Friday, July 10, 2015

Take Your Vitamins

When I was a kid, if I was inordinately grumpy, my Mom would ask if I had missed my Happy Pill that day.  I distinctly remember the first time she asked this, and I went from grumpy to intrigued by the possibility that there was a pill you could take to make you happy.  Mom was only teasing and meant it in the most light-hearted way, of course.  However ...

Let's suppose we're chatting about life and what we've figured out makes it go more smoothly.  At the top of my list is my morning quiet time (coffee + prayer + Bible study + day planning = my powerhouse).  Secondary to that for me is a collection of vitamins and supplements that I've taken for a couple years, with the exception of two miserable days when I forgot to take them, and my energy flagged while my mental outlook took a noticeable dip.  I swore it would never.  ever.  happen.  again.

I'm not a doctor, and in no way can I be construed to be a medical professional.  I do know what has a positive impact on my body though, and after years of basically ignoring it, I'm finally paying attention.  Here's a list of the vitamins and supplements I take, and why I take them.

Aspirin : anti-clotting agent
The anti-clogging affect can potentially reduce the risk of heart attack.

Alive Women's Energy Multi-Vitamins
These vitamins are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  You've probably seen the commercials - they make you feel good :o)

B12 : for increased energy

Vitamin C : for immune health

Garlic : for circulation and anti-inflammatory support
You can opt for garlic pills in odorless form (yay!).  I started taking garlic years ago to help with complexion problems, and have since read that they help with heart health and blood circulation.  Also:  I'm convinced that regularly taking garlic pills keeps mosquitoes and chiggers away.  I don't think I've heard anyone else make this claim, but the fact is that mosquitoes rarely bite me, and I walk through tall grass every single day with nary a chigger bite, while non-garlic takers aren't quite as fortunate.   Since I've been taking it so long, it might be a cumulative effect, I'm not sure.  All I know is I'm in chigger territory almost every day and never have a problem with them.  I think it's the garlic.

St. John's Wort  : counteractive to depression, anxiety and mood swings
I think St John's Wort helps even out your moods, and makes the ups and downs not quite so drastic.

Ashwagandha : acts against anxiety and agitation, provides general mood elevation and a calming effect
Ashwagandha gives your outlook an ever so subtle lift.  Somehow it brings what's good and happy to the forefront, and produces an overall feeling of well-being.

Gingko Biloba : for memory enhancement, clear thinking and circulation
The clear thinking affect is the biggest deal for me.  For memory enhancement, well ... there's lots of room for improvement.  Although who knows what I'd be forgetting if I weren't taking Gingko?

Korean Gingseng : anti-fatigue, anti-stress, stamina and energy support
The anti-fatigue factor works for me.

Rhodiola Rosea : anti-fatigue, anti-stress, mood and memory enhancer
All that, and Rhodiola helps me feel more energetic, too.

Holy Basil : for stress relief and relaxation
Dr. Andrew Weil says in his book Spontaneous Happiness that Holy Basil "lengthens the emotional fuse, makes you less reactive, gives you greater patience and more opportunity to be mindful."  Yes, please, to all of that.  Just one caveat: I found that Holy Basil makes me a little mouthy - I guess it relaxes you and your filter.  The second time I found myself wishing I could chase down what I'd just said and obliterate it from all eternity, I decided it would be better for me to take this one before I go to bed instead of in the morning.

Melatonin : sleep aid
Melatonin doesn't make me sleepy, it makes me sleep more deeply, and I think it also helps me stay asleep.  I don't normally remember my dreams, but when I take  Melatonin I'm more likely to remember a few.  It does make some people have strange or bad dreams, but that's not the case for me.  The greater the dosage, the more significant the effect.  I take a very low dose just before bed.

Water : hydrates all body systems and organs
I've written about how I finally figured out how to get myself to drink more than 96 ounces of water every day }here{.  Drinking water gives me significantly more energy and I can tell the difference in my digestive process when I don't drink enough (if I don't drink enough, my stomach hurts).  I can't recommend it enough!

Dr. Weil's book, Spontaneous Happiness, is a wealth of great information and is why I take St. Johns Wort, Ashwaghanda, Rhodiola and Holy Basil.  I strongly recommend this book if you're interested in exploring alternative options for supporting your emotional health.

With everything involving your body, you need to do your own research on anything you consider including in your daily regimen.  I added each of these items into my daily vitamin lineup one at a time and took them a couple weeks before adding anything else so I could see what kind of affect they would have and decide if I wanted to keep taking it or change the dosage.

There's my list ... I have a fuzzy memory of  my mom touting M&Ms as "Happy Pills", which I can totally agree with.  But truly if I have to choose between my daily vitamins and supplements and M&Ms, I'll go for the vitamin box every single time. How about you ... what's on your list of Never Going to Miss It list?  I'd love to know!

Shared joy is doubled joy ... let's double the joy for both of us - what are you most grateful for today? Click below to leave your comment. I'll go first :

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