Saturday, February 12, 2011

Healthy Habits: Supplements? What to take?

Questions about what supplements I take have come up multiple times recently in several off line conversations, so I thought I'd post what supplements I take on a daily basis as well as one of my favorite "drinkable meals". I can take this with me and drink it on the run (instead of getting fast food), or set it on my desk while I'm working through lunch. 

Let's start with the list of daily supplements:

Multi Vitamin - A multi vitamin is a good idea for everyone. Ideally we would be getting all the vitamins we need from the food we eat. But realistically, we are likely short on something every day.

Vit C - Boosts immune system, anti-aging and cell regenerating properties.

Vit D - Increases bone strength and proven to help prevent against disease. Important for women, especially over age 40 to help prevent bone thinning which leads to osteoporosis.

Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc - Essential nutrients that affect so many areas of the body including muscles (calcium helps with contraction, magnesium helps muscles to relax and avoid cramping), regulating heartbeat, vision, healthy bones, nerve impulses, fight off infection and build healthy bones. NOTE: Don't take calc/mag/zinc with iron supplements. Check with your Dr if you are taking iron.

Glucosamine & Chondroitin - Helps with joint function, strength and mobility (low back, knees, fingers, shoulders). 

The list above I take each day. If there is one pill in the dose I take it in the morning. If the dose includes more than one pill I divide them and take half in the morning and half in the evening. 

The next group of supplements I put into a green drink each day which is jam packed with nutrition, low in calories and serves as a meal. Following is the recipe for my green drink. Let me just say, if you don't have the green drink, just put the Benefiber into a cup of water or skim milk.

Fiber is SO important in your diet and most people do not get enough natural fiber in the foods they eat. Fiber is basically carbohydrates that cannot be absorbed by the body. So when you eat fiber, it works it's way through your body, scraping the waste away with it as it exits out the other end. Fiber helps rid your body of toxins which helps with weight loss. It also helps regulate and prevent many diseases.

In my next post we will address what foods are high in fiber, and how to choose and purchase high fiber foods. For now, I will just say that in addition to getting fiber in foods, it is extremely helpful to have a teaspoon of fiber each day. I like Benefiber because unlike some other brands that make this claim, Benefiber has NO taste. I mean you can stir it into a glass of cold water and drink it and you will NOT know it is there. No clumping, no thickening, no flavor...none!! I don't want to taste fiber when I'm drinking it.

This green drink is sweet because of the choice of fruit. It's definitely NOT the green drink your Mother used to make :).  It's also very high in anti-oxidents. It tastes best when drinking it on an empty stomach so you can truly appreciate the great flavors,

Put water and supplements in blender first. Then add the remaining ingredients in the order listed.

20 OZ Water (I always have cold water in the fridge, I want my drink to be cold)
1 Tblsp Flax Seed (Omega 3's, Protein, Fiber-great cancer prevention)
1/2 Tblsp Hemp Seed (Omega 3's, Protein, Amino Acids)
1/4 Cup Protein Powder (I prefer a Whey Protein)
1 tsp Benefiber

1 C Fresh Kale (Pack it into a cup)
4 C Fresh Spinach (packed into cup) (may substitute 1 cup frozen spinach)
1/2 C Blueberries (may substitute other dark berries)(may try w/red berries-will change flavor)
1/2 Banana
1/2 C Pineapple (I freeze fresh. It you have to use canned make sure it has no added sugar)

I keep baggie's of Blueberries, Banana and Pineapple (measured together in the baggie) in the freezer ready to go.

By adding them in last, everything else is blended when they work their way to the bottom of the blender. Blend until everything is absolutely chunks!

You will end up with about 40 oz of drink. The entire drink is 338 calories and super nutritious!


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