Jun, 29
2012

The Sunshine Factor

Michael Smith Blog - Know The Cause It would be an understatement to say that by the time spring rolls around I am ready for it. While reading a book in a warm house on a cold day with a hot cup of tea is one of life's greatest pleasures, I would by lying if I said I wasn't secretly pining for a warm breeze, bright blue skies and windows opened wide whilst driving. 

 

It is getting close to the time of year where my waiting pays off; I wore shorts to class for the first time the other day, a clear sign that spring is close, if not sprung. 

Spring provides a great change of pace for healthy Phase 1 or 2 living. While it is certainly possible to feast on warm, hearty Phase 1 meals during the winter, it is always refreshing to throw some fresh, organic produce in the shopping cart. I've written about the rise in popularity of local farmer's markets and food co-ops especially in urban areas before, I think it bears repeating. Patronizing these farmers and producers is a great way to score some delicious Phase 1&2 foods with the added benefit of feel good about supporting sustainable agriculture and doing the environment a favor. Plus, it is a small way to stick it to evil, mega-food conglomerates like Monsanto. Anything that will bleed their bottom line give me an inexplicable, overwhelming sense of joy. It is even best when enjoyed in the warm spring sun.

Another habit that I commonly fall into in the fall through winter seasons is exercising exclusively indoors. While this is in no way bad thing (after all, exercising anywhere, outdoors, indoors, is going to have some inimitable benefits), being able to make the switch to biking or jogging outside comes with it's own set of benefits. FIrst and foremost, the scenery is much better and more interesting than watching Oprah or CNN on loop while riding a stationary bike. Even in urban areas, seeing the hustle and bustle on the street can be an entertaining part of working out. 

Another benefit of the warmer month is getting a good dose of Vitamin D from the sun. When sunlight drenches exposed skin, this vital hormone is produced; in fact, 20-30 minutes of direct sunlight exposure produces as much Vitamin D as 100 glasses or more of fortified milk. Vitamin D3 helps absorb calcium (critical for bone healthy) and has anti-mycotic properties. I want to be clear that I'm no dermatologist, but I feel like this in and of itself kills the whole "the sun is bad" meme. Sure, you have to be careful with sunlight - you wouldn't hold a match until it burned you as Doug always says. But in light of the growing evidence, I think it is definitely time to re-think slathering sunscreen on before basking in the sun's rays. 

Springtime does provide some health challenges for some people, most notably people that suffer from allergies. If you are one of the millions of Americans that do suffer from allergies, I would encourage you to try the Phase 1 diet. I have a friend who suffers from allergies to a debilitating degree. He recently became interested in Doug's diet and decided to give it a try. Within days, this problem that he had suffered from for years cleared itself up, much to his amazement. Medicines that he had been unable to go without for certain months of the year became obsolete - all from a simple change in diet! What a great testament to the Phase 1 diet. Why not give the diet a try and see if you can enjoy spring allergy-free for the first time in a while?

Happy early spring!

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