The Supplement Conundrum … My Personal Overhaul 4

This has been a big one for me to finally complete.  I have been working on this while I still take my multivitamin every night with a cringe knowing I would probably see it come out in the same shape as it went in.

Was that TMI? If it is then I wonder why you still read my posts!  This whole blog is TMI – if you haven’t noticed so much of what I write about is our colon and how important it is in our lives.  The more TMI I give the more people reach out to me with a slew of questions when we are alone, sent via private messages, tracking me down in dark alleys.  Play hard to get, it’s fine I like a challenge.  In reality my site visitor statistics tell me all I need to know about what you really want you collaborative teases!

hard to get



Thus far I have been taking things in sections, kind of like a colon (get used to it- I’ll drop the C-bomb out of no where, you will be totally unsuspecting then BOOM there it is again).  Considering how much information has been thrown at me I sometimes feel like I am drinking out of a fire hose.  Over time the pressure has decreased and as I have been able to absorb more of this flow of information.

fire hose


To relate this previous statement back to our Colon… If you flood yourself with too many supplements like trying to drink from a full force fire hose you don’t take in all the water aka supplements.  If you do try you will ingest too much water aka supplements and you stress the body and the liver.  You must decrease the pressure of the flow.  You must decrease the amount of pills you take as supplements to decrease the pressure on the colon so you can better absorb what you do take in.  Then you have a smooth running flow of nutrients and supplements that expel easily.  It’s a talent yes I know…

So how do you decide what to take?  It is a very individualized protocol.  My goal is to transition into using mostly food for all of my vitamin and mineral needs.  Just like you can’t out exercise a bad diet, there is no such thing as a magic pill to fix a bad diet.

In fact, using supplements in conjunction with a bad diet can do more harm than good.  Too much omega 6 is pro inflammatory and adding fish oil fats when 2-5 grams a day was the most you could consume orally and reasonably have your cells absorb is doing harm.  Any more you start to stress the body and the liver.  Fish oil is not bad, it is bad pairing it with decreased saturated but increased polyunsaturated fats.  This is a recent podcast talking about this issue in detail.  You can skip to the particular portion you want to hear if you’re not interested in the entire podcast:

There are a thousand opinions on what supplements to take.  I have read an obscene amount of these blogs and articles.  Pairing it with the research I have been doing I liked this one the best:

It seems all signs point to getting these nutrients and minerals from your food as the best way to absorb them, the caveat here is your gut needs to be healthy to correctly absorb these minerals and vitamins.  This is where I fit in.  I am actively healing my gut and transitioning into a food only supplement program.  I have a few things I need to keep around until I am certain my gut is healthy.  I am definitely getting there!!!

There is a TON of information on mineral deficiencies and neuro-regulation of appetite.  Deficiencies in nutrients make you hungry – if you eat NON nutrient dense foods you continually stay hungry.  Think of non nutrient dense foods- AKA processed.  This processing sometimes can even remove nutrients from the body leaving you hungry for more.

This is a food pyramid showing some nutrient dense foods.  I could just list some but I know you all like pictures, who doesn’t?  This looks quite different than the food pyramid we are used to seeing….. Also, why do I feel I have the need to climb this pyramid?  It’s a sickness.  Everything looks like a mountain I need to climb.  MMM… this mountain is tasty too!



One very interesting fact I recently learned has to do with canned tuna.  I was at a local farmers market picking up my weekly load when I met a fisherman that lives here in Phoenix part of the year and fishes in the Pacific Northwest via hook and line (a sustainable way to fish) for sushi grade tuna.  He then cans it on the spot with the fish juices and Omega’s right in the can.  He explained that the mainstream brands have a process (here we go again with the ‘processed’ word) that actually takes OUT the Omega’s from the fish and sells it off to supplement companies so they can provide us with our Fish Oil tablets.  They also add water and other preservation methods to the fish, he basically said you are getting a fish flavored can of sawdust when it’s done going through it’s ‘processes’.

OK… is this insanity or is it just me??  Taking all the nutrients OUT of food to sell them in capsules while also selling us the leftovers while it would have just been easier in the first place to leave it in there.  WTF?

Anyways, I was leery about the canning however after tasting his fish and doing a little background search I found some very interesting things that had me coming back to buy more last week- it is incredibly delicious right out of the can.  This is a link that explains this whole can of well um.. fish.

Here is the link to Especial Tuna that I have been geeking out over:


Here is my personal supplement conundrum:

When I got out of the hospital the doctors put me on Miralax once a day along with 3 fiber supplements daily.  I slowly cut out these doses and am now totally free of them.  Currently I am taking a multivitamin, Super B complex, Fish Oil, Vitamin D, Probiotic and QCO10.  I also have a protein shake some mornings.  Let’s overhaul this list.


You can get much of what you need in this area via your vegetables.  I have been so torn up on this subject.  Finding out that Green Giant is made in China, getting stuck in ruts buying the same vegetables every week, spoilage issues, the list goes on and on.

Soil quality is not what it was 100 years ago.  This LONG paper talks about how soil used in conventional (not organic) farming has 85% fewer nutrients than 100 years ago.  If you go organic, you get 15-50% of those nutrients back.

I recently put the kabosh on this issue by joining a local chow share program that gets me a surprise box of all locally grown organic vegetables each week for $22.  The farmers get the order on Wednesday.  They pull it from the ground on Thursday and I pick up my box of goodies on Saturday.  Most places have this kind of program, finding a farmers market co-op would be the best way to look for one.  These co-ops have regulations as to what kind of farmers make the cut.

Do we even need a multivitamin?  Is it really helping anything?  This is a nice article showing some studies conducted in the last couple years.  It actually lists foods to eat rather than taking a multivitamin to get more bang for your buck. It does a fairly good job of this- even including the elusive vegan diet as an example.  I know that I can get the same nutrients as grains and dairy provides with things a Cavewoman uses.

Another recent article questioning the multivitamin, and how it actually impedes training.

OK… so first order of business…  Buh Buy Multivitamin!  Hello extra spending cash!



This is another one I am going to NIX…  When I read what foods are the highest in these B vitamins I saw everything I eat every day in black and white.

BINGO.  Bring on the caviar, oh wait I don’t eat that daily.  But maybe with all this dough I am saving in supplement costs I can!





Omegas…. again when I look at my daily intake of food I don’t see a need for my fish oil supplement BUT when I look at my overall need for fats due to my training schedule I will keep these in my pill box.  One addition to this area is a new little fella I discovered due to a recommendation from a couple of my friends…  I’ll give you a hint..



Not only have I added CHIA seeds to my diet but I also found a new Halloween costume for Napoleon!!  Chia seeds are fun, nutritious, full of fiber and Omega 3’s.  They are a superfood.  Some C-C-C-CHia facts:



This is a big one.  VERY important vitamin.  The majority of what I read says actual sunlight is the best and quickest way to absorb this vitamin.  Due to my thyroid disease I was told by my Endocrinologist that I was deficient in it back when I was diagnosed.  Is it the chicken or the egg in this story… was I so ill that I could not absorb what I needed, or was I deficient because I was ill?  Either way you must have this VIT D to properly absorb many other nutrients.  It is also in many of the foods I eat.  Mayo Clinic on Vitamin D:

Personally, I LOVE to soak up some rays.  I keep it to a minimum and do wear sunblock when I am exposed for long periods of time but most of the research shows that burning is where the damage comes in.  Nothing makes me feel more revived than laying in the sun for 20 minutes.  I will keep my supplement for those days that I cannot get exposure via the good ole sunshine.  I know there is something in us living organisms that need it – Napoleon goes out every morning to soak it up.

Soak it up!



This is a keeper.  No if and’s or BUTTS… about it.  Excellent read on the subject:


CoEnzyme Q10:

This is a really important enzyme to know about.  It is super important in cell processes.  Once again when I looked for what foods contained this enzyme all that I am eating has it.

“The highest dietary sources of Coenzyme Q10 come from – in descending order according to content – fresh sardines and mackerel, the heart, liver and meat of beef, lamb and pork along with eggs.”

RUH ROH….. What’s for dinner.. literally cooking with HEART edition coming soon!!!  HAHA!

So here is yet another NIX on the supplement list!  Moneybags over here….. all this extra cash for buying hearts! Whoa… I think for now I will stick to sardines and mackerel.



I am guilty of using one.  It is a cheat, an easy way to get a decent amount of what I need.  Back to my fire hose analogy, I was so inundated with information the powder was staying until I could take the time to research and do my overhaul.  They are convenient, quick and relatively nutritious.  Are they the perfect option?  No, but in a pinch I would still rather have one than powdered eggs and a bagel so for me I will hang on to the one I currently use for those situations when getting real food is just not an option.  This is a great article explaining this segment of the supplement saga:


So here I have my final list of my supplement program:


VITAMIN D when the real deal Holyfield aka SUNSHINE is not available


AND the occasional protein shake in a pinch.

WHEW!!!!!!! DANG  that was a task and a half.  Look at that little itty bitty list of supplements.  Who would have ever thought that my homegurl Mother Nature knew what she was doing this whole time.  Shout out to you woman- keep it real!!!  I am getting a full blood panel done soon.  Will report my findings….


One final thought from my friends Harry and Lloyd…  AKA Dumb and Dumber… Pillllllls are GOOOOD!!!

Pills Are Good



I am not a dietitian, nutritionist, or certified trainer.  I am a normal, smart, professional Woman who is also an athlete.  I was diagnosed with a very serious case of diverticulitis and within moments almost lost 60% of my G.I. tract due to it.  Once in recovery to avoid surgery going forward I did a tremendous amount of research and adopted a Paleo lifestyle.  The results I have personally seen and felt are worth sharing.  I am fortunate to have a network of professional athletes from many walks of life, nutritionists, trainers and other medical professionals to learn from. I am sharing my personal journey for those of you who experience similar types of health issues or are simply interested in the information I gather. I hope it encourages you and points you in the right direction to research further for your own personal well being.  For those of you who are looking to share in my relentless hiking passion, or those who simply enjoy learning about the things I come across I am happy to have you all along on this incredible ride!

4 thoughts on “The Supplement Conundrum … My Personal Overhaul

  1. Pingback: My Top Ten Favorite Things Right Now ← Chronic Climber Chick

  2. Jes Feb 19,2013 7:34 PM

    Glad you could find some good nuggets to help in your journey. It’s a beast that’s for sure. I appreciate the comment and read!

  3. Fed Ex Man Feb 19,2013 7:09 PM

    Thank you for your efforts here. I did not know about reduced soil quality. Definitely considering the Farmers Co-op.

  4. Jes Feb 19,2013 6:47 PM

    May re-think the CHIA for a bit:

    Some may need to use caution with regard to chia seeds:

    “For those of you who receive the weekly Paleo Diet, LLC, Newsletter, this summary will be nothing more than a refresher for you, as Dr. Cordain, just in last Friday’s issue, discussed in detail why Chia Seeds, actually, are NOT a good food to have as part of our food options!

    Here’s a recap of what he said:

    -“Chia Seeds contain antinutrients, so that once in your body, the available calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and manganese from chia seeds are poorly absorbed, hence making chia seeds a poor dietary source for these minerals.”

    -“Chia seed consumption may contain one or more antinutrients which may promote chronic low level inflammation.”

    -“In addition, it is possible that other antinutrients found in chia seeds may adversely affect gut tissue including saponins which cause a “leaky gut”. When this occurs, the gut contents may then have access to the immune system which in turn becomes activated thereby causing a chronic low level systemic inflammation.”

    Dr. Cordain sums up by stating, “Until further human studies are conducted, I would be cautious in recommending chia seeds for human consumption, particularly in people with food allergies or known autoimmune diseases.”

    So- keep the chia seeds for your Chia Pet (do they still sell those? : ) and OUT of your body!”

    —well it might make some sense in my case because when all of this started for me I was eating so much flax seed that I thought I must be the healthiest person alive, little did I know that it was tearing up my gut.

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