Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Post on Supplements

Today's post doesn't have a recipe because honestly, last night's dinner wasn't that great- it wasn't inedible or anything but just not anything worth writing home about.  I made tilapia that was way too spicy for MKG and S and a meh salad.  It happens.  My post today is about supplements/vitamins.  There seem to be two distinct camps.  The "I get all my vitamins from my varied diet" and then the folks who feel they could always use a little more.  It doesn't help that there really are no clearcut daily amounts that we should all be getting.  We know the bare minimums we should get to avoid different illnesses and deficiencies (iron for anemia, vitamin c for scurvy, etc) but what are optimal amounts of each vitamin?  To make it even more confusing, most likely we all need differing amounts depending on genetics, where we live, what health issues we have, and so on. 

I have started taking quite a lot of vitamins.  I've always taken a multi or pre-natal and one or two others for good measure- but in efforts to help increase my insulin sensitivity and get my hormones on track, I've added a bunch of new supplements to the mix and I can't help wondering if it's doing anything at all.  It's only been a month or so- but it's a lot of pills everyday and it can make me a little naush, especially on an empty stomach, and then of course it's an addtional expense too. 

Right now I'm taking cinnamon, chromium, biotin, manganese, vitamin D3, magnesium, plus a multi, something called DCI, and now metformin.  That's a lot!  Plus my daily protein shakes.  Ironically, many times I find myself wishing for a protein pill too, to make it easier to get enough in everyday.  Do you "believe" in supplements?  If so, what do you take, and do you feel like it does anything? 

It's hard to say if any of these are helping to increase my insulin sensitivity.  I don't keep track of my blood glucose levels so I'd just be guessing.  Hormonally nothing really feels any different either- except that I feel like my temperature has maybe gone up a little bit.  Normally I'm always cold, but lately I've been feeling much warmer and sometimes even too hot.  I have noticed my nails are also quite a bit stronger, probably from the biotin.  Other than that- nothing to report.  Honestly, if anything, I am feeling super crampy lately which I'm not thrilled about. 

I know that in a perfect world we'd all get adequate nutrition and the right mix of vitamins and minerals from our colorful, varied, non GMO, macrobiotic, locally-grown and all organic diet.  Obviously that is not the case for the vast majority of us.  And I have to wonder, could you even stomach all that food you'd really need to eat?  Myself personally, I just don't think my appetite is big enough for all that food!  I am still struggling with trying to get more protein. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on vitamins and supplements!  Let me know what you think!  XoXoGFG


  1. I read two books by Michael Pollan that changed my life (really. Got me reading food blogs which further changed my eating). One was An Omnivore's Dilemma, in which he took four meals, and traced the ingredients back to where they grew out of the ground (I'll never look at corn syrup the same way). The second was In Defense of Food, which started with his simple statement. "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
    That was a really long intro to simply say, I agree with Michael Pollan. You're already obviously the type of person who really cares about their health. Probably all you need is a good quality multi and a fish-oil supplement. Maybe calcium if you're not much of a dairy-drinker (I only have it in my coffee).

  2. Hi Chelsea! I loved In Defense of Food. Michael Pollan is such an inspiration. I agree- getting your vitamins from food should be the goal. And corn syrup- yikes don't get me started!