Saturday, November 24, 2012

Gratitude and Vitamin D

I'm feeling inspired to post an actual, you know, blog post here on the blog. For almost two years, I have only really posted weekly menus. Now that I'm taking Rather Crafty in a new direction, I think I will start using the blog as an actual blog every now and then.

I was inspired by Lillian's Test Kitchen. Lillian is not a professional chef, she's just a person with food sensitivities. She very bravely makes recipes for the first time on camera, then tells the whole internet about them. How brave is that!

On top of the recipe testing, she has been doing a series lately about what she calls GratiTUDE - simply the attitude of being grateful. Today was day 42 and she posted about avocados. As you know, the avocado is my favorite fruit! I'm incredibly grateful for avos too! They are creamy, satisfying, go great in sweet or savory dishes and salads, and are amazing on their own with just a sprinkling of sea salt.

Another thing I am grateful for is vitamin D. Some of you know I have been experiencing some challenges lately. One of the things tests have uncovered is a low level of vitamin D. I suspect that in addition to not making much of it (Boston is not the best place to get direct sunlight, especially this time of year) I was probably also not correctly absorbing or utilizing what I was making.

I've made some significant diet and lifestyle changes recently. I've been working on uncovering hidden sensitivities and nourishing my body back to its best health. One thing that I recently started doing is supplementing with a high dose of vitamin D. I've also introduced a wider variety of fats, in an effort to better absorb fat soluble vitamins and other micronutrients. The difference is noticeable already!

I recommend that everyone get their vitamin D levels checked, especially those of us with sensitivities and weird, hard-to-explain symptoms. If you are low, even if you're not that low, you might consider supplementation. Making this hormone yourself in the sunshine is the best way to get it, but it's November and the sun's rays are no longer direct enough for that plan to work. There's a lot of controversy about indoor tanning; enough to warrant an entire post of its own. Eating foods naturally rich in D is helpful, but there aren't many and it is very difficult to get enough that way. If you want to try to get enough from diet, wild caught salmon and cod liver oil are among the best natural sources. Supplementation through enriched foods can be a pretty good backup plan for some folks, but that means you have to actually eat those enriched, factory-produced foods.

I've never been one for taking a whole lot of pills, but I do suddenly find myself taking some now and I feel better for it.

(I am not a doctor. This is not to be construed as medical advice and so forth. It is my opinion. It is supported by the science.)

So I'm grateful for the flexibility to adapt. And I'm grateful that my health is improving!

I'm also extremely grateful for all of you who have made Rather Crafty great. It's been a fun ride so far, and while it's changing, it's far from over! I look forward to writing and cooking for you lots more in the future.

Much love,
Chef Mary

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