First, my disclaimer: This isn’t a story about how one product “cured” me—far from it—but about how I finally found a supplement that I really love, that I feel good about consuming, and that works for me. So, here goes.
I’ve had stomach issues for a decade. In the last five years, I’d wake up with a flat stomach and go to bed looking pregnant. Bloating aside, I was in pain.
I was in and out of doctors’ offices, trying to figure out what was going on. They thought I had IBS and prescribed me strong antibiotics, something that only worsened my symptoms.
Then, I started looking into whether food might be the cause and went on a series of elimination diets. At one point, I was eating only potatoes. Potatoes are delicious, but trust me, that’s no way to live.
It was so frustrating to know that sustaining a constant level of discomfort was my normal.
Throwing it in my smoothie didn’t taste good, either. Then, about nine months ago, I discovered Primal Kitchen. My first experience with the company was with its great-tasting protein bars, which are made with collagen, so I decided to try its collagen powder, too.
I’m obsessed with the chocolate-coconut flavor—it’s seriously the best collagen powder I’ve tried. Somehow, even though it has zero grams of sugar, it still tastes slightly sweet. I also feel really good about the fact that the collagen is sourced from grass-fed cows.
Every morning, I add the collagen to a smoothie bowl. I throw frozen spinach and cauliflower in my blender, along with almond butter or avocado, some liquid (like coconut milk or water), and the collagen powder. I dump it all in a bowl—it’s so thick I have to eat it with a spoon—and top with cacao nibs and seeds.
The combination of carbs, healthy fats, and protein (each scoop of collagen has 11 grams) is really filling.
I’ll also add this great-tasting collagen powder to coffee. It gives it a nice flavor (even if it’s crappy coffee!), and then I don’t have to put almond milk or cream in my cup.
Within a couple of months, I started noticing results. Though not every expert agrees that collagen supplements can improve your appearance—and I know there’s limited research on the topic—my experience with collagen powder has been all positive.
My nails stopped breaking all the time. People started asking me what I was doing to my skin (and I’ve never gotten those kinds of comments before, even when I was getting regular facials). Now, I feel so good about my complexion, I just wash my face and put on sunscreen—I don’t use much makeup anymore.
It’s been about a year since I started using collagen powder, and my bloating has gone down, too, though it’s by no means gone away completely. (Full disclosure: Improved digestion is another potential benefit of collagen powder that science hasn’t proven—at least not yet.)
Recently, I was at an event where I had to wear a bathing suit, and didn’t think twice about it—before I would have been so self-conscious.
At the end of the day, I’d say I still look semi-pregnant. Like I said, this isn’t a cure. But it is something that I feel has helped support my health and wellbeing—not to mention my confidence levels.
Lesley Logan is a Pilates instructor in Los Angeles.
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