I'll be honest.
I don't make New Year's Resolutions.
I'm not against them… I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to better yourself and create a fresh start. And the beginning of a new year or season is a natural time to think about change or starting over!
However, I think that resolving to do something is a big deal.
Think about President Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address:
“…that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” –Abraham Lincoln
What if he resolved all of that and didn't follow through? The words resolve and resolution carry a heavy weight.
If I resolve to do something, and don't follow through, I consider it a failure. And I don't like setting myself up to fail.
That Said, I Did Make Some Resolutions
2013 was a rough year for me. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue. I struggled with my gallbladder for half of the year. We moved and remodeled a home between March and July.
It's a lot for anyone to move and remodel (or have a baby, deal with illnesses, or lose a loved one…) in 1 year, but add everything else on top, and that's a recipe for disaster!
I was dog-tired, grumpy, and constipated most of last year. So, for this year, I have resolved to…
- take better care of myself
- rest when I need to instead of pushing myself to do more
- say “no” to outside demands more often
- do a better job of listening to my body
- not put always my needs behind those of everyone else
- participate in my life, and not just be a spectator
And since I have resolved to do these things, I will do them!
In A Perfect World…
…I would do all of the above and still maintain a smooth, easy schedule for cooking, homeschooling my peeps, spending quality time with my husband, serving others, and keeping a tidy home.
But I don't live in a perfect world. And neither do you!
So, in light of that, I'm relying on a few highly regarded supplements to nudge my body in the right direction.
And I want to help you, too. Whoever you may be — tired mommas and grandmas and teachers and farmers and anyone else in the world who can stand up and shout, “I'm tired!” Well, you can't actually stand up and shout because you're conserving every last precious ounce of energy, but you get the point. 😉
Guess what? We're not supposed to be tired all the time.
Maybe you need to make some changes to your lifestyle. Do less, sleep more, quit coffee, go for a walk, yada yada yada. Those are all great, but what happens when you do all of that and you're still tired?That's when it may be time for some outside help: wonderful and inexpensive supplements to help you correct nutritional deficiencies. These deficiencies contribute to stress, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, heart palpitations, weight gain, and more.
Magnesium: Why To Take It
If you've researched anything related to natural health recently, you've likely seen scores of information on magnesium.
And you probably know that most Americans are deficient in this very important element! (Studies show anywhere from 50% to 70% of us are lacking in magnesium.)
If you've ignored that research until now, today is your day.
Magnesium is the anti-stress mineral, the most sleep-promoting mineral, and the anti-constipation mineral.
Naturopaths, informed moms, and medical doctors alike are all recognizing the importance of magnesium and the symptoms caused by lack of it. These symptoms include things like ADD, fibromyalgia, and insomnia.
Magnesium: What To Take
So how can you get more magnesium into your body?
Unfortunately, the body is not well-equipped to absorb the majority of its magnesium through food sources. Although there are foods rich in magnesium — such as raw cacao, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and halibut — consider supplemental sources that aren't taken orally.
Pure Magnesium Oil is very inexpensive and easy to find. An even cheaper route is to make your own magnesium oil with magnesium flakes. Spray onto your skin (stomach, buttocks, and thighs) and rub it in, anywhere from 10 to 25 times per day.
Beware, if you're new to magnesium oil, it can be pretty itchy at first. This is normal but uncomfortable until you get used to it. I find that my stomach and hip area are least sensitive, whereas my inner thighs are the most sensitive and itch the longest.
Or, use magnesium oil as the base for this homemade lotion — totally takes the sting right out! Plus, it's moisturizing because of the other oils in the recipe. And so easy to make!
Or, bathe in Epsom salts. These aren't made of salt at all — but are crystals of magnesium sulfate. The body absorbs magnesium through the bathwater. Take an Epsom salt bath before bed to wind down and relax for a good night's sleep!
Let your body be your guide when it comes to how much magnesium you should take. Too much? You'll have loose stools. Not necessarily harmful, but definitely not pleasant.
Iodine: Why To Take It
Iodine nourishes the thyroid gland which means it plays a huge role in overall health!
Thyroid health controls just about every function in the body: sleep, digestion, sex drive, brain performance, metabolism, and more.
And did you know that iodine can actually protect the thyroid from nuclear radiation?!
Without enough iodine, your thyroid can't produce the hormones that your body needs to perform basic functions.
The CDC's recommended daily dose of iodine is just 150 milligrams — 10 times less than what the Japanese consume! The Japanese eat an iodine-rich diet, full of seaweed, kelp, shellfish, and saltwater fish.
Since most of us Americans don't have access to copious amounts of seaweed and shrimp, it may be beneficial to supplement! Iodine supplementation may lead to less fatigue, brain fog, and weight gain.
Iodine: What To Take
You can certainly eat seaweed and even make shrimp stock! This shrimp bisque is to die for!
But if those foods are hard to source and difficult to afford (in other words, if the nearest ocean is over 12 hours away…), supplementation is inexpensive.
According to my naturopath, chiropractor, and friendly, local, hippie-ish compound pharmacist, Lugol's 2% solution is the way to go. All have recommended a few drops on the skin a couple times a day.
Vitamin D3: Why To Take It
Something else that's all over the news! Supplementation of Vitamin D3 is a big deal, and for good reason.
First of all, most of us have compromised gut health. Our bodies aren't all that efficient at absorbing vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from our food.
Second, if you work indoors, live in an extreme climate, or don't enjoy being out of doors, you're probably deficient in this vitamin.
But we don't want to be deficient in Vitamin D3 — it contributes to the health of many functions in our body, including thyroid health, muscle and bone strength, fertility, and heart health.
Vitamin D3: What To Take
I had my Vitamin D levels checked through blood testing (which is recommended) in February 2013. The specific test is called 25(OH)D, which is the best test of overall Vitamin D levels in blood serum.
Optimal levels are between 50 to 70 ng/mL. Mine tested at 17 ng/mL. I was put on 10,000 IU/day of oral Vitamin D3.
It is almost impossible to take too much Vitamin D. In fact, not a single death has been reported from overdosing on Vitamin D.
Don't want to supplement with Vitamin D3? Then you need another source. Good dietary sources include wild-caught oily fish such as salmon and herring, pastured eggs, pastured lard, fermented cod liver oil (pictured at right courtesy of Radiant Life), raw milk, grass-fed butter, liver, and other organ meats.
Check out my post 7 Reasons You Should Start Eating Liver Today + How To Eat It Without Gagging for more info on liver.
Conveniently, if you're eating these foods, you're also getting lots Vitamin A in your diet — double whammy!
You also need to get out in the sun without sunscreen if you choose not to supplement. A study in 2002 revealed that around 22,000 people die annually from lack of sun exposure. You read that right: LACK.
Whether you're getting it from food, sun, supplementing, or all 3, just make sure you're getting enough Vitamin D3. It's an easy way to take care of yourself this year.
L-Theanine: Why To Take It
Maybe you haven't heard of this one before! I am just beginning to understand the value of this amino acid.
I heard the term “adrenal fatigue” or “adrenal exhaustion” for the first time in 2013.
Turns out, I personally had almost every symptom associated with adrenal fatigue: constipation, chronic fatigue, consistently waking between 2:00 and 4:00 am, brain fog, low body temperature, slow metabolism, heart palpitations, anxiety, PMS, and more.
Coffee enemas helped a great deal, but after a few months I could tell that I still needed some help. Conventional doctors are not yet recognizing adrenal fatigue as a real medical issue, but I'm here to tell you that it most certainly is!
Enter L-Theanine. This amino acid calms without making you sleepy.
When stressed, your adrenals work overtime to compensate for the adrenaline you're expending. After months or years of running — quite literally — on fumes, the adrenals can eventually “give up”.
Nervousness or anxiety for no reason, insomnia even when you're extremely exhausted, brain fog or short-term memory loss, weight gain, and heart palpitations are indicators that the adrenals are losing the fight.
Unfortunately, these symptoms affect many of us who consider our diets to be good and our lifestyles to be generally simple. Even a single traumatic or stressful event can send the adrenals on vacation. They check out and leave you wondering why you can't seem to move past it.
Check out Overcoming Adrenal Fatigue for more info.
L-Theanine: What To Take
If you have any of the above symptoms due to stress or anxiety, and if you can't get it under control through diet and rest, consider supplementing with 200 to 400 mg of L-Theanine for a time and see if it helps.
Dessicated Liver: Why To Take It
I don't know about you, but despite eating a traditional foods diet for about 4 years now, organ meats still do not appeal to me.
Expound their benefits till you're blue in the face, and I still won't eat them! Truthfully, I haven't tried them. You go ahead and force yourself to eat 4 to 6 ounces of pastured chicken or beef liver every week, or… Be like me and take the dehydrated kind in a gel-cap. 😉
What is dessicated liver? Nothing more than liver from healthy animals that is then dehydrated at a low temperature (to preserve precious vitamins and enzymes), powdered, and put in capsule form. It is technically a whole food, not a supplement.
Liver from healthy, pastured animals is loaded with folate, Vitamin A, and Vitamin B12. It contains healthy cholesterol and vitamin D, both essential in healthy hormonal balance, fertility, fetal development, and energy level. It's loaded with magnesium (yippee!), iron, calcium, and selenium.
Dessicated Liver: What To Take
Buy it from a reputable source, or make your own! Our Dehydrating eCourse includes a lesson on making your own dessicated liver capsules (pictured at right). Please, please use liver from pastured, organic, non-vaccinated cows if you choose to make your own dessicated liver capsules.
6 capsules is the approximate equivalent of 1 ounce of liver.
And P.S. (if you're making your own) –> This pill filler really helps!
Check out my post 7 Reasons You Should Start Eating Liver Today + How To Eat It Without Gagging for more tips on how to eat liver.
Supplements Are Special Tools
To be clear, I don't think supplements are the answer to everything. You can't out-supplement a poor diet. A diet consisting largely of wild-caught fish, pastured meats, raw dairy products, traditionally-prepared grains, and lacto-fermented foods is always your best line of defense.
But I also understand that there are seasons of life when obtaining these foods may be difficult or too expensive. Sometimes you're tired or too busy. Temporary supplementation can be a lifesaver!
Personally, even eating a nourishing diet wasn't enough for me. Life's circumstances, moving, remodeling, and keeping up with everyday life turned out to be too much. My mind and body suffered because of it.
This year, I'm saying no! to that.
It's okay to sometimes use a crutch if you're broken. God created our bodies to heal themselves, but it's up to us to give them the tools necessary to do so. I see supplements as special tools that help me with special projects. In this case, my special project is me!
There's a sort of unspoken code among real foodies. The code says that you should get all of your body's needs from food. That eating the right food is the recipe for health. That you're doing something wrong if you supplement with anything.
I say that that's how it is in a perfect world. But since we don't live in a perfect world…
I give you permission to take care of you this year — take a nap, a hot bath, some vitamin D, and magnesium!
Would any of these make your list of supplements to consider? What would you add?
Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You are responsible for your own health and for the use of any remedies, treatments, or medications you use at home.
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