I was very late to this particular party that is for sure.
I am a child of the 60s and that makes me a young adult of the 80’s and pretty much in very many silly little ways I sorta stayed there. Because when I look around, especially with food choices, eating habits and even my cookbooks – I hadn’t really moved along with the times.
Delia Smith is still on my bookshelf. In fact if I were to categorise my approach to food – I think it is anchored firmly into what my Mum used to do and pretty much she did what Mr Beaton did! I bought in to the theme that the old ways aren’t old fashioned nonsense, those old girls knew how to cook no nonsense food, without a tonne of additives and they did it on a budget – what’s not to admire?
But I have been remiss in not looking at new trends because not all that is new is harmful or silly.
So my 1980’s self hadn’t explored much in terms of supplements, indeed, if asked, I would have thought you were talking about vitamin pills.
My introduction to a supplements, started when I began exercising. I had started the gym regime, weight training and it was very hard going – trying to rebuild my pathetic musculature after it had been ravaged by Graves Disease, age and laziness was honestly, a monstrous up hill battle. Weight training hurt! And as I started reading up on the routine I should follow, I came across several articles talking about the usefulness for the over 50s of adding extra protein to the diet
This was a new concept to me, my husband had trained and run a marathon and he had done it with the help of a ‘Maxi Muscle’ programme – during that time, and I had tried ‘Maxi-Muscle’ Sculptress formula and found it didn’t suit me at all – in fact whey and casein based products did awful things to my sensitive digestion and weren’t something I could handle , but I did recognise that upping the protein intake didn’t have to mean a life eating none stop chicken. So I decided to search out if there were any non whey/casein based protein additives I might try and happily I came across a vegan blend from the My Protein people – and I was very very pleased with how gentle it was and how easy to use.
But it was whilst searching this out I came across a whole host of supplements – some I had heard of vaguely and others, not at all – but bouyed by my Vegan Blend powder find, I decided I would invest some cash and try out some of these other powders.
What shocked me was that they weren’t difficult to get my hands on – easily available in Holland and Barratt, online was awash with them, but then so was my supermarket – where had I been????????
Feel free to tell me of any I have missed that you think I should try – because I’m game!! These were the ones I tried – Spirulina, Maca Powder, Baobab Powder, Acai Powder, Raw Organic Cacoa Powder and Supergreens Superfood
First off, they aren’t exactly cheap, so I was on a bit of splurge but not everyone is going to want to buy them all I appreciate so I thought it was useful to say what they bring to the table in terms of nutrient value, flavour value & versatility.
1 Green Origins Spirulina I won’t lie, I don’t like the taste. I’m also a tad scared of it because whilst it comes as a champion product for anyone with an under active thyroid condition – it works contra indicative with an over active condition (a la moi) – because I have been in remission for a year I decided a little would be worth a try and so I keep it to a minimum, no more than twice a week; and as a consequence I use less than maybe suggested, and I don’t think that is such a bad thing – little goes a long way, indeed there is research that suggests you absolutely can get too much of a good thing. It is however a powerhouse product, packed with nutrients, however, many suppliers suggest it provides a supply of Vit B12 but that is something of a misnomer apparently.
2. Maca Powder I went for Naturya as a supplier because it was easily available at Holland & Barratt and seemed to be in the middle range in terms of price – having no basis for comparison I decided to take the middle ground. I’m not keen on the flavour. It gives smoothies a slightly bitter, slightly grainy texture. It can however be successfully used in both sweet & savoury smoothies , but I prefer to keep it to the sweet ones where I think it works best. I don’t get the malty flavour. It is touted as a hormone balancer, energiser and will help libido. Not exactly convinced about all this to be honest and whilst it is a good source of vitamin C – I am not convinced this is one that I will buy again, because I think some of the others are more versatile, and cover the same ground
3.Naturya Acai Powder Ouch this one is expensive! However, I love it. It is dark royal purple powder has a berry like taste and I was instantly sold on making an ‘Acai Bowl’ which I have to restrict myself with because I’d eat it all the time because it’s gorgeous – so on that basis alone, 20 quid or not, I know I will buy this stuff again. It also has a good pedigree – it’s a stress busting anti oxidant food that is high in B vitamins, and E and fatty acids. Yep this one is a keeper.
4.Aduna Baobab Fruit Powder This is berry-like to my taste buds but not unpleasant. This is high in fibre and vit c and I prefer it to the Maca to be honest even though it is more expensive. It is another one that is meant to boost energy and assist with the immune system – not sure about that but it is one I will persevere with for a little while. I think it blends better than Maca.
5.Raw Cacao Actually I wouldn’t rightly care if this had no nutrient value whatsoever because it’s usefulness in terms of flavour and cooking speaks for itself – its chocolate gone healthy!! So it is going to stay in my grocery basket forever. However, as the real deal it does have nutrient qualities so honestly this is a no brainer.
6. Amazing Grass Superfood– yes it’s pricey, however, this is the first superfood supplement I tried and I was sold almost from the get go. I read comments on the Amazing Grass website, and I thought to myself have they written these themselves???? too good to be true came to mind – but in very little time I was completely won over. Because there was no doubt, I felt so much more energised when taking this, in a glass of almond milk or in a banana smoothie – it tastes nice once you get used to it ( I like the one infused with cacao – very nice) – but honestly I feel marvellous when I am taking it regularly. In fact I would say that as I was introducing myself to the newer powders above, I was taking less of this one, however I felt I was losing out – and started adding it back in again.
The fact is that since I have been following my H Plan I am becoming a reinvigorated woman – it isn’t just the exercise, but it is good to be moving more freely again. But feeling energised, and looking a whole lot better in myself too – someone actually said as much just yesterday. How fab is that?
I can’t guarantee you feel like me – but if you’re lacklustre, maybe trying just one might just give you the pep back you’re looking for.
And as for those 1980’s vitamin pills – well I give them a wide birth these days, all excepting Vit D – that is really a little hero boost in a tiny capsule.
check out the latest video on you tube about my excursion into superfood city!!!