When I was 16, I was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme disease. However, I was symptomatic for years before that. I had to come to terms with the fact that if I wanted to feel well and work toward healing my body, I needed to make drastic changes. I’ve always been someone who lives life to the fullest, never wanting to miss out on anything. My health was limiting me from living my best and most full life. I did everything I could to change that. I educated myself on the power of food, the power of thought and the power of movement. I began to make small changes that added up over time and brought me to where I am today. I’m not 100%, but I’ve seen drastic enough changes on my path that I remain motivated to stay on this journey.
I would be more than happy to talk to you on a one-on-one basis about your personal health journey or answer any questions you have about my journey. You can get in touch with me through my “contact me” page, or email me at [email protected]
Genetically Modified Organisms are a huge issue and for good reason. After researching the topic, I have chosen to avoid foods from known GMO crops. According to the Non-GMO Project, these most commonly include soy, cotton, canola, corn, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, alfalfa, and squash (zucchini and yellow). I would recommend checking out the documentary “GMO OMG” to learn more. You can also follow the “Non-GMO Project” Facebook page to stay informed. It is extremely important to be educated on this topic, as it is all around us and GMO labeling is not enforced.
I went gluten-free because my doctor suggested eliminating gluten and dairy, in order to reduce inflammation in my body. If you are struggling with health issues, consider talking to your doctor about eliminating gluten for a period of time and seeing if your condition improves. After about a year of being strictly gluten-free, I have started to incorporate gluten back into my diet. I feel that regarding this topic the most important thing is to listen to your body.
Going vegan or vegetarian is a personal choice. If you educate yourself on how to go about being a vegan or vegetarian in a healthy way, in which you get all of your vital nutrients, protein, and calories, I see no issue with it. I am not personally vegan or vegetarian, but I chose to only buy humanely raised meat, poultry, and seafood. If you do eat animal protein, I think that it’s very important to buy it from farmers who provide a humane environment for the animals. Stories of horribly inhumane practices in the commercial meat industry are heartbreaking. I believe it should be avoided at all costs. We vote with our dollar!
For more information about factory farming, check out The Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP). SRAP works throughout the U.S. helping communities protect themselves from the negative impacts of factory farms, officially called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)
I have a hard time with the term diet. Conventional diets have become so synonymous with restrictions, counting calories, and drudgery. These proclamations seem fairly common:
“I am going to start my diet on Monday.”
“I can’t eat that I’m on a diet.
”I’m so bad for eating that.”
“I had a cheat day.”
The diet I support is a healthy lifestyle, in whatever form that takes for an individual person. A healthy lifestyle is a sustainable diet that you stick to for your whole life. You make adjustments through trial and error and find what works for you personally. You create your own rulebook, putting the pieces together by listening to your individual needs. I find that this system is much easier to stick with and promotes positivity, rather than negativity.
Food is so much more than just calories. Counting calories is quantitative not qualitative. Personally, I look more at the ingredients and nutrient density of an item when deciding what to eat. I don’t think counting calories is necessary. I recommend eating whole foods until you are full. Listen to what your body is telling you as far as portion. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. And remember that all calories aren’t equal. 100 calories of cookies are not the same for your body as 100 calories of avocado. Rule of thumb: Look at the nutritional value of what you are eating, rather than its calorie count.
I don’t believe in cheat days. Instead I lean towards the “80/20 method”. This means that 80% of the time you eat nutrient-dense foods and the other 20% percent of the time you indulge in whichever foods you love. I think that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is all about balance. If there is no balance, you will feel the need to cheat. Let’s face it, no matter who you are, eating a whole foods diet 24/7 isn’t your taste buds’ ideal. I think a balanced diet is more positive mentally than a cheat day. When you are “cheating” it implies that you are doing something wrong. When you eat healthy 80% of the time, having a cookie every now and then is perfectly acceptable. It’s all about listening to your body and finding the right balance for you.
I’ve spent years exploring food, nutrition and health to help manage my own personal health issues. Over these years, I’ve come to rely on a select number of “experts” whose advice is sound and well-researched. While I want to share what I’ve learned with this community, I am also hesitant to state facts that aren’t backed up. Therefore, you’ll often see links to my resources and suggestions for further reading. It is also important to note that everyone’s bodies are different and you must take into account what is best for you after doing your own review of research and recommendations.