Selecting Supplements: A Quick Reference in Sorting Out Quality from Crap

I’m a big proponent of consuming QUALITY supplements. Why? Here’s a few reasons:

  1. A diet consisting of processed and preserved foods doesn’t give us quality nutrients our body needs to function at a high level. And, are you eating the recommended amount of fruits and veggies each day? (the Standard American Diet) I’m totes guilty of eating processed foods and not always eating all the fresh stuff that I should….I’m a work in progress, people!
  2. Thanks to modern farming and the use of fertilizers, the soil where our food is grown has been ripped of nutrient-dense vitamins and minerals, leaving our fruits and veggies also depleted of these important elements. Furthermore, fresh foods are often shipped long distances and stored for long periods of time which causes nutrient quality to decrease. Buy local and support Farmer’s Markets when possible! Best for you AND the community!
  3. Can’t forget to mention those pesky (understatement) pesticides and herbicides. Do they effect the nutrient content of our food? Of course they do! The chemicals in our food, combined with the chemicals in the air, water and beauty/self-care products we use daily, increase our need for extra vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to combat formation of free radicals and the attack on our immune system.
  4. Many fruits and vegetables are genetically modified to improve visual appeal and crop yields, not nutritional value. So the mixing and mingling of all those genes ultimately brings the quality down and disrupts the natural awesomeness of the food. Just say NO to GMOs….selecting-supplements_

What are some important elements to consider when buying supplements? Here are some things to look for and consider:

  • Ingredients and Source. Our bodies were made to absorb nutrients from real food. Are the supplements made from raw food, making them more bioavailable? (ideal) Or from synthetic chemical “nutrients” made in a lab? (not ideal) Do you know where the ingredients come from? Where they are grown and what farming practices are used?
  • Organic and non-GMO. This is more of an issue of what to keep OUT of supplements. If pesticides/herbicides deplete the nutrient content, seems pretty counter-intuitive to consume supplements that are made with harmful chemicals, right? Read my blog on the importance of organic here.
  • Production and Quality. Are they made in pharmaceutical-grade facility? Recommended by doctors and practitioners knowledgeable about nutrition? (read: not all physicians are created equal) Tested for quality? Packaged responsibly?

Trust me – if you are going to invest in your health and buy supplements, be sure to take a little time and research the company. Check out their website for the above. Supplements bought at Target/Wal-Mart/Walgreens are most likely going to be a huge waste of your time and money. Head over to Natural Grocers, Whole Foods or order online.

Supplement companies I use (bonus: recommended or approved by Dr. Patricia Ryan, MD, CCN aka Dr. Mom/GiGi): Thorne Research, Metagenics, Garden of Life, Rainbow Light, Body Bio, Perque, and Nutriwest.

Happy Supplementing!


Black Bean Brownies

Gluten-free. Guilt-free. Yummy-full.

Have fun watching your friends faces after you tell them they are eating black beans in their brownies!

Disclaimer: Are these as good as Betty Crocker boxed brownies? Hell no! But they are pretty darn good and much more healthy. Enjoy!

I have no guilt letting my littles eat these!

In Blender:

  • Add: 3 eggs
  • Blend for 10 seconds
  • Add: 1 can drained & rinsed black beans
  • Blend one minute
  • Add:
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • ¼ cup cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
    • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil – melted
    • 1/8 tsp sea salt
    • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • ½ cup coconut sugar
    • 3 tablespoons of raw honey

  • Blend all of the above
  • Add:
    • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
    • 1 tablespoon almond flour
  • Blend again
  • Bake at 350 degrees
    • 30 mins in 8×8 pan or
    • 15 mins in 13×9 pan or
    • 18 minutes for cupcakes
    • Grease pan with coconut oil