Sun Is Fuel

If you think this blog post is going to be about solar energy for creating electricity or hot waterÖthink again. This blog post is about the basic, primal, human need for sunshine. Or, letís be even clearer, my basic, primal human need for sunshine.

For some reason, this winter I went into the cold darkness kicking and screaming and crying like a 4-year-old fighting going to bed. And the deeper into winter we get here (snow, ice, day after day of grey, heavy skies), the harder it gets for me to pretend to be happy.

I know that sunshine creates vitamin D and makes me happier, but when itís below freezing every day and I work inside all day, itís hard to get more outdoor sun time than the minute it takes to run from the door to the car, let alone the recommend 15 minutes a day. And a weekly run with everything covered but my nose and eyes wasnít enough to do it. So my 13-year-old and I decided to make an emergency trip to Florida for a long weekend of intensive vitamin D infusion.

How much D is enough? The debate continues; meanwhile, use food sources of vitamin D to ensure you’re getting a good daily dose.

We chose Sunny Isles because the water looked turquoise (it was), and we could take an easy flight from our local airport without dealing with the hassle of Miami or New York. OK, Iíll tell you the truth: We originally wanted to go to Turks and Caicos, but since we were only booking a week in advance, we checked Accuweather and, lo and beholdÖNO SUN! Why bother?! Southern Florida looked like it would have some sun, and temperatures in the mid 70s. The easy flight was an added bonus.

So here is where I get really politically incorrect: I love sunbathing. I love getting tan. Our goal was to maximize our sun exposure without injury and serious burn. And, I use sunscreen sparingly, if at all. What do I use? Coconut oil for cooking. Yes, I told my daughter, we want to bake like potatoes in the oven with oil. (Gasp!) We had a jar of certified-organic coconut oil for cooking that I bought at the supermarket, and it smelled good. Real good. And it felt divine as we rubbed it into our stark-white bodies. My theory is that if you can eat it, then itís not toxic to put on your skin. We soaked up what sun we could find like two cars at a gas station soaking up fuel. On the last day it was cloudy, rainy, and windy and I STILL lay out by the pool. Suffice it to say I was the only one out there.

“Risky 6″ Amplify your likelihood of deadly skin cancer

We were careful. We got a poolside cabana for the noon hours. As hard as we tried, we didnít even get any burns. We felt pretty tan until a woman on the plane home asked us where our tans were if we went to Florida. And then we cried. We cried again when we pulled into our driveway just as a giant ice storm started. At least school was cancelled the next day.

But what I really was happy about is that I got my energy back. Aside from the vanity aspect of giving us a bit of color on our skin, I believe that being in the sun restores our spirits, our energy, and our minds. For me, I realized as I soaked up the light with my eyes closed, itís one of the few times in my life in which Iím not really doing anything. Iím not getting anything done. Iím not sleeping, Iím not reading, or doing chores or working. Iím resting. (I admit I was also listening to my whole collection of Kenny Chesney albums.) Iím absorbing the rays of fuel that give me the energy to do what I doÖwhich most people would agree is a LOT.

If I am ever lucky enough to retire, I think I will spend much of my time somewhere in the sun. Probably not Sunny Isles, Florida (too hard to find anything organic!). But maybe Anguilla. Thatís my favorite island. In the meantime, I will have to get my sunshine fuel whenever and wherever I can.

My happiness depends on it.

41 comments

Alex Warren
Alex Warren5 years ago

Thank you so much for such an informative articles.

Alex Warren
Alex Warren5 years ago

Nice informative post.

Lynde Toom
Lynde T.5 years ago

This last few weeks of warm weather and being able to get outside and wear a t-shirt here in the Kansas City area has done me so much good!

Jute W.
Jute W.5 years ago

I am a believer! I need my natural serotonin uptake. Thank you.

Loo Samantha
Loo sam5 years ago

thanks for the article.

Alexandra Rodda
Alexandra Rodda5 years ago

Sun is lovely and relaxing and gives you really cheap Vitamin D.
However, I've lost a lot of friends due to Melanoma. Right now one of them has had his axilla cleared of lymph-nodes, but he has a secondary in his lung.
That's a reality one can't escape from. The depleted Ozone layer no longer does the job of protecting us from harmful Ultraviolet Radiation.

Alexandra Rodda
Alexandra Rodda5 years ago

Sun is lovely and relaxing and gives you really cheap Vitamin D.
However, I've lost a lot of friends due to Melanoma. Right now one of them has had his axilla cleared of lymph-nodes, but he has a secondary in his lung.
That's a reality one can't escape from. The depleted Ozone layer just no longer does the jop of protecting us from harmful Ultraviolet Radiation.

Kay L.
KayL NOFORWARDS5 years ago

Actually, in mid-winter, I'd almost settle for the "the minute it takes to run from the door to the car." Unfortunately, I live so far north, that it's still dark when you go in to work and sunset happens before the end of the work day at 5:00 p.m. If you work in an inner office with no winders, you can go almost the whole winter without ever seeing the sun except on week-ends...

Martha Nieto
Martha Nieto5 years ago

Greetings from sunny Mexico!
Although sometimes I used to work so long that I didn´t get a chance to see the sunlight.

Geraldine H.
Gerri Hennessy5 years ago

I love the sun .. we don't get a huge amount in Ireland ... Love to soent time in the heat... wld love to retire to Southern France... the food is good too lol