Putting Your Health First

This week we are going to talk about taking inventory of our current health status.

The first step on this crazy journey for me was understanding that I was causing my own problems.  In 2009, I constantly had flu like symptoms.  Most nights I had a low grade fever.  I had trouble staying awake past 8 o’clock, yet couldn’t sleep through the night.  During this time, I noticed I had a lump on my neck.  I went to get checked out and doctors found that I had a small tumor on my thyroid. I had to have a biopsy to rule out cancer.  Wow, what an eye opener that was.  Thankfully it was benign, but the scare prompted me to find answers as to why I was always sick.  After tests, I was diagnosed with Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis.  I was put on methotrexate, which is chemotherapy pills, and steroids.  I did feel better but the steroids caused me to gain weight.  When I learned about the long term effects of these medications, I was determined to get off no matter what it took.

I started reading about these diagnoses and discovered there is a strong connection between nutrition, lifestyle and autoimmune diseases.  I also began to notice just how many people were struggling with the same issues.    I learned there were other approaches to treatment that did not involve medication.  I decided to wean off steroids and began looking at my eating habits.

The first change was the elimination of all those fast food choices.  Dinner in those days was usually found in the phone book.  I purchased some cookbooks and a Vitamix.

I am the worst eater, always have been.  As a kid my favorite food category was pasta, twinkies and ring dings.  But, I was always super skinny.  As a middle age woman, my diet consisted of pasta, pizza, wine, fast food.  But, thanks to middle age and steroids, I was no longer skinny, or healthy.

So you ask, how does someone who hates vegetables get them in her diet?  My Vitamix was my secret weapon and worth every single penny.  You can’t compare it to a blender as it really breaks the food down. Even coarse food like broccoli. Every morning I started my day with a green shake.  I used spinach, kale or broccoli as a base.  Add to that a small handful of berries, blueberries or blackberries.  Add some Almond milk a scoop of organic whey protein or half an avocado, flax seed and tsp of coconut oil and blend.  I drank these every morning in place of a muffin, bagel or sugary cereal. One simple change and I was able to add vegetables to my diet.  A true first for me. I only ate corn! I noticed my energy increase pretty quickly.  I noticed my skin improved.  I noticed there were indeed ways to get vegetables in my diet! I could do this and so can you

Of course, I had more work to do, but like I keep saying, one small change can lead to big results.  So, for this week’s task on our journey, take a moment to reflect on your food choices.  When I first worked with a nutrionist, she told me to write down every single morsel of food I put in my mouth.  At the end of the day, reflect on how you feel. Did you have high energy, or feel sleepy at around 3 o’clock?  Did you snack a lot in the afternoon, or evening?  Any cravings?  Write this down too.  You’ll be surprised just how much you can learn about yourself from doing this.  You’ll also be surprised how one small change, like drinking a healthy breakfast shake will impact you.

I’d to hear what you notice if you journal this week.  Feel free to email me.  Have a great week and make one healthy change this week to your eating habits.

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Author: laurakump

I'm a mother, wife and daughter on a mission to reclaim my health. I've watched loved ones suffer from memory robbing Alzheimers and refuse to lose my precious memories to this disease. Small changes have helped me achieve health and fitness. I'm an Elementary School Principal on a mission to impact students lives. I believe we can change this world one child at a time.

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