Supplements - Get the Skinny

Alrighty folks. Supplements. Sir lifts a lot says can’t live without them. Suzie save the whales says they’re harmful. So what do you do?

Let me help you navigate through the confusion. Whether or not you need them, and if so which ones to look at.

When I first started my fitness journey I was overwhelmed by all of the products I thought I needed to make progress. Fat burners, CLA, L-Carnitine, Protein Powder, BCAAs, Multivitamin, Fish Oil, Glutamine and the list goes on.

So let’s clear this up right now.

First of all, no you do not need supplements. The purpose of a supplement is to…you guessed it, SUPPLEMENT a healthy diet and exercise routine. If you’re expecting to pick up a new supplement or two and be greeted with a six pack next week, well no not quite.

The foundation should always be cleaning up the diet, focusing on whole nutritious foods from the earth in proper portion sizes as well as a healthy amount of cardiovascular and strength training. That will bring you a six pack if you so desire.

So are supplements needed? Nope.

BUT I do believe there are some supplements that can make leading a healthier lifestyle easier, in an all natural way that honors the body and helps it do its thing better. And if you haven’t noticed by now I’m all about MAKING HEALTH AND A FREAKING INCREDIBLE LIFE SO MUCH EASIER. Mic drop.

My suggested supplements to make that ideal body, confidence and life easier today.

  1. Protein Supplement

The number one “excuse” I receive as a health coach is...I don’t have time. To combat those mid-day snack attacks or running out the door I forgot to eat breakfast moments, I love a good protein supplement. This is also a great option for a quick pre or post workout snack. There are a lot of options out there and unfortunately many are filled with hidden junk meaning your healthy snack can quickly turn into a candy bar in disguise.

What to look for? This can be controversial but let me keep it simple give you my opinion:

First of all there should be about 20-25 grams of protein per serving. This is around the number that would be included in a proper portioned meal.

Second, look for a plant based protein or a whey isolate. Whey isolate is a “cleaner” version of whey, with lower lactose levels. Many individuals experience discomfort with whey proteins, for this reason whey isolate is a great option. I personally recently made the switch to completely plant based proteins and I will never go back. (I.e. decreased bloating, better digestion and increased energy since making the switch).

Third, TASTE! Many proteins taste all too much like chalk. If I’m going to eat anything it better taste like heaven on earth or it’s not going in my mouth. No I’m not dramatic one bit thank you.

Here are my favorites:

Complete mix by Juice Plus.

This is the only protein I use for smoothies and my "healthified" ice cream.

If you’ll notice, this is more of a complete snack mix. Think of it as a “macro” supplement. I include it because it contains a fairly high amount of fully plant based protein and is the only protein on the market with a perfect score by the PDCAA, or the protein quality raters in layman's terms. Quality is number one in my book, taste coming in at a solid tie. Both are 100%, not to mention only a little over $1 per serving which is nearly impossible to come by for a protein of this quality and taste. If you’d like to give it a try yourself, click here. They taste like cake and brownies, what more could you possibly ask for?

1UP VEGAN

For a higher protein count, this is what I use to add to meals or for a quick post workout. The taste blends well when added to oatmeal (my favorite breakfast). There are about 25g of protein per 120 calories, A+! Taste is slightly more chalky when eaten alone. If you’d like to try go ahead and click here.

 

  1. Fruit and Vegetable Capsules

Did you know that we are supposed to be getting 9-13 servings of fruits and vegetables every day? Athletes need double, and if you’re sick you actually need triple. I know that I do my best to include wholesome fruits and veggies into every meal, but getting that amount every day is a tough task.

I have found a company that created a capsule that includes the pulp, the peel (where many of the nutrients are contained), the seeds and the entire fruit and vegetable or cleaner than organic produce. 100% food, nothing else. They are actually not considered a supplement by the government, but rather whole nutritious foods. But, this is what I personally take instead of multivitamins or supplemented vitamins so I thought I’d include it here as well. They are clinically proven to reduce inflammation, reduce oxidative stress, support a strong immune system, support heart and lung health, increase blood flow and support glowing healthy skin.

The fact that I can ingest 30+ fruits and veggies of the highest quality every single day before breakfast is a major player in my prevention regiment.

If you’d like to get them a try click here.

 

  1. Pre-Workout

I personally like to take pre-workout for the stimulant as well as the “pump.” The pump is what increases blood flow to the targeted areas which helps with muscle growth. I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty on this one because I feel it is out of my realm of expertise, but there are plenty of articles out there that list what to look for in a high quality pre-workout to provide the extra potential for muscle growth. As for the stimulant portion, I prefer to have a maximum of 140mg of caffeine, as well as taking one week per month when I do not use a stimulant to support healthy adrenals.

For purposes of a higher intensity workout and ease in making that “push” it might be worth a shot!

  1. Omegas

I.E. fish oil, but skipping the fishy. Aka no fishy taste or burps.

Benefits of omegas include fighting depression and anxiety, support of heart and brain health, fighting inflammation, and support of healthy hair skin and nails to name a few. The omega supplement I take is fully vegan. Since taking this supplement my hair has gotten thicker and grown about twice its length in six months. If you’d like to look into it, click here.  

There you have it. That’s it. Plain and simple. These are the supplements I personally use on a regular basis and have noticed incredible results from. Which are you going to try today?!