In Part I, My Health Journey, I talked about my health path. Here, I'd like to share in more detail some things that I focus on that have helped....
1. STRESS - I never realized what a big factor this was until I had a health issue and this is the most important. Chronic stress is such an issue in our modern society and most of the time people don't even realize it. When we are stressed, our bodies release cortisol and other stress hormones. If you are constantly in this state, the cortisol gets out of control and eventually starts wrecking havoc on your organs. Being more aware of your stress levels is important. Taking deep, thoughtful breaths helps calm the mind and send much needed oxygen throughout the body.
2. FOOD - The saying "you are what you eat" couldn't be more on point. By getting rid of inflammatory foods (i.e. dairy, gluten, most grains, and meat) most any disease or ailment can be eliminated or lessened. These foods cause inflammation and create an acidic environment which is the perfect condition for any disease to flourish. Autoimmune, cancer, you name it. "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" -Hippocrates (4th-3rd c BC) I love eating healthy nutritious food and could never imagine going back to the SAD (Standard American Diet). I've never felt better! Staying hydrated is also a huge component of optimal health and the type of water is important. I drink alkaline oxidative water which helps alkalize an acidic body. Curious how the water you drink measures up? You can do a simple test with pH drops like in this video.
3. EXERCISE - Exercise is a large component of having a healthy body. It helps the body and mind by releasing positive hormones that help regulate you entirely. It also increases circulation and boosts the lymphatic system which drains the body of toxins. This doesn't have to be some strenuous activity. Simply walking every day can be extremely beneficial. I do a combination of exercises to keep it fun including walking, yoga, YouTube videos, or rebounding. Might I add that rebounding is my FAVORITE thing in the world right now. It's absolutely one of the best workouts and so fun! I feel like a kid again! P.S. 10 minutes rebounding is equivalent to a 30-40 minute run! What!? Amazing! :) I really want to start a new craze. Let's bring back the 80's-90's! Standup paddle board surfing is also something I love to do and try to get out on the water often. Recently, I learned how to windsurf and am hooked!
4. MEDITATION- It's all about calming the mind and destressing. We live in a society that is always on the go and constantly being over stimulated. The overall health benefits of meditation are astounding. The practice helps reduce stress, improves concentration, increases self-awareness, slows aging, and benefits cardiovascular and immune health. You might say "but I could never meditate. I can't shut off my brain". It's not about shutting it totally off. It's about being aware of your thoughts, following them, and focusing on something. Maybe it's your breath, a saying or mantra. It takes practice, like any thing you do, but it's so worth it!
5. SUPPORT - The last and perhaps most important recommendation is to be surrounded by supportive people. I have the most amazing people in my life. My husband, family, and friends are the bee's knees. I would not have made it through last year without them. Try to surround yourself with nourishing and encouraging people.
So there's a little tidbit of my journey. It has been a difficult one, but I am thankful for where I am now and all that I have learned. Currently, I'm in the process of becoming a Professional Holistic Nutritionist to further my knowledge and possibly help others. In September 2017, my new health and wellness website and blog will launch at TheRefinedHippie.com. There I will share all my knowledge and recommendations on nutrition for becoming the best version of yourself from the inside out. You will be able to help yourself, your family, and the planet.
Please feel free to email me with any questions. If you or someone you know is suffering from an autoimmune disorder or other ailment, know that there's hope. You don't have to be at the mercy of pills and doctors. There are other options. It does take dedication, but I can sincerely say it is so worth it. I know more about nutrition and wellness than I ever thought there was to know and I've never felt better!