My Daily Supplements

As the new year has finally kicked off, I think almost everyone I know has some sort of resolution/plan to improve their health. It might also have to do with Spring Break and Summer looming over us, as it’s all we can think about  with all this cold weather!

I can’t say that I am a supplement expert, or that I have it down to a science. But I thought I would share what I take (on as much of a regular basis as I remember) and the benefits that they provide my health.

Disclaimer: All these products can (and were) purchased at the Vitamin Shoppe. I may be partial because I used to work there, but I also believe of all the box stores (Vitamin Shoppe, GNC, and Vitamin World) the Vitamin Shoppe has the best deals, and they train their employees to know about all their products, and strive to provide education daily to those employees.

Probiotic

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 12.41.40 PMAs far as probiotics go, I still have yet to figure out which is the best one to take. However, I tend to stick to the “middle of the road” options. This probiotic isn’t the cheapest, but it has 13 billion organisms, which is enough to convince me it’ll help my horrible digestive system. I don’t share this a lot, but I have a HORRIBLE digestive system. I’ve tried a few different things, short of giving up certain foods (gluten mainly) because I’m 12 and can’t stop eating toast or PB and J… And all my research says probiotics and enzymes (see next supplement) can help break down any food you eat, leading to a happy digestive system.

Digestive Enzyme

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 12.53.33 PMDigestive Enzymes are taken with each meal to help breakdown everything that you eat. Depending on what you require, there are different enzymes for you. This one that I take, helps breakdown carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fibers, and dairy. Yeah, my system is bad, so I need lots of help. To be fair I’m also crappy at sticking to a regime of taking supplements daily, so I have yet to see how much this really helps. That’s a goal for this year, to actually take them.

Greens Powder

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 12.57.08 PMThis is one of the things I throw in as often as possible. I don’t eat as many vegetables as I should, and it definitely shows. This powder, mixed into a smoothie, or protein, or even just mixed into apple juice gives all the nutrients of eating every green growing thing on this planet. Slightly expensive ($2 a day roughly), but worth it. Also helps get things moving…

Epiburn Pro

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 12.59.24 PMThis is a supplement that a lot of people won’t agree with, but if I’m being honest and telling you what I take, here you go. This is a fat-burning, appetite suppressing, caffeine pill. It’s a thermogenic, so it leaves you sweating, with freezing fingers and toes, raises your blood pressure… But it works. And I love that I can take one pill in the morning with a glass of water, and don’t have to drink coffee where my breath stinks and my teeth turn yellow every day. One pill is 100mg of caffeine – a little more than a cup of coffee. This is not for the faint of heart, or the caffeine sensitive.

Whey Protein

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 1.03.02 PMThis is the only product I don’t get at the Vitamin Shoppe, and that’s because they don’t sell it. I LOVE cellucor. And will likely switch over to their weight loss supplement instead of epiburn pro for my next bottle. I also get 25% off at cellucor.com from Christian Guzman. Whey protein usually upsets my stomach but it’s worth it for the protein benefits, and the flavor. My favorite from Cellucor: Cor-fetti. But every flavor I’ve tried is amazing. Bodybuilding.com also has 4 serving bags of each flavor so you can try flavors. I have a big jug of the Cor-Fetti, but little bags of Cinnamon Swirl, PB Marshmallow, and S’mores.

There are obviously thousands of other supplements out there, a lot that would probably help me (ie: multivitamin, vitamin B, etc). And I do take a multi-vitamin every once in a while, but I’m not consistent with a brand that I would tell you is my holy grail. I do like Optimum Nutrition’s women’s sport multi though, because It’s a small gel-cap, vs those ginormous tablets that are usual for multivitamins.

What supplements do you guys take? Any that you recommend?

My Take on “Diet”

Through all the research, hearing everyone’s opinion, and seeing how much time I really have to do stuff, I’ve decided to follow the If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) diet. I’m not using this as a diet in the sense that I want to lose weight, I am using it as a “food plan” or “meal guide.” The main belief of IIFYM is that a calorie is a calorie, whether it comes from a brownie or brown rice, it’s a calorie of carbohydrates.

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There are many different macros calculators out there that you can use for free. Some are based off of traditional diets (40% carbs, 30% fat, 30% protein), some are more for athletes who require more protein. Some are for weight loss, you get the idea. The best site I found is http://iifym.com/

They have the most information, and many different calculators that you can use. It’s simple, enter your height, weight, and age. Then you can decide if you want weight loss, maintain, bulk, anything like that. And then pick the “diet” you prefer, IIFYM, textbook, 40-30-30, etc.

Here’s what mine look like:

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 8.35.48 AMNotice I picked 7 meals a day. I did this because I typically eat 3 meals, and at least 1 snack. The website only lets you pick 7 meals maximum, so you can do a little math if you want more (ie what I’ll do is double the grams per meal for each meal, (39.6 carbs, 36.6 protein, 14.6 fat). Then my snack (or snacks plural) need to add up to the 19.8 carbs, 18.3 protein, and 7.3 fat. I have a huge issue with getting enough fiber, so I like this program because it makes me aware of fiber, and makes me consciously make sure I get enough in my diet.

Now, this may seem like a LOT of work. Calculating the macros of everything you eat. And it can be. But, once you’ve calculated the macros for, say, 4 oz chicken breast, you’ll remember it. Or the macros of 1 cup of oatmeal. There’s a statistic that says people stick to eating the same # of foods. I can’t think of the exact number, but it’s a small number. Also, there is now google. Most people have a smartphone. Google “nutrition strawberry poptart” and all your macros are there. Same for “1 oz baby carrots”. Also, most restaurant chains post the macros of their foods online. Do a little research first and you’ll have your information.

Also, the awesome part of IIFYM is, you can eat whatever you want. As long as you keep track of the macros. So, go ahead and eat poptarts for breakfast, but if you eat them again at lunch you might be eating a salad for dinner. This means protein pancakes with whipped cream are okay. No more just eating oatmeal and protein shakes. Just check out Brittany Dawn Fitness on instagram for some food porn.

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Just google IIFYM images, and laugh at the memes. People bash IIFYM sometimes, but they support the paleo diet, or clean eating with a “cheat meal”… Think about it, everything in moderation.

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 8.53.36 AMWhat do you guys think about diets/eating plans? Do you not pay any attention? Do you eat whatever you want? Do you try to eat healthy, and exercise to make up for anything “unhealthy”?