The Challenge: The Three Most Important Changes for Better Health
On to another year!
Last year was a year for me full of growing, learning and education on life.
In January, after years of dealing with some fairly serious stomach and behavior issues my daughter, age 8 was diagnosed with celiacs disease. For those of you who don't know, this is not a gluten intolerance or sensitivity, but rather a condition where the vili in your intestinal tract that takes the nutrition out of your your food and into your body and aids with digestion get mulled down and does not work. Basically what this means is you end up with a kid deficient in a bunch of very important nutrients and not feeling good, happy, like you should as a kiddo with a good life. It affected everything about her and our lives without us even knowing it. Now after learning so much at Institute for Integrative Nutrition, (IIN) I have so many different feelings about why this started and what to believe about nutrition and happiness. I'll share more about that in this journey.
In a nutshell, this meant that we all had to get a bit more serious about our health.
You can't make a kiddo give up pizza for broccoli and then eat pizza in front of them. And that's not just kids- it's everyone. It's cruel! So the whole family had to get a bit healthier.
I have always been a health enthusiast, but some big shifts happened in my life a few years back that had brought me to a super unhealthy place physically and mentally. I just was not taking care of myself or doing much to healthfully take care of my family. But with this diagnosis, a lot of self reflection had to take place.
After a self help, podcasts, books and youtube binge took place and I got on the road to health for myself and my family I decided I wanted more. In fact, I decided this self helpery with health and nutrition was exactly what I had needed my whole life for my physical AND mental aptitude. That's when I started at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. That's is when I decided this is more than self help, this is the keys to a better life for me and everyone I come in contact with. This is where life gets good!
Food is Medicine
At IIN, we learn over a 100 different dietary theories. No two are exactly alike. As the largest holistic health college, we also get the super cool opportunity of learning from the big dawgs. If they wrote the book on that theory, they are who we get a lecture from. It is awesome becasue they know thier stuff. They have research. They have graphs. They all can show how they cure cancer, alzhymers, cardio vascular disease, egszima, dimentian and allow you to live another 15 years longer. They can back it up. They have data to support everything to make you completely question everything about what you are eating. AND they completely contradict each other. Ugh! One says only eat meat, the other only vegitables, the other no grains, and another all grains. Being the super analytical one that I can be, I started to break them all down. They can't all be right, can they? What do they all have in common?
What I found is what IIN says from the beginning: bio individuality. Yes, there is science, but it is always changing. They best science comes from within and listening to your own body. Being smarter than the diet, not letting a diet demean your ability to know whats right for your body. YOU are in the driver seat.
That being said, there are some BIG similarities in ALL of these diets and it is my belief that these similarities are what make ALL the difference in our health and why all these theories are 'RIGHT'.
In November I took my theory to the test in my own body accompanied by a few of my class mates (thank you Nicole Tolbert). I could not believe the differnce in just one month on my energy and my body. As life goes, December I did not keep up with it and I felt like it.
So here goes 2018- taking health by storm
The Challenge Broke Down Basics
At IIN we learn over 100 different dietary theories and we also explore the impact that primary food (what you feed your soul with like relationships, career, my crazy obsession with podcasts) has on your health and life. We are all different, but there are a three simple things I found all theories had in common and three things I decided to challenge myself to holding myself to. Here it goes...
1) No added sugar
Regardless of what my sweet old Pop Pop says, sugar is just not an essential building block of life. It is not necessary. In fact, many believe it to be equivalent to a drug on its affect on our minds and bodies. When it came down to it, I couldn't find anything to support it and a whole lot against it. So, it's out.
2) No processed food
This one, I have realized is going to need a bit more clarification as the lines can get skewed easily. What I have broke this down to is basically EAT REAL FOOD. If it has one ingredient (apple, chicken, tomato) than even better. No healthful dietary theory is going to tell you to go eat Lucky Charms all day. Real food that can be identified without having to google what it is. In this, I am going to go with what feels right and expirment a bit.
3) 30 minutes of exercise everyday
This is for the mind even more than the body. For me, this includes running, weights, walks, yoga (my favorite) hikes, etc. What a little exercise can do for you is irriplacable. Mind, body and soul.
This is my personal journey...
Bio-individuality. Every person is unique. What your body does best with may be totally different than my own. But across the board when talking about health these three things to improve your health can generally not be disputed. This is my journey, but I'd love company. I do love sharing what has worked for me, what I've learned, the trials I run up against and what direction I see things going from here. That is why I have decided to document this challenge in my intstagram @totalbeautyandwellness. All this with the hopes of inspiring you to go on a health journey too.