Oh sunshine, I have missed you so much… please never go so long without showing your face again! We had only had 1 day of sunshine in almost 3 weeks, and it was grating on me! I need my Vitamin D!
Since today is nice and not rainy, and I managed to get myself out of bed and do my stuff timely, I had a few extra minutes to go breathe in some fresh air and soak in some much needed vitamin D and goodness did they both feel so good!
Like most humans, I dig sunshine and fresh air (and good views don’t hurt!) 😉
So, my 22 week BUMPIE and I enjoyed it all ❤
This girl right here is always right at home in nature! Always have been, always will be. Few things remain as constant!
Occasionally, I will take my workouts outside, to a park, on the beach… not as often as I would like (because I have to get home and shower, and still get all the way down to work!), but sometimes.
And honestly, besides the much better scenery, there are plenty of benefits to getting your fitness on outside! Here are a handful!
Do you know of any others? Do you often workout outdoors? This is also where Beachbody On Demand comes in really handy – you can take your workouts to wherever your heart desires!
Got Vitamin D? Not only is the nutrient a known bone builder (you can’t absorb calcium without it!), it seems that Vitamin D may also help ramp up your immunity, according to a research scientist at the University of California at Davis. Many people can make enough if they get 15 minutes of sunshine a day. But when it’s cold out, we tend to hibernate. Luckily, in cooler months, there are plenty of things on the menu to help you get an adequate intake. Aim for at least 400 international units a day.
- Salmon, cooked, 3.5 ounces – 360 IU of Vitamin D
- Sardines, canned, 1.75 ounces – 250 IU of Vitamin D
- OJ, vitamin D-fortified, 1 Cup – 100 IU of Vitamin D
- Skim Milk, 1 Cup – 100 IU of Vitamin D
- Soymilk, fortified, 1 Cup – 100 IU of Vitamin D
- Mushrooms, white, raw, 1 Cup – 164 IU of Vitamin DOf course, this is just a simple example, there are plenty others out there too 🙂
Do you like sweet potatoes? I like them in small amounts… a few “fries”, maybe a couple of tots, or about half of a sweet potato is enough for me. But they are very tasty, and certainly hold their own in health benefits!
Benefits of sweet potatoes include:
- Sweet potatoes are a good source of magnesium, which is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral. Magnesium is necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function, yet experts estimate that approximately 80 percent of the population in North America may be deficient in this important mineral.
- They are high in vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 helps reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies. Homocysteine has been linked with degenerative diseases, including heart attacks.
- Their rich orange color indicates that they are high in carotenoids like beta carotene and other carotenoids, which is the precursor to vitamin A in your body. Carotenoids help strengthen our eyesight and boost our immunity to disease, they are powerful antioxidants that help ward off cancer and protect against the effects of aging. Studies at Harvard University of more than 124,000 people showed a 32 percent reduction in risk of lung cancer in people who consumed a variety of carotenoid-rich foods as part of their regular diet. Another study of women who had completed treatment for early stage breast cancer conducted by researchers at Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) found that women with the highest blood concentrations of carotenoids had the least likelihood of cancer recurrence.
- They contain Vitamin D which is critical for immune system and overall health at this time of year. Both a vitamin and a hormone, vitamin D is primarily made in our bodies as a result of getting adequate sunlight. You may have heard about seasonal affective disorder (or SAD, as it is also called), which is linked to inadequate sunlight and therefore a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D plays an important role in our energy levels, moods, and helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and it supports the thyroid gland.
- They are a source of potassium, one of the important electrolytes that help regulate heartbeat and nerve signals. Like the other electrolytes, potassium performs many essential functions, some of which include relaxing muscle contractions, reducing swelling, and protecting and controlling the activity of the kidneys.
- Sweet potatoes contain iron. Most people are aware that we need the mineral iron to have adequate energy, but iron plays other important roles in our body, including red and white blood cell production, resistance to stress, proper immune functioning, and the metabolizing of protein, among other things.
- They are a good source of vitamin C. While most people know that vitamin C is important to help ward off cold and flu viruses, few people are aware that this crucial vitamin plays an important role in bone and tooth formation, digestion, and blood cell formation. It helps accelerate wound healing, produces collagen which helps maintain skin’s youthful elasticity, and is essential to helping us cope with stress. It even appears to help protect our body against toxins that may be linked to cancer.
- Plus, Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet-tasting but their natural sugars are slowly released into the bloodstream, helping to ensure a balanced and regular source of energy, without the blood sugar spikes linked to fatigue and weight gain, which is very helpful for diabetics!
Got any good sweet potato recipes to share?
Summer is almost here! Summer Eve (the date, not the product!) is as awesome as Christmas or New Years Eve for me… I live for the summer! It is especially welcomed by those of us in New England who can STILL see snow (seriously, not joking…) in some parts of Boston after a brutally relentless winter.
So I’m thrilled its finally here! I think my plan is a nice pedicure and allow myself to (safely, of course) soak up some Vitamin D! It has been a struggle lately to find time to just relax and recharge – I have been so busy with A Peaceful Diabetic, 401Love Designs, my Beachbody business, planning my wedding, and everything else in life such as full time job, helping family, etc… sitting and doing “nothing” (or at most, taking in the view or reading a good book) has been VERY difficult to come by. But like I said, you can’t always be go-go-go, do-do-do… you have to find time to relax and recharge or you will burn out!
Summer is the perfect time to slow it down a little bit, wouldn’t you agree? 🙂
After a rough couple of weeks, I want nothing more than to lie on the beach, toes in the sand, just soaking in the salt air (being a lifelong resident of the Ocean State, I am a firm believer in the notion that the cure for anything is salt water; sweat, tears, or the sea), just being content doing nothing but soaking up Vitamin D and salt air.
There is, of course, way too much to do right now to spend a whole weekend day doing “nothing”… so I am making it my goal to sit and soak in the sun and salt air for at least 10 minutes.
What will you do for Self-Love Saturday?