crust Bakery VictoriaIf you’re as obsessed with pastry as I am, check out Crust Bakery on Fort Street. The cronuts!!! I also loved The Dutch Bakery. Inside, it’s like a 1950’s dining counter–it’s super cool. But you can also get pastries to go; interesting, different ones that you might not be familiar with (unless you’re Dutch).

Beer, wine ciders & spirits

If you have a car, there are loads of local breweries, cideries, wineries and distilleries to visit. You can read about my trip to Victoria Distillers here, but the rest need to wait for another time.

I love Victoria, and it was so great to get back If you’ve never been, you need to check it out, or if you have been, go again! There’s always something new to discover, every time I go….

 

 

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