I’m vitamin D deficient.
The results of my recent physical show my vitamin D levels drastically low – at a 12. The acceptable range is between 30 and 100. My doctor said that’s one reason I’ve been so tired lately. I thought it was just my hectic schedule.
She put me on 50,000 IUs of vitamin D a week . That’s almost 18 times the recommended daily intake. As an added bonus, I’ve been instructed to make return trips to her office for on a regular basis so she can poke me with needles until my levels are normal.
Why Vitamin D is Important
Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption. Though my calcium intake is normal, my doctor says it’s likely I’m not absorbing the calcium into my bones because there’s not enough vitamin D in my body.
Over time, that could result in bone thinning, bone pain, and osteoporosis. In fact, my doctor said she’s seen more and more women deficient in vitamin D lately.
Where does vitamin D come from?
Our bodies can make vitamin D and, being a fat soluable vitamin, it’s stored in our bodies. According to Nutrition for Foodservice & Culinary Professionals by Lisa Eich Drummond and Lisa M. Brefere, our bodies can make about half of the vitamin D we need with regular exposure to sunlight. For someone fair skinned like me, 15 minutes of sunlight 2 to 3 times a week would be adequate.
In Texas there’s usually lots of sunlight. Very hot sunlight. I try to walk before the sun comes up and stay inside during the heat of the day. I also wear lots of sunscreen in the warm months which can increase the amount of sunlight needed.
Shrimp and sardines contain vitamin D. The rest comes from foods that have been vitamin D fortified.
Fortified means that it’s been added to increase the original level or it’s been added to a food that didn’t initially have the vitamin present.
What foods are vitamin D fortified?
- Store bought milk – not raw milk
- Store bought almond milk, soy milk, and rice milk
- Some yogurts – Stonyfield Organic Yogurt has added vitamin D
- Processed cereals – most of which aren’t gluten-free
I don’t tolerate lots of dairy, so I don’t drink milk. Though I eat cottage cheese, it’s not vitamin D fortified. And, I started making my own almond milk which has no vitamin D at all. I like to bake with almond milk but don’t like to drink it. Processed cereals – ugh. Need I say more?
Regardless of what I like, it’s clear I need to make a change.
Homemade yogurt made with organic milk has become a staple in my diet. It’s vitamin D fortified so that’s a bonus. I’ve also decided to drink one of these Sugar-Free Mocha Frappes made with my beloved Vita-Mix for a treat on a more regular basis. I’ve been working on a low-fat dairy based ice cream and some granitas made with alternative vitamin D fortified milks.
Pudding is another way I’ve been getting some more vitamin D in my body. And though I never thought I’d publicly admit it, I’ve been using sugar-free Jello pudding mix. It’s not a perfect solution but for now it helps. I know I can make it from scratch but time is of the essence these days. (Being perfect is over-rated.)
I have more sunlight in my future, too. The dogs and I will do our daily romps mid-day when we can.
Please don’t take Vitamin D supplements without doctor supervision. It’s the most toxic vitamin when taken in excess and isn’t safe to take without being monitored. I’m not giving medical advice. I’m just sharing my experience.
Quacky Nutritional Advice
This gives me the perfect opportunity to share my thoughts on extreme and unsound nutritional advice that seems to run amuck in the blogosphere.
I don’t eat white sugar or wheat but I don’t degrade it. Wheat and sugar don’t work for me. If they work for you, fantastic. My husband eats wheat and sugar with no problem at all. So do most of my friends.
In my humble opinion, there is a benefit to eating less sugar. I also see a huge nutritional benefit to eating some of the more nutrient dense gluten free flours, like quinoa, millet, brown rice, oat, and buckwheat.
But I don’t need to knock wheat or sugar to share that with you. And, in the end, I trust that you know what works for your body.
I can always spot a quacky post when it’s emotionally wrought, makes far fetched claims, and has absolutely no credentials or training. Do your research. If it sounds crazy, it just might be.
Enough about that….Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free is hosted here this month. The theme is Guiltless Pleasures. Read about how to submit your post here.
Joe tasted this and loved it – he had no idea that I’d snuck a carrot into this.