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What Supplements I Personally Take – And Why

by jenny sansouci on September 6, 2013

If you’ve spent time with me in person recently, you may have seen me whip out a baggie of different colored supplements at a meal. The whole extravaganza seems like a little bit much to some people (even my co-workers at Dr. Lipman’s office call me a junkie) but that’s ok. I like to try things and experiment, and let’s be honest, if I’m gonna be a junkie there are far worse things to be a junkie with. Right? Right.

The reason I’m writing this is because every time I break out the supplement baggie people seem fascinated with everything I’m taking, and I end up putting on a little showcase and explaining why I’m taking each one. I really love talking about it, it’s fun. So here we go.

But first things first. One thing I have to continue to make clear on this blog is that I’m not recommending anyone else do what I’m doing. I’m just sharing my experience (which is why we read blogs, yes?) I don’t think everyone should take supplements, nor do I think I’ll necessarily always take supplements. When I studied at the Natural Gourmet Institute with my dear teacher Annemarie Colbin, she was a huge advocate of NOT taking supplements, and getting everything from whole foods. Read her article – Why I Don’t Take Supplements. All of the points she makes in this article are totally valid. Supplements aren’t whole foods. So yeah, yeah, I get it. And I stayed away from supplements for a long time because of it. When in Rome. I also had a great chat with Tyler Graham recently (blog post about it to come), and his stance on supplements was the same – that you can get everything from food. I mean, it makes sense. That’s why food was provided to us on this planet. So we can get the nutrients we need to live. I don’t disagree with that.

Fast forward to working for Dr. Frank Lipman. You can read here about how and why my thoughts on supplements changed. And honestly, more than anything else, I’m a very curious cat, and I like being a human guinea pig. How would I know how I really feel about supplements unless I try them myself!? So, again, I decided….when in Rome. Working under the supervision of one of the best holistic doctors out there, there is no better time than now for me to experiment with supplements. Ok, ok, I’m done defending my position on why I take supplements. I always refer to an email my friend Kirk sent me, whenever I start over-defending myself: “Don’t waste another sentence justifying your stance, because it’s goddamn impressive that you even stand for anything.” Yeehaw. Now, it’s supplement time, yo!

By the way, this is one of the reasons I loved my training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition so much – they gave us so many different dietary theories, but ultimately taught us to think for ourselves, based on how we feel, when it comes to how to eat and how to live. Brilliance. Because honestly, all of this stuff is very intuitive. If you think supplements suck, don’t touch them.

Ok so here’s the dilly about everything I’m taking at this moment. Subject to change at any second.

Supplements I take:

Vitamin D – 10,000 IU per day. Why? I got my blood tested recently and my level was 25, which is way below the recommended level of between 50-80. Yes, I get plenty of sun. And Vitamin D is important for immune function and can help fight depression, so I gotta up my intake. Read more details here on how much is recommended based on your blood levels. I plan to get my levels checked again after 3 months or so, and adjust as necessary.

Fish Oils – 2 capsules per day. Why? I actually got the intuitive hit to start taking fish oils after I went to IIN, but never got in the habit until now. Good for skin, hair, nails, immune function, brain function, libido…you name it! I am into fish oils.

Adaptogenic Herbs– 3 capsules per day (the recommended dose is 6 per day, but I always forget the 2nd dose). Why? Well, adaptogenic herbs are really fantastic for stress and fatigue, and are often recommended for people who have “blown their adrenals” (put a lot of stress on their adrenal system). People who have taken pharmaceutical stimulant/amphetamine medications like adderall sometimes feel better on these. And in the past, let’s just say I dabbled pretty intensely in stimulant drugs – probably a disaster for my adrenals. So I’m checking out how I feel with these little herbal friends.

Thyroid Synergy – 2 capsules per day. Why? Again, my blood test showed that my thyroid # was a tiny bit high. (My TSH was 3.8, if you’re wondering). Dr. Lipman said ideally it would be a little lower. So I take these gems. They are thyroid supporting vitamins and minerals, including iodine. Couldn’t I just get iodine from seaweed? Of course. But I don’t like seaweed. 🙂

Probiotic – 1 per day. I take ProbioMax, which is professional grade, 100 billion live organisms. Why? Because I want my immune system to rock out, and my gut to be populated with the best bacteria ever. If you’re not looking for something as strong as that, Dr. Lipman’s probiotic powder is a huge hit at our office.

Those are the only ones I take on a pretty much daily basis (unless I forget to take them, which happens fairly often).

Other things I have in my repertoire:

B12: Although I’m not a vegetarian, I don’t really eat a lot of meat – sometimes I’ll go for days being totally vegan without even realizing it. So sometimes I pop a B12. Plus, I love the way these B12 lozenges taste, and they give a little energy boost (B12 is one of the main components in RedBull)!

Mitochondrial NRG: This one is kind of all the rage lately around our office. These supplements support the mitochondria, “the powerhouse of the cell,” which deteriorate due to ongoing exposure to free radicals (this can weaken the efficiency of all cellular processes in the body). These contain CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Curcumin, Resveritrol…so much good stuff, I geek out! Supporting mitochondrial function is the new black.

N-Acetyl Cysteine: I take this one when I feel like I might get a cold or I’m feeling under the weather at all. NAC is the precursor to glutathione, which is the master antioxidant in the body. The more glutathione you produce, the better your immune system functions (in fact, last time I was about to get sick I got an IV of glutathione right into my arm, and I felt so much better within a day).

Melatonin: I learned about melatonin a few years ago from my ex, and I used to take it quite often to fall asleep. Now, I only take it when I’m feeling wired and can’t sleep but need to, or when I travel, in case my sleep patterns are off.

So, yeah! That’s all for now.

Feeling awesome rules. DISCLAIMER: I’m not a doctor. Don’t hold me to any of this. Let me know if you have any questions, though. I can ask a doctor. 🙂

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Hadley Gustin September 6, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Loved this blog! I, myself, tend to take a lot of supplements on a daily basis, so I can relate. Thanks for breaking down this list, though. I definitely learned a few new things which is awesome.

jenny sansouci September 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Thanks Hadley! Glad you found it informative. 🙂

Maria September 7, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Love this blog Jenny. I also take a few supplements. I think you have to listen to your body. I love your blogs and your style of writing.

jenny sansouci September 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Thank you, Maria! I agree, the body knows best.

Rachel September 17, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Hi Jenny. Do you take mostly Dr. Lipman’s supplements or are there other brands you have tried/liked? Specifically for the mitochondrial NRG, is there a specific one you’d recommend? You’ve been taking them for a while now? Do you feel better/different? I’m a lazy supplement taker (mostly for the reasons you stated above) however, I always think i could benefit from them because I truly don’t always eat as I know I should. Thanks for the info 🙂

jenny sansouci September 17, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Hi Rachel! Yes, I take mostly Dr. Lipman’s supplements because I work with them daily, but the link to the Mitochondrial NRG I linked to above is the brand I recommend. 🙂 Yes, I feel better/more energy when I’m taking the supplements. I’ve been taking them for a few months now and I definitely notice a difference in my energy when I don’t take them! Let me know what other Qs you have.

Stephanie O'Donnell September 17, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Hi Jenny,
This was very informative!
You mentioned getting blood work done. Do you know whether most labs (like LabCorp, for example) will do a CBC (I’m assuming that’s what you had done?) without a doctor’s prescription?

Victoria September 20, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Hey Jenny, quick question… do you have any knowledge about combining supplements, i.e. is it ok to take all your supplements at once all together, or are some rendered less effective when taken together. I can totally google this myself, but I though I would ask you first in case you knew. Thanks!! Loved your post today, btw!!

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