Vitamin D-lightful


Okay, so I know this is nerdy but I’m super proud of how punny that title is. (Get it?! vitamin D comes from light! Delightful! Hahahaha okay I’m done.

Seattle has officially begun Fall. It is RAINING. Daily. All day. All week. Rain rain rain rain. It’s also getting dark out earlier and staying dark later. A few weeks ago it was sunny all the time, now it’s literally the opposite.

This has a big effect on our vitamin D levels (a major source of vitamin D is sunlight!). In fact, even if you don’t live in Seattle, many people in the world are deficient in vitamin D! According to the CDC, over 25% of the population is vitamin D deficient. So, despite sunny weather, you may be looking at a vitamin D deficiency.

This is because vitamin D isn’t present in many foods. Mushrooms and milk are my go-to recommended foods to get vitamin D, but it can still be difficult to reach ideal levels.

So this is the time of year that I start taking vitamin D supplements! I swear by these, there’s no way I’d make it through a Seattle fall/winter/spring without them.

What does vitamin D even do/ Why do you need it?

Vitamin D is required for the regulation of the minerals calcium and phosphorus in the body. It also plays an important role in maintaining proper bone structure. Over time research has linked low vitamin D levels with obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, osteoporosis and cancer.

The most important result of vitamin D deficiency, however, is depression.

Studies by Springer, and research results reported in the New England Journal of Medicine and by the Vitamin D Council, are indicating a link to depression. Canadian researchers reviewed 14 studies, consisting of 31,424 participants and found a strong correlation between depression and a lack of Vitamin D. This applies to Seasonal Affective Disorder as well, which many Seattilites suffer from.

So, my fave vitamin company, Vita Optimum, has bomb vitamin D supplements and I scored you guys a discount! The promo code for TSOH readers to receive 25% off all their products on Amazon is TSOH25VO!!!


I luuuuve Vita Optimum because they are affordable, high quality, third-party tested (super important!), made in the U.S., and made in facilities that pass all FDA regulations. Their vitamin D in particular is made from organic extra virgin olive oil and has zero fillers or preservatives. Super, super high quality! They are also awesome about discounts or refunds — I ordered the wrong bottle and they fixed it no questions asked, super easy.

code vit D

Enjoy your awesome discounts!!!

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#GlutenFreeTSOH: The Results are in!

wheat belly

Recap: A few other dietitians and I started a fad diet book club and our first book was Wheat Belly. because of this and all your questions about gluten, I (and my friend Alyssa) decided to go gluten free for two weeks to show you all first hand what happens when you cut out gluten.

Spoiler alert: Nothing. Nothing happens when you cut out gluten.

Seriously, nothing.

After two weeks of zero gluten, Alyssa and I:

  • did not lose weight
  • do not feel energized, alert, or healthier
  • did not lower blood sugar levels
  • do not have magic powers

I thought maybe I had gotten sick from accidentally eating gluten on Sunday night, but it turns out I was sick for other reasons.

So yea, nothing.

Also, research has now backed this up! Science has literally proven that gluten sensitivity isn’t real. 17 million people may unnecessarily believe that they are gluten-sensitive. We spent $10.5 billion last year on gluten-free products in the US. 

The same scientist who gave strong proof for gluten sensitivity in 2011 now says that it might only be in your head.

This new research controlled for everything I tried to control for and the results were clear: gluten in no way could have caused any of the negative symptoms that the subjects were suffering from.

Gluten was proven as a NOCEBO by the researchers of this medical study. NOCEBO s a term used to denote something perceived as harmless, but actually has harmful effects to people who take it. 

The research was taken a step further, in which researchers “failed to confirm [that] patients with self-perceived NCGS have specific gluten sensitivity.”

So there it is. Sorry everyone!

Do any of you want to hear about the book club meeting this week? 5 dietitians critiqued and harshly discussed Wheat Belly and alllllll its flaws! Comment below if you want to see that next week!

In the meantime, enjoy this:


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A Colorful Plate & Purple Potato Recipe!

color plate

Hey all! Today I’m letting blogger Ali Lawrence (remember her post on squats?!) take over TSOH with a little about colorful plates & an awesome colorful recipe! 


It might be that back-to-school feel or maybe I’m just running out of good recipes, but lately I’ve found myself going back to the basics for dinner.

I’m a firm believer in a colorful plate. Not only is it fun to eat but almost always an organically-colored plate is a healthy one.

Lisa was sweet enough to let me share one of my favorite dinner recipes with you. I hope it will get your wheels turning when it comes to thinking about what to make for dinner (something I feel is always on our minds).

Dinner doesn’t have to be complicated.

You just have to stop thinking about recipes and start thinking about what makes up a healthy plate.

myplate Quick rabbit trail, my husband who’s a personal trainer strongly disagrees with this plate distribution. In his research, he’s found your diet should consist of water (not dairy), half plate of veggies, other half protein and a small sliver of fruit. No grains unless it is something very organic or raw like quinoa.

I’m not going to say he is necessarily right, but the government has also been wrong on a number of occasions so can’t trust them either. However, I’d rather have my plate looking like the governments versus looking like a pizza.

Colorful Veggies You Need to Try

Nothing unnerves me more than destroying good veggies by cooking them wrong. I always steam my veggies and for a very short amount of time. Cooking them in water will take away a good portion of nutrients (in most veggies). And don’t you dare mix them with lots of cheese and fatty starches!

If you are looking for a few new colorful vegies to add to your plate this fall, consider buying the following list:

• Zucchini and yellow squash with onions and garlic
• Steamed green beans with red pepper slices
• Sauteed spinach
• Add sliced avocados over anything mexican

While it’s too late for this summer, you should definitely sign up with a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture program) next year. I think it makes recipe planning easier because you just cook up whatever you get from the farm that week. It’s also a great way to try new fruits and veggies.

Like purple potatoes.

General rule of thumb is that the deeper the color of fruits and veggies the better they are for you. The purple potato is no exception. Purple potatoes will color up your plate and will deliver the wonderful health benefits of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. They can even help lower your blood pressure.

They taste the same as regular potatoes but are slightly thicker in texture. This means you can replace regular potatoes with purple ones whenever you want.

purple potatoes

How to Cook Purple Potatoes

After scrubbing, peeling off most of their skin, and chopping them into chunks. I cook them on the stove with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot. This way they don’t lose all those health benefits in the water.

Once they are soft enough to easily break apart with a fork, I drain what’s left of the water and mash up the potatoes. With 4 potatoes I like to put a tablespoon of unsalted butter and a few dashes of garlic powder or seasoned salt. For an even creamier taste, use a hand blender to cream the potatoes while you add a few spoonfuls of plain greek yogurt.
There’s your basics to a colorful plate. If you feel like you need something more, add a salad, cook up some quinoa or squash to compliment the rest of the plate. Just don’t fall into that trap of adding a basket of bread (I often get stuck in that trap, too). If you feel like you need a basket of something, add a bowl of fruit.

What does your colorful plate look like? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!

You can follow Ali on Twitter or check out her new healthy living section over at Homey Improvements!


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What would you do with an extra $100?

piggy bank

So I am very frugal. I squeeze everything I can get out of the money I make. However, I also find it important to spend money correctly. So, there are some things I never skimp on — they’re worth the extra dough. For instance, I never buy discount/cheap produce and meat. (I learned my lesson from that one!) I will spend $10 on work clothes, but make sure I have a couple nice pairs of shoes or a nice purse in the mix. It’s about where you spend your money that counts, and to make sure you only spend it in the right places is important.

I recently realized how much money I was spending on stupid stuff and made some big changes. Seriously, I was spending like $50-100 a month on shampoo/razors/soap/etc. SO crazy! I switched over to using new & convenient companies (like Dollar Shave Club!) that make my life SO much easier and my wallet much happier.

Now that I’ve made these shopping changes, I have some extra dough in my account. $100, to be exact. I’m trying to think of what to do other than save this little bit of freedom in my wallet, and made a list for you guys to help me out!

PS – If you haven’t tried out Dollar Shave Club, you’re way behind the times. They and their razors friggin’ saved me and my wallet! So much smooth legs, so little dough.

Where I might spend my $100….

  1. A new pair of good running shoes! Mine have quite a few miles on them, want to make sure I get quality ones to keep up with me. :)
  2. A nice watch. (smelloooo gold Michael Kors?)
  3. A Red peacoat for Fall/Winter (Channeling my inner Rory Gilmore for the upcoming Netflix release!)
  4. 1/4th of a Vitamix. (a girl can dream! Think of all the homemade hummus and pesto I could make!)
  5. A Tory Burch FitBit (ahhh two of my favorite things mushed together!)

How would you guys spend $100 extra bucks? Gimmie ideas!!!

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