Happy New Year Greetings, Partisans! Hopefully, 2022 will be better than 2021 or even 2020. One can hope, but I uh… don’t think so. But as it is a New Year, I anticipate that many Partisan readers are making the classic resolution to get into some better shape and improve their health, which hopefully makes the information I present of productive value.

Anyway, we’re back with the 5th installment of the American Partisan Nutritional Empowerment Program Guide. In today’s post, we’ll focus on the critical, yet frequently dismissed subject of very basic nutritional supplementation. Hopefully, today’s post will enable Partisans to get a foothold into nutritional supplements; I remember when, before I started getting more into supplements, I’d walk into a GNC or Vitamin Shoppe and wonder just what the fuck to buy, since there are SO many things there – much of which is useless! So having an understanding of a bare minimum supplementation program of essential nutrients to go with your lifestyle change is absolutely essential; from there, you can branch out and add additional non-essential/accessory nutrients too, as desired.

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NEP IV: List of Must-Have Micronutrients (Essential and Other)

Micronutrients are “small” nutrients (as evidenced by the name) measured in milligrams, micrograms, and IU’s (“International Units”). Solid food is called “macronutrients”, since they are measured in grams, ounces, or even pounds, while the term “micronutrients” generally describes: vitamins, minerals, and other accessory/trace nutrients that the body needs (i.e., “essential”) or benefits from, even if not “essential”.

Many (including me, in the past) dismiss the need for supplementation, and are under the assumption that they obtain all the necessary nutrition from the food they consume (which itself is of questionable quality – do you suppose there is much nutrition in McDonald’s?). Well, nothing could be further from the truth! Why supplement at all with micronutrients? Here’s why: because today’s sources of food, even in the best of cases, have lost a tremendous amount of nutrition, whether due to modern farming practices, loss of nutrition due to transportation or processing for sale… you name it; “fresh” doesn’t remain so for long, and not-fresh means less nutritious. Or, the junk-ass food never had much nutrition to start with – also very typical, especially in the modern American diet. Again, it is incorrect and foolish to assume that you’re getting all that you need from the food you eat, even if you think you eat “healthy”. That is why supplementing is key, and why this section of the Nutritional Empowerment Program (“NEP”) Guide on the the minimum amount of essential micronutrient supplementation is being provided as part of the Guide. Supplementing with essential micronutrients adds a lot of value to what is hopefully already a good eating lifestyle, which should be the case if you’ve been following along with my posts!

Note: Again, where written, the word “essential” in the context of nutrition means that your body needs these nutrients to in order to live and function properly. Also, in the world of nutrition, the word “essential” indicates nutrients that the body must obtain from the diet, as it cannot make them on its own; therefore, these nutrients are not optional! This post will focus on the bare minimum – what’s “essential”. At the same time, the bare essential micronutrient program provided below contains just a few multi-content elements containing all the key essentials, so as to be a realistic starting point for the Partisan that is new to the whole thing. 

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Must-Have Micronutrients: List of Barebones Supplementation

The world of nutritional supplements is vast and can be overwhelming. Ever walked into a nutritional supplement store and felt totally lost about what to buy or where to begin? Then this section is specifically for you!

When first starting out with nutritional supplementation, make sure to start small and basic, using products that offer a wide array of vitamins and minerals in one-shot form, where possible – a multivitamin is the perfect example of this, but more is still needed! The information below is intended to help get you started on a minimum supplement program to provide the bare essentials for health and physical wellness. Starting on a minimum supplement program where you didn’t supplement before will work wonders in reclaiming/fortifying health and losing weight, as well as get you in the right mindset to evolve your supplementation program later down the line. 

Later, if/when you are so inclined or have a particular need, you can add individual vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in separate form for greater effect and optimization of health. It’s pretty hard to overdose on nutritional supplements (although it is possible, in some particular cases). I’ll be posting articles in the future that get into additional detail about individual vitamins and minerals, for the sake of helping interested Partisans make more intelligent supplement selections. 

When using supplements, we are looking for supplements that will:

  • Supply you with a steady flow of vitamins and minerals to build and maintain a strong body, promote vigor, and boost energy and a feeling of well-being (this is first and foremost)
  • Help you lose weight around the middle (a great secondary effect of supplementing)
  • Kill cravings (ditto)

For starters, you will benefit from a group of basic supplements that have a wide variety of biochemical applications, as well as touch on all the essential micronutrients:

  • Multivitamin
    • A good multivitamin will provide you with a minimum amount of essential vitamins, minerals, and small amount of other vital nutrients in a one-shot form
    • A multivitamin should be viewed as the “minimum wage” of vitamins and minerals – the multivitamin does not supply everything the body needs and is only intended to keep the body from going into a deficiency state. In other words, multivitamins are designed to help the body meet the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) as set forth by the venerable, wise, and trustworthy FDA (yeah, ok – they are just a fountain of good advice these days, aren’t they?). However, the RDA was created as a barebones minimum so that people don’t go into a state of micronutrient deficiency. However, our bodies deserves better than the minimum! Would you want to work for minimum wage? Yet, a multivitamin it is a good starting point, especially for those that don’t supplement at all.
    • Down the line and once you’ve gotten your lifestyle change underway, it is advisable to take individual vitamins and minerals as supplements, as these are essential elements the body needs to live; getting an abundance of these non-toxic building blocks of health and the life force is highly recommended for countless benefits
    • Not all multivitamins are created equal – some brands have very low levels of essential nutrients, sometimes not even meeting RDA requirements! The stuff on Walmart shelves is typically cheap and of questionable value, I’d say – you may have to dig a bit deeper to obtain good-quality supplements. And stay the fuck away from GNC – they are ridiculously overpriced!
    • I personally take NOW Foods ADAM men’s multivitamin, personally. There is also an EVE version of the multivitamin (supposedly for women, but that’s just marketing nonsense) that is very similar – either/or is fine.
  • Full-spectrum liquid nutrition: I particularly recommend and also use Youngevity’s Beyond Tangy Tangerine (BTT) multivitamin-mineral complex; I’ve used it for over 10 years now!
    • Full-spectrum (as in, it covers pretty much all essential nutrients, plus lots of extras) liquid nutrition should be used like an “IV drip” of nutrients to give the body what it needs in small, steady amounts, and keep nutrient levels topped off throughout the day; the steady inflow of nutrients allows for more efficient administration of water soluble vitamins (energizing B-complex and Vitamin C) as well as other essential and conditionally essential nutrients (these are non-essential nutrients that may be important to take for people with certain conditions or needs), vs. taking a huge amount all at once (much of which the body can’t readily use right away, and often excretes – not good)
    • Again, the body’s physiology generally prefers consumption in discrete, small amounts vs. large jolts – this is what you get with liquid vitamins throughout the day
    • Drinking BTT is invaluable to help keep energy levels high and the body functioning at peak levels throughout the day – no more mid-day slump when you drink BTT!
    • Liquid nutrients bypass the digestive process and go right to work, thus greatly reducing any potential malabsorption due to digestion issues (for the many people that have them)
    • BTT is also an excellent and tasty addition to any weight-loss efforts for its very high nutrition and extremely low calorie content; BTT helps suppress the appetite with its steady drip of dense, ultra low-calorie nutrition throughout the day when used properly. BTT has supported my intermittent fasting lifestyle for over a decade now!
    • My specific mode of BTT use is to mix two – three scoops of BTT with around 16 – 32 oz. of water (depending on your taste); sip regularly throughout the day in small amounts along with plenty of clean water. Don’t drink it all at once, or you’ll pee out most of its nutrition without having absorbed it. BTT works best as a slow-sipping add-on to drinking clean water.
    • There are other multivitamin-type drink powders out there, but I am not familiar with them; I’ve been with BTT for 10 years now, and I love it!
  • Essential Fatty Acids (as discussed above)
    • Essential Fatty Acid Gel Capsules
      • If you’re not using EFA-rich oils as described in Part 3 of the AP NEP Guide, then you should at least supplement with EFA gel caps – these will help you meet your minimum needs for essential Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats
      • EFA capsules are portable and can go without refrigeration for many hours
      • Take 6 – 12 caps a day with meals, depending on needs and budget
      • Again, I use Youngevity EFA Plus Gel Caps, in addition to obtaining EFA’s through the food I consume; ideally, a mix of food and supplements for EFA’s works best, in my humble opinion
    • Organic Flax Oil – an excellent value for the money, cheaper than EFA capsules per unit weight
      • Not very portable; needs refrigeration
      • Take 1 – 2 tbsp. with a protein smoothie
      • Take 2 – 4 tbsp. to bust fat cravings for a good while
    • Once again, a combination of the oil and the gel caps would work best for situational versatility and savings!
  • Probiotics
    • Even if you are eating probiotic-rich foods (as described in end of Part 4 of the AP NEP Guide), you would still do well to supplement with non-toxic, gut-friendly probiotic capsules! They offer variety in beneficial bacteria strains, to go with what you get from probiotic-rich solid foods)
    • Get the best probiotic you can find with multiple strains of bacteria (10 – 14 strains, ideally); in this case, you definitely get what you pay for – more quality… costs more!
    • Take enough capsules to get a total of between 60 – 100 billion units per day; find out a cut-off point for diminishing returns, whereby taking more doesn’t offer any reduction in digestive symptoms and/or feeling of well-being
    • Probiotics should be consumed with every meal unless the meal includes a probiotic-rich food type (as mentioned above), but having a supplemental probiotic with probiotic-rich foods works fine too
    • I’ve used Youngevity’s Ultimate Flora FX with my clients for some good results, together with foods like sauerkraut and kefir (mentioned in Part 4). 

Important General Note: nutritional supplements are usually best taken with solid food, and not on an empty stomach. In nature, the human body was meant to obtain nutrition through consuming food, and it processes the micronutrients best when they are either attached to food organically where they are still present at all in food, or at least taken with some solid food, since solid food contains elements that helps the body metabolize the supplemental nutrients. Stand-alone micronutrients are a modern invention, and not what nature intended. 

Remember, the supplements listed above are the bare minimum in supplementation! There is near infinite potential for expansion with supplements, depending on need and budget, but this makes for a great start, since so many people don’t even so much as take a multivitamin. And if you’re striving to improve your health and/or lean out, then these bare minimum supplements are non-negotiable! Branch out afterwards for better results.

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Well, there’s the section on bare essential micronutrition. Hopefully, this post will get Partisan readers to obtain these nutrients in order to ramp up the benefits of the lifestyle change efforts. As New Year’s Resolutions are popular, I’ll be sure to get the next (and final) section of the AP NEP Guide out in the next week, which will conclude the Guide and enable Partisans to have all the basic information at their disposal to finally… FINALLY get the lifestyle change and benefits going in seriousness, and for life! Thanks for reading!

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The American Partisan Nutritional Empowerment Guide Series

The American Partisan Nutritional Empowerment Program Guide, Part 1 of 6 – Introduction

The American Partisan Nutritional Empowerment Program Guide, Part 2 of 6 – Protein

The American Partisan Nutritional Empowerment Program Guide, Part 3 of 6 – Healthy Fats

The American Partisan Nutritional Empowerment Program Guide, Part 4 of 6 – Healthy Carbohydrates and Other Foods

The American Partisan Nutritional Empowerment Program Guide, Part 6 of 6 – Final Nutritional Empowerment Program Details