Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cheap-O Nutrition on Two Wheels

My most recent pillaging of Vitamin Shoppe's clearance bin netted a pirates booty of treasure. This has become a routine for me in my quest for fitness, but this time it was a little different. Since I was on bike (cuz it's the season for pedal power), I was only able to tote a few items. Here they are along with their supposed beneficial effects (can't wait to find out):

Berry Green: A Probiotic Awakening of Organic Greens and Fruits
Seemingly every fruit and veg there is freeze dried and reduced to a brown/black powder to be stirred into juice or water. Smells yucky, but it's going to be a shortcut when I'm not able to use my new L'equip blender to make a green smoothie. Wait... I just made and drank my first batch. Disgusting! Good thing it was 75% off. Now, only 35 more servings to go.

Ultimate MulitPLUS Vitamins: Morning/Evening
One pill for daytime energy/exertion and one for nighttime rest/rejuvenation. Sounds reasonable. But wait, it's actually three pills in the morning and three pills before bed. At 75 pills per bottle, this stuff will be gone in 25 days, but the box says I'll notice a big difference in my life. These have all the fancy extracts that that you don't find in Centrum or most any brand from Target. So here goes nothing, or next to nothing. The 75% off brought these down to five bucks.

Sleep Care Rx
You spray this under your tongue, like Rescue Remedy and it's supposed to help you fall asleep. It's a pretty similar concoction, except that it's bitter. With active ingredients like passion flower, and valarian root, and melatonin, I don't guess it's gonna hurt me. If Karen wakes up in the middle of the night with mild contractions, we're both going to need to go back to sleep and rest up for a bumpy couple of days. Maybe this will help. Normal price is $14.99, but I got it for fifty cents.

Adora Dark Chocolate Calcium Supplement
These gourmet tasting candies feature 500mg of calcium hidden among a very short list of all natural ingredients. Since Karen's got a parasite stealing all of her nutrients (even the molecules that make up her bones!), she's got to take supplements day in and day out (but she won't swallow pills). Such a tiresome ritual has got to have an upside. This bag was purchased for $6, but the one before it was a clearance bin find for $1.49. Buying this product was the whole purpose of the trip. That's the risk of bargain hunting, that you find something you really like and you have to go back and pay full price next time around.

An Infusion of Two Wheel Travel
Probably the best health product I got on this little health shop run was the hour-long bike ride. From the office, I headed west on Broad for 3 miles until I got to the Shops at Libbie Place. As you can imagine, the ride was pretty unsavory; full of bumps, dirty debris, broken glass, and the exhaust from rush hour drivers. I won't go into the close calls with cars, cuz Karen would worry. For the record, I was wearing my helmet.

After that, I was hardly in a mood to deal with the overbearing staff of the Vitamin Shoppe. So, I didn't linger and I didn't ask probing questions to help me choose my next whey protein powder purchase. Besides, the 6lb jug wouldn't fit in my bag. From Broad, I rode my bike South on Libbie, another 3 miles. By this point, having sweated through my office clothes, I was not trying to strike a pose of sustainable travel for bourgie Carytown shoppers. So, I took the backroads over 4 miles east into my neighborhood, Byrd Park. By the time that I had put my bike away and greeted my dogs, it was 6pm.

That's ten miles and two stores in under an hour (forgot to mention stopping at Target for a sharps container for our doggie diabetes syringes). By the end of it, my right foot was asleep and my left knee was making a slight clicking noise.

You know what a body needs after this kind of work out? Vitamins and sleep.


  1. Just a warning: I took Valerian Root for awhile once, and my short term memory disintegrated. It was one of the craziest side effect I've ever experienced from a drug or supplement because I didn't realize it was happening until I became a full-blown idiot after about a week. Thankfully, I (think I) fully recovered after I stopped taking it. Since then, I've heard of some other people with similar problems...

  2. I think you mentioned having us over for smoothies sometime... It best not be that berry green probiotic... :)

  3. I took Valerian Root for years and don't remember any side effects.

  4. Karen2:48 PM

    What are the nutrition facts for those calcium chocolates? Are they high in sugar, fat, or calories? Just wondering...


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