Saturday
Aug292009

Vitamin D3 — The 'Sun Vitamin'

The importance of Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 promotes the absorption of calcium from food in the intestines and its re-absorption from waste in the kidneys, making it essential for forming and maintaining strong bones. 

Getting enough naturally

Vitamin D3 is naturally produced by our bodies when our skin is exposed to sunlight — or more specifically, to Ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays.  By exposing a relatively minor amount of skin, such as the arms, face and hands, to the sun for 10-15 minutes during peak hours, there is enough UVB exposure to meet our daily Vitamin D3 needs. 

Do you need to supplment?

Not all sunlight is sufficient to produce Vitamin D3.  Our bodies require UVB wavelengths of the proper frequency and intensity, and these rays are only present when the sun is quite high in the sky — at 45 degrees to the horizon or higher.  Unfortunately, not all geographies are created equally, and the necessary level of sunlight doesn’t occur everywhere.  While the sun soars high above the horizon daily in the tropics, it only reaches a high enough level in temperate regions in the spring and summer (and even then, only for a few hours each day from around 10:00am until 2:00pm).  Further still, in the latitudes farthest from the equator, the intensity of sunlight is almost never adequate to produce any Vitamin D3 at all. 

An individual’s skin tone plays a factor in UVB absorption, as well.  The darker your skin, the more buffer you have against it, so regardless of where a person lives, someone with very dark skin will require significantly more sun exposure than some with very light skin.

Recommendation

If you don’t live in a tropical region you’ll need to receive Vitamin D3 from another source for at least part of the year, and we can’t get it naturally from our food.   Thankfully, it’s easy enough to get it from a cheap vitamin pill.  Look for one that says “1,000 I.U. Vitamin D3”.  For about $10, you should be able to get ninety capsules.  If you live outside of the tropics, which is likely the case, I highly recommend that you take a Vitamin D3 supplement during the fall and winter months, and if you’re skin is particularly dark, it’s actually a good idea to take one year-round.  It’s also recommended that women who are pregnant or lactating double there Vitamin D3 intake to 2,000 I.U. daily.

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Real-World Raw Health and Nutrition:
The raw food diet made easy for your busy life!

Mike Dillman has lived a raw-vegan diet since 2004. Because he's experienced the learning curve firsthand, he wants to save you from making the same mistakes yourself. You can visit Mike's blog at Real-World-Raw.com to learn how easy it can be to make a raw-vegan diet fit your busy lifestyle. You can also download his free eBook, "The 7 Biggest Raw Mistakes", where Mike lays out the major missteps beginning raw foodists make that undermine their success and tells you how you can avoid them. To get your free eBook click here.

 

Friday
Jul312009

Field Guide to Produce

With fruits and vegetables becoming a much bigger player in your daily eating activities, it's only natural that you're going to start thinking about them a little more. You'll likely find yourself noticing a whole bunch of curious varieties that you never even knew existed.

As you wander the produce department at your local grocery store, new things will catch your eye like dragon fruit, papayas, mangos, lychees, passionfruit, jicama, casaba melons, and tomatillos to name a few.

Once you get a handle on these new names and interesting appearances, your next thoughts will presumably be: Where does this come from?  What does it taste like? What do I do with it?  How do I store it?

If you don't feel totally comfortable with pestering the store's employees with questions about every item on the shelf, I have another solution for you.

I picked up this little book online a couple of years ago and it's a gem.

The book is called, "Field Guide to Produce: How to Identify, Select, and Prepare Virtually Every Fruit and Vegetable at the Market", written by Aliza Green.

It's perfectly suited for taking with you on your grocery outings. It's very compact (measuring about 4.5 inches by 6 inches) yet it's absolutely packed with content.

Inside are more than 200 fruits and vegetables, each one broken down with detailed information, including:

  • General description
  • When it's in season
  • How to pick a good/ripe one
  • How to store it
  • Preparation
  • Serving suggestions
  • Good flavor affinities

The book is split into two halves (the first is fruit and the second is vegetables), and each is organized alphabetically. It's so well laid out that even if you don't know the name of what you're looking for, you can still easily find it just by browsing through the color photographs.

If you want a great little book to help you navigate the world of fruits and vegetables, this is definitely the one to get. I've found it to be a wealth of information.

The book is fairly easy to track down online, and last I checked, you can find it at these links below.

Amazon (USA):

Field Guide to Produce: How to Identify, Select, and Prepare Virtually Every Fruit and Vegetable at the Market

Chapters-Indigo (Canada):

Field Guide To Produce: How to Identify, Select, and Prepare Virtually Every Fruit and Vegetable at the Market

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 Mike Dillman has lived a raw-vegan diet since 2004. Because he's experienced the learning curve firsthand, he wants to save you from making the same mistakes yourself. You can visit Mike's blog at Real-World-Raw.com to learn how easy it can be to make a raw-vegan diet fit your busy lifestyle. You can also download his free eBook, "The 7 Biggest Raw Mistakes", where Mike lays out the major missteps beginning raw foodists make that undermine their success and tells you how you can avoid them. To get your free eBook click here.

Tuesday
Jul282009

Well-stocked kitchen = Successful raw-vegan

If you’re new to the raw-vegan diet and having a little trouble breaking the old cooked-food habits, one of the best things you can do is keep plenty of fresh fruit on hand.

It's such a simple concept, but the major reason people cheat on a raw diet is because they feel "hungry".

After years of weighing down our stomachs with heavy, dense foods like meat and grains, beginner raw-vegans usually underestimate how much fruits and vegetables they should be eating. Remember, what used to be a side dish is now the main course, so make your servings bigger or you’ll always leave the table wanting more.

Stock up your kitchen.  Your fridge should look like a salad bar and your pantry should look like a farmer’s market. When I go through the checkout at the grocer the cashiers usually ask me if I’m buying for a restaurant.

You may not need quite as much as I do, but this picture gives you a point of reference. You don’t want to cut it too tight. If you don’t have fresh produce there where you need it, it goes without saying that you’re going to get hungry and “cheat” with cooked foods.

The same principle applies when you’re away from home for extended periods. Whether you’re at work, at school, or even travelling, you should plan ahead and have some fresh fruit and vegetables along with you.  Pack a lunch or make some smoothies. I recently got back from a couple of weeks in San Francisco and Anaheim, and I made a habit swinging by the local grocery store every few days and picking up some fruit to keep in the hotel room.

Simply put, it comes down to this. You need to eat something, and you can only eat what’s available to you. Supply yourself with fresh fruits and vegetables and you’ll find it much easier to eat your raw-vegan diet.

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 Mike Dillman has lived a raw-vegan diet since 2004. Because he's experienced the learning curve firsthand, he wants to save you from making the same mistakes yourself. You can visit Mike's blog at Real-World-Raw.com to learn how easy it can be to make a raw-vegan diet fit your busy lifestyle. You can also download his free eBook, "The 7 Biggest Raw Mistakes", where Mike lays out the major missteps beginning raw foodists make that undermine their success and tells you how you can avoid them. To get your free eBook click here.

Monday
Jul272009

Day One in the Real World

This is my first ever post on this new site and, to be honest, it hasn't really sunk in yet.  This project of mine has been a labor-of-love that's spanned a couple of years.  When I first started, I had no idea what I was doing and there was plenty to learn.  I made a lot of mistakes along the way and blew money on services I probably didn't need, but that's okay -- you live and learn. 

And here I am today.  My site's all done and looking better than I ever imagined it would.  All the countless backstage stuff is now behind me and all that's left is to finish my as-yet-untitled book.  Creating an audience takes time, but time is on my side.  This is day one -- presumably with many more to follow.  Tomorrow will be day two, and you can expect my first content-focused journal post. I hope you're looking forward to it.  I know I am!

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 Mike Dillman has lived a raw-vegan diet since 2004. Because he's experienced the learning curve firsthand, he wants to save you from making the same mistakes yourself. You can visit Mike's blog at Real-World-Raw.com to learn how easy it can be to make a raw-vegan diet fit your busy lifestyle. You can also download his free eBook, "The 7 Biggest Raw Mistakes", where Mike lays out the major missteps beginning raw foodists make that undermine their success and tells you how you can avoid them. To get your free eBook click here.

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