It’s fall, y’all – time for: crockpot dinners, pumpkin everything, mother nature to put on one of her most beautiful displays of color and spending way too much money on clothes (minimalism feels much more possible in the summer, amiright?). The flip side of fall fun? Less sun. Not many of us crave more darkness. Hygge and fika trending over the past few years have reminded us that there are wonderful ways of taking the dark and cold days and turning them into cozy, candle lit, restorative months. If you can get behind these practices, winter might just become more bearable.

One thing getting cozy and lighting candles doesn’t solve: the vitamin D deficiency that over 60% of us face. Here’s a fascinating fact, receptors for vitamin D are present in most, if not ALL cells in the body. All the cells, you guys! And if you need further incentive to care about it’s importance, google “vitamin D deficiency” and go down the rabbit hole of side effects ranging from depression to premature death, bone density loss and everything in between. Yikes. 

Here’s what you need to know if getting a little bit of direct, midday sunlight (the best way to get it) isn’t an option:

  • Food sources are great, but most likely won’t be enough on their own unless you’re eating them in large quantities everyday. Go for: pastured eggs, salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines
  • Cod liver oil is a great source of vitamin D
  • Recent research shows that supplementing of 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily is more adequate than the current recommendation
  • You also need to make sure you get enough vitamin K2 and vitamin A to properly utilize D.Sources of vitamin K2 include:
    • fermented foods like sauerkraut and kefir
    • pastured egg yolks
    • dairy from grass-fed cows

    Sources of vitamin A include:

    • organ meats
    • cod liver oil
    • full-fat dairy from grass-fed cows.

Testing for vitamin D levels is easy and can be done with at your doctor’s office, and deficiencies should always be discussed with your physician. Now time to get your plan D going. Winter is coming…