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Written by Dr. Romie on Aug 26, 2013
Mind-body Medicine Tags: NutritionMind-Body MedicineIntegrative Nutrition
Photo: "Shoes in the Air" B.C. Lorio http://www.flickr.com/photos/ackniculous/sets/

In the course of one day, I went to Whole Foods Juice Bar, the yoga studio, the primary care physician's office, CVS, and the spa where to get my hair done.

Everyone is selling different supplements that I MUST have in order to be "balanced”, “healthy”, “whole”, “a real woman”, and “to be able to breathe".

Really? I got sucked into Juice Plus and then came home to find my pantry has more supplements in it than I have high heeled shoes. Okay, I am being dramatic. If you know me well enough, you know I would need urgent brain care if I had more supplements than shoes in my home.

If you are at Whole Foods a certain time in the morning, the mad rush comes in 30-60 minutes after “The Dr. Oz Show”. Until this day, Whole Foods has not coordinated marketing efforts, so the sales people never know what is going to be cleared off the shelf that day.

We have truly become a pill popping nation, of which I am a dual citizen. Prescribing to others and taking pills myself. Do we really need to pop these all pills? Why all the supplements, as a substitute for poor nutrition choices? Will taking these supplements mean we wouldn't need the physician's prescription medications? That’s not a safe notion to have either. We can look to hope in a bottle to lose weight, feel focused, be cleansed. But is it really working?

As someone studying integrative nutrition and mind-body medicine, I know that it would be expected that I should be rattling off my favorite supplements here, but I am not going to do that.

Really in a perfect world, I wish we could all get the nutrition we need from eating whole raw nutritious foods. And, have an occasional day to add a favorite like dark chocolate, or whatever your passion is. (Unfortunately, Jimmy Choo shoes have no nutritional value, or I would be a “sexy super woman”.)

At each meal, our over-packed schedules prevent us from being able to prepare our meals to consume fruits, veggies, and healthy proteins. So then bypass the "Dr. Oz fad pill of the day at Whole Foods". Don't panic if the spa coordinator/yoga studio owner says you will die if you won’t find you Zen with their supplements. 

I ended up taking the Juice Plus for a month and not feeling so good and then realized I wasn’t getting the B supplements and Vitamin D3 that I am used to getting. I could feel the difference in my energy and mood. I decided to stop playing doctor to myself, and get expert help from a colleague who specializes in integrative nutrition. I had my symptoms assessed, labs drawn, and put on a regimen that intuitively felt right for my body. It really does feel great to de-clutter the supplement bottles in my pantry, and take what my body really needs.

There is no one magic pill that is going to cure excess weight, fatigue, heartbreak from losing a loved one, anger from being cut off in traffic, or helping you become numb to whatever is bothering us in life. I used to date someone whose kitchen pantry literally had two shelves full of all sorts of supplements. He seemed to just open bottles at random according to his mood. Really this one is not an exaggeration. All I observed was that his weight and diabetes never improved. Neither did his nutrition. Carbs and protein were present every meal, with little or no vegetables and fruits.

What I learned is, go see someone who knows what supplements you need by assessing your nutrition, diet, blood mineral/vitamin levels, symptoms, etc. 

Google "Integrative Medicine", "Mind-Body medicine", and "anti-aging medicine" providers in your area. These are MDs, DOs, DCs, naturopathic physicians. Forgive me if I forgot any specialty and just add it to the comment section below.

By getting rid of the unnecessary supplements, we don’t lose hope to have a better or healthier life. What will you make room for when you clean out all those supplement bottles?


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