Not a day goes by in New York City where I don’t find my self scratching the top of my head and wondering to myself ‘Did he really just say that?’ More often than not, it’s when someone is talking about supplements. More specifically, it’s when someone is purchasing supplements. So I am presenting the Top 11 Supplement Mistakes that are guaranteed to make you a sucker, waste your money, ruin your health or at least lead you into a false sense of health security. I’m also giving you solutions so you know how to avoid this nutritional debacle…
1 – The biggest mistake I think I have ever seen in my life is…
Asking the clerk at your local health food store or GNC what supplements you should be taking for some condition you have. I want to freak the frack out on both parties when I see this and unfortunately I see it almost every single day!
Whether it’s an overweight, tired lookin’ guy at the local upscale health food store…or the overweight, pimply faced, pale and moody vegan girl in the supplement section at an East Village, old school health food store…or the young kids at GNC who are jacked up on stimulants and barely legible when they speak…not because they have a foreign accent, they don’t. It’s because they are mentally burnt out from all the liquid speed & highly processed crappy ‘sports’ supplements in between their slices of pizza and soda they eat every day because that’s all they can afford on that type of salary. Either way, these are not the ‘experts’ you want to be seeking out for nutrition or supplement advice.
I recently walked into a ‘health’ food store that has more junk food than actual food, and overheard a pregnant woman asking the overweight, angry clerk (the owner’s brother) the other day what she should be taking for all these issues she was experiencing and I’m not sure if I dry heaved or actually threw up in my mouth. I didn’t want that to be obvious or someone would have blurted out, in front of everyone, that I change my diet or take a supplement. Not sure which person in this scenario was being more irresponsible, but either way, please don’t make this mistake!
‘Friends don’t let friends take advice from people who have no idea.’
Solution – read a book or ask an expert, not a store clerk whose education comes from the marketing materials from their biggest suppliers.
2 – ‘This for That’ Mentality.
This is a popular concept that I see daily.
Take Tums for stomach ache…
Take Pepsid AC or Prilosec for heart burn…
Take Advil for headache..
Take Airborne for Cold
Take Aleve or Tylenol for PMS…
Take Magnesium Citrate or some other god awful laxative for constipation
Take Ambien for poor sleep
Take Lamictil, Paxil, Prozac, etc for depression
This mentality is common and is a massive mistake. Why?
Treating these symptoms with pills and not addressing the cause of them makes your problem grow bigger…and suppressing these symptoms w pills only leads you into the illusion that you are ‘better’ but sooner or later you will have a much bigger problem to deal with.
This mentality is ingrained on our culture and even promoted by mainstream medicine. It does not solve your dilemma….it is not addressing the main issue, in fact, its distracting from the main issue.
If you have headaches, stomach caches, cramps, constipation, interrupted sleep or depression…you have a diet & lifestyle problem!
If you want to get healthy – you must go for the CAUSE of the problem. We live in a world of laws that we can not escape. Cause and effect is one of them. If you experience some discomfort, illness or disease, look for the CASUE of your issue, not a pill or patch.
If you simply take the pills, you will not solve the problem and it will return and you will be consistently sick and might even be on drugs for life, which is not healthy.
And yes, if you have those issues, your diet sucks. If you’re not feeling well, ask yourself why. All those issues can be resolved and you can have freedom.
Solution – take responsibility for your life and get the crap foods, stimulants and alcohol out of your body. Eat real food and if your body is not feeling right, find the problem and its solution. Soon you won’t experience those symptoms. Yes, you can be free.
PMS cramps? Yes, it’s your diet, regardless of what your co workers tell you.
Depression? From my experience, it’s your diet.
If you have not been feeling well and have been diagnosed with depression, I strongly encourage you to read The Mood Cure by Julia Ross and fix the problem. Mood imbalances are chemical issues that are easily correctable through nutritional therapy. There are experts all over the country that do this often and your doctor most likely knows nothing about it (much like gluten & dairy intolerance/allergies). In fact, he/she will most likely laugh it off, tell you that you’re crazy for thinking something like that and then prescribe you a pill.
If you are currently taking meds, please note I did not tell you to get off them. Got it? Good. I will tell you, however, to go eat some grass fed beef, butter or coconut oil, stop eating gluten grains, sugar & soy and you will feel better. Then go get that book, please.
If your depression is a psychological or perceptual issue and not chemical, I suggest you get the Breakthrough Experience by Dr. John Demartini and learn to balance your perceptions.
3 – Golden Nails
I heard his from Paul Chek a few years ago. If you use lousy old wood to build a boat but get real nice & shiny nails made of gold…your boat will still sink to the bottom.
Supplements are like golden nails and if your diet is made up of lousy foods like the old wood used to build the boat, you are destined to sink. Supplements and medicines, no matter how expensive or how influential the marketing is, will not save you from a crappy diet.
Solution – take responsibility for your life and eat fresh, healthy organic food. Get this program if you dont already Healthy Urban Kitchen.
4 – Random Guesswork
Your health, wellness, longevity, energy levels, brain function, ability to reproduce, recovery from training or sports performance are under your control. It should not be ‘Random Guesswork’. I guarantee most kids know more about video games than adults who know what, when and why they put foods or supplements into their bodies.
Solution – find an expert and assess, don’t guess. I give some simple solution in Healthy Urban Kitchen
5 – Processed Crap Foods Disguised as ‘Health Food’ or ‘Liquid Vitamins’
I am not sure if I ever met anyone who drinks Slim Fast, Boost, Ensure or the many other knock offs you find in delis or drug stores.
Do you remember those canned ‘health’ drinks that we used to get from 7-11 when we were in junior high school? People have been led to believe these things are liquid supplements. These are disgusting, non-foods that don’t deserve any more energy than what I have already typed…wait, that’s not fair.
I used to drink Nutrament while walking home from school. These things were like the poor man’s milkshake. Back in the day when ignorance was bliss, Nutrament things tasted unbelievably good…today, I wouldn’t serve it to my worst enemy. Chek this out…
Damn! I used to love this crap!
Ingredients for Vanilla Nutrament
Skim milk, sugar, corn syrup, canola oil, high oleic sunflower oil, calcium caseinate (milk), soy protein isolate, corn oil, sodium caseinate, artificial flavor, magnesium phosphate, magnesium chloride, carrageenan, soy lecithin, sodium ascorbate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, vitamin E acetate, niacinamide, calcium pantothenate, cupric sulfate, manganese sulfate, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin B6 hydrochloride, thiamine hydrochloride, riboflavin, chromium chloride, folic acid, vitamin D3, biotin, sodium molybdate, sodium selenite, vitamin K1, vitamin B12.
If your parents are drinking Ensure, have them thro it out and get them some real food.
Solution – again, eat real food.
6 – ‘Fortified’ or ‘Enriched’ Juices
Ok, let me see. Take real fruit, then squeeze all the fiber out of it, pasteurize it so its nutritionally dead, add some synthetic vitamins to it, ship it across the country so it sits on store shelves for god knows how long and market it as a health food. Umm, no thanks. Juice is sugar water. Fortified juice, is expensive sugar water.
Solution – stick to real food. Got a sweet tooth? I will cover cravings soon. In the meanwhile – eat fruit, improve health & save money.
7 – Over Relying on Supplements to compensate for less than Optimal Diet
Sometimes people do this with good intentions, unlike #8. Understand this – Supplements are called ‘supplements’ because they are meant to complement your diet, not be used to make you feel better because your diet is lacking something.
You often hear this as ‘I take a Multi Vitamin to ‘cover all my bases’ – this is common, right?
If your taking something to ‘cover all your bases’ clearly you feel like one or more of your bases are not being covered from your diet. So again, stop lying to yourself and take responsibility for what your putting in your mouth. If you use your mouth as a garbage can, you will suffer the consequence and supplements will not ‘cover’ any bases at all.
This creates a false sense of security that will backfire on you at some point…next week or next year.
Getting health and losing weight = taking responsibility for your health. I know its not popular, but its true.
Solution – take responsibility and stick to real food, the kind that has all the essential nutrients we need to be health,
strong and vital.
8 – Compensating for Total Irresponsibility
Just so you know, I have friends that do this daily. Now, I love my friends no matter how healthy or unhealthy they are. We are all making choices in life. But each choice has a consequence – good or bad. So choose wisely.
If you don’t want to be healthy, that’s cool, but if you think taking some supplements will give back what your losing from a lousy diet and a lifestyle where you party too much, then you are just lying to yourself.
Solution – get it together before it’s too late. Eat real food, stop partying so much and cool out before you burn out.
9 – Diet Pills
You probably know that Hyrdroxycut was taken off the market a few weeks ago. There is more to this than just the fact that the supplements was ‘dangerous’, if you do the research, it is not nearly as dangerous as the many prescription medications that are needlessly pushed down the throats of children and young women in this country.
So if you have been taking any diet pills, again, it is not addressing the real issue – why are you fat to begin with? Stop doing what made you fat and start doing what makes you lean, health and happy. Problem solved and no need for diet pills which stress your adrenal glands and make you cranky or jittery.
Solution – eat real food and stop doing the things that make you fat.
10 – Vitamin ‘Enriched’ Cereals
Does anybody still eat this crap? You take mass produced
low quality grains, strip them down of all their nutrients, cook them and then re-add synthetic vitamins to that heat (last time I checked, heat destroys micro nutrients) and add a bunch of crap to it and then you have a ‘Heart Healthy’ or Healthy Start for your Day type of cereal. Great! Now, some cereals may not be enriched, they may be ‘whole wheat’, which if you ever looked around is still garbage.
Smart Start is a perfect example of this hoax. Here is what’s in it:
RICE, WHOLE GRAIN WHEAT, SUGAR, OAT CLUSTERS (SUGAR, TOASTED OATS [ROLLED OATS, SUGAR, CANOLA OIL WITH TBHQ AND CITRIC ACID TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS, MOLASSES, HONEY, BHT FOR FRESHNESS, SOY LECITHIN], WHEAT FLAKES, CRISP RICE [RICE, SUGAR, MALT, SALT], CORN SYRUP, POLYDEXTROSE, HONEY, CINNAMON, BHT [PRESERVATIVE], ARTIFICIAL VANILLA FLAVOR), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SALT, HONEY, MALT FLAVORING,
Oh yeah, and a few synthetic vitamins cooked to hell and packaged into a box and shipped across the country to sit on shelves before some poor sucker buys it.
Solution – don’t be fooled by the marketing hype of grain manufacturers – they got lots of money and powerful influence in this country. Humans are designed to eat real food – not boxed cereal. If you really want a cereal, I have a chia seed recipe comin’ up for you. At least, I would suggest a gluten free grain before this crap. If you really want to get healthy, stop eating cardboard tasting, sugar-fied, highly processed grains completely.
There are certified gluten free oatmeal but oats still need to be soaked overnight before eating them.
11 – Crapola Supplements Made for the Masses
Anything sold at Duane Read or Eckard Drugs or Rite Aid or (insert local pharmacy or drug store here) is, for the most part, garbage.
Solution- if your hell bent on taking supplements, at least get organic, whole food based supplements. Some of the supplements I recommended are actually foods, like fish oil or probiotics. So once again, stick to real foods and you will win. Choose crappy supplements or make one of these supplement mistakes and you lose.
Bottom line: stick to real foods. If you want to use supplements, have a purpose and choose high quality food based supplements that work. End of story…