Thursday, September 18, 2008

Shopping Excursion

It's not secret I've been addicted to learning about healthy living, organic foods, herbs, and creative recipes lately. Today I went on a shopping extravaganza, but this time is wasn't for clothes--it was for FOOD and VITAMINS! I spent some quality time in Harmony Market and the Vitamin Shoppe this afternoon.

Lately, I've learned a bit more about the dangers and plain old health-depletion of bleached and enriched flour. I've come to believe that whole-grain, non-bleached, organic, etc etc flour is the way to go. So I bought just that!

I also bought some organic brown rice to make up a rice melody to put in lunch containers for work.

I'm a BIG fan of Mac 'n' Cheese. It's always been one of my favorites--especially my mother's homemade version. So I thought I'd try Annie's brand of organic white cheddar pasta.

I originally wanted to buy more of the Clif Z-Bars. They're fantastic organic "energy bars" that are basically full of oats and grains and taste really good with protein and fiber in it. In neither store did I find any. So I settled on a non-organic alternative. ::shrugs:: (I must admit, it tastes really good! 12g of protein!)

On to the herbs and vitamins! (Told you I bought a lot)

I wanted to try a new multi-vitamin for women. I absolutely love the blog "Eat, Live, Run." Recently, the author of the blog, Jenna, tried a new multi-vitamin that really intrigued my interest. It's an all organic vitamin, which eases my mind. It has adequate amounts of the various vitamins, AND.... get this! It's comprised of FOOD! Yes, FOOD! You get two servings of fruit and vegetables in this multi-vitamin! Cool, or what? I'm very excited about them. They're called "Her Daily Nutrition" by Real Food Organics:

I also bought the Cayenne pepper capsules like I said I would in my previous post. I'm curious to see if I notice an effect from them. I also invested in some fennel seed capsules because fennel seeds have been known to help with your digestive system, and some believe it fights against cancer. And an interesting side note--not that I'm a mother or anything--but it's also believed that it increases and helps the production of breast milk in nursing mother's.

And finally, I also bought some St. John's Wort. Many people who know me have seen over the years that I have roller coaster emotions and I don't feel it's a secret to say that I've even ventured into the counseling services that my school offers on more than one occasion. The psychologist there diagnosed me with SAD and she wanted to refer to me to see someone more permanent and even consider taking low dosed of anti-depressant medicine. That wasn't something that I really cared to do for various reasons, especially since this is a "seasonal" issue.

Instead, I've researched some more "natural" options to help balance out mood. One of those is to exercise more. Also, exposure to sunlight really helps, which is why I've tried to spend more time out of doors. I've found outlets for my frustrations, such as journaling, or even taking on a new hobby like my study of herbs is a good outlet. Finally, there are herbs that have been known for a long time to be a more natural version of mood balancers. One of those is St. John's Wort. It is known for helping issues such as depression, anxiety, and sleeping disorders.

HOWEVER... I GREATLY caution people when considering to take St. John's Wort. I am not on any medications of any sort right now, so I feel it is a safe option for me. However, SJW is known to slow down or inhibit the effectiveness of various drugs and medicines including something as simple as birth control pills, antidepressants, medicines used to combat HIV and Cancer and other things. So for anyone considering beginning SJW supplements, I would encourage you to examine any medications or conditions you may have and be positive about any possible interactions before you start.

Josh saw this evening how many "evening supplements" I was taking, and he said to me, "Kelly, you are going to become one great big pill! That's not natural!" I laughed with him, because technically no, it's not "natural" to ingest your cayenne, fennel, and other vitamins in the forms of gel pills. I believe that the best way to absorb your vitamins and herbs in through the foods they're found in. And I am making more and more efforts to do that every day by choosing good foods, unadulterated foods, and by adding herbs and spices into my diet.

However, I realize that despite my efforts, it's still a very hard thing to get EVERYTHING you need at an optimal level in a Western diet and a busy Western schedule. In a way, all these supplements are "half natural," I would say. Because everything is a safe and natural substance that I eat every day. It's just that I've found I need to supplement what I do naturally take in with even more of it in pill form because I recognize what I get may not always be enough.

I actually feel better than I ever have before now that I've started to become more health conscious. I realize I'm still not at an optimal level of health, but I see myself getting there! And that's been REALLY encouraging!


Jim said...

" It's comprised of FOOD! Yes, FOOD! You get two servings of fruit and vegetables in this multi-vitamin!"

Two servings of fruit and veggies in one pill? Oh, come on, get real! Ain't gonna happen, no way. Just the fiber and liquid content would take up many times the volume of any pill.

Wonder how long it will take the FDA to notice that claim.

Jim said...

Thanks for visiting my just-starting blog with a comment. You wondered how I found your blog, so here's what I did: a Google Blogsearch for diet blogs. Google's Blogsearch is an amazing tool, but it often gets overrun by spam blogs.