What is a time of joy for many women was my darkest hour.
So I finally got my first very own place in Austin last summer. It was a big deal: I had a bedroom, living area, walk-in closet, kitchen, and bathroom, all separated by walls anddoors! Mommeh and Daddeh (must be pronounced this way whenever you admit to them giving you money) got me furniture, appliances, plates, towels -- you know, apartment stuff.
I was truly living alone for the first time, not counting the summer before when I took over the infamous Nova Haus in Hyde Park from my brother and his friends. (I consider it a squatter-type situation when the pantries and closets are still full of other people’s junk. Which is how I’m currently living in NYC, in case anybody is wondering. Also in case anybody wants to come by and get an ugly four-feet-tall Altoids Gum dispenser for $free.99)
With it the aloneness came an overwhelming need to be good at living, like regularly doing laundry and vacuuming and cooking for myself. I had no excuse not to be perfect. There were no jerks lingering in the other room to distract me from my ideal life. Except, like, when I let the Night Beats and The Growlers sleep over. They’re bad men and even badder influences. Hide yer daughters.
It was around that time that Hannah Johnson wrote about her fabled DIY juice cleanse. (You guys realize that I was once, like, the biggest xoJane beauty-section fangirl, right? I’d sit around refreshing the homepage, just waiting for another article to be posted. NOW I WORK HERE ‘CAUSE I’M THE LUCKIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD.)
Anyways, I got super-into juicing and eating healthy and taking supplements, which, I figured, were miracle capsules meant to cure your bad skin and midafternoon laziness and depression and stuff. That’s at least what their labels and the Internet promise. There, of course, were those trolls saying otherwise, but I choose to ignore anything on the Internet that I don’t want to believe.
So, after about four months of pill-popping (OTC vitamins), these enormous, virile cockroaches began climbing up the shower drain. Not in droves or anything like that--this was a pretty decent spot. (And, by the way, nice apartments get cockroaches, too, so suck it judgmental rich people.)
Regardless, they were huge, fast, and refused to die the first four times I dropped this stupid hippie book on them. (Book dropping is by far the best method of ridding your place of evil insects. I once saved a child from a scorpion with the yearbook he brought home from school that day. We all almost died. I also once saved a baby from choking on an omelet.)
Why was this happening?! What was with this sudden insurgence of a juicier, livelier breed of roach?
Well duh, I was peeing out all my nutritional vitamin urine in the shower, thus creating this master race of roaches out to destroy humanity.
But if you think that was going to stop me from taking my miracle pills (or peeing in the shower), you’re wrong and stupid. Just kidding, you’re smart and pretty.
The daily vitamin intake that goes into breeding Roid Roaches is as follows: spirulina (six tablets), B vitamins, zinc, calcium, fish oil (three softgels), biotin, gelatin (three capsules), colloidal silver (up to 90 drops a day), and niacin.
That’s 20 pills a day, kind of. And it was by far my least favorite part of the day, beating brushing my teeth and drinking those two damn glasses of water each morning right when I wake up. Health is hard, y’all!
I was subconsciously looking for any reason to stop, which is probably why my body was like “EFF YOU!” and started tingling and then burning and reddening after taking my third-ever dose of colloidal silver. It also started reacting weird to the niacin, which it had never done before.
Then I read some article saying that biotin, or b vitamins (I dunno, there was a “b” involved), sometimes makes people break out. That was my “Oh hell no” moment when I went cold turkey with the vitamins. What -- I’d rather be deficient on the inside than covered in zits on the outside.
Notice how none of my experience with vitamins and supplements had been approved, or even discussed with a professional. You guys, I’m the professional, see?! But it’s always good to get a second opinion, so I chatted with a certified health coach, whose parents are clearly baby-naming experts, Isabel Foxen Duke.
I learned shit for the first time since, like, first semester, sophomore year in college. Understand that there are two types of medicine: allopathic and holistic. Only clinical nutritionists and doctors can legally "tell people what to take," which, in my opinion, is messy because medical doctors aren’t necessarily trained in nutrition and prescribe too many pills for things that could be fixed with diet and exercise.
For instance, hospital food is crap. How are people supposed to be cured from their ailments by eating canned peas, white bread and pudding? But I’m only an expert in glitter and nail polish and glitter nail polish, so what do I know?
Isabel, although a certified health expert, is on the holistic side of things, so she’s technically more of a guide than someone who can legally tell me, or you guys, what to take. Shout out to SAY Media legal team!
I’m used to the look she had on her face when I rattled off the list of vitamins and supplements that I used to take. It was the same face my inked-up manfriend made three years ago (straight out da sorority house) when I told him I was going to get a huge gun tattooed on my hip “’cause I’m named after Annie Oakley.” Also the face I’d imagine my English teacher WHO DESPISED ME (like, tried to fail me) would make upon hearing I’m getting paid to put words together in sentence form.
Isabel was all, “whatever” about spirulina, because it’s a food. So I think I’m going to keep taking that. I love getting plenty of greens. She also said that most people are deficient in vitamin D, and this is something that both the holistic and allopathic sides agree on. Omega 3’s as well.
Her most stressed piece of advice, besides to NOT self-medicate, was to invest in high-quality vitamins and supplements if you and your healthcare provider decide that you should be taking them to begin with. Look for plant-based vitamins, rather than the cheaper brands that have synthetic ingredients. She gets her vitamins from her acupuncturist rather than the drugstore, which I think is super-chic.
Basically, if you’re eating healthy and are wise with your vitamin intake, you won’t be pissing out all the superfluous nutrients into your shower drain, thus nurturing a growing underground colony of Madagascar roaches plotting to infest your cute apartment, crawling into your ears at night and laying eggs inside your brain cavity where they’ll turn you into a drooling, dead-eyed zombie and use your body to do their bidding.
So what vitamins do you take? What insects are in your apartment? Are you a cockroach zombie overlord torturing some human by making them read my articles?
[For more less-gross stuff from Annie K, she is all over our sister site xoVain.com. --Jane]