Friday, January 9, 2009

Inner Beauty --- Pop'em Pills


No, I am not talking about silent meditation and achieving Zen through funky substances, no, no no. Nothing like that.

When I married Rojo, back in the Canadian prairies; I discovered he was a pillhead. Wait, not in that way. He is an Organic Chemist, and is all about balanced nutrition, etc. When he saw my anti-aging creams, he could not help but laugh hysterically -- which is not his style at all, so you can imagine my non-amusement. After acting offended and saying "well, I need these products to not look older than you", he continued laughing and said: "Bella, these things do not work because [insert 2 hour lecture in the chemistry of aging here]". WHAT?????????

Needless to say, I was broken hearted. "Then what works!?!" He said one word: VITAMINS. And so began my journey into dietary supplements, and my remembrances of when mi madre used to give me and hermano a handful of vitamins, algae, and suspicious emulsions everyday. Boy, I hated them. Specially the Fish Oil. Yucks.

But now, at my 37 very well lived years; I am happy to report I have become a pillhead as well. I try to take a nice melange every morning; and most of the colorful tablets have to do with -you guessed- beauty.

Here are my daily vitamin regime:

Multivitamin for Women

Yes hermanas; we already know we are quite different from los hombres (certainly more fabulous), and our bodies need different nutrition. I am currently taking a Women One Daily from NewChapter. It has pretty much all your body needs for one day of energy and happy fabulousness.

Some hermanas take pre-natal vitamins (even if they are not expecting babes), and my doctor says they are also a good investment -- they tend to be a bit pricier than regular multivitamins. I am happy with my multivitamins.

Vitamin D

When you live in sunny Florida or in Hawaii like my friends Krikit, trailmix and Mrs.Cat (whom I envy for that reason); your vitamin D intake comes from the Sun. If you live in Seattle like yours truly; life is not that sunny. Vitamin D is basic for energy and good skin.

During the winter, I am on a 4,000 units a day regimen; and less in the Summer. Then again; I have a severe vitamin D deficiency my doctor found. Your needs might be different.

Omega Fatty Acids

Turns out Oils are our friends. Omega acids are one of your weapons to prevent breast cancer. They help with cardiac conditions and arthritis. Also, they are great for skin, nails and hair. The most common one is Fish Oik; but I go with a all-in-one product that has Fish, Flax, and Borage seed oils. The one from Country Life is pretty good.

Other Goodies and Tips

I confess that, like with makeup; this vitamin business can get both spendy and addictive. Besides the aforementioned, I also ingest several of what I call "candy vitamins"; like the ones I find at Super Supplements that are specifically formulated for hair, nails, etc. Every now and then I crack open a gelcap of Vitamin E and use it as a facemask while doing dishes.

A trip to your Nutrition Store is worth it. Just make sure to ask as many questions as needed; and have them answered properly. You would not go back to Sephora as often if the folks there d id not know their biz, right??? Same applies to dietary supplements!

Now, of course that dietary supplements do not take the place of eating right at the right times.
Remember that funky looking food group pyramid??? It is, well, accurate.

I try ***emphasis on try*** to eat quite balanced. Rarely do I eat deep fried food; and am happy to say I do not get the munchies as often as I used to. Rojo has indeed converted me into a disciplined eater (most of graduate school I was famous for surviving on Cheetos and Dr. Pepper).

Disclaimer: Before beginning ANY vitamin regimen; always remember to check if you have any allergies. Ask your doctor. I asked mi madre after the fact, and spend 3 very painful weeks due to an allergy. So please consult your physician... or your mom. All supplements have side effects; and I do not want any hermanas collapsing because we thought vitamins are like popsicles, okay????

Siempre, Bella.


  1. Making note to make an appointment with my naturopath for the annual exam I was due for a year ago and to pick up some more of the super-duper vitamins she has for me. Following doctor's orders would be good. . . even when it means taking 4 (yes, 4) impossibly huge vitamins every day. Also contemplating (for the zillionth time) shelling out the money for a light box to get that Vitamin D (and maybe combat some SAD at the same time).

    Legally Smart (not so smart about other things. . . )

  2. Vitamin D is a must for us Seattleites hermana --- no escaping that glooom n' doom of SADD without it.

  3. Agreed...the note about anti-aging is very interesting, because, as a Perricone MD devotee, I used the creams and what-not for years but really saw the results start to kick in after I added the vitamins to my routine as well.

    Omega 3's are great -- probably the best of the bunch you mention, and one of the pillars in the perricone age prevent regimen. However, they can be difficult to digest if they're not coated properly (although I've never had this problem with the age prevent pills). In any case, the acclimation period is well worth the benefits. Ok, time to work off those holiday pounds...


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