Coming at you early today because this afternoon I’m slipping into a wifi-less vortex, where I shall remain until tomorrow night. There may or may not be an account of this circumstance in Thursday’s post.
It’s been an unusual week, in general – since last Thursday, I mean. On Saturday morning I went to the gym on less than four hours of sleep. I took a nap in the afternoon, which I almost never do. Also rare, my two-hour nap encapsulated a dream heavy with detail and texture pulling in all five senses, complete with a plot and two sub-plots, a story with a beginning, middle, and end. It spooked me, terrified me in some places, and otherwise held me captive with its ghosts, foreboding, mystery, and urgency. It felt more like a foray than a dream. As if that wasn’t unusual enough, I found myself feeling refreshed when I woke up. This is the opposite of what usually happens when I nap, which is why I avoid doing it.
It was like my mind wandered off to another dimension while my body recovered from the week’s workouts. I was as sore as I was sleep-deprived on Saturday morning. Body Pump felt like a clumsy muddling-through, and then I just sort of passed out that afternoon.
Getting on to the subject of this post, though! One of the requests I’ve had more than once in the last few months was to talk about the dietary supplements I’m currently taking. For those of you who’d asked and for anyone else who might be curious, here you go.
I hauled the lot out to the backyard yesterday for a cheerful group photo:
Don’t they look happy?
Starting from the top row, L to R, these are my current daily supplements:
- calcium citrate
- algae oil
- green tea
- reishi mushroom
- maitake mushroom
- folic acid
Broken down into specifics, including links:
My first consideration when choosing my probiotic was, of course, that it’s vegan. I’ve been taking this probiotic from Garden of Life for at least a year now… probably longer. It’s basically made from soil rich in active probiotic agents in organisms found in it. It’s true: vegans eat dirt. Haha!
Vitacost’s brief overview of probiotics:
“Probiotics (“Pro” means Positive and “Biotic” means Life) are living mircoflora that play a critical role in maintaining good health. Present in many live foods, but destroyed by heat and processing, live probiotic cultures populate the intestinal tract where they play a positive role in digestive and immune system health.”
I’ve been taking calcium citrate since my surgery ten years ago (see my multivitamin item just below). Hitting several risk factors – I’m female, Asian, thin, over 30, surgically menopausal, and have chronic illness, including thyroid disease (autoimmune hypothyroidism) – I’m prone to bone density issues. I do indeed have such issues, so I take calcium citrate in addition to consuming calcium in the food I eat. The weight-bearing exercise I do also helps. I used to be on Fossamax (I was diagnosed with osteoporosis years ago and my recent X-rays still show deterioration in my spine), but I only took it for a short time before I dropped it.
I’m going with continued calcium-rich food choices (tofu, soybeans, seeds, beans, kale, broccoli, etc.), calcium supplementation, and exercise as my osteo-therapy. Yes, my doctor has approved.
Having been in surgery-induced menopause since 2008 when I had my ovaries and everything removed, I take a menopause support-formulated multivitamin in addition to hormone replacement therapy via estrogen patches. Multivitamins are self-explanatory, so I’ll let the internet describe the Rainbow Light Menopause One multivitamin in detail:
“Menopause One Multivitamins provides comprehensive daily nutrition for menopausal women in just one tablet a day. Specially blended superfoods, essential nutrients and botanicals nourish and promote relief of menopausal symptoms. Menopause One is iron-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, lactose-free, dairy-free, wheat-free and yeast-free. It is 100% natural and contains no artificial flavors, sweeteners, preservatives or additives. Plant-source enzymes ease digestion, making it gentle on the stomach.”
These vegan omega-3 capsules serve up daily doses of marine algae oil. Algae oil is 100% plant-based. Fish that are high in omega-3’s are such because they ingest algae (indirectly, via krill); vegetarians and vegans can get their omega-3’s directly from the plant source that fuels the fish. Non-vegans, you might appreciate algae oil, too, if you’re not fond of the fish-oil burps you endure because you take fish oil capsules for your omega-3 supplement.
Green tea with its antioxidant superpower has been a staple in my supplement diet for so long, I can’t remember when I started taking it. I’m also drinking green tea now instead of coffee in the morning, so I’m getting even more of it. Not too much, I hope.
There’s been some debate over whether vinpocetine is a supplement or a medication. Here in the States, you get it over the counter in the supplements section. I wasn’t able to get it in France, because over there it’s only available by prescription. I take vinpocetine to help mitigate the autoimmune brain fog that often clouds my mind.
I’m a big fan of medicinal mushrooms. The description in the “Reishi mushroom” link I provided above describes this particular mushroom and its possible side effects. (I, myself, have not experienced side effects.) Here’s a snippet from the article:
“According to the book “Herbal Medicine: Bimolecular and Clinical Aspects,” reishi mushrooms have been studied, with some intriguing results, for their health benefits, including antioxidant properties and improvements to blood sugar, blood pressure, immunity and liver health. Reishi mushrooms have also been studied for their anticancer activity.”
From the livestrong article linked above:
“’Maitake’ means dancing mushroom in Japanese. The mushroom is said to have gotten its name after people danced with happiness upon finding it in the wild, such are its incredible healing properties.
This mushroom is a type of adaptogen. Adaptogens assist the body in fighting against any type of mental or physical difficulty. They also work to regulate systems of the body that have become unbalanced. While this mushroom can be used in recipes for taste alone, it’s considered to be a medicinal mushroom.”
I’m going to be adding Solaray’s Shiitake Mushroom to my mushroom collection, as well. It’s en route from Amazon as we speak, as I haven’t been able to find it in stock locally.
I wasn’t sure whether to include the folic acid, since it was prescribed to me by my rheumatologist for the express purpose of warding off methotrexate side effects. It’s standard procedure; methotrexate and folic acid are typically prescribed together. I decided to include the folic acid here because it’s a supplement, regardless of why I take it.
10). Collagen (connective tissue support) – Reserveage Nutrition Plant-Based Support Collagen Builder
Connective tissue support is particularly good for people with connective tissue (i.e. autoimmune) diseases, but I also consider it to be a part of my skincare routine. I swear by this particular collagen supplement!
There you have it. I should also mention that I drink a protein shake after my Body Pump workouts, even though the protein isn’t a daily supplement. My current favorite protein shake is the Vega Protein and Greens in vanilla. I shake it up with water and guzzle it straight. Vega has dramatically improved on this formula! This new version of it is actually really good, in my opinion. It’s no longer gritty, for one thing.
Perhaps I’ll do a revised supplements post next year, as there will likely be a few changes by then.