Are you sick and tired of feeling sick and tired? The best news is, and I feel I’ve first hand experience, that we can be our own healthcare givers. We need to move away from the programming we have where we seem to believe that everyone except us knows what is good for us.
Through all that has happened, and my health transformation to now that I am 6 months pregnant, I am literally living healthy from the inside. And I attribute my own health transformation to both fitness and food.
As a fitness trainer for over 15 years, it made sense I would teach my body to walk again after surgery. Having cut nerves form my scalp to mid thoracic, it’s no wonder I had very little pain, and for that I am thankful. I do remember those first few weeks at home and not being able to hold my head up, and sitting on a Swiss ball was pretty funny, if not impossible. But I graduated to rollers with my bike and my husband turning my legs, to trying to turn them myself to trying to lift every time Homer Simpson said ‘doh’ on my favorite program.
Going outside for walk rests, then walk jogs to walk runs, I came home one afternoon to an email from the NYC marathon, I was IN: I had qualified just two weeks before my emergency brain surgery. So I had some training to do, and some fundraising and awareness too namely for the Brain Tumor Foundation: I wanted to share my story and this information, which is innately every human’s right to know! We did it too, my husband running by my side, in 3.34, qualifying for Boston, which we didn’t run, but we did run the NYC marathon another two years in a row after.
Natural or functional movements have always been my preferred form of exercise too. I am a gymnast and a climber from my teenage years. It’s how I move best but also how I work out how I’m not moving best. One thing I often do with clients if to ask them to squat, the penultimate of all exercises it would see in the training world. And you see some pretty different things going on. So instead, I then as them to sit on the ground and then get up with no hands, the lowest part of the squat which very few, if any of us have been. You see some pretty different things there too but people find a way. And that’s what I love: feeling how you move .
I suppose the biggest changes I have made in my diet is completely eliminating processed foods. I also quit sugar (and I redo this each season because they have a sneaky habit of getting back in) and grains of all kinds because of how they made me feel: jittery and sleepy almost at the same time, and gassy and bloated, respectively. Now that’s all deprivation, I hear you say. Well the other thing I have focused on is getting nutrient density and variety in as many foods as I can to provide a platform for dietary exploration. Each of us has our own individual biochemistry and physiology—therefore we each have our own individual dietary needs. And that’s a better reason why we should keep our food free of grains, gluten, soy, and environmental toxins.
The best way to learn which foods work best for you is to engage with your diet each and every day and to be willing to make changes if necessary. Paying attention is key. So-called “elimination diets” are a great method for identifying potential intolerances and irritants. In this style of diet, all potentially irritating and inflammatory foods are removed from the diet to allow the body to re-set. After a set period of time, foods are gradually reintroduced to discover which ones can be tolerated and which ones should stay out of the diet—for good. While “elimination” describes the action of removing and testing foods, we like to call this method an exploration and discovery diet. After all, you will be doing a lot of discovery along the way!
It’s important to remember, though, that what works for your friend, sibling, or parent might not work for you. The smallest changes in our environment and genetic code can alter our guts considerably. Each of us is like a different type of car that needs a specific type of fuel to operate at its best—some of us require diesel, others run on electricity, and still more are hybrids.
Either way, we’ve our own way of living healthy from the inside: do you know yours?