☝️ Upwarding #15: Vitamin D, Essential Self, Weight Loss Deaths, and Boarding Planes.

Welcome to this week's Upwarding newsletter. Issue #15. My blog, with more in-depth content, can be found here.


Here are the cancer death rates by state in the USA:

Several years ago, everyone was gung-ho on Vitamin D supplementation, claiming it reduced everything from cancer to heart disease to obesity. Most of this withered under further scrutiny. Cancer may be the exception.

I figured that if vitamin D improved cancer survival, there would be fewer cancers in southern states and more in northern states.

The correlation is slight but it is there, as per the map above and my own calculations. Bottom line: I’m not sure we’re genetically adapted to be covered in clothes and indoors all the time. In fact, there are some studies showing we get an alarmingly small amount of Vitamin D even if we live in the sun belt. You can get enough Vitamin D with just a few minutes a day outside or a small supplement. Do it! But keep the amount small.

Vitamin D is so important it’s the reason Europeans have lighter skin and can tolerate lactose better.

It helps digestion as well.


To know how to be your best self in this world, it is important to know yourself well. I am doing a fascinating exercise in self-discovery, where you describe yourself in 5 words, have people who know you well do the same, and then see what is consistent. Want to try this quick but deep tool? Get in touch with Kate.


I’m heavier than I used to be. I thought it would be a good idea to lose weight, but the research tends to show that’s a very bad idea – you’re more likely to die when you lose weight, especially quickly. See here and here. Lots of caveats, but intriguing.

The paradox is that being overweight is also dangerous. So perhaps just stick where you are or lose weight very slowly? The jury is out, but I’m definitely avoiding anything extreme for now.


My book called “How To Stash That Cash” is coming out April 1! Bottom line: banks aren’t a great place to stash your emergency funds. For a summary, see this popular post on my blog.

Random Thought

Here is a way more efficient way for us to be boarding planes.

Unfortunately, like skipping ahead in the salad bar line, a sense of fairness would likely trump efficiency.


As my wife undergoes a career transition, I was reminded of this beautiful quote:

“Every exit is an entry somewhere else” -Tom Stoppard.

We must balance what we are losing with the excitement of what lies ahead!

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