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Sharing What I Know About Vitamin D

Category: Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

The Curious Gardener Newsletter

Preventing Bone Density Loss From Lack of Vitamin D– 

The sun used to play a bigger role in delivering vitamin D to our bones. But concerns about the damaging rays of the sun have caused most people to cover up or wear sunscreen whenever they go outside. My dermatologist insists I use a facial moisturizer with sunscreen to protect my face, and I do. But if you cover up, the vitamin D is not absorbed– it’s as simple as that.  All of this has been good for curtailing skin cancer and bad for the health of our bones. The result is that many women, myself included, have a vitamin D deficiency which can weaken our bones. But we can do something about it. My doctor told me to go outside for 20 minutes a day, with my arms and face uncovered (no sunscreen) and I will get my daily minimum requirement of vitamin D. (Your dermatologist might not agree with this advice). Also, I live in a colder climate where it’s impossible to sit outside everyday year round, sunscreen or no, so I asked what else I can do and this is the regimen I am now following.

VitaminDMilk is one of the primary foods that delivers vitamin D because it’s been fortified.  One 8 oz. glass contains about 25-30% of your daily requirement, so I drink 3-4 glasses of skim milk a day. I like milk so it’s not hard for me to do this.  If you don’t like milk follow this lesson in packaging I learned many years ago. When I started my career in advertising I was asked if wine tasted differently poured in a wine glass or a paper cup.  I had to agree that it does taste better in a wine glass, that packaging can actually trump taste perception. So my advice is to pour your milk in the prettiest crystal glass you have and it will indeed taste better.

Supplements include a vitamin D tablet of 400 mg that I take each day and a calcium pill. These supplements are unnecessary if I’m drinking the milk, but it makes me feel better that I’m covering my bases.  

Finally, weight bearing exercise is one of the most important things for bone health.  When I push my wheelbarrow around filled with top soil, mulch and wood chips I know I’m getting great exercise! But my other two favorite exercises, bicycling and swimming, do not really contribute to bone strength, so I’ve started to walk on a treadmill and lift small weights every other day. I’ll try to work up to an every day routine, but it’s a good start. And as long as it’s gardening season, I know I’m getting some good weight bearing exercises in.

My doctor prescribed medication as well, but hopefully you can avoid this by following these preventive measures above.  For more information check out this website:

The Color of Roses–  

Rose_Gdn_David_AustinI am replacing an old rosebush that grows along a fence in my yard and am considering my color choices for the new rosebush. Color is not the only consideration but it is one of them. And usually color is a design decision rather than a decision based on symbolism. But I know roses are full of symbolism so I looked for deeper meaning in my rose choice and found this website. Yes, rose colors send different messages, even if the person receiving the rose or observing the rose doesn’t know it.  Here’s what the colors mean according to Jack Goody whose book “The Culture of Flowers” is cited. When handling roses remember to wear a good pair of rose gloves from Womanswork!

Red: Love, Beauty, Courage, Respect

White: Purity, Innocence, Silence, Secrecy, Reverence, Humility

Pink: Appreciation, Thank you, Grace, Perfect Happiness, Admiration

Dark Pink: Gratitude

Light Pink: Admiration, Sympathy

Yellow: Joy, Gladness, Friendship, Delight, Promise of a new beginning

Orange: Desire, Enthusiasm

Red Rosebud: Purity, Loveliness

White Rosebud: Girlhood

Thornless Rose: Love at first Sight

Womanswork Leather and Canvas Rose Gauntlet Glove
Womanswork Leather and Canvas Rose Gauntlet Glove

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