tina oh wellness

mind . body . soul

Vitamin D: are you D-ficient?


There has been a lot of buzz about Vitamin D lately.

Why is Vitamin D so important?
Vitamin D is fat soluble vitamin that is eventually converted into a hormone within our body. It has many important roles and functions, such as:
~regulate the absorption and metabolism of calcium, a vital process in bone health
~reduce the risk of heart disease
~regulate blood pressure
~support the immune system
~regulate mood and brain function
~ability to protect ourselves from cancer.(1)

How do you get Vitamin D?
The best source of Vitamin D is the SUN! When your skin is exposed to the sun, our bodies convert the sunlight into Vitamin D3 to be used by the body. It is recommended that we get fifteen minutes of sun directly on our skin (face, arms, hands, back) several times a week.

vitamin d sun
The nature of today’s lifestyle can make it very difficult to spend time outdoors, leaving most Americans extremely vitamin D deficient. Therefore, you may want to consider taking a high-quality Vitamin D3 supplement, especially in the dark and cold winter months. Even if you are taking a multi-vitamin supplement, it’s very unlikely that it contains an adequate dosage. Therefore, you’ll want to supplement on top of what you are currently taking.

Here is a brand that I use:
vitamin d

(Can be purchased here.)

Note: Vitamin D3 is far more easily absorbed and used by the body than other types of Vitamin D.

Since our bodies are designed to obtain this essential vitamin through the sun, so you’ll find very few foods that naturally contain vitamin D. These include wild caught salmon, eggs and mushrooms. While many foods today are fortified with D vitamins, it is typically with vitamin D2, which is not as efficiency absorbed or utilized by the body.

Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency:
~difficulty thinking
~bone pain
~frequent bone fractures
~muscle weakness
~poor mood / depression

If you know that you are not getting adequate sun and could possibly be deficient in this important vitamin, I encourage you to have your physician test your blood levels and check your vitamin D levels.

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15585788

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nutty berry overnight oats recipe

Now that Fall is in full swing, my desire for Summer smoothies has diminished and the change in weather has me craving heartier foods. Oats are a good source of iron, which gives you energy, and fiber, which helps keep you full (and regular)! This Nutty Berry Overnight Oats recipe is very easy to make and cuts out the cooking time completely! This is the perfect breakfast option for those who don’t have a ton of time in the kitchen in the mornings as it can be made the night before and taken with you to be eaten at work or school.

oats1Nutty Berry Overnight Oats Recipe:

-1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
-1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (or 1/3 cup greek yogurt)
-2/3 cup unsweetened cashew or almond milk
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-drizzle of honey or stevia to taste
-small handful of blueberries, raspberries or diced strawberries
-1T nut butter (almond, cashew, etc.) or 2T chopped nuts

>>In a small bowl, combine the oats, milk, protein powder or yogurt and cinnamon.
>>Cover with the bowl with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container and place in the fridge overnight, or for at least 4-6 hours.
>>When ready to eat, top with berries, nut butter, and sweetener if desired.
There is no cooking required! But if you prefer your oats warm, you can always heat them up a bit before adding in your toppings!


Enjoy! :)

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personal development: self-improvement vs. self-criticism

Let’s talk about personal development. We all want to grow, improve ourselves and raise the standards for our lives – and those are admirable goals. I personally work hard to become a better version of myself each and everyday. However, there are two key points to keep in mind:

1. Make sure that whatever you are doing, you are doing it for YOU and not for the approval of others. If you’re constantly seeking the approval of others, you’re wasting your time and energy. People’s opinions of you should not and do not define your self-worth.

2. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We are all a work in progress, and when striving to better yourself and your life, it’s important to know the difference between self-improvement and self-criticism. Striving for more doesn’t mean you can’t be happy with who you are and where you are now.


Be careful with how you talk to yourself. Are you constantly putting yourself down with thoughts like “I’m stupid,” “I’m such a mess up,” or “I’m not good enough?” If so, STOP that negative talk in its tracks. Negative thoughts lead to a negative outlook on life and harsh self criticism leads to a low self-esteem.

Remind yourself that you are worthy, you are good enough, you are accepted and you are loved.


“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” ~ Song of Solomon 4:7

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Pure Barre Platform review

IMG_5592I’m a HUGE fan of barre-based workouts. Not only do I love taking them, but they are also one of my favorite classes to teach (I’m a certified group fitness instructor in case you didn’t know ☺). Today, I’ll be giving my review of Pure Barre, a barre-based fitness class.





Pure Barre classes focus on muscular endurance, using body weight along with some resistance equipment (light weights and resistance bands). It is a total body workout that concentrates on constant muscle engagement through small contracted movements, working until muscle fatigue.

First, let me tell you why I love Pure Barre:
~The music. I’m obsessed with the playlists, which consist of high-energy electronic dance music (my jam).
~The flow of the class. You’ll start off with a quick warm up, move onto upper body, lower body, core work and finish with a nice stretch. There are also small stretch breaks in between. This format doesn’t change, so you’ll always know what to expect.
~It never gets easy. While the format of the class remains the same, the actual workout routine changes frequently, so your body is constantly being challenged.
~Mind-body connection. Throughout the class you are directed to really focus on the muscle you are working. As a fitness instructor, I know how important the mind-muscle connection is for results, so I appreciate that this is emphasized in the class.

The cons to Pure Barre:
~The instructions can be very difficult to follow, especially if you’re new to the class. To maintain the quick pace of the class, most instructions are given verbally, and depending on where you in the room, it can be tough to see the instructor when they are demonstrating the moves. Ideally, the instructor will come over and correct each person’s form, however this is tough to do during a packed class. Just like anything else, the more you take the class, the more you will get the hang of it. Also, most studios offer a free “Breaking Down the Barre” instructional class that can be very helpful.
~Not enough upper body work and cardio. While the classes are a total body workout, the focus is definitely on lower body.


Pure Barre recently released Pure Barre Platform, “a new fast-paced class designed to optimize cardiovascular results and increase total body strength. This heart-pumping class combines quick bursts of high intensity, yet low impact cardio work with periods of lower intensity muscle-sculpting movements. These 55 minutes of high energy, fun and intense interval training at the barre will help you burn calories, jump-start your metabolism, and increase your overall endurance. It is the perfect cardio complement to your Pure Barre class to help you achieve even greater results, while still holding onto the traditional pieces and parts of a Pure Barre class that we all know and love.” Read more directly from their website here.

I saw snippets of the platform “jumps” on social media and was excited to try it out! I took my first Pure Barre Platform class last week and I walked in expecting a traditional Pure Barre class with some cardio mixed it. My initial thoughts: It’s very different than the traditional Pure Barre class.


The movements are BIGGER, and more exaggerated. Almost everything you are taught in their traditional class is thrown out the window. There are no “tiny, little movements” and there are no “tucks.” The class is less strict about form and is more focused on fast-paced, large movements.

I LOVED the platform jumps, but wasn’t a huge fan of some of the other platform work. I also didn’t expect the platform to be used the entire class, which it was. Had they kept the traditional class, but added in just the platform jumps for a cardio element, I would have LOVED the class. Here are my final ratings:

Pure Barre traditional class: 9/10.
Pure Barre Platform class: 6/10.

Keep in mind that these are my thoughts of Pure Barre Platform after having only taken it once. If I continue to take the platform class, my option could change, however I plan to stick to the traditional Pure Barre classes and get my cardio in on my own time.

Have you taken Pure Barre or Pure Barre Platform? Let me know your thoughts!

Be well,

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