Spotlight on: Vitamin D!

Good morning! The title of this post refers to an idea I had this week for the blog. Last week and over the weekend, I had to keep track of everything I ate and drank for my nutrition class. On Monday during our lab, we input all the data into a computer system and had it calculate every possible piece of information about our diets. Do you know how hard it is to input some of this stuff on Food Works?!

Tropical bowl

Breakfast version: Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, coconut milk, chopped mango, coconut

Dessert version: Vanilla yogurt (or coconut milk yogurt!), coconut milk, chopped mango, shredded coconut

Cheeseburger on whole wheat bun with pickle and homemade cookie!


Summer Quinoa & Asparagus Salad

Recipe: Serves 1

4 stalks asparagus, chopped

2/3 cup quinoa, cooked

1/4 cup lentils, cooked

1 tbsp dried cherries, chopped

1/2 tbsp truffle oil (or olive or grape seed)

Directions – Grease a pan with oil and place on medium heat on the stove.  Add the asparagus and cherries and cover with a plate. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, remove the plate, and add the cooked quinoa and lentils. Cover again and let cook, stirring occasionally. It is done when the asparagus is soft (but still crunchy) and everything is hot! Remove from heat and toss in a bowl with the dressing (recipe below). Serve with a protein source, like grilled salmon!

Creamy avocado dressing: 1/2 avocado, 1 tbsp greek yogurt, garlic salt, cumin, couple drops of lemon juice – Mash together!

The results of the lab were fascinating! As it turns out, I…

get 25% of my calories from protein, 35% from fat, and and 37% from carbs

I was within 2 calories for my estimated caloric need! SO WEIRD.

It is incredible how the body has the ability to regulate our hunger and fullness with such precision. Of course, this often goes down the drain for many people when they get stressed out, are on vacation, or are overweight. Abdominal obesity especially can disregulate hunger cues by messing with the hunger hormone ghrelin and the satisfied hormone leptin.

32% of the fat I ate was saturated, 21% was polyunsaturated, 28.5% was MUFA

I ate 233% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of protein

 137% of the RDA for calcium

352% of the RDA for niacin

256 % of the RDA for B12

Basically all of my vitamins and minerals were way over the RDA except for Vitamin D, which was a a bit deficient, and Vitamin E which was barely satisfactory. This surprises me since I eat seeds and nuts on a daily basis. I think part of it is the 4 days that were sampled and also the computer program that was used (seeing as it said that one day I got 0% vitamin D). Everything is so variable that you have to take all the information with a grain of salt. The results got me wondering what the best sources of vitamin D and E are and I thought it might be cool to highlight a nutrient every so often on the blog.

Whuddup Vitamin D?

Function: aids in absorption of calcium, necessary for bone growth, immune function, neuromuscular function, cell modulator

Factoid: Few foods are naturally rich in vitamin D, so many products are enriched with it.  It is a fat soluble vitamin and can also be obtained from the sun, although glass and SPF’s over 8 prevent this.

Natural Sources: 3 ounces sockeye salmon (112% daily value), 3 ounces mackerel (97% DV), sardines, shrimp, 3 ounces canned tuna (39% DV), 1 egg (10% DV)

Fortified sources:  1 cup fortified milk (30% DV), 1 cup fortified OJ (25% DV), 1 cup fortified yogurt (20% DV)

Groups at risk for deficiency: older adults, people on very low fat diets or with fat malabsorption, people with limited sun exposure, people who have dark skin, and people who are obese.  [image source]

17 thoughts on “Spotlight on: Vitamin D!

  1. What a great exercise, and so funny how you ate just the right amount of calories (well, almost!). I also have a hard time getting enough vitamin D. I am not a big fan of supplements but that is the one supplement I take especially in the winter months when I barely get any sun here in New Jersey.

  2. As usual, delicious eats! I love that quinoa salad. I’ve been eating a lot of salmon and tuna lately – love that it’s full of so many good things for my body!

  3. im really getting into tropical bowls with the combo of either mango or pineapple with coconut and yogurt..and sometimes Chocolate or carob with it 🙂

    i also just got some red quinoa which i need to use soon. i always love seeing that different foods you use, you are much more ambitious when it comes to combinations and ingredients- it always inspires me to try new things!

    btw i absolutely loved you comment you just posted on poetry!! its amazing how a couple hours of poetry/music feeds the soul and sort of melts the days tension and worries away huh!

    xoxo ❤

  4. Vitamin D is so so so so so so so so important!!! When I was like….hmm…13 i think? I would get sick all the time, and I felt awful! I got my blood tested, and what do ya know? I was severely deficient in D! Added a supplement, and voila! All better 😀

  5. Wow so interesting! That’s pretty cool that your body told you what/how much/when to eat and you ended up with SUPER close to your estimated. Wow. Now that is fascinating. So is that class. Very fun info!

    Love the quinoa dish.

  6. I started taking vitamin D when I was feeling blue this winter. The only time I saw sun was on weekends (soul sucking windowless office)

  7. this is totally interesting to me because when i got a physical about a year ago, all my vitamin/mineral levels were great EXCEPT for vitamin d, which was deficient for me. so that’s basically the only supplement i take. i try to eat fish, even if it’s canned sardines, at least a few times a week now!

  8. I recognize those cookies! yay! So glad you liked them!

    I occasionally plug my foods into calorie-count just to get an idea of what’s what but it doesn’t do a real full nutritional profile so maybe I’ll have to find a program that does. It seems like you are quite the intuitive eater! That’s awesome!

    This salad looks delicious! Mmm asparagus!

    And YES I would LOVE to meet up! What’s your schedule like next week?

  9. Wow look at you and your vitamins 😉 haha. I’m perpetually vitamin d deficient… maybe it’s because I don’t eat a ton of fat most of the time, idk. And when I lived in SEattle I never saw the sun which sure didn’t help 😉 haha.

    Should prob go back on my supplements for that though! I had awful stress fractures that took FOREVER to heal because I was so darn vitamin D deficient… they literally took my blood sample after teh summer when most people’s levels have come back to normal (in seattle as you can imagine it’s a common deficiency) and they were STILL way under so who even knows how bad it was pre-summer.

    Good stuff! 🙂


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