Sunday, February 24, 2013

Probably not the best time for this, but...vitamins and Crossfit

So, I've been drinking and Bubba's not home yet from his weekend away and I've spent most of this day doing homework that has melted my brains into a BUT I HAVEN'T DONE CHEMISTRY SINCE THE 9TH GRADE pile of shit and for whatever reason I felt like it was time to talk about vitamins and Crossfit.

The "Bubba's home late" dinner
Because why not talk about All Things Health when you're squinting at the screen with exhaustion while knocking back your supplements with the rest of that gin martini (and two olives - I'm not an animal.)?

I'm all about health, people. And reasonable behavior for a near-35 year old woman.

Anyway, here's the low down on the vitamins after...ohlemmelookthisup...two years (holy shit - that's more than I thought) of taking them daily. Like a freak. And sometimes when sprinkled over yogurt like so much ice cream topping. Like a freak.

Just so you know what we're talking about, here.

Yeah. This shit. I fell victim to a few random people's insistence that B12 could ONLY be properly absorbed via liquid drops and that "Why do they even make tablets when you can't even absorb the nutrient that way?"s  before giving up and trading in my handy dissolving tablets for a daily dropper's load of foul tasting faux Nyquil that doesn't even have the stones to hit me with a nice alcoholic thunking.

No. It just tastes nast and then doesn't give me near the brain boost of my dissolving tablets.

But I have half of the bottle left, so I'm going to slog through this bottle and then smash it on the concrete outside Whole Foods as I vow to stay true to my dissolving tablets.

That's right, Whole Foods - I'm about to make a scene at your place of business. But in a good way! I shall never go astray again from your dissolving B12 tablets!

I'm sure they're thrilled.

Folic Acid
Um. Yeah. So I take this. And usually I don't forget because it's a small little thing that can be easily scooped up with a spoonful of whatever breakfast I'm eating and disappear down my lady gullet without too much early morning Just Make It Happen prodding.

Though, sometimes I forget to take it because it gets stuck in the corner of my sweatshirt pocket and I don't realize it until three days later when I'm going into my pocket for a dog treat while out on a walk with Jada and, well, the dog doesn't consider folic acid tablets enticing enough to not go after a squirrel.

Upping the ante with a pocketful of the tablets doesn't do the trick either.

All that to say that sometimes I forget to take these things and I don't notice any difference in my life. Not that I'm going to stop taking them since they're supposed to be good for your brains and all, but I guess maybe in just a long-term way.

I should look that up.

B6 is the hotter, skinnier, way more appealing sister to the filthy liquid B12. It's a tiny tablet that I make sure to take every live long day because I can so totally feel the difference in my attention span, overall outlook on life and ability to focus and comprehend when I don't get my Bs in the morning.

Behind the Cal Mag Citrate and pro-biotics, these are crucial to daily functioning.

Cal Mag Citrate
Like I was saying - crucial. If you recall, I started this whole terribly ridiculous supplement experiment in an effort to find a way out of my mind-eating migraines without becoming wholly reliant on prescription inhalers (that were promised to NOT work forever. Comforting.), extra dosing (so that I don't sound like a crackhead) on Excedrin Migraine and Bubba's power tool collection.  (The garage one, you filthy beasts. STAY WITH ME HERE.)

What I've found is that YES. Cal Mag Citrate, in the dose that I've worked out over the last two years of experimenting, relieves me almost entirely of migraine.

Like, I used to get a migraine every two weeks or so. Twice a month - sometimes more, depending. It blew. I lived in fear of being somewhere where I could not access my Imitrex inhaler. I'm not going to go into further details, but it was ugly.

In the last two years, since embarking on this whole Let's Take Supplements Like a Freak thing, I have had three migraines.

In two years.

So, in the time when I *could* have, had I kept following my doctor's advice, had 48 migraines, I've had three.

And those three times were when I forgot to take my Cal Mag or my vitamins altogether. Also - and it could have been this, too - these were times when I was already super stressed and probably dehydrated and maybe drinking, so that could have brought the migraines on, too.

I just think that the Cal Mag Citrate gives me a buffer so that I can live my life without having to find a dark corner in which to curl up around the power drill to turn my skull into a Wiffle ball in the hopes of alleviating the throbbing pain.

That's what I think.

THIS is not about thinking. It's about doing. The business. You know - the business. Morning business.

Yes, I'm very indelicate. Thanks for noticing.

Pro-biotics make you poo. That's a documented fact. I guess. Somewhere. Whatever - if your guts are all a mess and you need to straighten a few things out around there, I heartily recommend a daily dose of pro-biotics.

I'm right as the mail, friends. It's good times.

Chaste Tree Berry, Evening Primrose and DIM
These are the "Lady Pills" as Bubba likes to call them and I am fine with that. Because I've seen what happens when I run out of any of these and go a few days before restocking and when the time comes...bad.

Think cramps, crazy crying for almost no reason because Oh my god did you see the kids' faces with their new computers? It's the most incredible thing oh my god what's the matter with me oh it's PMS.

I get PMS if I don't take these Lady Pills consistently and daily. Good thing is that when I am good about taking these guys, I have no problems whatsoever. It's almost a...delight. No, that's too favorable of a term for that scenario. Let's say that it's...easily bearable.

Yes. Also, no crying which is good because it freaks both Bubba and I out a lot. 

I'm not really a crier.

Fish oil
Yeah. I don't remember why I'm taking these except that Omega 3s are supposed to be good for brain health and I need all the help I can get what with all the fucking math, taxonomy and chemistry my teachers are doling out this semester.

What the fuck, by the way, are farmers doing with so much math? There is no escape.

Women's Multi
I take this because the book told me to and I figure that it rounds out whatever I may, somehow, not be taking with all these other things. Plus, it's huge and I feel accomplished every day after I choke it down and don't die a horrible blech-tasting death from choking on it.

It's truly awful. All the brands. All the formulations. Like eating a squirrel turd.

This is the newest comer to the world of my Fucked Up Vitamin Sprinkles Over Breakfast lifestyle. Story goes that I worked with a girl whose hair suddenly became noticeably shiny and gorgeous. Granted, girlfriend has long black Asian girl hair that's going to look beautiful sort of no matter what, but still - it looked extra nice.

So I was all, TuTu (this is a nickname, not a real name so don't get all RACIST or whatever with me because it's cool. Promise.), how the hell does your hair look so awesome? She tells me that she's been taking biotin but watch out because it's not just your head hair that grows like wild.


And then I started taking biotin so that my highlighted hair could maybe regain some of its pre-highlight vigor.

See? Smooth on top, frizzyblech at the bottom. 6 month's worth of growth doesn't lie.

Six months later and YES. It's working. Plus, my nails are like...well...nails and I daresay my skin has never been clearer.
It delights me so to have a moment where I don't have a zit. Apparently this is my delighted face which looks very little like delight. Oh well. Personal flaw, I suppose.

That could just be my near-35ness showing though.

Also, my monthly waxing appointments have never been more crucial. Just lettin' you know - don't take that warning lightly because it means business.

So yeah - the vitamins and supplements are happening still despite the array of raised eyebrows I've gotten over the past two years.

About Crossfit...I can't believe I'm continuing to write this post right now. Ridiculous.

Crossfit is a beast, people. I'm not going to lie to you. It terrifies me. Less now than a week ago, but still - it's really not for the faint of heart.

I heard that before I joined up and I totally blew it right the hell off because "Hello, whatever, I'm totally in shape."


I was not in Crossfit shape. Not even fucking close.

Let me explain this and then that thing about being scared of it until last week...

So, you know how usually you walk into the gym or a group fitness class and there are people of all shapes and sizes and fitness levels. Like there's the plump older gal in her Jane Fonda-esque leotard doing arm circles and there are a couple of super fit looking teenager types, some folks on the lumpier side and a random dude in work boots and whatever?

Right. Yes. We've all been to an American gym class.

Crossfit is not like that. These people - all ages of people - are in the most incredible shape.

It's like they stocked the fucking place with models from the videos with the shape these people are in. There are women in their 60s in amazing physical shape - strong as god damned bulls - and women with three kids who look like they could take down a charging bear and dudes dead lifting 400 pounds and HOLY.

I was blown away. People, when they want to be, can be really bad ass.

And here I was all, "Oh, I run three days a week and do Pilates - I'm so in shape for this. Pfffffffft, Crossfit."

And then Crossfit had its way with me.

I went to the Crossfit Lite deal for a few months. (It's like a warm up for Crossfit where you do all the same workouts, but with dumb bells instead of the bar.) It was fine. I felt reasonably adequate. Then I realized that my spring school schedule wasn't going to allow me to go to those few Lite classes and that I'd better sack up and do the whole "on ramp" thing so that I could go to all the Crossfit classes.

Particularly that special little gem at 6am. Yay. Love driving to Santa Cruz every morning for 8:30 and 9am classes.

So, back to that "until a week ago" thing - until a week ago I thought I was the most inept person on the planet. I was doing the "on ramp" sessions where the coach teaches you all the moves you'll do during class so that you don't kill yourself, those around you or bring down the satellite radio with an errant kettle ball toss, and I was just not *getting* it.

Like we're going through things as simple sounding as Push Press and girlfriend is stopping to tell me to push my head through and move my feet in and out or whatever and all I can think about is why am I so dumb that I can't so something as simple as lift something over my head.

I'm thinking that I'm too dumb for Crossfit.

But then I finish my sessions and she clears me for takeoff (despite what I'm imagining are my extreme and obvious limitations) and during my second 6am session as I'm stressing out about my Cleans (I'm sorry, I'm trying to be sort of specific so forgive the annoying pretense of weightlifting parlance), another coach who's just there working out goes, "Don't worry. It takes time. Years even - to get it right."


So I'm not just supposed to know how to do this right off the bat and no one's judging me because I take five minutes to set my stance and whatever?


Would have been super nice if someone had told me that, like, two months ago.

Anyway, Crossfit is fine now and even though it scares the crap out of me and I've never been so exhausted and then so sore and then so ready to go back and see how badly I can humiliate myself in the pre-dawn hours - I'm still going.

And now you can go.


  1. The fish oil is probably for your cholesterol. I take a handful of supplements, too, but not the same. That biotin I will have to try, to see if it helps the post-meno hair loss. If you want an herbal remedy that tastes like ass, though, try valerian. It helps me sleep but I can't swallow it fast enough.

    1. Yeah, you're probably right. The blood panel I did before this whole vitamin extravaganza had some cholesterol indicators. Glad someone remembers this shit ;)

      And yes that's what I need - another pill that makes me gag. Thankssomuch.

  2. My old team mate from College owns a cross-fit gym and as you describe it's where people go to become bad ass or go home crying after trying. Perhaps I should attempt to re-enter badass mode or get some tissue for my attempt.

    1. Have you ever NOT been a badass? I feel like no. But you may become a verified super hero if you decided to Crossfit. In fact, you might be the only person I know who WOULD already be in shape for Crossfit on Day 1.

  3. You go girl! I'm terrible with supplements. I'll take them for a few days and then forget for a few months. Repeat. And I'm guessing our crossfit at our little work health center is nothing like what you're talking about 'cause we're all just outta shape old ladies LOL.

    1. Seriously - I've never seen anything like this shit at Crossfit. Everyone - young, old, women, men, kids, no kids - they're all in amazing shape. I pretty much always feel like a loser. It's very rewarding.

  4. And! Really expensive pee!

    1. Dude seriously. I'm sure I'll have a post at some point about weening my way off of as many of these supplements as I can. It's a big investment.

  5. I'm not going to tel you what physical shape I am in, but it involves a class of 60+ year olds and me not being able to keep up. Let's just say CrossFit is not in my near future.

    Thanks for the vitamin info. I take a B complex, but maybe I need just the two. I used to take a dissolving one, but stopped when I switched to the complex. I take an Ayurvedic herb called Shatavari for my lady issues. It evens me right out. It even works on my 14 year old daughter, so you know it's good.

    1. Shatavari, huh...? Will have to look into this. I, meanwhile, question my attendance at CrossFit every time I go.

  6. Oh also, now I am totally scared to take Biotin. Things are already out of control down there as it is. Also will it make my two random neck hairs grow extra fast? Because those things can go from nothing to like 3 inches in a week.

    1. I have no idea what it will do to your witchy neck hairs, but I will say that I had an eyebrow hair go totally out of control, like, overnight and that really reinforced the whole "Biotin makes your hair grow" thing.

  7. I just realized what an attractive picture I paint of myself.

    1. You and me, girl - we are hot with our weird hairs and hippie supplements.

  8. Interesting to see so many you not think you get enough from eating normal food?

    I'm delving further into CF this weekend as I take a basics course - my CF gym is still too far away to justify going to often, though.

    1. I got a blood panel done before I embarked on this madness, so I'm balancing deficiencies and taking up extra to work out the migraine situation.

      Despite a healthy diet, it turns out that it's difficult to keep things in balance. I'm hoping that through an even richer diet of mainly organic produce, few processed foods and grass fed/ naturally produced meats I can get down to just the Cal mag.

      More than you probably wanted to know, but there you go.


  9. Is there a vitamin for clearing your skin without aggressive hair growth? I've been breaking out non-stop for almost 2 years now. It's like going through a second puberty. I'm only taking women's multi vitamins now but now think I need more....
    I feel the same way about Bikram Yoga. I felt inadequate for not being able to fold my body in half and touch my forehead on my knee, among other things, and apparently it takes years of practice. Still going and I'm getting close! Ha. Why do we torture ourselves? Or is this what it takes to stay healthy and in shape as we (me more so than you) approach senior citizenship?

    1. Not that I know of, Fu. And, really, the results of the Biotin could also be the result of nixing most processed food. That's the thing - I don't know which thing does what. I can say that since I started taking Biotin, I've seen a difference in my hair (it's healthier, shinier), nails (they're hard as tits) and skin (clearer).

      I have no comment on the senior citizenship thing. I am in 100% denial.

  10. I know I was supposed to be focused on your super-clear skin in that one photo, but what I really noticed were your eyes. You have really beautiful eyes.

    Also, I would very much enjoy being able to have a dinner of alcohol and popcorn. Silly needy family, with their silly needy nutritional demands.

    1. Awww! Thanks, girlfriend - I think that's the nicest compliment I've gotten in a long time :)

      And, yes - the dog and cat barely mind when I have popcorn and cocktails for dinner. Probably because the cat loves popcorn.


  11. finberg -- I'm back on the supplement wagon. Thank you for this post. Also: I've been lifting 3 days a week for 6 months now, and guess what? I actually have muscles. And the endorphins are unbelievably good. I hope to always have time for this.

  12. You are probably not aware of Kyani products.... I have been using it for past 6 months and I really felt significant difference in me... I feel more energetic and enthusiastic.


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Look at you commenting, that's fun.

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Sucks, right?

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