I didn't do a specific 'What If' last month, as I'm trying to continue meditating. I haven't been hugely successful with that, and I'm not sure why. I have the time. I just for some reason resist doing it.
I'll be trying to do that more this month, but I'm going to tackle other 'What Ifs' along the way.
For June/July, I've chosen drinking collagen.
I know. You're coming out of your seats with excitement.
Seriously, though, I keep seeing collagen everywhere - articles, blog posts, magazines, at the health food store. Everywhere.
I feel like the Universe is whispering to me: you should really up your health & beauty game, Amy.
But then I feel like the Universe also sometimes whispers: don't fall victim to stupid trends and waste your money on junk science, Amy.
So hard to decipher sometimes, the Universe.
I'm going with upping my health and beauty game.
I've read up on collagen.
1. Improves health of skin & hair
2. Helps reduce joint pain
3. Helps heal leaky gut
1. It's another thing to do/take each day
2. There's no real evidence (scientific) that it works
3. It's expensive
So...why do I want to try it?
Well, as I age, I struggle with all of the things listed in the 'pros' section: achy joints, dry hair/skin and gut issues. I see my skin losing elasticity and actually wake up needing more moisturizer each morning. My hair is dry. My stomach is a mess with IBS. And my joints have begun swelling and feeling achy.
I do a lot to deal with these issues already. I take good care of my skin, wearing sunscreen religiously, always cleansing my face before bed and slathering myself in serums, moisturizers and hydrating masks.
I take vitamin D for my joints, which has (hands down) had the most dramatic improvement on my well being of any other supplement I've tried. Hands down.
I've tried probiotics for my stomach. I avoid gluten. I've tried the FODMAP diet, digestive enzymes, aloe, more water, more fiber, less fiber, on and on and on.
Why am I willing to try something else?
Because two years ago, while I was in Arizona, my sister-in-law mentioned vitamin D to me as a way to make my joints feel better. I scoffed a little. I was pretty sure it would be a total waste of time, but I got the gummy form of vitamin D (I'll take anything if it comes in a gummy), and within three days, I felt like a different person - a person without joint pain.
I'd been told by many doctors that my vitamin D levels were fine.
I also spent a lot of time in the sun riding horses, and then I lived in AZ, land of sunshine, so I was shocked that a $5 supplement I got at Walmart could make me feel noticeably better. That was when I started the 'What If' mentality.
But let's get back to collagen.
A few articles inspired me in actually pulling the trigger on collagen.
This article over at Man Repeller is an interesting first course: I Drank Collagen For a Month Because I Heard a Celebrity Did It
Basically, she thought her hair and skin looked great, but then she called an actual scientist who told her it's probably all bunk, that collagen is just protein, so she might as well eat a steak.
Over at Time, I read: You Asked: Should I Eat Collagen?
This is a little more hopeful and discusses some early studies that point to collagen being beneficial. However, Dr. Mark Moyad (Director of Preventative and Alternative Medicine over at University of Michigan) is quick to note that there's no point in taking a collagen supplement if you're not making lifestyle changes/choices to prevent collagen loss in the first place including smoking, high blood sugar, sun exposure, lack of exercise and weight gain.
To make things a little more complicated, this article over at Shape notes (also quoting Dr. Moyad) that our bodies need certain nutrients to even absorb collagen including vitamin C, iron and omega-3 fatty acids. So, I need to get on my salmon game if I'm even going to benefit from collagen supplements in the first place? And isn't salmon supposed to help with aching joints and skin/hair?
See how I just keep digging? Now I want to go buy a bunch of salmon and see what happens when I just do that a few times a week.
But I won't digress. I'm sticking with collagen for the next 8 weeks. I had my first powder packet last night. I got a variety because, well, there was a variety offered and I was curious to see how lemon/strawberry collagen powder tasted.
Yesterday, I put the non-flavored version of the powder in my smoothie and couldn't taste it at all.
And readers, I had so much steady energy yesterday that I bathed the dog after cooking a lovely meal, hustling our daughter to ballet, cooking my son and his friend multiple grilled cheese dinners and cleaning the house. I took 15k steps yesterday.
I am going with the Vital Proteins collagen because I've heard good things, and I can get it locally. It's expensive, for sure. The prices on those little packets is outrageous, but I'll be buying in bulk once I decide which flavor (if any) I like.
I'm curious to see what (if any) results I'll have. I guess I'll just have to go with either taking a picture of myself (for skin/hair) or simply reporting how I feel. I've been pretty open to things not working. I wasn't devastated when dry brushing didn't reduce my cellulite, for example. So, I'll just have to drink and see. :)
It's the third day of summer break. I'm going to get my hair colored and then to meet up with friends for a play date for mamas and our boys.