Counting My Blessings 4/20/2012

This week has had it’s ups and down.  I am purposely writing down singularly because one of my best friend’s grandfather passed away.  I didn’t know him well but I do know he had a great sense of humor and served our country in the Korean War.  He was awarded the Purple Heart.

His Purple Heart made me think of  my grandmother.  At a very young age I remember drawing a purple heart and she told me that I shouldn’t.  She explained that Purple Hearts were specially reserved for men and women who serve(d) in the U.S. military.  I’m still not sure why I couldn’t draw one, it’s possible that I misunderstood her.  Her husband, who served in the Navy in World War II passed away probably shortly before this interaction.  Maybe it had something to do with that?

 

My grandmother passed away almost a year ago from cancer and last night I fell asleep thinking about her amazing sewing ability.  She would make really nice clothes and costumes as I was growing up.  Daily, she inspires me to make each day great and help make the world a slightly better place by spreading love, advice, help and smiles.  She was always interested in nutrition and how the foods we eat affect us.  She preferred to eat a better diet than take heart medication.  Not to mention, she was the first person to teach me the importance of a freshly squeezed juice!  I like to hope that she’s guiding me through this journey into nutritional health, wellness and yoga.  I taught her basic meditation and yoga poses including reverse prayer pose (which she was able to do, with ease :-)) just before she got sick.  It’s a memory I will cherish forever.

Here are this week’s blessings:

  1. Grandma – you are forever and always in my heart.  You set me on the right path.  Thank you for everything you t
  2. aught me.
  3. Grandpa Charlie – thank you for your service to our country and for one of my best friends.  She always makes me laugh the hardest…sometimes a little too hard.
  4. Spring Break (always a nice respite from continual studying).
  5. A great new breakfast: Granola, greek yogurt and frozen berries.
  6. Baseball!
  7. Megan – the amazing friend who invited me!!  Thank you again!!
  8. Having the means to travel (upcoming 6-day vacation! :-))
  9. Fresh air – it’s so nice to be outside and take a warm, fresh and rejuvenating breath.  It always makes everything seem better.
  10. Sunshine – After being cooped up all winter, the vitamin D is warmly welcomed!
  11. Thank you all for reading! :-)

I hope everyone had a great week and I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  Class starts again tomorrow.  Finishing-up the study of muscles and onto the nervous system.

Any fun/interesting weekend plans? 

Here Comes the Sun (and Vitamin D)

Recently in my Anatomy and Physiology class we have been learning about the bones.  My teacher brought up the disease Rickets.  He explained that  during the turn of the century children were developing leg bone deformities in places like  Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia due to lack of sunlight.  Before child labor laws they would work down in mines beginning before sunrise and finishing after sunset.  In this pivotal time of growth in childhood, they were never exposed to sunlight that activated the vitamin D in their bodies.  This caused them to develop Rickets.

Because we have been blessed to have some really beautiful weather days, along with daylight savings time, it made me think how important vitamin D is to our bodies.  I had to do a little research.

Vitamin D aids in the body’s absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus and maintaining strong, healthy bones.  We synthesize it in the skin when we are in the sun, which is why it can be known as the “sunshine vitamin.”  This is why the bones of those children weren’t developing properly.  Our body’s are like plants that need sunshine to grow and maintain strength and nourishment.

Those of us who work in offices and are cooped up all day long, only  see the sun on a lunch break, if that’s even possible.  So what happens during the winter when we almost never see the light of day?  Thankfully, turns out, that if you’re drinking milk and juice fortified with vitamin D, eating eggs, certain types of fish (tuna, salmon, swordfish, sardines) and yogurt, you are a-okay on the vitamin D scale.  Though, if you take cod liver oil, that’s probably the best option with the maximum amount of IUs of vitamin D you can ingest.

But it’s so nice out now!  Just being outside in direct sunlight for 10-15 minutes without sunscreen is a great way to get the vitamin D working in the body.  Though, the UVB rays do not go through glass, so sitting in your car or by an office window with sunlight beaming through doesn’t work.  I strongly recommend everyone get outside, take a walk, breathe in the fresh air.  You are doing something good for your mind and body on so many different levels.