How I Trained Myself to Start Taking Daily Vitamins

Amanda Montell
PHOTO:

Ritual

I am not a creature of habit. Waking up at the same time each morning, eating the same thing each day, and journaling every night are not in my nature. I can barely manage to eat regular meals every day, much less take a daily supplement. Needless to say, for the first 25 years of my life, I was not a vitamin girl.

According to family medicine specialists Faisal Tawwab, MD, and Daniel Gonzalez, MD, the most common reasons people fail to take regular vitamins are a dislike for the taste, a lack of education about their effectiveness, and general laziness. All of these reasons directly applied to me. "The reality is that good health is 70% nutrition, 20% exercise, and 10% supplementation," says registered dietitian Gisela Bouvier. "We cannot physically eat everything our body needs every single day, and supplementation ensures adequate micronutrient intake." The other reality is that until recently, you could have told me this fact, and I wouldn't have cared.

But a few months ago, I had a eureka moment. I'd been vegan for about a year, and intellectually I understood I was probably deficient in certain nutrients, like B12, but because I felt fine, I ignored it. Then, my mother, a biologist with a Ph.D. from Stanford, informed me that B12 deficiency can harm brain function over time, and this totally freaked me out. After that, I was inspired to go on a research bender—I consulted a slew of nutritionists, bought a bunch of pills, and now I manage to take vitamins every day.

Of course, my story isn't that simple. There were a number of tricks I had to learn to make vitamins a habit after years of avoiding them. Below, I've listed the top three reasons I didn't take vitamins for so long, and then, with the help of three nutrition experts, I offer advice on how to combat each one. Keep reading to learn how to become a vitamin junkie like me.

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