At a recent leadership class, I was asked to take the Gallup organization’s Strengths Finder. I like their practice of focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses as it truly a way of achieving breakthrough performance in both work and non-work activities. The feedback was plentiful with adjectives to describe me; adaptable, independent, connector, maximizer. Unfortunately, in the days that followed, I received another label.
Deficient. Deficient doesn’t conjure up an image of strength but it’s the word my doctor used when she evaluated my recent bloodwork. Apparently I have a vitamin D deficiency. This is troublesome as it is one of the very things that can lead to breast cancer.
The other troubling thing about this news is that while I take few supplements, 1000 mg vitamin D is one of the things that I take daily.
Vitamin D is appropriately named as it was the 4th vitamin discovered.In 1914, two scientists recognized that dogs consuming cod liver oil did not experience rickets. It took 11 years however, before Dr. Alfred Fabian Hess concluded that “light = vitamin D”. Hence, the sunshine vitamin.
My research tells me that vitamin D deficiencies aren’t uncommon but that they’re most likely in far Northern places with less exposure to the sun. And, they’re important to resolve as they are linked to bone deficiencies, multiple sclerosis, some cancers, and generally higher levels of mortality.
The irony that I live in the Valley of the Sun is explained through continuous application of SPF 15 which screens out 98% of the vitamin D capacity. Full body exposure to 30 minutes of sunshine produces 10,000 IU of vitamin D. I may have to rethink my sun strategy.
It’s also difficult to achieve sufficiency through foods but they do exist. Milk appears to be source but I’m not fond of it. Fatty fishes, mushrooms and lichen are all sources. I’m going to work to resolve this issue through super supplements and sunshine but I’ll also try to work a few more vitamin D ingredients into my meals – like this one.
Shiitake Mushroom Omelette
Adapted from Nathan Lyon
- 3 eggs
- salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 5 medium shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly (I used dry mushrooms as their D content is higher)
- 1 medium shallot, diced small
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- ½ tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
- fresh parsley, for garnish
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, salt and pepper until fully combined.
In a medium nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and shallots and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to turn golden brown, approximately 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, approximately 1 minute. Remove from heat and, using a rubber spatula, spoon out the mushroom mixture onto a plate.
Place the same nonstick sauté pan back on the burner and turn the heat to medium. Add the whisked eggs. As the eggs begin to cook, run a rubber spatula around the omelet while tilting the pan, allowing any uncooked egg to fill the gaps.
Remove the eggs from the heat. Spread the mushroom mixture evenly in the middle of the omelet. Fold the side of the omelet closest to you towards the center of the pan, covering the mushroom mixture. Gently scoot the omelet onto your plate.
Sprinkle chopped parsley to finish.
Do you wear sunscreen? What SPF?