Supplements for Health and Performance

A Daily Dose

Yesterday Chad noticed vitamins on our grocery/to-do list and asked what they do for me. Why do I take them?

Little does he know this has been a topic of a great deal of thought lately. Deciding what and how much to take is like most things, open for much debate. I learn what I can, listen to my body and in 2 weeks I will talk about all of this with my doctor when I go in to have bloodwork done to test the gluten free and thyroid connection.

Chad and I never really got around to continuing the conversation but if we had this is what I would have told him.

Daily Supplements for Health and Performance

I’m confident that the foods I eat give me a majority of the nutrients that I need but some supplements may be necessary even when eating a nutrient-dense, whole-foods diet. 

Why do I think these supplements are necessary?

  • I’m high risk for osteoporosis (family history, sex, age, race and frame size)
  • adequate amounts of protein
  • supporting gut health
  • performance and activity level support

The what and why of my daily dose:

  1. HCL – assists the body’s natural stomach acids in the digestion and absorption of nutrients, especially protein, vitamin B12, calcium, iron
  2. Calcium – bone strength This is one of those supplements that are up for serious debate. I’ve taken calcium for years and it was recommended by a world renowned osteoporosis specialized doctor. Honestly, I’m a poster child for osteoporosis and I’m afraid not to take it.
  3. D3 – regulation of calcium absorption and is important in maintaining healthy bone structure
  4. Multivitamin – no diet is perfect
  5. Probiotic – good bacteria” to improve and maintain the health of your gut and immune system
  6. Degestive Enzyme – important for your digestion. I was not aware of how necessary enzymes are to every cell in your body—not just for digestion but for all physiological processes. Dr. Mercola explains it well.
  7. Protein – plant-based protein powder with BCAAs and glutamine to repair and build muscle, improve strength and reduce recovery time

Is it perfect? Actually, right now it feels like it is. Are the supplements permanent? I don’t know but I think my body will tell me when I need to make a change and for reassurance my annual bloodwork will give me more information to make the best decisions for my overall health.

I mentioned that right now this feels perfect. It was with the help and tremendous amount of support from my friend, Lindsay, that I’m able to say that.

I am not a licensed nutritionist or medical professional. The information shared is based on my personal experience, what works for me, research and consulting with my doctor.

On the Menu

Nutty Chocolate Baked Oatmeal
overnight oats

Red Lentil and Chickpea Burger (salads and wraps)
Veggie Burger
Farmer’s Market Cobb
Walnut, Avocado and Marinated Portobello Salad
Empowered Noodle Bowl
Big Green Sandwich
Enlightened Miso Bowl

Classic Glow Bars
Vega Bars

What supplements do you take regularly? What are your thoughts on taking calcium?


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  1. I never used to take supplements because they also, as another commenter said, slowed my digestion. But because I have had such hair issues and have had to go gluten free, I thought perhaps not having bread and cereal that were fortified, was part of the reason for my hair looking so dead. I finally found a multivitamin that didn’t slow my digestion. I’ve been taking them about a year and have noticed no changes. Oh–and I had low vitamin D, so I take vitamin D drops these days. I also recently started taking a pro-biotic. I have noticed no changes. That’s why supplements don’t usually stick for me. I notice no differences, and I wonder what is in them, and they usually slow my digestion. I miss the days when I could be more free about things like eating and supplements. I love a good recipe and good food, but I miss the days in my 20s when I never took any sort of vitamin and drank diet coke and ate wheat thins. Ha ha!

  2. i was just looking into digestive enzymes and had landed on Garden of Life brand as well— I trust their products and will definitely be purchasing it. If you haven’t heard of vitacost website, its supplements that are typically MUCH cheaper- thats where I purchase my GOL since it can be pricey at whole foods

    1. H Lisa, how are you? It’s insane how much some of the supplements cost. I didn’t think about trying vitacost. Thanks!

  3. I take a multi for the same reason you do. I also take additional calcium, magnesium, zinc, and D. I used to get horrible migraines multiple times a month. I was still getting them fairly regularly even after we cleaned up my diet and lowered my stress level. My doc suggested adding calcium and magnesium supplements and it worked! I take zinc because for some reason it’s a little cheaper to get the cal/mag/zinc combo together and my doc said it’s ok. I take the D because I tested low on it. Good reminder, I’m probably due for bloodwork again.

  4. Yes! Seriously every doctor has told me D3, so important especially because I think most people get enough calcium, its is the D they need!

  5. I no longer take any pills now that I take Shakeology it’s helped me add in a daily amount of my super food goods without any more icky pills

  6. I take more vitamins that you can count on both hands, a day! ha ha. I need to because of the lack of food groups I am able to eat. But I have found a balance that seems to work with me. I definitely need my digestive enzymes and probiotics every day, that’s for sure!

    1. All the recommendations in the world and it comes down to finding what works for you.

    1. Hi Megan, I’m happy with Garden of Life although next time I will buy tablets instead of powder.

  7. Whenever I have taken multi-vitamins I’ve never felt a huge amount of difference to how I feel but I don’t know if I’ve ever taken them for long enough to know if they were working. I take Vitamin C but only when I start to feel sick, I should take it more often as I am prone to colds.

    I think you’ve found what works for you which is the main thing. I have thought about taking Calcium supplements before too as I had a bone scan done before and I am at the lower end of normal for density.

    1. Mind if I ask, when you found out you were at the low end of bone density did your doc make any recommendations? It’s crazy how the recommendations all depend on who you talk to.

      1. He just said it was ‘something to be mindful of’ and that as I’m already doing strength training that I was doing the right thing. He wasn’t a doctor that did the scan though so not sure how much advice he could have given me anyway 😉

  8. I used to take a digestive enzyme but ran out – thanks for the reminder to go out and get some more! I actually knew a doctor who told me that multivitamins weren’t necessary, though many doctors say the opposite. It’s funny how certain topics have so many differing opinions in the health world, it’s hard to know who to believe! 🙂

    1. Kammie the different theories and opinions drive me crazy! I’ve just decided that for a lot of things I’m going to be the expert of me 🙂

    1. Mind if I ask why you stopped? There are so many schools of thought out there.

      1. I thought it was unnecessary and the supplements I took were rather pricey. I eat a very healthy diet with a lot of veggies, greens, fruits, etc. I think that all my nutritional needs can be met through whole, unprocessed foods. As long as I eat a varied diet, I don’t think I have to worry about lacking in a certain nutrient.

    1. I’ve been taking supplements for so long I can’t imagine not taking them. I wonder if you would notice a difference if you started taking them.

  9. I don’t take any supplements – I probably should!!

    1. Not even a multi? I wonder if you would notice any differences if you started taking them.

  10. I take a lot of the same things! The digestive enzymes that I’ve added since I had my food intolerance testing done have been really helpful. I always thought of them as an “either or” with probiotics, but both has been great for me!

    1. Me too Megan. I struggled to figure out which one when all along both work great for me.

  11. I’ve went back and forth with taking supplements and right now I’m not taking them. I’ve noticed that when I’m taking, I’m not regular…. if you know what I mean. Sounds like a week of great meals, especially that Nutty Chocolate Baked Oatmeal!

    1. Other than ummm…regularity did you notice a difference in how you felt? The baked oatmeal is so good!

  12. Is HCL vegan? Or does it depend on the brand.
    I made the mistake of buying digestive enzymes, only to recive them and find out they use dairy so I couldn’t take them :/

    1. HCL is vegan. And most digestive enzymes are vegan, unless they have a cultured dairy in it. I have a few recommendations if you need.

      And Jill, this makes my heart so happy! love the kombucha addition to the meal plan. YAY!

      1. I have you to thank Lindsay. I didn’t even know where to begin before we started ironing it out 🙂

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