Vitamin O

Everyone needs some "Vitamin O"

Everyone needs some “Vitamin O”

March 22, 2011

I recently moved to the Monterey Bay Peninsula, which brought me back to one of my true loves—the ocean.  I was fortunate enough to grow up by the Caribbean Sea, in the tiny country of Belize.  My playground was the second largest barrier reef in the world.  It gave me the chance to frolic with a wonderfully diverse marine life.  Some of my most memorable encounters were coming nose-to-nose with a whale shark, being followed by barracudas, and getting stung by a stingray.

Now after three decades, I am living once again by the coast, once again receiving my daily dose of Vitamin O.  I’ve been thinking about the ageless quality of the ocean.  How it endures with tireless power, instinctive purpose, and timeless rhythm. One wavy breath after another.  Gazing at the horizon reminds me of the life still before me—most days it will be smooth sailing, some days it may be rough, but always the sunset is spectacularly golden.  My skin may end up a bit more weathered, but it’s worth it for the adventure, the awe, the joy, and the connection.

Vitamin O is a necessary nutrient for the ‘living better’ part of me.  The ocean is one of the areas where I want to give back.  And, there’s so many ways I can.  I just finished, “The Death and Life of Monterey Bay” in which Stephen Palumbi and Carolyn Sotka beautifully illustrate how human passion, stubborn effort and patience helped Monterey Bay renew its ecological health.

Well, I’m full of passion, quite stubborn, and though more tenacious than patient, I am compelled to do my part to help the ocean.  One of the ways I’m ‘living better’ is volunteering with Save Our Shores.  The mission of this non-profit organization is caring for the marine environment through ocean awareness, advocacy, and citizen action.

During one of their beach clean-ups I collected the following items in less than an hour:

  • Over 100 pieces of plastic
  • Over 40 pieces of Styrofoam
  • 36 cigarette butts
  • 12 bottle caps
  • 8 candy wrappers
  • 3 straws
  • 2 balloons
  • 2 wooden stakes
  • 1 little toy soldier, and
  • half a pencil.

I’m always amazed at how much plastic and Styrofoam I see on the beach.  Little pieces mixed in with the sand and kelp.  If you want to know how this affects the ocean and its marine life, check out this informative video on the ocean garbage patches around the world.  We have to end this now for the oceans’ sake and our own.

So, I just wanted to leave you with a few ‘living better’ tips to help decrease your plastic consumption.  For more information, please go to

Kick the plastic habit:

  • Identify the plastics you use each day, and consider replacing them with a non-plastic reusable alternative.
  • Bring reusable bags when you shop.
  • Use cloth produce bags when buying fruit & veggies.
  • Buy a water filter and fill a reusable metal water bottle from your tap (only 14% of disposable plastic bottles are recycled, most end up in landfills or the ocean).
  • Bring a reusable mug to the coffee shop.
  • Reuse glass jars or food containers to pack your lunch.
  • Refrain from using plastic straws.
About Annette Cain

Annette Cain is an award-winning author, endurance athlete and certified personal trainer.

Known as the Longevity Lady™ Annette helps baby boomers age stronger so their bodies can keep up with their lives. Her ageless lifestyle products and programs provide an easy and balanced approach to becoming lean & limber and living younger longer.

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