Today, I’d like to talk about supplements.
I grew up taking a vitamin every morning. Does anyone else remember Flintstones chewable vitamins?
Somewhere down the line, this habit stopped. I mentioned a couple posts ago that I’ve struggled with disordered eating in the past. It was at its worst during my sophomore year of college. Besides losing too much weight, I started to lose my hair and my nails became very brittle.
When I was “recovering” (I use this term very loosely. I was never diagnosed with a full-fledged eating disorder.), I jumped back on the vitamin bandwagon. This time, I turned to prenatal vitamins.
No, I was not trying to get pregnant. And I’m still not…thank you very much. But I did some research and discovered that prenatals packed more of a punch than traditional multivitamins, especially when it came to hair and nail growth. My doctor gave me the go-ahead, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try them out. The brand I chose is pictured below. I found them at my local drugstore.
After I starting taking a prenatal once a day, I started noticing positive differences in my hair, nails and overall health. Of course, it helped that I was beginning to eat more as well. But I don’t think I could have improved as much as I did without some substantial supplemental help.
The only negative? These were literally horse pills. So tough to swallow.
Once I got back up to a healthy weight for my height, I gradually stopped taking prenatals. Eventually, I went back to not supplementing at all.
I mentioned in my last post that I’ve transitioned to a plant-based diet, with some seafood thrown in every once and awhile. I like this change and I see myself sticking with this kind of diet for a long time.
The only negative thing I’ve noticed is a lack of energy.
To give you a bit more about my health history, I was diagnosed with mononucleosis in May 2011. I know mono is fairly common, but it affects everyone differently. Mono made me the sickest I have ever been in my life. Let me just add that if mono is the worst illness I’ve gotten thus far, I’ve been very lucky.
But, it was extremely unpleasant for me. It literally knocked me on my behind for months. I could hardly eat, did nothing but sleep and could barely talk or breathe at one point because my throat almost closed up due to swelling. Steroids worked miracles with that one.
(This was right before the worst of the mono. I wore those sunglasses the entire evening because my eyes were swollen. At the time, I thought I randomly developed allergies. Nope! Apparently that was a mono symptom.)
Ever since I had that bad bout of mono, I vehemently believe that my health has not been the same.
I remember years ago that working out used to give me energy. Now, working out just makes me tired. And to be honest with you all, it makes me feel like a fake healthy living blogger. There, I said it. I still work out, but I’m not going to pretend that it makes me feel so energized and full of life. I do feel good right afterwards- endorphins! But then I just get sleepy.
For the past two years, I’ve noticed that if I push myself hard with workouts for multiple days or weeks at a time, I get completely burned out. My body starts to feel heavy and tired as though I’m getting sick again.
I could go on about this, but I’m going to focus back on supplementing. So…I’m not sure whether my lack of energy is just due to that nasty EB virus setting up shop in my body, my diet change, or a mix of both.
I am by no means a nutrition expert, but I’m thinking that I may be lacking in some crucial vitamins- perhaps vitamin D and B vitamins.
I purchased some Vitafusion MultiVites (gummy ones!) yesterday. I’m going to see if these make a difference.
I know that most vegetarians/vegans, and even those who don’t follow a plant-based diet, use dietary supplements of some kind. I think I’ve been in the minority for NOT supplementing for the past few years.
I’ll be sure to update on how I’m feeling.
What are your thoughts on vitamins/dietary supplements?
Any theories as to what may be causing my chronic fatigue? Nutrition friends, feel free to chime in!