Faire le Sapin, "la flemme" and The Spirit of the Season
A Special Request + Playground in French (and wild and free learning!)

The French Cure + vitamins and supplements + the expression "tant s'en faut" (find it in today's story)

Mediterranean sea in la ciotat south of france
The sun gives us vitamin D... and magnesium and calcium are a few gifts from the sea. How do you get your RDA (or "AJR"*): from un comprimé or some other way? Read on for a healthy dose of French vocabulary....

Today's word: une cure

    : course of treatment, therapy

Audio/Listening: Click the link below to hear Jean-Marc pronounce the French words in the following story. Then scroll down to the vocabulary list to check your French comprehension.

Click here to open the sound file

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse
"Pipi cher?"

This week's obsession is...vitamins! minerals! supplements! And when I say obsession, I mean I'm trying to understand les pours et les contres of taking nutritional supplements and whether a multivitamin is beneficial...or, as critics say, just "expensive urine."

Urine coûteuse? Le pipi cher? No matter how I translate it, my husband and my son (subjects I've interviewed as part of my research) are perplexed by the expression. That may be because they're French! Megavitamins are not part of their culture, not that les compléments alimentaires are missing from French pharmacopeia--tant s'en faut! The French have encapsulated every nutrient under the soleil--they just prefer to lounge in the sun (for vitamin D) and eat their fruits and veggies (for vitamins A, B, C...through Zinc). 

And yet, my toubib prescribed "une cure de vitamin D" after un bilan sanguin showed low levels of "the sunshine vitamin." And, years ago, when I was enceinte, my gynéco prescribed prenatal vitamins. Then, as a nursing mom, l'allaitement engendered a few carences which were corrected by various cures including le fer. But each time, these vitamins, minerals, or supplements were given as a therapy or course of treatment--une cure. After 10 days or two weeks or one month, the supplementation stopped. End of cure. The magazine Figaro sums up the Gallic viewpoint that "a well-balanced diet provides all the vitamins necessary to navigate bad days":

"...une alimentation équilibrée apporte toutes les vitamines nécessaires pour traverser les mauvais jours."

I'm not exactly sure what they mean by "bad days", but this brings up the subject of mood--and the food/mood connection. Is it true that certain nutritional supplements help diminish anger, anxiety, and stress? I have read that low levels of B-12 and folate are linked to depression and that NAC (N-acetylcysteine) is used to treat ADHD and addiction (even tobacco dependence).

Ideally, we could get all our micronutrients from food, but have you ever stopped to think about the fruits and vegetables you are eating? After weeks of sitting in warehouses, that vitamin-packed persimmon...is less packed: it's lost some of its nutritious load. Next, think about the soil, so much of which is depleted...or treated. 

A proactive approach to health seems like a good idea especially during winter (when sunshine only hits your face, because the rest of your body is covered). Recently, I ordered these dietary supplements:

D3 (normally found in fatty fish, egg yolks, cheese...)
Vitamin C (citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes...)
Zinc (meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds)
Quercetin (onion, red grapes, honey and citrus fruits)
NAC (a plant antioxidant naturally found in onion; a precursor to glutathione)
Melatonin (a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain, it improves sleep and manages immune function and cortisol levels)

No matter how many times I hear the word "antioxidant," the meaning doesn't stick. Speaking of sticking, this brings us back to le pipi cher or pricey pee. Critics argue all these extra vitamins don't stick but get flushed right out of the body. I wonder, how true is that? Surely some of the vitamins are absorbed?

Les effets secondaires? Side Effects?
While discussing vitamins with my son, Max pointed out that taking supplements might habituate your body to accepting "outside help" and so weaken its response. Hmm... Good point, Fiston! This reminds me of the saying, If it's not broken don't fix it! 

Alors, que faire? What to do? What to do? Maybe all I really need is a cure for indecision! (The only side effect to that is progress :-)

In the comments section, below, I would love to know your thoughts about vitamins and supplementation. If it's not too personal, which vitamins, minerals, supplements do you take and why? Do you take them as a cure (only in the winter) or all year round? You may also use the comments box to offer any edits to this article (greatly appreciated. Merci beaucoup!)

*AJR (apports journaliers recommandés) = recommended daily allowances
un comprimé = pill, tablet
une cure
= therapy, course of treatment
le pipi cher = expensive urine
le pour et les contre = the pros and cons
urine coûteuse = expensive urine
le complément alimentaire = dietary/food supplement
tant s'en faut = far from it, not by a long shot
le soleil = sun
le toubib = (slang) doctor
un bilan sanguin = blood test
enceinte = pregnant
gynéco (gynécologue) = gynecologist
l'allaitement = breastfeeding, nursing
une carence = deficiency, lack
le fer = iron

Words added to the story (after sound file was recorded!)
le fiston = son
alors  = well then
que faire = what to do?

Smokey and Kristi below Christmas treeSmokey wants to know: Do dogs need vitamins? Meantime, our golden takes Harpagophytum procumbens (Hp) or "Devil's Claw"--an antiinflammatory and analgesic preparation and homeopathic treatment that really helps his arthritis. Sometimes Grandma takes it too!

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Jane Carruthers

Dear Kristi
thank you for this blog! I was feeling fatigued and shivery last year during February and despite many layers just could not keep warm! I had a blood test and was diagnosed with deficient in Vitamin D. By the time I got my results I had already started taking Well Woman 50+ vitamins and continued with those for six months, had another blood test and my levels were back up to normal. I stopped taking the vitamins and then again, got fatigued and have just had another blood test to see if my levels are low again. I've changed GP and this new GP (after lengthy discussion) doesn't recommend multi vitamins - just Vitamin D. He recommends that ALL people in UK should take Vitamin D through the winter months as we just don't get enough SUNSHINE. So I'm trialling just taking Vitamin D. I don't feel any better or worse for having stopped the multivitamins (at the moment ).So I'm sticking for now with the GP's advice.

Barb Friedman

D3 and multivitamin are probably enough. As people get older it’s harder to get the D just from the sun and instead of taking and spending money on all of those others just get a good multivitamin.


I found this rather interesting because I am always impressed by how much the French rely on pills. Feeling a little down? Here's a pill. Can't get to the beach to get your sun tan? There's even a pill for that. I'm always amazed at how often pills or medical potions are prescribed. But then irony is never lost on the French! LOL Of course one doesn't mess around with food! In the US as well, most "experts" say you should get all your vitamins and minerals from food but you are also right (and others have also pointed out) that cooking methods, transportation and storage affect the quality of food and you may not be getting what you need from just food. Quoi faire? I do take supplements prescribed by a homeopathic doctor to stave off osteoporosis or thither to keep it at bay. And sometimes you need more than the usual amount of a vitamin for certain medical conditions like macular degeneration or even digestive issues. I don't think you're really throwing money away if by taking these supplements you get what you need and your body eliminates the excess. I'm rather intrigued by Max's comment. It definitely is worth exploring! Thank you for the interesting conundrum to ponder


Be a little careful with Zinc - it may be good when you have a cold but a reported side effect is loss of taste,

Maura Muller

I take D3 in the winter too after a blood test a few years ago revealed very low levels. I also take Nordic naturals fish oil capsules. My Dr. asked me, "Do you take fish oil?" I said "Yes, why?" She said I had pretty low / healthy cholesterol and blood pressure and noticed that was common in people who take fish oil.But note, it thins yours blood so stop taking it 1 week before any surgery!


I try to sit out on sunny warm days sans sunblock for 10 minutes, but in the winter I rarely do that so I take a handful of supplements- D3, Complete B50, CoQ10, Monolaurin, NAC, Zinc, and one other for my aging eyes, and two supplements for my hair, nails, and skin.

I have a history of being anemic but, haven't added iron to my supplements. We eat fish, and dark greens a lot so, I'm hoping I'm not very deficient with iron.

I am going to ponder what Max said. I don't use antibacterial soaps because I don't want to be so sterile that my own world makes me sick so, he may be onto something!


Ah!! I hadn't heard that, and I lost my sense of taste in May 2021! I wasn't taking zinc everyday, but twice a week. I only had a head cold in May and knew I didn't have Covid-19, but have no explanation why I lost my sense of taste! Maybe it's the zinc? Something else to ponder and research!

Lee Shramko

I take D3-K2 in a pill together. Apparently the K2 aids absorption. I also take a nutritional yeast for B vitamins and get a small B12 d as hot each month. So there’s that. Biggest help is eating LOTS of cruciferous veggies and a small amount of meat, fish and good fat( avocado, etc). But there is reason to worry about the soil and the origin of what we eat as you mentioned. “Let food be thy medicine” is a good intention, if you can find it.


I take B12, D, Ca, and Mg, in hopes of helping my unexplained neuropathy and osteoarthritis. Only in the last two years have I made a huge effort to eat more fruits and vegetables, having been a picky eater my whole life. Nutrition is such a huge topic because there are so many different ideas on what’s right and what’s not. I do think the French have it right in getting what you need through food. To add to this, they have small portions, many times using rich butter and cream, which in America would be considered bad for you, and yet the French are much skinnier than Americans. Of course they walk much more. I think it’s all about trying to have a healthy balance of good in your life, whether it’s with food or exercise. And I do like the idea of taking certain vitamins for shorter periods of time to see what works and what doesn’t.

Karen in NY

I take a few supplements and I have no idea if they're helpful or not. COQ10 (with statin rx), multivitamin/ eye vitamins, fish oil/krill oil, sometimes extra C, D, and calcium. NAC sounds interesting. Many new farm stands and locallly sourced markets hereabouts to address the quality of weeks old food. Many of my health concerns are resolving with retirement... dashboard meals and throwing anything portable into my lunch bag was not a great practice. I laughed at the memory link...just braved covid to see the West Side Story update. I remembered the words to 50 year old lyrics just fine and forgot where I parked the car.

Lynn McBride

Vitamins are a controversial subject, you should get lots of comments on this post! I have long Covid, and a long list of supplements is part of the standard treatment program, although no one is quite sure if they work. But I take them just in case, including all the ones you take except the NAC, plus several more. I try to take the minimum dosages, however, because they can in fact be harmful if you take too much, and also what’s really important to check is the medication reactions. Certain supplements can impact the effectiveness of other medication’s you might be taking. Bonne santé and merry Christmas to you and all the family!

Ronni Lester (Ebbers)

Vitamin D3 as I am deficient. Take a B complex, just because :-) That's it. I tend, like the French to believe many vitamins are unnecessary if one eats even a relatively balanced diet. Bonne sante, joyous noel et bonne annex.

Suzanne Codi

I know Magnesium Citrate works because I was often experiencing painful leg and/or foot cramps in the middle of the night. Since starting,no cramps! Apparently everyone is magnesium deficient, because it is almost all depleted in the soil. Vitamin D3, definitely, since sunblocks also block that essential vitamin, and as we age, all the B vitamins, for hair and skin, and B12 for our BRAINS!!! Vitamin C from citrus fruit and broccoli. Now to remember taking them! Bonnes fetes a toi at a toute ta belle famille, and be extra vigilant with this new variant, so scary!!

Suzanne Dennis

I take vitamin D3 and my GP says most people over a certain age have a vitamin D deficiency. That's the only supplement I take. I tried vitamin C but it upsets my stomach and my GP says I can get what I need through diet. Because I take prescription meds for various ailments, I am very cautious about supplements and wouldn't add anything without clearing it with my doctor. I have seen warnings about zinc and permanent loss of smell. Take care, Kristi!

Suzanne Dunaway

500 Cs, 2000 units D, Immunilflor in winter, cheveur et ongles pill twice a week. I cook with olive oil and we eat large quantities of green red yellow purple every color in the world vegetable and fish and very little chicken and hardly any red meat and many dishes of pasta risotto and I'm dictating all of this in so there's no punctuation! I just wanted to do it quickly and this is a wonderful blog today making us think about getting her selves out in the sun and taking her vitamins from food and good cooking! Merci!
And I'm sure we can drum up a few vitamins in eggnog ha ha...

Evvie L

I once took a panoply of supplements, but have streamlined it down to a daily multi-vitamin, because, quite frankly, I felt I wasn’t deriving any extra benefits from taking a handful of costly pills. I eat well, mostly local and organic, but I like having the added insurance that I’m getting everything I need taking a multi gives me. You know, for those days when a nice loaf of bread, with lashings of butter just tastes better than that sautéed kale?? All in balance! Happy holidays!


Expensive urine and extra work for liver to process extra. How much VitD is correct is controversial. Drink enriched milk. I’m 93, normal blood pressure, no osteoporosis, no vitamins, nosuplements. Walk 2 miles 5 days a week with dog and younger friends. On low thyroid medication and estrogen and good diet.

Jerry Wood

Here on the west coast of Canada we have a lot of rain in the winter. So a lot of people take vitamin D in the winter.
I on the other hand have a genetic defect called Hemochromatosis, which mean I absorb way too much iron. To control this the Canadian Blood Services drain ½ a litre of blood from me 4 times a year. This keeps my fe level normal. The added benefit is in this covid times blood service is struggling to get enough blood for the hospitals.
Unfortunately, for me, many food processors add iron to their products.


After a period of significant stress this year, I was having recurrent stomach problems and got blood testing done. I was low on calcium and protein. I took supplements (and focused on nutrition for the protein), and the levels were back up in a month. So there must be some sticking power!

Eleanor W Cartwright

Self diagnosis and self medication are rarely good choices.

Any kind of supplement/"treatment" should be taken only after appropriate blood/urine analysis based on documented symptoms/complaints, ordered and explained by your physician.

Otherwise, to site the English version of the French "saying" you quoted, it's just "pipi dans le vent". The human urge to self diagnose and medicate has made supplements a multi-billion industry.


Hello: I found your column very interesting. I did not know that the typical attitude towards vitamin supplementation in France is to treat it as a course of treatment that ends in a few weeks! I used to agree that most supplements are not needed if a healthy diet with lots of fruits & veggies, some grains, and good sources of natural fats, such as raw nuts & seeds, were included in the diet. Then, I was referred to a doctor who ran blood tests on vitamins & I was found to be very deficient in so many vitamins. I have a disorder that does not allow my body to hold onto nutrients. So, I must supplement my healthy diet. I take a daily multivitamin, now that I've finally found a brand that doesn't make me feel sick to my stomach. I also take vitamin D daily, as my level of vitamin D in my system was 7. A normal level would be closer to near to 100, I believe, at the low end. One of the top doctors in the USA for covid information has said, if people only learn 3 things from the pandemic, those three things would be: 1 vitamin D, 2 vitamin D, 3 vitamin D. I've heard it said by researchers that the vast majority of people in the world are vitamin D deficient & don't even realize it. Vitamin D is an immune system strengthener, so it makes sense that people would want to make sure they have enough in their systems to fight off illnesses & disease. I take only Acerola cherry vitamin C, a couple of times per week, more than that & it upsets my stomach. I was told Acerola cherry is the most potent source of vitamin C. I don't take B vitamins, as there is enough in my multivitamin, I was told. I have been anemic all my life & so I must take iron supplementation. I take a gentle formula iron, so it doesn't cause gastrointestinal distress. I was told to only take zinc to help fight off an illness, such as a cold, so that is the only time I take zinc, when I am ill. I also take an immune system strengther that is basically powdered mushrooms, which are also excellent immune system boosters & by consuming the highly concentrated powdered form, in addition to cooking with mushrooms, it gives the system a boost, I was told. I will also occasionally take a DHA/EPA supplement that is from an algae plant blend. I have been blessed to find a doctor that uses routine, yearly blood testing, to also screen for vitamin levels, which most doctors I have seen do not. But, then, he's a specialist doctor for the disorder I have & so, must know to check vitamin levels for all his patients. I do also take a daily probiotic, again, told to do so by my doctor, to aid with my digestive & stomach issues. I have never heard your son's theory that supplementation might cause the body to not be able to best fight it's own battles, as it were. I've always taken the term as given; a supplement to help gain optimal nutrient levels in addition to an already healthy diet. Either way, from a person who did not used to believe vitamin supplementation was necessary, based on the blood teats my doctor performs yearly, I do need quite a few vitamin supplements to my diet! Wishing your family a very Merry Christmas.


What a conundrum.
Reflecting for years now that the medical Industry is mostly a business these days... and having experienced working in a hospital as my first job 25 years ago... which gave me an opportunity to see the Inside workings of this business machine... (and I also never took antibiotics since then!! I a proof you don-t need them).

My conclusion is that nothing can beat nature.
Having said that, for sure our soll Quality seems to be compromised... (we ought to focus more efforts on fixing the source of that problem and grow more of our own food ... and well, I think you do a lot of that... growing your own food), some outside help is maybe necessary.

I take a few Vitamin Bs sometimes... some zinc... and occasionally Vitamin C. Mostly I do it by Intuition and do not over think it. I listen to my Body and follow its impulses.

I swear by Eukalyptus oil in Winter which has meant I do not have a Cold or Flu for years... and I would absolutely stay well and truly clear of all these Flu jabs... which is in my opinion, a very bad way to go....more money for the pharmaceuticals...

I guess it is a personal decision in the end.

Nature is my medicine. A few deep breaths... some fresh air... smiles... enjoying food with fellow human Beings and fluffy animals.... and lots of love and gratitude... I think this goes a long way to good health.

After all, it is not just what we eat... but also HOW we eat and the way in which we do it all.


Sorry for the Poor Quality of the writing... my laptop is either on German Translation making everything auto correct in rather stränge ways... and inserting Capital letters everywhere!! The pitfalls of moving between different languages !!


Kristi. Thanks for this.
Study after study says you don't need vitamin supplements "if you maintain a healthy diet, a healthy weight, and reduce the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and sugar you eat"--to loosely quote a study from Johns Hopkins. I try to keep watch on all these variables myself, but miss days here and there.
I'm disappointed in myself since I have also read in a popular book that some people are so perfect that they've been absorbed into heaven without dying and I suppose this rules me out.
However, I find that for filling in the patchy spots in my virtue, I can get a good daily multivitamin brand here in the states for about 10 - 15 cents a pill or $3 to $5 a month US, and produce urine cheaper than that resulting from vin ordinaire.
That's how I've resolved this debate anyway.
Take care,


Vitamin D3 is the reason I survived Covid so well. With a long history of smoking, even though I stopped 21 yrs. ago, I was terrified when I got Covid.
The only thing I needed during 2 nights in hospital was IV fluids, my breathing/lungs held up beautifully, I attribute it to taking Vitamin D3 every day for many years. Blood testing for D levels is only way to know if you are deficient or not. Also, in America, docs say 30 is great, well research says otherwise, it ought to be far higher, between 50 & 80 is good. Nice to know once you begin Vit.D3, your levels improve rapidly. Techincally Vit D3 is really more like a hormone & there's been tremendous research proving the many benefits of Vit D3 supplementation, only the D3 form is good, others are cheap/useless. I take my D3 with vitK2, this helps bone structure too.

Rebecca Prentice

My husband suffers severely from winter depression (we live in Portland, Oregon). His Vitamin D levels are always very low; I remind him every winter to take his supplement (5000 units) and within a week his energy and mental outlook are greatly improved.


Re Max's comment: But it IS broken! Rather, WE are broken, because farming practices have depleted the soil of important nutrients and we avoid the sun like the plague. Which for those of us who have experienced skin cancer, in a way it is!

Vitamin D, C, and quercitin are really important supplements and among those my husband and I take every day. I live in the far north (65 miles north of Seattle), and a doctor told me nobody gets enough Vitamin D up here; you have to take supplements. But even my BFF in Miami, who gardens a lot and swims in the ocean, tested low for Vitamin D a few years ago.

Vitamin D is extremely important to the immune system. Doctors have found very low levels of D in many hospitalized Covid patients. It is essential to be taking D every day, especially now. I also take a spoonful of cod liver oil every morning, as my mother did in childhood. It contains good fatty acids, Vitamin D, and Vitamin A, which helps you absorb the D. You won't get too much with that and a potent supplement.

We need supplements these days, Kristi. Stay healthy -- you and your family!

Alice Mack

Hi Kristi, what a timely posting for me and my family. We are renovating our kitchen, and I put my husband’s vitamins in a shopping bag. It was so heavy that the bag broke! I told John that it was time to “man up” and throw them all out. On Sunday I spoke on What’s App with several cousins, and we were laughing about the 50(!) vitamins that their maternal grandmother lined up every day to ingest during the day. All three of them said that they never developed their grandmother’s habit and found it disgusting. I share their opinion!

Please help! In moving the wine and spirits from the kitchen to my bedroom to avoid the massive dust, a few drops of Crème de Cassis spilled on to the carpeting. It has been moved to a safer location, but what do I do about the stains? Any suggestions would be appreciated!


Moi aussi, Kristi, je voudrais savoir les faits. Est-ce qu'il y des biens si on prend les compléments alimentaires? Je prends le D3, a probiotic, calcium, et une multivitamin. Mais,qui sait?


I just learned the word toubib from watching the film Il Traditore with French soutitres. From North African Arabic.
Hope you continue to be en plein forme!


Hi Kristi,

I was prescribed Vitamin D3 a few years ago because I was deficient and the doctor gave me a 6 months prescription and boy did I notice a difference! I was achy before and the Vitamin D3 cured that. Now I take an over the counter D3, fish oil, Biosil for hair, skin and nails and a multi vitamin. I'm sure I have le pipi cher! haha

There is a study that states that 80% of COVID-19 patients have a vitamin D deficiency!


Evvie, I agree with your thoughts on taking a simple daily multivitamin to cover those days of bread and butter sans kale. 🤣

Leslie in Oregon

I take daily Vitamin D3 because virtually everyone in my region is Vitamin D3 deficient. It is important, however, to realize that no matter how much or how often you take a Vitamin D supplement, how much of it your body absorbs and how much it simply excretes is another matter. I'm not aware of any way one can influence that equation. As far as getting Vitamin D from sunlight, well...having lost my beloved husband to melanoma because of his teenage sun exposure (he worked in corn fields and as a lifeguard, and played baseball, in the Midwest), I would not recommend avoidable sun exposure to anyone.


The can of worms is open! Yes, it would be nice to be able to get all the vitamins and minerals we needed from natural sources. But once we start aging....(some starting as early as 30) our bodies tend not to absorb as easily and we just need a bit of help. If one can sit in the sun 15min. every day(not you with the skin cancer scare), they may get enough of D. I have COPD and can't take any of the inhalers, and my doctor doesn't use the steroid ones unless it is absolutely necessary...and not for me at all. So Vit C helps with breathing, and you can take quite a bit as it is water soluble and will be eliminated with that "pipi" I take NAC also because it makes the glutathione (which we start losing when we age) and it is essential as an antioxidant in reducing inflammation in both intra and extracellular tissue. Ie. the lining of the lungs to keep them more pliable.So I guess each person has to figure out how much and what they need in a supplement. If you think about it, 100 years ago many of these supplements were not around and people didn't live as long either. Best source of iron.....oysters, then other bivalve shellfish....don't know about see urchins...to expensive here.

Lauren Golden

Among other supplements I take Strontium Citrate. Along with weight-bearing exercise I went from a diagnosis of osteoporosis to normal bone density. It took a few years. I continue to take the Strontium.


I anemic and my TIBC(total iron binding capacity) was extremely low as was iron.The first time I ended up with iron infusions, the next time I was able to do it with food....Oysters have the highest amount of iron of anything out there, then the other shellfish bi-valves, then red meat. Finally we found what was causing it so every time it drops a bit, I have oysters....fortunately I love them, raw,bbqd., baked, in soup(along with clams, mussels, calamari and prawns) Expensive, yes, but so I treat myself every few months.

Deborah T

A good point about use of anti-bacterial soaps. My son also pointed out that all of that anti-bacterial agent gets taken to our oceans - and that will have consequences for the ocean ecology and the food chain (for those who eat seafood)

Recently, I have encountered many people who have had flare ups of eczema or other allergy as we have come out of lockdown (I live in Sydney, Australia) and someone said that because we have been inside so much, we are reacting to all the (now) foreign substances outside!

So many things to consider.....


In Holland we take vitamins when there's an "r" in the month. So all months except May June, July and August. Which makes sense to me, as you may nee a little extra during those winter months and you can take a break from them in the summer.


Hi Kristi. I so enjoy reading your blog and your first book. Thank you for blessing us with your writing.
I have been on a plant based diet for over 10 years. I wonder if the French have seen an uptick in this diet. I know it has not been very popular there. I choose it because of my love for animals, but now I know of the personal health and climate benefits of it. I would call myself a "gourmet cook" and can veganized almost any dish. The one vitamin that people on this diet need to take is vitamin B-12.
I also take vitamin D-3, as I am fair skinned with light eyes and need to wear sunscreen to protect myself from skin cancer. The sunscreen blocks vitamin D absorbtion. These are the two essentials for me. In addition I take Omega 3s, and Vitamin B6 for brain health and Biotin for my skin and nails. Oh... and I do increase my vitamin C if I real like a cold is coming on, but I prefer to get nutrients through my foods.


I didn't think about that Deborah! Our state at least where I am wasn't in as hard a lockdown as other parts of the state, country and countries so I have been outside a lot throughout the pandemic, but it's true the air inside gets stale and Grandma was right about getting outside into the fresh air!

There are many things to ponder!

Kurt Burk

I have read that it is important to take your vitamins 5 to 8 minutes before your big meal of the day. The 5 to 8 minutes gives the vitamins time to dissolve in your stomach, and then when you start eating food, your system not only absorbs the nutrition from the food, but also the vitamins.

Stacy Lund

Hello Kristi,

There is no "one size fits all" as we are each unique in our makeup, lifestyle and personality type. As with food, the quality of a supplement is important, as well as how it is prepared so our body can metabolize it.

I take supplements based on my doctor's recommendations after reviewing my blood work. I was extremely low in D3 and certain B (L-Methylfolate and B-12) vitamins. Recently, my dentist advised me to take vitamin D3 with K2 in a "nanoemulsified" formula for easy absorption. This combo has improved the health of many of his clients' gums, including mine. I also take a high-quality fish oil, goji berry and vitamin C daily. If I'm feeling run down I will take a local elderberry immune booster supplement.

Although I take most of my supplements daily, I do not worry if I skip a day or a few weeks. I feel if we stress about supplements it defeats the purpose of taking them, right? One might be better off going for a walk - fresh air, smiles and nature do a world of good for one's health! :) Trust your own intuition as what is best for you. Joyous Holidays and an early Happy Birthday wish to you!


You may have restless leg syndrome of which there are 45 varieties! Yours is one I had two decades ago. Disappeared. Recent varieties first involved tingly front of legs & ankles. Next was shins and calves. Comes and goes. Get a neurologial consult to confirm; this is nerve pain rather than muscle or bone. Gabapentin helps. Also lidocaine in cream, spray or patch form. Also a contraption of five roller bars with beads with bumps over which you roll your feet over. Hereditary but skips.


How's your sense of smell? If you can't smell, you can't taste...
It can be a symptom for many conditions....


Dear Kristi: As a nutritionist & a vegetarian for more than 40 years, I believe it's not only essential to take your D-3 (especially now that Covid is again on the rise) (5,000 units daily), but zinc (30 mg) Calcium citrate (1,000 mg), Magnesium(400 mg), Co-q10, 100 mg. I also believe in non-gmo foods & eat as much organically grown food as possible (I think you do this anyhow). So, I am 77; my man is 96; still upright & carrying good conversations & DANCING!!!! Thanks so much for your blog & all of your valuable information. Merci; A biento, Ann

Dee C

I agree with Eleanor. After testing, I've taken 6,000 to 10,000 iu vitamin D3 depending on the season, Selenium and magnesium malate. The medical advisors at QuantifyHealthLab can advise and direct you to which tests, but are not selling them nor supplements. Joyeuses Fêtes à tous, et merci, Kristi pour vos idées inspires! Dee


I think I will take your advice as the expert here. 😉 93 and healthy...awesome. and I do believe exercise has a lot to do with overall health. Cheers!

Mara Munroe

FYI, WebMD.com is a good website to check for standard US medical advice--no ads for pills, which is overwhelmingly what you get if you just Google a med. I checked on Strontium Ranulate for osteoporosis because I don't like the sound of Fosamax and it is NOT available in the US, and is prescription only in Europe due to side effects.

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