Seasonal supplementation

At the start of each week, I take time to organise my vitamins in a large caddy so that my daily supplement routine is easy to manage.  This may seem a bit extreme, however if you understand that I take five green capsules per day just to augment my flexibility, you will appreciate the need for this in my life.
Both of my grandmothers, Audrey and Elizabeth, were fans of supplements.  If we ever felt a trace of a cold coming on, Audie would immediately “prescribe“ 1,000 mg of vitamin C to be taken at least twice a day.  During autumn and winter visits from her, she would arrive at our house with vegetable cream cheese and chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels from her farmer’s market alongside several bottles of high dosage vitamin C to help our family survive cold and flu season.  Her advice helped me ward off more than one cold.
Betsy’s breakfast table, meanwhile, always featured a large wicker basket of amber bottles so that she could take her daily doses.  A trailblazer in many ways, she was taking fish oil way before it became popular.
For me, taking vitamins helps to ensure I am giving my body the right nutrients.  Even though I generally eat a balanced diet, I firmly believe supplementation is necessary.  My daily vitamin cocktail, in part, helps reduce clicking in my joints and redness in my skin while increasing limberness.  

I recognise the belief that all necessary nutrients can be taken via food.  In a perfect world this would be true, however, the reality of food today is that by the time it reaches our table, it has generally lost at least some of its benefits through transport, storage and even cooking.  And what about the days when our meals are less than balanced?  Ever have stress, travel or hormones divert you from your normal healthy food choices?  
While I obviously have the family gene to love vitamins, I am not seeking to overwhelm you with my lengthy list of daily supplements.  Rather, I thought you might be interested in my festive season additions.  Colder weather and party invitations can wreck havoc on our good health.  With this in mind, here’s what I’ll be taking to help me stay healthy and enjoy the rest of 2015.
Sunshine shift: With the shortest day of the year just over a month away, it’s easy to feel affected by the lack of daylight.  To help me banish winter blues, I take vitamin D.  This supplement provides me with a bit of balance and helps to keep any seasonal sadness at bay.  Because it can take a few weeks to rebuild depleted stores of vitamin D, I add this to my pillbox starting at the Autumn Equinox.
Germ germination: Chillier temperatures mean we spend more time together inside.  And while we’re packed into enclosed spaces, we more easily share our germs and illnesses.  With a view to preventing colds, I take vitamin C daily.  Clearly my grandmother made an impression on me!  If I feel any sort of throat tickle or runny nose, I immediately double my dose, at least.  If I feel like the vitamin C isn't quite doing the trick, I add zinc in the form of a lozenge or drink powder.  Zinc helps to shorten the time of a cold, should you succumb. 
Liver support: From mulled wine at Christmas markets to a celebratory meal on New Year’s Eve, this time of year offers multiple opportunities to indulge in a tipple and decadent food.  To deal with this, I have a few strategies.  First, I add cinnamon to food whenever I can.  I find it's particularly good on oatmeal and sweet potatoes as well as in coffee.  I also take a milk thistle supplement.  Both of these help the liver to work effectively, purifying the body of any toxins from food and drink. 
While I normally consume about 1.5 litres of water per day, when I’m out enjoying a cocktail, I strive to drink equal amounts of water and alcohol.  This helps keep me hydrated and spaces out the indulgent beverages.
Finally, before I go to bed, I have at least one more large glass of water, this time mixed with glutamine.  Glutamine is a natural stimulant produced in your body, however as alcohol inhibits its production, this is  why you may feel sleepy when drinking.  To avoid an energy rush when production restarts a few hours after going to bed, I consume it in my water.  This helps my body to return to balance and helps ensure I stay asleep all night.
Bright-eyes: The morning after a night out, I’ll be sure to take a B-12 vitamin to provide me with a bit of extra energy by stimulating my brain and nervous system.  Yes, it turns my wee bright yellow, however, if I haven’t gotten my full 8+ hours of sleep, it also helps me feel more awake and a bit buzzier.
It goes without saying that my make-up comes off and my face gets moisturised before I go to bed.  However, if I've had "just one more" glass of wine or maybe a special pudding, I know my body may struggle to do all the restorative work it needs to overnight.  As the outermost organ, skin is the last priority in nightly repair and this is why it can look a bit lacklustre in the morning.  To combat this, I choose a hydrating serum to give my skin extra support and help it look like it got a full night of beauty rest.  
So, that's what I'll be doing this festive season to enjoy it fully.  Do you have any special practices?  

If you're interested in what I've mentioned here, I offer a supplement pack specifically designed for the party season containing vitamin C, glutamine and a multivitamin with B-12 and zinc.  The two-month supply is just under £25 per month.  Please let me know if you would like to order a pack or need more information.