I chose Wellness & Coaching as my degree in college. I ended up graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2004 with this degree, and immediately decided to NOT work in the health and wellness field, because it was so tough to ask people to change their habits. Heck, it was hard for me to change my own cravings and unhealthy eating habits. Yet, my love for all information regarding health and nutrition and exercise and life wellness, has stayed and grown.
The diets that flood our marketplace right now are truly some of the best diets and systems and way of eating that have ever been put out. And if you really do some research and learn about some of the amazing studies out there, and learn from doctors who are using nutrition to reverse major chronic killers, it’s all pretty amazing and informative. I also really love to watch all of the documentaries that talented people get out there for the rest of us to learn from. At the end of the day, I find that whatever you can do for the rest of your life, is probably the best diet and system for you. You can certainly temporarily do water fasts to drastically and quickly improve your health, but what’s is the long term solution? What can you do today and tomorrow and the next day and in social situations and while you are alone, that is really best for you and your health, and that of your family.
I’ve been on the search for this for a while now, and it’s amazing how long something can take to truly absorb into your mind and brain, and then how much longer it can take to implement it. I’m still learning daily, but lately, I’ve had a ton of epiphanies, by learning some new things about our bodies, and our health, and nutrition, and how the whole system is set up.
The first thing that has recently BLOWN MY MIND, is gut health and when I say gut health, I mean the whole system of BACTERIA that is set up and lives throughout our entire body that controls everything. When we don’t feed and support this bacteria correctly, things can get hazy, foggy and go wrong. Some scientists even found that this organ of bacteria controls everything from our moods to our cravings to the diseases we will get and works (or fights) with the genes that we ALREADY have in place – those given to us by our parents and ancestors.
I also learned that one of the best ways to automatically be set up for gut health and microbiome success is to come into this world via vaginal delivery and be breast fed. I was a c-section baby and not breast fed. It was the first time I really thought about how this has effected my health today. I was brought up in Poland where we did eat a lot of fruit and veggies off my grandparent’s farm, and I remember my grandpa growing his their own tomatoes, and my grandma constantly canning fresh and their own grub. Yet, I can’t believe that it took me 35 years to realize the importance of whole food eating. And it’s not even “whole” food or “plant” food, it’s also the SOURCES of this food. If I’m chowing down on raw kale or spinach, this is awesome, but if that kale and spinach has been sprayed with pesticides and grown in soil that was EMPTY of any nutrients, then my GUT is getting exactly that. The same weed killers that are present on my kale, are now killing the healthy bacterial in our guts.
I know this is awful to hear and awful to learn, and I can see how if this type of info is important to you too, it can really be heartbreaking. I am an Isagenix consultant, and I finally UNDERSTAND why the company and products do so well and are so needed by most people. Because when you can offer vitamins and minerals and macro-nutrients – that are antibiotic free and hormone free, and digestible and absorb-able and favorable in a super convenient shake form – you must get them into your body as often as possible – especially in our high paced Western world.
But what else can we do? What else must we do, to feed our microbiome so that it never has an opportunity to FIGHT our bods, but instead supports our growth and our immune system, and help us ANTI-AGE and fight off all illnesses and diseases brought on by age and food? The answer is so simple yet so complex: we must feed it and treat it correctly.
I’m slowly, and when I say slowly, I mean like turtle speed that is blind without an aid moving half the time in circles, started going about fixing my gut. I haven’t done any tests, I have not worked with any doctors, I just know deep down in my heart, that my gut and whole body needs continuous nutritional improvement.
As awful as our food environment is, I am choosing to look at the POSITIVE and be grateful for what is available, and take an active role doing ANYTHING and EVERYTHING I can – yet slowly (one meal and day at a time) to start improving my health, and anything and everything to help set my children up for as much success as I can.
This was the day yesterday:
6am – 20 min run
7am – water w/ 2T organic apple cider vinegar
8am – coffee, black
10am – pack of vitamins & coffee w/1tbs grass fed organic butter, w/1 teaspoon organic coconut oil, w/ organic caricature & cinnamon, blended up with organic heavy whipping creme.
12pm – 30 min walk w/dog in sunshine
1pm – 1 head of romaine lettuce over red & regular cabbage & carrots sauteed with ghee butter
130pm – 2 scoops isa shake & 1 scoop isa whey protein (42 grams of protein)
6pm – frozen blueberries & frozen cherries (publix, not organic)
7pm – Indian curry (ginger, tomatoes, onions & seasonings) over roasted fresh vegetables: cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms, asparagus
water, bed, 14K steps
This is just one day, and the goal is to truly eat as naturally as possible, foods that are in their purest forms, and foods that are as whole as possible, sourced cleanly and locally if possible.
After I woke up recently about the state of the grub I have consumed, it’s pretty crazy. But, our bodies are forgiving, but as soon as you realize that WE ARE WHAT WE EAT and what we ate, we can quickly begin taking steps to help ourselves do much better.
Is the ENTIRE food marketing system, and food industry, and government food lobbyist to blame – absolutelyfreakenlutelyx1000! If they cared about the health of the citizens, they wouldn’t allow chemicals that are SLOWLY yet VIOLENTLY killing us all – into the food system. But it’s important to remember that many industries are THRIVING by keeping people SICK, yet still alive. So let’s change this – change this for YOU, one day at a time.
Does this mean that I won’t ever eat another harmful thing, or another harmful product or a cupcake or a cookie, or a piece of farmed raised fish at a restaurant? No, I refuse to set IMPOSSIBLE standards that are hard to meet. BUT, I will try to do better each and every day by feeding my micro-biome and feeding my system as best as I can. And instead of buying processed carbs or snacks, I’ll try to make as many of them myself with the best ingredients possible.
Will sending my child in to school with an organic apple, and organic strawberries, and organic spinach make sense, if he brings back the WHOLE lunch? No, we’re not there yet. But, I can certainly do what I can right now by buying organic snacks, and starting a mini garden at home, and thinking twice about all food choices, and feeding him mostly raw and organic grub or minimally processed food when he is home. And I’m not pushing organic at all, because organic farming has their own challenges. Always be aware of the marketing of so many products and systems, organic or non-organic and buying local from a farmer’s market is best.
What’s next for this family? Well, I’m really on board with putting healthy fat into our bodies. I’m a huge believer in getting a good amount of excellent protein into our muscles. Muscle is the longevity organ, and a good amount of protein is needed to thrive and anti-age. Ideally, the processed carbs can forever take a hike, because these are never needed in our systems, yet the hardest ones to remove. With the Internet, the amount of amazing recipes and tools and information available to us all – it’s possible replace all empty carbs by using and making vegetables in interesting ways. I made broccoli veggie chips the other day, and did it taste like a nice tortilla chip? Nah. But can I live with it, and enjoy it? Absolutely! It was fun to have a day full of mostly VEGETABLES yesterday, and it’s fun to concentrate on eating, with gut health in mind. Because NOW I know that our gut health controls most processes in our bodies, I feel MOTIVATED to do right by myself, and my body. I also know our bodies mean to re-generate themselves and give us plenty of chances to get it right.
Michael Pollen said it best: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
There is a lot more where this came from, and it’s by far some of the most exciting information and topic in the world, because FOOD is who we are, makes us who we are and want to be.
Cheeeers, Healthy Bacteria!