How I stay healthy with vitamins and supplements

Sponsored post: I received this product (NOW Women's Probiotic 20 Billion) for free from Moms Meet, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own. 

Last year (and early this year), I got really sick because of low iron and low vitamin D (plus asthma and allergies). It was awful and I don't want to repeat it. Ever.

tree pose at the beach - staying healthy with vitamins and supplements

I know a lot of it had to do with stress and terrible eating habits, but I also know that even when my eating habits are at their best, because I eat a mostly vegetarian diet I sometimes come up short in getting all of the vitamins and minerals I need as an endurance athlete. And let's face, it's hard to keep my eating habits in top shape because well...life. Specifically mom life.

I've really struggled with my overall wellness since becoming a mom. My schedule is chaos, my needs often take a backseat, and there never seems to be enough time to get everything done (like weekly meal planning and meal prep - that's not really how I want to spend my Sundays). 

I do my best to eat well, but because I don't always and since I don't want to experience those deficiencies again, I decided it was time to add some vitamins and supplements to my routine even after coming off the doctor-prescribed iron supplements.

I need energy to keep up with this little guy!

I need energy to keep up with this little guy!

While I don't believe that everyone needs supplements and everyone is different, for me, they seem to be a good thing.

Two of them have topped my list: Ritual and NOW Women's Probiotic 20 Billion.

Ritual - I came across Ritual through a Facebook ad and after examining the ingredients I realized they were exactly what I needed after coming off the iron supplements. It includes iron and D3, which are the two things I had issues with. My doctor still has me on Vitamin D3 supplements, but now I just take one of those in the evening instead of two, since my Ritual vitamin has the same amount of D3.

Biking, running, paddleboarding, yoga, barre - all require lots of energy

Biking, running, paddleboarding, yoga, barre - all require lots of energy

So far, I'm still feeling really good and haven't needed to go back on the prescription iron supplements. In general, I feel better and I've been told I look like I feel better. My skin is no longer pale and ashy, and I have energy again. It's been so long since I had energy! There was a brief moment in time in late 2014/early 2015, but after that it was just a downward spiral until April of this year. 

Women's Probiotic 20 Billion - Moms Meet selected me to be a part of their sampling program for this supplement. Women's Probiotic 20 Billion uses three clinically tested probiotic strains to support women's health through every stage of life.*

I've never really given much thought to probiotics and I generally don't have a ton of digestive issues in general, but I figured I could give this one a go.

I've been taking it for about three weeks now, and while I haven't noticed dramatic health changes, last week I noticed that I feel much less bloated. My stomach is much flatter most of the time now. I haven't really changed much about my eating or anything over the past few weeks, so I think it could be the supplement since that's one of things it says it helps with.

Running feels a whole lot better without the extra bloat

Running feels a whole lot better without the extra bloat

And less bloat is a good thing all around - my clothes fit better, I feel better and working out doesn't feel gross. 

I guess I didn't really know how bloated I was until I wasn't anymore. Sort of like I didn't know how bad my asthma was until it wasn't. 

My energy is also increasing - I'm sure part of that is because I'm recovering from that awful illness and I'm able to get out and do more, but I also believe that putting the right fuel into my body (food and suppelements)  is helping a lot

For my personal health, I'm sold on both of these supplements and will continue taking them. Both Ritual and Women's Probiotic 20 Billion are formulated specifically for women and our unique needs. Another thing I like about both them? They're vegan. 

While I don't believe supplements can fix a bad diet, and not everyone needs them, for me personally they help. Along with proper eating and exercise, I plan to keep them as part of my overall wellness routine. 

Does anyone else use vitamins and supplements? What have you tried? Do you feel like they work for you?

Where to buy:

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Ritual

You can purchase Ritual directly from their website and they'll do an automatic subscription program where they send it to you every 30 days. 

BUY NOW

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Women's Probiotic 20 Billion

Women’s Probiotic 20 Billion is available to purchase at natural healthfood stores nationwide, and at Amazon, iherb.com, and now-2-u.com

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Disclaimer: This is my personal story and not meant to be medical advice. Please consult your doctor if you have health concerns and before starting any supplement routine.


Weekly workouts 5/15-5/21: Cutback week

This week was an intentional cutback week (unlike last week that ended up being one unintentionally). But even so, I ended up cutting back a bit further than I was supposed to and didn't get my 5 days in. 

weekly workouts

I've been having a lot of tightness in my calves and IT bands, mostly because of missing barre and yoga workouts. I don't want to end up injured, so I know I need to prioritize those workouts a little better. Last week, for the first time in several weeks, I managed to get to two barre classes and afterwards my calves and IT bands felt so much better. On my runs after those classes, the tightness was gone. This is why I love barre. 

Other than successful barre class attendance last week, the rest of my workouts were a bit sketchy. 

On Tuesday, I got an allergy shot and I had gone 14 days since my last one, which is the maximum time. They also increased my dosage this time, too. I ran on Tuesday night, but I felt really achy, flu-like achy. Since my husband was sick with what seemed like the flu (full body aches, etc), I thought maybe I had a touch of it, even though I had no other symptoms other than some aches and pains. 

By Wednesday, I still was feeling off, so I took an entire day of rest. Thursday I felt much better and headed out to run. My pace was faster and other than some of that calf/IT band tightness, it was a good, albeit humid, run. And I got myself to barre on Thursday, too. 

I think that the aching, outside of the my calves and IT bands, was caused my the allergy shot. I did some digging and apparently, that can be a side effect. Fun times. But it resolved quickly, so I'm not too concerned. 

Friday I felt like I still needed another barre class to continue to loosen my calves and IT bands, so I went there on Friday morning. 

Saturday was just a disgusting, humid run. Humidity always makes me feel so incredibly bloated when I'm running. Miserable. I ran without a watch since I was so annoyed at the humidity and didn't want to be bothered by time or pace. 

Sunday, instead of running in the morning, I decided to run after dinner. The weather was actually pretty decent - cloudy, breezy (still near 100% humidity, though), so I was excited to run. I got about 2 miles in and my dinner decided it did not agree with me. I had to turn around and do a painful, crampy run/walk home. I barely made it home and was sick for about two hours afterwards. Thankfully, it didn't last long and I feel fine today. But ugh! That messed up my long run this week and I came up short with my overall mileage. 

At least it was a cutback week. And all of the weird issues were flukes and not ongoing problems. And as long as I can get myself to barre or yoga a few times a week, I should be able to keep the IT band issues at bay. 


Workout recap

Last week's goals

Goal 1 5 runs Miss
Goal 2 At least 2 barre/yoga classes Hit

Last week's workouts

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday:  Easy run - 3.02 miles @ 9:15 pace
  • Wednesday: Off (not feeling great)
  • Thursday:
    • Easy run - 4.01 miles @ 8:49 pace
    • Barre class
  • Friday: Barre class
  • Saturday: Easy run - 3 watchless, humid miles 
  • Sunday: Run/walk/slog/digestive issues - 4ish miles (no watch)

Last week's totals

Total miles: 14.03 miles
Total runs: 4 (sort of)
Total barre/yoga: 2
Total workouts: 6


Outside of workouts, I had a fun week. D and I had our first date night since the holidays. Seriously. We hardly ever go out without B. It's ridiculous and we need to do it at least once, maybe twice a month, but I get lazy about lining up a  babysitter.

B's school has a monthly Parents Night Out event and they just started this month, so we took advantage of that and let B hang out with his friends for a little longer at daycare. D and I went to see Beauty and the Beast (finally!) and had dinner at Napa Mt. Pleasant. In an amusing coincidence, B also watched Beauty and the Beast (the cartoon version) at his "slumber party."

Delicious Dinner of locally Caught fish at Napa

Delicious Dinner of locally Caught fish at Napa

I absolutely loved Beauty and the Beast, and Napa was fantastic! That restaurant is now on regular rotation. I was a little disappointed that Beauty and the Beast didn't have more songs from the Broadway musical in it, but I enjoyed the updates to the storyline and the fixed plot holes. And the acting was amazing. It's always been one of my favorite stories, Disney movies, and Broadway shows, so I'm so glad we got to see the live action movie in the theater, even if we were way late. 

Saturday we went to the pool and the beach! We gave B the choice after the pool between going to the beach or mini golfing, and he chose beach. It was fun, but it's definitely tourist season and the beach was more crowded than usual.

water baby

water baby

Macy at the beach!

Macy at the beach!

Aloha

Aloha

We also decided to take our dog, Macy, to the beach and see what she thought. It was her first time there and she was nervous and unsure about all the activity (she's a skittish dog who was abused), but still curious. She just enjoyed hanging out on the beach towel and taking in all of the activity. 

After last week's cutback week and a bit of rest, I'm ready to tackle this week and get back to training. I'm currently rebuilding my mileage base so I can start half marathon training in August. Otherwise, still no races on the calendar, just trying to get my run back. 

How was your week? Have you seen Beauty and the Beast? Is it hot and humid yet where you live? 


I'm linking up with HoHoRuns and MissSippi Piddlin'  for their Weekly Wrap post, as well as Eat, Pray, Run DC for her weekly training recap.


Weekly workouts 5/8-5/14: Mother runner

A belated Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

I had a little bit of an unintentional cutback last week. My mom was in town for the latter half of the week and my schedule just ended up being a little crazier than anticipated. But, weeks like this happen, and overall, I'm still on the right track. 

But before the craziness began, I did manage to get a few other blog posts posted. Here's what you may have missed on the blog last week:

Fitness expenses running wild (and what I'm doing about it)
Guide to summer races in Charleston, SC

weekly recap

Workout recap

Last week's goals

Goal 1 5 runs Miss
Goal 2 At least 2 barre/yoga classes Miss

Last week's workouts

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday:  Easy run 6.01 @ 9:06
  • Wednesday: Easy run 3.01 miles @ 8:44 pace
  • Thursday: Yoga via FabFitFun TV
  • Friday: Speedwork (3x1 mile) - 6.01 miles total, repeat splits: 7:31, 7:28, 7:38
  • Saturday: Easy run - 3.02 miles @ 8:43
  • Sunday: Off 

Last week's totals

Total miles: 18.05 miles
Total runs: 4
Total barre/yoga: 1
Total workouts: 5

Goals for next week

Goal 1 5 runs
Goal 2 2 barre workouts

There isn't very much to talk about with workouts last week other than a decent mile repeat speedwork session. It was so hot that day and it was a tough workout but I got it done and hit fairly close to my pace goal for those repeats. 

I missed my long run on Sunday. I didn't plan my timing well. I thought our brunch reservations were for a half an hour later than they were, which left me crunched for time in the morning. And by the time evening rolled around, I was tired from running around all day. 

Clockwise from the top left: The octopus was out at the aquarium, Fun at the pineapple fountain, Beach bubbles, Mini golfing with a 2 year old, the view from fleet landing

Clockwise from the top left: The octopus was out at the aquarium, Fun at the pineapple fountain, Beach bubbles, Mini golfing with a 2 year old, the view from fleet landing

We spent Mother's Day weekend visiting the aquarium, the beach, the Pineapple Fountain downtown, and mini golfing.

On Saturday night, we went to the Boathouse at Breach Inlet on Isle of Palms for dinner and on Sunday, we had brunch at Fleet Landing downtown. Whenever my mom visits, she always likes to visit restaurants that have water views. As much water as we have here in Charleston, there are shockingly few waterfront restaurants but both the Boathouse and Fleet Landing fit the bill. 

When you have dinner with a toddler at a restaurant, there are toys on the table 

When you have dinner with a toddler at a restaurant, there are toys on the table 

While I didn't have a very relaxing Mother's Day (seriously, any other moms out there just want to go for a run and then sleep all day on Mother's Day?), I did have fun with my family. And B and D got me pretty much the best gifts ever. They adopted an otter from the South Carolina Aquarium in my name and got me some bracelets from a company that gives back to sea turtle rescue. Yep, pretty perfect as far as presents go.

B apparently picked out the color of my bracelets. He also promptly stole the stuffed otter that came in my adoption package. And he painted a pretty cool "dinosaur" for me. 

MOther's day presents - adopted otter, sea turtle bracelets and a "Dinosaur" painting by b

MOther's day presents - adopted otter, sea turtle bracelets and a "Dinosaur" painting by b

And that was my week. Not a exactly a stellar week of workouts, but a fun week with family.

How was your week?


I'm linking up with HoHoRuns and MissSippi Piddlin'  for their Weekly Wrap post, as well as Eat, Pray, Run DC for her weekly training recap.