Picking the Big Things First

“How important is it that I eat only organic vegetables? And what about chia seeds? I’ve heard that those are good for you. Oh, and what about bone broth?”

These represent the types of questions that I hear while visiting with my inquisitive clients.

I love these types of questions; I really do. It is a privilege to support such an engaged group of people seeking answers among the information that is swirling around out there in the world of nutrition science. While the questions themselves will vary from client to client, the aim remains the same – to seek better health by obtaining the newest and best information out there so that life can be lived full of vitality and energy, free from distress and disease.

Like many of my clients, I have spent many hours pouring over health publications and journals looking for the “real” answers to some of these same types of questions. There is always is something new to learn whether from a colleague, another health professional, or a vetted publication. A word-to-the-wise – information may always have some bias, even if it’s from a very well credentialed source. Always stay curious.

While one perspective could be that access to all this information is great, it can cause a persistent case of analysis paralysis. That means not doing anything because you’re uncertain of what information to adhere too. But don’t be dismayed! There is some consistency in all of the opinions and studies out there that anyone can implement at any time to begin working towards better health.

Here is some general consensus about what you can do to live a healthier life. Remember, these are the BIG things to do that will go a long way towards improved health. (more…)

The Place of In-between

The month of August has always felt a bit melancholy to me. Always a fan of school and the fall,  I relish the cooler days and the rhythm of life that September brings. But this year, after a major health scare, every day feels a bit more poignant if it isn’t well spent.

Being present to life in the moment is a gift that we can all too often take for granted. Instead of focusing on what we have, we look to the “someday.” The truth is we may not get that someday, especially if we’re not taking full advantage of the moments that we have to make changes NOW.

When it comes to eating well and moving more, many clients create timelines around upcoming events and dates that they’re anticipating -certainly understandable as we are a very social and food-oriented culture. If you’ve got a big vacation coming up, you wait until you return. If you have a busy social month, you may wait until it’s over.  But, if you’re always waiting for time to pass to fit health into your life, it may not happen. You have to make it work.

So, this August, while summer is still in full effect and you’re in the in-between – wait no more! Seize the day and do some stuff that’ll have you feeling better mentally and physically before September starts. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1) Check out a local farmers’ market and grab some fresh, organic produce. There is truly something special about locally grown vegetables – from the way that they taste to knowing that they were grown by people that really care about what they’re doing.
2) Try a new-to-you outdoor activity. Have you been wanting to try paddleboarding? How about blowing off some dust on that bicycle of yours? Find a trail you’ve never been on before for a hike or kayak down a local river. There are so many options!
3) NOW is the time get some vitamin D and boy does it feel good when you do. Head outside in short-sleeves and shorts to get some sun on that skin. 10 minutes will help to boost your vitamin D and give you that happy, summer feeling!
4) Eat outdoors. Have you ever noticed that when your body is a bit warmer, you feel a little less like eating a lot of food? If you’re feeling a bit warm, vegetables and lighter fare may feel like exactly what you need.
5) Don’t wait to get started. Sometimes, we may treat the entirety of summer as one big vacation. While I can appreciate the idea of wanting to go with the flow and relax, we may be a bit too disconnected from healthy eating as cookouts and camping reign supreme. Be sure to stay focused on lean and clean proteins along with fresh vegetables all summer long. And with all of the sweet fruits in season, swap out sugar-laden treats with “nature’s candy.”

As I say quite often, our health is the ultimate expression of all of the choices that we make. And the best time to make those choices is now.

525,600 Minutes: A Season of Health

Recently on Facebook, I asked a question of my followers, “How many minutes per day do you use towards being healthy?” And while this online community is normally active, engaged, and vocal, there were two responses. One was a dear friend of mine that is super passionate about all-things health that replied with 4 hours. For her, that is not an exaggeration or a brag – just her truth as she truly does pursue living her best life. And  the other, a dear client, responded with an uncertain, “60 minutes?”
Both of these great women are passionate about living healthy lives and do so in very different ways. And I can guarantee you that if I sat down for tea with my friend that replied with, “60 minutes,” that she would recognize that she spends a lot more time on her health than she thinks. She most likely spends that same 4 hours but with a different set of activities that are contributing to her health and well-being.
I was curious about my own time investment and I wanted for others to have the same curiosity. Over the last month, I’ve upped my self-care game and it’s definitely changed how I’ve been spending my time and so I posed the question as an opportunity for others to reflect on how many or how few minutes they spend. Usually, fewer responses mean, “I’m not doing as well as I like so let’s either ignore or not respond to this post.”
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You TOO can be adding more minutes per day to your wellness plan.

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How $15 a Month Changed My Husband’s Eating Habits

“Well, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink,” I said to my friend as she was putting her shoes on getting ready to leave my house.

“No, but you can drown ‘em,” she retorted in frustration.

My eyes dropped and I shrugged my shoulders with uncertainty. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what to tell you.”

The last few hours had just been spent together commiserating as stay-at-home-moms watching our toddlers wobble around and suck on blocks while their slightly older siblings were experiencing three-year-old preschool.

On my friend’s heart today was her husband’s upcoming birthday, making him yet another year closer to the age that his dad passed of a heart attack at 39.

The two of us had been on a bit of a fitness kick lately. We were both feeling well, eating well, and enjoying the rewards of regular exercise. Her husband…not so much.

With an expanding waistline came the expanding fear of premature death. Of course, she knew that there was no certainty around this, but his inaction felt like he was taking no responsibility for himself or his health. And worse yet in her mind, the potential outcome for his family should his health catch up with him.

At that time, I couldn’t relate. My husband’s weight and health were stable. Or so I thought. (more…)

You Can’t Feel Like a Million Bucks if You’re Eating From the Dollar Menu

If you haven’t heard the story before about how I started my career with Dr. Paulson, we started our work together as a patient and client because quite frankly, I was a hot mess.

And honestly, if our meeting hadn’t been so serendipitous, I don’t know if I would have ever sought out naturopathic medicine. We met because she had her practice on the same floor of the chiropractic office that I was working in. She had an upcoming  lifestyle change program and knew that I liked to play around with marketing stuff – making brochures and that type of thing – and wanted to know if I would be interested in assisting with helping out with the program in exchange for the chance to participate. I was intrigued, already thought Trish was pretty great, and so what the heck!

Before the program started, she offered me a consultation to see if there was anything else I would like to work on before the official start of the program. Always one to perk up a little when the universe is sending stuff my way, I said, “Sure!” and set up a time to talk.

Whoa, whoa, whoa! What happened in that appointment was literally life changing and set me on a trajectory to health where before I had felt like I was surrendering to always feeling sick.

I was suffering from was IBS and internet searches always left me feeling frustrated with sparse recommendations to drink peppermint tea and to avoid spicy and greasy foods. Perpetual stomach upset, nausea (which contributed to insomnia and vice versa), and diarrhea led to a comforting diet of carbohydrates marked with coffee and soda for energy, which otherwise felt depleted.

Growing up, my mom had upset stomachs – a lot. “Honey, can you grab me a few Tums, a diet Pepsi, and rub my back for a little bit?” was something I heard quite often. When my own upset stomachs became more frequent, very little was done to find a solution.

Here’s the rub.

This was when I was actively personal training and was very much connected to what a healthy lifestyle looked like. I knew that a healthy diet meant a healthy body – but healthy food had no appeal. Healthy food often lead to more nausea. And in being 100% honest – I had not eaten a very healthy diet for a long stretch. Dieting looked like caloric restriction instead of colorful, phytonutrient rich veggies and fruits. Water was not my beverage of choice. And I thought granola bars where healthy.

I was like one of the billions of people out there (yes, really – that many) that kinda knew what to do but wasn’t doing it.

What I needed was a major lifestyle overhaul – the kind that impacts you to the point where once you have new knowledge and experiences that going back is not an option. And that is precisely what I got.

Dr. Paulson was able to share so much insight in those first few appointments. When someone can explain how you feel better than you can, you know that they get it. Years of antibiotics, high stress, poor eating and other variables left me with a pretty dysfunctional GI system. The plan was to work on restoring function with some supplements BUT the major component of what needed to change was my diet. Uh oh.

Major intervention. Enter the millionaire diet. Good-bye processed foods, sugar and the dollar menu. It was time to start eating like a millionaire to feel like a million bucks. We righted the “wrongs” in my gut and then I started eating healthy food almost all of the time; after all, I’m human.

The health transformation that followed this intervention was when I knew that I needed to add functional medicine health coaching (using food to heal or ease the dysfunction in your body) to what I was offering to others. And the rest is history.

One of the things that I share with my clients and prospective patients of the clinic is the notion that you don’t know what you don’t know. I knew about healthy eating, but I had no idea about how much your food affects your health.

Food is information.

Every time you ingest food, it sets off a cascade of messages in your body that impact just about every aspect of your physical health. If someone had told me that five years ago, I would have shaken my head in disbelief. I mean, I would have agreed that healthy food is important, but I would have not agreed with either how important or how impactful it is.

Fast forward five years to today and now I can’t emphasize enough how important food is. To me, it’s like the most important thing. Our health is an expression of the life that we live. The action that we take the most in our lives regarding our health is what we put in our mouths.

I could go on and on. This could easily expand into a book about how to implement lifestyle change and what it all looks like. But since I’ve not yet written that book, let’s talk about what you can do right now.

True Health always offers lifestyle education and coaching as a part of its services. We have a variety of different programs to pick from that range from 10 days to 14 weeks. We offer:

FirstLine Therapy – a 14 week long program for those that want to resolve chronic lifestyle illness and diseases. This is a comprehensive A-to-Z type of program that touches upon the various aspects of our lives that influence our health.

ClearChange Detox 10-day or 28-day – Out with the old and in the with the new! If you have been feeling less than great and are in overall good health, this may be a good place to start. These are easy to implement programs for those that have done a detox with us before.

TransFOURmation Program – This 4-week program combines the science of our ClearChange programs with the soul of health coaching. I personally created this program to connect with my clients in a 4-week format that allows for them to see health change and weight loss while pulling together a little bit of this and little bit of that from my health coaching, personal training and lifestyle education experiences.

One-on-one coaching sans program – You don’t need to be enrolled in a program for health coaching. It is always available to those looking for support. Quick reflection to share here on asking for help. This morning, while meeting with a client, I used the analogy of the person that declares that they’ll go back to the gym once they lose 10 pounds (insert head scratch here). I totally get it. We are not a society that likes to ask for help and often, we feel that we must put our best foot forward. I don’t want your best foot. I want your less than best foot.

Personal Training – We have created a fitness room here for you to be able to receive guidance and pointers on how to safely create and effective routine that you can complete in the privacy of your own home. Let’s connect on principles of exercise that can help you to achieve restorative movement and strength.

Not looking for coaching or a program? How about an event? There are two upcoming opportunities for you to learn more about your health and what you can do to prevent and reverse chronic lifestyle illness and disease.

The first is Your Health. Your Hands.  This workshop connects you with a deeper level of understanding when it comes to your labs, your body and your health.You can learn more about this half-day workshop by visiting the Eventbrite page or Facebook.

The second is an intro to the FirstLine Therapy program. Learn more about how therapeutic lifestyle change is and how it can be implemented to prevent and treat chronic disease. Learn more about that event on our webpage or on Facebook.