I've had this post sitting in my drafts for awhile now, but recently a friend Alex Lawrence asked me to talk about health on a podcast that he does - so I finished this post up! You can hear that interview about health, family, and business HERE. You can check out and subscribe to his podcast HERE.
If you know me well, you know I care a lot about health. Friends often ask me what kinds of vitamins I take, who the latest voodoo doctor I'm seeing is, or what they can do for their own symptoms. I'm pretty demanding about having my body and brain feel good.
I'm in my late 30's and things aren't what they used to be in my 20's. I'm rarely awake past midnight. If we turn on a movie after 9:00 p.m. - you can guarantee I'll be asleep in 20 minutes. This body of mine has made three babies, spent countless hours (and years) starting and running a business, and it just plain endures the hustle of keeping up with life.
5 years ago my husband got in a major car accident. That sent my body into overdrive for months. As things calmed down, my body fell apart. I couldn't sleep, my body hurt, my menstrual cycles were horrible, I was depressed, my digestion was a wreck, my joints ached, I got blood clots in my legs, I had headaches, my body and brain were not working. My autoimmune system was out of whack. I went into "fix it" mode and have been making tweaks over the years (and I'm still making changes).
Stress takes a toll on our bodies. Life demands a lot from us as mothers, and I demand a lot from myself. I want to be able to function at a level that makes me happy. Over these last 5 years I've done a lot to ensure my health is what I want it to be - which includes a pretty strict regiment of vitamins and supplements that my body needs and seeing a doctor that gets what I need (not prescription drugs).
This list has come with a lot of trial and error, help from an awesome doctor, and a few revisions.
Here's what I take every day:
- Nordic Naturals ProEFA - 3-6-9: I take 2 teaspoons a day. It's liquid omegas, but it doesn't taste fishy at all. My doctor says that if your omegas smell fishy that it's a sign that they have all ready started to go rancid. It's important that any omega you take be refrigerated (and that you buy it refrigerated). Recommended dose is 1 teaspoon a day .
- Pure Vitamin D-3 Liquid: 3/4 of Americans are deficient in Vitamin D. That's tied to depression and increased risks for certain types of cancer. My blood work showed that I too was severely deficient in Vitamin D. If you are taking it in pill form, odds are it's not absorbing and being utilized in your system. I take a liquid form of Vitamin D and I saw an increase to normal levels of Vitamin D in my blood work. I take 3 drops a day. Recommended dose is 2 drops a day.
- QVitalize: This is a blend of herbs to help balance hormones and provide extra energy (it contains green coffee and green tea in a slow release form of caffeine). I'm not a coffee or soda drinker so I had little to no caffeine in my life. There's just enough in this blend to wake my brain up, and overall it's made a big difference with my menstrual cycles (less cramping, shorter duration etc.) I take 2 in the morning. Recommended dose is 3 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon.
- Friendly Force Probiotic: Everyone has a different method to their madness on how they take their probiotics (before or after a meal, in the morning or the nighttime). I take 2-4 before I go to bed. They are the last thing that runs through my system. I find that if I take my probiotics at night that I wake up with less puffy eyes/water retention, and my digestion is better. I have a few food intolerances / allergies, and this is the probiotic that has made the biggest difference for me. Recommended dose is 4 a day.
- Q96 EMPower Plus: This is a blend of micronutrients that your brain needs. My sister took these vitamins 20+ years ago to help with depression / mental illness and they had a huge impact. I started taking these to help with brain fog and some mild anxiety. I've recommended them to so many people and without fail they notice a difference in 1-2 weeks. I take 2 a day in the morning and feel like my brain is back where I want it to be. Recommended dose is 2 in the morning, 2 in the afternoon. (Want a free sample? you can snag one HERE)
- Pure OptiFerin C: This is an Iron + Ferritin supplement. On my blood work, my iron always looked like it was in normal / healthy ranges. I had achey legs, dizziness, and was cold all of the time. My doctor decided to check my ferritin levels (a subset of iron). They were practically non-existent. Ferritin is a protein that helps store and release iron. Within a week of taking this my legs quit aching, my body warmed up, and my dizziness was gone. If you have restless leg syndrome, a ferritin deficiency can be the cause of it, be sure to ask to have it tested. I take 2 a day. Recommended dose is 1 a day.
- Rainbow Light Everyday Calcium (with Magnesium): This is a food based formula that includes enzymes for digestion. I'm pretty sure all women should be taking this, especially as we get older. This brand was recommended by my doctor. I take 2 a day. Recommended dose is 4 per day.
Some things I hope you noticed:
- I have a doctor that I love that does blood work to see what's missing and to make sure things are working. He's a D.O. and what I call a medical super sleuth. He's a total detective and wants to see results. If you don't have a doctor like that, you need to find one.
- I included the recommended dose for each vitamin, and I told you how much I take. Most of the time, what I take is different (both higher and lower). It's what MY body needs. You need to figure out what YOUR body needs.
- I'm still working on it. You need to follow up on this stuff and make adjustments over time. I do blood work every 6 months.
Other Things I Do
In addition to these supplements I do other things to help my body and brain work the way I want them to. I try to go on a 2 mile walk every day (I hate running). I do yoga once or twice a week. I do some basic stuff at my house (pushups, lunges, etc.) I have a pretty basic physical regiment. I just don't have the time to make it to the gym much and I need simple stuff I can do from home.
I also see a massage/structural therapist once a month. This isn't really the relaxing kind. It's the kind that digs deep into my muscles and posture. I'm at my computer a lot and my back needs lots of undoing on a regular basis.
I'm really careful about what I eat. I'd say that I eat 80-90% Whole 30 (Vegetables, fruits, meats, seeds/nuts) and I avoid quite a few things (grains, dairy, sugar, some nuts and beans).
The results of all of this? It's work, but work that has results I can feel. I rarely get sick. I sleep great. My family is healthier. I'm happier.
My overall philosophy is that our health is 80% what we put into our bodies and about 20% the way we use our bodies.
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