Thursday, May 23, 2013

eat to live: supplements

in a perfect world, we wouldn't need to take supplements.  if we ate what our bodies need on a consistent basis and if the soil wasn't depleted of vital nutrients then maybe we could get by with only food and juicing.'s not a perfect world.  and i don't know about you, but my diet is far from perfect {ahem}.  with the stress of the recent storms i packed chocolate in my "go bag" and craved a cheeseburger like no man's business.  i am still working on my body's reaction to stress.  and yes, sonic won.

the following are my personal picks and my opinions.

we need supplements but not all supplements are made the same.  supplements from the grocery or drug store are not worth the money.  in some studies, they don't even dissolve when digested.  {i wish i could remember which on my text books suggested this, sorry.}  

one time in georgia i took one of the kids to the pediatrician. he asked about any medications and i said, "no, just vitamins."  his answer?  "oh yes, my kids take scooby-doo vitamins too" or something like that.  my mind raced.  should i get on my soap box and tell him that scooby-doo vitamins are a far cry from what his kids' bodies need  or keep my mouth shut?  since he was the doctor and i am not, i kept my mouth shut.  but, it was hard.  

lucky for you i have no qualms sharing my opinions

we get what we pay for and a good quality whole food supplement is important.  here's where is gets confusing.  i can go to five different naturopaths and they each sell a different brand of supplements and herbs and promise they are by far the best!  most of these can not be purchased unless you are a doctor, nutritionist etc.


i've settled for creating our own arsenal of supplements on-line from vitacost.  i have been researching a company who sells health products which i may be selling soon, i'll let you know if that happens.

the following is my personal pics of supplements for myself and family.  they are what work for us right now.  are they all from whole foods?  i'm not sure.  am i stressed out about it?  nope.  we do our best.

i like vitacost * because shipping is always a flat $5 or free for orders over $49.  their prices are the best i've seen and they also carry natural beauty products, bug repellant, sunblock, gluten free snacks etc.  if you use this* link you'll get a $10 credit toward any $30 purchase and i will get a $10 credit for referring you.

multivitamin: mountain man and i take rainbow light food based vitamins.  this means the nutrients come from food and not man made in a laboratory. they have many different formulas to choose from.

 the kids' daily multivitamin is usually:

there are many flavors to choose from.

vitamin C is very important...especially in the fall and winter.  it is great for the immune system and if you take too much it "simply" gives you diarrhea.  when we feel a cold coming on the adults take about 2,000 mg. daily.  kids and adults take this around here, usually only during cold and flu season.

fish oil is important for healthy brain development for kids.  it's important for adults* as well.  my kiddos take the liquid form but there are other forms to choose from.  i try to choose the least processed varieties.

probiotics are very important.  they say we are only as healthy as our guts.  when a person takes antibiotics the good as well as bad bacteria is killed.  probiotics restore the good flora.  we take probiotics on a regular basis but if you've been on antiobiotics they are a must.  probiotics should be refrigerated therefore we do not purchase them at vitacost.  some companies will ship them on dry ice but i don't think vitacost does.  we purchase our probiotics at our local health food store in the refrigerated section.

because the soils are depleted and our bodies are stressed {not to mention our diets of processed foods!} i think a supplement of digestive enzymes*is important. digestive enzymes help the body process and break down food.  especially important for older people or people with stressed or compromised digestive systems.

it is my opinion that a calcium supplement is very important for strong bones and teeth.  yes, calcium is found in dairy but as a family we don't eat much dairy.  calcium is also in broccoli but unfortunately my kids don't eat too much of that either.  the kids take a calcium magnesium supplement before brushing their teeth a night.  the magnesium helps them relax and sleep well.  if you have a child with a lot of energy calmag can be given in the morning as well. mountain man and i take a calcium magnesium supplement at times. 

also about twice a year we take herbs to rid our bodies of parasites.  i know it's a gross subject and whatever you do DO NOT google images of human least if you want to ever eat again.  parasites can be found on food and in the dirt.  they are a part of life.  but, if our bodies are weakened parasites can thrive.  hence, a good reason it's important to have a healthy gut.

i saw this kit on vitacost, we have never used it but it looked good.  i usually just use black walnut hull*.

if you or a family member has a chronic physical or psychological disorder i would recommend finding a nutritionist {we prefer to find christian health practitioners}, especially one who can test your vitamin and mineral levels.  too little of a vitamin or mineral or too much can be harmful and produce all kinds of symptoms and problems.  so many people run to the doctor and get prescriptions of medication that have terrible side effects when their bodies are simply out of line nutritionally.  

also, there are special supplements for certain conditions such as prostate, hormones, allergies etc.  i always tell people to try natural and diet changes first!  it is challenging because natural choices sometimes do not work as fast as over the counter or prescription medications.  but, as i remind them, they did not get sick overnight either!

and don't forget prayer is key!  pray over ailments, decisions and supplements.  what works for us may not be what is best for you and your family!  the Holy Spirit will guide you to your best options! 

until next to live!


  1. That's an awful lot of supplements on a regular basis. If you are in a position to have a garden, you can do something about the quality of your soil and grow organic veggies. The worst thing for us is processed foods that contain nitrates. People need to be more selective in what they eat, not just take more and more supplements. My humble opinion.

  2. @ Lori's comment: Lori, thank you for your opinion! i agree, i wish more people were able to grow their own food. and please for the love of pete, stay away from nitrates! my trouble is getting my kids to actually eat the veggies they grow! i also agree that it does seem like a lot of supplements. i should have clarified that we do not take everything every single day. vitamin C is usually just in the fall/winter unless we have been exposed to an illness. fish oil makes it to the table maybe half of the time. as for the enzymes, i once saw with my own eyes a well known tulsa nutritionist offer her friend an enzyme after eating a salad. up to this point i was wondering if a body really needs enzymes, especially after eating veggies. {i was not spying, we were at a health conference and i was sitting on a bench in the hallway during a break when they walked by.} it was then i realized all the hoopla about enzymes is probably true. that, and my digestion dramatically changes for the better after swallowing one! anyway, i do wish we could put all the money we spend on supplements towards a family vacation or something of the like but we've made a decision to fit supplements into our budget. our doctor bills have dramatically gone down, while our vitacost bill goes up and it is worth every penny for our family!

    thank you!

  3. very interesting post! i have noticed when i miss a couple of days of taking the few supps that i normally take how run down & tired i feel. then, also, i lose sleep every few days and need to catch up on that too!! i'm trying to simplify my life, both in money spent and on what it's spent. and fewer dr visits. i'm retired and do appreciate everyone's right to do what's best for their familiy!! go girl!!!
    ^)^ linda


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