Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Getting Some D

I've been missing the D.

Even as I actively work to reconstruct my world into one more life-giving and less toxic - a world where healing is not only possible but the natural, sustainable way of things, a world where my full recovery from Type 1 diabetes is not just a hope but a plan, a world where the doctors and drugs don't rule my body - somehow I manage still to be deficient in vitamin D... Really?

It seems like it should be an easy fix. "Take the supplements," says my doctor, seemingly oblivious to our earlier discussion on my new Raw foods lifestyle. There's no question taking the supplements would be simple, but I just can't shake my aversion now to most things synthetic. I want to limit my consumption of such things to a bare minimum, or to none at all. And that includes insulin, by the way. I take what I need to survive, and I draw the line there. The fewer blood-sugar-taxing extravagances I indulge at mealtimes, the better. Thereby, I allow my pancreas to heal with as few hindrances and distractions as possible.

So though perhaps not the best thing for me, taking the supplements would certainly be simple. But there's something better that's even simpler - something which, when suggested to me by a passionate, educated, health-conscious acquaintance of mine, actually caused me a moment's skepticism and a few days' embarrassment.

"Get out in the sun," came the unimpressive suggestion with a shrug.

I balked. "That's it?" I asked. It was five syllables. My problem deserved a dialogue, at least.

"We live in Southern California," he answered. "Get out in the sun."

I almost couldn't believe how closed I was to this. Didn't he appreciate that working an 8-to-5 job limited my time outdoors? Didn't he get that my obligations wouldn't allow for his wild ideas and crazy-person talk? Didn't he care that I was already incorporating more supposedly vitamin-D-rich foods like salmon and mushrooms into my diet? Didn't he assume that I might have other contributing medical factors to consider? Didn't he realize how oversimplified his approach was? Didn't he feel he should take people more seriously? Didn't he [blah, blah, blah]...?

And then I heard myself. What was I expecting? Did I really need my solution to be complicated? And if so, for what purpose? Did making a big deal of my ailments and deficiencies at a doctor's office and pharmacy somehow feed a psychological appetite for hurdles? Why would I be so resistant to simple solutions? Didn't simplicity fit in more nicely anyway with my current 1's-and-0's view of the world?

Even the answers to those questions didn't matter much once I decided to stop bellyaching and just follow his advice. Beginning my very next day at work, I took all my 15-minute breaks and 45-minute lunch breaks outside, ditching my blazer, rolling up my sleeves and pant-legs, escaping my heels and even exposing my navel at times - all in hopes of soaking up as much sun as I could in the short time I had outside.

Call it my corporately employed adult's recess. And now, after only two weeks of this, I have noticeable tan lines and - much to the dismay of coworkers now paler than I - nearly a sunburn too. Here I am, living in sunny southern California very near the beach, and even I wouldn't have thought it possible to get as much sun in barely an hour of sun-sitting per day! Oh, me of little faith...

While I may not know the official test results of my efforts for a few more weeks, what I can report with confidence is that I'm happier when I spend more time in the sun. If I'm honest, that's something I've known  intuitively about myself for some time - something I'd wager we all know intuitively.

The difference now is you can see it all over my face... I'm finally getting some D.


  1. Angela, how are you? Are you the girl that rides a scooter and goes to Honda of Santa Monica? I love your story! and what you do to stay away from those pills it's just great news.

  2. Howdy, Marco!! So cool that you found me! And yes, the last few times I've been into the shop, I haven't seen you... How are you? Why don't you shoot me a private message at angela@thegirlsgoneraw and we can catch up!

  3. Woops. I meant "angela@thegirlsgoneraw.com"... And thanks for the props on my story. I'm loving the journey myself! :o)

  4. It's absolutely true. The summers that I was a lifeguard I was just beaming and joyful pretty much the whole time. I noticed it almost immediately: quite striking.

    1. You know it, Barry! I guess that's why some of us continue to pay ridiculous amounts in rent to live in places like sunny southern California, where it's perpetually spring or summer time! :o)

  5. I was low on vitamin D and had to get injections a few yrs back. Now take a supplement, bump it up during winter months and flu season..plus less yard work (in my defense, tried to get some sun yesterday, lawnmower was not working and did a few other chores.)

    Knock on wood, NO vaccines and no serious illnesses and ful.down between 50-60 lbs in last 2 yrs (I DO count calories, though I cheat and do hit gym 2x week).

  6. You know, Chris, several months have passed since I wrote this blog, and while I still agree the sun is the best source of Vitamin D, I also now think that high quality supplements may too be helpful. The kind I'm using currently (in addition to getting sun at every opportunity) is a D3 liquid by Mountain States Health Products. It comes highly recommended by my naturopath.