Food is the foundation of good health. No debate there. The issue is that our food is not as nourishing as it once was for a variety of reasons: depleted soils, dubious growing methods and long transit times, to name a few. The rest of the story is that we don’t always make the best choices. That’s why I believe that targeted supplementation is a necessary strategy to achieve optimal nutrition, or simply said to give our body what it needs to perform. "Targeted” because each of each has different requirements at different times so knowing what to take when is really important. It’s also critical to take only the highest quality supplements.
WHY I LOVE SUPPLEMENTS...
The right supplements target specific nutrient deficiencies and resolve symptoms quickly.
Science is constantly discovering the magic within us - everything from how our cells communicate with one another to the way our body works as a symphony of systems. The autonomic nervous system gets it done for you every day: keeps your heart beating rhythmically, your blood flowing, your liver and kidneys functioning to eliminate waste and your lungs providing oxygen to your cells.
Your role in this miracle is to support your body with the right materials to get the job done well (nourishment) and the rest just happens.
Understanding what to take when is important. I provide a tear sheet to my clients with the basic outline of why they are taking a supplement (skin health, better sleep, muscle tension, digestion, etc.) and when to take it (with food, away form food, moving, before bed, etc.). It’s also helpful to write a short reminder right on the top of the bottle. I believe that knowing why you are supplementing is very important and motivating.
AND WHY I DON’T
Taking supplements is not an excuse to eat bad food.
In our pill-driven society we believe that we can erase our dietary sins with supplements and it just doesn’t work that simply. Our bodies have to metabolize everything we sent down the hatch and everything makes an imprint one way or another.
When you consider the physical and emotional stress each day presents along with the level of toxic exposures we encounter in our environment (food, air, water, beauty products, exhaust, EMF, fragrance, et al.), you realize that even before you dive into the Doritoes you are behind the 8 ball.
Everything we consume either burdens our body or supports it.
TARGETED, HIGH-QUALITY SUPPLEMENTS ARE KEY.
One size does NOT fit all when it comes to supplementation. Each of us has a unique biology so our needs are different at different times in life. Pregnancy, athletic performance, child development and old age create different nutritional demands.
The mass-marketing of supplements means that they are mass-produced and many are worthless at best and may be harmful with the fillers and allergens used.
HOW TO SUPPLEMENT
1. I suggest working with a nutritional practitioner to determine your specific needs and monitor your response to the supplementation.
Instead of wasting a lot of cash on what the TV tells you to buy, determine what you personally need and how to get them. There are very high-quality, affordable supplements available to practitioners that you will not find at Costco ever.
2. I believe that “pulsing” is the best method.
That means that you do not take exactly the same supplements every day. Take a day off each week to allow your body a rest from metabolizing concentrated nutrients and to use up any excess. The pulsing method may also involve taking a break from certain supplements after a period of time to see if your body has healed to the point where you may not need them. An example of this is amino acid supplementation for the production of neurotransmitters necessary to mental and emotional balance. If your mood stabilizes after several weeks or months, you may taper the dose or pause the supplementation unless symptoms reemerge.
3. Test your levels of important measurable nutrients like Vitamin D before supplementing.
The shotgun approach, taking a wide array of popular supplements hoping that you will hit your targeted deficiencies, can be counterproductive. Fat soluble vitamins like A,E, D and K are not eliminated easily and too much of a nutrient can produce unwanted symptoms as well.
4. Supplements can be used (as needed) instead of synthetic drugs.
I avoid NSAIDS (like Advil and Alleve) because of the deleterious effects to the gut lining and the burden they place on the liver. Instead, I take liposomal curcumin when I have menstrual cramps or headache. When I have sore muscles, I take an extra magnesium (glycinate) capsule. When I feel the threat of a cold, I drop a few zinc lozenges and a probiotic.
5. Know why you are taking a supplement.
This is very important to the process. It’s well understood that the things we do consciously have a greater impact on the results we achieve. Being tuned in to your own biology is empowering and motivating. If you aren’t taking responsibility for your health, who is?
Check out my FREE guide to the most commonly needed supplements.