Vita-Track Your Diet

5 Signs You’re Vitamin Deficient

     The human body is a smart system. It also has the capability to be a self-healing organism. When our body is trying to tell us something, the smartest thing to do is to simply listen. When our bodies are not receiving the proper essential vitamins and minerals, it can go to  great lengths to communicate that something may be wrong. It’s no secret that the modern diet of processed foods have effected our health. Most people these days are either not eating enough vitamin-rich foods or their bodies are not absorbing them due to digestive issues. This can send our system into complete havoc. Vitamins are essential for the body to function, and Vita-Track has become one of the most accurate ways to keep track of your daily vitamin intake. Here are some other signs that your body is vitamin deficient. 

1) Cracks around the corners of your mouth

The deficiency is Iron, zinc, and B vitamins like niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), and B12. These is a common vitamin deficiency for vegetarians who are not getting enough iron, zinc, and B12. This is also common in people who are skipping out on protein due to dieting.

The remedy is to eat more poultry, salmon, tuna, eggs, oysters, clams, sun-dried tomatoes, Swiss chard, tahini, peanuts, and legumes like lentils. Iron absorption is enhanced by vitamin C, which also helps fight infection. Combine these foods with veggies like broccoli, red bell peppers, kale, and cauliflower.

2) Red scaly rash on face and also hair loss

The deficiency is Biotin (B7), also known as the hair vitamin. While your body stores fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K), it doesn’t store most B vitamins, which are water-soluble. Eating raw eggs makes you vulnerable, because a protein in raw eggs called avidin inhibits the body’s ability to absorb biotin.

The remedy is to eat more cooked eggs, salmon, avocados, mushrooms, cauliflower, soybeans, nuts, raspberries, and bananas.

3) Red or white acne-like bumps, typically on the face, arms, thighs, and butt

The deficiency is eessential fatty acids and vitamins A and D.

The remedy is to cut out saturated fats and trans fats all while increasing healthy fats. Healthy fats include, salmon and sardines, nuts like walnuts and almonds, and seeds like ground flax, hemp, and chia. For vitamin A, pile on leafy greens and colorful veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, and red bell peppers. 

4) Tingling, prickling, and numbness in hands or feet.

The deficiency is B vitamins like folate (B9), B6, and B12. This problem is directly linked to to the peripheral nerves and where they end in the skin. These symptoms can be combined with anxiety, depression, anemia, fatigue, and hormone imbalances.

The remedy is to eat more spinach, asparagus, beets, beans (pinto, black, kidney, lima), eggs, octopus, mussels, clams, oysters, and poultry.

5) Muscle cramps in toes, calves, arches of feet, or back of legs

The deficiency is magnesium, calcium, and potassium. If these cramps happen frequently, it’s a sure sign that the body is lacking these.

The remedy is to eat more bananas, almonds, hazelnuts, squash, cherries, apples, grapefruit, broccoli, bok choy, and dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and dandelion.Image


Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center

The Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center (SNBC) began as a local grassroots effort in 1993, in response to a dire need for a community center for underserved youth and adults in the Sunset District. In more than a decade later, SNBC has strategically targeted the neighborhood’s chronic issues that face the Sunset’s evolving population.

Currently, the family services at SNBC are dedicating their resources towards juvenile case management, as well as the language learning needs of English Language Learners. One of the most influential programs provided for the community is the Chinese Computer Classes for adults. Chinese speaking volunteers within 3 different schools in the Sunset community taught this class to adults to learn basic to intermediate computer skills. The students that have taken advantage of these free classes have expressed a deep appreciation to further their knowledge of new and evolving technology.

Another component of the center is the organized forums that are held to discuss any particular issue affecting the community. One very recent and popular forum focused on how to prepare their children for college entrance exams. They also work closely with the Taraval Police District, along with local leaders such as Supervisor Carmen Chu, to establish a quarterly gathering for Chinese speaking residents to learn vital public safety information, as well as to share their safety concerns.

The SNBC also offers incredible resources for youth development in their various afterschool programs. Currently, SNBC’s Afterschool Programs engage more than 750 participants each day in elementary, middle and high school programs. The best part is, that these resources to help support kids with homework, creative arts, language skills, and IT skill development, are all offered free of charge. The clubs diverse activities include Urban Dance, Newsletter/Movie-Making, MOUSE Squad, Urban Music, Peer Resources and a variety of athletic activities. Participants are able to use high-speed Internet connection and a variety of technologies and software including iMovie, FruityLoops Studio, Adobe Photoshop and the Microsoft Office suite to accomplish club goals.


Urban Bazaar: A Pleasant Suprise

There is somewhat of a stereotype that revolves around fair-trade, handmade fashion, or home décor items. For instance, vibrant colors, a splash of tie-dye, and miss-match of patterns are all elements that come to mind when I hear “fair-trade” or “locally handmade” items.

Recycled items that are deconstructed to be something totally different can sometimes look kitschy and be somewhat unpractical.  This stereotype is of course encompassed within San Francisco, as it’s apart of the typical “friend of the earth” lifestyle that has become part of the city’s environmentally conscious identity. The whole green revolution has developed its on niche, and there are plenty of trendy boutiques in San Francisco that cater to this market. I was rather skeptical to say the least, when I heard about the store Urban Bazaar that’s located in the Inner Sunset.

Right when I walked in, I was welcomed warmly to a bright, whimsical environment. From hand woven scarves, to funky jewelry, to their collection of succulents for sale; with so much to look at, one can easily spend hours just sorting through all these interesting gifts. And the best part about this store is the affordability of much of these items. If you ever need to pick up a quick gift that’s both unique and affordable, Urban Bazaar can easily fill that void. They also have a lush, peaceful garden that is perfect to just sit out and relax.

The store provides such an enjoyable experience; it wasn’t surprising to hear how much care and passion the owners invest into their business. The store itself is a creation of two local artist named Briana Bers and Brandi Chalker. Their mission is to provide, “unique handcrafted goods that are not only affordable, but ethically-sourced as well. They also host craft nights & workshops to hopefully inspire people to make the things that they love.

Why is this ideal so important in today’s market? Well, the tradition of handcrafting art is beginning to die out. Due to factors such as globalization to industrialization in developing countries, it’s becoming harder to practice these traditions. People are forced to give up their trades to work in big factories, where they are often mistreated under extreme working conditions. Consumers don’t always realize the amount of manual labor that actually goes into producing mass-produced goods. Families are also often broken apart due to the distance of the their village to the city, where their low wages cannot support their entire family. Scarcity in wages often leads to the worst possible predicament a woman can ever find herself in; being coerced into the sex-trade and eventually becoming the victims of human trafficking.

This nightmare is the result of our capitalist ways, which is the reason why businesses like Urban Bazaar is so quintessential in helping to solve these problems. Fair-trades like Urban Bazaar guarantee that workers have fair wages and safe working conditions.

Ocean Beach a Danger Zone

The very edges of the Outer Sunset can somewhat be called a beach community. While walking around the outermost avenues, you’ll notice how fences will have hanging wet suits and erect surfboards lined up around a few houses. There’s also a lone surf shop on Irving, though it always seems to be empty. With the intense fog, and the arctic chill of the Northern Pacific waters, Ocean Beach does not seem like the most inviting waters for any surfer or beach-goer alike. Yet somehow, dedicated surfers will always flock to the nearest waters, even under the poorest conditions.

Recently, however, Ocean Beach is catching more flack for being considerably hazardous as apposed to just being a second-rate beach. According to the reports of UC Berkeley, “Ocean Beach is the most hazardous and dangerous shoreline associated with an urban environment in the whole United States.”

“The beach is notorious for its rip currents, and the fast-moving rips that have formed already this season represent a hazard to the unwary,” warns Francis Smith, a UC Berkeley, graduate student in geography. Smith has studied local rip currents for the past five years. He is also a swimmer, diver and former National Park Service lifeguard at China Beach.

Those unfamiliar with the ocean, as well as non-swimmers are swept off their feet by waves, and carried out to sea each year. “In 1998 more than a dozen people drowned there,” Smith said.

According to the United States Lifesaving Association, in 2000 more than 22,000 people were rescued from rip currents in the United States, out of a total of nearly 71,000 rescues. About 80 percent of lifeguard rescues at the country’s surf beaches involve people caught in rip currents, claims the association.

Knowledgeable swimmers can escape rip currents by paddling parallel to the shore until free of the current, then heading toward the beach. Surfers love them, however, as a freeway through the surf zone to get set for the next wave.

“The outgoing current can reach speeds of up to six miles per hour – nine feet per second – which is faster than an Olympic swimmer,” Smith said. Typically 25 to 150 feet wide, they dissipate only after passing through the surf zone, perhaps hundreds of yards offshore.

The recent death of a former Santa Cruz surf instructor is another example of an experienced swimmer losing their life to the dangerous currents of Ocean Beach.

Jonathan Luhn, 44, of San Francisco, seemed like a natural to these waters. He worked at Aloha Wave Riders in Santa Cruz for about five years and had been surfing for much of his life. He often frequented Four Mile Beach, which is just north of Santa Cruz where he was considered a regular. Luhn’s body was spotted floating in the water Wednesday afternoon, according to the medical examiner’s office in San Francisco.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that a former lifeguard was playing with her dog on the beach when she spotted a person being tossed about by the waves. Dawn Williams told reporter Jaxon Van Derbeken that said she checked the man’s pulse, found none, and asked someone to call 911 while someone else helped her bring him ashore. Luhn was taken to the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The Sunset’s Zagat Restaurant Guide

The Zagat ratings and reviews are based on the opinions of over 300,000 surveyors from around the globe. The Zagat Survey has become the world’s most trusted source to help consumers make informed decisions especially when it comes to dining out. The Sunset District boasts an array of incredible, yet affordable places to eat. Here are 10 of the Zagat’s restaurant selection, with some helpful tips to optimize your full dining experience.

The Sunset District: Some fog, some fun, and some more fog….

A review in the New York Times had once called The Sunset “bleak” in one of their headlines. Maybe they weren’t used to the so-called excessive fog, which seems to disappear before noon. And which I might add, also has its share of plenty bright and sunny days as well. Or perhaps maybe its off-putting when you can practically find a different liquor store down every other block. One thing for sure, I would definitely not recommend the Sunset District to any upscale travel writer who needs to expose some trendy, unforeseen gem to the rest of the world.

The Sunset avenues are quite foggy as usual.

This neighborhood is primarily made of college students and working class people. About half are Asian American, mostly of Chinese ethnicity. What you’ll find are local eateries and mom-and-pop shops where the owners start to call you by name. Again, there’s just nothing too cutting edge happening in this part of San Francisco.

However, having lived in the Outer Sunset for a year, I can assure that it’s far from being bleak. In fact, everyday felt like there was something new to offer. Like discovering the Indian Restaurant next to a “7Eleven” makes their own Indian pizza. Or wandering into Java Beach Café to find a local musician performing Neil Young songs to a intimate crowd of less than 10 people. Local Chinese restaurant owner, Quan Jin had this to say this about living here for 17 years, “Everyday is like a gift.”

In fact, it’s the subtleties that seem to stick out in my mind. It’s those minute details that come unexpected, yet soon you become to really rely on them. The pleasant, uncomplicated, yet comforting feeling of community that’s reflected all throughout this neighborhood.

Take the local organic grocery market called Other Avenues, which is actually a co-op that’s managed by all of its workers. Alex Noble, a worker at Other Avenues shared this sentiment, “It’s about food for the people, not for profit. All of us try to put out the best sustainable products we possible can because we totally run the joint.”  Right next to that there is a youth community center for kids to play pool amongst other activities for after school. And next to that, a Vietnamese owned Laundromat. The diversity of the neighborhood is completely reflected and represented within the community. Bleak? It’s actually everything but.

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