How to Get Vitamin D Without Risking Excessive Sun Exposure

Maintaining adequate amounts of vitamin D helps your body to absorb calcium and phosphate from your diet. Without enough vitamin D it’s impossible to absorb all the calcium you need. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 40% of American adults have a vitamin D deficiency, which can lead to symptoms like fatigue, depression, and joint pain. 

Vitamin D also influences cell growth and immune function, which helps with inflammation and keeps your nervous system working properly. 

While most of us know that strong sunlight triggers vitamin D production in our skin, too much sunlight comes with its own health risks. Here’s how I recommend you get your vitamin D without risking sun damage. 

  • Although vitamin D only occurs in a few foods naturally, it’s often added to other foods. Foods including fatty fish like salmon and trout, fish liver oil, egg yolks, and mushrooms are naturally high in vitamin D. Other foods, especially dairy, plant-based milks and many fruit juices are frequently fortified with vitamin D. By adding these foods to your diet—or adjusting how frequently you eat them—you can increase your vitamin D levels naturally. 
  • You can also take a daily vitamin D3 supplement if incorporating the foods mentioned above doesn’t work for you. 1000 to 2000 IU daily is considered safe and appropriate for those living in the northern states. 
  • Lastly, you can get your vitamin D by getting healthy amounts of sunshine. This doesn’t mean you should lay out and suntan. With sunblock on, you can obtain a healthy amount of vitamin D with 15 to 20 minutes of sun exposure on your face, shoulders, arms and legs, 3 to 4 times per week.  

If you’re worried about how much vitamin D you’re getting, reach out to your R-Health doctor. They will be able let you know if you need to take or keep taking vitamin D supplements and how much you should take.  

What We Know About the Delta Variant

Just as things were starting to open up, a new strain of COVID-19—the Delta variant—is causing concern as cases are once again rising in certain sections of the U.S.

Since we have been receiving a lot of questions about the Delta variant, here’s what we know:

  • This new Delta variant is highly contagious – about twice as transmissible as the original virus.
  • Nationally right now, about 97% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and 99% of COVID-19 deaths are among the unvaccinated.
  • While it is true that you can still contract the Delta variant of COVID-19 if you are fully vaccinated, people are typically asymptomatic or experience mild symptoms.
  • While the Delta variant is the latest, there are more unknown variants that could still make an appearance. To continue getting back to “normal,” we need a much more significant portion of the population vaccinated and we all need to do our part to ensure that happens.

It is also important to remember that all COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. have been rigorously tested to ensure safety. Our clinical teams have also spent a significant amount of time evaluating the safety of the vaccines so that we can do our best to help our patients better understand the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines.

If you have questions on COVID-19, any new variants, or the COVID-19 vaccines, please reach out to your R-Health doctor. We are here to help.


Something that is always talked about in primary care is the doctor-patient relationship. But how can patients get to know their doctor on a more personal level? Asking questions is one of the best ways to ensure you and your doctor are on the same page and a great way for you to get to know your doctor on a more personal level.

Get to know Dr. Gina Glass, lead physician at the TRIAD Health Centre since opening January 2020. She believes a collaborative relationship is key to maintaining good health and strives to empower her patients to guide their care. But, to ensure Dr. Glass’ patients really know her, we asked her 3 questions that you most likely always wanted to ask your doctor, yet never did.

1. How did you end up going into medicine?

Dr. Glass: During my college years, I enjoyed studying a wide variety of disciplines while mentoring and coaching fellow students as a Peer Counselor and Resident Assistant. So, when discerning what career to pursue, Family Medicine is what appealed to me most, due to its broad spectrum and focus on partnering with patients on their health and wellness.

2. What health advice do you find hard to follow and why?

Dr. Glass: I talk with my patients regularly about the importance of getting an average of 8 hours of sleep a night for maintaining optimal health. However, I admit to finding it difficult to consistently get to bed early enough to get 8 hours of sleep as evening are often my opportunity to connect with my husband and our young adult children.

3. What has seeing patients taught you about life?

Dr. Glass: That there are rarely, if ever, “black and white” answers.  I believe that one of the wonderful things about life, including medicine, is that it is filled with complexity. Each patient has a unique health history and personal preferences. Although I definitely utilize evidence-based guidelines for patient care, I do not believe in a “one size fits all” approach. I enjoy taking the time to get a comprehensive understanding of each patient’s background and preferences, discussing the pros and cons of various approaches to their healthcare, and providing convenient follow-up, whether virtual or in-person, to assist them in monitoring their progress toward their health and wellness goals.

Schedule an appointment at the TRIAD Health Centre by calling 856.454.8985 or reaching out via Spruce to meet Dr. Glass and review any medical concerns you may have.


Nothing says “summer” quite like fresh vegetables. I particularly like to enjoy a fresh salad handpicked from the garden with just a little olive oil and lemon—and I think the best accompaniment to any meal.  

But it is especially important to incorporate more greens into our diet because they provide essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that our bodies need. It has also been showed they best way to avoid disease or to reverse many existing diseases is to have a diet rich in veggies.  

While it is easy to go to the grocery store to get your veggies, some may have preservatives and additives. That’s why I suggest growing your own. The three vegetables I would recommend growing during summer are:  

  1. Cucumbers. You can use cucumbers in a variety of ways—perfect for eating straight off the vine, tossing in salads or pickling. Plus, they are low in calories and contain a good amount of water and soluble fiber, making them ideal for promoting hydration and aiding in weight loss. 
  1. Tomatoes. Not only are they a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K, tomato plants are easy to grow and remarkably productive.  
  1. Lettuce. Lettuce can grow as little as 30 days, making this the perfect veggie to grow during summer. Not only can you make a quick salad or throw on top of a piece of protein, but it provides significant amounts of vitamins A and K to your diet. 

Having a summer garden can be as rewarding as it is tasty. If you’re looking for advice on how to live a healthier lifestyle, reach out to me and we can create a plan tailored to your needs. 


Have you ever stopped to think about how many times a day you drink water? Keeping hydrated is crucial for health and well-being, but many people do not consume enough fluids each day. Because our bodies are made up of about 60% water, our body depends on water to survive. When you don’t drink enough water, you put yourself at risk of becoming dehydrated which can affect you both physically and mentally. 

Aside from the fact that our bodies need water to survive, here are 6 health benefits of drinking plenty of water: 

  1. Drinking water is essential to brain function helping focus, concentration and keeping your energy level high 
  2. Drinking plenty of water helps maximize physical performance by improving circulation and providing cushioning for your joints 
  3. Adequate water intake helps keep a healthy urinary and gastrointestinal tract by flushing your bladder, aiding digestion, and preventing constipation 
  4. Being well hydrated can help boost your metabolic rate assisting with weight loss 
  5. Drinking water can help prevent headaches and may even help treat them 
  6. Maintaining a healthy hydration status can help normalize your blood pressure and heart rate 


Now that you are fully vaccinated you may be wondering “now what?” The CDC has come out with recommendations that can help when making decisions about daily activities after you are fully vaccinated. Below is a comprehensive breakdown on what fully vaccinated people can start doing and what they should continue to do.

If you’ve been fully vaccinated, 2 weeks after your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic. This means:

  • Resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance
  • If you travel in the U.S., you do not need to get tested or self-quarantine
  • If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms

However, there are still some things that you should continue to do even when fully vaccinated.

  • You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace and local businesses
  • You are still required to wear a mask in a healthcare setting
  • Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the U.S.
  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken the immune system, should talk to their healthcare provider to discuss their activities. They may need to keep taking all precautions to prevent COVID-19.

Because things are everchanging, please refer to the CDC website for the most current up-to-date information.