Spiced Apple Muffins

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Okay, I know it’s TECHNICALLY not Autumn yet – in fact, we’ve had a bit of a heat wave here in the PNW. But, September gets me thinking about all those great autumn flavours – cinnamon, ginger, apples..YUM! And heck, if Starbucks can start selling Pumpkin Spice Lattes before summer is over, we can make muffins! At 50 grams of sugar for a GRANDE latte, my muffins are a lot better for you too!

Spiced Apple Muffins (GF, DF)

The inspiration for these, ironically enough, came from a recipe I was trying for a RESTART™ class that I teach. It is a 5 week nutritional education program that I teach to groups (for more info click HERE). It includes a 3 week “sugar detox”, so I was trying a muffin recipe that had NO added sugar. When my husband taste tested one, he said “with a little honey or maple syrup these would be really good!”(insert eye roll here – totally missing the point hon!). But an idea was born!

While definitely not appropriate if you are doing the sugar detox portion of the RESTART™ program. Afterwards, they are certainly something that could be enjoyed once in awhile (maybe even paired with a nice frittata for a balanced breakfast!)

I decided to use coconut sugar as the sweetener (instead of the honey or maple syrup suggested by the hubs) because I like the “brown sugary” flavour it imparts. If you want to use honey or maple syrup, you would have to decrease the amount both sweetener and liquid in the recipe. (Check back for recipe updates once I try this myself!)

Back to the coconut sugar…why not just use brown sugar? Although coconut sugar is STILL sugar, it does have some benefits over regular white or brown sugar. Coconut sugar is much less refined than regular sugar and hasn’t been stripped of all its nutrients. It contains small amounts of minerals like iron, zinc, potassium and calcium, antioxidants and inulin (a fibre that is beneficial for gut health). Granted, the amounts of these nutrients is very small, but it’s better than refined sugar which is completely stripped of ALL nutrients! Another benefit of coconut sugar is that it has a lower glycemic index than its highly refined counterpart. The Glycemic Index of a food indicates how much and how quickly a food raises blood glucose levels. Coconut sugar, having a lower glycemic index than regular sugar, raises blood glucose less quickly and doesn’t cause as much of a “spike” in blood glucose. This makes it less stressful on the body. All that said – sugar IS sugar and even “healthy” sugars can cause inflammation and/or trigger those sugar cravings. So while I still suggest limiting sugar consumption, if you are going to have it – you should definitely consider the less refined options!

The recipe comes together pretty quickly. I started by sautéing the diced apples, cinnamon and grated ginger in the coconut oil for about 5 minutes, or until they just start to soften. (This is when the other people in the house will wander into the kitchen to see what smells so good!!)

Pull the apples off the heat and allow them to cool while you measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (eggs, milk and vanilla).

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well until fully incorporated.

Stir in your cooled apples, measure into your muffin tin and pop in a 350 degree oven for 24 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean). YUM!

I think that the next time I make these muffins, I might listen to my husband’s suggestion (don’t tell him!) and try them with honey as a sweetener. Pure, raw honey has pollen, enzymes plus a variety of nutrients and is considered one of the healthiest sweeteners out there (though, remember, it is STILL sugar!). I’d also up the spice game, I like a SPICY muffin – so a little more of everything for me please!

Finally, a note on the apples. Feel free to use whatever variety of apple you like. I actually used 1 Granny Smith and 1 Gala for this recipe, but I found that the Gala didn’t stand up as well and it kind of just melted into the muffin. The Granny Smith are a bit firmer and a little more tart, so they add a nice balance to the sweetness of the muffin.

Happy Baking! If you try them, leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Print Recipe
Autumn Spiced Apple Muffins
A gluten and dairy free recipe using apples, cinnamon and ginger to give these muffins a warm, autumn flavour.
Prep Time 25
Cook Time 24
large muffins
For Apple Prep
Muffin Recipe
Prep Time 25
Cook Time 24
large muffins
For Apple Prep
Muffin Recipe
Apple Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line muffin tin with parchments squares or muffin cups.
  2. Peel, core and dice apples; grate ginger if using fresh (see notes).
  3. Melt coconut oil in saute pan, over medium heat; add apples, cinnamon (1 tsp) and grated ginger. Saute until just softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and move onto Muffin instructions.
Muffin Preparation
  1. Measure dry ingredients into large mixing bowl and stir until combined.
  2. Measure wet ingredients into a medium sized mixing bowl and whisk until combined.
  3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well, ensuring that all dry ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Add cooled apple mixture to muffin batter and mix to combine.
  5. Spoon muffin mixture into prepared muffin tin, filling cups about 3/4 full (~1/3 cup mixture per muffin).
  6. Place filled muffin tin in preheated oven and bake for 24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Cool on wire rack before storing.
Recipe Notes

Store for 3-5 days in fridge. Store in freezer for 3 months.

Freezing your fresh ginger root and then grating it on a microplane is much easier than grating fresh unfrozen ginger. If ginger is organic, feel free to zest the skin as well.


Minding Your Stress Bucket

Minding Your Stress Bucket

Well Hello!! It’s been a minute since I’ve posted anything on here. Does anyone else feel like the days are going by faster since this whole pandemic thing started? I mean, it’s JULY already! Where did the last 4 months go?

I could use every excuse in the book as to why I haven’t been blogging regularly. I’ve been prepping for an upcoming board exam and working on my business. I wanted to be outside in the warm(ish) weather and, perhaps more than anything else, I needed to get away from my computer screen. Is anyone else just TOTALLY “Zoomed” out? Although these are all fine reasons, the truth is, I just really needed to drop some stuff out of my bucket.

I imagine our body’s ability to deal with stressors like a big bucket, a stress bucket. Everyone’s bucket is different. Some are a little smaller than others and fill up more quickly, whereas others are quite large and can hold quite a bit! 

Our bodies are built to handle quite a lot of stress, in all it’s different forms. They protect us from immediate dangers by initiating our fight or flight response. They deal with foreign invaders, like bacteria and viruses, through our immune response. They deal with and eliminate toxins we produce or ingest – but they weren’t built for the multitude of stressors in this modern life of ours.

Many things take up room in our stress buckets:

Mental and Emotional Stressors

  • Work, Relationship or Financial issues
  • Feelings of anger, sadness, loneliness, depression, anxiety and worry

Physiological Stressors

  • Lack of sleep
  • Toxins in our environment or diet – pesticides, chemicals in household and personal products, processed foods, sugar, unhealthy fats, EMF exposure, pollution
  • Nutrient deficiencies from a poor diet
  • Illness or injury
  • Over or under exertion

Our bodies work exceedingly hard to manage all these stressors and keep that ol’ bucket from overflowing. They strive for balance (or homeostasis) at all times, even if that means stealing energy and nutrients from one system in the body to keep another from crashing and burning. You can see that, without bailing some of those stressors out of the bucket, resources eventually run out. We become less resilient to the effects of stress of our body. That’s when we start to see illness and chronic disease . rear their ugly little heads. Think about Christmas holidays. It’s pretty common for people to get sick right around the holiday season. We’ve got parties and menus to plan, we are dealing with a lot of family and trying to keep everyone happy. We are often financially stressed and, of course, we are ingesting a lot of maybe not so nutritious foods and beverages. That’s a lot of stuff being dropped in our stress buckets at one time – especially if our bucket was already half full! Eventually, things start to slop over the rim and we end up miserable, nursing a cold and just praying for it all to be over.

So back to my absence from the blog. Let’s see how my stress bucket was faring….

  • I’m preparing for the Holistic Nutrition Board Exam
  • I’ve just recently joined a networking group that requires me to prepare and deliver a short speech on a weekly basis (This is like a mini pailful of stress added to my bucket every week. Public speaking is well outside of my comfort zone!)
  • I’m working on managing Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (an autoimmune disease), which among symptoms like fatigue and lack of motivation, is causing me to lose hair like crazy. Seriously, my cat and are are competing to see who can leave the most hairballs around the house! Not the end of the world, but my vanity would disagree. Definitely contributing to some emotional stress!
  • I’m a small business owner in an economic downturn, trying my darnedest to make a go of this entrepreneur thing and contribute to our household finances.
  • We are in the midst of this pandemic – so, like many, I’m feeling a little isolated. I’m also homesick for my Canadian brethren and not knowing when I’ll be able to see family and friends across the border is tough!
  • Of course, I eat a pretty decent diet (gotta walk the talk), but I’ll admit that some comfort foods started making a frequent appearance on my plate. I got a little TOO into baking grain free scones for a while there.
  • I try to keep my toxin exposure as minimal as possible by buying organic, using safer personal products and cleaning with Norwex products, but I had been putting in a LOT of screen time between Zoom meetings and scouring social media for all the latest “viral” news.
  • My sleep has been wonky due to worrying about all of the above!

So there you have it – not a terrible list, but I was starting to feel a little bit of overwhelm. So, I listened to what my body was whispering to me before it began SHOUTING. I had to take the ladle to the bucket and lighten the load before it overflowed. I put the blogging on hold so I could focus on some other, behind the scenes, business stuff. I ditched the homemade treats and refocused on incorporating lots of bright, colourful veggies in my diet. I mixed up my workouts and added in some nice neighbourhood walks with the hubby. I gave myself permission to NOT be a perfect public speaker on my zoom calls and to start to accept that being uncomfortable is part of growth. I’ve been utilizing breathing exercised and getting outside more

Ways to Lighten the Load in Your Buckets

  1. Breathing Techniques – Check out this website for some inspiration.
  2. Tapping – Learn more here .
  3. Reframing – Did you know that the difference between excitement and anxiety often lies in how we interpret them? Find out more here.
  4. Movement – Any type of movement helps drain our stress bucket by promoting feel good endorphins and burning off excess stress hormone (cortisol). Stick with lower intensity activities if your bucket is really full. Overexertion can ADD to the bucket if your system is already taxed.
  5. Getting outdoors – Soak up some sun, breathe some fresh air and connect with nature!
  6. Hydrating – Most people are walking around dehydrated, try to consume half your body weight in ounces of clean, filtered water daily.
  7. Prioritize sleep – Aim for 7 to 8 hours a night.
  8. Take a break from the screens!! Not only can the blue light from our devices affect our sleep, the constant barrage of crazy from social media feeds isn’t doing anybody’s stress levels any favours.
  9. Do your best to avoid toxins in your food products, cleaning supplies and personal products – Some great brands to check out are BeautyCounter, Native and Norwex
  10. Eat a nutrient rich diet – Avoid processed and refined foods and focus on eating ALL the colours of the rainbow.

There’s no way to avoid stress completely – in fact, some stress is good for us. It gives us a sense of purpose and motivation. But everyone’s perception of stress will differ and what is only a “drop in the bucket” to one person may be a tsunami to someone else. So take stock of what is in your stress bucket and, if it’s feeling like it’s getting a little too full – it’s time to put a hole in that bucket, dear Liza. (I REALLY hope someone gets that reference!)

The Monday Mention – The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz

In The Big Fat Surprise, Nina Teicholz takes an in depth look into the nutrition research that has guided our way of eating for decades. The low fat/high carbohydrate diet that we, as a population, have been advised to follow for decades is not working. We are more unhealthy now than ever before. By following the science, Teicholz discovers that the foods we’ve been taught to deny ourselves – meat, cheese, butter, lard could actually be the very foods that bring us back to health. Through an exhaustive look at thousands of scientific studies and conducting countless interviews, she shows us that the diet advice we’ve been urged to follow for years is based on little more than weak science that is often manipulated to achieve the researcher’s or study funder’s desired outcome.

The Monday Mention - The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz

For decades researchers have demonized saturated fats, largely due to the fact that these fats can increase a person’s LDL cholesterol. The Framingham Study’s follow-up results showed that, of all the measurable lipids and lipoproteins, HDL cholesterol has the largest impact on cardiovascular risk (Teicholz, 2014, pg.162) and is a better predictor of heart attack than LDL. Interestingly, saturated fats are the only food known to actually increase levels of HDL cholesterol! (Teichrob, 2014, pg.334)

Another interesting fact I learned about saturated fats is that the type of LDL they increase (light, buoyant LDL) is not associated with an increase in heart attack risk. In fact, it is the small, dense type of LDL that has been shown to be linked to increased heart disease. An increase in this type of LDL is seen in diets higher in carbohydrates.

Sure, we have finally been told that trans fats are unhealthy. What should have been a boon to our society’s health with the banning of these trans fats though, has led to the creation of more “Franken-fats” in the form of interesterification, genetically modified soybeans and “fat” replacers. Industry continues to mess with nature and the chemistry of fats to solve a problem that didn’t exist 100 years ago when we ate the fat provided to us by nature. Once again, the public is being used, unwittingly, as guinea pigs in these experiments where the health implications are unknown. Companies and chemists have gone to so much work to replace saturated fats and at what cost? It’s apparent through reading this book, that the cost has been the health of a great many people. This cost will only continue to escalate unless we can break the stigma surrounding saturated fat. Teicholz’s book sheds light on this and I found that it highlights the evidence surrounding what Nutritional Therapy Practitioners tell their clients – that good quality, well sourced fats are vital to optimal nutrition and health.

I must admit, I found the first part of this book to be a bit dry and hard to get through. Perhaps it is because I have already read a fair bit about Ancel Keys and his infamous “Seven Countries Study”. If you have never heard of Ancel Keys, I urge you to look into him. Long story short, the results of his “Seven Countries Study” confirmed (in his warped sense of research) the relationship of saturated fat consumption to increased heart disease. But (and this is a BIG BUT), it turns out that the devilish Mr. Keys cherry picked only the countries that, when graphed, appeared to prove his hypothesis. Once ALL the countries are graphed, his correlation falls apart. It is this flawed methodology that has dictated what we’ve been told to eat for the last half a century! So, although it takes a bit of effort to push through all the review of the studies, it really is worth your while. I enjoyed the second half of the book much more, particularly the information about cholesterol.

The big takeaway I have from this book is just how infuriating and frightening it is to realize how research outcomes are manipulated, ignored or coerced through funding. People’s egos and company bottom lines have affected the health of millions for several generations. I do think that we are making some progress. The horrible effects of sugar are known to a lot more people today than even a few years ago, but the benefits of saturated fats have yet to hit the mainstream population. The information IS out there, but only if you choose to seek it out. People who aren’t passionate about nutrition and health still rely on the guidelines based on weak science. Nutritional Therapy Practitioners have our work cut out for us to try and shift this school of thought, but I believe that as more of us share our knowledge, others will be empowered to question the advice they have been given for decades.

Rating 4 Peaks
My Rating – 4 out of 5 Peaks


  1. Teicholz, N. (2014). The Big Fat Surprise. Simon and Schuster Paperbacks.

Cinco de MAYO…..nnaise

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Homemade Avocado Oil Mayo

I know, I know..a mayonnaise recipe to celebrate Mexican independence is an odd choice, but really EVERY day is a good day to celebrate this easy(I mean, ridiculously easy)condiment recipe. It’s chock full of healthy fats and missing all the gunk found in most store bought brands. I also use this mayo as a base for a coleslaw dressing that I serve with carnitas…so there is a bit of a Mexican link after all!

Making your own mayo can seem daunting when you read recipes telling you that you must drizzle the oil in slowly, all while whisking like madman or your mayo won’t come together and you’ll be left with a soupy, oily mess. I can barely pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time, so this all sounds like a disaster in the making.

Enter the immersion blender… with this nifty tool, you can have easy, no fuss, no mess mayo in seconds. And, it’s a pretty cool party trick to boot! I have heard that high speed blenders and mixers can also be used  – but I have never tried it this way. If you get successful mayo from either of these methods, let me know in the comments!

So what is mayo? Mayo is an emulsion – or a mixture of two things that can’t normally be combined (like oil and water). This coming together of two different worlds requires the use of an emulsifier to keep them from separating. In mayonnaise, egg yolks play this role. Yolks contain lecithin, a fat emulsifier, which keeps the oil in tiny little droplets and prevents them from collecting into larger drops that will separate out of the mixture. The mustard also helps out as an emulsifier in this recipe. You can opt to leave it out, but I use to add a bit more stability and some extra zip to the flavour.

Avocado or olive oil are two healthy fats that can be easily whipped up into a delicious mayo. You want to avoid vegetable oils, not just in mayo-making, but in general. Oils, such as canola, corn and soy are generally highly processed and damaged during manufacturing, are often “deodorized” and bleached to hide signs of rancidity and can cause oxidative damage and inflammation. Yuck, no thank you!

I opt for avocado oil, as I find it has a more neutral flavour than olive oil. There are some decent avocado oil and olive oil mayos on the market. If you can find one that you like that doesn’t have any unnecessary ingredients in it, by all means, feel free! I’ve found that I much prefer the flavour of my homemade version!

Once you have the basic mayo down, you can add all sorts of extras to create a variety of dressings and spreads. I put a few of my faves in the recipe comments, but let me know what fun variations you come up with!

Now…on with the MAYO!

Print Recipe
A quick and easy recipe for a healthier version of this versatile condiment!
Cook Time 5
Cook Time 5
  1. Make sure to test that your blender head will fit into the mouth of the container you choose BEFORE you add the ingredients.
  2. Crack egg into the bottom of a mason jar or high sided container.
  3. Add all other ingredients to jar.
  4. With one hand holding the jar, place head of immersion blender over the yolk of the egg and turn the blender on, keeping the blades immersed in the liquid. You will see the color start to change to the white color of mayo immediately.
  5. Slowly move the blender up and down and side to side (keeping the blades immersed) until all the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture has thickened to the consistency of mayonnaise.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
  7. Will keep, sealed in the refrigerator, for 3 to 5 days
Recipe Notes

Variations (per 1 cup of mayonnaise)

Garlic Aioli - Mix in 1 to 2 finely minced garlic cloves

Chipotle Mayo - Mix in a small amount of sauce from a jar of chipotles in adobo (start with 2 teaspoonfsul and work up, depending on taste). Alternately, you could add mayo to a blender with 2 chipotle peppers from the jar and blend until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon of lime juice and adjust to taste

Dilly Tartar Sauce - Mix in 1/2 a cup finely diced dill pickles, 2 teaspoons lemon juice,  1 teaspoon onion powder and a tablespoon of fresh dill    

Vitamin D Deficiency

Nearly 50 percent of people worldwide are deficient in Vitamin D. This number is higher amongst those of us who live in more northern climates. Vitamin D, or the sunshine vitamin, is actually a steroid hormone that our bodies make in response to ultraviolet light (UVB specifically). 

The UVB rays from sunlight trigger the production of Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) in our skin. This compound must then go through additional steps in both the liver and kidneys to become the active form of vitamin D3, which is calcitriol. Being able to manufacture our own vitamin D seems like a pretty nifty trick right? Why then are nearly 50 percent of us deficient in vitamin D?

Vitamin D Deficiency - Are YOU at Risk?

First, a little history lesson. Way back in the early 1600’s, the world was undergoing an industrial revolution. People were beginning to live in large cities, with housing being built close together and pollution from coal burning creating a haze in the air. It was around this time that a disease called Rickets began appearing in children. Rickets is a bone deforming disease that we now know is caused by a Vitamin D deficiency. The connection between the lack of sun exposure and Rickets was probably first made in the 1800’s by Polish physician Jedrzej Sniadecki.(1) He noticed that children in populated areas such as Warsaw, receiving little sunlight due to narrow alleyways, pollution and tight living quarters, had a higher incidence of rickets that those living in rural areas outside of Warsaw. In response to this observation, Sniadecki recommended in his book, On the Physical Education of Children (1822), that children “should be carried about in the open air especially in the sun, the direct action of which on our bodies must be regarded as one of the most efficient methods for the prevention and the cure of this disease.”(2)

Although most of Vitamin D’s fame comes from it’s role in aiding in the absorption of calcium and creating healthy bones, it is actually involved in a large number of important functions in our bodies. It plays a role in both immune function and control of inflammation. Therefore, it may be crucial in the management of both autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. It helps to regulate the release of a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which is important for both mental health and digestion. It is essential for healing, as it helps control cell growth. Vitamin D’s control over cell proliferation, along with its anti-inflammatory effects may have protective effects against many cancers. Scientists continue to study Vitamin D and its benefits to our health. The role of Vitamin D deficiency in heart disease, mental health, obesity and Parkinson’s disease are just a few of the many areas being studied.

So back to the original question – why are over 50 percent of us deficient in this important nutrient? The obvious answer is that we are not getting enough sunshine! There is a reason it is called the “Sunshine Vitamin”! Along with living at a higher latitude, our jobs and hobbies (I’m looking at you Netflix) are keeping us out of the sunshine. When we do venture out, we slather on the sunscreen, afraid of skin cancer and (yikes!) wrinkles. It is also difficult to get anywhere near enough Vitamin D from the food we eat. It can be found in the oil of fish livers (think cod liver oil) and there is a small amount in egg yolks and fatty fish, like salmon, sardines and mackerel. Plant foods, like mushrooms and leafy greens, contain a very small amount of Vitamin D2. It is thought, however, that this plant derived from of vitamin D doesn’t seem to perform all the functions that animal derived D3 does. Many foods, such as homogenized milk and breakfasts cereals are fortified with Vitamin D. Even if you aren’t avoiding these processed and packaged foods, in order to get your daily requirement of Vitamin D, you would have to consume an unfeasible amount of these foods! 

So Who is at risk?

  • Digestive Issues – Even if we could consume enough vitamin D in our diets, we are assuming that it is all going to be absorbed. The health of your gut is going to influence how much of the vitamin you absorb and, let’s face it, many of us have at least some digestive issues. Issues like celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, disorders (or absence) of the gallbladder can all reduce vitamin D absorption. These efficacy of vitamin D supplements are also affected by these digestive issues.
  • Obesity – Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and is stored in fat tissue. Obesity means we have more fat in which to store that Vitamin D, making it less easily accessible when needed.
  • Darker skin tones – Higher amounts of the pigment melanin in dark skin tones acts as a natural sunscreen, reducing the amount of Vitamin D produced
  • Increased Age – Lower amounts of the precursor to Vitamin D, skin changes and more time spent indoors increases the risk of deficiency in older individuals
  • Time of year and location – UVB rays are weaker in the northern latitudes, so weak in fact that there are large periods of the year (4 to 6 months) when one just can’t make enough Vitamin D from sun exposure alone. (3)

How do I know if I’m deficient?

The symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency are often so subtle that you have no idea you are deficient. I know that I had no clue, until my blood test came back! The effects of vitamin D deficiency are varied and we rarely make the connection between these signals and a lack of vitamin D. They may include: 

  • Fatigue
  • Bone pain
  • Muscle or Joint pain
  • Frequent Illness
  • Low mood or irritability
  • Anxiety

So what can you do?


Ask your physician for a blood test. Vitamin D levels are not something that most physicians will order with your yearly bloodwork. Because there are no overt signs of deficiency, I think it is important to know what you level is – especially if you fall into one of the groups who are more at risk for a deficiency. 

Conventional “normal” ranges can vary depending on the lab conducting the test.  They are also based on the average population which, if we are being honest, is not all that healthy. Generally, the “normal” range will be quite wide (30ng/ml to 100ng/ml). But this normal range doesn’t necessarily reflect what is healthy, only what is common. Functional references ranges are narrower and reflect a level that is optimal to prevent dysfunction and, eventually, disease. A functional optimal range for vitamin D is much narrower, perhaps at 60ng/ml to 80ng/ml. When disease is present, such as with heart disease or cancer, the optimal range may be higher.


Most of us living in northern latitudes are not going to be able to get all the vitamin D we need year round. A high quality supplement can help us keep our levels up throughout the year. 

The amount of vitamin D to supplement will vary depending on your current blood level, health status and sun exposure. As always, it is important to have a discussion with your health care provider to determine an appropriate dose and have your levels monitored periodically. Also, always…ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist before starting any supplementation, in order to rule out drug interactions or contraindications!

As vitamin D is fat soluble, there is a risk (although extremely small) of toxicity, because excess can be stored in the body. It is generally only seen in those who take extremely high doses for long periods of time. 


Overall, sun exposure really is the best source of vitamin D, as we don’t have to rely on adequate digestion for it to reach our bloodstream and get to work! It is a bit of a balancing act, especially if you are like me and go from bright white to lobster red in the blink of an eye. A general rule of thumb is for the time of sun exposure to be 50% of what it would take to cause a mild sunburn (slight pinkness 24 hours later). After this time, slather on the safe sunscreen, cover up or seek shade.(1) For me, that’s probably about 5 minutes in the mid-day summer sun! The more skin that is exposed, the more vitamin D those factories in your skin will produce. I would recommend protecting the face with sunscreen or a hat, as it’s surface area is relatively small and will produce only a small amount of vitamin D and the skin there is more prone to damage from sun exposure.

The other benefit of getting Vitamin D from the sun? Toxicity is not an issue. There are compounds made along with the Vitamin D that will limit any excess production, protecting us from toxicity. The body is a wondrous thing, isn’t it?


  1. Wacker, M., & Holick, M. F. (2013). Sunlight and Vitamin D: A global perspective for health. Dermato-endocrinology5(1), 51–108. https://doi.org/10.4161/derm.24494
  2. Mozołowski W. Jędrzej Sniadecki (1768-1838) on the Cure of Rickets. Nature. 1939;143:121. doi: 10.1038/143121a0
  3. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/79/3/362/4690120(Holick MF. Vitamin D: importance in the prevention of cancers, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004; 79:362-71)