Green Goodness: Spirulina

by Ashley on June 12, 2012

Mmmmm… this coffee is so good. There is nothing better than waking up to a coffee aroma flowing through the house; that smell gets me out of the bed every time.

Good morning! How are ya? Tuesday, again? In less than one month I will start my internship at the Mayo Clinic! My, oh my…so much to learn!

Yesterday was a very productive day. We may have found a place to live, we were able to make one step forward in completing our personal training (well more like, athletic training) certifications (more on that and what we want to do with them another day), and I was able to fit in an evening yoga class too. Pretty good day to me.

Anyway, after talking to you about coconuts a few days ago, today, I decided that it would just be mean of me not to share another one of my new favorite things.

Let me first say, I am sooo not a supplement girl. Sometimes I wish I was: it would be so easy. But there is just something about the “Pop this pill and you will get all of your nutrients in one swallow!” that just doesn’t seem right to me.  As stated in my last post and my mom’s famous words, “if something seems too good to be true, it usually is.”

I actually think it’s the development of the multi-vitamin that got Americans into trouble in the first place. Eat whatever you want, but take this “One-A-Day” and you are golden.

No. Way.

A multi-vitamin is, as one of my nutrition professors described it, like an insurance card. Have it, hold it, but use it only if you have. Eat a well balanced diet first, and then let a multi step in a fill any gaps.

Sometimes the husband and I go back and forth on the great supplement debate. It’s not that Dustin thinks that supplements are an end-all be-all but as a former professional athlete, he was taught supplementation most likely from his very first tee-ball coach all the way up through the professional organization.

Dustin and I had a few nutrition classes together when he was returning after finishing his baseball career.  I remember the day that one of our professors “downgraded” protein shakes and Dustin was more than willing to battle his case.  For his sake, it was understandable.  As a minor league baseball player, traveling from city to city, hotel to hotel, for a guy that eats healthy, the Waffle House ‘Steak and Cheese’ just wasn’t going to cut it.  He felt that a whey protein shake, banana, and trail mix would be the better option. I agree. So for some, supplementation is best, for others, it’s extremely unnecessary.

Even though I do mix up protein shakes occasionally after a hard workout, I currently don’t use in many other forms of supplementation. I used to be the vitamin box girl: multi, fish oil, calcium + magnesium, and whatever I felt necessary at the time.  Throughout time, I decided that my diet was extremely healthy and that all this supplementation was a waste of money: good insurance, yes, but necessary? I didn’t feel so.  Using actual true, whole foods, to me, will always be best.  Without taking a multi, it makes me feel responsible for getting in all of my daily nutrients, however that may be. Even B12: I can get through nutritional yeast, so I choose that over anything else for the time being. 

(Please remember that everyone is different. A multi-vitamin may be unnecessary for some but absolutely vital for others. Always refer to your physician for personal situations and questions.)

If were talking “natural supplementation” and using foods to heal, like I said, let me introduce you to one of my new favorites.

Say hello to Spirulina.

You’re thinking I’ve gone mad, right? So does the hubs.

That was until I put it in his protein shake and it was love at first sip, well once he learned of all of the goodness that spirulina contains.

As I mentioned a thousand times on this blog, for some ridiculous reason my face waited until my twenties to breakout. So instead of having acne with all the other kids in my tenth grade math class, I now get to deal with it as a mid-twenties wife. Lovely, huh? Not so much.  The same reader that mentioned to me that coconut oil helped cure her skin, also mentioned to me that she thinks it was the two, coconut oil and Spirulina together that did the trick. That’s when my own research began.

As a nutrition junkie, I’ve always heard the word Spirulina used on shows like Doctor Oz or maybe reading in a magazine, but as a nutrition student, we never learned of anything of it.  We are taught only what has been talked about for years and years. Even though Spirulina HAS BEEN around for years and years, since it isn’t apart of the mainstream SAD (standard American diet), it isn’t taught.  To me, that isn’t right. We should be taught about things like nutritional yeast, chia seeds, hemp seeds, maca powder, Spirulina, etc. but we aren’t and that’s unfortunate. It takes doing our own research to understand these foods and the benefits of them.

With that being said, I want to share with you a little more about what I have learned about this superfood.

Spirulina is a blue-green algae found deep within our oceans, fresh waters, and natural springs. It contains protein, B-vitamins, iron, and omega 3s. I thought this was interesting: the reason some fish contain omega 3s is because they eat this algae.  While research is far from complete, Spirulina is being looked at for its effects on the immune system, inflammation, and infections (any many other things!).

Pretty good stuff, right?!

If you want to know even more, check out this article about Spirulina over at Natural News.

Also, it is highly important that you purchase a reputable brand of Spirulina because some sources are highly contaminated (Again, you can order yours here (contaminate free), using my VitaCost referral link, if you wish.).

Anyways, have a blessed Tuesday!

Good health!

Courtney (@court_chiasson) June 12, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I’m so so excited that you are posting about coconut oil and Spirulina. It’s not every day that people take my advice when it comes to health stuff (my credibility comes from research I’ve done on my own and Dr. Mercola), so I really appreciate you, with your background and upcoming Mayo internship, posting this to tell people “yes, this stuff is worth trying and your multivitamin is like the placebo pill of supplements.”

My husband starts laughing at me when I’ve gotten excited that you mentioned what I said about CO and Spirulina, but I’m so happy that somebody actually took the time to look them up and KNOW their benefits!

Can’t wait to read about how they’re working for you!

Good luck in Jax!

Ashley Harper Evans June 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm

I cannot thank you enough for reaching out 🙂 I’ll keep you posted! Thank you!!

Frank Jones June 12, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Man I love that Spirrrlina stuff. I mix it right up with a cold cola and wash it on down with some sauteed french fries. I use the coconut oil though so they healthy. I know i ain’t the healthiest son of a gun out there but when I mix up the Spirrrlina with a dr. thunder and have coconut oil fries, i’m livin the dream. You go girl!!

Ashley Harper Evans June 12, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Haha Mr. Jones,

I’m very happy to hear that you too enjoy “spirrrlina” in your colas and even toss your fries in a little coconut oil. Baby steps, right? Sounds to me like you are close to becoming one of the “healthiest son of a guns” there are. Keep livin’ the dream!

Ashley

Shankar June 13, 2012 at 2:55 am

Nice post, Ashley. Keep up the good work!

Ashley Harper Evans June 13, 2012 at 3:18 am

Thank you, Dr. Shankar! All thanks to you!!

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