I recently had some routine blood work done and some of my levels were a little off. The Nurse Practitioner recommended that I supplement several key vitamins and minerals and gave me a list of recommended vitamin brands to try. Here’s a little #healthcoachconfession: I’m not big into supplements. I know many of my health coach and wellness warrior friends who are armed with bottles and bottles of supplements. But that’s never really been my thing. And it sometimes irritates the heck out of my clients because they are frequently asking for my brand recommendations. I’m not against supplements – I’ve always had trouble taking large pills and most supplements are large and in charge. So I’ve worked to find a way to supplement without taking many actual supplements.
My favorite supplements are WHOLE FOODS. Whenever possible, I think it’s ideal to get important vitamins, minerals and nutrients by eating them instead of swallowing them. Here are a few of my favorites:
Brazil Nuts: These amazing nuts are packed with a high bioavailable (aka: the amount that our body can actually absorb and use) level of selenium. Selenium is super important – it helps defend against cancer, regulates your thyroid and supports your immune system. I eat a small handful of Brazil Nuts daily – 3-4 nuts is all it takes.
Sardines: Okay, this one isn’t my favorite. But. All in the name of health, right?! Sardines are high in iron, B vitamins, vitamin D (which is hard to get from food sources), and an excellent source of calcium (if they are bone-in sardines – you can do it, I promise). Add them to your salad or mix with mayonnaise and lemon instead of tuna.
Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin seeds are great sources of protein, zinc and magnesium. Did you know that you need zinc for normal taste and smell? And magnesium helps your cells produce energy, supports healthy bone density and can regulate inflammation in the body. I pop a handful of pumpkin seeds as a snack, toss them into my salads and throw them into my smoothies.
Collard Greens: Collard greens are my favorite of all the greens (sorry, kale). They’re loaded with vitamins K, A and C along with iron, calcium, folate, and manganese. My favorite way to eat collards is steamed. I chopped them into small pieces, steam them for 2-3 minutes and top with grass-fed ghee (or coconut oil), sea salt, and pepper. I also steam the leaves whole, trim down the spine and use them as wraps.
Fermented Foods: One word: PROBIOTICS. I used to swear by a probiotics supplement and while I still take it from time to time, I try to eat my probiotics now. Probiotics are the good bacteria that our gut needs. Eating probiotics (instead of taking pills) is actually cost-effective because there are some many more probiotics in fermented foods so you need less. Excellent courses are sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir.
Egg Yolks: I used to be the queen of the white eggs (from the carton) and thought that I was being healthy because yolks were so “bad” for me. Well, the yolk was on me. (Couldn’t help myself #sorrynotsorry) The yolks contain most of the good stuff including: vitamins A, all the Bs and D, choline, phosphorus, and selenium. Choline is important for your brain functioning. My favorite way to eat eggs is the superhuman breakfast.
Organ Meats: If you made it past sardines, I hope I don’t lose you at organ meats! Organ meats are amazing sources of vitamins A and B12, copper, and iron. The thought of preparing and eating a hunk of liver completely creeps me out and makes my stomach turn. So, I’ve been eating the liver bites from my pals at Epic. The bites are a combination of grass-fed liver and beef and taste like beef jerky – I promise! And if you don’t want to eat it, you can take these pills from Vital Proteins. I still count these at whole foods because it’s basically dried, ground-up liver.
Want to learn how to add more whole foods into your routine and feel better FAST? I’m offering Healthy Hour sessions for $99. You are one hour away from a healthy, happier you. A recent client said: Since [working with Stephanie], my life has opened up to new possibilities. I feel freer, more connected with my body and mind, and overall happier. I thought that life was going to be bland forever, but since finding Stephanie I know I have so much more to offer and live for. If you are hesitant about coaching, like I was, don’t be! Jump in, take the risk, and come out the other side happier and healthier.