A Practical Guide to Supplements- Favorite Brands, Philosophy & Function

The Purpose of Supplementation

Supplementation can be a great therapeutic addition to a healthy mindset, diet and lifestyle- but in no way can it replace it. In my practice, I use supplements to bring grace and ease into the healing process, which can be very challenging at times.

In this way, supplements can help to support you on your own path to radiant health, freedom and becoming who you truly are.

Principles of Supplementation

Not all supplements are created equal. Like any industry, there is a difference in quality between supplement companies and individual products. Because of this, I recommend purchasing high integrity products from reputable companies to ensure optimal results.

Here, it is important to keep an eye out for supplements that contain synthetic ingredients and preservatives. These supplements are often found in big box retailers and pharmacies that care more about their bottom line than your health and well-being. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of attributing poor results to holistic medicine and supplements in general rather than the poor quality of the product itself.

Because of this, I recommend purchasing supplements from an enlightened doctor, health food store or online destination. Many of my favorite brands can be found on Amazon and through our online dispensary, Fullscript, where we currently offer our whole community 15% off.

It is also important to make sure that your supplements contain the active and bioavailable forms of particular nutrients. For example, D3 and Folate are far more comprehensive and bioavailable than D2 or Folic Acid. When a company cares about the details and stays up to date with the latest research, it is much easier to trust and allow them to do the work for you. Pure Encapsulations is in my opinion a great examples of this.

Last but not least, if you have any questions on supplementation, check with a trusted, holistic healthcare practitioner that can work with you to create a strategic treatment and supplement plan aimed at root cause resolution.

I have treated many patients that come to me after spending thousands and thousands of dollars on supplements that are just thrown at them without any thorough thought or investigation into the underlying issues. This approach simply does not work, as it mimics the conventional paradigm.

When I create a treatment plan and prescribe a supplement, I work to treat the whole person and specific patterns rather than a single symptom. For example, Vitamin C can help to regulate the immune system, decrease inflammation, build collagen, repair the gut, improve detox, enhance elimination and promote a healthy stress response. Whereas many practitioners will use a different supplement for each one of these symptoms.

In my practice, I also use Chinese Herbal Formulas. My favorite part about this approach is that Chinese formulas drive function and are usually not meant to be taken for long periods of time.

Many of my patients come into my office having been on certain supplements for years. After we review these supplements and get a simple game plan together, they realize they do not have to be bound or dependent on these products for life! This is a light bulb moment for many people, that deepens faith in oneself and body to heal- just  another simple shift in perception that big pharma has worked so hard to hide.

For example, rather than just taking progesterone cream to suppress symptoms, there are formulas that can help the body to heal itself by directly addressing the underlying imbalances that cause the symptoms in the first place. In this way, specific formulas can help to promote function and balance within the body through tailored supplementation.

The timing and dosage also varies from patient to patient, depending on the patient’s unique composition, needs and health goals. In general, I like to work with circadian rhythms, assisting the body in producing more natural energy in the morning and resourcefulness throughout the day, while placing the more calming supplements in the evening or just before bed. I’ve seen so many practitioners fight with the body in this way- placing high dosages of calming herbs in the morning for a patient that presents with certain health issues due to energetic deprivation. I’ve seen this simple shift make all of the difference. Just by rearranging the timing and strategy, you can avoid many potential issues and in some cases, a true disaster.

When introducing a supplement plan, it’s also important to introduce one at a time so that you can monitor and observe for any adverse reactions and/ or noticeable benefits. I have my patients introduce one new supplement every two to three days so we can carefully track and monitor the experience.

As a practitioner, I believe that it is of the utmost importance to work with my patients to bring in a strategy that will work within the context of their lives. For example, some people would much prefer to keep supplement intake to once or twice a day versus three to five times, some patients may prefer powders, gels and chewables to capsules. The key here is to tailor and personalize your supplement regime to you- as this is the only way for it to truly be effective, and there are so many great options out there!

Now that we have gone over the basics, I would like to introduce you to how I think about supplementation- within these four primary categories! In this section, I will also provide examples of supplements I commonly prescribe in my practice.

Before we dive in, I would like to mention that these categories are flexible in nature, and are not black and white. However, there are subtle and distinct differences that make each unique.

 

The 4 Categories of Supplementation

 

  1. Food Based Supplementation is a great place to start. Nature is beyond intelligent, and the more we can receive high quality nutrients and therapeutic benefits directly from her, the better.
  • Liver or Desiccated Grass Fed Beef Liver pills or powder (I much prefer the pills) contains more nutrients than any other whole food gram for gram on the planet. Liver is an excellent source of protein and nature’s own multivitamin. It contains an abundance of micronutrients, particularly fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, K, and E, water soluble B vitamins, especially B12, natural folate, usable iron, CoQ10, trace minerals, and more.
  • Fermented Cod Liver Oil (not to be confused with regular Cod Liver Oil) contains nature’s perfect balance of Fat Soluble Vitamins.  Fermented Cod Liver Oil has been proven to reduce inflammation, stabilize the mood, promote healthy cholesterol levels, as well as improve neurological, musculoskeletal and endocrine function.
  • Gelatin or Bone Broth is a highly absorbable form of protein (I use this powder instead of protein powder) and contains a myriad of amino acids, particularly glycine, that are used in many healing gut protocols for mucosal repair. Gelatin also improves mental health and sleep quality, while promoting healthy endocrine, musculoskeletal system and neurological function.
  • Himalayan Pink Salt contains over 80 ionized minerals encrusted into the earth more than 200 million years ago. Himalayan Pink Salt supports electrolyte balance, hydration (surprisingly!), and detoxification. It also contributes to and supports the cardiovascular system and musculoskeletal system.
  • Coconut Oil is an easily digestible and usable form of fat because it does not require pancreatic enzymes for digestion and can be used for energy immediately. Coconut oil improves neurological and metabolic function and supports the endocrine, immune, and musculoskeletal systems. Many people also use Coconut Oil topically for skin issues, and  even in the morning for “Oil Pulling”.
  • Turmeric is an incredible herb that has been proven time and time again to reduce inflammation, improve mental health, immune function, and detoxification pathways. It has demonstrated to be at least effective as over a dozen different pharmaceutical drugs.
  1. Core Supplementation can be helpful in creating a solid foundation for the process. This category is more maintenance in nature, and I often recommend it when one has a chronic nutrient imbalance, compromised function or just needs help rounding out.
  • In my practice, I often prescribe Pure Encapsulation’s Nutrient 950 with K or Seeking Health’s Optimal Prenatal for women and Pure Encapsulation’s UltraNutrient or Athletic Nutrients for men- but I have all of my favorite options in our online dispensary if you’d like to check them out here.  I love these multi-vitamin options because they are very neutral in nature and have the most active and bioavailable forms of each nutrient. They are all very comprehensive, and I have seen them level out patients in unbelievable ways.
  • Digestive Enzymes can be a great way to support digestion and assimilation. Digestive enzymes help the body to heal, repair and breakdown fats, carbohydrates and protein.
  • Probiotics can be very helpful when it comes to creating health, especially when we don’t get enough probiotic rich food in our diets. In general, I recommend Garden of Life’s Fitbiotic Probiotic Powder because it is convenient, well tolerated, well-researched and made up of both pre and probiotics. Ongoing studies, continue to reveal the many benefits of gut-friendly bacteria. These benefits include, but are definitely not limited to, enhanced digestion, immune modulation and even optimized mental health.
  1. Therapeutic Supplementation is more active and healing in nature. In this category, we work strategically to balance out specific qualities and functions. Once the gaps are bridged and function is optimized, therapeutic supplementation has done its job and is no longer needed.
  • Flower Remedies are made of wildflowers and can be used improve emotional health. I have seen them work well to raise self-awareness, transform fear and bring about joy, peace, happiness, health and love to our lives. I am most familiar with and often recommend the Bach Flower Remedies.
  • Adaptogens are a category of herbs that help promote a healthy stress response. The adaptogens support the HPA axis, boost energy levels, improve sleep and strengthen the immune system.  Examples of adaptogens include Ashwagandha, Eleuthero, Ginseng, Rhodiola, Holy Basil, Schisandra, and Red Reishi.
  • Activated B-Vitamins are a great way to support and build a healthy mood. These vitamins help help to regulate the nervous system, build tissues and aid the liver with its many functions.
  • Vitamin C is a great way to support your body in times of stress. Vitamin C helps to regulate HPA axis, strengthen the immune system, repair the tissues and detoxify the system. The National Library of Medicine holds thousands of studies demonstrating vitamin C’s ability to improve health and well-being, along with over 200 disease applications. I recommend using a liposomal or buffered form.
  • Magnesium Glycinate can be taken orally in the afternoon and at night to promote quality sleep and healthy bowel movements. Magnesium can also be bought in the form of spray or available in the form of an epsom salt bath. Magnesium brings in a sense of calm and relaxes the muscles. It has also been shown to reduce pain and premenstrual syndrome.
  • Essential oils can also be a great way to interrupt patterns, create new ones, drive function and promote balance. Here are some of my favorites: Balance, Serenity, ArborvitaeLavender
  1. Acute Supplementation is the most symptomatic in nature, used on the fly, to assist the mind and body with speed. This type of supplementation is appropriate for emergencies and is not meant for long term use.
  • Rescue Remedy is a combination of 5 Bach Flower Remedies and can be used to relieve shock, loss, trauma, panic, terror and intense periods of stress.
  • Activated charcoal is actually used in emergency rooms across the world to absorb and trap toxins and chemicals. I highly recommend having it around in your first aid kit for when a meal does not sit right or you just happen to drink a little too much alcohol.

Finally, as always, remember to follow your intuition and read the signs as they come to you! If you are drawn to a certain doctor, program or supplement regime, check it out, do your homework, and see where it leads you. No one knows you or your body better than you do. Tap in.

Last but not least, if you’d like to receive 15% off all of your supplements, you can check out and sign up for our online dispensary right here, where our whole community can access my recommendations!

For more information, support and a tried and true springboard that can help you address the fundamentals and live your best life, check out the Let Go & Grow program. We would love to have you in there! This is the exact process I teach my patients and apply in my own life, and have seen time and time again become a catalyst for radiant health, freedom and a life lived true to you.

By | 2018-07-31T10:43:20+00:00 August 1st, 2016|0 Comments

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