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Supplements seem like everyday household items these days. In fact it has come to be a multi billion dollar market and still growing. There are many kinds of ways to supplement the body and the mind. What about the soul? The soul I will save for last for it is intrinsically related to both the body and mind. Let’s begin with “why” we supplement. There are many reasons why we do so such as, staying young, virility, strength and stamina to name a few. There’s some that are primarily for women’s issues such as beauty, menopause and weight loss. In our country alone the desire to stay fit and be beautiful is not only an issue it is a necessity for so many woman’s self esteem. The women in America especially put so much pressure upon themselves to be “perfect”. What “that is” varies upon the socio-economic demographics, ethnicity, upbringing and even education which can influence their thinking as a whole. Many of us realize after a certain age there are some factors that can’t be changed such as inherent genes that make us almost predestined to disease. The good news is that research also shows that with a healthy lifestyle, diet and certain supplements, women can change their life expectancy. Although this is true there’s never a guarantee with supplements and for that matter modern medicine.

So what is it that makes us be part of billion dollar a year industry? Is it vanity or survival? Flight or fight that clicks are brains into believing. I personally believe that like so many things in our lives it is based upon the way we think and feel about ourselves and what we want others to perceive. The arena of supplementation is not new. In fact, since the turn of time we have been supplementing ourselves. There are many familiar items such as fish oil at present, as opposed to a good swig of grandma’s cod liver oil(Nor was it was super charged, flavorful and definitely not easy to swallow). Now a days they make it so easy to get your supplement from flavored gummy bears to some that melt in your mouth. So where do you begin? I will break it down the best way I can. First, and foremost is quality. This can vary from where you buy it to how its packaged. One good rule of thumb is the bottle itself. The bottle is best to be dark to keep light from damaging the contents. Older more established companies use glass bottles. They are a little more costly but, all in all, it shows integrity in the manufacturer as well as cost. You can tell a lot from how much the company invests in it’s own products which provides quality assurance to the customer. There are lots of mass marketers that will sell you anything that’s become popular.

The second issue is what are you getting and exactly how much. You have to be half scientist to figure it all out. The truth is research doesn’t hurt. Especially with all the access to it and its availability in the world. There are many examples. For instance the supplement of turmeric or is it curcumin? The fact of the matter is that turmeric contains curcumin. The standard amount should be 95% in about 1000mg. So yes, you have to know facts. We just hear of one fad after another like in any other industry. That is how money is made… by hyping up whoever the new guy is. What about side effects and interactions with food or drink and medicines. Yes, it is confusing and it’s a “lot to swallow”. The best thing to do besides research is to consult your physician and ask around. If its a popular one, chances are there’s bound to be others using or trying it. You can also consult a nutritionist.

After a while you’ll put it all together along with your good old radar… your intuition. Just like anything, breaking it down into parts will make it somewhat easier. You must feed the body with nutrition. Think of what we are lacking. This should help you identify if you need certain basic supplements such as a multi vitamin. Next, we take it to a more personal level and identify family medical history and results from bloodwork or medical testing. The last part of the equation is optimizing your life and goals. These can be the first to go when you apply a budget and the first to add when you are starting a new regimen like bodybuilding, a diet, preparing for a marathon or even studying for a class.

Now for the “soul”, a very different kind of supplementing. For example, it can be anything that sparks the mind and heart. It can be from relaxation to invigoration. Things like art, music, meditation and prayer to singing and dancing. Whatever it may be it must feed the soul on some positive level. If you don’t have a passion it’s time to get one! Life can be great but, it’s
definitely what you put into it to get it that way and keep it there. We must learn to enjoy the little things in life and MAKE time to do it.
Just like our minds and bodies need support and nourishment, so does one’s soul. So dust off your tennis racquet, adopt a pet, go to the opera, share time with someone that makes you feel good.
Rent a sailboat, watch the waves rolling in during a sunset or get out some paint and be creative. “The soul is not problem to be solved, its meant to be nourished(Thomas Moore)”.

In conclusion, the whole concept of supplementation is “to add to”, keeping that in mind adding to anything is going to be some work, however, if its done properly it will be worth it all in the end. If we stay true to ourselves and be sensitive to our own needs instead of just buying something because it’s popular, inexpensive or mass marketed. All in all to be in tune with our bodies we must utilize our minds while all the while nourishing the soul. Find your own solutions to your own issues from health to happiness. The good news is by using the right regimen you can enhance the quality of your life. Is that not what we all strive for? Transformation? Transforming our body, mind and soul is the key to not only a better lifestyle, but preventing potentially life threatening diseases, changing your predisposition to them and optimizing your potential are just some of what can be achieved by proper supplementation. “Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.” ~B.K.S. Iyengar

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