We live in an era where nutrition is incredibly confusing for the average person. One study says to eat less and exercise more. Another says carbs are the enemy. A few years ago we were supposed to avoid fat, now we're encouraged to consume "healthy fats." We're supposed to eat clean, but our food no longer has the same nutritional value that it did 100 years ago.
A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, and many of us catch bits and pieces of advice about diet and nutrition, but the practical application can make your head spin! Many of us find ourselves following the diet advice du jour, but not feeling or looking any better. We want to believe that common sense should rule the day - just eat more vegetables and less cookies! More plants, less junk! More water, less soda! - but rarely is it ever so simple.
When we know better, we do better, and over the years our family has made many small changes to our nutrition. We switched from white bread to wheat bread, started buying grass fed beef, made healthy substitutions in our baking, added flax seed and spinach to our smoothies, snacked on fruits and vegetables instead of chips, etc. We don't buy soda, chips, or packaged treats. We were improving!
For the longest time, though, I still felt guilty about food, and that all of these changes weren't enough. I felt guilty for buying a box of cereal. Guilty for eating yogurt that wasn't plain Greek. Guilty for dipping my vegetables in dressing. Guilty, guilty, guilty. I felt the burden of responsibility for feeding my family, and felt like no matter how many healthy changes or substitutions we made it was never enough.
And you know what? I'm all for making better choices and being aware of our nutrition, but enough was enough! I was thinking about food way too much, and wasting so much time worrying about my choices. That's not healthy! Food should fuel us, yes, but it should also be enjoyed. It should not be our savior.
For me, and for our family, I have found that using high quality supplements is a solution that works for us. We eat a ton of fruit, and an adequate amount of vegetables, but honestly, there are gaps in our nutrition because we're human. Let me repeat that: everyone has gaps in their nutrition. No matter how carefully you prep your food at the beginning of the week, or how strict you are with your diet, you still have nutritional gaps. We're most likely missing out on certain vitamins and minerals, due to the state of our food in this country, and due to our own daily food choices.
Instead of stressing about those gaps, I choose to supplement as "insurance." We eat mostly whole foods, and flood our body with amazing nutrition from super high quality supplements. (Side note - make sure you choose supplements that have no compromise policies about their ingredients. Do some research, and don't just buy the cheapest vitamins on the shelf at your local box store!) When our bodies are getting the vitamins and minerals they crave, we feel better, stronger, more energetic. A fog is lifted, and we start to crave less sugar, and junk. It becomes easier to make better choices throughout the day! And yes, we might even tone up a bit, or lose some visceral fat around the middle.
And honestly? This is something I can stick to. Superfood shakes, bars, and vitamins fit seamlessly into my day. They're easy to throw in a purse or diaper bag when we're out of the house all day, and we love taking them on road trips and vacations.
Some of our favorite options are nutrient-dense shakes, fruits and greens supplements, fiber with pre and probiotics, and an all natural electrolyte drink. Everyone in our family can consume these products, and the kids beg for a shake every morning! Deciding to supplement has been a huge blessing for our family, and it has taken so much of the stress out of feeding my family. We do the best we can, supplement to fill the gaps, and still enjoy the occasional donut or pizza. It's what works for us!
Tell me - do you supplement with vitamins, protein, pre/probiotics, or anything else? What are your favorites?
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