I’ve been on my new healthy eating and proper supplementation regimen for MTHFR for over two weeks now and I’m feeling great. The first days were a little rough, feeling like I had very slight flu-like symptoms, I guess as my body began to detox. But it’s been smooth sailing since then.
The funny thing about food preferences is the way we perceive taste and desire. I know I’ve fallen into the trap of craving fast food, junk food or sweets that I know I shouldn’t eat. But it tastes so good, I would think to myself. I have to have it. And then afterwards I would feel like garbage – pretty much always the feeling after having, say, a fast food burger and fries. We think we crave and then reach for bad choices because it’s what we’re used to. But when you start eating healthy you feel so much more vibrant and eventually you start to crave those good-for-you foods instead of the junk.
Healthy food just tastes better. As my husband and I sit down for meal after meal of delicious organic, locally sourced food, including more vegetables, lean protein and fruits, we are constantly commenting on how delightful everything tastes. At first we were both worried about what we would be able to eat (he wants to lose some weight so he’s decided to just eat what I eat) and that we would feel deprived. But it has been wonderful because now we are feeling better and actually love the taste of the food we are eating. I never, ever crave junk any more.
Not that this is an inexpensive lifestyle. I expect that we spend 20-30% more on organic, hormone-free, antibiotic-free foods and gluten-free items. It is definitely cheaper and easier to eat unhealthy food. That is a sad reality and one that, I think, keeps too many people from experiencing optimum health. But money isn’t everything. You can’t always get your health back once it’s taken a turn for the worse. Sadly, many of the health problems facing us today are caused by companies and governments taking cost-cutting measures. So being vigilant and proactive has become more important than ever.
We still have a long way to go as a household towards maximizing our nutrition. I plan to buy a juicer and start making fresh, raw juices at home. I was saddened to find how much sodium comes in something as simple as bottled tomato juice. We lived in Norway for a year before moving back to the United States in May and, not that I am saying I want to go back there, but I didn’t worry as much about what was on the grocery store shelves as I do here in the US. I used to purchase a lovely, pure tomato juice there, for example, that didn’t have any added salt. I’m sure I can find something similar here but why bother when I can control what goes into my juice on my own?
Supplements have been a bit of another story with regards to regulating what and how much I need. The three primary vitamin supplements I have added are Folate (the bioactive form of B9, L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate), B12 as methylcobalmin and B6 from pyridoxal 5’ –phosphate. I get most of my daily dosage of this from a prenatal called NeevoDHA that was prescribed to me by a doctor. I add in additional B 6, 9 and 12 from high-quality supplements. Neevo isn’t covered by our insurance though and, at $140 a month, isn’t something I want to continue with because it is not a complete supplement for pregnancy. So I will be switching to a different prenatal when this month is over.
The difficulty with establishing a personal protocol for how much of the active B vitamins you need begins with the fact that nobody wants to tell you how much you should be taking because it’s different for everyone. Some people have other issues that mean they shouldn’t follow a methylated vitamin B protocol at all right off the bat. So far I haven’t noticed any issues with the B vitamins but I am paying attention every day to how I’m feeling. I also take some other beneficial (for me) supplements like Vitamin C, D, E, zinc, magnesium, riboflavin 5’-phosphate, selenium, CoQ10, curcumin, krill oil and milk thistle. I tried taking N-acetyl cysteine but after a couple of weeks it made me really tired so I cut that out. If you have any negative reactions to any methylated vitamins, it’s important to stop and do additional genetic testing. Other mutations can be at play and there is more to methylation than just MTHFR.
It’s impossible to see the benefits of supplementation in such a short period of time. By the time I see the doctor at the end of August I hope to be able to see some results from my supplementation and be able to evaluate with her how I’m doing with that. With regards to the dietary changes I’ve incorporated, however, so far so good!