Friday, May 3, 2013

Health and Wellness: A Little Secret About Me

If you haven't read my "about me" page, you many not know that I had weight loss surgery 3.5 years ago. It was definitely one of the most scary and most liberating moments of my life. I used to weigh over 270 lbs. I've lost over 120 lbs and now have a new lease on my life. I can do things I never would have been able to do before.

People ask me why I didn't do it the "old fashioned" or "regular" way. Honestly, I tried. Even worse? I was that size in graduate school- a school full of judgmental, gym rat, physical and occupational therapist students (and professors- oh some of those professors). I tried everything I could. So, after an interesting internship experience, where I knew I'd have a month long break, I decided to schedule my surgery. When I walked across that stage to receive my Master's Degree, people did not even recognize who I was. It was the third most amazing day of my life.

That said, being that I've had weight loss surgery, there are many things that I take to maintain my health. I take a daily multivitamin as well as a few additional supplements to help maintain good physical and chemical balance. I'm going to be writing a series about general health and wellness, some weight loss related, and others just general wellness related.

One of my most important additional supplements are probiotics. The thing about having gastric bypass, is that my intestines are a bit shorter than the average person, like by a 1/3rd. According to, but about 80% of your immune system lives within your digestive tract. Also, it's widely known that a healthy digestive system helps you better regulate your weight. People with IBS or other stomach ailments may benefit from probiotic supplements, but they have not been shown to be extremely beneficial to those with Crohns disease. As I've said in the past, I even give Nugget a multivitamin with probiotics to help ensure her gut health! One thing in selecting a probiotic supplement is to make sure you keep them refrigerated to ensure they maintain their efficacy!

You don't have to take a probiotic supplement to get these good bacterias. You can find probiotics (healthy bacteria) in yogurt, and fermented cabbage (sauerkraut), peppers, cucumbers (pickles!), onions, squash, and even carrots.

Another supplement I take is Calcium with Magnesium. We all know Calcium is important for bones, but so is Magnesium! Magnesium also helps with the function of nerves, muscles and helps to neutralize stomach acid, increase bowel regularity, and helps with quick healing of skin tissue. 

After reading about Magnesium, I found "according to a 1999-2000 NHANES study (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), 68% of Americans consumed less than the U.S. recommended daily allowance for magnesium. Studies showed that 45% consumed less than 75% of the recommended amount, and 19% consumed less than 50%. Adults who consumed less than the recommended amount of magnesium were about 1.5 times more likely to have elevated inflammation markers than adults who consumed the recommended amount (source WebMD). This increased inflammation in people who are overweight (BMI of 25+, more than 1/2 the population) may be related to heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. One thing I found exciting is that there is some evidence that eating foods high in magnesium and other minerals can lower blood pressure.

As I said before, you don't always have to take extra supplements to find these in foods. Foods that are high in magnesium include legumes, whole grains, broccoli, squash, green leafy vegetables, seeds, meat, some dairy products, and nuts (especially almonds).

Leave me some comment love:
Are there any supplements you take regularly? Any Health and/or Wellness posts you'd like me to write about and discuss?


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Healtheries and financial compensation was received for this post. The sponsor in no way affected any content presented in this post, all opinions and statements above are my own. As always, the Nurse Mommy blog will always provide honest opinions, beliefs or experiences on products reviewed. We will only recommend products or services that we feel are of benefit to our readers. Links enclosed may contain affiliate links. If you have any questions, please contact Michelle from The Nurse Mommy at babagrlshell {at} gmail {dot} com


  1. Good for you for taking charge of your health. I don't understand why people feel like they can criticize someone's weight on the one hand and then tell them they shouldn't have the surgery on the other. If it's not your body, it's just not your business. Period.

  2. Congrats on the weight loss! We all have different bodies and different situations. One thing is true, though, there are things we can do to improve our health, and taking supplements like you mentioned is important! It's made a huge different in our lives!

  3. are a strong woman and even though I haven't seen you in person, I could tell that you are beautiful as well inside and out! Congratulations on taking a monumental step towards having a great body balance even though it was through surgery and that you were scared. It is sad that sometimes, people get over board in judging others and it is not cool. But I am happy that you survived all that and now you are actually sharing the knowledge that you gained from this journey. Thanks so much! and good luck to you!