Sometimes you can be doing everything right-ie eating well, exercising and getting fresh air and sunlight, getting enough rest, living/working in an pleasing, uncluttered space, enjoying happy relationships, purposeful work etc- and yet you still are lacking energy or feeling blah or “off”.

What does this mean? Well it could mean lots of things- but a great place to start is to get a comprehensive blood test, and a vitamin D test. I did this recently, because while I feel great most of the time  I was losing steam earlier in the day, and also having trouble sleeping. Nothing seemed overtly wrong to me so I decided to look at my blood chemistry for clues. Well everything checked out pretty good there but low and behold my Vitamin D level was almost non- existent! I was shocked because I’m a super- outdoorsy girl, waking our dogs every day, and spending lots of time on our roof year round here in NYC. I knew my D levels would drop a bit during winter without supplementation (or a trip to Florida or the like) but never suspected they’d be that low. Besides due to the sun being at a less than optimal position during the winter months, Vita D deficiency is epidemic in our country due to environmental issues, overuse of sunscreen, and also a defect many people have- an inability to adequately absorb D3 or D2.

So please get your D levels checked. This one vitamin (actually it’s a hormone) greatly affects your immune response, as well as as almost 1000 genes in your body . Yes really! As soon as I started supplementing I felt much better. But please note:  you MUST get your blood tested every 3-6 months if you are supplementing with D. It is a fat-soluable compound and you can overdo it. Good to have your doctor monitoring it with you too.

Also here’s a TIP if you’d rather soak up the sun’s rays (the best way to get D) instead of supplementing:  You can do well from April through Oct by exposing legs and arms for 30 mins or more to the sun. Then after exposure DON’T soap the areas that have been exposed to sun when in the shower- (rinsing with water is ok). Can soap the underarms and groin area but forego the rest for 48 hrs. By doing this you help the vita D to be absorbed, and not be washed off with the soap. Ps- optimal levels of D in a healthy adult are around 75-80. For health compromised individuals you might shoot for 100, (and again- test regularly and  get monitored by your doctor.

Besides Vita D and blood tests there are a couple other basic tests I recommend to my clients. However first we look at their diet and life-style to get a full picture of what’s working and what might need a a boost. We’ll make adjustments here (diet and lifestyle) and this might be all they need. If there’s still an energy deficit or other symptoms, testing is a wonderful tool. You can also use simple home tests like timing yourself holding your breath to see roughly how acid or alkaline your body is (if you can hold 45 seconds or longer your body may be more alkaline which is good) or pinch the skin back of your hand- if it bounces right back you are probably well hydrated- if it stays up for a second or more- most likely you’re dehydrated). These are simple starter tests to give an idea if your health is on the right track…Ok more to come re this, but for starters get out and get your VITA D levels checked- your body will thank you!