Friday, December 10, 2010

supplemental, my dear watson.

Well, hello there. I promise to stop ranting about the weather soon. I’m living in Michigan [land of plentiful lake effect snow] through the winter for the first time since 2003, and it’s a bit of a rough adjustment.


[however, Bayley the poodle doesn’t really seem to mind…].

In an effort to use up the surplus of frozen bananas taking over my freezer, I made banana muffins. They are vegan and delicious and have extra oatmeal for fiber power.


I am super excited about all those who are participating in…

12 days of giving logo copy

and I also wanted to say that I am definitely not against giving {and receiving} gifts during the holiday season. When all focus on the giving aspect is lost or starts heading toward the realm of greediness…that’s when I start to get frustrated.

Day 3: Sustainable Harvest International

SHI was founded in 1997 by a Peace Corps volunteer and works to combat the tropical deforestation crisis in Central America by providing farmers with sustainable alternatives to slash-and-burn agriculture. They use organic vegetable gardens, wood-conserving stoves, biogas digesters and a host of other projects to preserve our planet's tropical forests while overcoming poverty.


Ways to help:

*edited to add: SHI will match every donation received up to $10,000 through Monday!

Recently I did a little background research on supplements for a nutrition counseling client. My general thought on supplements: they are meant to supplement [ha] a generally healthful diet. You cannot eat a steady diet of twinkies and french fries followed by a dose of omega-3’s and expect a miracle.


Here are some supplements that have been popping up a lot recently:

  • multivitamins: I think these are ok to cover your bases and to meet any nutrient requirements you may have missed on a daily basis. Just make sure that none of the vitamins exceed the tolerable upper limit (check the Office of Dietary Supplements).
  • fish oil: role in cardiovascular health, decreasing blood pressure, lowering triglycerides; the American Heart Association recommends 2 servings (3.5 oz or ¾ cup baked, flaked fish) of fatty fish/week (salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna); Include oils and foods rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) (flaxseed, canola and soybean oils; flaxseed and walnuts); recommendations: 3 grams or less per day (from capsules); if you are healthy but aren’t consuming fish or sources of ALA regularly, a supplement may be ok, depending on the amount of omega-3’s it contains.
  • L-carnitine: plays a role in fatty acid metabolism; not enough evidence to support L-carnitine for athletic performance, improved immune function, or weight reduction (Fragakis &Thompson, 2007); supplements not necessary for healthy individuals
  • green tea extract: possesses antioxidant activity; may have anticarcinogenic activity (anti-cancer); moderate doses demonstrated to be safe; may interfere with iron absorption; insufficient evidence to conclude that green tea improves heart health, assists in blood pressure control, or promotes weight control by increasing energy expenditure; get antioxidants by eating vegetables and fruit!
  • vitamin D: plays role in calcium metabolism; may provide protection from osteoporosis, hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer, and several autoimmune diseases. The IOM recently released new recommendations: 600 IU/day, with upper tolerable limit 4,000 IU/day. This level is controversial, and some have taken well over 4,000 IU/day without negative side effects. Supplements not necessarily harmful but may not be needed if you’re already getting dietary vitamin D and vitamin D through your multivitamin (and the sun!); we don’t know the optimal level of vitamin D intake.

Do you take any supplements? Thoughts?


and a shameless plug: My friend Sarah’s brother [Sam] is a finalist in the Lea & Perrins contest for his shake it up pulled pork sandwich…he is trying to raise money to study abroad and needs your votes!


  1. I take vitamin supplements every day. I'm a big fan of Vitamin D since I live in Chicago and don't get the sun, and I take Vitamin B to strengthen my nails! I also have a calcium supplement and occasionally take Vitamin C, since my acid reflux prevents me from having citrus, including orange juice or oranges (unfortunately).

  2. I definitely do a lot more baking during the winter. It's so nice having the oven on, being in the warm kitchen and enjoying some freshly made baked goods! On that note, these muffins sounds delicious!

  3. I used to take both a multivitamin and fish oil, but I ran out and started slacking. I'll probably pick them up again in the future.

    I've been wondering a lot about vitamin D, though, since it seems like it would be challenging for to get enough just through diet and lifestyle (particularly during this dreary winter). I'm considering adding that in eventually as well, at least for the next few months.

  4. The only supplement that I take is a multivitamin every morning. I feel like my diet is healthy enough not to need supplements. What are your thoughts on fortified foods like clif bars?

  5. What a lovely picture of the pup!
    My doctor told me that I should be taking a multivitamin to try to raise my iron levels, but that a multivitamin should be enough to cover the deficiency. Suppose I'll be doing that shortly.

  6. its going to be 15degrees in st. louis this weekend so i feel your pain!!

    i have started taking some fish oil recently...i figured it can't hurt esp since i don't each fish all that often

  7. Thank you for suggesting Sustainable Harvest International on Day #3 of your 12 Days of Giving! We hope your readers will consider giving a Gift of Hope this season. Through Monday, every donation we receive online will be matched by our Board of Directors, up to $10,000, so this is a great chance to double the impact of your giving!

  8. I don't take any supplement because 1) I'm lazy ;) 2) I'd rather to have a balanced meal than pills! :)
    those muffins are calling my name!

  9. i used to take a multi just to cover myself but i don't anymore. mostly because i always forget. but my bc has a week of iron pills so i know that i'm not terribly deficient

    and chocolate sauce?! really?!

  10. great overview of supplements will share sorry about the cold weather

  11. I take a calcium + D supplement, thanks to my history of anorexia/amenorrhea. Great info!

  12. I voted for Sam! :) That's cool he's a finalist!!

    Looks like Bayley was made for this snowy weather!

    (36 year old fulltime RVer living la vida loca with a cute-butt husband and a stink-butt dog!)

  13. Ha, I wish I were a poodle in this weather. It has been so cold down here!

    I love all your giving back ideas! Thank you for posting them!

  14. No supplements for me, but I do choose some fortified foods for the occasional snack, and I am still enjoying a sample pack of calcium chews I picked up at FNCE. My thoughts, which I know you have read before on my blog, are that supplements supplement the diet, like you said. They need to be researched as so many products are poor quality and/or scams. A multivitamin like "insurance" is not a bad idea, if you can afford a quality product and it does not take away from your grocery budget for healthy food choices.

    Oh, and that picture of your poodle is so cute.

  15. Great supplement review. So, there is a doctor who is local, named Dr. Aukerman, who tells his patients that the only good oil is fish oil and that walnuts, nuts, bananas, avocados, and so many other foods are killing us. I really wish I could bring you to one of his crazy talks! He works for OSU in the department of integral medicine. Emily, you would die if you heard some of the things his patients tell me!! And trust me, he has MANY patients, and they all come into Market District :)

  16. I don't take any supplements, although with my history of anemia, perhaps I should. I believe more in eating a healthy, well-rounded diet as the best way of getting all the nutrients that you need. That being said, I rarely eat fish or walnuts (or anything with omega-3's...), so maybe it is something I should look into.

    I've heard a lot about (this is gross) whole vitamins being found in human waste, showing that most of the vitamins that people take just go right through the system. (I have no evidence to back this up...just something I've heard before.) Any opinion on liquid vitamins?

  17. What a great post. I take all of those except the L-carnitine. I also take a folic acid, b12 and vitamin c in the winter time!


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