I bet if you read my post earlier this week (if you didn’t click HERE) you thought “hey I could at least start with one of those options” or maybe it was “I’m ready to transform my lifestyle completely” either way when you are ready to make some changes, where do you start?
First, let me tell you a little bit about my journey to a more holistic lifestyle. It was 2008, we were living in Northern California, we had just gotten married the year before and had decided it was time to think about starting a family. Of course to do this I had to stop taking the birth control pills I was prescribed, little did I know what was about to happen to my life. From the very day I stopped taking them, my body, my hormones went completely out of whack. There was a constant (talking 24/7) headache at the top of my head, as if someone was pressing down in one spot. My appetite was gone, I had mood swings, anxiety attacks, sleepless nights, night sweats, it was awful. Worst of all I was exhausted EVERY.SINGLE.DAY! I was getting cluster headaches behind my right eye and had a CT scan to rule out clots/tumors and the anxiety attacks got so bad that I could barely breathe and requested that the doctor give me a chest x-ray, which he knew wasn’t needed but I swore something more serious was happening. The doctor said that my body would need time to adjust but for me this lasted a very long time, almost a year. When you feel bad enough you will do just about anything to just have one good day. So that is when I knew I had to switch gears. It was time to take inventory of every area of my life.
I started with the food, boxes of processed food were thrown out, soda was thrown out, microwave was thrown out (really haven’t personally used one since), and no more dairy! Only whole food – fruits, veggies and meat were on the menu for food to eat. I limited my sugar intake and double filtered my water. I started reading ingredients and researching what was in our foods. I was shocked and was sure that this change was the right path for me.
Next was getting more exercise, getting outside, biking, running, hitting golf balls especially since we lived right next to the Bay with beautiful weather, great scenery and a par 3 course.
During this time I also researched about medications and their effects. I wanted to understand what exactly the birth control medicine had done to me. Also with the anxiety attacks the doctor had wanted to prescribe me drugs but I wouldn’t take them, it was a temporary fix not a permanent solution. This is when I started visiting a holistic practitioner and seeing the physical therapist as well. I learned about herbs and homeopathic medicines as an option instead of the conventional medicines.
Lastly, I knew my spiritual walk had been put on the back burner, so out came the bible, biblically based podcasts and lots of prayer. I knew that I had to give God my problems not solve them on my own. “The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?” Proverbs 18:14
Within a month I started to feel much better. By eliminating foods (processed, sugar, soda, etc..) I was detoxifying my system (which I initially felt worse before I felt better), then add in the exercise and my energy level was back up. My hormones had finally leveled out. The headaches stopped, I was sleeping better, the anxiety was gone, my appetite was back…YAHOO!!!
Since then I have maintained this lifestyle, the healthy eating, exercising (mostly walking), using homeopathic medicine and seeing the chiropractor. I’ve also added in essential oils, oil pulling (for another blog post), drinking kombucha & raw milk (again another blog post to come), it just gets crunchier! Oh, did I mention that after all that we did get pregnant and yes, I had a beautiful baby girl, such a miracle. Now as awesome as all this is, there are days when I may take a few steps back, eat bagels & ice cream (not together), not get out for a walk, but I’m good with that, I’m only human 🙂
Phewwww, did you get all that? Not expecting a story like that, right? Now back to my original question…when it comes to holistic health, where do YOU start?
1. Take inventory of your life. What area do you want to work on…is it food? exercise? health related? environmental? It could be a combination of things, however, I would recommend taking one area at a time, baby steps.
2. WRITE IT DOWN ON PAPER. When we write it down it becomes real. Write it on a post it note and put it on your bathroom mirror or on your computer where you can be reminded all the time.
3. Research – whether by book, internet or an actual conversation with someone who has either experienced what you’re going through or what you are looking to achieve. Below are links to books and websites that have helped me in my journey for a healthier holistic lifestyle.
4. Ever hear that saying that “knowledge is power”? Well it’s really what we do with that knowledge that ultimately makes the difference. You have to put your plan (or in this case area of interest) into action. Again, take it one step at a time and I’m sure you will make some great changes!
Remember you design your days, so make each one count!
Whose ready to make some changes to their lifestyle? What area would you focus on first or are you already changing? Comments and feedback can be posted below.
Links to Books, Movies, People & Websites:
– Book: The Bible
– Book: You Are What You Eat by Gillian McKeith
– Book: Ultrametabolism by Dr. Mark Hyman
– Book: The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, Jacob Gould Schurman & Thomas M. Campbell II
– Movie: Food Inc.
– Movie: Forks Over Knives
– Movie: Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
– Person: Diane Sanfilippo – Nutrition Consultant & Author
– Website: Food Combining
– Website: Young Living Essential Oils