I've opened up recently on Instagram and wanted to share "the rest of the story" here.
Truth be told, I've been hesitant to share this because as a health care professional, shouldn't I have it all together? After all, patients come to ME for answers! I have access to the best providers, supplements, exercise. And you name it, I've probably tried it. Still, after years of trying to cut out toxins and eat clean and de-stress, there's still something amiss. Maybe some of you feel like that, too.
After struggling with thyroid symptoms (constipation, dry skin, anxiety, weight gain, fatigue) for years, I felt like I had finally discovered something that worked. After doing the Whole 30 and eating strict paleo, my thyroid antibodies were "normal" and I was feeling good. But the enlargement in my neck was still there. Bothered mostly by the way it looked in photographs, I decided to have an ultrasound and biopsy to see what might be going on.
That's when the feelings of failure hit, The pathologist couldn't rule out that I would need to have my thyroid removed. I had to make an appointment with a surgeon. I felt like my diet, my lifestyle, my body and what I was teaching others had FAILED me. I began to doubt everything I had studied and felt like I was the last person who should be recommending lifestyle changes to anyone. Who would want to listen to someone who couldn't even control her own health?!
One afternoon while feverishly studying whatever diet/treatment/supplement I could find that might help, it occurred to me that the pursuit of health and healing had taken over my life and not in a good way. I had allowed this little gland in my throat to literally take over my life.
I made a decision that day to let go. That doesn't mean I'm going to fall face first into a fast food burger & fries and a Coke all while smoking a cigarette (and if I'm describing you, that doesn't mean you're a failure. We all must begin somewhere!). I'm still going to eat the natural, healthy foods I believe God gave us to fuel our bodies and treat my body like the temple 1 Corinthians 6:19 says it is. But I'm not longer going to stress over being in control. So, for those of you struggling with an illness or situation whether it's infertility, hypothyroidism, anxiety or anything else, I hope to encourage you to do the best you can then lay it down. Don't feel like a failure for the things you can't control and don't stress over the things you can. I let my thyroid steal my purpose and joy for too long. I hope you'll continue with me on this healing journey and that we can learn from each other realizing that no one has it all together.
As the weather finally cools down here, it's the time of year when I see patients start coming down with the cold and flu symptoms that are a seemingly inevitable part of the fall and winter seasons. I've jotted down a few suggestions to help keep you healthy this fall and winter. As always, be sure to run any supplements or over-the-counter products by your healthcare provider so that they can make sure it's safe for you to take and doesn't interact with any prescription medications you may be taking.
Did you know this "sunshine vitamin" isn't really a vitamin at all?! It's actually an important hormone that our bodies make when exposed to the sun. Vitamin D deficiency are common in the winter months as the days grow shorter and we are outside less. In addition to keeping our bones healthy, vitamin D also regulates our immune systems. There might even be a correlation between lower vitamin D levels in the winter months and an increase in sickness! A simple lab test that your healthcare provider can order will tell you if you need some extra vitamin D. You can find vitamin D in liver, fatty fish, egg yolks and mushrooms!
This is a trace mineral that plays a critical role in keeping our immune systems functioning ideally. It's present in most multivitamin and mineral supplements but can also be found in oysters, nuts and seeds, and my favorite, dark chocolate (just be sure to find a brand without added sugars, soy or dairy as those foods can actually cause inflammation!)
When most people think of colds, this is the vitamin that comes to mind. Vitamin C is an antioxidant in our body and helps our bodies fight off the bacteria and viruses that can make us sick. Citrus fruits are a great dietary source of vitamin C.
Did you know that nearly 80% of your immune system is actually found in your gut?! Without a healthy gut, you can't have a healthy body. Probiotics are good bacteria (and sometimes yeasts) that compete with the bad guys for space. Besides helping to alleviate stomach problems, probiotics can help strengthen your immune system so you're ready for whatever cold is going around the office this week. Fermented foods are a great way to get these healthy bacteria in your diet. Kimchi, kombucha, yogurt (full-fat, no sugar added, please!) and sauerkraut are full of healthy bacteria.
While not necessarily a supplement, exercise helps boost the cells in our bodies that fight off the bugs that can make us sick. Pick your favorite activity and talk to your healthcare provider before starting. The activity doesn't have to be strenuous to be beneficial to your immune system. Stroll around the neighborhood, try a yoga class or go for a run! Moving our bodies keeps us healthy.
This cooler weather is a reminder that the holiday season and all its busyness will be upon us soon. We may be eating unhealthy foods, exercising less, traveling more and just experiencing more stress from all the fun festivities (parties! presents! parents!). Meditation helps our bodies respond better to the stresses that we all encounter every day. Have you ever noticed after an extremely stressful project at work that you come down with whatever is going around? Mediation can help prevent that. Like exercise, a daily meditation practice is a great tool to have in your self-care arsenal going into the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
Hopefully you can pick a few of these ideas to incorporate into your daily regimen and help keep yourself out of the cough and cold aisle this season!
I was encouraged by a friend to begin blogging again. So, here I am, starting back! Between work and life in general, the blog was something that slipped away but certainly something my heart missed. I enjoy having a place to share my story and hopefully encourage each of you on your own path to wellness.
As we enter fall, something that has been on my mind is slowing down, Before we know it, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season will be upon us. I plan on taking October slowly. It's one of my favorite months and the crisp, cool weather will soon slip away to cold, winter days.
Meditation and mindfulness are a part of wellness that many tend to neglect. We meal prep and faithfully attend fitness classes but fail to rest our minds and bodies. This world is so busy and there's always something demanding our attention.
Lately, I have tried to spend less time on social media sites and more time reading or listening to podcasts.I also make a point to spend a few minutes every day journaling and meditating on whatever devotion I read that day. I typically sit in what my friend and mentor calls a "cry, prayer chair". It is a great way to begin my day before I walk into the chaos at the hospital.
Try to remember that mindfulness is an important aspect of wellness. All you need is a cozy space and few minutes everyday to reap the benefits.
This has been a long time in the making! Fear can hold us back from doing so much. I'm thankful for this place to share my perspective on health, nutrition, life and faith.
As a pharmacist, I see people struggling on a daily basis. In the retail setting, it is not uncommon to see patients getting up to 30 prescriptions a month! When you start chipping away, you realize a lot of those medications are treating the side effects of other medications (there will be many additional blog posts on this topic, I'm sure!). Before too long, patients are taking "a pill for every ill" as my mentor Mary Lee at twohootsabouthealth.com likes to say.
My goal is to show you a way to health that minimizes, or at least diminishes, reliance on prescription medications for disease state management. I truly believe that health begins inside us. By giving our minds, bodies and souls the nourishment they desire, we can live the abundant lives we were designed to live.
God bless and namaste.