Our Trip to California:
- Part 1 – Our son’s dream come true
- Part 2 – Meeting Ronaldinho & Marta – soccer superstars!
- Part 3 – My fitness evaluation and a 10-minute workout (Hint: I was not happy with my results. Also, a way to lose 10 pounds instantly – sounds hokey but it’s true!)
- Part 4 – Do you take supplements as an “insurance policy”? I didn’t mean to drag out the posts on our trip, but there was a lot to share, too much for one post!
As most of you know, I’m ALL about getting your nutrients from nutrient-dense traditional foods instead of from more isolated nutrients in pill form, but we do still take supplements as an insurance policy.
(See my newer post with everything I'm taking now: Why I Love Our Doctor Even Though We *Strongly* Disagree & which Supplements I Take)
Even though we do our best with our diet, it’s always been worth the money for us to take what we can on the chance that it may provide any nutrients we’re missing, and prevent who knows what down the road.
As I’ve written about before, choosing which supplements to take can be overwhelming.
I’ve always looked for supplements that were from a reputable, solid, scientifically based supplement company that has been around a long time. Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit the Nutrilite facility in California and would now feel comfortable buying from them for the same reasons. (I actually plan to look into some of Nutrilite’s products and compare them with what we take now.)
Here are a few things I learned, and really liked, about Nutrilite:
- Their supplements are plant-based and “as close to the real thing (fruits and vegetables) as possible”. (I still say, why don’t you just eat the real thing then? Grow your own garden, or buy local, and organic if possible, produce. But if you don’t do that, and you won’t start doing that, you might want to look into these.)
- The ingredients in their products come from their certified organic farms. (I love that they’re supporting sustainable agriculture.)
- They are big on utilizing the disease preventing properties in fruits and vegetables and including phytonutrients in their products.
- I was relieved to hear them stress a healthy diet (along with exercise, of course) as the keys to optimal health, not just taking a supplement.
There were a few sports bloggers there as well, so we heard about Nutrilite’s sports products. I don’t go for those so much, and here’s why:
- While it’s great that their sports drink has no high fructose corn syrup, the one I tried contained an artificial sugar instead (sucralose).
- I’ve never been a fan of whey or soy protein drinks/shakes. I’d much prefer a real food protein drink.
- While the energy bars they gave us have coconut oil and palm kernel oil (good fats), they also have corn syrup and soy ingredients.
Here are a few things I didn’t hear them say about good health, but wish they had (although in all fairness, we didn’t have much time):
- For optimal health, eat more healthy fats like butter, whole milk dairy products, lard or tallow, & coconut oil.
- Eat only grass-fed or pastured meats.
- Don’t forget your cod liver oil. Nutrilite does have an omega 3 supplement, but this cod liver oil is a real food, not a supplement, and it has much more than just omega 3’s.
- (More: read 10 steps to get healthy in 2009 and these ROOKIE TIPS.)
One Nutrilite product I’m excited to try, or have my Mom try I should say, is their Glucosomine. Granted, I’d much rather Mom drink homemade bone broths for natural glucosomine, but since she’s older and set in her ways, and I know she won’t, then I can’t wait to see if this brings relief from her joint discomfort.
I’d love to hear from you.
Are you confident enough with how you feed yourself and your family that you don’t take any supplements? Or are you more like us: you do the best you can, but take a very few supplements as an “insurance policy”.
Kent sent me an article that said 35% of people take supplements – this surprised me, I thought it would be higher.
If you’ve missed any of the 4 posts on our trip, see the top of this page for links. Also, you can read about the trip from other bloggers who were there, too:
- Jordan’s post
- Tara’s post
- Aly’s post
- Mary’s post
- Eddy’s post
- Melanie’s post
- If you were there and wrote a post about it that I haven’t seen, let me know so I can add it!
- Note: My trip was paid for, but there were no expectations for posting about any of it, and I’m not being paid by Nutrilite at all. In case you were wonderin’…
Tina, it drives me crazy that soy is everywhere!
I emailed Garden of Life regarding Olde World Icelandic Lemon Mint Flavor CLO to see if it contained soy. I thought it did after I saw alpha tocopherol (vitamin E) in the ingredient list. I got a response from Garden of Life and sure enough it does contain soy oil.
Here’s the response:
Thank you for your email and interest in Garden of Life’s products. The
alpha tocopherol used in our Olde World Icelandic Cod Liver Oil is
sourced from soy oil.
If you’re trying to avoid soy then this product may not be for you.
@ Kay, I understand your thinking as there are so many brands out there. I think the best way to look at it is to find a company that is reputable, utilizes whole plant foods, uses organic farming, and has conducted clinical trials for their products. Then see which products best fit your budget and lifestyle.
@ Becks, the articles you’ve linked to are very interesting. I have just read an interesting book however that has over 900 scientific references referring to how diet, exercise, supplementation, and a variety of other topics relates to a person’s optimal health.
The book is called The Optimal Health Revolution and its written by Dr. Duke Johnson who is one of the doctors at the Nutrilite center for Optimal Health. The book does not endorse Nutrilite or Amway, and it was written for the lay person to better understand how to improve their health.
Hope that helps!
Sustainable Eats says
No, it’s not made by Amway but they employ the same multi-level marketing sales techniques that Amway does. I just wish you could buy it a month at a time instead of signing on for an indefinite term and then have to deal with a salesperson rather than just buy it from the store or a website. You essentially get 13 dehydrated, organic fruits & veggies each day, many of which you would not normally get in your diet but are superfoods or would be difficult to eat in one day like kale, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, parsley, beet, carrot in the veggie blend. I could never eat all those things in one day. Right now getting enough zucchini & tomatoes is a piece of cake though!
That’s interesting what a difference you noticed. Wonder what is in it that you’re not getting from the veggies in your garden??
Juice Plus is made by Amway? Sorry for my ignorance, but if so I didn’t know that… (It’s late, I may have misunderstood your comment, too.)
Sustainable Eats says
I’m with Becks here. I will never spend a dime on isolated vitamins after researching them. We do, however, take Juice Plus which is a plant based “whole food” supplement (juiced dehydrated fruits & veggies. I hate their Amway culture though, you can’t buy it in stores and have to go through a pusher to get them. I signed on as a pusher just to get the discount and avoid dealing with a pusher (is that empowerment or pandering to the system? In any way it saves us money.)
We only take the capsules since the shake has soy in it but some of the protein does come from garbanzo beans and it’s sweetened with stevia so as far as meal shakes go it’s pretty good. Not as good as Kelly’s though.
I would love to experiment with dehydrating my own fruits & veggies to powder and add to our smoothies but right now we have pledged to only eat local foods and many of the things that are keeping us healthy aren’t grown in Washington state, like citrus for instance.
We ran out last month and there was a two week lag to get more, coupled with the fact that I had been experimenting with cutting back on the dose for a few months to save money and I got more and more drained despite the fact that we eat a ton of fresh veggies from our own garden. I’m back on the bus again.
Ok, I’m going to come out of the closet and tell everyone that I am a vitamin hater. I HATE vitamin supplements. I think they are worse than useless for people with access to good nutrition, and might even be harmful. In fact, I think I’m sort of scratching my head because it seems illogical to me to reject factory farmed meat, non-traditional food preparation practices or ingredients, seed oils, etc. and embrace synthetic nutrition, especially in mass quantities, which would be virtually impossible to consume by eating real food. I’m pretty sure that vitamin supplements are about as “new food” (food my great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food) as it gets! Further, I think that vitamin supplements are at root cause of the rampant malnutrition in our country, because it masks the very malnutrition it seeks to prevent. People feel comfortable on a diet of big macs and french fries, so they don’t crave real nutritious food. Vitamins mask their hunger for real nutrition with synthetic nutrition.
Except in cases of actual malnutrition or vitamin deficiency (and this should hardly be a problem for we who live in the wealthiest nation on Earth), vitamin supplements have been shown to have exactly zero health benefits, and can actually be detrimental to your health in numerous controlled, double-blind studies. I’ve been collecting articles about this, if anyone wants to read them!
Vitamin Pills: A False Hope – New York Times
Study Finds No Benefit From Daily Multivitamin – New York Times
News Keeps Getting Worse for Vitamins – New York Times
The Vitamin Problem – New York Times
Vitamin E Supplements: Good in Theory, But is the Theory Good? – Annals of Internal Medicine
Extra Vitamin E: No Benefit, Maybe Harm
Dissapointing News on Vitamin E and Selenium– New York Times
Vitamins Seen as No Help in Heart Disease – New York Times
Vitamin C May Interfere with Cancer Treatment – New York Times
Study: Vitamins E and C Fail to Prevent Cancer in Men – New York Times
Despite Risks, Vitamins Popular with Cancer Patients – New York Times
Multivitamins Linked with Breast Density – New York Times
Concern About Antioxidants and Breast Cancer
I found out about 5-HTP many years ago when I was investigating alternatives for antidepressant prescription drugs. First I was taking St John’s wort, but that also made me very lethargic. 5-htp is a seratonin and is thought to act in the brain in a similar manner, to up those levels and help even out mood. I don’t recall what the exact effects are, but I do know I’ve been taking it a long time and haven’t had anywhere near the issues I used to with sinking into depression periods.
I’m not online much this week due to being on vacation, but I will try to check in and add more as I can.
kara bagley says
I have felt really great on Standard Process and would love to hear what others think about it.
Have you researched Standard Process? Theirs are supposed to be plant based also.
Honestly, trying to choose between the myriads of brands can be so confusing that most times I just don’t buy anything…it’s too difficult to sort through it all.
Erin, I emailed Soli in case she isn’t subscribed to comments. I’m sure she’ll reply soon. 🙂
(Also, look in the right under “depression” for more ideas.)
I would love to know more about the post for Depression…Soli, what is 5-htp. I hate the fact that i am taking chemicals to “balance” chemicals…
I take brewers yeast for the b’s. Cod liver oil for a and d, –and once in a while acerola c powder. No pill’s or capusules this way. These are the “super foods”.
Vin - NaturalBias says
I try to take as few supplements as possible, and even when I do, I try to cycle them by going for weeks at a time without taking anything at all.
“I still say, why don
My kids started taking Shaklee Vita-Lea last week. I was disapointed to see that these vitamins contained soy lecithin. They aslo contained a few ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce.
We all take Lugol’s iodine.
Lastly, we take CLO. We are taking Garden of Life CLO. At one time, WPF recommended this brand but not now. I emailed Garden of Life to find out why their CLO was no longer recommended by WPF but got no reply. After we finish this bottle, I will get a fermented CLO.
Mary P. says
Alongside a real foods (mostly :))) diet I take fermented cod liver oil and also include a mineral-rich quart of nourishing herbal infusion every day (nettles, red clover blossoms, oatstraw and/or comfrey leaf). If I had a need I might consider taking glucosamine, but that’s the only kind of pharmaceutical supplementation I would feel comfortable using.
Cara, have you seen this post about brands of CLO?
I used to think that I ate a balanced diet, and so shouldn’t need supplements. Then I took a prenatal during my first pregnancy that actually made me sick, supposedly ‘confirming’ this fact. During my second pregnancy the day after I started taking a good quality prenatal vitamin my morning sickness went away (which is thought to maybe be a nutrient deficiency) and I didn’t require the all-day sleeping that I did when I was pg with my first. So I’m sold. I tried going off them again when the baby was 6 months old or so, and I immediately felt a difference, so I’m back on.
I take Source of Life prenatals and cod liver oil. My toddler gets CLO, and Source of Life kid vitamins.
Glad to know other Real Food people do too!
I would love to hear how the supplement Glucosomine works for your mom. My mom could use some help in that area as well.
Right now there are only two (OK, three) supplements I take: fermented CLO, butter oil, and 5-htp. The latter is to help manage my depression tendencies and I do notice on the days I don’t take it.
Otherwise I’m not too keen on supplements. My mother takes a variety though a naturopath she’s been working with for over ten years. I am just trying to keep to Michael Pollan’s suggestion: eat like someone who would take supplements.