I'm gonna pop some pills,
only got 20 dollars in my pocket,
Imma Imma looking for a vitamin,
this is frickin' awesome!
Day 9 is all about optimizing your metabolism with nutritional supplements.
Again, I want to reiterate that the information being provided comes from The Food Lovers Diet plan. This is really just a summary and my thoughts on the program, what I’ve learned, etc. I highly recommend checking out the program for yourself. They have a 60 day money back guarantee, and the program really is fabulous with journals, CDs, DVDs, recipes, workouts, and so much more. Check them out at www.tryfoodlovers.com. And, no, they are not paying me to sing their praises!
OK, back to vitamins! I don’t know about everyone else, but when I was a kid, I LOVED taking my vitamins mainly because they were shaped like my favorite cartoon characters and more like eating candy!
I remember one time when I had circus vitamins and mom bought Flintstone vitamins. I just couldn’t wait to get into the Flintstone’s bottle, so I decided to hurry the circus vitamins along a little faster by eating all of them in an afternoon! Unbeknownst to mom and dad, I had my circus vitamins in the basement where my little play kitchen was. I can remember pouring them into my toy skillet, pretending to cook with them, and then eating them one after another. Now, I did leave 2 or 3 in the bottle thinking mom and dad wouldn’t notice that the bottle (that had been over half full) was now empty. Yeah, I thought 2 or 3 vitamins would fool them. I was wrong. After a quick call to Poison Control, mom was reassured that I didn’t need to go to the hospital. As an adult, taking vitamins isn’t near as fun.
While eating healthier does mean we are getting more nutrients, we may still be lacking in the nutrients we need due to several reasons like over-farming of the land and produce that has been modified to make it grow faster and during non-growing seasons. Because of that, everyone should take a daily multi-vitamin*.
When choosing a multivitamin*, you want to look at the label – just like you do with food! Here’s what you want to look for:
- Look for USP on the label – means it meets the standards of the U.S. Pharmacopoeia (whatever the heck that is – the name is long with lots of vowels – must be important)
- Carefully read specialized formulas (i.e. for women, men, seniors, weight loss, etc.) – they may be missing some of the recommended daily values*
- Check the expiration date
- Check out the levels of each vitamin and mineral – you want 100% of the daily value for Vitamins B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), Niacin, B6, B12, C, D, E, and Folic Acid*
- Check the serving size – you may have to take more than 1 to reach the 100%*
- Skip the iron in a multi-vitamin unless you have iron-deficient anemia, are at risk of anemia, or have had recent surgery – iron supplements can cause constipation so you would have to up your intake of fiber and fluids*
- Take with food – it helps with absorption
*Really, before taking any supplement, you should consult with your doctor. I’ve read that statement so many times and just pushed it aside, but you REALLY should especially with the “iron” piece above. A few years ago, I couldn’t figure out why at 2 or 3 in the afternoon I was getting really flush. It was like my face was on fire! It was red and hot to the touch! Come to find out, Niacin can interact with one of my prescriptions making me flush in the afternoons. When I’m looking for a multivitamin, I have to find one without Niacin.
Since my flushing incident (sounds like toilet humor!), I haven’t been really good with taking the multivitamins, but I do take a calcium and melatonin daily. Time for me to get that multivitamin back in the mix!
Besides adding a multivitamin back into my daily routine, I also want to add what Food Lovers calls “The Fat Loss 5”. Research has shown that these key supplements increase the body’s ability to burn fat:
- Borage Oil – This is a rich source of gamma-linolenic acid which has a unique ability to discourage fat storage, encourage the use of stored fat for energy, and rev up metabolism. The recommended dosage is 1000 milligrams/day for weight loss or 250-500 milligrams/day for general health.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids – In the form of Fish Oil, this has been associated with decreased fat storage, a reduction in heart disease, and can also enhance insulin sensitivity. The recommended dosage for weight loss is 1 gram/day on days you don’t eat fish. For those with high triglycerides (yet another reason to consult a doctor), the recommended dosage is 2-4 grams/day. For those with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, or other auto-immune disorders, the recommended dosage is 3 grams/day. Now, I’ve never taken fish oil, but I’ve heard you should really get the non-burping kind. I’ve heard regular fish oil can make you have some rather stinky burps – yuck!
- Ground Flaxseed – This is a rich source of lignans, soluble and insoluble fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and the truest source of alpha-linolenic acid. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t understand what most of that means! Apparently, that stuff helps to stabilize blood sugar, boost metabolism, increase energy, control appetite, drop unwanted inches, and shed pounds. OK, sign me up! The important thing is that you consume ground flaxseed – not whole, not capsules. It is apparently good sprinkled on cereal, salads, yogurt, and fruit as it has a nutty flavor. It can also be mixed with water, juice, or blended into smoothies. In fact, my partner in crime (SHOUT OUT Shirley!) puts it in her breakfast smoothie every day! For weight loss, they say 1 tablespoon a day. For general health (when not trying to lose weight), 2 tablespoons a day is recommended.
- Protein Powder – Increasing protein intake apparently has several fat loss benefits. One of the best explanations I’ve heard is that lean muscle tissue is the “chief” calorie burner when it comes to metabolism, and lean muscle tissue is made up of protein. When you have an adequate amount of protein readily available, your body can build and repair your lean muscle tissue . . . which means better burning power! Sadly, not all protein powders are created equally. You’re going to want to be sure it is 100% Whey Protein, has 15-25 grams of protein per serving, has no sugar and is extremely low in carbs (3 grams or less), and has less than 2 grams of fat per serving.**
- 5 Way Metabolic Fat Fighter – Of course, they’ve got to “push” their own pills. It is an Ephedra-free supplement that is supposed to help increase metabolism to burn more calories, accelerate conversion of food to energy, convert stored fat to energy, burn carbs as energy, and increase energy. It all sounds great, but I’m already rattling when you shake me. I think I’ll pass on this. The recommended dosage is 2-4 tablets a day.
**Of course, I had to run right out and research the protein powder I use! And bbbbboooooo!!!! It doesn’t pass the test.
- 100 % Whey Protein – it doesn’t say anywhere that it is 100% Whey Protein. The ingredients do list Whey Protein, but it isn’t even first on the list.
- 15-25 grams of Protein – It just barely makes this with 15 grams.
- No sugar and 3 or less grams of carbs – Massive fail with 6 grams of sugar and 14 grams of carbs.
- Less than 2 grams of fat per serving – Again, barely with 1.5 grams.
I guess I’ll be looking for a new protein powder this weekend along with a Niacin free multivitamin, Borage Oil, Fish Oil, and Ground Flaxseed!
To end the day, here’s my diary!!! My partner in crime (Squirrely Shirley in the HIZ-OUSE!) wanted to know how I get myself to complete my food journal every day. She wants my secret. Ssshhhhh, don’t tell anyone, you just HAVE TO DO IT! Remember my “Write it before you bite it” mentality? That’s just what you have to do. Now, keeping these written journals are harder than keeping a journal on my phone. I absolutely LOVE My Fitness Pal. I pretty much always have my cell phone, so I can easily write it before I bite it.