Nutritious and Fit

Diet, Fitness, and a Healthy Attitude

Vitamin D

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving weekend!

As I mentioned before, I attended the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Boston at the beginning of the month. Aside from the hundreds of expos that I visited, the best part of the weekend was Dr. Holick’s lecture on Vitamin D. He was an amazing speaker and extremely knowledgeable. He’s a well-known dermatologist and has done countless research on varioius topics including Vitamin D. He has also seen first-hand the impact Vitamin D can have on the immune system and overall health while treating both humans and animals by replenishing their vitamin D levels. The following are my typed-notes from the lecture:

Getting Your Vitamin D

  • Sunlight provides longer lasting Vitamin D levels than supplements
  • Your skin, with the sun’s help, makes most of your body’s vitamin D
  • Glass blocks the UV rays from the sunlight to your skin, preventing your skin from making vitamin D
  • Your skin cannot make vitamin D in the winter unless you live far enough south- Atlanta, GA or below
  • 30SPF or higher sunscreen decreases the synthesis of vitamin D by 99%
  • Your skin can only make vitamin D outside between the hours of 10AM and 3PM
  • When you’re outside and your skin gets a light pinkish color, thats equal to 20,000iu of vitamin D
  • You only need 5-15minutes in the sun without sunscreen on arms and legs- always protect your face

Vitamin D Deficiency

  • Those with darker skin are at greater risk
  • Causes- obesity, increased sun protection, decreased milk intake
  • Associated with muscle strength and disorders- fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, sarcoidosis
  • Associated with mental conditions- dementia, schizophrenia, depression
  • Associated with increased risk for cancer, Type 2 diabetes, CVD, high blood pressure


  • Treatment for those with deficiency- tanning beds, supplements: 50,000iu weekly for 8 weeks
  • Maintenance for those who were deficient- 50,000iu once every 2 weeks
  • 1000iu daily is not enough for the general population- should get at least 1500-2000iu a day
  • Toxicty is possible, but it’s much more out of reach than previously thought: you can have up to 10,000iu a day for 3 months without reaching toxicity
  • Vitamin D2 and Vitamind D3 supplements will raise blood levels of D equally
  • Blood level goal: 30ng/mL

Pregnancy, Infants, Children

  • There is NO vitamin D found in breastmilk
  • Risk for preeclampsia is greater for those who are vitamin D deficient
  • Pregnant women are recommended to get 1000iu-2000iu of vitamin D a day
  • Pregnant women who have adequate levels of vitamin D are less likely to need a C-section
  • All infants and children need at least 400iu a day
  • A common symptom of vitamin D deficiency in infants is night head-sweating
  • Pregnant women with a deficiency are more prone to vaginitis in their 1st trimester
  • Deficiency is associated with infertility, low birth weight, and poor birth outcomes


  • Even though vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, you do not need to eat fat with it
  • Vitamin D can be considered a hormone because your body makes it
  • Mushrooms have the ability to make Vitamin D when UV rays are absorbed like our skin does
  • Vitamin D has been associated with better immune responses- a theory as to why flu season hits around February is that people’s immune systems are lowered due to inevitable vitamin D deficiency

Hope this information was helpful and interesting! Visit to learn about his book The Vitamin D Solution and about Dr. Holick himself.

Next post: my new work-out plan and how it’s going so far.


11/29/2010 Posted by | diet and nutrition | Leave a comment

Happy Turkey Day!

So I know the predictable post would be to lecture on eating in moderation on Thanksgiving, but I’m not going to do that. I am all about living a healthy lifestyle and having your overall diet be healthy while getting an adequate amount of physical activity- but Thanksgiving is but once a year, right smack in the middle of crazy times so I hate to disappoint, but I’m going all out! My grandmother is the most amazing cook ever so I’m going to eat turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing all smothered in gravy, green bean casserole (not as healthy as it sounds), corn bread and biscuits, and lots of candied sweet potatoes. Then I’ll have some of every kind of pie that we have. 🙂  I’m very very excited about all this food and I’m not going to feel one bit guilty about it because I know that it won’t break my healthy lifestyle. Tomorrow I will be back at the gym and be eating normal again. Well, except for the leftovers tomorrow night 🙂

I hope you all enjoy your feast, guilt-free, as much as I am! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Next post: My notes on the Vitamin D lecture from the Food and Nutrition Conference

11/25/2010 Posted by | Attitude | 1 Comment

I’m back!

Hey everyone! Now that I’m getting a hang of this internship and the long hours, I’m back to putting up new posts! I’m going to shoot for twice a week, but it may be only once a week for now.

As many of you know, I started my Dietetic Internship a couple months ago and by the end of summer I will be taking my RD exam! So far, it’s been a complete rollercoaster ride, but good and bad days alike, I LOVE what I’m doing! I’m looking through charts and talking to patients to determine their nutritional risk and make recommendations based on it, and I’m learning so much in the process.

Last weekend, I got to go to Boston for the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, or FNCE. It was absolutely amazing! I attended 2 lectures- one on vitamin D and one on dietary triggers of migraines. Both were very interesting, but the vitamin D lecture particularly fascinated me. It was by Dr. Michael Holick, a well-known dermatologist among many other qualifying professions and credentials. He wrote the book the Vitamin D Solution and was an excellent speaker.

While the lectures were extremely intriguing, the most fun you can have at FNCE is spent at the expos! There were a million of them! I went home with 3 huge bags of food samples, kitchen supplies, catalogs, educational resources, DVDs of educational resources, pens, tote bags, lunch bags, and books signed by their authors! Not to mention, all the free food given out while you’re walking around- the vendors want to make sure you taste how good their food is so that we (dietitians) can recommend them to clients. I tried so much gluten-free food, I’m not sure I’d remember which to recommend! They were all pretty good though! There were also booths giving out nuts, fruit, fish, weight loss shakes/smoothies, supplements, and so much more- I could spend all night listing everything!

Over the next few posts, I will type up my notes from Dr. Holick’s lecture and also talk about a couple of the food/products I was introduced to at the Expo.

Keep checking back!

11/16/2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment