Hi Besties! Detailed below is a run through of my personal experience with an Iron and Vitamin D deficiency, and some tips on intentionally incorporating Vitamins into your daily life. Hope you find these tips helpful.
I’ve never been much of a healthy eater. Erase that, I’m very much a sweet tooth. On a typical day, I take pastries and coffee for breakfast, skip lunch, and pick up junk food for dinner. The week usually runs by so fast and that’s pretty much how I eat. Weekends are laid back, so I get to eat a rice or pasta meal and occasionally, Nigerian swallow.
Weeks roll into months; months turned into a year and somehow, my entire diet was wrapped around this. Pastries for breakfast – No lunch – Junk for dinner. At a point, it didn’t seem like much of a big deal but brethren, I didn’t know I was doing myself.
Pica and an Iron Deficiency
A couple of months back, I started to notice I had cravings for weird types of things that were not food or at least not meals that should be consumed in their raw state. A major one for me was craving baking powder. Google was my best friend in diagnosing that problem (and it really shouldn’t be so.) I went searching online for others with similar experiences and then self-diagnosed that I had Pica. Pica is a craving for non-food items or substances that have no nutritional value. Essentially, it meant that I had low iron and I *needed* to get my body iron level up.
Still fighting my weird cravings and promising myself I’ll eat more iron and sodium-based foods, I went into the next month doing – you guessed it – nothing.
I’ve never been much of a sick person, so even though I understood the concept of your body failing you, and that you are what you consume – it just never struck me as something that applied to me. Crazy, I know.
About 2 months back, I started to have uncomfortable peelings at the side of my mouth. It was extremely painful to fully open my mouth – to talk and eat. It would come for about 3 days, and then disappear all on its own for another 3 days. It started to happen more often, and I had to find out what was wrong because the sores got more painful each time.
Finally, a Diagnosis!
Long story short, I spoke to a medical doctor and then found out I had low iron and a Vitamin D deficiency. Surreal.
My initial reaction was Me? Me that I like to eat. How?
But you see, it was different. I did like to eat. I would go on marathon ice-cream dates; and I would unapologetically order a ton of food for myself every other day. The issue was, I wasn’t eating healthy and my body did not have the nutrients it needed. I was unknowingly hurting myself.
After the diagnosis, I had to change my ways. I went from not liking fruits to blending fruit smoothies every morning. My budget for junk food went straight into So Fresh’s bank account (@sofreshng on Instagram.) It was such a struggle to eat salads and fruit platters every day, but I had left myself no choice.
Vitamins are great for our bodies. They cover your nutritional bases, reduce anxiety, support your immune system, help with body metabolism, and bone strength. In all my learning and unlearning, here are 4 great ways to incorporate vitamins into your everyday life.
1. Drink Vitamins With Your Water
One thing I started to do, is carry a bottle of water everywhere. To every work meeting, hangout, and on every stroll. I got some Multi-vitamin immune booster pills – The Calgovit Food Supplement 1000mg tablets. They work great and taste even better. All you need to do is throw a pill into your water, add in some cucumber and lemon slices, and drink it through the day. Please see a physician/Pharmacist to get the right multi-vitamin immune booster prescription for you.
2. A Fruit a Day
Apparently, an apple a day does keep the doctor away. Always try to start or end your day with a fruit. Do it for your body because Healthy girl summer before Hot girl summer. Your skin will also thank you for it. I don’t think I’m in my head when I say my skin has been looking a lot brighter and I don’t break out as often anymore.
3. Take a Walk in The Sunlight
Sunlight really is a great source of Vitamin D and we should all aim to get about 10-30 minutes of mid-day sun several times in a week. It’s so easy to go from your bed, to your car, to your office and then back home so it’s vital to remember to put on sunscreen and I mean, why not take an afternoon stroll while you’re at it?
4. Consciously Eat a Balanced Diet
This is so important. Balanced diet isn’t just a myth we all have to learn. You must consciously create and work with a diet plan that features the right amount of all six classes of food. Eating a balanced diet not only tastes great, but feels great as well. When you pick up your plate of food tonight, add in some fruits and pour yourself a glass of milk or juice. And most importantly, drink a lot of water.
My Journey Update
I am still on this journey. I still do not like the taste of most fruits and I miss my Pizza Fridays, but I do feel healthier, and I haven’t had the sores ever since. This is your sign to be kinder to yourself by being more intentional about what you consume and the level of vitamin-based meals you eat.