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DAILY ROUTINE FOR NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

Fred Liers PhD nutritional supplements tips tricks daily routineToday I’m sharing my strategies for taking nutritional supplements in an easy,  organized way, and helping ensure you take them daily. I don’t like the word “compliance” because it implies doctor’s orders. Consider my ideas “hacks” instead, for establishing a daily routine.

My goal is making your daily supplement routine simpler. That is, a hassle free, “no brainer” routine that guarantees you take the vitamins, minerals, essential fats, and other supplements you need. At least the most important ones.

YOU NEED A DAILY ROUTINE

Getting out of the house with a good breakfast is hard enough. Nutritional supplements have a way of being forgotten first. That is, unless and until you have a system: a set of strategies for success to ensure a daily routine.

I’ve been working on my “system” for 30 years. It works for me and many others I’ve shared it with. So I’m sharing it with you. But you don’t need to adopt my system or strategies. Watch the video, take what you like, and make it your own. Craft a system that works for you.

My idea is to inspire and show you it’s possible to dummy proof your supplement regimen to never “miss a dose”—or almost never. No matter how busy you are, how rushed you feel, or how often you tend to forget things. You can do this.

FRED’S SYSTEM FOR A SUCCESSFUL DAILY SUPPLEMENT ROUTINE

1. VISIBILITY IS EVERYTHING: “WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU TAKE”

One of the most important things to consider when establishing or creating a regimen for taking supplements is to make sure your supplements are visible. That is, not hidden in a place that allows you to forget to take them. Like the bathroom. Or your garage. Bad places for supplements in general, unless you’re storing them for future use, or want them to expire.

Making your supplements visible means putting them in a place where  you can see them. Get them out of your bathroom or closet and put them in your kitchen area where you will remember to take them. Recall that nutritional supplements are “food supplements,” right?

The kitchen is best for ensuring you take your supplements. If your kitchen can’t be home to your supplements, then other visible places might include the dining area (or where you eat) or possibly your pantry (or where you keep foods). The top of the refrigerator is surely an unused shelf space you cannot miss.

Another option is keeping visible the primary supplements you take, such as multivitamins, Vitamin C, essential fats, or other high-priority supplements. Then keep less important supplements available, but not in a way that clutters counters or other spaces. By prioritizing this way, you at least ensure the visibility of your most important supplements.

The main thing: If you can see your supplements, you are far more likely to take them, and maintain your daily routine. The kitchen is an ideal place. Because if you can’t see them, you won’t take them.

2. ORGANIZE: REFRIGERATOR TOPS ARE GOOD (BUT I REPEAT MYSELF)

After your nutritional supplements are in your kitchen or in an easily accessible—and hopefully prominent place, then consider organizing them. And noted, I often suggest using the top of the refrigerator since they won’t take up counter space, yet remain visible. Other strategies for organizing and saving space are using small shelves or rotating stands, like lazy susans, as shown in the video above. Or a small basket.

If you must put your supplements away, such as inside a cabinet to save space or for aesthetic reasons, then try to use a kitchen cabinet that is central and easily accessible. And if you use a shelf, lazy susan, or basket, then set it up so you can easily reach the shelf or grab the basket.

The main thing: Keep supplements organized for quick and easy access. This smooths the process for actually taking them. You will be glad you did. Your body and mind will thank you.

3. CONTAINERIZE: CUPS & SAUCERS 101

Your supplements are visible and organized. Now what? Containerize.

Containerizing is not just for your basket or shelf of supplements. It is also for your daily doses. That is, I suggest you set your daily doses out in advance when possible. This helps simplify your day. You can “take” your vitamins without having to think too much. You can just “grab and go.”

The system I use—and demonstrate in the video—relies on small pyrex cups. You can also you small bowls or paper cups, or any small containers you like.

I use one cup per dose, and I usually break up my supplements into two doses per day (morning and early evening), so I use two cups per day.

I like pyrex cups because they stack neatly and don’t take up much counter space. They are portable, so you can pick up a cup (one dose) and carry it with you.

After your doses are prepared, set them out in a place where you will see them—like the kitchen counter or dining room table. Somewhere where you are most likely not to forget them.

The main thing: Divide your supplements into daily doses or sub-doses you can take when you’re ready. It’s much easier to take them when your doses are made in advance. You will win medals from the Supplement Compliance Club.

4. BAGS FOR TRAVEL: BAG ‘EM UP!

After your doses are set out for a day or two—or an entire week—they will be ready and waiting for you. For people who work outside the home or who are traveling, transfer your supplements to portable containers. This might be snack bags (as in my video), but it could be a special box or baggie that holds individual doses.

If I plan to travel or leave for work, I often bag my supplements and place them in my suitcase or car the night before. This ensures I don’t forget them.

For travelers in a pinch, you can put all supplements for say, a week, in a single container, and then divide them up daily. That’s not my ideal, but I’ve seen it work for people who won’t containerize every dose before traveling.

The main thing: Scientific studies prove that having your daily supplements pre-bagged improves your chances of taking them by 1000% when traveling. Pre-bagging makes getting your daily dose so easy, you can think about other things, like where you will go next.

MAINTAIN A DAILY ROUTINE

Maintain your supplement routine. Doggedly. A routine can take time to establish. After you get one started, stick to it like a bee on honey.

If you make your supplements visible, then organize, containerize, and bag them for travel, you will never miss a dose. You will guarantee compliance by implementing these simple “hacks.” Then watch as your health improves and you feel better. Like Superman or Superwoman. Be prepared to jump over buildings in a single bound. ~

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AT ISSUE: NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENT QUALITY AND PURITY

Dr. Hank Liers PhD supplement quality

The issue of nutritional supplement quality and purity has always been of great importance to Health Products Distributors, Inc. (HPDI). We entered the nutritional supplement industry in 1988 with the intention of providing the most pure and effective products possible and engaged in practices that ensured that our intentions for the highest quality and purity have been met (see below).

This issue is very important to me because on a daily basis I am dealing with the selection of ingredients, the selection and performance of our manufacturers, and the monitoring of product quality and testing.

vitamins quality purity safety

The HPDI approach emphasizes quality, minimal fillers, and good manufacturing practices (GMP).

GOOD MANUFACTURING PRACTICES (GMP) COMPLIANCE

Unfortunately, not everyone in the nutritional supplement industry did the same thing as HPDI. This has led to the industry organizations such as NPA and the FDA strengthening the good manufacturing practices (GMP) requirements and ensuring that the companies responsible for producing nutritional supplements were following the GMPs.

The issue of compliance with these GMPs is an ongoing concern. For example, in early February, the Office of the Attorney General for the state of New York sent cease and desist letters to four major US nutritional supplement retailers ordering them to stop selling seven herbal dietary supplements in their store brands.

The stores are GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart. The products are echinacea, garlic, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, saw palmetto, St. John’s Wort, and valerian root. An investigation of these products implied that several or all of the seven products tested are “either unrecognizable or a substance other than what they claimed to be, and therefore constitute contaminated or substituted products.”

The Natural Products Association (NPA) responded by letter to the Office of the Attorney General for the state of New York questioning the methodology for testing of the herbal ingredients and clearly state that federal regulations protect consumers. The link to the NPA’s letter is here.

THE HPDI APPROACH TO QUALITY SUPPLEMENTS

For the record, we provide below practices that HPDI follows to ensure that our customers are getting the most effective supplements available. To accomplish this goal, we focus our expertise on the following areas:

Building a Line of Supplements Based on Strong Basic Research and Clinical Studies

  1. Formulas carefully designed to include ingredients demonstrated to be effective in clinical trials and research studies.
  2. Formulas balanced across the product line, so that consumers do not get either an excessive amount of any ingredient or an inadequate amount of important substances known to be important for balance in the body.
  3. Avoidance of a “shotgun” approach in formulation in which every possible ingredient known to be useful for a condition is included in a product. This approach often leads to imbalances in an overall supplement program.
  4. We maintain knowledge of latest nutritional research and clinical studies, and also maintain strong personal contacts with knowledgeable authorities in the field. We improve our formulas whenever possible.

The Highest-Purity, Highest-Quality Ingredients

  1. HPDI uses only the purest ingredients available (often USP or Pharmaceutical grades) and we specify a guaranteed or standardized potency whenever possible.
  2. Raw materials are obtained from reliable suppliers dedicated to providing the highest-quality ingredients.
  3. Our products are designed not to target price points, but to achieve the best results. For example, we choose whenever possible to use coenzyme forms of vitamins in our formulas that may cost ten times more than the usual forms used by vitamin manufacturers. Coenzyme forms of vitamins are the forms that are used in the body and are usually found in food.
  4. Use of the nutrient carriers best recognized and utilized in the body. We avoid sulfates, chlorides, carbonates, and oxides. As appropriate, we use Krebs cycle bionutrients (citrates, alpha ketoglutarates, succinates, fumarates, and malates), amino acid chelates (arginates, glycinates, aspartates, lysinates, etc.), and body-specific carriers (picolinates, polynicotinates, etc.).
  5. Giving the body options by providing multiple mineral carriers. For example, we often use both Krebs cycle and amino acid carriers.
  6. Formulating and packaging products that contain fatty acids to best protect them from oxidation both in the bottle and in the body. This may include the use of a gelcap, Vitamin E, ascorbyl palmitate (fat-soluble Vitamin C), rosemary, or a coated tablet to keep out moisture and oxygen.
  7. Our manufacturers generally include desiccants in the bottles of capsules and tablets in order to retain freshness.

Minimizing or Eliminating Unnecessary Fillers, Carriers, Excipients, Food Antigens, Preservatives, Coloring Agents, and Other Additives.

  1. Exclusion of wheat, gluten, corn, dairy, eggs, yeast, simple sugars, preservatives, artificial colorings, and artificial flavorings in our products.
  2. Exclusion (with just a few necessary exceptions) of rice, rye, barley, oats, soy, tomatoes, wax, and salicylates.
  3. Exclusion of dicalcium phosphate, rice powder, or synthetic fillers such as povidone. When absolutely necessary, we only allow USP grade microcrystalline cellulose as a filler.
  4. Avoidance of all lubricants with the exception of magnesium stearate, stearic acid or ascorbic palmitate in small amounts (less than 2%) when necessary for successful manufacturing of tablets or in some cases capsules.

The following link provides additional information on our approach to the excipients we allow in the HPDI products – HPDI Statement on Excipients

Working with Experienced and Trustworthy Manufacturers and Suppliers

  1. We conduct business only with manufacturing companies that are trustworthy, understand HPDI’s philosophy and approach to product formulation, pay close attention to our guidelines, and have excellent reputations for using “good manufacturing practices” (GMPs).
  2. We have worked with many of our manufacturers for over 10 years. For any new manufacturers we work with, an intense education program is engaged in that quickly brings them up to date concerning our demands for high-quality products.
  3. HPDI products are produced by manufacturers of superior-quality supplements following FDA manufacturing guidelines and who have cGMP certifications from the most demanding certifiers such as NSF and NPA.

In conclusion, I want to assure you that HPDI is continually monitoring the quality of the products we provide to our customers and improving them in any way possible!!