Through trials and talks, I’ve discovered that Vitamin D is important – as a breast cancer survivor and as a human than can run a little low on energy.  I’ve felt a boost of energy after taking a multi-vitamin with a hefty amount of Vitamin D.  However, after a long winter, my blood work still shows a deficit, and I’ve been told to take an additional supplement.  I bought the bottle and I occasionally remember to take it.

During a sugar detox at the Y a couple years ago, the nutritionist was over-the-top excited about the health benefits of eggs.  According to the National Institutes of Health, eggs are one of our few food sources with natural Vitamin D – ranking just after fatty fish (salmon, tuna, swordfish, etc.) and beef liver.  Most foods that rank high in Vitamin D have been fortified with this nutrient.  The nutritionist suggested eating chickens that had seen the light of day most of their lives, as well as eggs from the same sun-drenched hens.

In pursuit of Vitamin D, I now try to have eggs more frequently – including the yolk, where the Vitamin D lives.  And, reflecting on the nutritionist’s suggestion, I switched to eggs produced by happier chickens.  Free-range or even organic chickens sounded good.  Then I saw the word “pastured” to describe eggs.  Let’s just say there are chickens surviving the bad life, many living some version of the not-as-bad life, and finally, those that are wandering free on idyllic pastures pecking away at grass and bugs.

According to a study by Mother Earth News, chickens who graze on grass and eat bugs in a sunny pasture produce eggs with 4 to 6 times the amount of Vitamin D as the traditional eggs we find in the supermarket.  Given the science of how Vitamin D is produced — I think of it as human photosynthesis: a touch of the sun’s ultraviolet rays sets off the creation of Vitamin D in our bodies — it seems logical that these sun-bathed flocks would have more Vitamin D in their legs and their eggs.

On occasion, if my grocery run includes Whole Foods, I’m grabbing a dozen “pasture-raised” eggs.  “Cage-free organics” are $3.69 a dozen.  “Pasture-raised” from Vital Farm’s  “girls on grass, free to forage” are $7.69.  I won’t buy the Vitamin D supplement any more.  And, perhaps less meat?  And, I will keep these pastured gals in mind…

chicken-farm-essick_66070_990x742

(From National Geographic website. Photo of the Day:  Chicken Farm, Pennsylvania. Photograph by Peter Essick) 

Note that this is a photograph, not a painting.

 If only a chicken could smile.

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Save an Albatross: Twist Caps Back onto Bottles

Hump Day Shorts May 19, 2015

Living in colonies on the Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, adult Laysan Albatross skim the water to catch fish which they regurgitate to feed their young.  Floating on the surface, small items like bottle caps are scooped up and fed to fledgling albatross – who cannot live with plastic trapped in their stomachs.  An […]

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Beauty Tips

Hump Day Shorts May 5, 2015
Liam eating butterfly

It may or may not surprise you that I do not read the “beauty tips” sections in magazines.  I’ve accepted the adjective ruddy to describe my natural complexion. I use a day moisturizing cream called “age-defying.”  Because I choose to believe the title. Before I garden, I may or may not throw on some sunscreen.  […]

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Still Enough for a Butterfly to Land

Hump Day Shorts April 28, 2015
plant

Shifting into drive after a week of vacation in the world of “No problem!” is an arduous process.   St. Martin is a land of heat, sun, and water.  Of half Dutch and half French and all Caribe.  Of gourmet food.  Of long expanses of time of nothingness.  Getting used to that rhythm took a couple […]

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The Commonality Between Cat’s Cradle and Crossback Bras

Hump Day Shorts April 14, 2015

We are going on a warm vacation for spring break next week. I’ve dusted off the few sleeveless tops that I have and the one crossback bra that miraculously makes the criss-cross straps disappear under said tops. Yesterday – following coffee, two Advil, and a pep talk from a friend – I made my way […]

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Tolerance of Cow Manure Between Your Toes

Me & My Boys April 2, 2015
our barn medium

When I promote my stories on social media – Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest – I know that I will get a good handful of followers to click on my story if I use this picture of Mom and Dad’s barn: People love it. I look at the photo and think about 48 years of stories […]

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