F is for fall… and flu season. Supporting your immune system and keeping your physical bod in shape are critical to ward off sickness and not feel like shit. BUT, you can eat a super healthy, whole foods as fuck diet and still not get all of the nutrients you need… Adding supplements to round out a balanced diet helps to ensure that you’re getting everything your body needs.
Before I get started, I need to get this off my chest and on record: I have ADHD, and take meds daily for it. It doesn’t affect what I take for my general wellbeing aka what’s listed below, but I wanted to call it out… I know some people know this about me and others don’t, so now we’re all on the same page. I was only “diagnosed” and started on proper meds for it last December, but that experience is for another post – coming soon as the kickoff piece for my #EndTheStigma mental health series.
Basically, in my mind omitting that information (though it probably doesn’t seem like a big deal to anyone else) would be like silently admitting I’m embarrassed by the fact I have ADHD, which I’m not. I’ve grown to appreciate how my brain works – especially after growing up in denial that I had a distractability disorder. I guess I just feel like it’s important to call that out before I share what I (voluntarily) take for my physical health.
Mental health is a topic that’s OBVIOUSLY uncomfortable to talk about – because who really likes to admit something is wrong with them in the head? I make jokes about it because I’m still uncomfortable admitting it or taking it seriously sometimes (which is why I’m writing from my soapbox right now) but it is so, so important. We don’t talk about it enough, ask each other how we’re really doing enough, or give our own mental and emotional selves enough attention. Your mental health is at least as important as your physical wellbeing!!! End rant. End the stigma.
Soooo, besides the meds for my ADHD, I take a variety of vitamins and supplements that I’ve added into my diet after learning more about eating properly/what kind of supplements are necessary to keep me in fighting shape. I’ve tried different brands over the years, but what’s linked in this list is exactly what I take today.
Note: I have made some edits to this list after getting some reader feedback and great information about some of what’s listed below that I didn’t know before. Obviously I am not a trained expert or doctor, so I am only speaking from personal experience and knowledge from my own research about these supplements. If you are interested to add one into your diet, DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
Below you’ll see notes added in from where a reader has alerted me about something, and I’m grateful they spoke up! If you have any additional knowledge to add to this, please leave it in a comment and I’ll add it in a later update of this piece. Again, please do your own research or double check with your doctor before trying anything new.
Take Vitamins Every Day To Keep Your Psycho At Bay.
- Whole Food Multivitamin (for Women): If you don’t take a good multivitamin, chances are you’re not getting the “recommended amount” of vitamins and minerals that are essential to your body being healthy and functioning optimally. If you’re a full time nutrition nut, then you might eat a varied enough diet to cover it most of the time – but let’s be real. Ain’t nobody got time for that. One thing to look for in a multi is that it’s derived from whole foods, so it’s easier/better for your system – brands like Centrum or other generics are not as far as I know, and while you’ll get the same “stuff,” it’s going to be harder for your body to absorb and make use of it. I like this brand the best out of all the daily multivitamin supplements I’ve tried. You’re supposed to take 4 capsules a day, so I take 2 in the morning and …honestly usually forget to take them again in the day. Hey, nobody’s perfect but it’s better than nothing.
- Biotin: I started taking this on the reg after I dyed my hair purple and the bleach made it start to break off because we stripped it of all its natural proteins. Biotin helps your hair and nails grow strong… Since taking it religiously I’ve noticed as my hair has grown out, it feels much stronger and more resilient and my hair stylist was shocked by how well it recovered and healthy it felt after just a few months! I also deep conditioned it at least once a week for the first few months, which I’m sure helped, but this is a must-add to your vitamin game if you are looking for a natural way to build up your mane!
- Activated Charcoal: I was first convinced on the hype of this after reading this Skinny Confidential post. I basically trust everything Lauryn posts about when it comes to health stuff, so whenever she talks about something that piques my interest I have to try it out. Charcoal helps absorb toxins from your system, helps hangovers, and even whitens your teeth, which I haven’t tried yet but am definitely interested to test it out.NOTE: I was made aware by a reader that charcoal can render some prescription meds — like BIRTH CONTROL — ineffective. Please do your *own* research or double check with your doctor before taking this… I am not an expert or a certified doctor but wanted to share my personal routine, so as a disclaimer pleaaaasseee do your own research before adding any of these supplements into your diet!
- Acidophilus: Good for your digestion – probiotics are necessary to maintain a balance of healthy bacteria for your gut. I don’t eat a lot of dairy/yogurt, where you can get the same live cultures/probiotics benefit (only greek yogurt on a semi-regular basis), so I supplement my diet with this.
- Magnesium: If you watch #RKOBH then you know Morgan Stewart talks about how magnesium… literally gets her going in the morning. You know. Besides that, taking it helps you physically relax – it’s good for your muscles and can help you sleep better. I was first recommended this when I was training Crossfit and dealing with cramps, which it definitely helped – so I’ve kept it up for being effective and multipurpose. ;)
- Vitamin D3: I started taking this last winter, because living in Seattle – or any low light city with realllyyyy overcast winters – had me actually feeling the blues. It IMMEDIATELY made me feel more vibrant and less fatigued, and there are a ton more benefits from taking this. Definitely recommend this to try if you live somewhere with a heavy winter – physically suffering from the weather is a real thing. I still take this, even living in LA.
- Fish Oil: Fish oil contains essential fatty acids that are critical for our bodies and not something we can naturally produce. What I take is called the “Ultimate Omega” type of fish oil, and has the least ‘fishy’ aftertaste/burps/whatever. Omega 3 is really important for heart health, and fish oil generally benefits your heart, brain, joints, and basically everything else in your body. From my research, Nordic Naturals (linked) is one of the highest quality fish oil supplements available, and worth its cost.
- 5-HTP: Ya, I know… This is the supplement people swallow by the bottle after taking a shitload of MDMA at EDM festivals/raves. But guess what? It naturally boosts your serotonin levels – so it helps relieve stress, manage mild depression/anxiety, apparently manage appetite (though I dunno if I’ve seen any increased appetite control LOL) and more. The one that’s linked is what I take now, and is a “time release” formula (because I’m an anxious psycho) that I definitely feel is more effective than other kinds I’ve tried.NOTE: If you are on any SSRI/SNRI, taking 5-HTP can cause serotonin syndrome, so check with your doctor before you try this. One of my readers is a neuroscientist and told me that there IS very exciting research in the works about the benefits of 5-HTP for people who are typically unresponsive to most meds, though!
NEW ADD: I just got my bottle of Flor-essence that I ordered from Amazon after reading about it on TSC. I love The Skinny Confidential, if that wasn’t clear… Lauryn just gets me. Oh, and my review and progress post with her fitness and nutrition plan, The Bombshell Body Guide, will be out this week! With a giveaway for you guys because we love you and want you to be hot and sexy fit betches… Stay tuned. Back to my point – Lauryn preached about the benefits of this *~*~*magical elixir*~*~* recently so I’ll report back about my experience once I’ve actually tried it.
DID YOU KNOW? Another wonderful reader tweeted me and told me that a B12 deficiency can mimic manic/depression symptoms, and that a “B12 supplement literally changed her life.” I’ve not tried them, but thought this was definitely worth noting… If you’re interested to look into B12, she takes a sublingual supplement – this kind. To learn more about B12 deficiency, check out this article.
With the exception of the magnesium, I take all of those in the morning (typically with breakfast and before I take my other meds). Breakfast is usually either fruit with nuts or almond butter, or greek yogurt with fruit and some Udi’s GF granola, or this Vega One shake recipe I posted. I add powdered greens and a “grounding” superfood powder into the shake too, just because I’m a psycho — which should be obvious at this point. And that’s it. I’ve gotten lots of questions from you guys about what I take to supplement my diet, so I hope this was a useful post!
Now… Let’s discuss. What do you all take? Am I missing anything life changing? Are you adding any of these into your vitamin regime? Talk to me.