Happy New Year friends!
I love the fresh start, the extra energy (and people) in the gym, and answering all the questions about all things fitness and nutrition. However, I’ll be honest, I cringe during “New Year-New You” season. Seeing people buy into crazy cleanses, extreme approaches, and workouts that hurt in all the wrong places breaks my heart
a little a lot. The Diet and Fitness industry is a multi-billion dollar business that banks on you failing and preys on your every insecurity. Yikes! I’d rather keep it real, build you up, and guide you on what really matters in the world of fitness and nutrition. On that note, I’m breaking down vitamins and supplements for you-here we go!
I’m going to share which supplements I keep on hand and often tell clients about, but first let me give you a little background info. Vitamins and supplements are not regulated by the FDA. Say what?! That’s right…no one is regulating what is put on the shelves for you to buy. This means companies can:
Make false claims
Sell shiz that is promoted as one thing but actually bulked up with a bunch of awful fillers or dangerous add ins. (Anyone remember when the uber popular Fen Phen went from easily available to BANNED in a matter of days? After too many deaths and heart conditions were detected, the awful product was finally banned in the US. Unfortunately many people who took the product are still suffering from the long lasting heart conditions). Another example is buying a fish oil product from a main stream, big bulk market (I’m not naming anyone) only to realize they don’t regulate the type of fish or amount of mercury that ends up in your capsule.
Sell products that aren’t high enough doses and/or concentrations to actually help you. This happens so often with probiotics (I’ll explain more in a moment).
SO…how can you be smart about your products and know you are getting the highest quality, beneficial concentration, and make sure you’re not paying extra just to turn your pee neon?!
Follow these tips:
1. Look for companies that have 3rd party testing. The legit companies will have unaffiliated parties perform tests to ensure their products are made of what they say. For example, Nordic Naturals Omega supplements are tested by a 3rd party for their mercury content. They also source their fish oil from New Zealand, who only allows a fraction of the mercury the US allows in their fish.
2. Always check with your doctor. Vitamins and supplements can have adverse reactions so run your list by your doctor to be sure you’re cleared. There’s a reason they went to med school, please trust their professional advice!
3. Research a bit and figure out the dosage and concentrations needed. For example, there are a couple different types of magnesium. Probiotics come in different parts per billion and also different strains that help with different areas of your body. Nothing bugs me more than some of the multi level marketing companies that sell the lowest and most simple form of probiotics and charge you as much as the complex, high dosage, high quality ones at Whole Foods (hint…buy the Whole Foods ones!)
4. Listen to your body. If you don’t feel, research a bit. Low vitamin D can be linked to depression and Omega’s will help elevate your mood. Supplements can work magic in your life. Alternatively, if you take a new supplement and don’t feel well, stop! You should not feel ill from a single supplement you take.
5. If you have a wellness center in your area, shop there! You will be supporting actual families and small businesses who are invested in helping you feel your best and they are often more knowledgeable than the main stream markets. If you live in SCV, check out The Valencia Wellness Center and chat with Crystal. It’s my favorite spot to gain knowledge, purchase my supplements, and seek guidance on what my body needs.
Here is my personal list of what I keep in my kitchen cabinet (right above the coffee because #priorities). Sometimes I’m taking all of these and sometimes I’m only taking a few things. Again, consult with a doctor and listen to your body always.
Choose a “food based” type. These are compounded with actual food so your body recognizes the contents and absorbs them to the fullest ability.
Brands: New Chapter Organics, Garden of Life, Smarty Pants (for children and teens)
Omegas are vital to our skin, hair, nails, heart, and mood. Studies have proven Omegas to be more beneficial than even some antidepressants, if taken consistently. *Do not stop any medications without the approval and direction of your doctor*
Brand: Nordic Naturals Complete Omega
Balance your stomach so that you can absorb, process, and eliminate every food and supplements that enters your body. The function of your immune system is tied into your gut health.
Brand: Renew Life 50 billion count (capsule) or Bio-K (liquid) Dr. Mercola
The first electrolyte our body naturally flushes out during stress (good or bad…workouts, rough days, lack of sleep, finals, child birth, etc). Magnesium will help loosen up and move the bowels. Each day we may need different doses, depending on our stress levels. Monitor your amount by how much you can take without experiencing diarrhea. Bowel movements should occur 1-3 times daily, and be the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Magnesium has helped me eliminate migraines.
Brand: Calm powder
I love the Vital Protein brand plain beef sourced, the marine sourced (although it definitely has a flavor) and my absolute favorite is the mocha flavored collagen creamer mixed into coffee or tea. Amino Sculpt is a medical grade collagen that can be taken by itself or mixed into water.
Trace Minerals Research Concentrace
This fills in all the gaps that our diet lacks in regard to minerals. Minerals are traced back to the quality of the soil our food is grown or raised in. Due to processing and environmental factors, even Organic foods are lacking minerals that were found in foods many years ago and are still essential to our health.
This was recommended to me by a Neurologist when I was having (very scary, non traditional) Migraines. It took 4-6 weeks to work but it made a life changing difference for me!
Even living in sunny SoCal, so many people lack vitamin D. Get your levels checked through blood work and see if you need this supplement. It’s a game changer and will almost instantly have you “wearing rose colored glasses”.