Disclaimer — as you guys know, but I just want to say it in case: consult your doctor! These are the vitamins that work for my own body.
In January 2017, I scheduled an appointment with an integrative medicine doctor. I was having horrible jaw pain, couldn’t sleep through the night, developing rashes on my skin, + having insane thoughts — both on death + running away to a cabin + hiding. My mental state was not well. I alternated between the “victim” + the “judge” — feeling sorry for myself, then judging myself for feeling what I felt.
Unfortunately [but — also fortunately], I couldn’t get into the doctor for another NINE months. This led me down a crazy healing journey that cured almost everything when I finally was able to meet with Dr. Raby — jaw pain was gone, I always sleep through the night, I didn’t have any rashes, + my mental state was inspired/relax/happy. However, there were three aspects that I still wanted to work on:
- skin [that’s for another post though ; )]
- energy levels
- bowel movements
After getting blood tests done, I found out that I had iron deficiency anemia, vitamin D deficiency, + B group vitamins deficiency. It’s been a year of taking the vitamins below regulary, + I’m still working to raise my iron, but my vitamin D + B group have improved over the past year! I also feel like I have so much more energy, + my bowel movements are smooth for the most part, haha. THANK GOSH.
The first three supplements are ones that Dr. Raby recommends everyone to take [probiotic, b-complex, + fish oil], the others are specificially what my body needs right now!
Probiotic — Help balance bacteria in your gut, prevent//treat diarrhea [yay!], improve mental + heart health, ++ may boost immune system. Brand I Use
B-Complex — B vitamins help convert our food into fuel, providing us with energy throughout the day. Brand I Use
Fish Oil — Heart health + help lower blood pressure. Brand I Use
B12 — If you have low B12 like I did, it’s most likely related to anemia. Brand I Used* My B12 stores are in the “healthy range” now — so I do not need this.
Iron — Again, I take this because of my anemia. Iron is important for brain + muscle function, energy levels, boosts immune system, circulates oxygen, + more! I’ve been using this brand, but I’m switching to an iron complex, because my iron is still extremely low.
K2 — My K2 was low — this vitamin prevents blood clotting, preventing inflammation, + moving calcium through your body. Brand I Use
D3 — Healthy boneeeees + the sunshine vitamin : ) Definitely needed this during the winter in Chicago, not sure if I’ll need this in the summer. Brand I Use
Zinc — I don’t take this daily, only when I feel under the weather — but I wanted to include it! Brand I Use
Besides vitamins, Dr. Raby stresses the importance of WATER [drink at least half of your body weight in ounces] ++ staying away from inflammatory foods as much as possible — see list here. Below is what she recommends to avoid [+ my thoughts : )]:
- Caffeine — green tea 3–5X a day is okay [doesn’t that seem like a lot?!], but no coffee. I love coffee in the morning, so I don’t follow this.
- Wheat//Gluten — sub: gluten-free items. I don’t eat much wheat//gluten unless it’s homemade bread from Local Foods [if you haven’t tried this grocery store + restaurant in Chicago, you are missing out!]
- Dairy — sub: rice, goat, hemp, almond, hazelnut, oat. Besides Jeni’s ice-cream [brambleberry crisp = heaven], cow dairy doesn’t feel good in my body.
- Citrus — no oranges//grapefruits. It was interesting to me that she mentioned this. I don’t avoid citrus, but it’s not something that I frequently eat… I love a good grapefruit though!
- Peanuts — sub: almonds, hazelnuts, Brazilian nuts, pecans, walnuts. I have a love//hate relationship with nut butter. If I’m not intuitively eating, I can go way overboard on this, + notice it immediately in my bowel movements [sticky//constipated]. So, this is something that I’m trying to be more mindful of + eat in smaller quantities. : )
- Alcohol — I used to drink my fair share on weekends [this could be another blog post!], but I have cut this down drastically. I love active weekends, + even just a few drinks give me a nasty hangover. I’m always down to celebrate + will indulge when I feel like it, but I know it’s not something that makes my body happy + I am mindful of that. I’m a big fan of subbing kombucha for alcohol!
- Eggs — as many of you know, I’m obssessed with eggs… I eat two a day, so I do not follow this : )
- Chocolate — I only eat the darkest of chocolates , besides Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, they are a staple in my diet!
- Soy — I never really ate much soy, minus tofu from Phoenix Bean at farmers markets in Chicago. THE BEST!
- Refined sugar — sub: stevia, xylitol, agave, raw honey. I try to get away from processed foods as much as possible, so I don’t really eat refined sugar…
All this being said — BALANCE IS EVERYTHING. Practice intuitive eating [have you listened to the podcast with Simi? so good!]. Eat the freaking cake.
Do you have a vitamin//supplement that you swear by? Have you made a change in your *diet* ((or lifestyle!)) that’s made your body feel incredible? I’d love to hear!
Rooting for you always,