Hello dear friends!
If you’ve paid any attention to the health and wellness news lately, you’ve probably had a few headlines downloaded into your brain. New nutrition recommendations include less sugar, but absolve red meat. Cholesterol is no longer a marker of concern. Turns out, you don’t really need vitamins. And while I wholeheartedly agree with the first two, I think that telling everyone they’re wasting their time and money on vitamins and supplements is rather irresponsible and shortsighted. Because you see, I credit a lot of my energy and stamina to these pills and powders, and I honestly don’t know where I would be without them.
The nutritional supplement industry is estimated to be worth almost $40 billion and is expected to keep growing. More and more people are turning to natural and OTC ways to feel better, heal their conditions, and boost everything from their mood to their sex drive. I feel like this is just an indication of the collective consciousness moving away from the traditional top-down Western medical model of physicians and pharmaceuticals and more towards a horizontal model inclusive of alternative therapies, nutraceuticals, energy work, and proper nutrition.
Overall, I think this is a fantastic move, but of course there are people getting duped every day because the supplement market is so flooded and rather under-regulated. So yes, for the average healthy person looking for an “edge”, those mega power multivitamins are probably turning into expensive urine. But for the millions of us who are fighting chronic and complicated illnesses, I believe, the right supplements can make a world of difference. And I would know- I’ve tried them all!
Since my illness onset in 2009, I have doled out thousands of dollars on vitamins, pills, powder, tinctures, shakes, injections, and so-called superfoods. I’ve tried a vegetarian diet, a raw diet, a strict vegan diet, a flexible (a.k.a. nonexistent) diet, a macrobiotic diet, and finally a paleo/primal diet (hint: this one actually makes me feel better!). For the first few years of my illness, I relied heavily on this powdered multivitamin in my morning shake- it works great, but beware- tastes and smells horrific. Then later I added in some herbal adrenal support, which has been a lifesaver, especially in times of extreme stress (and let’s face it, being in your 20’s and chronically ill is pretty damn stressful as is…) and actually spurred me to do more research into holistic herbalism for CFS. And who knew, now I want to get my clinical herbalist certification! But that’s a story for another blog.
I’ve searched high and low for a fantastic multivitamin, which I consider to be a “daily staple”, and something that I build the rest of my regimen around. And since by about a year into my illness I considered myself an expert pill-swallower, I wasn’t afraid of going big. That’s when I found the Damage Control Master Formula from Primal Blueprint. When I started taking this, within a few days, I felt a sizable lift in my energy, mental clarity, and emotional stability. Yes, it’s a helluva lot of pills to take, but come on now, we spoonies are no noobs when it comes to meds, right?
This is the vitamin I take to this day, and would swear by it. Plus, my touch of OCD just adores the pre-packed pre-portioned little packs, which I tuck into my jacket or purse, glove compartment, suitcase…wherever. So if you haven’t given these a whirl, or even heard of them before, I highly recommend it! But this post isn’t just about these vitamins, it’s about how supplements in general can help your body to heal.
For me, I think of a multivitamin as “covering all my bases”, just in case I don’t actually know what’s going on with my body…and most of us with “wastebasket” diagnoses like ME/CFS never really know. Something high potency, taken over long periods of time, can fill in the gaps where you might be lacking in a certain vitamin or mineral, and offer continual cellular support to systems that might be struggling. Honestly, even after all the vials of blood I’ve given over the years, and the scans and procedures I’ve endured, doctors still don’t really know what’s wrong with me. So let’s just say, taking the right vitamins and supplements is my way of covering my butt…and taking my health into my own hands.
I’m not sure where you’re at in your healing journey, or what you’ve tried in the past. But if you are ready to take another step forward in regaining your energy, stamina, or something else, there’s a whole world of supplements out there just waiting for you. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Do your research first
Too many people just waltz into the store and buy the first thing they see, or whatever’s on sale. Take a few minutes to Google companies and reviews before purchasing. This is extra important if you are on other supplements, OTC meds, and Rx meds, because you bet- cross reactions and side effects can occur!
2. Know what your individual body needs
Peruse your latest blood tests from the doctor. Take a hard look at your diet and other lifestyle factors. Consider things like the climate you live in, your occupation, your stress levels, etc…and look for things to support your unique body. For example, if you live far north of the equator, you may need more vitamin D, and if you’re a vegan, you will need supplemental B vitamins, among other things.
3. Make sure it’s sustainable
When it comes to vitamins and supplements, there are very few that you only should take for acute periods- most of them are designed for longer-term use. Keep this in mind, looking at your budget and how accessible these items are, when shopping. Don’t get in over your head with $300/month in pills from Europe if you cannot sustain the habit.
There are a lot more things I’m sure I could say about vitamins and supplements, and how to choose the right one for you. But I’ll wrap up things for now, and say you can always contact me if you have questions or need a bit of advice!
Want to check out the supplements I currently take, and recommend? Head over here!
And with that, I’ll leave you my lovelies. As always,
~ Hoping you feel as well as possible ~
**This post contains affiliate links, which help me continue blogging. You can read more about that here.**