How many times have you looked up at the clock only to realize that you have not drank any water for the last four hours? Its kind of a crummy feeling, kind of like you let your body down right?
There is a reason that water is the most common nutrient deficiency in America and it has everything to do with our beliefs around this life giving substance.
It is a fact that America is lacking intake of water and this is despite it being highly available unlike many locations around the world. Six hundred sixty three million people around the globe live without access to clean water. And yet we are surrounded by flavor that always seems to win out against water.
Water is considered a nutrient along with protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. It’s critical for every cell in the body, every organ, every system in your body needs water to function correctly. Too little water inhibits oxygen and nutrient flow which ultimately can lead to some early and late signs of dehydration.
These below are some fairly common symptoms that your typical doctor will see a lot and from a nutritional therapy perspective this is also quite common.
So if we know what being dehydrated does to the body and what it feels like why do we not drink more of it?
If you are like most people there are some serious hang-ups around drinking water. Changing how we do things is a matter of changing our beliefs around something. Some of the most common beliefs about water below and followed by strategies to drink more:
#1 is that water is just boring. We value taste the most among those things we consume and there is a time and a place for this. However, in order to really be healthy you just have to accept that somethings are beneficial to the body and that taste is a bonus but not required.
#2 is that we just forget. We often get so wrapped up in what we are doing that we just simply forget to drink water and sometimes at long stretches at that. So then what happens is you mass consume large quantities thinking that you will overcome lost hours. It doesn’t work like this. The body can only handle so much water at a time and you will end up flushing most of it rather quickly along with valuable electrolytes
#3 Like the first one, we choose taste and select dehydrating beverages like soda, fruit juices and coffee among others
#4 I am not thirsty. By the time you start experiencing signs of dehydration it’s too late. The #1 thing to remember about this is that drinking water daily and lots of it is a good habit to build. If you drink it without being thirsty and get in the habit of doing this your body will run as efficiently as possible.
#5 The water fountain is nasty. I cannot say that I am a fan of the water fountain. That’s why I always try to have a water bottle with me. There are studies that indicate public water fountains pose low risk to those that are healthy. However, some of these levels are high enough to impact those with weakened immune systems. This is all about developing good habits. Get in the habit of bringing a non-plastic filtered water bottle from home when you can.
#6 Plastic water bottles are wasteful. Indeed they are, that’s why I have a stainless steel water bottle with me everywhere. You don’t have to drink out of plastic bottles. It’s a great choice to use a stainless steel reusable water bottle.
#7 I don’t like carrying it. I will say that this can be kind of a PITA. In some instances it doesn’t make sense to carry it with you and can be a nuisance. But in cases like this I will typically have a water bottle in the car. Once again it’s non-plastic so any heat up of the bottle is okay.
#8 I have to pee all the time. At first this can be very annoying, but once your body adjusts and as long as you are not gulping your water this will subside.
First some key points to help you be successful:
I mentioned a few things in the eight beliefs about water that you can use to work around the belief system. Let’s expand on this and dive into some strategies to help you consume the proper amount of water daily.
Dispel Your Beliefs Around Water
#1 Water is boring
#3 – We prefer things that taste better/sweeter over water
Your body is definitely crying for water as Dr. Batmanghelidj explains in his book “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water”. The one thing that I see a lot of people do is confuse hunger with thirst. The body’s first reaction that you feel is a sense of being hungry when in reality you are craving water.
Drinking water is like any other habit, it needs to be cultivated for an extended period of time before it becomes second nature to you. With the ideas in this post, you can do this! You can actually become better with drinking water. If something here doesn’t work for you, look for other ways to get better with this. I guarantee you that this is the simplest thing you can do to improve your health. Thanks for reading and following us. I hope this helps to develop better habits. If you have any questions or need some guidance please reach out through our contact page
Food is the real medicine and by adjusting how we eat, we can forever positively alter these conditions that we take so many pills for in the first place.
As I sat through another discussion about the Diabetes epidemic in this country, I couldn’t help but feel nauseated as I watched one person after another respond to the question of “what meds do you currently take to control your blood sugar?” I knew things have been very prescription centric in this country for quite some time, but for whatever reason the sheer number of personal accounts took me by surprise. Quite frankly when three out of every four commercials touts the benefits amid the mixed message of some icky and sometimes fatal symptoms, I cannot help but reflect on the number of my clients that take multiple medications daily.
If you are fortunate enough to live to a certain age in this day and age, you are statistically prone to take anywhere from nine to thirteen pills daily on average with some people taking twenty pills or more. My intake form when I first started was regularly too short to host the massive numbers of pills that some of my clients take and I would typically get an attachment to the intake forms laying out the way too many pills taken daily. I have since modified this to hold the large numbers of entries. How can a professional monitor for the interactions? With the volume of patients, I think it is hard to monitor every case. In fact some studies in 2016 highlighted that in one major national pharmacy, over half of all interactions were missed. Half!! I don’t want anything to do with this time bomb. I also read that it is up to the patient to do their own research. A lot of these patients on a good day cannot even make a sound decision about casual daily life events, let alone which one of the twenty prescriptions may interact with the other.
THE NEW NORMAL
This has become the new normal for the majority. We don’t even know what it feels like anymore to feel good. How the hell can we feel well, when we stack one pill after another, each one to cover up the issues from the previous! It has become the new normal and it baffles me. Is it really just about dollars? Is this why you see so many ads? I am one of those people that tend to believe that we are inherently good people on this planet, so I have to believe that it’s not all about money right? There was good intention by the person who worked up this formula right? The companies that patent these drugs have the best intentions at heart right? Besides the point really as it is just too far gone at this point, just too far ingrained and we all need to become more personally aware of the dangers of long term use. Take back what is rightfully ours and learn how to get to the real root of the issue rather than suppressing symptoms.
Lets just get this out there right now, I don’t oppose medications. I think medications are necessary for some people and combined with other permanent approaches it can be a good way to reset the body. But most of these scenarios should be short term and quite honestly some pills shouldn’t even be on the market. I mean take a look at what some of these pills do in the body. Quite brilliant actually from a pure science standpoint, but we forget about the resilience of the human body and when we use science to alter the processes of the body on a permanent basis we are just playing with fire. Due to our standard diets of junk and more junk, we are setting up the stage for a headliner big pharma act over and over. Our habits of sugary pseudo foods and treats, every day, all day is what is keeping this big pharma cash cow going. Food is the real medicine and by adjusting how we eat, we can forever positively alter these conditions that we take so many pills for in the first place.
Going back to the complexity of these prescription situations, all you have to do is roll out the prescription packet you get with medications to know that there is some serious tinkering going on inside this little pill. For me personally its all about keeping it simple. In the Marines, one of the favorite acronyms was Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) and I still follow this to this day and is the best strategy for all of us. Way too complex. Way too many things going on here when a simpler change of diet & lifestyle is the ultimate prescription. But many of us think this is too hard. Is it not harder to deal with the hundreds of side impacts from these drugs? Maybe not currently as you may only be taking one or two drugs if you are lucky, but keep on this path and you will inevitably end up on more and more drugs. It’s just the way it works.
My client strategy is always, always food and lifestyle. Its not hard, it does take discipline though to make changes and you don’t have to make wholesale changes to see an impact. This is where I struggled unfortunately. I fell into this trap of black and white thinking which ultimately is how we think from the top down in this country. Fat? Terrible for you, cut it out! Eggs? Terrible for you, cut it out! Well, wait, new studies show that eggs are okay right now! How can anyone feel confident about their decisions when faced with so much controversy? Unfortunately, this element of doubt is a byproduct of crafty lobbying and approaches to promote a product or concept. This level of internal mental confusion I think is by design really. In the case of doubt, go back to what you know and feel comfortable with right? So we stick with the things that we feel comfortable with like pills and we forget or don’t even think about just how forty grams of sugar per serving times ten on daily basis is impacting our wonderful bodies. It’s the new normal!
Good morning everyone! I am writing from my home office this morning and have been up since 4 AM. The fire alarm batteries needed to be changed so I didn’t need my alarm clock this morning. Yeah!!
Actually, I feel wonderful despite getting up a few hours earlier and have jumped on a number of things already today. Maybe I will make some changes.
Speaking of changes, why do we feel this obsessive need to go 1000% into something new? In my health coaching course, we talk about setting too lofty goals. Most of us are way too aggressive and unrealistic with setting new endeavors and ultimately what happens is that we fizzle out which leaves us drained. There is actually a concept called the false-hope syndrome which labels this over-zealous approach to goal setting. Furthermore, we setup ourselves for failures by underestimating how long and how much effort something will take. This is called the planning fallacy. Its great to have enthusiasm, but to make an impact it needs some structure.
I think most people deal with some degree of this and for me this has always been an issue. I have gotten much better with this myself, but I still have to keep this contained. Typically it has gone like this for me: Have a wild thought>Visualize the act>Go 1000% toward it>Road Block>Frustration>Stoppage
The main reason for this evolution is that I didnt always apply the SMART approach to goals. When you break down your goals this way it forces you to define them in such a way to promotes success.
S – Specific – Goals must be specific. (i.e I will accomplish this task by 7/1 or I want to finish this entire course by such and such a date)
M – Measurable – In order to see progress, we need to be able to measure them (Two workouts a week, I will use healthy cooking oils ½ of the time this week, etc)
A – Attainable – This must be a realistic goal and something that can be achieved. A lot of what holds us back is our lack of faith that we can accomplish something. When we prove we can do something, our self-efficacy improves which is the key to long lasting behavior change. The real key here is to be able to motivate yourself and rely on your own internal processes to motivate yourself to do something rather and external motivator.
R – Relevant – Purpose is everything and when we are not clear on what we want and why we want it, the goal loses steam. Define goals that are totally relevant for you
T – Time Bound – This one is kind of tricky because we often don’t know how long something will take, but in order to be successful you will want to set a time line on when you want to achieve something
Sounds simple right? Not so fast my friend! We ALL have issues with moving forward on things, but to feel fulfilled in life we have to challenge ourselves. Don’t get in the trap though of setting goals that are out of scope of the SMART approach or another similar convention. You may bounce around a bit, but when you apply some methodology, your goals can and will become a reality.
Hope you find this useful! I know full well how difficult implementing lasting change can be, but I have found quite a bit of success using these methods. I would love to help you, just shoot us an email at email@example.com or our contact page @ https://www.hearttohealthwellness.com/contact.html. Have a wonderful day!
Comparison. What is the deal with comparing ourselves with everything and everyone in this life? I personally feel that chronically over measuring myself is at the top of the list of things that contributed to disease for me.
You see one main area that has always troubled me is my body image. I have been a skinny dude my entire life. So much so that I can seriously empathize with those that deal with any body image issue and the internal pain that is involved with thoughts of lacking what is really wanted. Whether you are trying to lose it or put it on, the drive all comes from the same place internally and will leave the same mark on your life if you let it.
During the years that I was absolutely annihilating myself in the gym, I thought I had found something to make me whole finally. This was the first time in my entire life that I actually had people that I didnt know admiring the body that I had created of myself. It was truly special at first and I admired myself for the amount of dedication that I was pouring into this and the results. It was truly making a difference. I was looking stronger, getting stronger and feeling stronger and this fueled my ambition...at least for a while.
Anyone who works out, knows that plateaus are a part of the process. This is why its so easy to relapse into old behavior for some, especially people new to working out. But for me this became an unhealty obsession. It consumed way too much of my time and thoughts. Being a trainer, coach and nutritional therapist I know the value of exercise. I also know what happens to the adrenal glands when you workout beyond your own capacity too.
Essentially, I was using supplements that I knew nothing about really. Piling on loads of food, most of which caused me digestive issue all to grow my appearance. Working out way too hard and never really being able to recover. And the kicker is I never got fully satisfied with the outcome!
Every damn mirror became like a magnet for me. The reflection in the glass would catch my eye. The bathroom mirror I am sure got tired of me. And the scale was not my friend either! I was officially addicted to this whole process.
The funny thing is that I had to get really ill and flare up badly from the Ulcerative Colitis to really understand this whole thing. I weigh significantly less than I did back in those days and the simple truth is for the most part I really am not all that focused on it anymore. I weigh myself maybe once a month now. What I really value is how I feel. How I truly feel! My energy level and vitality are the only measurements I need to go by now. When I feel tired, I rest. When my thoughts are not sharp, I rest my mind. When I start to pick at myself and compare every little facet, I try to rest. Notice I said "try". I say try, because I still deal with this like we all do.
Comparing ourselves is a one way ticket to miserableville. For me the comparisons come and go, but the difference is the duration to which I do it anymore. I think this success comes with mind calming practice. My baseline has also changed and I allow myself so much more freedom to just be me dammit! Thats its...just be yourself!!
This is what I bring to you! I bring humility and empathy and a knowingness of how to bring the mind and body into alignment through the right nutritional, physical and life plan that is right for you. I dont have it all figured out and that is actually a comforting thing knowing that your therapist or trainer is humble to admit that they dont. It doesnt matter where we are at in life, we all can learn from everyone and everything in our lives and I love to surround myself with people and things I can learn from! This is of great value to someone on a quest to find peace!
There is so much that we don't know yet about this magnificent creation we call the human body. Until just recently, our emotions were deemed as separate from our body by most. Since the 17th century, any connection between the brain/psychological & health/disease has been really been off limits. This stems from an agreement between Rene Descartes, the founder of modern medicine and the Pope at the time. Descartes wished to obtain body's for study and in return it was agreed upon that there would be NO involvement of the soul, mind or the emotions. This has been the norm for many centuries now. We are now just starting to make correlations between mind and body and the concept of our emotions impacting our health is quite real.
The emotions that we feel at any one time are not isolated and are not just thoughts. They impact the internal chemistry of the body. Thoughts and emotions match up with receptors in the brain and also to other specific receptors scattered throughout the body. The various hormones communicate with one another and other cells & receptors throughout the body. So an emotion is not isolated to just the brain, it impacts other cells throughout the body in turn impacting the health of the cell and systems of the body. Its all interconnected. This is a very simplistic view, but science has been able to demonstrate the interconnections of our emotions, cells and bodily systems.
For me knowing this has been a game changer in how I view my emotions. When I get mad, stress, depressed or anxious for an extended period of time, I know there is so much more going on then I first thought. Neurons that fire together wire together. Ultimately an extended period of mental anguish will eventually turn from chronic thoughts to chronic illness and disease. I had an absolutely terrible three years or maybe I could turn that around and say because I had a rough three years it led me to an entirely different place. But during these three years it felt like my world was crumbling and I know that it was at the heart of my health decline. These thoughts ultimately created neural circuitry that in turn created genetic transformations. For example, my ability to manufacture certain things in my own body to protect my cells was ultimately turned off.
Chicken or the egg?
I often wonder about the progression of it all. Was it my chronic negative thoughts that led to disease? Or was it disease that just came about that impacted my thoughts? I mean I have been around some pretty negative people and they didn't have disease? So what gives? Personally though, my stress levels were a 10 out of 10 for many many years. I didn't really understand how to get a handle on this and looking back I am so surprised that my body lasted as long as it did before giving out to colitis. But there is always a trigger to autoimmune disease and illness and it starts in the gut! Always! 75% of autoimmune disease stems from our environment. So things like wheat, inflammation, diet, allergies, food sensitivities, toxins, mental/physical and spiritual stress and many more things lead to illness. What really happens at this point is you get stuck in a current and can't get out. A viscous cycle of illness. The inability to digest proteins specifically leads to an inability to break them down into the precursors that are used to build brain neurotransmitters that make us happy and give us vitality. So the stress and emotional turmoil just gets worse and worse until digestion dysfunction is supported. So it really starts with things in our environment and for some of us (actually probably most of us) it starts from birth as the health of BOTH parents will put us in a negative deficit that we are continually trying to balance as we grow up. Throw in the Standard American Diet (SAD) and the million and one toxins in our environment + the genetics and you are a prime candidate to land on the autoimmune spectrum. None of us are immune from autoimmunity!
I hope this post helps you to understand some of the key core events that are going on in our bodies that lead to illness. Thoughts are not just thoughts and benign. Dark and negative thoughts do become cancerous if they persist for too long. On the flip side, positive thoughts are indeed life building. Fortunately we do have a level of control over this and it starts with changing our environment. Remove the things that stress the body and ultimately stress the mind as they all work in harmony together and the body is only as strong as its weakest link. Take care of yourself and thanks for reading!
We have an epidemic of fatty acid deficiency in this country! Ratios of Omega 6:Omega 3 should be anywhere from 1:1 to 4:1, but we sit somewhere around 20:1. Way too high and unbalanced and this will create inflammation in the body. Inflammation is at the heart of all conditions in the body. What problems pop up with a diet low in fat or the wrong fats?
One main thing is that when our fat ratios are too high in favor of Omega 6 fatty acids, it will shunt the Omega 6 prostaglandin pathway to the pro-inflammatory pathway. Essentially this will create a condition of too much insulin production and we know that insulin is a storage hormone. So what do you think happens next? That's right, it will get stored as fat and eventually create inflammation. Also eventually will spill over into the blood stream as triglycerides creating high small LDL cholesterol.
Why are fats so important? Well number one, they provide a very stable long burning form of energy. This is the preferred energy source and can sustain for hours. In contrast when using carbs/sugar for fuel you get the perpetual case of crankiness in between meals. Another important aspect is one of hormones. If we dont get good fats, we cant build quality hormones. This causes all kinds of issues in the endocrine system and very likely will cascade throughout all glands. The last one here is that fats actually help absorb the all important fat soluble vitamins A, D, E & K. What we can do is balance our fatty acids through the things we eat by adding in a mix of oils.
Our starting lineup of good fats and oils is key to making it to the ninth inning fresh and healthy. My lineup has a good mix of offense & defense that allows my body to stay in harmony. We all need a good balance of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats to keep a balance between inflammation & anti-inflammation in the body. We need both! So we need a mix of all kinds of oils to maintain this.
My starting lineup
Cod liver oil
Black currant seed
Hemp seed oil
Try to shoot for a mix of about 60% Monounsaturated 30% Saturated and 10% Polyunsaturated oils daily. Individual needs vary so these numbers are not set in stone. Just a guideline to shoot for a mixture.
If you would like to work with me one on one please shoot me an email to setup a free 30 min consultation.
#goodfats #cookingoils #baseballopeningday #mlbopeningday #Bodyharmony #nutritionaltherapy #inflammation #coconutoil #gingerroot #oliveoil #codliveroil #fishoil #turmericroot #hempseedoil #hearttohealthwellness #guthealth #autoimmunity #ulcerativecolitis #colitis #chronscolitis #nutritionist #wholefood #nutritionaltherapypractitioner #holistichealing #holisticnutrition #holisticwellness #itstartswithfood #foodasmedicine
"Quality is not an act, it is a habit"
Quality and not quantity in life!👌🏻
This is such a problem for a lot of us in our fast💨 paced multi-tasking digital environments where the amount of things we collect seems like it should bring us happiness. Happiness by brute force doesn't work so well. It makes our lives more chaotic I think.
I was thinking about the quantity thing this morning as I was caught in the middle of doing ten things. I used to put a lot of stock in multi-tasking, mostly because my job at one point seemed to require a level or ability to work on many things at once. In the end this only made me more frustrated 😣and my life more chaotic. As a result, I would end up having a bunch of unfinished projects. Does this sound common to anyone? What a bad habit to get into and its constantly something that needs to be put in timeout🛑 as it comes up! This picture here was from a trip to Hawaii, where there is so much quantity of beauty, but so much quality too.
Take the time to focus 👈on one thing at a time. Don't miss the sunrise! Give the people around you the attention they deserve and really focus on quality life experiences rather than quantity! I think this is one of the main keys to life happiness!!😁
#hearttohealthwellness #qualitylife #qualityoverquantity #bepresent #presentminded #nomultitasking #peace #meditation #qualitytime #digitalbreaks #Hawaiitrip #unfinishedprojects #happylife
How many pieces is your puzzle missing?
My personal nine point recovery toolkit!
Recovery is complicated. The body is complicated, so it makes sense that recovery can be like a puzzle. How many pieces is your puzzle missing?
Your puzzle may be missing some key digestive pieces. Actually, thats where most of us probably sit. Or You may be missing a few blood sugar pieces to that puzzle! Or like most of us in this country, we are missing a whole lot of essential fatty pieces. Very quickly we are left with just a fraction of that once complete beautiful thousand piece puzzle!
Whatever your challenge, you will want to have a plan and a toolbox of foods and or supplements to help to create and rebuild some of those pieces. I say both because depending on where you are at, you may need to throw the kitchen sink at the issue or maybe you have just started to hear the cries of the body and take swift action. If that is you, you may not need to invest in supplementation so much and can resolve issue with diet corrections.
When I first embarked on taking more care of myself and taking more responsiblity for my health journey it was an adjustment! I love that I had a good team of people working with me though as it made it less daunting and I highly suggest finding a qualified therapist or resource to help guide you! I strive now to learn from my challenges and try to simplify things based on what I have learned and apply to my clients where we can. These are the high level things in my toolkit!
#1 Rebalance gut bacteria (Find a good probiotic and consume as many ferments as you can)
#2 Whole food nutrient dense diet (i.e no refined sugars is essential, avoid junky toxic foods)
#2 Digestive support (We are chronically low on HCL in this country, not the other way around)
#3 Support anti-inflammatory pathways (our Standard American Diets have shifted the balance toward the pro-flammatory pathway)
#4 Tissue Support (degredation of tissue from inflammation and eating foods that fuel the inflammatory fire cause damage that needs repair)
#5 Additional nutritional Support (In disease cases, nutrient absorption is an issue so finding a good quality multi is key)
#6 Toxin avoidance and removal (They are everywhere. Support the elimintation pathways first and try to avoid as many toxins as possible --think skin care, cleaning supplies)
#7 Vitamin S (Sleep/rest)
#7 Knowledge, determination and hope (Without these things you are a pinball getting bounced around aimlessly)
The important caveat here is that you absolutely need to make life long changes with this stuff. Reducing the overhead in the body is priority #1. If you continue to consume things devoid of nutrition without supporting the body, it will fail eventually. The body is a masterpiece creation, but will succumb to these things if you dont balance & support. It may not happen today, tomorrow, next week or next month. But it will happen in some way, shape or form in your lifetime. Pay now or pay later is how I like to look at it. I make sacrifices now so I can get healthier as I get older and not the other way around. How are you supporting your body these days?
#hearttohealthwellness #inflammation #recoverytoolkit #chemicalfree #toxins #guthealth #autoimmunity #ulcerativecolitis #colitis #chronscolitis #nutritionist #wholefood #healthyfoodblog #nutritionaltherapy #nutritionaltherapypractitioner #holistichealing #holisticnutrition #holisticnutritionist #holisticlife #holisticwellness #wholefoodsdiet #itstartswithfood #foodasmedicine #nutritionconsultant #chrons #NTP #healthjourney #sugarandinflammation #organicmeat #gethealthy #manwiththeplan #Sleep #knowledge #determination #hope
"There are no mistakes if you learn something from everything"
What are the biggest deterrents to health recovery? Sustained change is at the heart of it all, but its not the only game in town! What do you think deters you from making changes?
Is it fear?
Maybe being inflexible?
How about limiting beliefs?
Or could it be stubbornness?
Many other self defeating behaviors could fit snug anywhere in between fear and stubborness, but I think these are pretty high level. The one thing that limits us everywhere in life is fear though. Other behaviors seem to kind of stem from fear. I think fear drives us more than we want to acknowledge. Its always been at the heart of my recovery for sure.
Fear will come in many sizes, shapes and flavors in our lives. It will keep us in our comfort zone. Motionless. Sick and sicker. What I mean by this is that we most likely get ill as a big part of what we tell ourselves over and over. In the book Molecules of Emotion, Candace Pert describes how what we think really does have an impact on our cells. An impact on our ability to be healthy. In my personal experience, the more I resisted something or the more that I didn't do something out of fear, the more ill I became.
Fast forward many years later and fear still played a large part after diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis. It dictated what I did and what I dint do. I was extremely rigid in my thinking which made me very inflexible to change and fed right into the limiting beliefs. This stubbornness to change was rooted in fear. It was controlling my health.
What ultimately made me healthy I think was to open my mind. To read more. To study this awful condition. To become a student of life. Learn or relearn how to live better with my emotions. I locked myself into one treatment many years ago. Unfortunately, thats how we are led. Its either black or white. Off or on. Right or wrong. We as a culture latch on to an ideal and it catches like wild fire. From a food perspective a good example is how suddenly everyone was eating low fat diets because its what was passed down. Suddenly fats became wrong. Being someone who took the conventional approach with my healthcare, I did feel that this one treatment was my only option.
I guess what I am saying is that when you become more flexible and stop telling yourself that something isn't possible, you greatly increase the chances of healing. I think I realized the value in using multiple methods to getting healthy. Autoimmune disease in itself is stubborn. Very stubborn. For most, it goes into remission and comes back quite often. But I know my success increases with how much I open my mind to different methods of healing. I am not suggesting that you select something from the flavor of the week therapy. I am suggesting to be a student. Yes, sometimes you may need to go down a dead end path to realize that you should be somewhere else. Nothing to be ashamed of. There are no mistakes if you learn something from everything. I often think we plateau in anything we do, so its good to re-evaluate often and make course corrections. Maybe you are at a point of re-evaluation? If so, good for you!! Keep pushing forward and learn as much as you can. Wishing you the best of health!!
#hearttohealthwellness #NTP #NutritionalTherapy #nutritionaltherapyPractitioner #autoimmunity #ulcerativecolitis #colitis #chronscolitis #holistichealing #positivethinking #healthjourney #healthybodyhealthymind #chrons #lifechallenges #challengeyourself #diseaserecovery #innateintelligence #myfivepointplan #simplifyyourlife #colitisflare #flare #flareup #autoimmuneflare #personaldiscovery #healthstartsinthegut #lawofattraction
The dreaded flare! So so difficult to stop. I find there are some very critical components to halt my flare in its tracks! What strategies do you use to get a hold on these stubborn flares?
There are always some indicators of an impending flare and sometimes they are very subtle. But in this I think lies the key to managing these quickly and thats to take a very swift action when you notice any "autoimmune" type of symptom. For me its usually joint pain and this most likely means that my body is reacting to something. To take it a step further, its usually the knees and hands but sometimes other joints that feel sore. This may manifest itself in different ways to different people, but the action piece is still the same. Its always good to be able to identify these things for yourselves and take actions to remove the things that are causing stress. Here is a high level of my personal five point plan below.
#1 Simplify eating - Essentially giving your digestive system a rest is the key. Light boiling, steaming, broth, manage inflammation, temporary food elimination
#2 Slow down the stress - Meditation, very light exercise, sunshine, fresh air
#3 Simplify lifestyle - Take naps, rest, time off from work if you can and lighten expectations of yourself
#4 Support! Support! Support! - Allow people around you to help where they can and also physically support the bodily processes through whole foods and supplementation
#5 Stop and Focus - Dont let healing become a full time job
So those are my five high level points. Lets look at these a little closer.
Think about if you ever got lost in the woods. The worst thing you can do is go frantically off into the canopy of trees without a plan. Many people are never seen again when they panic. Kind of a dramatic example, but when you start making knee jerk reactions you do more harm. I get this because I did this so many times that I cant even count. What I am talking about here is simplifying but dont be extreme. I remember a time when nothing was working for me and being a person that adopted the standard American "fat is bad" approach, I fed into the ideal that fat was bad and cut it out all together. So I went on an all lean chicken meat diet because fat is bad for colitis right? I ate very little fat and no "good" fats at all. At this point in time in my life, I believe I had really severe leaky gut. The more of something you eat, the more a chance that you will develop an allergy and the things I wasnt digesting just turned into something that my body attacked.
Healing the gut is a tricky thing and if you dont remove the stressors, it will turn into a flare sooner rather than later most likely. I think with this condition, I do have to challenge myself though and test new foods. For me this is because I have to live my life and there is a huge mental component with things being taken away!! Adding in new or old foods keeps things new and that helps with healing.
But on the flipside of that I also have to pay attention that maybe an old sensitivity is re-appearing. It does happen as this process does not seem to be static or linear whatsoever. And most of us keep throwing fuel on the fire without even knowing it sometimes. So my five point plan is this when I notice any unusual but familiar symptoms of the Colitis.
#1 Simplify eating: Simplify eating is where I start. Easy cooking of foods like things that are boiled and steamed. Long cooking is good here. Eating foods that are fried, broiled, overcooked and high heat cooking will create more inflammation in the body. Depending where you are you may need to remove starchy foods or just most carbohydrates for a bit. This is a great time to consume a lot of bone broth. Make your own with good grass fed animal bones and drink multiple cups a day in soups, with a meal or without a meal. Intermittent fasting may be a good thing here too where you only eat between the hours of like 10-8. Giving your digestive system a rest is the key!
#2 Slow down the stress as much as you possibly can. This is a tough one. For the autoimmune sufferer, its hard to focus sometimes because digestion is failing to break down the necessary proteins to develop the neurotransmitters that keep us mentally in tune. Without them we get more anxious, more stressed and more depressed. But this doesnt mean that you can take a vacation from trying to help yourself either. There are things you can do to lighten the impact. Meditation is #1 here and its vital to do some kind of exercise that will allow you to breathe and calm down. Physical exercise is a tough one because in this state you just dont feel good. Light walking is a great thing at this point. Sunshine and fresh air work wonders for the body. I read that being indoors is 6% more toxic than being outdoors. Being cooped up in the house will only contribute to the decline.
#3 Simplify lifestyle. Its important, so important at this point to be easy on yourself. I think there is definately a personality type that makes up the majority of people with autoimmune conditions. Putting ridiculous amounts of pressure and expectations on yourself is damaging, but even more restricting to healing at this stage of the flare. Allow yourself to take it easy. ALOT. You need to rest physically and mentally to heal and if you are trying to do all of the thousand things you normally do, it will break you eventually. Take naps and lots of them. I know there are things that just cannot be altered, like work in most cases. But in between whatever you are doing, rest as much as you can. For me I had to take short term leave from work at one point. It was one of the biggest life altering decisions I ever made. My sister-in-law had just passed. My mom passed away. My dog died in the yard tragically. My wife and I were both at each other all the time. And this was in the course of eight months. This all took a major toll on me and the one main thing that helped was to acknowledge that I needed to stop. Being. Stubborn. So I headed the advice and rested and I dont know where I would be at today if I hadnt done so!!
#4 Support! Support! Support! This encompasses a few things. First is, allow people to help you. People dont have to pity you and we should never want that. This is about allowing the ones around you that love and care for you to help to lift you up. Help to do the things that maybe you cant do at the moment. Offer encouragement. This is important to still have connection. Many times I wanted to do this by myself because I felt like I needed to prove something to myself. But really the only thing that happened here was isolation and more frustration. Having a partner that is ill has a big impact on both the person and the people around the ill person. Its important for others to be able to contribute sometimes. Okay, the other piece of this is more from a bodily perspective. Most likely digestion is at the top of the list of systems needing some loving care. My digestive system was an absolute mess when I first started the GAPS diet. It was only by providing stomach, pancreas and gall bladder support that I started to gain some traction on healing. You may have blood sugar issues or you may not be able to break down fats, but this typically all starts with the digestion process. This is very much like a puzzle sometimes and if you are at this stage it could be good to work with a nutritional therapist like myself to help you get back on track.
#5 Stop. Take a deep breathe a lot and focus. Often when we are ill, we want so much to get better that we get mission like. This recovery thing becomes like a second job to us. Its all about trying this or trying that. Let me tell you, this all takes time. I have ultimately gotten sidetracked many times because of my eagerness to heal. This is probably the biggest lesson for me and that is to stop trying to address everything 150%. Yes, you do want to support the body with food and supplements if needed, but there is a fine line between too much and just right. I like to work with my clients and take a very concise, clear and well defined approach without encouraging the healing process to become job like. We have to be able to live our lives without the burden of another full time job.
I sincerely hope this reaches anyone in need of guidance and that it provides a framework to dig your self out of your own flare. Like I always say, you are not alone with this. If you are absolutely overwhelmed with this hand that was dealt to you, please do reach out to us to discuss how we can help you to help yourself! Take care!
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Ian Sandage is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner who speaks from the personal experience of someone with autoimmune disease and the highs and lows of a health journey