Winter at the 45th Parallel

It is a muddling Monday morning with snowflakes drifting from a sky that appears to touch the snow covered landscape. I longingly look outside my triple wide doors with a desire to see a canopied deck crowned by warm summer sunshine but alas there is only the ubiquitous thin veil of cold white matter we affectionately call snow. Ugh!

March arrived last week like a lamb which does not bode well for the end of this roller coaster month and, like many winter days this winter, today there is not even a peek of light from that yellow orb we call the sun. When you live at the 45th parallel winter days are not for producing vitamin D under any circumstances but it doesn’t mean I don’t have a hankering to shed my clothes, cover my eyes, grab a cold drink and expose my skin to the sun’s summer rays for 20 minutes every day around noon. Last week it became so appealing that with the thermometer reading all of 30 degrees I took my fully clothed self out to the protected corner of my deck and sat with a hot cup of Keemun Congou tea (splashed with raw milk) and basked in the warmth of a March sun. Sounds appealing, no?

Okay, so what does any of my meandering have to do with health, you ask? There actually is a point to my wandering thoughts this morning and it is my semi-annual update on my Vitamin D levels. As any long term readers will know I am participating in a 5 year Vitamin D study through Grassroots Health, so every August and February I prick the fourth finger on my left hand and milk a large red blob of sanguine fluid onto a small white card. Sealing it inside an envelope that comes addressed but not stamped I then mail if off to be tested. Approximately, one week later I get to see the latest results. To be completely honest I always open my test results with some trepidation. You see, while I believe in blood tests I also have some fear of what they will have to say, what action I will now have to take to improve blood test results.

This year my blood test results were just about perfect by most estimation. My 70 ng/ml test result is almost ideal. Krispin Sullivan would say it is too high as she prefers  D levels to be under 60 ng/ml. My forum moderator feels we folks with autoimmune disease should keep our levels closer to 100 ng/ml. I therefore think 70 is perhaps a nice compromise and well within normal limits no matter who you ask. Last year at this time my blood test results were 92 ng/ml but then after a summer in the sun my levels plummeted to 52 ng/ml last August.

I find my 2010 summer blood test results a curiosity because I garden and spend plenty of time outside. The only thing that changed was when my reading came back at 92 ng/ml last February I quit using my Sunsplash Renew totally and only relied on the summer sunshine as I do not take Vitamin D supplements to obtain my good results. This has been a test for the Sunsplash Renew as well as for me and it has passed with flying colors. I am not reviewing the Sunsplash Renew tanning/Vitamin D system in this blog as I have done so in the past but suffice it to say it works. It keeps my Vitamin D levels at a very healthy level year round and this year I will keep using it to keep my levels high through the summer months.

One important note for those using a D-lamp system or even sunshine (from May to September at the 45th parallel) for their Vitamin D, you must expose clean skin with no SPF protection. After exposure it is imperative that you not shower or swim for at least 12 hours and I believe 24 hours is the preferred length of time. They have found that surfers in Hawaii are actually running a deficit of Vitamin D levels in their blood because they are constantly in and out of water. Surfers appear tanned but they are not getting the benefits of Vitamin D production on the skin. Last but not least, do not soap the areas exposed to the lamps or sunshine for 36 hours. I particularly leave my belly skin alone. It is an area where you produce the most Vitamin D and it isn’t dirty or in need of soap. (In fact, what part of your body actually needs a chemically produced soap at all? That is a subject for another blog, so I won’t even start. Did I hear a thank you? You are welcome.)

We are now back to March at the 45th parallel and as my Monday ensues I think I shall bask in the success of using my Sunsplash Renew three times a week, 10 minutes at a time. To lift my mood later today I will use my Sunsplash Renew and as I close my eyes (which are always protected from any harmful rays), and the warmth caresses my skin I will see the sand of an ocean beach under my feet and feel the sunshine on my skin. Sunshine, warmth and Vitamin D, all is right with my world for those 10 minutes and I will smile.

Here’s to having an optimum amount of Vitamin D,

Kris

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