Saturday, November 7, 2009

I met the Vitamin Lady today...

...and she gave me free stuff! I came home with this nice promotional package with a serving of both adult and children's multivitamins from Nature's Plus Source of Life line of products.


I also tried a serving of their liquid version and wasn't terribly grossed out by the taste. Nature's Plus awesomely uses spirulina, which is an amazing algae that provides unbelievable amounts of harder to find nutrients. It is not, however, in any way palatable (in my trials, anyway) so I was surprised that there was very little of that telltale pondscum aftertaste.

After reading the ingredients on the label of the pill version of multivitamins I brought home, I couldn't really find any horrific ingredients to nitpick over, but there are a few things I will share here. Firstly, see all those tablets in the picture? That's one serving. You have to take about a million of these things a day (six). I completely understand that it's impossible to fit optimal levels of nutrients in a single pill (take note, Centrum users) but if you hate pill swallowing I'd steer clear of these and pick up the liquid version instead, which only requires you to drink 2 tablespoons if I understood the Vitamin Lady correctly.

The Vitamin Lady...oh, where to begin. She was nice and helpful, but first and foremost she is a saleswoman so I took the liberty of not sharing my occupation until the end of the conversation, wanting to see what she was willing to say in order to sell vitamins to people. I told her that I was currently taking a powder form of multivitamin. My reasons for doing so are because of the higher level of nutrient absorption and, like I mentioned earlier, it's impossible to get any sane amount of nutrition from a single pill. I didn't tell her these reasons, I just told her what sort of vitamins I took. She proceeded to tell me that powder vitamins don't work because they don't survive the "acidity of the stomach", and that I needed to take liquid vitamins. Okay, granted, liquid vitamins are a little better than reconstituted powder, but her idea of powder supplements being destroyed by the stomach environment is seriously strange. Whole food powder is just that: whole fruits, vegetables and other foods that have been turned into powder, so if nutrients from whole foods can't survive the stomach environment, then we're all dead and this blog isn't happening. Secondly, powder vitamins are mixed with liquid and reconstituted into LIQUID VITAMINS. It's an extra step to the same, albeit slightly less nutritious, end, but the end result is a liquid supplement, so if mine won't survive, hers won't either.

Here's where the serious no-no happened. The label advertises the product as "vegetarian". Well, that's all well and good, but things that are labeled vegetarian more often than not have a whole host of animal products lurking inside. I asked her, point blank, if the vitamins were vegan, and she assured me they were. Upon inspection of the label, I see that their multivitamins include bee pollen, which is not vegan. It is an animal product and there are strict vegetarians who do use bee products (often called "beegans") but the label "vegan" is only to be used on items that have no animal products. None whatsoever. That is a serious offense and a lot of vegans would be absolutely horrified at ingesting a product they were told was vegan and wasn't. After being a vegan for years, I've come to the conclusion that it happens, and it will probably happen again, so stressing out over it is pointless. But I definitely don't think that people should be lied to in order to sell a product.

I actually like Nature's Plus, and I have used several of their products with great results. They have been around for a long time and are one of the better choices in the holistic health industry. But watch out for Vitamin Lady, haha, cause she really wants you to buy.

Nature's Plus Source of Life multivitamin includes real herbs and whole food sources of nutrients, which your body is actually able to use, unlike synthetic versions. They include all of the key ingredients I normally look for in a supplement, including some form of algae like Blue Green or Spirulina, a seed complex for EFAs (this one has Sunflower), DNA and RNA, antioxidants, and several digestive enzymes. You'll need to take additional Vitamin C powder, a multimineral and a B complex, but I've never actually seen a single multivitamin supplement that was so comprehensive you wouldn't need to take anything else. I dare anyone to find one for me. As far as multivitamins go, this one is a keeper...if you're not a vegan.


So, I always have to be doing something mad scientist-like, so I've come up with a new project to test on myself. I picked up some empty veggie capsules today, and I'm going to create my own cleanse system. I already have loads of the right herbs and supplements in my massive dried plant collection, so my trusty herb grinder is coming out of the closet (faaabulous!) and will be powdering some nasty tasting plants for encapsulation! I'm planning on making one set of pills for liver/blood cleansing, so basically just some good alterative herbs, another one for the colon with lots of gooey, intestine scrubbing plants, and then another one for candida/parasites. I should have bought an ounce of black walnut hull powder but I didn't. All of this plus a bottle of probiotics and I'll be ready to go. I've taken full cleanses from several different companies but I'm coming to the realization that I have the education, the interest, and the spare time to actually invent my own. Such fun!

So, hopefully, in the next blog, I'll be showing you some of the herbal adventures I'll be undertaking :)

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