Nothing compares to the real thing

You may have seen the article in this month's USA Today entitled, "Study: Multivitamins may lower cancer risk in men."  I, too, took interest in hearing what research led to that conclusion.  But, as I expected, the results were not as promising as the title suggested.  The author, Marilynn Marchione, writes, "...no government agency recommends their routine use...[s]cience on vitamins has been skimpy...studies found more health risk with those [vitamins A, E and beta-cartone] supplements, not less."

So what can a person do?  If the supplements that have been lauded for decades are ineffective and even harmful, where does one turn for nutrition?  Can someone say FOOD???

Just because you may be a vegan does not necessarily mean you are healthy.  Every day my email inbox is filled with recipes for vegan brownies, pancakes, candy, scones, etc.  And it's tempting to say, "well they're vegan so I can eat them without guilt!"  But that couldn't be farther from the truth.

Let me share an example: My nine-year old daughter just started cooking.  She's reeeeealllly good at it, too.  She's made pancakes, goldfish crackers (picture below), donuts, grilled cheese sandwiches, mac and cheese, pizza, and more.  And, of course, I, the dutiful mom, have to eat everything she makes.  So I have recently gained five pounds.  I finally told her that we have to put the cooking on hold for now so we can find more healthy recipes to try.  And I have gone back to eating just fruits and veggies and using my elliptical.  Six months ago, I could barely last five minutes on the elliptical without gasping and collapsing on the couch.  Now I can last fifteen easy and am working up to a full half-hour.

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I'm still as vegan as I ever was, but I've gone back to basics.  And that's what has been missing from the American diet -- FOOD. Fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, whole grains, herbs, sprouts, and beans.  The stuff that gives life, not heartburn.

So there's no need to worry that the research on multivitamins is not promising -- just make sure your diet covers all these nutritional needs, and you can toss those bedpan bullets in the garbage.  I do take a whole-food supplement so that I can be completely covered every day without having to count kale leaves or go broke on organic beets.

Isolated vitamins have no idea where to go in the body anyway, so they end up causing problems.  Fruits and veggies have little built-in GPS's and go directly where they're needed.  So do yourself a favor.  Skip the vitamin aisle, and have a smoothie.

 

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