Efficiency: achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort
This is what I find myself needing more of: efficiency. With only so many hours in the day and co-running a growing (and busy) business, staying on top of my health is a priority. I need it to be my most productive self. V+B helps me stay on track with my nutrition, and the carefully selected supplements below help me elevate my wellness routine.
Blue Ice™ Royal Butter Oil/Fermented Cod Liver Oil Blend
The butter oil is made from dairy oil extracted without heat from grass-fed cows, and the cod liver oil is lacto-fermented and extracted without heat from wild-caught fish in the Arctic region. It’s high in omega 3 fatty acids, which helps reduce inflammation that, for me, manifests in my joints.
The Standard American Diet (conveniently known as the “SAD” diet) has an omega 3 to omega 6 ratio that’s seriously out of whack. They’re both important for health, but too much of either can impair how the other functions. While the omega-6:omega-3 ratio should ideally be somewhere between 4:1 and 1:1, the SAD generates ratios between10:1 and 20:1. This shift occurred at the start of the industrial revolution with the introduction of the modern vegetable oil industry and the increased use of cereal grains as feed for livestock. Yes, even animal meats, eggs, and fish are now lower in omega 3 than they used to be because of modern agriculture. And because of this, we’re now seeing an uptick in the prevalence of chronic inflammatory diseases.
While the majority of meat on the market is conventional (factory-farmed and grain-fed), high quality grass-fed and pasture-raised meats are still an option. According to Mayo Clinic, when compared with other types of beef, grass-fed beef may have some benefits. These benefits include less total fat, more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, more antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin E, and more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is a type of fat that's thought to reduce heart disease and cancer risks, and grass-fed beef contains an average of 2 to 3 times more CLA than grain-fed beef. Bonus points if you can find meat that is grass-fed and grass-finished.
Vitamin D with K2
I function best when slightly sunburned, but that’s difficult when working 80+ hours every week. Vitamin D is naturally present in a limited number of foods, but it’s also produced endogenously via sunlight. So, when winter rolls around, my already low level of vitamin D decreases even more. This is important to take note of because Vitamin D is essential for our health – it helps build and maintain healthy bones, boosts immunity, and aids cardiovascular function. But many Americans fall short on this dietary component.
At the same time, Vitamin K is essential for normal cell formation and, like vitamin D, the maintenance of a healthy cardiovascular system. The combination of vitamin K with vitamin D may provide even better protection of these systems, and this supplement combines both.
I take about 5,000IU/dayduring the winter months and 2,000 to 3,000IU/day during the warmer months, though the tolerable upper intake level is 4,000IU (or 100mcg) for both male and female adults. Remember, it’s best to take vitamin D with a meal that includes some fat because it’s fat soluble.
Gaia Herbs Stress Response
This "all-around" adaptogenic supplement helps with adrenal health and is built around Holy Basil, Ashwaganda and Rhodiola. Adaptogens have a normalizing effect on the body and help us adapt to stress in a natural way. We all experience stress (and we’re supposed to – it’s natural) but maybe we experience more stress than we should (guilty). This supplement does need periodic time off for maximum effectiveness.
The presence of coenzyme Q10 is required in the conversion of carbohydrates and fats to adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the form of energy used by cells. In other words, it helps convert food into energy. It also functions as an antioxidant in cell membranes and lipoproteins, the latter of which transport fat through the bloodstream. CoQ10 is synthesized in most human tissues and found in some foods. You can find the highest amount of CoQ10 in foods such as organ meats (heart, liver, and kidney), beef, soy oil, sardines, mackerel and peanuts. However, these levels generally aren’t high enough to significantly boost levels in your body. I supplement with CoQ10 because I find that it provides a nice energy boost.
Sulforaphane (consumed via broccoli sprout, not a supplement)
Sulforaphane is a compound derived from cruciferous vegetables. According to Dr. Rhonda Patrick, sulforaphane activates a special genetic pathway in our cells known as Nrf2 - a master regulator and controls over 200 other genes – and it does so more potently than any other known naturally-occurring dietary compound. These 200 genes include ones that affect anti-inflammatory processes, antioxidant processes, and even the ability to inactivate potentially harmful compounds that we’re exposed to on a daily basis. You don’t need an expensive supplement to get your daily dose of sulforaphane. Instead, you can grow your own broccoli sprouts – learn how here.
This natural sleep aid helps ensure I get the rest I need to fully recover from my busy life – whether that’s mental stress or physical stress. Sleep is your body’s devoted time to repair itself, so it’s important we make it a priority rather than an indulgence reserved for weekends. While many people are straight up behind on their hoursof sleep, many are also lacking in sleep quality.As you sleep, you pass through stages of REM sleep and non-REM sleep. Non-REM sleep is the deeper of the two, and it is the one during which the body repairs itself. So if you’re sleeping for ten hours a night and still feeling like you’ve been hit by a train, chances are you’re lacking in sleep quality.
I think something important to remember is that supplements can’t replace a bad diet or lifestyle. Instead, they should work with a well-balanced diet and lifestyle, and what you include in your wellness routine should be tailored to you. What (if anything) do you supplement with?
Disclaimer: I am not a physician, nor do I pretend to be on the internet. These supplements work for me, but they may not work the same for you. Always consult with your healthcare provider before beginning a new supplement.
Turner Hoff is a co-founder of Vegetable and Butcher, More Than Food and the Warrior Wellness Challnege. An avid outdoorsman, Turner has hiked the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu, surfed in more than ten countries throughout the world and jumped out of moving planes. But if being an adrenaline junkie isn’t enough, Turner also fancies himself a hobbying photographer and modeler (the Microsoft Excel kind). Despite his many outdoor pursuits, Turner still enjoys his quiet time with a good book and a warm cup of coffee. Equipped with a single camera and a passion for living an active and healthy lifestyle, Turner hopes to capture the food world (or at least the DMV) one meal at a time. Turner is admittedly “bad at social media,” but you find him occasionally posting on Instagram.