A few days ago I turned 56. I feel great! I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder in August 2017 and really didn’t feel well at all. I was already making some good choices where my diet was concerned, but have stepped things up since then. I thought I would share 8 things that have had the biggest impact on my health. As my clients are used to hearing me say, what works for one person may not work for another. In the Coaching World, we call this bio-individuality. Perhaps some of what I have learned will be good for you or maybe my healthy choices will spur you on to come up with some changes of your own.
Whole foods diet: I have been grain free (no wheat, corn or rice) for 8 years and refined sugar free for 5 years. This has been good for me. But in September 2018 I went to a whole foods diet. I’d like to say that it’s 100%, but I do eat grain free tortilla chips “from time to time” (sometimes I just get a hankerin’ for them). But other than that, I eat a 100% whole foods diet-nothing processed.
Walking for exercise: I walk 4 miles (in an hour) 5-6x/week. This did not let up during the winter. I purchased good walking boots and bundled up. I know I could do a lot more in this area, but right now this is what works for me. My husband or my best friend Stacy joins me so it’s good for my mental health, too!
Figure out your feet problems: If your feet hurt, get them checked out! I developed Plantar Fasciitis. If you’ve had it, you know painful it is. DON’T put off getting this taken care of. Thanks to Dr. Paul at McLean County Foot and Ankle I have the stretching exercises I need and custom made orthotics, which make all the difference!
Purposeful about good sleep: I take my sleeping seriously. I have excused myself from evening gatherings because I need to get home and get to bed. 2 things have made a big difference for me:
1. I wear a sleep mask to block out all light.
2. If I wake up in the night and can’t get back to sleep I take a supplement that contains Valerian Root. Works like a charm!
Addressing pain/tension: My neck and upper back, along with my lower back, can be quite painful at times. Using a Spoonk acupressure mat (available on Amazon) has made a significant difference in this area. I lay on these mats, one at my neck and one at my lower back, every night before I sleep.
Limited chemicals on my skin: I have made significant changes in this area, including the following:
No longer use hairspray.
Moisturize my face at night with organic coconut oil and during the day with an organic moisturizer from Juice Beauty.
Use Ivory as my bath soap.
Moisturize my lips with any of the lip balms that Katie at PrairiErth Farm makes.
A great, clean brand is Kopari. However, I don’t use it because I discovered 4 years ago that I don’t need deodorant. Did you ever try to go without it? You might not need it either. What I realized is that I stopped eating refined sugar 5 years ago and stopped needing deodorant 4 years ago. Connection? At any rate, I’m happy not to be applying aluminum to my skin every day.
If I paint my nails, I use Dr,’s Remedy polish. When I have a manicure, I don’t allow her to rub her paraben laden lotion into my skin. I just skip that part!
Natural cough/cold remedies: This may seem radical: I rest.
I take naps, go to bed earlier, and eat soup and other nourishing foods. For nasal congestion I put a warm compress across the top ½ of my face. I dry brush my skin to stimulate my lymph system and optimize my Vitamin D level. This issue only came up recently because last month I had my first cold in 10 years.
Manage stress: Walking and stretching helps. So does diaphragmatic (belly) breathing. I spend the first portion of my day in prayer and Bible study/reading and I keep the TV off as much as possible.
I hope some of what I have changed has helped you!