This summer I have read article after article on the prevalence of Vitamin D deficiencies in American woman. We all know that calcium is important for strong bones and teeth, but vitamin D is important for calcium absorption. You don’t want your daily calcium coming from your bones so having the daily dose of calcium is so important to preventing osteoporosis. As a celiac, I have been very careful the past ten years to make sure I was getting plenty of calcium daily and doing weight bearing exercise for bone health.
I have never even worried about vitamin D because I am an outdoorsy person—tennis, swimming, walking—and I assumed I received plenty of vitamin D through sunlight. I am not a milk drinker, but I take a calcium supplement that has vitamin D in it.
I went in for some standard blood work for an upcoming physical and all was well, except my doctor said that I was vitamin D deficient! I guess the sunscreen I wear 365 days a year was really working. The funny thing is that I still have my “SPF 50” tan and the dermatologist still looks at me cross eyed when I walk in to her office with skin in a golden honey hue.
So to prevent one problem, I have created another. I guess that is the way it goes with health and prevention. Now I need to take even more vitamin D in supplement form and I’m trying to choke down a little more milk (yuck) every day. I don’t want to forgo my sunscreen though, having freckles removed is low on my list of fun things to do.
One of the things I have tried to do over the years is to take calcium every day. I had a bone scan ten years ago that made me regret my aversion to milk since not drinking it may have done me some harm. The scan on my hip said that I was on the borderline of osteopenia. As a young person who did weight bearing exercise and ate well, that was a wake-up call that I needed more calcium in my diet.
My problem with calcium supplements over the years is that they were either horse pills or chalky chews or generally disgusting. I would buy it and forget to take it. But, I finally found one that tasted just like a homemade caramel candy. I kept them on my desk so that popping one in my mouth became a part of my morning routine—turn on computer, straighten up the papers, eat multi-vitamin and take my calcium.
Unfortunately, I was not the only person who liked them. I sat down at my desk yesterday and noticed a couple of little black ants darting across my papers. I was annoyed because I thought that on the second floor of my house, far away from the dog food bowl or garbage, that I was safe from ants.
I live in the northeast and this time of year those little black ants swarm up and become the biggest nuisance. I am not a big believe of using poison and pesticides, but I take great pleasure in squirting down the “gel” to annihilate as many little black ants as possible.
Then I opened up my calcium to a creeping crawling mass of little black ants feasting on my caramel calcium chews. I quickly clamped on the lid and tied it up in a plastic bag to suffocate the swarm. That is not a pleasant way to start the day.
I guess for the summer months I will go back to a less-tasty variety of calcium, or maybe I’ll just use this as excuse to eat my favorite thing in the world, cheese, at every meal.