a peek into a naturopath's personal supplement regimen
To ensure that you won’t give your future naturopathic doctor the stink eye when she prescribes you a bunch of supplements, here’s my mother load. I snapped these photos 3 days before my clinical licensing examinations, so I was a little OCD about taking everything. I also had an extra supplement in there that I took only for brain juice, which I’ll talk about soon.
This photo project was a fun study break to the monotony of studying all day long. I didn’t have many minutes to spare, so all the photos were quickly taken on my Android instead of my digital SLR.
Before breakfast, I had two Gaia Thyroid Support capsules (caps), one Ashwagandha cap by Ayush Herbs, and one Bacopa Plus cap, also by Ayush Herbs. The Gaia Thyroid Support caps are the two in the middle. I took these pills as soon as I woke up in the morning, on an empty stomach. I regularly take the Thyroid Support because I’ve been borderline hypothyroid for a number of years, and I regularly use the Ashwagandha as an adrenal supplement. The Bacopa Plus was the extra pill that I don’t normally take. I took it to better my memory since I had been feeling brain dead from studying so much.
Still before breakfast, I had some glutamine powder by Vital Nutrients that I mixed in water and slurped up with a straw. I take glutamine powder to help heal my intestines in hopes to get rid some of my food reactions.
With breakfast that day, I took digestive enzymes with HCl (Panplex 2-Phase by ITI), vitamin C, a prenatal pill (Ultra Natal by Biogenesis), two Quercetin + Nettle caps by Designs for Health, and a Multi-B Complex cap by ITI. The digestive enzymes with HCl help my body break down food so that I can absorb it better. The vitamin C was for allergies and to also keep abdominal pain at bay since the two Quercetin + Nettle caps didn’t work as well for me as my straight up quercetin from Scientific Botanicals. Speaking of quercetin, it’s the first thing that made my daily abdominal pain go away. I took the prenatal pill in place of a multivitamin because I was still nursing Re’uth, and since one serving is divided into 3 pills, you’ll see it two more times (quality vitamins are almost always packaged in more than one pill). The Multi-B Complex was for energy and stamina in the face of severe adrenal fatigue.
With lunch, I had the enzymes and HCl again, my prenatal pill again (which I labeled MVM in the picture and stands for multivitamin and mineral), two caps of Glucosamine & Chondroitin by Vital Nutrients, the Quercetin + Nettles again, and vitamin D. One time when I was a distance runner I decided to see how long I could wear a pair of running shoes until they gave out. I did it without orthotics and completely killed my knees, so that’s why I take it. Knee pain as a result of joint wear and tear. I don’t always take the vitamin D everyday, especially in the summer. But because I am always below normal on my labs and I live in Seattle and I didn’t want to get sick right before my exams, I took it.
Around 4:00pm and on an empty stomach, I took a second Gaia Thyroid Support cap, a second Ashwagandha cap, and a second Bacopa Plus cap.
With dinner, I had the enzymes and HCl tablet, my prenatal pill, two Quercetin + Nettles caps, vitamin C, and Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil. I regularly take cod liver oil for its omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory. It helps to decrease my food reactions and keeps my skin looking pretty. Plus, your body’s omega-3 stores get depleted when you’re nursing a little one.
A little after dinner, I had some Theobroma cacao and Coffea arabica chewable supplements. While these plants were part of my naturopathic medical program, this is just my fancy way of saying I had some chocolate covered espresso beans. GOTCHA! Totally not a supplement. They’re too sugary to be medicinal, and I ate them for some extra zing to study that evening. In case you’re curious, we bought them at Trader Joe’s and I wish they made them with half the sugar.
Right before bed, I had an effervescent calcium magnesium powder by Thorne that I mixed in water and drank with a straw. It’s sour! As you can see by the little fingers, someone woke up and I did all of this one handed. I don’t take the calcium everyday.
What wasn’t pictured from this day is a probiotic. I usually take a Therbiotic Complete probiotic by Klaire Labs everyday with dinner. I don’t know why I didn’t take it with dinner on this particular day.
How many pills did I swallow? Twenty five. It would have been 28 if I remembered my probiotic at dinner and took a second dose of the glucosamine and chondroitin.
It’s true that naturopathic doctors can prescribe a lot of supplements, but ideally, we don’t want you taking them just as much as you don’t want to be swallowing 25 pills a day. I certainly don’t want to be swallowing 25 pills a day for the rest of my life. But we live in a ruined world with ruined bodies. Supplements have helped my body function when it had nothing, and they also serve as prevention. The cod liver oil prevents cardiovascular disease and my calcium supplement prevents osteoporosis. My health wouldn’t be where it is today without them.
This post has stimulated speculation over how much we actually spend on supplements, so I hope to write a post on that in the near future.
Just because I take these supplements for the very little reasons given doesn’t mean that you should. Do not take these supplements because you see me doing it. Consult your naturopathic physician prior to starting any supplements.