I never fully appreciated the sun until I moved to the east coast. I grew up in Arizona my entire life (where it literally rains on average 12 days/year!) so I was unaware of the effects that weather has on your mood. Moving to NYC was a huge wake up call for me. Year after year, blizzard after blizzard, I started to really miss and crave the sun. Sure, I traveled a ton and could get away for weekends here and there, but for the weeks when I was in town and it was cold, dark and rainy/snowy I felt out of whack. Come to find out, after a simple blood test done by my doctor, I had a serious Vitamin D deficiency which was affecting my mood and metabolism. Many people are deficient in Vitamin D (even those who live in warm places), but it made me realize the importance of Vitamin D – and I decided to make more of an effort to get sun on a morning walk/take my breakfast outside, eat foods rich in Vitamin D, and take a Vitamin D supplement (until my levels got back to normal.) *I have mentioned before, that I do not like taking supplements and try to get all of my nutrients through food. This is just a personal preference, but I do not think supplements are bad in any way! I feel so grateful that my levels are finally stable (living in LA has definitely helped this.) For the times, when I am in NYC visiting friends, or traveling to cold/gloomy places, I wanted to share a few tips/tricks that help me maintain those levels and my mood.
1. Aim to get 15 minutes of direct sunlight (without sunscreen or with a sunscreen that doesn’t block sun absorption) a day.
2. Eat fish like salmon, halibut, or canned tuna at least once a week. Experts also recommend foods like egg yolks and mushrooms (I personally don’t eat mushrooms because they’re a nightshade and inflammatory.)
3. Take a high quality Vitamin D3 supplement 5000IU/day.
4. Take a magnesium salt bath or supplement (although magnesium is absorbed best through the skin.)
5. Lastly, I truly believe that food is medicine. I eat according to the season and look at what fruits and veggies are fresh at that time of year. Things like sweet potatoes, squash, and bone broth are ideal during the winter months.
For all of mood boosting/de-stressing tips be sure to head here. This week’s giveaway is…$250 worth of Hamptons Sun sunscreen (one of my favorite brands – it smells heavenly!) and $250 of my favorite end of the summer goodies like these Quay sunnies. To enter, simply sign up for my newsletter and comment below, “Signed up!” Good luck!