Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Day Eleven: Sunlight

In Mireille Guiliano’s newest book ‘French Women Don’t Get Facelifts’, I enjoyed reading chapter eight on nutrition and anti-ageing.  Interestingly enough, Mireille’s chapter on nutrition starts off talking about sunlight and water.  I was confused too!

As I read on though, I realised how I do not get enough natural light ‘in my diet’.  I certainly focus on the water aspect, and drink many glasses a day.  I aim for two litres and sometimes even have a one litre glass jug on the kitchen bench where I try to finish one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Mireille talks about sunlight though, how for optimum health and slenderness (because both go together) it is advisable to have 15-30 minutes outside in the sunshine/daylight.  You don’t have to go for a walk although that’s two good things at the same time, but perhaps you might sit outside to read or relax, hang out washing or potter in the garden.

I am quite fair-skinned and would like to have a bit more colour, so making a conscious effort to get my Vitamin D via sunshine might also help with that.  That amount of time is not enough in my opinion to need sunscreen on your body, although I always wear it on my face and décolletage.

I am a little bit skeptical of sunscreens and wonder if there is a link or is it just coincidence that skin cancer rates are increasing when we are all wearing more sunscreen?  What effect are those sunscreen chemicals having on our skin when combined with the sun itself?  I choose not to spend hours outside, just little bits here and there.

I do already have days where I go for either a long exercise walk or a gentle shorter stroll, and I also weed and plant my garden, but on the other days where I am inside either at work or at home, I will make sure I spend 15-30 minutes minimum outside, doing whatever.

After reading this chapter I read a newspaper article saying that Vitamin D supplements don’t work that well, so that reaffirms to me that I want to get more natural sunshine in my life.  Plus, it’s free and natural.  Yay!


  1. I get depressed if I have a few days without direct sunshine so I do think it contributes to our health and well being.

  2. The healthiest and trimmest times of my life is when I was in the sun. Living in London is a battle in many ways due to lack of sun. But I don't necessarily think it is the chemicals of sunblock bc if I were in the sahara i would have no qualms about using spf 100 but having said that I think people use sunscreen as a false sense of security. I see many people slather on the spf 15 and lay out all day on the beach thinking the spf is doing its job and there is a limit to what spf can do especially if for the other 50 weeks of the year you are in a colder climate.

  3. I think Naomi is right about the false sense of security that sunscreen affords us - I'm sure I'm guilty of that. I take a vitamin D supplement every day, but I really should make sure to get out and about every day too.

  4. I walk and garden and use a sunscreen but wear a hat and sunglasses as well. My optometrist cautioned me about the sun damage on eyes....apparently macular degeneration can occur if we do not protect our eyes.
    Moderation seems to be Murielle's advice if I am interpreting your words correctly. I will see if the library has her book as it sounds lworth reading.
    Thank you Fiona!

  5. I know that a healthy diet rich in phytochemicals, which can be found in plant foods (fruit & veg) protect our sking from the inside out. They are the building blocks to our internal sun protection. Maybe the reason why, or at least a contributing factor to more people getting skin cancer is due to not ingesting enough fruits and vegetables. I am with you on the questions about sunblock, but I do still wear it!

    I read M. Guilliano's books too, I think they're great.

  6. I try to have a outdoor walk of some sort each day. Today, I am walking with a friend for 45 minutes and then meeting another friend for French conversation. When I am in Paris, I walk anywhere from 2-8 hours as I use walking as my transportation. This seems to be normal in France. Sunglasses are a must and perhaps light clothing to cover up is preferable to a lot of chemicals. Merci for all your lessons in chic.

  7. Last year I was tested as being extremely Vitamin D deficient. I take (when I remember to) 5,000iu (or is it mg?) a day. But I also try to get outside between 30-60 minutes a day with NO sunscreen. Obviously that does not mean baking in the sun for that long. It means an early morning walk or dip in the pool when the rays are not strong...or an evening walk. I feel it has made a good difference. The Vitamin D levels have not been tested this year yet but I am hoping they are much better.

  8. Great post Fiona; I am fair like you and go for the same sun m.o. as you do but I don't get out as much as I should probably being behind my computer a lot. I just saw a really good article on non-toxic sunscreens and I ordered the Aubrey brand baby sunscreen unscented to try that one. I bought mine on Amazon--in an orange tube. Haven't received yet. I also use California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen unscented and really like that one. I get mine cheaper at vs. the CA Baby site. Have a nice day!

  9. Bonjour Fiona,
    You are raising a very important question! Last year, at the age of 46, I was diagnosed with skin cancer (squamous cells). I am now fine, due to having a mole removed. Interestingly, that mole was in my lower part of my back, an area that had never seen the sun. That prompted me to educate myself on skin cancer. I read a great deal on the subject and also talked to my dermatologist. One of the reasons that skin cancer is on the rise is the common belief that using sunscreen will protect us completely; as some people pointed out, it's not true (you have to use a good amount of sunscreen and reapply frequently). On the other side, a lack of sunshine is more and more associated with different kinds of cancer and depression. So, it's often suggested to get 10-15 minutes a day of "unprotected" sun to get your vitamin D and then, cover up. Sorry about my long response, I just feel this is such an important issue.
    Merci, Mireille

  10. I am so glad you are back blogging.I've been reading these and have meant to write, but couldn't figure out how this worked.
    I do agree we need some time in daylight, that's how we were designed. I'm in a concrete box all day, feel so much better if I walk outside during morning/afternoon breaks.

  11. I love history and certain types of architecture. Going out for a walk even in my neighbourhood in Britain shows me loads of beautiful buildings and flowers, the sea, a river and hundreds of years of history. Winter in Britain is grim, with short days and lots of rain. That said, the sun is sometimes quite bright in winter and it's a good time to get out and run when it's cold, easier for me than when it's warm.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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