Vitamins, Herbs, and Supplements (and Macaroons and Granola!)

I hope you had a great weekend! Mine was fabulous—I didn’t do any work on Sunday, and Joe didn’t have to work till Sunday evening, so we went to my Mom’s for Easter. I just have to say that my Mom is amazing. She was cooking for the weirdest crowd ever—Joe and myself (Joe is picky but he’d never tell anyone what he wants), my grandparents (definitely wanted a ham dinner), Fred’s kids (who are not kids, but one owns Philly Cheesesteak restaurants and his wife is pregnant, and the other is mostly a vegetarian who makes food choices for some health reasons). My Mom made a variety of veggie recipes, mostly from the Kripalu cookbook, then ham, rye, and swiss cheese for the ham eaters. She also made Chai Tea that made me realize what non-instant chai tea is supposed to taste like! Not only was that the best Easter dinner I’ve ever had, but it just made me think about how amazing my mom is. She really put her heart into that meal, and sincerely wanted everyone to be happy. I had expected to munch on some salad and call it a day!

Asparagus, broccoli salad, salad w/ pears and pumpkin seeds, red skinned potato salad, and quinoa shrimp. She also made vegan carrot cake that I didn't take a picture of...oh, and I guess I missed out on the ham pic too ๐Ÿ™‚

The day felt like possibly the first time since my sister died that we were all getting together because we wanted to be together, and not just because we should spend time together on a holiday and make my grandparents feel like we’re normal. I often wonder why when we get together it always has to be about food, but it made sense yesterday. I know it’s a lot of work for my mom, and I’ve often just told her not to bother–she works hard for 24 hours in the kitchen and then everyone eats too much and it’s all over. This meal wasn’t like that (at least to me—maybe it was for my mom). What are your holiday meals like?

Topic Change: I was going to post about Stress/Metabolism this weekend, but I haven’t finished it yet, so I thought I’d do an easier one. Since I teach a college course called, Vitamins, Herbs, and Supplements, people always ask me what supplements I take. So I thought I’d just put them here, and tell you why I take them. This isn’t a recommendation!

Chlorella (Live Superfoods) – High in vitamins, chlorophyll, and protein. Gives me a lot of sustaining energy, a happy feeling, and was the key to normalizing a really wacky menstrual cycle (sorry guy-readers).

MSM (Jarrow-Amazon) – This is a sulfur compound, a great heavy metal detoxifier and supportive of healthy connective tissue. When I add a tablespoon to my water during a workout (it’s bitter, but I don’t mind the taste when I’m thirsty and sweating), I find that over time I am much more flexible and have fewer aches and pains. Typically, I have a lot of joint pain, especially in my hips. This helps.

Krill Oil (The cleanest fish oil I can find – Mercola) – Flax and chia area great for getting Omega-3’s, but they lack in EPA and DHA. These two things are essential to many aspects of health, including brain and heart health. An issue with low quality fish oil is that it can be contaminated with mercury and other environmental toxins that were in the fish. High quality krill is a good source because it was only alive for a short time (toxins don’t build up) and it renews itself super quickly. It is also high in antioxidants. If you don’t eat fish twice a week, you probably need to take a fish oil supplement.

Multi-vitamin/mineral (Mineralife – liquid) – Just covering the basics here. I like the vitamin/mineral combo—we often overlook minerals!

Vitamin C (Lypospheric) – Antioxidant/cell repair/skin health…and a lot more.

Vitamin B Complex (Lypospheric) – Coenzymes that help the body convert food to energy. Helps mental focus, plus includes vitamin B12 which I’m probably low on due to not eating a lot of meat. In my class, we have a big discussion about the use of mega-doses of B vitamins in energy drinks…and why it’s misleading!

Vitamin D – Due to lack of exposure to sunlight where I live, and my mom has osteoporosis so I’d like to boost my D, which helps with calcium absorption. It also helps with mood and energy level.

Probiotics (Syntol) – to help maintain digestive tract and systemic body bacteria. I have had so many issues with this over the years due to spending too much time on antibiotics and birth control pills. It took me decades to figure it out because I didn’t trace back my symptoms to the real problem. I’m convinced that this is key to figuring out (or at least dealing with) tinnitus and melasma issues I’m having. I just don’t know if it’s too late to fix the problems by just taking probiotics.

The probiotics I take - in spore form, paired with they don't get killed by stomach acid and the enzymes digest the dead bacteria (so you don't experience die-off symptoms)

I also take other supplements on a symptom-as needed-basis.

Do you take any of these supplements? On an empty stomach, I take the probiotic. Then I take the B, C, and Multi together by stirring them into water 20 or 30 minutes later. I then take the vit D and chlorella. I guess it sounds like a lot, but I have specific and general reasons for all of them, and I feel much better when I take them! ย Watch Food Matters for more perspective on supplements.

I have some clients who believe that they should be able to get all of their necessary micronutrients from food. The problem with that is that (1) if you don’t eat fish, you’re deficient in DHA and EPA for sure, (2) the soil our current food supply is grown in is deficient in nutrients and minerals, (3) we don’t eat a varied enough diet based on the food supply (and where we live), (4) probiotics are very important to the body’s bacteria balance, and if you ever take medications or eat processed food and sugar, you’re probably out of balance–it can be really difficult to diagnose this because everyone shows different kinds of symptoms.

You can exist for a lifetime without taking any supplements, but I really believe that you can enhance your health, help prevent and treat conditions, and slow the aging process by supplementing your diet (no matter how good your diet is!).

My supplement students learn SO much during our course, and I love teaching it because I always learn something new too. There’s a whole world of herbs out there that can help us thrive, but we don’t generally know enough about them to make good choices about what to take. It’s just easier to take drugs recommended by a doctor. That’s just not my style ๐Ÿ™‚

I made macaroons and granola this weekend…both turned out amazingly good–the macaroons are all different flavors: vanilla almond, vanilla orange, vanilla Dandy Blend (my favorite one!), chocolate, chocolate orange, and chocolate mint. Too much sugar in these for me in the form of maple syrup, but I tasted one of each ๐Ÿ™‚

The main ingredients: unprocessed coconut, NY maple syrup, coconut oil, ground sprouted almond flour (in the blondies), cacao powder (in the dark chocolate ones). I used extracts and Dandy Blend to spruce these up...The Dandy Blend ones taste a little like coffee flavored--amazing!
Dehydrated for almost 24 hours at 115 degrees
Granola, before flipping it and breaking into pieces--it's raw (except the maple syrup) and all the seeds and nuts are sprouted

I’d love to hear what supplements you take and why!

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