An RD on Supplements

The last 6 months have provided an opportunity of growth. I've gone from "I'm a dietitian... I-shouldn't-require-anything-more-than-a-multi-vitamin ignorant" to "Omigosh, I had  no idea I idea I was so deficient"  

You have to understand that as a Dietitian, one of my responsibilities to my community is to de-bunk the health industry boasting of it's benefits of supplementation. You're kid hates leafy greens? Take a gummy multi-vitamin. You're family refuses fish? Take fish oil. Meanwhile, what we actually ingest daily hardly passes for food --but it's okay-- we take supplements to get what we need.  

Without getting started on how the bulk of pre-made foods reduces our health regardless of supplementing, you can see how our country has begun to look at supplements as a way to literally "have our cake and eat it too"...all the time...every day...sometimes twice. 

Well,as a dietitian, I beat to the "crunchy" drum and make all of our meals "from scratch".  Although the kids often have prepackaged snack foods for grabbing on the go, I cannot eat of those as I have celiac disease and they are forbidden by my healthy gut.  One would think I would have super power strength, run faster, jump higher and be a whiz at long division for how healthfully I have fed our home.  The truth is, my family HAS been healthy, however I have not. 

Having celiac and eating strictly gluten free for 7 years has created several nutritional deficits that wiped out my immune system as well as my energy level for the previous two years. Although heavy doses of fruits, veggies and variety has been practiced in my home for close to two decades, my body has continued to suffer. 

Since learning of these deficiencies several months ago I've made sure to get consistent amounts of everything I need each day (in a form my body can absorb WHICH IS KEY). I've begun taking supplements that actually set the bar of the best standard available as well as modified my diet slightly to incorporate more of the foods that happen to be rich in those things I lack. (Which was done by adding consistent servings of chickpeas to my diet each week and 2 meat servings). 

With just those changes, my life is totally different compared to before*. 

-I sleep about 7 hours/night and feel rested when I wake up (compared to 12-14 hours and NOT feeling rested.

-I haven't had a cold since I began supplementing...no joke. 

-My weight is up but clothing sizes have not changed, largely due to the fact I'm building muscle mass and slowly losing body fat ---not having changed my level of physical activity at all. (I probably couldn't if I tried. VERY active.)

-A stress fracture of two years that just wouldn't heal is NOW finally healing! My skin heals from wounds more quickly and I'm bruising less as well. 

-My skin around my eyes as well as my eyes appear healthier and more vibrant. (evidenced by my forgetting concealer often and nobody asking me "is everything okay?) 

All of that said... I've had to get used to swallowing a lot of pills each day. I have no desire to spend my life taking supplements and have begun looking at gardening options, composting etc etc. to get more nutrition into fruits and veggies. I have a long road ahead of me there...considering 3 years ago I talked my husband into planing grass over our gardens because life was too hectic to tend to those responsibilities. As he reads this I can assure you he is looking at me with the 'one eyebrow'...

So, until gardening again comes to fruition, I will continue to utilize my morning system.  I throw a healthy plant based fat, organic sources of soy and whey protein as well as gluten free fiber from a grain, fruits and veggies into a smoothie with my supplements. The result is a creamy, delicious smoothie that keeps me satisfied between meals, in place of meals some days and invests in my health tomorrow and the next day.  

On that note...if you ever have questions regarding whether or not you need to be on supplements, I'm thankful that I can be better equipped to help guide and answer with the months of research and understanding that I've gained through this process. I'm thankful, overwhelmed and want to help anyone else that has felt helpless regarding their state of wellness or energy. Where there is a will...there is ALWAYS a way.  

* Lab wise, my vitamin D climbed from 20's to >50 within just 3 months, my B vitamins are at rockstar levels and minerals like copper and zinc are finally at the boarder of healthy.