Some of you might remember, when I switched to a plant based diet, I said I would go and get a blood test. Things move slow here and finally I gotten around to it, around one month ago. Results and follow-up results are now in!
The good news: there is just one bit missing in my life and that is the power of the sun, or Vitamin D.
Yeah … turns out running through the winter with headlamps and going out for runs before the sun rises is not a clever way to keep this crucial vitamin (or hormone) in check.
No need to panic I thought, everyone has low Vitamin D. It turns out I have really low levels. Usually you can get Vitamin D from salmon, eggs etc, but I haven’t had an animal based product in nearly two years. I also found out, that to get enough from plant-based food (think almond milk with added vit d) is nearly impossible.
Long story short, I am super glad I found out. I’m now on supplements as prescribed and have to wait. In the long run (haha) I hope that I can figure out a way to live without supplements, there are mushrooms that have Vitamin D due to sun exposure etc., but right now, I don’t want to risk anything and the most important part is to get the levels back up to normal first.
If anyone is interested, here is a neat video that gives an intro to Vitamin D:
Vitamin D in 5 Minutes from Ample Earth on Vimeo.
All in all I am really glad that I don’t have a lack in iron, calcium or B12. My cholesterol is magnificent – as I would have expected from the switch to organic, plant-based food. Before I started this whole running thing in May 2015, I was ~20 kg heavier, had high blood pressure and a resting heart rate that was at least 20 beats higher than it is now.
Warning: If you read this, I am not an expert on this, but I did learn that you can overdose on Vitamin D and that you do need blood tests before you can get your “dose”. Vitamin D interacts with all sort of stuff, so you don’t want to experiment with this by yourself.
Oh and last but not least, if you want to try and catch the sun and get an understanding of levels and not burn etc, I find the app DMinder quite nice. It at least showed me that I won’t have any luck chasing Vitamin D before 9:30 in Ireland … or after work … (yes it is available for Iphones as well 😉 ).