Friday, April 18, 2014
Getting Vitamin D through sunshine is part of my plan. Except today is one of those days where it is gray, overcast, about 55 degrees. Not exactly like getting those rays in a tropical place. The truth is that I absolutely shudder at having to put on sunscreen although I slather it on constantly if I am in a very tropical kind of place. I have fair skin and burn easily, but still I have a hard time with the many choices of chemical-laden choices.
Yesterday I got back my annual exam results. My Vitamin D levels are normal on the conventional chart, but a tad low on the newer chart I saw at Dr. Mercola's website yesterday. I was taking 6,000-8,000 units of Vitamin D in 2,000 unit capsules but now I am thinking of switching to a source that I am sure is vegan. I also will take 8,000 units per day to see how that works.
Being very overweight means my body processes Vitamin D differently from when I was much slimmer. It needs much, much more. Since Vitamin D is crucial for weight loss, part of the holy trinity with calcium and magnesium, I definitely need to be sure my Vitamin D is at optimal levels. The new chart says 50-70 is optimal. All the charts seem to agree that 100 is too high. I'm close now after once having rock low levels.
It turns out that there is more than one Vitamin D test. The 25 Hydroxy D test, which I got, is the one that many doctors recommend as being more precise. (Ask your doctor to test you for Vitamin D if you have concerns. Some reports claim that more than 85 percent of all Americans are low in Vitamin D.)
Vitamin D is crucial at the cellular level. So I definitely want to make sure I have enough. Sunshine is the best way, as some people don't absorb the vitamin supplements well. (Others don't seem to get a boost from being out in sunshine without sunscreen.) I'm hoping that making a point of spending at least 20 minutes out in the sun with bare arms means I am naturally making Vitamin D and getting myself to the optimal level. I also plan to wear long sleeved-shirts and capris or pants in light fabric in hopes of avoiding more sun screen. And if I do have to use sunscreen, I want to use the kind with less toxic ingredients.
This weekend is supposed to be lovely in Washington, D.C. and I hope to take many long walks. I'm hoping it will be sunny spring weather where I can go bare armed and soak up the sun for a bit. I'll also have to make a point of ordering some vegan Vitamin D and check out Vitamin B Complex (vegan) vitamin sources soon. Very happy that my B-12 level was right in the middle of the healthy zone.
Wishing every one a beautiful spring weekend! What a lovely time for long walks among all the lovely blossoms. (I should note that my tests showed signs of allergy. I'll keep working on being allergy free,)
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Earlier I posted about taking higher levels of Vitamin D and feeling a bit guilty about it. I found myself taking 6,000-8,000 units per day, occasionally 10,000. That sounds like a lot given the standard recommendations for Vitamin D. But I have a substantial amount of weight to lose and research shows that very heavy (obese) people process and store Vitamin D differently than people who are not overweight.
Still, it is a surprise (and a relief) that I just got my Vitamin D results and I am in the normal range, not high. I am not even close to being too high, according to the chart. So I'll stay at this level. I also take a Vitamin B complex vitamin daily, and my B12 level is right on target.
Anyone who has questions about Vitamin D levels should get tested. The majority of Americans have very low levels of Vitamin D. Since Vitamin D is crucial for everything from weight loss to what happens on the cellular level, having enough Vitamin D matters. (And Vitamin B12 and other B vitamins matter, too.)
I am relieved to have the results back and be in the normal range.
Note: I just read an article by Dr. Joseph Mercola that suggests that new standards mean I actually was a tad below the line. I am going to make sure I get 8,000 units a day. Here is the link to that article:
Here is a brief quote regarding Vitamin D:
"Vitamin D deficiency is at epidemic levels in the United States, but many Americans—including many physicians—are still unaware of the implications. In the U.S., the late winter average vitamin D is only about 15 to 18 ng/ml, which is considered a very serious deficiency state. In fact, 85 percent of Americans may be deficient in vitamin D, including more than 95 percent of all seniors.
Vitamin D influences about 3,000 of the 30,000 genes in your body, which is why it's involved with the expression of so many diseases, from cancer to autism to heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis, just to name a few. A study by vitamin D expert Dr. William Grant, Ph.D., found that about 30 percent of cancer deaths could be prevented each year with higher levels of vitamin D."
From Dr. Joseph Mercola
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Near where I live, some gorgeous old cherry trees were slated for destruction because a corporate interest wished to buy the land but not the trees. The land was too valuable to have something like cherry trees when more square footage or bushes would be so much nicer. So the thinking went. The moment I learned the cherry trees would be destroyed, my heart sank. Those trees have been in D.C. long before I moved here and provide shade, relaxation, and joy to so many people in the area. (The project has been delayed/challenged, meaning the cherry trees get to blossom for yet another year. These are joyful trees.)
I live in Washington, D.C. and was out of town when the peak of the cherry blossoms came. In fact, I walked around the Tidal Basin just before strong winds and rain blew away most of the remaining cherry blossoms there. Imagine my joy to walk down the street to do errands and see the bright pink blooms of these lovely trees, so full and lovely, branches reaching out as if to touch everyone walking by.
I am on Day 3 of my green juice reboot, which includes eating fruits and veggies at this moment, not just juice. I will move to just juice but I still eat several bananas a day and found myself eating some organic cucumbers earlier. This seems to be working though because I have already lost 5 pounds. (True, if I was on 100 percent green juice, I might have lost 7-8 pounds by now.)
My motivation for doing this includes getting off weight to protect my knees. There is nothing kinder and better I can do for my knees, ankles, and feet than lose a substantial amount of weight. I sustained a knee injury after 12-hour flights a little over a year ago. My left knee actually collapsed (and surgery is not an option). I am very lucky that my knee quickly began to heal and think the green juice and other healthy food helped.
If healing my body isn't enough motivation, I can hear an ambulance across the street, and am constantly reminded of what health consequences there could be for not succeeding.
Today I have been a bit tired and find myself leaning toward carrot juice, bananas, and that type of thing. I did get into nearly 110 minutes of Kundalini yoga on dvd. I also got to walk amidst the cherry blossoms near by and hope to do that for many days in a row. I have to enjoy the cherry blossoms while they last.
It is nearly 60 degrees in D.C, and I have decided that my next weight loss reward might be a summer dress. I have needed one for awhile and think I might need it more than a spring jacket, especially with D.C. hitting 80 degrees at least once next week. I might have more need for a summer dress that I can toss on with Birkenstock sandals.
As I write this, I get an email reminder regarding Dr. Mark Hyman's work. He says one of the best things we can do for ourselves and our health is to cut back on the sugar in our diets. the sugar I get is mostly natural, but I have a feeling I probably have gotten a bit much over the past three days. I have eaten plenty of bananas for potassium and energy. (I no longer eat apples often because that really challenges my jaws.)
So I'm headed in the right direction. Getting on track. But I do need to step it up with the green juice. How I love the summer farmer's markets when I get to choose between six kinds of organic kale and get at least five or six bunches of dandelion greens. The organic farmers come out with the most luscious fruits and vegetables. The organic cucumber I ate today is just a reminder of how good it gets.
I do have mild headaches for a few minutes here or there, mostly because I am not juicing enough or need to drink more water. And I drink a lot of water.
I will try to post some of my cherry blossom photos soon. And I'm happy to say I'll be taking a free workshop to learn more about how to use my newly discovered photos on my MacPro. I know other people might want to see gorgeous pink cherry blossoms blowing in the wind, full bloom, gorgeous.
Yesterday I shared a Fully Raw Kristina recipe for Pad Thai that I can't wait to try. Here is one for raw vegan lasagna that sounds awesome. If the link doesn't work here, cut and paste this link to the search engine or just go to YouTube and look up Fully Raw Kristina.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Tonight I got a tantalizingly awesome recipe for raw vegan pad thai. It involves a lot of raw ingredients like shredded zucchini, carrots, red peppers, purple cabbage, mung bean sprouts, sliced green onions, mushrooms, and maybe cilantro and pistachio added on top. The recipe calls for pistachio-sesame dressing as well. It just sounds awesome and comes from Fully Raw Kristina:
I am on Day 2 of a green juice reboot so I will need to wait to make this. In the meantime, I need to stay motivated daily to keep going with my fast. I have a knee injury that is still healing. Losing weight is the best thing I could do for my knees and all the rest of me. And the juice fasts work for me. So I need to remind myself daily of why I am doing this.
When I get done, I'll be looking for lots of great vegan recipes to try out. I can hardly wait to try out this recipe.
And if you watch the YouTube video, you get to hear about the journey of Kristina's mom who went on a 21-day raw vegan challenge. She looks radiantly healthy and finds it much easier to get up in the morning now and now is inspired to exercise. Plus she has some great recipes to share. The recipe is from Fully Raw Kristina.
I can hardly wait to try this recipe and experiment a bit. Get creative!
Note: The link doesn't seem to work at this site but might work if you copy it and paste it for an Internet search. Or go to YouTube and search for Fully Raw Kristina. There should be a very colorful Pad Thai recipe listed.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Today I trudged out on a very cold day in D.C. to visit the Genius Bar at Apple. I met with a Genius who was able to find my missing photos and even the ones on my iPhone that vanished. I don't usually get a happy ending like that with laptops, but this time I did nearly everything right. I converted my external drive from PC to Mac and backed up everything on my laptop. That meant my laptop could be restored when needed.
I still have a huge learning curve, since I need to learn the Mac programs like Pages and iPhoto. There are days I just want to write and not worry about it. But I am going to take time out for four free workshops to learn a bit more, plus start going through the Pages manual that I ordered. It should arrive tomorrow.
Last night I had been on the line with Apple Care and it seemed that all was lost. Actually I have two accounts, a situation that occurred when I was migrating data from my suffering Lenovo to the new Mac. There seemed to be an assumption that I had done something wrong and therefore the data was lost. When I went to the Genius Bar, both Geniuses I spoke to had the belief that they could find my missing photos. Then one of them quickly did once getting into the second account. I left feeling that I was more capable than I realized at times. And the truth is that these days many of us ending up learning a lot more about computers than we had planned. It just happens.
I feel a bit tired from the whole experience, but I am relieved and grateful, too. I walked to Apple this morning worried that I had lost at least three years of photos, including a recent trip. Now I'm determined to learn how to properly use the iPhoto and other programs associated with photos. I want to do know what I can do with all this.
Since I'm on Day 2 of the green reboot, I was strangely euphoric this morning for someone who lost her photos. But by now, I am tired and just happy this has a happy ending. I did nearly everything right. And my story was happier than that of some of the people who awaited appointments at the Genius Bar. For instance, one woman seemed to be wiping away tears that her very old Mac apparently and a broken fan and other problems. It wasn't looking good, and she clearly had was attached to her old Mac.
Today is a very cold day in D.C. So cold that I had to run home to get my winter jacket, scarf, and hat before heading to the store. My spring jacket wasn't going to work! Now I'm looking for energy as I take a rest from learning to be a computer techie. I'm sure I'll be visiting the Genius Bar soon for more helpful information. And yes, the Geniuses really do get to put that on their resumes. I am a Genius.
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