Sunday, 8 February 2009

Another lazy weekend

Oh I've been meaning to write, but just haven’t been able to find the time, work is just relentless. I’m feeling quite overwhelmed if truth be told and find I spend increasing amounts of time day dreaming about winning the lottery and having the luxury of jacking it all in. I spent the entire day at home yesterday just chilling. It was a pretty nice day – 47F - and I should have forced myself outside for a while, but I think I just needed to relax for mental health reasons, so instead I caught up on all the programs stacking up on my DVR. So much for the resolution to watch less TV!! I was much less lethargic today; I worked out this morning and then walked downtown to stock up on Heinz baked beans and tomato soup from Myers of Keswick. That little shop maybe pricey, but beans on toast is still a damn sight cheaper than most meals I could choose to eat, I’ve heard there’s been a run on baked beans in the UK with everyone in saving mode. I can’t say I blame them, I’ve been doing my utmost to cut costs these past couple of months and I am certainly not one of those contributing to recession relief by spending my way out of the slump, but to be honest I’m always a bit of a cheapskate in the first couple of months of the year and I am tired from work, so I’ve been relaxing at home a lot. Last Saturday night was even more thrilling than this weekend; I filed my tax return ;-)

I definitely got my share of vitamin D today. Have I mentioned I found out that I am deficient? I had a full on health check up in early December, a perk the company used to offer certain levels of staff until this year, when they said the rising costs of healthcare meant they could no longer afford to offer it as a benefit. Fortunately I managed to sneak in one last check up and the results had arrived when I got back to New York after Christmas and all is good except for the vitamin D thing and my bad cholesterol (LDL?) is slightly elevated. I was gobsmacked about that one given I am pretty healthy in my eating habits and assumed it must be a hereditary trait, although my mother was all “don’t blame us, we’ve been checked and we don’t have high cholesterol,” when I told her, which quite frankly I find hard to believe since the pair of them have never met a tub of Haagen Dazs they didn’t like.

As for my vitamin D, well I am at 16IUs – that’s international units darlings – but they should be in the region of 32-100IUs and the recommended treatment was that I spend 15-20minutes outside twice a week. Erm…hello, I walk 3miles to work every morning, that’s 45minutes outside every day!! I tell you they’d be hard pushed to find another office drone that spends more time outside than me. I can only assume that since its winter there are insufficient expanses of flesh exposed to the elements to absorb the necessary nutrients, so fearing rickets I bought some supplements to try and boost my levels. I also read a BBC article the other day about vitamin D can also be a ‘mental health aid’ and that people with low levels ‘were more than twice as likely to have impaired understanding.’ “That explains a lot,” quipped my mother. Ahhh she’s just HILARIOUS isn’t she, a regular comedian!! Not!!

Oh I do sound like an old fart talking about my cholesterol and my vitamin D deficiencies don’t I. I recently noticed a new found habit of talking about my ailments when Melissa and I went over to Long Island City to meet Ash for drinks and we spent a good ten minutes talking about cholesterol. Apparently Ash’s husband has hereditary high cholesterol too. Next thing I know I'll be complaining about my bunions!! Perish the thought!! Ash and her husband have a lovely apartment; it’s a converted factory, so it’s all high ceilings and big windows. It kind of reminded me of another friend’s old rental apartment in the West Village, but bigger and a bit nicer since it has a better configuration with the two bedrooms being down a hallway instead of off the living room. They also have 2 bathrooms – an en suite and a guest bathroom, a massive walk in closet, a roof terrace with phenomenal views of Manhattan and the piece de resistance…..a utility room with a washer/dryer!!!

A washer/dryer!!

Sigh!!

What’s so impressive about that you may wonder, well most New York apartments don’t have washing machines inside the apartment, oh no, at best there’s usually a laundry room in the building - which is what Melissa has. She says Sunday nights in there can be bedlam - but a lot of people like me have to schlep all the way over to the laundrette of a weekend, so having a washing machine INSIDE the apartment is your average New Yorker’s idea of bliss. See, contradictory to what you might think about New Yorkers it doesn’t actually take much to make us happy, just a laundry room to call our own ;-)

9 comments:

Blur Ting said...

Ok, I'll never take my washer and dryer for granted again.

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Blur Ting, it's funny, non New Yorkers don't get it at all when we go into raptures over a washer in the apartment. It's such an inconvenience having to carve out time on a weekend to slog it all to the laundrette!!

Kitty said...

Oh dear! I can empathize about the laundromat. There's nothing worse than having to sit there or to go back and forth all afternoon. No fun.

I dunno what to say about work...I think the end will come to all of it. At least we're in the US, and not just the US but New York. It hasn't yet come to bread lines!

hope you're enjoying your Sunday. Take good care of yourself!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Thanks Kitty,I think I need to find some way of dealing with the workload better. I cannot switch off and it is not healthy. Hope you are having a fun Sunday too.

TedHutchinson said...

May I try to clarify your 25(OH)D result.

You are at 16ng or 40nmol/l
32ng is the lowest acceptable level = 80nmol/l
But for least disease incidence the best level is above 50ng 125nmol/l. to allow for seasonal variation it's safer to be around 60ng 150nmol/l
Disease Incidence Prevention by Serum 25(OH)D Level
to get from 16 to 60ng requires at around 50ng more and that means 5000iu extra vitamin D3 every day.

The cheapest 5000iu/daily D3 are probably Now Foods 5000iu from IHERB code WAB666 for a $5 discount.

If you prefer to take all your clothes off and lay naked in the midday sun when your shadow is shorter than your height your skin will make 1000iu every 5minutes.
Do keep turning over so all sides get the chance. 25minutes full body sun exposure will probably be needed at the latitude of NY longer further north and less further south. Don't ever get burned, that destroys all the vitamin d and sets you up for skin cancer.

Dr. Marc Sorenson has a good blog on Vitamin d that will keep you up to date.

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Thanks for the comment Ted, I may have got my units wrong, but according to the report I have I am at 16 when I am supposed to be at least 32. Thanks for the tip on Dr Marc Sorenson's blog, I shall check it out. Cheers.

TedHutchinson said...

The point I was trying to make was that face/hands exposure will not and cannot correct vitamin d insufficiency.

We know from work done by Heaney that men working outdoors all day/every day in Omaha average over the year 2800iu/daily and they are insufficient in winter.

If we are going to use the sun rather than supplements for Vitamin D3 (the best food sources only provide 400iu and can at best provide only 10% of our daily need) we have to expose a lot more skin.

Ideally, because tanned skin is less efficient that untanned skin, it has to be those palest areas that are generally least frequently exposed.

The process is heat driven so it only works when the skin is warm. So that means for a lot of the year effective strength supplements are the safest, most convenient way.

Dr Davis of the Heartscanblog finds women in Wisconsin generally require 5000iu/daily and men 6000iu/d to get to 60ng.

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