We recently dove back into the whole nutrition piece of the puzzle at Continuum with Coach Nicole, ahead of a new nutrition challenge that Coach Drea is putting in place. So we know it’s coming. And it’s a good time for it to come up, at least for me.
If you know me, you know I like food. Most folks do, I think. But I’m more likely to dive into a big juicy burger with all the trimmings than I am a salad. And if there’s a blueberry pie, brownie, or chocolate chip cookie afterwards, who am I to turn that down? Plus, I enjoy my Amaretto, cider beers, and wine from time to time as well.
However, I’m noticing the scale creep up again. And I know I need to cut out (or at least severely cut down) the alcohol. That’s definitely not helping me in any way, shape, or form. (Unless the goal was to become more stout in the mid-line!)
So it’s time to examine what I’m doing currently and what I need to change.
Let’s start with my pre-breakfast routine and supplement intake.
First Thing – Spark
My day before I started crossfit used to include Diet Dr. Pepper. After crossfit, that was replaced by tea and coffee. These days it’s mostly coffee and Advocare Spark.
I’ve found that a single serving of Spark (pick your flavor), offers a bit of a pick-me-up in the morning that goes well beyond the caffeine.
Here’s the ingredient list for Spark:
- Vitamins A, B-6, B-12, C, and E
- Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin
- Pantothenic acid
- Zinc, Copper, Chromium, Choline
- L-Tyrosine, Taurine
- Caffeine (woo hoo!)
- Citrus flavonoids and citric acid
- L-Carnitine (as tartrate)
- Inositol, Maltodextrin, and Silicon dioxide
Wow. That’s a lot of stuff. Want a complete listing of amounts? Check out this great PDF.
As for calories, we’re not talking much here based on what I’ve found at MyFitnessPal, but more than I was expecting:
- 185 calories
- 19g F / 3g C / 0g P
Plus, different flavors add other bits. These are some of our favorite flavors at our house:
- Blue Raspberry flavor: Natural & Artificial Flavors, Spirulina Extract (for color)
- Cherry flavor: natural and artificial flavor, beet root powder (for color)
- Fruit Punch flavor: natural and artificial flavor, beet root extract (for color)
- Limeade flavor: Natural Flavors, Spirulina Extract (for color), malic acid
- Mandarin Orange flavor: natural flavors
- Mango Strawberry flavor: natural and artificial flavors
I’ve been watering mine down, usually mixing one serving with 16-20+ ounces of water, so it’s not quite as intense. But you get the picture. And I usually only do this once a day, though occasionally I’ll throw in an afternoon dose as well which probably isn’t wise — but it seems to be easier on my system than drinking coffee after 3pm.
Second Thing – Coffee
As far as my coffee goes, I used to go through a lot more than I do now. A pot a day at times. Now I may drink one cup of iced coffee (16-20 oz, several ice cubes, some almond milk creamer, and coffee) a day. Occasionally I’ll do a second one, but that’s rare. And usually I do this AFTER I eat breakfast, not before.
So that’s coffee, some ice, and usually my creamer of choice is Silk’s Vanilla Almond Creamer. And I definitely overdo it, since I’ll put 2-3 oz in instead of the tablespoon serving they recommend (it’s never enough).
- 1 tbsp = 1 serving
- 25 calories
- 1g F / 4g C / 0g P
Essentially I’m doing 4-6 servings (2-3 oz with 1 tbsp = .5 fl. oz). Let’s average that to 5. So that becomes:
- 125 calories
- 5g F, 20g C, 0g P
Mid-way Check… Drinks Total
So just with my “drinks” for the morning (beyond normal water), I’m seeing a lot of calories:
- Spark: 185 calories, 19g F / 3g C / 0g P
- Coffee w/creamer: 125 calories, 5g F / 20g C / 0g P
- Totals: 310 calories, 24g F / 23g C / 0g P
Ugh. And that’s without FOOD.
Third Thing – Supplements
Then we have the handful of supplements we add to the mix:
- Baby Aspirin (Heart health, recommended by my doctor) (81 mg)
- Fiber (1500 mg organic psylium husk powder)
- Alive! Once Daily Men’s Multi-vitamin
- Advocare Biotune
- Red H Nutrition Super Flexy (not every morning, but now and then)
I’ve noted a nice change by taking the Super Flexy (I usually take it in the evening before bed and then sometimes double up in the morning if I’m really sore joint-wise with knees or shoulders).
- Amla extract
- Cat’s claw extract
- Boswellia serrata extract
- Grape seed extract
- Ellagic acid
- Green tea extract
Alive! Once Daily Men’s Multi-vitamin
Formulated to support:
- Vitamin B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 and B12 to help convert food into fuel*
- Cellular Health*
- Vitamin A, C, E, selenium and zinc
- Vitamin A, C, E, lutein and zinc
- Vitamin B6, B12, C, E and folic acid
- Vitamin A, C, D, selenium and zinc
- Muscle Function**
- Vitamin B6, D and magnesium
Red H Nutrition Super Flexy
- Vegan Glucosamine
- MSM Powder
- Chondroitin Sulfate
- Cissus quadrangularis
- Turmeric Root Powder
Do you ever get the feeling that you’re just throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks? That’s very much where I feel I am these days with my supplementation.
I know I’ve got a persistent thyroid problem that I’ve had since I was 12, so I’m on a prescription for that. And I’ve struggled with cholesterol/triglycerides forever, which is largely an issue with diet and exercise.
But beyond that and the fact that things like turmeric and glucosamine do seem to help with joints and the B vitamins helping with energy, I have no clue what half this stuff does to my body. For the most part, I just apply the “it’s vitamins, so it must be healthy” philosophy and hope for the best.
What’s the best approach to take here? Cut it all out and see what falls apart first except for my prescription medication?
Sorry this got so very, very long and boring. But I thought it would be interesting to work through what I’m doing to figure out a better plan going forward.