We all have that junk drawer where we collect “useful” miscellaneous stuff.
Maybe we reach in that drawer regularly, but maybe not. Either way, we believe that holding onto these things will be helpful at some point in our lives.
We approach our diet in much the same way.
Sometimes we continue with practices out of previous necessity, but these habits may merely clutter the body’s functional processes, filling-up that proverbial drawer with seemingly “useful” things.
We must take pauses to review the “why” of what we are supplementing or consuming. We must decide whether our needs have remained the same or have evolved and then update our habits.
I often consult patients who are consuming a full-page (or longer) list of supplements. Some products on the list are taken daily, others “when remembered,” and additional products are taken only “rarely.”
More often than not, multiple supplements are taken that have overlapping ingredients. At best, many supplements contain so very little of its ingredients to have any effect whatsoever. At worst, taking so many tablets creates an acid environment in the body, which is counter-intuitive to the individual’s goals. Alternatively, the products may be synthetically-derived and contain unnecessary chemical excipients that form a carrier (base) of the compound.
When I ask the individual why they are taking any given supplement, they often cannot recall, or they provide vague reasons as to why they continue and are uncertain of the benefits. They may have read an article or marketing campaign that had just enough partial-truth to be believable, or their friends touted their personal experiences. Since any imbalance or medical condition is unique in causation for every individual, the course of action varies accordingly.
So, while your friends may have experienced some benefits with a product, it’s important to remember that even if you share a similar imbalance, the actual spectrum of “causes” underlying the imbalance is unique to you. Your medical history determines whether or not a food or supplement is appropriate for you.
I suppose old habits are tough to break, especially when we have deemed them “healthy,” but when an imbalance continues to exist despite our consumption of certain foods or supplements, we’ve got to reevaluate.
Just as the junk drawer accumulates clutter that gets in the way of finding the truly useful bits and prevents making our lives more functional, when we consume an over-abundance of unnecessary products, we clutter our bodies with substances that merely make functioning less efficient.
As spring heralds renewal of life and clearing away the accumulations of winter, take a few moments to review the foods and supplements you consume daily and ask yourself:
1. Do you remember why you are taking them?
2. Are they hitting the mark of your goals?
3. Can you achieve a more comprehensive benefit via a whole-food rather than from a tablet?
4. Are you wasting cash reserves on expensive urine (at best), or creating a new imbalance via improper or unnecessary supplementation?
Sometimes we must dump the whole drawer out and start anew. This means getting ourselves back to the basics, building from the ground up and examining how to build a nourishing foundation from food alone.
We can accomplish more with less by selecting “nutrient dense” foods and whole ingredients.
You may be surprised how streamlined and simplified your life (and wallet) can become by clearing the junk drawer of routines and identifying the very essentials.
Tami Bronstein is a Medical Herbalist.. late-night enchanted.. finding magic, wonder and connection. Qualified with a BSc in Phytotherapy (Honours) at the University of Wales (UK). She is available throughout the USA/Internationally via phone consultation through her private practice, Sundance Wellness. www.sundancewellness.com
Editor: Brianna Bemel