Please remember that nothing related to health is one-size-fits all, and it's best to consult with your doctor or other medical professional before taking supplements or herbs. Also, I have an affiliate relationship with a few of these companies and receive a small commission if you purchase them through my link. I hope it goes without saying that these are all companies that I trust and use myself. I reached out to them about affiliate partnerships because I believe deeply in the quality of their offerings. All affiliates are indicated with an * following the company name.
Everything we put on our skin is absorbed into our body quickly and effectively, so it’s super important to be careful about the products we use. I find this is often a place people overlook – they may be eating organic, pastured food, but slathering themselves in chemical sunscreen or using toxic makeup. Beautycounter is my go-to for my family. We love the sunscreen, cleansing balm (more like a deeply hydrating body butter), and countermatch face cream.
Mountain Rose Herbs
If I had to pick just one source for trusted herbs this would be it. All of their products are organic, sourced from excellent herbal growers, and made with upmost integrity. And they carry a huge variety so it’s possible to find almost everything! This is a great place to get things like echinacea tincture to boost immunity, milky oats tea to nourish the nervous system, or shatavari powder to balance hormones.
I like to describe Thrive as Amazon, Whole Foods, and Costco having a baby (this analogy started before Amazon bought Whole Foods!). It is essentially a subscription service that allows you to buy super high-quality food at a discount through the mail. It does not include perishable foods, like fruits and vegetables, but is terrific for non-perishable items like nut butters, gluten-free crackers, or shredded coconut.
Vital Choice Seafood
Finding trusted wild-caught seafood can be hard depending on where you live, but it's essential to health. Vital Choice makes it easy by offering a delivery service for high-quality frozen or canned seafood. I love their wild salmon and Portuguese sardines.
In addition to the larger companies above, here are some of my favorite small producers of high-quality products. The whole point here is that these companies are small, so they don’t offer everything you might be looking for. But they are fabulous! And I know many of the owners personally and can attest to their energy and integrity.
Kathi is a kick-ass Herbalist who brings power to her products. Her Fire Tonic and Elderberry Elixir with Mushrooms are two of my favorite immune boosters. You can find her products in some Whole Foods locations and various health stores in New England, but ordering from her website is always a safe bet.
Lauren is incredible! She makes the most beautiful (and effective) products using many ingredients she grows and harvests herself. I love her rose face serum and her cramp relief tincture is my go-to natural remedy for menstrual cramps. Plus, she has a beautiful Instagram feed of her life in VT!
Raven Crest Botanicals
Susanna is one of my go-to stops at my favorite herbal conference every year to stock up on herbal supplies that I don’t make myself. I love her Healing Balm (my daughter’s favorite for all types of boo boos), chest rub for colds and congestion, Lyme formula, and all of her tincture blends (allergy relief is especially fantastic!). I also never take a bath without a few drops of her Madre Tierra oil blend – it’s heavenly.
Zach Woods Herb Farm
This cool, organic farm in Vermont grows tons of excellent herbs. I use them most for dry bulk herbs for teas and infusions. Their nettle, milky oats, and lemon balm are all favorites of mine to mineralize the body and support the nervous system. I also really love their rejuvenation tea blend.
Dr. Aviva Romm
Dr. Susan Blum
Dr. Frank Lipman
Supplements for General Health
My preference is that all of us receive the nutrients we need from whole foods, but unfortunately that isn’t always possible. I like to think of supplements as a nutritional insurance policy. Please still eat lots of healthy, fresh, nutritionally vibrant foods, but it can also be helpful to make sure your bases are covered with some high-quality supplements.
I have to take a moment to talk about quality because the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements and thus there are vast differences based on brand. Like most things related to food and health, you get what you pay for. I strongly advise only taking supplements from a reputable company that you trust (or learn about from someone in the know like me!). You just never know what’s in the cheap varieties and your liver doesn’t need anything extra to detox if we can avoid it.
I look for multi-vitamins that are food-based and non-GMO. This means the vitamins are extracted from real food as opposed to chemical compounds created in a lab. I find these to be indicative of higher-quality and to be more bio-available to the body. I also like ones that are one-a-day pills because who has time to take three multi-vitamins per day?
I strongly recommend all women of childbearing age to take a prenatal vitamin. The research is very clear that taking a prenatal for at least 6 months before getting pregnant is healthier for your baby and you never know when you might accidentally get knocked-up. A prenatal vitamin is essentially just a regular multi-vitamin with the addition of more folate and iron, which are totally safe for women who aren’t pregnant.
Fish oil supports so many important functions in the body. It’s an excellent source of anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats, supports healthy cardiac and neurological function, and provides the building blocks for hormone production (thyroid, sexual, stress etc.). Purity is especially important with fish oil because of the high mercury levels in fish. I’ve also found clients are nervous about having fishy burps when taking fish oil, but in my experience, that only happens when taking a low-quality fish oil. I have NEVER had anyone report fishy burps with either of these brands.
Almost all of us can benefit from actively supporting our gut and microbiome. This is not just for people who have digestive issues. Repeat, this is for all of us! The health of our microbiome (colony of bacteria living in our digestive track) is essential to nearly all physical functions of the body, but especially immunity, inflammation, mood (gut produces neurotransmitters) and proper digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Eating fermented foods daily (kombucha, yogurt, miso, sauerkraut etc.) is an excellent way to ensure you’re proactively adding beneficial bacteria to your gut, but I also recommend a probiotic supplement. I suggest taking your probiotic at night before going to bed (also a good time to take other supplements too). This allows the bacteria to really spread into your gut overnight without lots of digestion and meals getting in the way.
Occasionally people experience adverse symptoms, like gas or loose stool, when starting a new probiotic. This is totally normal and usually passes within a week or so. That being said, you know your body best, so if you’re really not feeling well please stop taking a probiotic and try fermented food or a different variety of probiotic instead.