The Importance of Vitamin D

Vitamin D: From Sunlight to Supplementation

The Importance of Vitamin D:

Most Americans are deficient in Vitamin D, yet more and more studies are revealing its vital importance. This amazing vitamin helps prevent osteoporosis, depression, cancer, diabetes, obesity and more! Here is what several doctors have to say about this crucial vitamin:

Because vitamin D is so cheap and so clearly reduces all-cause mortality, I can say this with great certainty: Vitamin D represents the single most cost-effective medical intervention in the United States.

  • Dr. Greg Plotnikoff, Medical Director, Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

I believe [vitamin D] is the number one public health advance in medicine in the last twenty years.

  • Dr. John Whitcomb, Aurora Sinai Medical Center.

I would challenge anyone to find an area or nutrient or any factor that has such consistent anti-cancer benefits as vitamin D. The data are really quite remarkable.

-Dr. Edward Giovannucci, Vitamin D expert.

In all my many years of practice of medicine, I’ve never seen one vitamin, even vitamin C, have such profound effects on human health.

  • Soram Khalsa MD.

15 Facts You Probably Never Knew About Vitamin D and Sunlight Exposure

Vitamin D prevents osteoporosis, depression, prostate cancer and breast cancer, and even effects diabetes and obesity. Vitamin D is perhaps the single most underrated nutrient in the world of nutrition. That’s probably because it’s free; your body makes it when sunlight touches your skin. Truth is, most people don’t know the real story on vitamin D and health.

  1. Vitamin D is produced by your skin in response to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from natural sunlight.
  2. The healing rays of natural sunlight that generate vitamin D in your skin cannot penetrate glass. So you don’t generate vitamin D when sitting in your car or home.
  3. It is nearly impossible to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from your diet. Sunlight exposure is the only reliable way to generate vitamin D in your own body. Our bodies can produce vitamin D on their own when exposed to sunlight but the skin must be free of sunscreen, sun blocks and clothing, which all interfere with the process.
  4. The farther you live from the equator, the longer the exposure you need to the sun in order to generate vitamin D. Canada, the UK and most US states are far from the equator.
  5. People with dark skin pigmentation may need 20 to 30 times as much exposure to sunlight as fair-skinned people to generate the same amount of vitamin D. This is why prostate cancer is epidemic among black men—it is a simple but widespread sunlight deficiency.
  6. Sufficient levels of vitamin D are crucial for calcium absorption in your intestines. Without sufficient vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium, rendering calcium supplements useless.
  7. Chronic vitamin D deficiency cannot be reversed overnight; it takes months of vitamin D supplementation and sunlight exposure to rebuild the body’s bones and nervous system.
  8. Even weak sunscreens (SPF 8) block your body’s ability to generate vitamin D by 95%. Sunscreen products can actually cause disease by creating a critical vitamin deficiency in the body.
  9. It is impossible to generate too much vitamin D in your body from sunlight exposure: your body will self-regulate and only generate what it needs.
  10. If it hurts to press firmly on your sternum, you may be suffering from chronic vitamin D deficiency right now.
  11. Vitamin D is activated in your body by your kidneys and liver before it can be used.
  12. Having kidney disease or liver damage can greatly impair your body’s ability to activate circulating vitamin D.
  13. Even though vitamin D is one of the most powerful healing chemicals in your body, your body makes it absolutely free. No prescription required.

Adapted from “The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D: An Exclusive Interview with Dr. Michael Holick,” by Mike Adams

What Can You Do?

Here are several resources where you can find current information from different points of view and decide what choice to make for you and your family:

Dr. Andrew Weil

Vitamin D Council

Dr. Mark Hyman

The Weston A. Price Foundation:

European Study on the Amount of Sun Exposure Needed for Healthy Vitamin D Levels

Dr. Mercola

“The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D: An Exclusive Interview with Dr. Michael Holick,” by Mike Adams


Resolution Reversa! Be Healthy And Lean In 2016!

happy new year

Resolution Reversa!

Join Our New Year’s Resolution

Group Holistic Weight Loss Challenge!!

 If you are ready to:

  • Lose the extra weight

  • Gain energy

  • Learn about your specific bio-individuality

  • Balance your bio-chemistry

  • Have all the support you would ever need …

*This is the program for you!

This year, be stronger than your excuses!  The time is now!


What does the program include?fireworks

  • Specialty blood work
  • One-on-one consultation with a Board Certified Holistic Health Counselor
  • Individualized meal plan based on your specific needs
  • Natural supplementation to bring you back to balance
  • 4 group sessions and weekly wellness newsletters
  • Weekly weigh-ins
  • 8 weeks of unlimited support through email, text, or phone
  • and more!
Plus ~ A grand prize (over $500 in value) rewarded 
to our challenge winner!


Our holistically focused weight loss program is a 2 month program

Originally $599.99 ~ Holiday Special $399.99!

It begins on January 12th!

Deadline is January 4th

 Call the office for more information and to register. 

(P) 215-283-2844 / (C) 267-963-8668



~Sign up by December 18th to receive 20% off!~

~Sign up with a buddy and you both receive 20% off!~

Reversa weight loss program Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia weight loss program

The doctors and health coaches at reversa weight loss combine proven scientific medical weight loss prescriptions with holistic approach to losing weight.

Want to know my big needle mover for fast, lasting fat loss? It has nothing — and everything — to do with the foods you eat and exercise you do.

The best thing you can do to stay lean and healthy involves a good night’s sleep. I’m talking quantity and quality here. If you sleep eight hours, but wake up three times during the night to go to the bathroom, you’re not getting high-quality sleep, and the repercussions can show up around your waistline.

If you think the worst aftermath of a crappy night’s sleep is that you snap at your partner the following morning and make a few lapses in judgment during the day, think again.

Lack of sleep can create weight loss resistance because how you sleep directly impacts how much you eat and what kind of foods you eat. Whether you get a solid eight hours or a toss-and-turn six hours can determine whether you go face down in a high-sugar impact pastry washed down with a gargantuan latte.

Sufficient or substandard sleep also signals your body to either store fat or burn it for fuel because of its impact on hormones like insulin, leptin, and cortisol. Getting quality, uninterrupted sleep supports better fat-burning the following day. Sleep can even contribute to your degree of hunger. If you’re reaching for your coworker’s freshly baked chocolate chip cookies after you ate a substantial lunch, you might want to look at how well you slept the night before.

Hormones play a huge part in this process. Ghrelin, a hormone that tells your brain to eat now, increases when you sleep poorly. Leptin, on the other hand, helps put the brakes on the brownie cheesecake. No surprise: When you don’t sleep, you become more leptin-resistant.

Poor sleep also impacts insulin. Chronically elevated insulin makes it more difficult to burn fat. Long-term sleep deprivation can make your cells insulin-resistant which leads to higher fasting insulin levels. In fact, studies show even a partial night’s sleep can make your more insulin resistant, setting the stage for obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

Another study at the University of Chicago concluded even if you eat healthy and exercise, not getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night puts you at risk for obesity. In other words, poor sleep patterns can screw up even your best efforts to have the body you want.

Many people think, “If I cut back one hour of sleep, I can get that report finished, or a couple hours less sleep on the weekend to have drinks with the girls won’t hurt me once in a while.” Tempting though that might be, reality isn’t pretty. Even one hour fewer of sleep can trigger hormonal chaos. You eat more, move less, make terrible eating choices, and exacerbate stress levels.

Is it any coincidence we’re simultaneously stressed and sleep deprived? When you’re stressed out, your body secretes more cortisol and adrenaline. Higher cortisol makes you better at storing fat, raises the set point for burning it off, and impairs digestion.

Your cortisol levels remain high for longer periods when you get less-than-optimal sleep. What ensues is a vicious cycle. High cortisol burns up your energy-assisting B vitamins, and you can’t make the neurotransmitters you need to sleep well. This “Jeckyll and Hyde” hormone also lowers levels of serotonin, the feel-good hormone your brain eventually converts to melatonin for — you guessed it — good sleep.

The aftermath isn’t pretty. You sleep terribly so you hit the snooze button multiple times. You’re too tired to make a protein shake, so you grab a low-fat (read: high-sugar impact) muffin and a large latte for that caffeine pick-me-up. By mid-morning, you’re drowning in stress, dealing with a sugar crash, angry at everyone in sight, and finally say “to hell with it” and grab a doughnut a co-worker brought in.

Don’t think you can just crank back the calories and do some cardio to make up for that sleep-deprived hormonal flux. If you want strong, sexy arms, pack in sufficient sleep, which helps your body repair, rebuild, and recover from the strenuous effort you put in at the gym.

Like vigorous exercise, sleep also increases human growth hormone (HGH). Let’s say you got a pitiful five hours of sleep and scheduled your trainer for 6 a.m. You certainly won’t be able to train with the intensity you would with substantial rest, particularly when you’re yawning and wondering why that fourth cup of coffee never kicked in.

You also won’t recover as well from a tough workout when you don’t sleep well. You don’t give your body the chance to repair muscle mass and you accelerate the aging process.

I hope you understand how crucial sleep becomes, yet I get it: putting the brakes on life and unwinding after a frenetic day can become a challenge.

That’s why I want you to develop a sleep ritual that helps you relax, whether that includes soothing music, a meditation CD or a hot bath. Mine involves some chamomile tea, a hot bath, and a good (but not great) novel.

Sleep and Weight Loss

Mary Kate Gowdy, AADP, CHHC, RMTP

It is scientifically proven that those that get a balanced, high quality sleep tend to weigh less, are less stressed and are much happier.  So, if you have been trying to lose weight and haven’t seen results … maybe you should look at your sleep patterns.

We all should be getting our 7 – 9 hours of sleep every night. Lack of sleep leads to obesity because of an increase in ghrelin, a hormone in our body that tells us when we’re hungry, and a decrease in leptin, the hormone in our body that tells us when we’re full. Thus, we remain hungry all the time, will overeat and have cravings for sugar and carbs. People that sleep less than six hours are more likely to easily gain weight than those that sleep seven to nine hours. Blood sugar levels rise to that of pre-diabetes after only a few nights of not enough sleep. Our energy levels will also suffer because muscles repair and regenerate energy supplies during deep sleep. 

Here are some helpful hints to a good nights sleep.

How Should we Sleep:

  1. We should be comfortable! A too soft or too firm mattress, an uncomfortable pillow, or an older, worn-out bed can all impede on a good night’s sleep. Check your mattress for signs of wear at least twice a year, and consider new pillows.
  2. Have a quiet, peaceful place to sleep. If your bedroom is noisy, consider a “white noise” generator, an inexpensive but effective device for making soothing sounds to mask the less peaceful ones. Try not to watch TV while trying to fall asleep, if you absolutely “must”, make sure the TV is on a timer so it does not continue to wake you all night long.
  3. Learn how to quiet the mind. If you can’t sleep because of an overactive mind – thoughts whirling through your head, try breathing techniques, stretching before you go to bed, meditations, writing your “worries” down before you lay down, using aromatherapy whether it be oils or herb pillows, etc. This can help you put aside the thoughts that are keeping you awake just for the night. The mind is a very powerful thing and if we don’t learn to master it … it will master us. Right now it is time to sleep, you will get back to your responsibilities tomorrow.
  4. Refrain from alcohol, caffeine, and excessive amounts of water a couple hours before bed. If you are constantly getting up to urinate (Nocturia) and then are not able to get back to sleep … eliminate caffeine and alcohol, especially before bedtime – both can increase night time urination and increase sleep disturbances. Refrain from drinking a lot of water right before bed. You should not be drinking caffeine anytime after 2:00pm. Caffeine is psychoactive in the body for 4-5 hours and will completely leave the body within 8 hours.  That means if you plan to go to sleep at 10 p.m. it would still be safe to finish your intake of coffee around 2 p.m. But, it is best to keep caffeine intake to the morning.
  5. Set a Routine. Our brains love rituals and routines. Find out what works best for your body and mind before bedtime. Whether it is hot tea, a bath (try with salts or essential oils. If you like hot baths, make sure to give your body an hour to slowly, naturally cool down from the day before sleep), reading (avoid conflict, intense, or disturbing reads – if adrenaline or coritsol begin to flow you’ll be awake for hours), meditation, relaxing music, writing of any kind or journaling, setting out your clothes for the next day, make a list of the next day’s chores and then let it be, etc. If you do this nightly your brain will begin to associate these activities as bedtime. Try to go to bed around the same time daily and if you can include the weekends – this regulates the body to sleep better. 
  6. Leave exercise for the morning/afternoon. Many people don’t get enough physical movement during the day which leads to not sleeping at night … they just aren’t tired. But, others exercise later at night. This keeps the body and mind in motion for hours. Exercise elevates heart rate and causes mental stimulation as well as other psychological effects. Definitely get your 30min (at least) of daily exercise … but don’t do it within 3 hours of bedtime. 
  7. Be aware of your partners sleep patterns. Maybe your sleeping problem is actually THEIR sleeping problem. Their snoring, moving, late night trips to the bathroom, nightmares, etc. It can be healed. Try your best to stay on the same routine if you can. If not, make sure both are following good sleep hygiene. 
  8. Keep your bedroom DARK. Our sleep cycles are directly tied to light. If we have the glow of the TV, phone, lights, no curtains or shades, etc … this will mess with our sleep. What may surprise you is that help for insomnia starts first thing in the morning. If you can, try to enjoy 15 minutes of bright morning sunshine to signal your brain to wake up, produce feel good hormones, and turn down sleep promoting melatonin. In the evening, dim the lights so your brain knows it is time to release melatonin in preparation for sleep. Wearing an eye mask at night will also help. But, our bodies replenish its melatonin levels while we sleep. So, if we want to be able to sleep well in nights to come, make sure to sleep in the dark. 
  9. Keep your sleeping area clean of clutter. A chaotic room with clothes, boxes, and piles of things everywhere is not conducive to falling asleep. All the clutter could actually be the primary distraction for your inability to sleep. Even if you are use to it, our minds are not good at feeling relaxed in areas of clutter. Our minds feel anxious, stressed, and actually associate clutter with disease. Make your bedroom your peace center, your sanctuary. Try not to work in your bedroom especially on your bed. Your brain should associate your bed with sleep, relaxation, and intimacy only. 
  10. Don’t go to bed hungry, but don’t go to bed full. Both are distracting. You should eat a good, healthy dinner no less than three hours before you go to bed. Your body needs time to digest before you lay down. If you are someone who needs a snack between dinner and bed just try to avoid food that is difficult to digest like cheese, sugar, anything highly processed or white. Try foods rich in tryptophan – they promote calm and sleepiness (chicken, tuna, turkey, cooked spinach, nuts, beans (hummus), seeds).
  11. Naps are okay! When you feel like you need to sleep – you do. You are tired. If you have the time, take a little nap (about 20-60min) instead of a cup of coffee. Naps are good for you J If you are not a napper – close your eyes and give yourself 10-20 minutes of meditation/rest time. This slows down your brain waves and helps you rejuvenate. Even just 5 minutes of eyes closed and deep breathing can work wonders.


Mary Kate Gowdy, AADP, CHHC, RMTP


        Yes, we all get them from time to time.  But, if we understand them … than we can start to conquer them!  Cravings are our body’s way of speaking to us and they need to be listened to.  There are 3 causes to cravings:

1~ Imbalance ~

         There is an imbalance in what you are currently eating.  You may not be getting enough high quality carbs, proteins, or fats.  Or you’re not eating enough at all – you are just hungry!  (not eating enough slows your metabolism and causes muscle breakdown as well as emotional imbalance.  You can eat without gaining weight, I swear!) Not taking in these foods, will leave you yearning for more.        

        With Carbs, think anti-oxidants and darker colors.  Get your fair share of Spinach, Kale, Romaine Lettuce, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Blueberries, Blackberries, and Strawberries.  Try to stay away from Bagels, Pasta, Bread, and Rice … especially the highly processed white stuff.  They have lost their nutrients and are empty foods.        

        With Proteins, think low fat. Eat more Haddock, Salmon, Cod, Turkey Breast, Tuna Steak, Lobster, Sea Bass, Quinoa, Tempeh, Almonds, Beans, and Chicken.  Try to wean yourself off Sausage, Bacon, and Ground Beef.  Also look for cage-free, free-range, organic and GMO free products to protect yourself from pesticides, hormones, and all that other nasty stuff that creates havoc in the body.         

        With Fats, think monounsaturated. Try Macadamia Nuts, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Olives, Avacado, Almonds, and Almond Butter. Lessen your intake of Lard, excessive amounts of Butter, and ALL Trans-Fats. Remember that Fat-Free and Low-Fat products do not mean healthier – if you check the labels, you will see they have replaced it with excessive amounts of Sugar or Salt.

2~ There is something emotional going on ~         

        If you lack here, you might overindulge there. It’s imperative to understand where this craving is coming from and tell yourself that overindulgence in another area of your life … including your food or sugar intake, is not the answer and will not solve the problem … but ultimately cause another.                 

        Your memory has a play here too. You remember college food, your Easter basket, and McDonald’s after your childhood soccer games. They made you feel good before, so you go back to them now. But, in all honesty, if you don’t eat it … you won’t crave it. If you eat it, you will crave it … usually the same time the next day! Or at specific events when you had that type of food last. Once you start to switch your diet to real, healthier foods, your body learns how to have correct cravings. You will start to crave an avacado, spinach, or almonds instead of cake and cookies, because you have taught your body what foods it really needs.        

        After awhile, you may crave a double cheeseburger and fries, and you may give into it (never, absolutely never, feel guilty for slipping. We are human). But, does it taste the same as you remember? How does your body feel now? Your body has learned this is not real food. 

3~ Allergies and Addiction ~  

        Food allergies can cause hormonal imbalances which may cause a deficiency in serotonin levels. This can trigger cravings for unhealthy foods or that exact food you are allergic to, to compensate for the deficiency. Again, understanding the craving can help you grow past it. Like an addiction, we are searching for something that will raise our serotonin levels and make us happy again. But, this type of chase will not heal the situation. If you slowly crowd out the unhealthy food choices and bring in the healthy ones, you will lessen the intensity and frequency of these cravings. You shouldn’t self-medicate with unhealthy food choices, but you can use food as your medicine.  Seek a health coach or nutritionist who can help you with discovering the foods that are best for your unique bio-individuality. 

**Always remember that when you feel hungry, you are really just thirsty. Take half your weight in ounces … that is the amount of water you should be drinking everyday.