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Habits-Are they serving you well?

Today, I'd like to pull back the curtain on my personal health journey since becoming a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner in 2022. This post is hopefully both helpful and and an important reminder that we are all unique, therefore our healing path forward will also be unique.



Sedona 2023


 

Here's what I'm learning.

  1. Don't do it alone.

  2. Allow the beauty of being outside do the work it can do.

  3. Keep moving forward at a pace you can handle.

  4. Try walking, it's free and can be done anywhere.

  5. Record your progress for you.

  6. Nutrition is one part of the healing process.

  7. Find someone who can help you figure out what's going on.


Your Health is Your Responsibility.

After graduating from the Nutritional Therapy Association I was so energized about all the nutrition information that unfortunately was NOT ever a part of conversations I had when going to the doctor. As I looked back on my health journey, I could see a definite thread that put many of the pieces together on why I struggled with so many issues; headaches, migraines, digestion problems, acne, weight, fibroids, and cysts and a lot more migraines! Eventually, I had a full hysterectomy which then necessitated hormone replacement. After a change in hormone medication in 2010, I began to experience even more debilitating migraines. This brought me to the emergency room where I received powerful pain meds to relieve my pain. The pain didn't diminish, but I did suffer a brain stem stroke at the age of 52. My recovery was challenging and I never received the answers to my many questions - 'Why did this happen?', 'What can I do to prevent another stroke?'

Today, fifteen years post-stroke I can see so many positive outcomes from my health crisis and it definitely has inspired me to encourage you to be in charge of your health.

No one cares more about how you actually feel than you do.

Don't do it alone.

When we don't feel great, it's easy to isolate and loose hope. But, I'm here to encourage you to reach out and find someone who will listen and help you find the answers you need to feel better.Check in with your partner, friend or family member and share how you feel. Allow them to give you their perspective which can help you keep pursuing the answers you need to heal.

Allow the beauty of being outside do the work it can do.

This simple act of getting outside daily, is life-changing. We need light in the morning to set our internal clock so we can sleep deeply at night. During the longer and brighter days, I'm working at taking my breakfast outside and absorbing the sun while I eat. This helps to regulate my para-sympathetic [rest & digest] system [which isn't well regulated-yet]. I'm working on eating slowly so that my food will actually be well utilized by my body and I will experience improved digestion and less constipation.

Keep moving forward at a pace you can handle.

My post-stroke body still has issues. I have numbness, a wonky gait, and pain - always pain in my right leg. The default for me is to not move, but this actually works against me in many ways. I then struggle to get into a para-sympathetic state which means my food doesn't digest well, I feel wired and tired and find that many things bother me. I'm less motivated and since I have clients who are asking for my help, I can feel like a fraud. So, since December I have determined to move every day. Some days I move a lot, but sometimes I'm happy with a walk around the park. I can honestly say that this has moved the needle the most in improving how I feel. I have now added rebounding to my routine which I can do while watching TV or listening to a podcast. Since balance is one of my issues - I can see some slight improvements now because I can remain on the rebounder insted of falling off!

I believe walking daily will change your life -you can quote me on this.

Try walking daily, it's free and can be done anywhere.

Seriously, the only equipment you need is a good pair of shoes. When I feel a bit blue, or my leg hurts or I'm lonely, walking outside at a brisk pace actually eliminates my angst. I arrive back home with a better outlook on life and more energy to tackle what the day brings. I love to listen to music or a podcast which makes the time go by faster. I also track my steps which keeps me motivated. This is only for me but I have seen more consistency because of my daily step goals.

It's been said; "What gets measured, gets managed".

Record your progress for you.

I believe this is true and actually helpful as you decide to make some changes in improving how you feel. I use a simple fitness tracker that measures my steps. I began small and increased the steps until I hit my target goal. One of my biggest health problems is high blood sugar and insulin resistance. This is a common problem with many people and our diet and low movement are contributors. To help me become more aware of how what I eat and exercise contributes to better regulation of blood sugar, I use a continuous glucose monitor [CGM]. This simple device attaches to my upper arm and gives me an accurate account of how my blood sugar levels are affected by the food I'm choosing to eat along with giving me encouragement to keep moving so that my muscles can soak up the glucose instead of it being stored as fat- Ugh.

Nutrition is one part of the healing process.

This one might surprise you since I'm always talking about eating whole, real food. I do believe that eating whole real food is essential for our health, but it isn't the ONLY part. Getting quality sleep regularly every night is also important. Turning off electronic devices 30 minutes before bedtime can help our body begin to shut down and prepare for sleep. Keeping our bedroom cool and dark is also helpful. Our body loves routine, so aiming for bedtime by 10pm and rising at 6am is a great routine to establish. Stress is so stressful to our body. It keeps us up at night, causes our blood sugar to stay elevated, can increase our blood pressure, hamper digestion and impact our abily to ward off diseases. Take an inventory of your life and address the stressors. We all need to learn better ways to manage stress. Exercise, massage, going outside, deep breathing, meditation, connecting with friends are some of the ways we can manage stress. I encourage you to find healthy ways to do this instead of using sugar and caffeine to numb our issues.

Find someone who can help you figure out what's going on and how to move forward.

Nutritional therapy is a fairly new field that looks at each individual as a unique person. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. The first step is a conversation where you can express what you'd like to change and what health issues you are dealing with. Then the real work begins with a thorough nutritional questionnaire, and filling out a food journal of what you regularly eat allows me to see how your lifestyle is supporting or contributing to your health issues and then we talk through a plan that fits your lifestyle. I love helping people find better ways to live and know I can help you too.

You can schedule a free discovery call to find out if Nutritional Therapy is a good fit for you

I hope my learnings around supporting my health have encouraged you to consider what you need for improved health.

Thanks for reading,

Jan



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