footer logo

Why You Need a Supplement Strategy — Plus 3 Steps to Get Started

While the pace of our modern world reaches unforeseen speeds, Thanksgiving still draws ever nearer, offering us a little moment of rest and restoration on the horizon. 

During this feast-filled season, it’s important to remember that like a well-prepared holiday meal, your supplement routine also deserves a thoughtful strategy. After all, with just one day to express all your gratitude for the year, you wouldn’t just dive headfirst into the cranberry sauce, right? 

No! Your carefully curated plate will contain a proportionate blend of meats, treats, and delectable eats to maximize the gorging experience. Your supplement strategy should be equally meticulous, varied, and strategic. 

But with the smorgasbord of marketing tactics and misinformed hype surrounding supplements, a calculated approach isn’t as easy as pumpkin pie. 

Thankfully, we have Dr. Neal — holistic pharmacist and supplement savant — to talk turkey about the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs to truly thrive. And here’s a spoiler alert: The answer isn’t just taking more supplements. 

In fact, Dr. Neal wants you to take fewer supplements! It’s what makes him a great health advocate and a terrible supplement salesman. Read on to learn how and why to form a supplement strategy that works for your wellness and your wallet. 

In This Article: 

3 Reasons You Need a Supplement Strategy ASAP 

If there’s one thing we’re not thankful for this year, it’s the overwhelming digital clutter that makes learning about and achieving holistic health nearly impossible. 

But don’t get us wrong, we’re not Luddites. In fact, we have “contemporary science and medical technology advancements” at the top of our gratitude lists! 

Our beef is with the lack of meaningful regulations in both the holistic and allopathic health spheres.

The wellness industry alone will be worth 15.5 billion dollars by 2024 — pair that financial incentive with virtually nonexistent industry standards, and you’ve got a recipe for highly profitable snake oil. 

Well-branded bunk sits on the same shelves as scientifically verified supplements that can actually help address nutritional gaps and support whole-body wellness. So modern consumers and wellness seekers have to be extraordinarily discerning when it comes to choosing supplements if they want to avoid: 

  • Wasting money
  • Damaging their health
  • Hurting the planet
An evidence-based supplement strategy can combat these potential negatives in a few key ways: 
  1. By doing your own research, you can sidestep the industry’s attempt to profit off your confusion. In turn, you’ll avoid wasting money and your desire to feel healthier will no longer be a sales point, but a strength. 
  2. On top of protecting your wallet, supplement research and strategy can help you protect your health by weeding out the low-quality supplements that can actually do more harm — with harmful additives, rancid ingredients, and heavy metals content — than good. 
  3. Instead of getting swept up in unsustainable supplement trends and so-called miracle pills, you can preserve the integrity of your body and the planet by choosing clinically backed, ethically sourced supplements, vitamins, and herbs.  

Gone are the days of buying supplements based on your neighbor’s recommendation or yesterday’s trending TikTok. After all, if you haven’t got your health, then you haven’t got anything.

Learn More: 4 Steps to Buying the Right Supplements in 2024

A Caveat: Lifestyle Factors Come Before Supplementation

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of launching a successful supplement strategy, we’d be remiss not to mention our guiding principle and framework for whole-person health. 

The Wellness Pyramid

Formulated by Dr. Neal after 20+ years of educating the public on holistic, or whole-being, wellness, this handy little visualization tool makes this complicated topic simple. Simple doesn’t mean easy in this context, but it does mean uncomplicated, straightforward, and transparent

The foundation of your wellness — and the Wellness Pyramid, of course — is built with the most mundane, unsexy, and yet extraordinarily important aspects of life. That is: diet, sleep, exercise, stress management, and lifestyle changes.  

If we want to actually experience the benefits of supplementation, we have to get these ducks in a row first. You can’t out-supplement a nutritionally bankrupt diet or totally sedentary lifestyle, as we always say! 

So if you’re looking for a fool-proof, data-backed way to improve your health and prevent disease start with holistic nutrition, deep sleep, consistent movement, stress reduction, and lifestyle adaptations. It’s only once you’ve optimized those areas of your life that you’ll truly get the advantages of supplements. 

Learn More: The Wellness Pyramid: Your Roadmap to Holistic Health

3 Steps for Creating Your Supplement Strategy 

Now that you’ve spent, presumably, a few weeks or months getting the 5 lifestyle domains ironed out and are ready to tackle strategic supplementation — welcome back! 

Supplements, when done right, can help fill the inevitable gaps in our nutrition and bolster our health against the stressors of our modern lives. Without them, we’d be eating a whole lot of sea creatures to meet the recommended daily omega-3 intake, and who wants to live in a world like that? 

The key point in that last paragraph is the when done right part, because, as we’ve just learned, not all supplements are created equal. And, more importantly, not all supplements are right for all people, of all walks of life. 

In order to create a supplement strategy that won’t break the bank or break down your health, start with these three simple steps: 

1. Find Your “Why” 

And no, your “why” isn’t just “general health.” 

The reason why you take a supplement should be set in stone long before you choose which brand to buy from or how long to take it. (Those steps come later.) Whether it’s to address a common nutrient deficiency — à la the Vital5 — or to conquer a particular health concern, the core goals of your supplementation process need to be defined. 

Without a clear picture of what you’re hoping to accomplish, it’s easy to fall prey to panacea pills that over-promise and under-deliver. Or, as Dr. Neal says, it’s easy to become a hope-ium addict. 

Instead, start with explicit goals and areas of focus. 

For Example:

If you struggle with brain fog and focus issues, your goal would be to improve neurological health and cognition. You’d start with the 5 lifestyle domains that impact your brain health in serious ways and improve the quality of your diet, sleep, exercise, stress management, and environmental factors. 

Then, you’d address the most likely deficiencies affecting your brain health: omega-3, protein, multivitamins/minerals, and probiotics. From there, you can offer your brain an additional boost with natural nootropics like lion’s mane, NAC, or adrenal support supplements

Learn More: No More Resolutions: Set a Vision for the New Year

2. Figure Out Your “What”

What’s up? What’s cooking?

The what part of your journey will involve a lot of questions and personal veins of inquiry. It’s in this stage of the supplement strategy journey that you start figuring out what’s what and what’s worthless. That is, what brands are worth buying from, what forms of vitamins and minerals are most bioavailable, and what supplements should be prioritized

Because, unfortunately, it’s not enough to just buy the first vitamin D you see at the grocery store if your doctor tells you you’re low in it. If you want vitamins that are what they say they are, you’ll need to research the sources, forms, and science of each specific, branded supplement. 

For Example: 

If you’re planning to purchase an omega-3 supplement or one-a-day multivitamin to support your brain health and alleviate brain fog, there are several “what’s” you’ll need to delineate before handing over your cold hard cash. 

From what (hopefully ethical and sustainable) source is the omega-3 fish oil derived? What forms of B vitamins are included in the multi? What health conditions of yours (like the MTFHR gene, maybe?) could be affecting your ability to absorb or convert these nutrients? 

Learn More: Multivitamins for Brain Health: 3 Things to Know Before Buying

3. Define Your “When”

Supplements, for all their unsung glory, aren’t band-aids or instant fixes. 

In fact, most supplements work by offering a cumulative effect to the body — one that is often subtle, and always a little slow. Before adding any supplement, new or old, to your strategic routine, it’s critical to set very clear, very realistic expectations on the timeline

Just because a particular supplement is backed by science, touted by professionals, or selling like hotcakes doesn’t mean it won’t take time to have a palpable effect. Instead of giving up after a month or adding in a new supplement because you aren’t seeing tangible results — be patient. 

Pick a date 3 months or 6 months from when you started a supplement. Define your “when” and if you don’t see results at the end of that data-backed timeframe, then you can freak out. 

For Example: 

After setting your goals, completing research on health conditions, and becoming an expert in bioavailability, you’re finally ready to actually purchase your omega-3 supplement. But how long should you take it? Is it a forever kind of thing? 

Call a supplement strategist — like one of our experts — to establish a timeline that makes sense based on your unique set of life circumstances! The best way to launch your supplement strategy is with the help of an experienced pro who has, essentially, four white horses for the journey. 

Want to ring us up right now? As you wish


By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the use of cookies on your device in accordance with our Privacy and Cookie policies