I ALMOST titled this post “New Year Health Launch”, but the idea that you need a new year to start living your healthiest life is a lie some of us tell ourselves. For some reason we think we need a new year, new month, new week, or everyone’s favorite trap, “I’ll start on Monday”. There’s never been a better day than today, right now, this minute to decide that you are ready to become as healthy as possible. I’m thrilled to share my top three strategies for launching your health journey quickly and effectively.
It’s Not All About Weight Loss
Getting healthy isn’t all about weight loss. Obsessing over the numbers on the scale can suck the joy out of your health transformation. In fact, losing weight shouldn’t even be your focus. Instead, make a conscious effort to fuel your body with anti-inflammatory whole foods, get your body moving, do something every day that brings you joy, develop real, deep friendships, spend less time on social media, and protect your sleep hours like your life depends upon it. The funny thing is that when I do these things, the weight comes off too. It’s a nice little side effect.
Fueling your body the correct way is one of the most important keys to achieving your health goals. Because of this, what you put in your mouth is the focus for my top three strategies for launching your health journey. Food is medicine or food is poison. Using these strategies will help you determine the content of both categories for you.
The Comparison Trap
Do not, I repeat DO NOT compare your health journey to anyone else’s. Getting as healthy as possible isn’t a race or competition. It’s a life long process of trial and error, victory and defeat, setbacks and progress. We aren’t static objects. We are amazing creatures who form habits that are hard to break, live busy lives, and have highs and lows.
Nobody’s health journey is a straight line. I like to think of it like the Texas hill country. You’ll have some amazing highs with a new perspective on life you reach after a long climb. You’ll also have some lows in the valleys of self-doubt and failures where you’ll have to start your climb again.
Now Is the Perfect Time
Just like in those hill country valleys, try to find your version of cooling waters that can refresh your soul, and reinvigorate you for the way up. Rest in the lows. Remind yourself that you are valuable, and your past does not define you. Regroup and shift your focus. Don’t beat yourself up, but instead be mindful of where you are and why. This is your opportunity to learn about yourself, what motivates and drives you, and which habits might be the hardest to break. Never compare your valley to someone else’s hilltop view. The only person you should try to be better than is who you were yesterday. Don’t wait for the perfect time to start making changes. Where you are right now is the perfect place to take advantage of my top three strategies for launching your health journey.
Fueling Your Body
There’s no such thing as a one size fits all diet. I pull from vegan, Paleo, and Mediterranean diets specific foods that make my body happy and bring down my inflammation. When I lower my inflammation, the weight comes off with it. In my experience, an inflamed body won’t lose weight. I didn’t discover all of the foods that function well with body chemistry and genetics over night. My health journey took many years of trial and error testing. Thankfully I finally found three methods that gave me the information and results I wanted.
Luckily for you, I’m going to share this important information about how you can determine you personal body chemistry the quickest. Once I had the specific data based on my body chemistry, genetics and food sensitivities, it was easy to create a plan tailored just for me! Anyone can use my top three strategies for launching your health journey to create your own personal plan.
Know Your Signs of Inflammation
I know rather quickly when I’ve had an inflammatory response to something I’ve eaten. My fingers swell, I get joint pain in my fingers and knee, I get bloated with cramps and digestive issues, IBS symptoms, headaches and brain fog, sleep is disrupted and fatigue skyrockets. I don’t get ALL of those symptoms every time I eat something that inflames me, but I’ve learned to read the signs of my body. Your body talks to you constantly, but you have to pay attention to how what you put in your mouth makes you feel.
Top Three Strategies for Launching Your Health Journey
I did my first Whole30 three years ago. Based on my digestive symptoms, I already knew that dairy and gluten didn’t work for my body, but wanted to take it a step further. In just 30 days I was able to greatly reduce my inflammation, learn more about what my body needs, and what makes me feel terrible. For me, Whole30 helped me to learn about major food groups and how my body reacts to them.
What is the Whole30?
Founded by Melissa Hartwig (and Dallas Hartwig) in April 2009, the Whole30® is designed to change your life in 30 days. Think of it as a short-term nutrition reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.
Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat—even the “healthy” stuff.
So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you? Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health.
For more information on Whole30 go here.
After a successful Whole30, I wanted to go even deeper and more specific beyond major food groups. After completing this 20 day program, I learned that certain types of meat cause me major inflammation, that I have so much more energy when I save the animal protein for dinner, and which foods bring down my inflammation the quickest.
In this revolutionary, New York Times bestselling book, cutting-edge nutrition expert Lyn-Genet Recitas reveals the surprising truth behind what actually makes people pack on the pounds. Carbs and portion sizes, it turns out, are not the problem. Foods that are revered by traditional weight loss programs, such as turkey, eggs, cauliflower, beans, and tomatoes, may be healthy in a vacuum, but when combined with each person’s unique chemistry, they can cause a toxic reaction that triggers weight gain, premature aging, inflammation, and a host of health problems including constipation, migraines, joint pain, and depression.
Now this groundbreaking 20-day program helps readers finally unlock the mystery behind what does and does not work for their individual body. With detailed meal plans, recipes, and effective, personalized advice, you will discover how to:
- Lose a half a pound a day while enjoying generous servings of foods you love
- Identify your hidden trigger foods that are causing weight gain and inflammation, among other symptoms
- Build a personalized healthy foods list that promotes rapid weight loss
- Avoid feeling bloated, tired, or unhealthy again!
Feel better, look better, and be empowered by the knowledge of what truly works best for your body!
To learn more about The Plan, go here.
After completing Whole30 and The Plan, I felt like I had an excellent foundation of what my body needed, and what I should limit or stay away from completely. However, I still had unexplained health problems that traditional medical doctors couldn’t solve. Enter my friend Dr. Hailey Heard, founder of MaxGen Labs. I had a recent miscarriage, and was trying to conceive again. I was also struggling with a bit of inflammation and didn’t know why. Deep down, I knew I needed more information about what my body needed to be in its most healthy state.
The Missing Data
The data I received from my genetic testing changed my life in many ways. MaxGen Labs gave me the missing data I’d been searching for, so I was able to connect many health dots. It felt amazing to no longer be a medical mystery! Using the information from my report and my consult with MaxGen Labs, I conceived and delivered my third and last baby, and had the least weight gain of all three of my babies at only 25 pounds.
My genetic report also changed my perspective on health forever. I fell in love with the concept of functional health, and decided to use my current and future knowledge to help others change their own lives. This year I will expand my own journey by becoming a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner. Functional health is the future of healthcare, and I’m excited to be on this life changing train.
If you have yet to delve into the realm of genetic testing, I recommend checking out the genetic screening panels from MaxGen Labs. I had the honor of meeting the good folks behind MaxGen Labs at last year’s Paleo f(x) conference and I am crazy impressed with their rigor and dedication to serving our community. Where MaxGen Labs truly stands out is that they only test specific genes for which there is substantial evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship with health. Then, they provide you with a detailed report telling you what it means for your day-to-day life. You can also schedule a telephone consult (for an additional fee) to go over your test results with an expert in detail.
I personally recommend getting The Works! The detail of insight you gain regarding your body and how it works is priceless.
If you want to gain insight into your nutrition, fitness, and physiology, The Works! combines the best of all our test panels.
Your report [The Works] will cover the following:
- Stress and how your body responds (fight-or-flight)
- Antioxidant production and recycling in the body (Glutathione)
- Detoxification process for hormones, chemicals, and heavy metals
- Response to inflammation stimuli
- Genetic expression and the repair of your DNA
- Neurotransmitters and the balancing of brain chemistry
- Energy and overall production
- The repair of cells damaged by free radicals
- Fat & Carbohydrate Metabolism
- Eating Behaviors
- Vitamin Deficiencies
- Food Sensitivities
- Blood Sugar & Cardiovascular Markers
- Obesity & Weight Loss Markers
- Strength potential
- Endurance vs. sprinter
- VO2 Max
- Cardiovascular health
- Fat loss in response to exercise
I Am Ready
This is a year of big lasts for me: my last baby, the last time I will breastfeed, and the last time my body belongs to another little human. Making healthy choices when you’re up at all hours of the night with a baby isn’t easy, but I did the best I could. My body grew three babies, and created the perfect food for them. It still blows me away. I gave myself GRACE, and spoke to myself with compassion while I rested in my valley.
Now nine months post partum, I’m ready to launch my new health journey. Because of what I learned using my top three strategies for launching your health journey, I know how to achieve my long term health goals. I have a plan of action.
Every BODY has a story to tell of love and heartbreak, failure and success, and cowardice and courage. No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve been through, it is NEVER too late to create positive healthy change. If you’re ready to use my top three strategies for launching your health journey, I’d love to hear from you! Shoot me an email, and let’s start a conversation that just might change your life.
For more detailed information on living a gluten and dairy free lifestyle check out this recent blog post!