Like most people I have thrown a lot of money at supplements – mostly thrown away that money since I either failed to take them reliably or the supplement was probably useless. Very few supplements have any actual science to back up their efficacy, which is something my doctor pointed out the last time I saw her. I decided that it would be wiser to pare it down to the bare minimum, and now I’m taking:
- Standard Process Catayln (whole-food multi with adrenals)
- Metagenics DHA/EPA
- Metagenics Vitamin D
- Scivation Xtend (electrolyte with BCAA’s)
Recently, however, I read Eat The Yolks! by Liz Wolfe and was reminded that supplements are a very recent industrial phenomenon which are absolutely unnecessary if you’re eating fresh, whole, REAL food. Which I do, mostly, but I realized that if I just put a little more effort into eating better I would be able to cut out the pricey supplements while getting even more nutrients and being healthier.
So my new food goals are, in no particular order…
- Eat more organ meats. I’m going to try to sneak it into some bean-less chili or maybe a hash. I love liver but the thought of eating a big hunk of it is intimidating.
- Eat dark, leafy greens. This is hard because I find things like kale to be unpleasantly fibrous and bitter. I need to try chard and collard greens instead, or maybe find a way to cook kale that isn’t gross.
- Go fishing. I live in WA State, so wild-caught salmon is kind of a thing around here. Clearly I need to get in on this.
- Learn to hunt wild game. Obviously this is quite an undertaking since I’ve never gone hunting in my life (but in college I did work in the campus slaughterhouse). However, I have always wanted to learn archery, even before Katniss Everdeen, and there’s nothing more caveman than killing your own food.
- Make my own nut milk. I’m allergic to dairy and I hear that homemade nut milk is more delicious ( and probably more nutritious) than store-bought, so I need to get into this.
- Eat (and make) fermented foods. While bad for your teeth, they are good for your gut. And I grew up on sauerkraut.
- Eat Brazil nuts. They have a lot of selenium, apparently.
- Eat homemade broth every day. It’s good for your gut and hair; I just need to start adding salt so that it actually tastes good by itself.
- Use real salt. Not the stuff that has been stripped of all its minerals.
- Sign up for a CSA and (at least attempt) to grow my own plants. Duh, they will taste better and have more antioxidants. Plus I’ll be supporting local farmers.
- Buy grassfed meat, bones, and offal from local farmers. Better taste, better for me, more nutrition, and supporting local business. WIN.
- Use raw honey as a sweetener. No more fake stuff, even though that means I’m adding a few more carbs and calories to my daily cup of coffee.
- Use cold-pressed oils.
- Eat oily fish. Instead of fish oil pills I can eat the fish itself and get even more synergistic nutrients out of it.
- Consume cod liver oil. It’s a good source of fat soluble vitamins, and chances are I won’t eat enough fish. It’s expensive!
It’s not only that I want to be healthier. Everything we do these days makes a statement to companies about what we want to spend our money on, and they listen. They want our money! So if I spend my money on local, sustainably grown, organic/naturally raised food it makes an economic statement that, with enough time and people, will lead to industry change. Sure, it’s more convenient to go to Costco or the local grocery store and buy produce year-round than to pick up what’s in season at the weekly farmer’s market and come up with something. It’s probably also cheaper in some cases. But being lazy or taking the easy way out isn’t going to lead to a healthy body or a healthy economy. Maybe it seems naïve but if the only way to make change is to choose how I spend my money, I need to spend it in ways that support my core values.