Sunday, June 10, 2007

Soakin' Up The Love and Sunshine!

Our family experienced yet another blessing in our journey this weekend. After the way things have been going for the past couple months, I had started to think that my mom might never visit our home again - we live a couple hours away, and she has just been so exhausted that we didn't think she could/should make the trip.

The heartbreaker about that potential situation was that I knew how much peace our home brings mom. She has spent countless hours here, especially since the kids have come along. She loves to sit out on the dock in the early, crisp mornings and watch the lake "wake up". It brings her great joy. So when I got a call from dad yesterday morning that mom felt strong enough to make the trip, I was ecstatic!

She did all the doting grandmother things with the kids (with the exception of the physical exertion part)... getting caught up on all their home videos, looking at school projects, looking at all the photographs from the last couple months, reading with them, listening to their highly theatrical story-telling and all their new songs, and , of course, watching closely over them with the deeply loving, ever adoring eyes of a grandma. My heart was truly happy to witness the love they share and how it filled mom up.

I also loved to see her out on the dock several times soaking up the warm, life-giving rays of sunshine. That's right - life-giving! Natural, "unadulterated" sunshine is a necessary precursor for our bodies' production of Vitamin D. We desperately need this vital nutrient for numerous functions in the body to occur at their highest potential. In fact, even the most conventional of medical/allopathic researchers are finally on board with the rest of the health and wellness experts on this subject. It is widely recognized that vitamin D significantly reduces the risk of developing cancer... some studies say the risk is cut by 60% (includes breast cancer).

We can get Vitamin D from foods like egg yolks, oily fish (sardines and salmon) and fortified milk. We can also inexpensively, safely and easily supplement with Vitamin D. Regular exposure to sunshine is my personal favorite! In fact, I like to combine it with other activities that are good for me, too... exercise, reading, recreational activities, gardening, etc.

Now obviously you can't sit out in the midday sun without protecting your skin! But, leading health experts agree that we would do ourselves a big favor if we exposed our skin to 'gentle' sunlight (morning or late day) for several minutes, without toxic, chemical-based sunblock being baked into our pores. The ultraviolet rays can't trigger the Vitamin D conversion as effectively if they're being 'blocked' by sunscreen. (I'll definitely be discussing the issue of what we put on our skin in future postings.)

Anyhow, mom left her mini-vacation with us feeling well-rested, full of love and healthier... and she had a great tan! Oh, and it was a much-needed break for dad, too!

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