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

 

 

 

Food Swaps You Should Make Now (Especially if you have kids)

Let’s get this out of the way shall we? I’m not a dietician, though I would love to be. I’m not a doctor, but I am a mom and I feel like that gives me some credibility. Moms are superhuman, after all.

Typically, I place the most importance on buying organic/clean dairy, produce and meat. No one eats perfect but I get all “mama bear” when our kids are involved. If I can do my part and help prevent even a chance of them getting a terrible disease by spending a few more dollars at the grocery store, then you bet your mom jeans wearing behind that I’m gonna.

If you are not doing this already, please make these simple swaps soon:

Meats:

Packaged beef, chicken and lunch meat:

Beef, Chicken and lunch meat Swap: Buy grass fed, no antibiotic/no hormone beef, chicken and lunch meat. Yes, it will cost you a few more dollars, but you won’t be packing your body full of carcinogens, caramel colors and genetically modified meats.

Lunchables and Hot Dogs: PITCH THE LUNCHABLES. There is not one thing that is sustainable in that package. The drinks are sugar, the “meat” is processed, as is the cheese and the crackers and dessert are pretty much flavored chemicals. I mean, I get it…I love an oreo every now and then, but most kids get plenty of sugar throughout the day from other sources and don’t need dessert at every meal.

Lunchable Swap: Make your own. Brock and I give our kiddos pieces of organic lunch meat and deli cheeses (also organic) with fresh fruit and veggie stix/wheat crackers.

Regular pork/beef/chicken hot dogs (can someone please not tell me what By-Product is?) are HORRIBLE for kids to consume. They are full of nitrates and who knows what else. There has been research done to show that if a child eats 12 hot dogs a month, their risk of leukemia is 9 times greater. 12 hot dogs sounds like a lot, until you have kids, and realize that hot dogs are, regardless of what anyone thinks, a meal fit for a king to a child.

Hot Dog Swap: Buy nitrate free, organic beef or chicken hot dogs. They taste amazing and they are guilt free (health wise), so when your child wants a hot dog, you can feel good about giving them one.

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Dairy:

Milk Swap: For the love of all that is good and pure, buy organic! Will it be perfect, and 100% straight from the cow? Of course not, but it’s better than pumping your kids full of hormones and steroids. Have you seen the pictures of middle school girls today, as compared to when we were in middle school? There’s a reason they need bras at age 9. Just sayin.

Kids Yogurt Swap: Buy organic, but make sure you find a kind that still has added probiotics and live cultures. Strong immune systems start in the gut and kids need those probiotics to build a strong defense against school/daycare germs.

Adult Yogurt Swap: The main thing I look for when purchasing yogurt for myself is artificial sweeteners. I buy organic for the kids, but since I don’t consume much yogurt, my main concern is staying away from sweeteners like aspartame and sucrulose –aka Splenda. Some of my go-to brands are Fage 0% or 2% with cherry and mixed berry. I also occasionally buy Dannon Oikos greek yogurt or Chobani.

Cheese: I tend to not be as strict on cheese, but I refuse to buy the American cheese slices. People—hear me when I say it’s not real cheese. It even says on the package “Processed cheese product.” Product, NOT cheese. Sorry fake cheese lovers, but Velveeta falls into the same category. When you hold a lighter under it, it doesn’t even melt…but it does turn black. Imagine what it’s doing to your digestive tract. Its crazy and you should stay away. If you aren’t sure what real cheese should taste like, put fresh Gouda or brie on a sandwich, or bake it. You can thank me later. If you are lactose intolerant or trying to avoid dairy, goat cheese is an excellent alternative and so good!

Cheese Swap: I buy simple truth organic cheese straight from the Kroger deli, Horizon organic cheese string cheese and Sargento naturals (I understand that term is used very loosely) deli cheese slices. At least it melts…and tastes like cheese. I personally use a lot of feta cheese myself. I buy the Athenos fat free or tomato and basil flavor. Oh and as far as shredded cheese goes, we don’t use a ton, but generally I’m ok with the Kroger 2% sharp cheddar as long as it smells fresh.

Produce:

You don’t always have to buy organic fruits and veggies. In fact, I’m beginning to learn that some of the frozen fruits and veggies are the smartest way to go. In case you haven’t heard about these lists, here are what most consider the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” in regards to produce.

Dirty Dozen: Consider buying these items organic:

-Apples

-Strawberries

-Grapes

-Celery

-Peaches

-Spinach

-Bell Peppers

-Nectarines

-Cucumbers

-Tomatoes

-Snap Peas

-Potatoes

(Hot Peppers and Blueberries are included as add ons)

Clean 15: Items that are grown safer and do not need to be organic:

-Avocados

-Sweet Corn

-Pineapples

-Cabbage

-Sweet Peas (Frozen)

-Onions

-Asparagus

-Mangoes

-Papayas

-Kiwi

-Eggplant

-Grapefruit

-Cantaloupe

-Cauliflower

-Sweet Potatoes

I personally will only buy organic in these items: raspberries, strawberries, bananas, apples, blueberries and kiwi. This is because the kids eat so many of them and half of the time Brayden gets the container out of the fridge and eats them right out of the box. I’m not about to tell him he can’t eat them until I’ve washed everything because that will deter him from eating them. Buying organic makes me feel a little more at ease if the kids get to the fruit before I do!

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Next on my to-do list: getting back into the habit of packing Brayden’s lunch again. I know he likes to buy it at school because it’s the “cool” thing to do, but I know for a fact that the foods they are serving aren’t the best quality. At first I thought it was great because he was getting a protein, veggie and fruit. I knew if given the choice he would choose chocolate milk for his drink, and I don’t think that’s worth the battle to fight. However, the past few weeks I’ve been asking him what his veggies and fruits consisted of and I hear things like “applesauce with cinnamon, goldfish crackers, pineapple with juice and lots of carrots and corn.” He doesn’t like carrots (he gets it honestly) so he always chooses the goldfish and corn. And cinnamon applesauce? Oy! I never buy that for the house. In fact, I don’t think I’ve had that since I had my wisdom teeth removed when I was 19!

Nutrition is something I feel passionately about. Because of that, you would think I would be 20 pounds lighter and never have meals out, or never go over 1300 calories a day. Well, sometimes too much knowledge can work against you too. Knowing what I need to do also allows me to know what the max calorie allotment I can handle before I start to gain. I’m a little more than stubborn and need to work through this.

I truly hope this list helped open some eyes about foods that families consume everyday. No meal is ever going to be absolutely perfect and there are lots of ways to create a calorie deficit to lose weight. I tend to focus on the whole food side of nutrition and not so much “dieting”. Just because you are skinny from dieting, does not mean you are healthy. What we put into our bodies everyday is like a fuel to keep us working properly and healthy. It’s extremely important.

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I’ll conclude with one of my favorite scriptures from the Bible; which really puts a healthy lifestyle into perspective:

PS.139 13-16

For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the parts of the Earth.  Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.  And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet, there were none of them.

Treat your body, and your families’ bodies the way He wants you to treat them.

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