Vitamins and Supplements the Kids & I Take Every Day

Good morning friends!  Happy MLK Day to you all!  If you are off today, make the best of it, if not, make it a great day anyway!

*Also, before I get into today’s post…please know I’m not a doctor/nurse/caregiver.  These are simply just my opinions.

I wanted to write a short post on what vitamins and supplements the kids and I take every day.  Why just the kids and I and not Brock?  Well, because Brock doesn’t take anything…#TypicalDudeProbs.  I have always thought health was equal parts interesting and super important.  I took nutrition courses my third and fourth year of college because the science behind nutrition has always amazed me; so much so, that for 5 minutes, I thought about being a dietician.

I don’t really think anyone gets all the nutrition they need from food these days, unless you are eating a perfectly balanced menu every single day.  I didn’t really start giving the kids vitamins until they entered the petri dish known as school.  Also, I never thought to give them probiotics (partly because I never knew they were freakin’ magic) until Mason was 3 and having lots of constipation issues (sorry, TMI) and we were literally trying everything to get him regular (FYI…he’s still not, but it’s much better than it was).  So basically I learned and still am learning as I go, but I have done my own research and looked at 5 million reviews on what we take.  There is still a lot to learn and if anyone has any suggestions for additional vitamins and supplements, please comment and let me know.

I’m breaking this down by morning and night, though most of what is taken of a morning is taken by me.

Taken in the AM:

Mason (5 years old)–1 elderberry gummy (We use a brand called Nature’s Way and Sambucol).

Brayden (10 years old)–1 elderberry gummy.  (We use a brand called Nature’s Way and Sambucol).

Mary (like I’m going to tell you my age!) — 1 Vitamin C (1000 mg, Nature’s Way), 1 Vitamin D3 (5000IU, Naturewise) 1 bio-identical testosterone trochee (1.5mg).

Taken in the PM:

Mason–1 elderberry gummy (Nature’s Way or Sambucol), 2 Immune C with zinc and echinacea gummies (Lil Critters), 2 multivitamin gummies (Garden of Life My Kind Organics), 1 probiotic (Garden of Life Organics).

Brayden— 1 elderberry gummy (Nature’s Life or Sambucol), 2 Immune C with zinc and echinachea gummies (Lil Critters), 1 probiotic (Garden of Life Organics).

Mary–1 elderberry gummy (Nature’s Way or Sambucol), 1 probiotic (Young Living Life Nine), 1 Vitamin C (1000 mg, Nature’s Way), 2 hair/skin/nails vitamins (Hum Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair with biotin/folic acid/fo-ti/zinc and paba), 1 progesterone trochee (30mg) and 1 Kavinace Ultra PM (NeuroScience, adrenal, GABA support and sleep aid).

In the fall and winter the kids usually take more than what they would take in the summer on break.  Usually during the summer months, they will just take their probiotics.  Also in the summer, I will go down to 1 Vitamin C a day and stop the elderberry.

One thing we will never stop, no matter what season?  Probiotics!  I cannot stress it enough that everyone should be taking a good probiotic.  The more strains of bacteria the better.  My Life Nine from Young Living has 9 (if it wasn’t obvious haha) and the kids’ have 5, but there are some out there that have even more than 9!  My advice is to do your own research and find which one is right for you.  I would start by googling brands that have 9+ strains and then dig into ingredients, cost and reviews.  Gut health is so crucial for every day healthy living.  It’s kind of our foundation to health.  Getcha gut healthy, getcha self stayin’ healthy!

There are several more supplements that I would like to start taking like a good organic Fish Oil, but I just haven’t taken the leap yet!  I also bought Zinc to have on hand, but haven’t been taking it regularly since my hair vitamins have zinc in them.  I also know the kids take a lot of gummies and I hate that they are consuming extra sugar because of it, BUT if it gets them to put some vitamins and good stuff in their bodies that pizza,  pretzels and organic lunchables can’t deliver, I’m here for it.

Just a helpful tip, lady to lady….the Hum Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair vitamins are LEGIT and worth every single penny.  Do you know how many hair and nail vitamins I have tried???  Well, let me tell you, I’ve tried at LEAST 10, ranging in price from 80.00 to 6.00 and I’ve never seen results.  Hair Sweet Hair is literally the ONLY vitamin in it’s category that has started new hair growth for me, all over my head.  Also, my nails grow at lightening speed and could be used to cut ….pretty much anything.  How did I find out about this gem?  My blogging friend, Cristin over at CristinCooper.com.  Side note: she’s one of my most favorite bloggers ever and hilariously funny…also, she’s from NC, so she’s already winning at life in my book.  But get the vitamins, they are so good.  So, so good!!

So, that’s it!  I know it may seem like a lot, and as Brock would say, our kids may as well be 80 year olds with day of the week pill holders, but let’s face it, most kids eat like crap.  Yes, mine will eat berries and PB and green beans and occasionally a bite or two of broccoli, but as a general rule of thumb, I think it’s important to try and supplement when possible.

 

Just as a recap, here are the brands I use for our daily vitamins/supplements:

Kids:

Garden of Life Organics Probiotics

Lil’ Critters Immune C with Zinc & Echinacea

Nature’s Way (or Sambucol) Elderberry

Garden of Life My Kind Organics Multivitamins

Me:

Nature’s Way Vitamin C 1000mg

Naturewise Vitamin D3 5000IU

Hum Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair

Young Living Life 9 Probiotic

Nature’s Way (or Sambucol) Elderberry

NeuroScience Kavinace Ultra PM

Testosterone 1.5 mg (bio identical hormone)

Progesterone 30mg (bio identical hormone)

 

Most of these items can all be found on Amazon or even at a local Fresh Thyme, Whole Foods or a local specialty “clean” store.

You CAN NOT buy the hormones I take over the counter.  You will HAVE to talk to a doctor that specializes in bio identical hormones and have lots of blood work done to find out if you need hormones or not.  Balancing hormones is very important for optimal health, but it’s NOT something you can do alone.  Please reach out to a doctor that specializes in this and do your own research when considering these options.  If you are local to Indiana, and are interested, please send me a message or comment and I can give you my doctor’s information.

I hope you all have a great day, and I’m gonna leave ya with my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quote….”The time is always right, to do something right.”

xoxo

 

 

 

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Let’s Talk Food, Shall We?

Nutrition is what makes or breaks a diet.  We need to think of our bodies as a car that we have to fuel to keep moving on a day to day basis.  Right?!  So what we put into our bodies everyday can cause us to lose weight, gain weight or maintain.  People like me (those hard headed, stubborn people) KNOW this concept.  It’s nothing new to us.  However, for some reason, it’s hard to win.  I’ve said it a million times, but I’m a healthy eater, but I eat out a lot.  Along with eating out comes excess sodium and bloating, which is not a girls friend when it comes time for a morning weigh in.  Feel me?

One evening a few months ago, I met one of my dearest friends for sushi and we discussed food for about 2 hours while we waited on the slowest waitress in the history of waitresses, who brought us the wrong, cold food.  Anyways.  She was telling me about different types of dinners and lunches she was fixing for herself and I was intrigued.  They weren’t that difficult and honestly, I feel a little crazy for not knowing to put these foods together in the first place.  I guess if I don’t see it completed, or read it on a recipe, I have no clue what I’m doing.

I wanted to share a few of my favorites (and yes, some of the recipes I received from my friend as well) from the past few weeks.  I will also post the recipe to the foods I’ve made at home so that people like me can look at it and think “sweet mother, that’s easy, why didn’t I think of that!”  I’m also including my fast food go-to’s, because …. well, sorry.

First up-Breakfast!  Did you know Chick Fil A has multi-grain oatmeal?  Did you know that you can get this oatmeal with a side of scrambled eggs?  Oatmeal with a 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar cinnamon topping (155 calories)  1 scrambled egg (90 calories)  BOOM….perfect breakfast!  Add a medium fruit cup for your 10AM snack for an additional 50 calories.

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This is my go to breakfast if I have time to fix it at home.  Egg whites, reduced feta, salsa/pico, organic spinach, GF Udi’s multi-grain toast with a little Smuckers Simply Fruit on it (or there are a few organic, low sugar options at Earth Fare I love) and fruit of some type.  A few years ago, I remember I would have egg beaters with 2% cheese and watermelon cubes everyday.  Whatever works, right!  Oh, and on the coffee front.  I try to NEVER drink my calories.  I drink black, dark roast coffee every morning, whether it’s from Starbucks or my kitchen.  Another breakfast tip:  mix one cage free organic egg with 1/3 cup of egg whites for extra protein. 🙂

Lunch…the meal my body hates me for when I finally do get around to eating.  I should be eating no less than 5 times a day, small meals, snacks etc.  I always start awesome by eating a great breakfast, then I find myself starving around 11.  Some days I will snack on almonds, or a cheese stick, but more days than not, I hold out until after 1 for lunch.  Basically I’m starving and would eat a hippo (not really) by the time I finally sit down to eat lunch.  Obviously this leads to bad, misled, fast choices, which are not thought through like they should be.

Eating out at lunch time consists of one basic restaurant, Chick Fil A.  And one basic meal, the grilled chicken cobb salad with no crispy red peppers (use your 80 calories else where, like a kids dish of Ice Dream…) and a half portion of the fat free honey mustard dressing.  Sometimes with a cookie.  I’m sorry, I can’t help myself.  Sometimes it’s necessary.

When I come home for lunch, I usually rock out some good choices though!  Shakeology is a new option I’ve picked up over the past 2 months.  I don’t drink it every day, but when I do, I use 2 tablespoons PB2, 3/4 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk and half a banana.  I also bought some cold brew 80 calorie cafe latte to use with it this weekend!  Excited to try some new blends!  If I am home, and don’t choose Shakeology, then I usually eat salads or whatever I can find in the fridge for less than 300 calories.

Dinners are easy!  Here are some fun recipes (courtesy of my fab friend)

Tuna Salad!  1 can of Wild Planet 100% pole caught tuna (I get this at Meijer), 1 half slice Claussen dill pickle, 1 small handful diced red onion, about 10 cherry tomatoes cut in half, 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt and about 2 teaspoons of stone ground mustard.  SO. GOOD. I. CAN’T. EVEN. TELL. YOU. HOW. GOOD!  I eat this straight out of the bowl or on a piece of Udi’s GF multi-grain bread that has been toasted.

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Easy Crock Pot Chicken:

2-4 chicken breasts frozen, 1/2 c water, 1/2 c organic chicken broth, poultry seasoning, garlic powder and pepper to taste (I use about 1-1.5 teaspoons of the poultry seasoning, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and a few shakes of pepper.) Let sit for 8 hours on low and shred when done.  It’s basically the perfect flavor.  We’ve made it twice and once left it as-is and once added BBQ.  So good.  I tell ya, my friend is a wicked genius!

Easy Crock Pot Fajitas:

This –shockingly enough, is one of my own concoctions, and it couldn’t be any easier.

4 chicken breasts, frozen, 1 bag of frozen tri color peppers (I use Kroger brand), 1 packet of low sodium fajita mix, 1 can of organic black beans.  Let set for 8 hours on low.  Stir it all together when done and use on top of low carb, whole wheat tortillas or Food Should Taste Good blue organic tortilla chips.

Like I had mentioned last week, we lost our dog and we did not find him until last Wednesday and we had lost him the previous Thursday morning, so basically the past 2 weeks I’ve had a hard time concentrating because of the stress of losing him and a few other things.  Kinda sounds like an excuse though, I get that.  So this week I’ve started my Monday off trying to make a few healthier changes.  5-6 glasses of water today so far and a healthy version BLT for dinner.  Squats while I dry my hair in the morning and I’m getting ready to jump on the recumbent bike for a half hour.  Small. Steps.

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What have you done this week?  Made any changes for the better?

Trigger Foods

Oh, these sneaky little diet crashers.  Things could be going well, you could be in a great eating routine, losing weight steadily and BAM…a bag of kettle chips show up in your pantry and you want them, like, yesterday.  You avoid them for as long as you can, then you take a sneak peek and see that the bag even says “reduced fat”.  It suddenly becomes a can’t stop, won’t stop kind of situation.  1 serving becomes 2 in no time flat, aka 140 calories becomes 280 in a matter of half an hour.

reduced

Why do we do this to ourselves?  I really have no idea, but my brain sure does love to justify snacking on said kettle chips, peanuts and Skinny Pop popcorn around 10:00 every night.  I know it’s completely a mental thing, and I’m also sure that if I spent more time during the day getting a little more protein in, that I may not have the 10pm mega cravings.  However, I probably have these cravings because I have spent too much time giving in and having the snack, which obviously I do not need.  Basically I’m sabotaging myself and it sucks.

peanuts   skinny pop

The only solution I can come up with:  Just stop doing it.  Stop eating late, stop eating large portions, stop buying these “triggers” at the grocery store.

Simple enough, right?  I’m sure it won’t be.  I will have to train my body again to avoid foods that make it easy for me to justify eating more than 1 serving.

So much about being healthy is mental.  As long as you are in the correct mind set, you can pretty much do anything.  For lack of a better word, I hate to “lose”, and when eating healthy becomes a challenge because of something as simple as eating way too many peanuts or a few too many servings of Skinny Pop (even when I’m not hungry to begin with) I feel like I’m losing, which makes me insanely frustrated.

Something that is seemingly so simple, that’s actually super hard.

What are some of your “trigger foods” and how do you manage staying true to healthy eating?

 

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