disclaimer: i am not a healthcare professional so do NOT take any of this as such. please talk with your healthcare professional before making decisions and changes. also, this is a recounting of my wonderful experience with Phil and subject to me forgetting details (because brains).
… not just ANY one… i talked to THE nutritionist for all of Whole Foods (he’s since quit). he sourced their supplements section and was the main advisor. he joked that he had “some letters behind his name” and that “some people gave [him] some pieces of paper” to say he completed some stuff. this guy was a trip! he was retired and was working at Sprouts because he knew the store manager and just really loved health and helping people. talk about a GEM!
let me back up a bit.
boy alex and i were visiting atlanta for work-related things, and we stopped at Sprouts to stock up on our “vitamins.” a really nice guy named Phil stopped by to let us know that he’s more than happy to help us with supplements. boy alex was actually looking for something topical for his hair, and once google failed us, we went to find Phil.
Phil’s face lit up as he talked about a hair supplement for boy alex. one of the first things he imparted was we were in the supplements section, and the vitamins were in the fresh produce area. that’s pretty much the moment i *swooned.* he then advised nothing topical for hair, and to heal from the inside out. he knew of ONE high-quality supplement that cancer patients take to help regrow hair after chemo, and it’s in such high demand that you can’t really find it in stores… and for now, only his Sprouts store carries it in atlanta (i think because he’s riding off his reputation with the supplier). to put things into perspective, he said ordered 18 cartons and they sent him 4 boxes. Four. it was this for anyone that’s wondering (notice it’s out of stock). they have a “for men” version as well.
he then looked at boy alex and said he could probably use some iron, because even though he’s darker-skinned, you can see the circles under his eyes (not bags), and if it wasn’t genetics, he could try fixing his diet to see if it helped.
then what he did next made me feel like the biggest idiot, but in a good way, because i was schooled. he pointed directly to the Garden of Life Raw Iron and said, in so many words, – never this. don’t ever buy this brand. it’s trash. you can’t even get their certificates of analysis.
he then looked around and said, “don’t tell my boss i’m telling you not to buy store products” with a sly grin.
remember when i made a whole post dedicated to garden of life? let’s take a moment to laugh at me… and also to remember my disclaimer.
for iron, he recommended the Floradix liquid supplement. he said it was one of the only ones that truly bolstered iron levels and wasn’t contaminated. we wanted the tablet version since we were traveling a few days later. he said the tablets are fine, too.
he was about to thank us and be on his way, but, enamored as i was, i quickly asked him for help on an omega supplement and a multi-vitamin supplement.
he stopped me and said i don’t need a multi if i’m eating a plant-based diet with at least one colorful salad a day. and on top of that, no meat, no dairy, and no sugar.
i will say Phil looks like he’s in his early 50s, but he divulged that’s he’s SEVENTY-FOUR. in any case, if we did still want a multi, he suggested Bluebonnet… and that is the only brand he suggests for multis or any other vitamin supplement. i imagine that maybe if asked about a specific one, he might have tailored suggestions, but i feel this was more of a blanket statement to help guide us.
i agreed with the no dairy and no meat and told him i was vegan (way for me to fulfill stereotypes, right?) to see if he had any tips. he made it very clear i need to watch my B vitamins and iron intake, which i agreed with.
for algae-based omegas (and i quote – “why do you think the fish are high in omegas? they eat the algae! just get it from the source! *head shake*), his sole recommendation was Nordic Naturals. he said they’re not contaminated, had high levels of DHA & EPA, and you can look up their certificates of analysis easily on your own.
as we were about to walk away, he noticed i was holding a probiotic – my beloved Fem-Dophilus (who just went all vegan, people!) – and he approved. one gold star for me!
after we said our thank you’s and goodbyes, he chased us down with coupons.
“Don’t ever forget coupons! This is like a disease to me! Here, take them!”
summed up, here were his recommendations:
- plant-based diet. no meat. no dairy. no sugar.
- watch iron and B vitamin intake; supplement
- a colorful salad a day keeps the multi-vitamins away
- NOTHING from Garden of Life, period.
- Nordic Naturals for algae-derived omegas (not fish)
- Floradix liquid iron (they also have tablets)
- Bluebonnet for any other supplement needs
- we opted for this multi
- Reserveage Organics Keratin Booster to help with hair growth and shedding
if i ever get the absolute pleasure of seeing Phil again, i’d LOVE to pick his brain on supplements like mushroom and herb extracts. and when i say “if” i definitely mean “when.”
do you see any brands you have? have any of you gotten recommendations from a nutritionist? please share their wisdom! we’ll all keep in mind that it’s not the end-all-be-all 🙂