Several years ago, it felt like every day or at least every week, I would hear or read about someone being diagnosed with a terrible, often life-threatening disease. To my surprise, many of them were only a few years older than me (or, in some cases, even my age), in their 20s and early 30s. I had so many big dreams for my life, but with each story that I read, it seemed like the prospects of getting to live long enough to make all those dreams come true were getting bleaker. It started to feel like life was a lottery game and I had no control whether I was given the winning numbers or not. And that scared me. It scared me enough to start looking for answers.
Through years of reading, learning, and applying that newfound knowledge, I can say that now, in my mid-20s, I have found some answers. I don’t have all of them but I continue to learn, and I know enough to see that it is possible to live a long, happy, healthy and fulfilling life. I don’t go through life scared anymore, because the knowledge I’ve acquired has helped me to feel empowered and realize that I do, in fact, have control over my health and well-being. I know now that, no matter what genes or family history I have, the choices that I make every day are the ones that determine how vibrant or unwell my future is.
After gaining all this knowledge, I realized that one of my greatest joys was to share it with others. Since blurting it out in every possible conversation didn’t seem to work very well, at the beginning of 2014, I enrolled in the year-long program offered by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a health coach, so that I can gently and purposefully guide others towards a life of great health and wellness.
My views on nutrition, health, fitness, and all aspects of wellness have changed so many times in the last few years, and I know that they will change many more times as I continue to learn, but as of now, this is what I’ve learned to be true:
- I discovered that health is not one-size-fits-all.
- I learned with certainty that I don’t have to follow a restrictive, calorie-counting diet for even a single day of my life in order to have the strong, healthy body that I want.
- I added raw, vegan, and vegetarian recipes into the rotation, I gave up milk, and I substantially reduced the amount of meat that I eat, but most importantly, I understood that I did all these things because they worked for me, and that they may not all be the answer for everybody.
- I eliminated processed foods and learned that I naturally don’t crave them – and, most likely, you don’t either.
- I learned that eating healthy is not about all the bad foods that I need to eliminate, but rather about all the good foods that I can add to my meals.
- I understood that I can incorporate healthy living practices into my own unique lifestyle – no matter how busy or unconventional it may be – and not the other way around.
- I realized that having a sweet tooth doesn’t come with attached guilt.
- I found that health is so much more than green smoothies and sets of crunches.
- I learned that beauty is always more than skin deep.
- I started to love the body that I was given, just as it is, and appreciate all the things that it does for me every moment of every day in order to keep me alive and well.
If you believe the same things but are having trouble with putting them into practice or would like someone to guide you along the way, I’d love to support you.
Is there anything else you’d like to know about me that I didn’t cover here? Please make sure to get in touch.