It’s easy to think, when you’ve been on supplements for a while, that their effects are a placebo. When you find a good supplement that works, and you start feeling alive again, you begin to forget how bloody awful you felt without them.
In 2016 I hit a really rough patch in my health. I had a small baby who breastfed like there was an award for it and I’d not really taken much of a break between breastfeeding her and my elder daughter; I was run down, excruciatingly tired and my thyroid was out of whack. I’d taken various supplements since I’d had my eldest daughter and really started to invest in our holistic health as a family, but I’d really not felt much of a difference using them.
Then I was introduced to a brand that was not synthetic and did not contain mega-doses of vitamins, just essential nutrients, metabolism benefits, and powerful antioxidants designed to help promote energy, health, and lifelong vitality. Within one month of taking these supplements I felt a world of difference! Even my thyroid and anxiety improved, but what I really noticed was the difference in my skin and energy. My body was clearly lacking in something that it was getting back in these supplements.
Last year I got the opportunity to figure out just what I was lacking and why. I did a DNA test to find out exactly what my body needed and was potentially lacking in terms of nutrition. I was flabbergasted by my results! The biggest thing that the DNA test revealed was my body’s inability to process carbohydrates. This made so much sense. I’d eaten low carb for years (because that’s how you stay thin, right?) and I’d always struggled to last between meals, regularly got faint, suffered low blood pressure and had no muscle mass. My DNA test also revealed that my body had difficulty processing healthy, monounsaturated fats and that I also have the fat gene, which explains my lacking off switch in regards to food! I can literally eat and eat food that tastes good (so usually all the bad stuff) and the only way I have managed to get around that lack of control is to avoid junk food almost completely and stick to food portions at meal times.
In regards to micro-nutrients, vitamins, my body showed an inability to process and absorb Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Folate.
You see our DNA is like an Instruction Manual. A DNA report tells you what you have and how to work with it. Like a hand of cards, you can either play them really badly and subject yourself to chronic diseases you may have avoided, or play them well and enjoy a long, healthy life.
In general, I had been doing quite well with my hand of genetic cards, but there were definitely some changes I needed to make and fast, starting with my carbohydrate intake. In terms of my vitamins though, it seemed my choice to take a high quality, natural supplement had been a good one. In order to get enough of the Vitamin A, D and Folate my body needed, I would have been having to eat heaps of eggs, carrots, pumpkin, green leafy vegetables, asparagus, broccoli and liver, which in fairness, I do try to eat most of, but I struggle to get more than a couple of portions of vegetables a day and I am not a huge fan of fish, eggs or liver.
And it’s interesting because I’d noticed that if I ever forgot to reorder my vitamins and had a week or so without them, the skin around my cuticles would begin to peel and crack. Vitamin A is a key vitamin in skin repair. My youngest daughter, who is very fussy and eats very few vegetables unless I force feed them to her, also has the same issue if she doesn’t take her vitamins regularly either. I wonder now if she has the same genotype as me and also has some trouble converting plant-based Vitamin A (beta-carotene) to the active form retinol. There are more worrying concerns about not absorbing proper amounts of the vitamins our bodies need though:
- A lack of Vitamin A can increase the risk of heart problems
- Vitamin D plays an essential role in bone health, energy and anti-ageing because it promotes better absorption of calcium and lowers inflammation
- Folate, alongside other vitamins fuels the body during workouts and are important in the synthesis and repair of DNA. It also enhances brain health and moods.
- Several vitamins are crucial to proper immune function, which ensures that we are able to properly fight viral and bacterial infection, deal with inflammation and stress, effectively digest food and heal.
So what happened when I took 30 days off my supplements?
- The first thing I noticed was my energy drop substantially. Substantially! I’m a kickboxer and a mum, so energy is vital to my day, and I started dragging my feet in a big way!
- I looked awful. One of my eyes started to droop, my skin looked washed out and almost grey and I looked old and tired.
- The skin on my finger nails started to peel and crack, and got very red and sore, to the point I was embarrassed for people to see my hands
- I got an awful migraine
- I got sick with a head cold/cough after I haven’t been sick for months
- My productivity and creativity flatlined because I felt low on energy and not like my bouncy self.
Here is a before and after from my YouTube channel of daily videos:
When I was taking my supplements daily:
After I stopped!:
I was even surprised myself when I looked back to 4 weeks ago and compared to my videos now. I knew I felt different, but to see such a difference as well?
So why did I stop my supplements?
Despite my supplements being awesome and effective, I have been offered the opportunity to have my supplements personalised to my body’s needs. This means my body will get everything it needs and nothing that it doesn’t and my supplements will evolve as those needs change!
This personalisation is not done through a very non-personal one size fits all quiz like other personalised vitamin services. These supplements are personalised to your DNA and the lifestyle factors that will either activate your not-so-good genes or keep them happily dormant; therefore helping me avoid potential chronic diseases and supporting me to experience optimal health because everything within my body is working as it should be. Supplements are delivered to your door, monthly, and all the guesswork and confusion is removed and replaced with a solution bespoke to you.
I know I was very lucky to find a supplement that worked for me, but it took going through many different brands and complexes (most of which I peed out!)
But, is a daily dose of vitamins and minerals necessary?
I actually believe a “food first” approach is better, but then I am living the reality of being a busy mum with fussy children and little inspiration for healthy, colourful meals that everybody in my house will eat. I never used to need supplements because I ate such a good diet, but now my situation is very different, plus you have extenuating circumstances like breastfeeding draining your body of nutrients and extreme workout regimes and our soils lacking the nutrients in the first place because land as been overfarmed.
Health and wellbeing needs are unique. Solutions for people on a health journey need to be targeted to people’s unique needs. Many people are like me and don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables and wholefoods, but unlike me they don’t actually have the information about their own bodies that they need to know what food choices are best for them, so they can plan and be proactive, rather than fumbling around in the dark and getting frustrated and giving up.
I now know from my DNA a baseline of fruits, vegetables and wholefoods that are really good for my body and I can meal plan around them. It is easy. And I know that where my diet falls short my supplements can pick up the slack and I can have the peace of mind that as my lifestyle changes (my sleep changes, my stress changes, I exercise more/less, my mood changes, etc) my supplements will evolve with me.
If you are open to see whether this solution will be helpful to you too, click here to answer a few short questions to provide you with the information relevant to your situation.
In your high vibes, happiness and optimal health!
CW x x