Healthy living products are everywhere, but I've narrowed down the best and brightest for my life. I use all of these products myself and for my family. Many of them I've used for years and years. Without fail, they've been consistent, reliable and high quality.
It's easy to spend a lot of money on supplements, natural skin care and kitchen necessities - so I hope this narrows things down for you a bit if you're in the market for something for yourself or your family.
3 Groups of Healthy Living Products I Love
This list may change from time to time, but right now, these are my staples when it comes to:
- Skin Care
- Kitchen Necessities
Dietary Supplements That Have Changed My Life
I used to think that if a person ate a clean, whole foods diet - with plenty of vegetables, fruits, health fats and protein - they would not need to supplement with anything.
Wow! Have I changed.
Given the way most food is produced today, it's nearly impossible to get all the nutrition you really need just from food. You have to supplement with a few basics.
Everyone is different when it comes to the supplements they need. The supplements below are what I take given my diet - which is, in my opinion, very good. That said, I still need these supplements to feel my best. Could I take more? Yes, but I found that these provide the basic level of support for my body.
I take 5 different supplements. Here they are:
1 - Magnesium Glycinate
Magnesium helps our body with hundreds of different metabolic functions, but is lacking on both diet and our bodies in many people.
Even though I know all the supplements I take are great for my body, I love this one because of the improvements its made with my digestion. I am not exaggerating when I say this supplement has been life changing for me for that reason alone.
The better I digest foods, the more nutrients I absorb and the more energy I have.
Magnesium benefits in a lot of different ways, including:
- Bone strength
- Muscular endurance
- Mental health
- Cardiovascular health
- Blood pressure
- Digestion and Constipation
This supplement will forever be my #1 supplement for making sure digestion. It’s also great for relaxation. Everyone is different, but the average person is very likely deficient to some extent, which could make stress less manageable and digestion less cooperative. Personally, I take 400mg twice a day – in the morning and in the evening.
There are several types of magnesium out there. I find magnesium glycinate is the easiest on my gut.
These are the two brands I’ve used and trust:
2 - Vitamin C
I take Vitamin C everyday. Despite the fact that I likely get from my diet and it’s loaded with vegetables, I still supplement every morning. Our body can only absorb small amounts of Vitamin C, so there really is no need to go overboard. That said, I notice a difference, especially with my skin, if I stop taking Vitamin C. After all, Vitamin C does play well with collagen, so that’s no surprise.
I don't go overboard with Vitamin C
A few benefits of Vitamin C include:
- Improved immune function
- Improved skin tone and texture
- Cardiovascular health
- Eye strength
This is the Vitamin C I take:
NOTE: Keep in mind, your body can only absorb a little bit of vitamin C at one time. You absolutely do not need to take more than 250mg of vitamin C per serving. If you take a little bit more, it won't hurt you, but it won't do you any good either unless you need to relieve constipation, in which case you'd have to take high doses of vitamin C for hours.
But if you're constipated, consider supplementing with Magnesium Glycinate - problem solved!
3 - D3/K2 For Strong Bones, Brain Health and Metabolic Function
If you want stronger bones, you need a lot more than just calcium. Calcium alone is preferential to soft tissue. That means without a couple other much-needed co-factors, calcium will work its way into places like your arteries, but not into your bones. The presence of vitamin K2 helps to prevent the calcification of arteries. Read that again. It's really important.
In order to get calcium into your bones, you need adequate amounts of vitamins D3 and K2 working together.
As mentioned above, D3/K2 help to improve bone health by moving calcium into the bones, and not soft tissue.
Since calcium is found in a variety of foods, not just dairy, it's important for us all to know.
Yes, dairy does contain small amounts of K2, but not enough to do the work to move calcium where it needs to go. We used to get plenty of K2 in our diets before the modernization of food production, but not anymore.
These are the two varieties I use:
- NOW Vitamin D3 & K2 Liposomal Spray (Note: I like this because it’s convenient to spray and go. I also use this variety for my son, who is very young and can’t swallow pills. It does contain xylitol, a sugar alcohol. Some people are more sensitive than others.
- NOW Mega D3 & MK7 Capsules
- MAX Absorption D3 + K2: This is the one I use most frequently. I just add a drop to my fish oil (below) in the morning and I'm done with it.
4 - Probiotics
Probiotics provide beneficial bacteria in our gut, which helps to boost our immune system, improve digestion and even lift our mood. That said, the most important thing when selecting a probiotic is choosing one that is well researched. I recommend buying a probiotic that states the specific strain on the package.
The benefits of probiotics affect just about every part of our body, you just don't realize it:
- Gut health
- Immune health
- Immune support
- Regulate body weight
Yup! Probiotics can do all that because when our body's "ecosystem" is clean, we operate better. Think of probiotics as soldiers that work to fight off all the garbage that can affect your body - from your brain to your gut to your skin.
These are the probiotics I’ve used and have benefitted from:
- Jarrow Jarro-Dophilus EPS (for me)
- Renew Life Ultimate Flora (if I need extra support)
- Culturelle Kids Chewables (for my kids)
5 - Fish Oil
Omega-3 fatty acids are badly needed by our bodies, including our brains. Beyond the anti-inflammatory benefits, I take fish oil, specifically, cod liver oil, every day. Since my kids were babies, we started them on 1 teaspoon every morning. The liquid form is what we still use. When I travel, I prefer to bring capsules as no one wants a jar of fish oil letting loose on their clothes.
Fish oil has a lot of great benefits, including:
- Inflammation support
- Improved memory
- Improved blood pressure
- Healthier skin
Just about everything comes down to inflammation. If you have a lot of inflammation in your body, everything is affected, from blood pressure to skin to joints - even brain health.
Bottom line: we don't get enough omega-3s in our body, and need to get more. A little bit of omega-3 fatty acids goes a long way, so more is not necessarily better, but regular supplementation is best!
This is what I recommend:
- Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil plus D (note: I take this in the fall/winter months)
- Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil (note: I take this in the spring/summer months)
- Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil Capsules (note: for travel)
The Best Natural Skin Care Products
I don't go overboard with my skin care, but what I do use, I really love. I could go on and on about skin care this and that, but these are the three staples that will always be in my medicine cabinet. These are the 3 I swear by!
I really love this line because it’s both functional and natural – and of course, it works on my skin. Of the entire line, I’ve used quite a few products, but swear by these two.
1 - High Performance Glycolic Acid Blend: This glycolic acid blend is really nice. It’s not too strong and doesn’t make your face feel like it’s on fire. You’ll definitely feel it’s activated shortly after you apply it. I use this product once a week before bedtime. It’s great for clogged pores and gentle exfoliation.
2 - Evening Rich Nutritional Moisturizer: After the glycolic acid blend is absorbed, I apply an even layer of this moisturizer. A true testament of a good moisturizer is how skin looks and feels in the morning. It’s rich, but not goopy. And I never feel like it’s clogging my pores or making my skin greasy.
As a company, I really like InstaNatural. Their products are both affordable and a great quality. I like to use simple ingredients on my skin when it comes to skin care, which is why I love this one absolute go-to if you want to protect your skin from the elements, while maintaining moisture.
3 - Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E: All three of these nutrients do a great job protecting your skin from the elements. Vitamin C and E provide antioxidant protection, and Hyaluronic Acid helps to maintain a moisture balance in your skin (think fine lines). I apply this to my face every morning under daily moisturizer.
Kitchen Necessities Everyone Should Have
These are the staples I have in my kitchen. I love them. Most I use every single day. I don’t really like to have a bunch of “gadgets for the sake of having gadgets” around my kitchen, so I’ve tried to keep the list to the bare minimum of what I just can’t do without.
- KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Food Processor: I have a family of five, and I use this mini food processor. It’s all I need and it doesn’t take up too much space.
- Vitamix 5300 Blender: I’ve had this blender for going on three years and I think I’ve used it, on average, twice a day. My diet, and my kids’ diets consist of a lot of smoothies. If you have children, you might also appreciate how important it is not to have clumps that get caught in straws in a smoothie. My Vitamix handles this. And it keeps on going!
- KitchenAid Hand Blender: This little handy hand blender is what I use when I need to blend up soups when they’re on the stove. I sometimes like to puree up vegetables a bit, or blend in a thickener that looks like it’s getting a bit lumpy. Keeping hot stuff on the stove, and blending at the same time is a necessity.
- KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer: I used my old KitchenAid for at least 13 years, which was a hand-me-down after my mom used it for 10. I finally laid it to rest and picked up this one. Another standard classic my kitchen can’t do without.
- Omega J8004 Juicer: If you like to juice, you’ll love this. I’ve had my masticating Omega for probably 7 years now. Despite the fact that it’s stained with turmeric, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I researched juicers for a long time, and really feel like I made a solid decision.
- Hiware Stainless Steel Metal Straws: I used to buy plastic straws for my kids, but can’t do it anymore. Too much plastic ends up in our oceans. This is one of the small things I can do to ensure my family minimizes the problem as much as possible.
- Modern Kitchen Reusable Baggies: I’ve used resuable bags for 4+ years for my kids lunches, etc. I prefer this brand. When I’m not using them for lunches, I’m using them for storing vegetables or sauces in the fridge. Plus, no need to waste plastic bags!
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