Balls in the Air: The Story Behind the Protocol
We know a lot of women (and guys) who have a lot of balls in the air. Keeping them all up requires that we’re in optimal health, so we can run full-steam ahead when we really need to. With that in mind, we partnered with women’s health expert, Dr. Amy Myers, on a supportive vitamin-supplement regimen to cover all our essentials. Myers, who runs a functional medicine practice out of Austin, Texas is adept at helping patients avoid and overcome autoimmunity issues (she provides tips here on how to avoid it altogether). As she explains below, she developed the Balls in the Air protocol for women looking to do both.
A Q&A with Dr. Amy Myers
Are there specific ingredients that are heroes that were important to include? Any that work together to become more powerful?
The “SuperPower Support” supplement is the hero of this regimen—a blend of building blocks (including vitamin C and selenium) that boosts the body’s glutathione production. Glutathione is the major antioxidant in our body; it’s crucial to the body’s natural detoxification process as it helps remove toxins, while also supporting other antioxidants, the health of our immune system, and our energy. When you are always on the go, you’re depleting your glutathione stores, which is where this supplement comes into play.
The supplement nicknamed Superpower Sidekick, made with a unique broccoli extract, complements the glutathione blend, and even potentiates its effect. In order for your body to continue to make and recycle glutathione, it needs the building blocks in this Sidekick.
Typically, glutathione as a supplement is broken down by the gut and it does not get absorbed well—but the building blocks in these two supplements are more readily absorbed and efficiently used by the body.
Why do we need these ingredients in supplement form?
It’s difficult to get enough of the building blocks of glutathione in our diet. Most people are not eating enough sulfur-containing vegetables and cruciferous vegetables (the main source of glutathione building blocks in the diet).
In addition, our soil is depleted and our food contains less nutrients now than the soil our ancestors evolved to live on. (This goes for all of the nutrients included in this regimen; not just glutathione.) Also, we live in a world filled with toxins, which means that our bodies have extra detox work to do, using our glutathione stores to help remove these toxins from our system.
While taking this regimen, what kind of diet do you recommend?
Eat a diet rich in colorful organic vegetables and fruits—especially garlic, onions, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts—along with pasture-raised protein and good healthy fats.
If you have autoimmunity issues, I recommend removing all grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds from your diet for thirty days. These foods contain certain proteins that can be irritating to the gut lining, and my autoimmunity patients have seen incredible reduction in symptoms and massive gains in their health by cutting these foods out. [You can read more about Dr. Myers’s autoimmune-focused diet recommendations on goop here, and check out more of her nutrition programs here.] If you don’t have autoimmunity, you can include non-gluten grains, legumes, nuts and seeds in your diet.
[For a complete food plan, plus recipes, to partner with the Balls in the Air regimen, see here.]
What kind of exercise/activity best complements the regimen?
I would avoid extreme endurance exercise like marathons and triathlons. If you’re a woman trying to do it all, you’re likely burning the candle at both ends. Endurance fitness could kick you over the edge into adrenal fatigue, which is caused by chronic stress. I recommend focusing on restorative exercises such as yoga, functional training, or high intensity training (HIIT) where there are short bursts of intense exercise followed by rest.
Are there other lifestyle changes that can make a noticeable difference?
Women who are constantly on the go need to make sure they are balancing that demand and energy with some downtime. Finding time for stress-relieving activities—such as meditation, prayer, or paced breathing—each day, even just for 5-10 minutes, can make a big difference. Same goes for more extensive, perhaps weekly activities, such as acupuncture, massage, infrared sauna, or float tank sessions.
[For a round-up of best in self-care, see here.]
What kind of impact can people expect the regimen to have and when?
If you are making positive changes to your diet and lifestyle, in addition to incorporating the supplement regimen, people can typically begin to feel a bit better after a week. Certainly, after thirty days, I would expect one to have more energy, a clearer mind, feel less frazzled and more balanced.
Amy Myers, M.D. specializes in women’s health issues, particularly gut health, thyroid dysfunction, and autoimmunity. She is the founder and medical director of Austin UltraHealth, a functional medicine clinic based in Austin, Texas; and the New York Times bestselling author of The Autoimmune Solution and The Thyroid Connection. Dr. Myers developed the goop vitamin/supplement protocol, Balls in the Air, designed for women who want to stay on top of their A game.
The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of goop, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.