I’ve been pretty transparent about my health these past couple of years, at least on my personal Instagram and podcast. It has been a wild ride. That’s the only way I can describe it, honestly. Thankfully, I have been on the road to recovery, and recently HUM Nutrition has been pushing me along faster to a better place. However, I really had to work to get to where I am today. It all started over two years ago when I started to have some major digestive issues, which resulted in equally challenging bowel problems. Let’s just say, I had to run (no — sprint) to the bathroom several times a day. At first, it didn’t faze me too much. I had always been relatively healthy and regular, so ya know. I just thought, “Oh, I’ll be fiiiiiine. This is just a weird thing I’m going through”.

Well, that “weird thing” I was going through didn’t end up being so temporary. It very much so became a permanent fixture in my life, much to my chagrin and discomfort…and gosh, it knocked me to the ground. Unfortunately, when one thing unsettles your health, no matter what it may be, it can have this uncanny ability to uncover other problems that your body and mind have been dealing with — things you may not have been aware of at all. ugh.

Those other problems started to bubble up and over, as I continued to struggle with my bowel heath and those manifest in the form of anxiety and depression. Yay. A double whammy and, conjoined with feeling nauseous and spending all of my time on the pot, I found myself faced with a triple threat. It really, really affected me in a terribly detrimental way. I was entirely depleted, didn’t feel like eating, didn’t want to go anywhere, was unmotivated and uninspired…not like myself at all. It was like being on one of those old, rickety roller coasters that you question having gotten on at all, but this is one that never ever ends. 

So, I went through a period where I didn’t know what to do. I just kept dealing with it. FYI: not a great treatment plan. After dealing with my poor health for well over a year (yeh, I know. I guess I am either incredibly resilient or just a glutton for punishment), I decided to take my health into my own hands and to stop simply taking what I was being given. These are the things I did…

4 Actions That Have Helped Me On My Journey To Health:

1. Doing Yoga

I wasn’t that into the idea of yoga at first, because I thought it was simply a way to calm down and wouldn’t really make me stronger (ha! Silly me). After completing a few flows…I was hooked. I realized that not only did it strengthen my body like it never has been strengthened before, it also brought me back to myself. I was able to give my mind and body that time – the time it needed to slow down and recognize its incredible strength. 

I’ve never connected to a style of workout like I connect to yoga! It really sets the pace of my entire day, whereas other more high energy workouts have left me feeling shaky and tired-out.

I just pull up yoga videos on YouTube. Yoga w/ Adriane is my favorite!

2. Eating Whole Foods

This was a tough one for me. Really tough. I have always loved food…like, really loved food. My mom still tells me stories about how I would always be asking when our next meal would be and could sniff out a snack (that someone was usually trying to secretively eat so that I wouldn’t find them out) like a lion on the prowl. So, yeh. I like food. The thought of changing everything about the way I was eating…? That scared me. In fact, it made me anxious and I stalled for a while on this one. I didn’t want to give up dairy or gluten, eat more green leafy veggies and check all of the labels before I put something into my cart. UGH. 

The funny thing about it, though, is that once I began and made the changes I needed to…my body acclimated to the change and didn’t crave the stuff I eliminated. It wanted the good stuff! I notice that I now no longer feel like I have to have bread and sugary stuff. In fact, it makes me feel bloated and yucky. Interesting how when we start to pay attention to what we eat…our bodies, in a way, take over and change the way we see food and the kinds of foods we like to eat. 

BTW: I eat pretty clean now, but YES. I do have days where I eat sugar, even some ice cream, bread, etc. Just so ya know. 😉

3. Taking Charge of My Mental Health

This is a MAJORLY important one for me. I knew that I was prone to anxiety and I had my sad days, but I was not at all aware of the mental struggle that was subconsciously taking place behind the scenes. As my body was basically weakening, the mental stuff couldn’t really hide anymore. It came out big time. I was so anxiety-ridden that I could barely go to the grocery store. I had to leave my friend’s bday dinner out, b/c I had a panic attack. The list goes on. I was forced to do something about it, b/c I could no longer ignore it.

I started going to a therapist to talk things out, which helped immensely. It was so nice to have someone to help me unpack my mess. The other step I took was to see my doctor, have her run some tests (to see if there was anything abnormal going on in my body…there wasn’t, btw) and finally…I listened to her and put away the skepticism and fear I had about taking meds for anxiety and depression. I started Zoloft over two months ago now and it has been a very important part of my recovery. I never thought I would say that.

4. Rounding It All Out With Really Good Supplements

Last, but certainly not least, finding good supplements has been imperative for me and my body. It has proven to be just as important as the other things above. I had never been big on supplementing my diet with added vitamins, minerals, etc. and when I first heard about probiotics I was all…huh?? Okaaaaaay, right. Just as I was forced to re-think other things, I had to really start considering adding in supplements to my daily life. I’ve been taking probiotics for at least a year, but am now taking it all up a notch with HUM!

So, Why HUM? Well, there are many reasons why I am very impressed with their products. The main ones being –  they are premium quality, sustainably sourced, non-GMO and gluten-free. Also, they have free personal nutritionists that help set you up with what you need, once you fill out their HUM quiz. Read more about all of this here

I took the 3-minute quiz and got recommendations personalized to my needs. These are the four I am now taking on a daily basis…

Skin Heroes Pre-Probiotic – this one is very, very important for me. It’s for the gut and also helps to support a healthy complexion, which has been challenging to maintain, with all of my stomach issues. HUM note: it has 9 Strains of Probiotic, 40 bn Organisms and Prebiotic Konjac Root

Collagen Love – I’ve really felt like my facial skin has taken a hit this past year and I just don’t think it has been nourished properly, so taking this collagen supplement will hopefully improve that. Also, just the fact that I am over 30 makes me want to start a simple anti-aging regime. HUM note: it contains Collagen Peptides, Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C 

Uber Energy – I got excited when I saw this particular supplement because I get tired so easily…and well, hello! Yes, I do need help with balancing stress hormones and gaining an increase in productivity. HUM note: contains Adaptogens, L-Tyrosine and B5 and B6

Daily Cleanse – I feel like this entire past year has been a cleanse, of sorts, for me. haha. So, why not throw in a cleanse in supplement form?! This one aids in digestion and supports detoxification. Basically, it gets rid of toxins in your body. Sign. Me. Up. HUM note: contains 14 Detoxifiers incl. Chlorella and Spirulina

Doing yoga; eating whole foods; taking care of our mental health; & including supplements — all things us mamas need to do....here's how I did it.

 

Doing yoga; eating whole foods; taking care of our mental health; & including supplements — all things us mamas need to do....here's how I did it.

Doing yoga; eating whole foods; taking care of our mental health; & including supplements — all things us mamas need to do....here's how I did it.

Doing yoga; eating whole foods; taking care of our mental health; & including supplements — all things us mamas need to do....here's how I did it.

Doing yoga; eating whole foods; taking care of our mental health; & including supplements — all things us mamas need to do....here's how I did it.Doing yoga; eating whole foods; taking care of our mental health; & including supplements — all things us mamas need to do....here's how I did it.

Doing yoga; eating whole foods; taking care of our mental health; & including supplements — all things us mamas need to do....here's how I did it.

Doing yoga; eating whole foods; taking care of our mental health; & including supplements — all things us mamas need to do....here's how I did it.

Doing yoga; eating whole foods; taking care of our mental health; & including supplements — all things us mamas need to do....here's how I did it.

Doing yoga; eating whole foods; taking care of our mental health; & including supplements — all things us mamas need to do....here's how I did it.

Doing yoga; eating whole foods; taking care of our mental health; & including supplements — all things us mamas need to do....here's how I did it.

Doing yoga; eating whole foods; taking care of our mental health; & including supplements — all things us mamas need to do....here's how I did it.

Doing yoga; eating whole foods; taking care of our mental health; & including supplements — all things us mamas need to do....here's how I did it.

I feel like an entirely different person now, and, while I still have to continually fight for my physical and mental well-being (and probably always will), I feel so much stronger. I made the decision to change and I did the hard work, to strengthen my body and mind. More importantly, I broke through that yellow tape — the stigma that says my mental illness defines who I am and that having to take meds means that I am less than. It may be part of who I am, but it does not define me. In fact, if anything, it has shown me how incredible a human person is! I now know how powerful one can be and that you can change your circumstances, whatever they may be! Your body is a temple, the mind a sacred gift. It deserves to be properly cared for, no matter what you’re being faced with. 

Sometimes you just need a little help along the way. 

Thank you, HUM, for being a helping hand and for sponsoring this post. I knew that I needed to share what you have to offer, considering my own story. It was obvious we were made for each other! Thank you, lovely readers, for reading my story and supporting the brands that support us. 

Cheers,

Cams 

Find me over on the gram (@camilledipaola) for more #TotallyCasualMotherhood moments. 

Photos: Taken By Raegan 

16 COMMENTS

  1. Could TME explain the thinking behind its decision to promote supplements? Given that this is a pro-science site, I was surprised to see this post, especially since multiple studies show no evidence that dietary supplements like these are effective:

    https://nccih.nih.gov/health/supplements/wiseuse.htm

    https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/dietary-supplements-sorting-out-the-science

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180528171511.htm

    Even the HUM site includes disclaimers on its Science pages that the supplements aren’t intended to treat, cure, prevent or diagnose diseases. I’m not sure why, then, this is something you all are promoting.

    * Cam, I really hesitated to even ask this question. I’m sorry for the challenges you’ve gone through, and I don’t doubt for a second that these supplements are a meaningful part of your physical and mental recovery. I don’t meant this as an attack on your claims directly, but it seemed like such a departure for TME, in an industry that takes in billions of dollars a year, that I felt compelled to ask. Congratulations on making it through a dark time – I’m Team Lexapro myself, but I consider myself a Zoloft ally!

    • First of all, thanks for the links. We are aware of those studies, but I (personally) still take supplements. Why? Well…I don’t see supplement taking as “not science”. Just because a study shows that some supplement wasn’t proven to be helpful…doesn’t mean that the supplement isn’t helpful to some. The human body is complex – SO many freaking variables – and setting up a study to properly show the effectiveness of anything is really hard to do.

      Supplements are especially hard because the outcomes can be so general – and that’s super hard to test. For example, I’ve found – anecdotally – that when I take Vitamin C religiously all winter, I tend to get sick less. Or I get sick for only short periods of time. So I keep taking it, study or no study. Even though fewer illnesses might have more to do with how much sleep I’ve gotten over those months, how often I washed my hands, how aggressive the particular strains of flu are that year, or whether or not mercury was in retrograde (joking, joking)…I’m still going to take that Vitamin C, just in case. I’ve also found that putting collagen in my coffee makes my skin look better. So YUP – every morning, I stir it in. I also swore by some B vitamins (6 or 12?? can’t remember) that seemed to help my hair and nails grow back with a vengeance after chemo.

      I’m OK with spending my money on supplements like these because, truthfully, there’s very little harm (a fact backed up by many of those studies referenced in your links above). There’s a big difference in my mind between taking supplements (or probiotics) to manage your general well-being and, say, deciding to stop chemo treatments in place of cherry juice (NOT a joke – literally soooooo many people offered up this truly terrible advice – wow, right?).

      I do get nervous with supplements that all get packaged together – and then make wild claims. As that Harvard study said, that’s often where sneaky ingredients come into place. So when HUM reached out, frankly, I was thrilled. This company isn’t making wild health claims (there’s no cure cancer! weight loss guaranteed!!) instead, their language is much more in line with my own thoughts on the subject: “supports longer, stronger nails and hair” or “helps reduce breakouts”.

      So yeah – we DO think there is value in anecdotal experiences when weighed against potential harm, which is why we write about them on the blog. (Acupuncture, anyone? Based on a thousand years of observations, for example.) I remain hopeful that our ability to study the complex nature of the human body – scientifically, using the scientific method – will get better as we’re able to adjust somehow for all of the many variables.

  2. Thanks for being authentic and vulnerable about your journey, Cam! Cheers to therapy and whole health! ❤️ A Psychologist Who Loves This Blog

  3. I agree. I would be more on board with this post if other avenues had been explored first and described (even in passing), like an elimination diet, probiotics,or visit to a doc. The photo of the 4 bottles on top of the book is especially troubling considering each is $25-40 for a 30-day supply.

  4. Longtime reader and fan, and I just want to add that I am deeply troubled by this post, for all the reasons already mentioned, as well. Supplements are not reviewed by the FDA and should be consumed with extreme caution. Many women begin to have gastrointestinal complaints in their 30s, 40s, and beyond, and research has begun to show just how closely the brain and gut are linked. These are serious issues, and I fear they are trivialized through this infomercial approach. Just for starters, there are many probiotics that have gone through multiple trials that would be a much better idea to take than this brand’s. Cam, I too want to say I’m very sorry you’ve had to go through all this, and, as the first poster said, these comments are directed toward the TME editorial process as a whole. I get the sense from these comments that we would love to see you all address what we have raised here.

  5. Hey Katherine! Within the post I had mentioned that I not only changed my diet, but also have been on probiotics for at least a year. I have been trying different supplements, as well, for a while now – to attempt to balance-out my body and get me feeling somewhat back to myself. As for the price, any pure, trusted supplement will be a bit more on the pricey side (depending on what supplement you are looking for).

    Thanks for reading!

    Cheers,
    Cams

  6. It was clearly stated as a sponsored post. We all know what that means on one level — financial revenue — which is reasonable to pursue. That TME chose to sponsor it does not mean they are requiring their readers to take their word as gospel, nor do I ever get that feeling when reading their sponsored posts. I take it as a suggestion, as I’m sure it was intended.

    Cam clearly states that this was a holistic, whole mind-body approach she was taking to fix multiple health issues (i consider mental issues health issues, because your brain is also a part of your body), not just her gut. Exercise (yoga), diet (whole foods), dr visits (blood panels to make sure there are no possible medical issues like hypothyroidism), therapy (both talk and medication). Supplements are just one part to many parts of the solution, that worked for Cam.

    Thank you for sharing your journey and what worked for you.

  7. Great post Cam!!! Way to bear your soul for other people’s benefit, that’s not easy but admirable!! Continued luck to you, it’s all about one day at a time!!

  8. Agreed!!! God, how do you all expect these websites to exist (which we all enjoy) if they don’t get revenue somewhere? Just read and consume with a critical eye. To the actual content of the post: I also enjoyed reading and relating to your journey Cam – it helped me a lot.

  9. To be clear, I’m not objecting to all sponsored posts. I’m asking about *this specific* post, which seems to go against the evidence/science based approach of their other posts (even their sponsored ones).

  10. Perfectly said. I’m not sure why some people are so negative in the comments to some contributors. If you don’t like what’s being said, simply move on with the day. Not everyone is going to agree with everything and that’s probably why there is a diverse contributor selection now on the mom edit. If you don’t relate to one, there’s a good chance you can relate to someone else, or simply find a new blog to read. If Shana only wanted one view on things, she probably would have kept it as her original blog/site. I appreciate the vulnerability that it must take to put things like this out there, paid or unpaid. This should be a forum to SUPPORT other moms. She’s happy and healthy now … AWESOME! We have all been through things and to find the way out and be happy and healthy should be celebrated even if it’s not the way you would have done it.

  11. Thank you, Shana – this makes sense. I appreciate your taking the time to walk us through your thinking (and how open and responsive you are to these kinds of questions).

  12. Well…ok, but that’s not what is going on here. There’s no anecdotal experience, there’s just an uncritical repeating of the manufacturer’s claims. She isn’t saying “I took the collagen and I noticed my skin looked better.” She doesn’t talk about any results from the supplements (it sounds like she just started taking them). Instead she’s saying things like “Basically, it gets rid of toxins in your body. Sign. Me. Up.” What does that even mean? It sounds like GOOP.

    Anyway, I loved the post otherwise and I really appreciate Cam sharing her struggles and successes! And I don’t generally have a problem with sponsored posts as long as it’s clear that it’s an ad (and you guys are good about that). I just don’t think this particular piece of spon-con is a great look.

  13. Yes, it seems a bit disingenuous to act like one has been taking these particular supplements for a while and has actually seen results when they’ve obviously just started taking them.

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