Does your health routine reflect Toyota or Rolls Royce status?
“It takes about 13 hours to build a Toyota, and 6 months to build a Rolls Royce.” Just like in health, a few pieces of kale won’t cure everything, and a day at the gym won't turn you into a body builder (both are good starts). We’ve been conditioned that we can ‘take a pill for ____’ (Toyota level), except we’re not going out-supplement or out-medicate a less than optimal lifestyle. I’ve tried, my patients have tried (before they saw me), and people have told me they’ve tried. And if it works, it works for a certain amount of time that quells the concern/symptom, but then it comes back, or something else appears/returns, or a dose has to be readjusted- yet if we channel our inner child and ask ‘why is this happening’, do we begin to understand the our complexities and nourish the motivation it takes to become the Rolls Royce of health.
Weight, for example, is so much more than calories in/calories out because we have so many signals that also interfere with our metabolism that can tell us to keep or lose weight such as stress, hunger hormones, nutrient content, sleep quality, and genetics, to name a few. Fat cells are also their own organ system sending out their variety of signals, have a greater affinity for our abdomen, and a few hormones released from there can really mess with our thyroid, aka metabolism. A recent study has shown too that poor eating habits in terms of a high fat diet can be passed down from as many as three generations… talk about doing some work! Weight can also have an emotional component, such as what we could be ‘holding onto’. And those hunger hormones? If we do wind up losing weight they can take about 3 months to reset to another level in order to keep us at this new weight.
My second year of medical school in my early 20’s I was in the clinic freaking out with sudden rashes on my arms, weight gain of 20 pounds in 3.5 months, and bawling my eyes out. I didn’t even recognize myself. I was in complete denial until I couldn’t be- yet I literally went in there and asked for a magic pill to make me feel like myself before this shitshow. I ate well, figured I was healthy, and now I’m in the perfect place for natural medicine to do its magic. Instead they encouraged me to keep returning, and in a few days after the first visit I got a little better. In a few weeks the weight began melting off until it disappeared after a few months, and in a year all my acne was gone. And I never saw another rash. However, I did flash back to my history of hormone issue as a teenager and realized that it all came back to bite me in the ass. Or serve as a wake-up call.. my perspective then versus now. :D
What was the straw that broke the camel’s back where our body said ‘Enough, we’re not compensating anymore. You’re getting a symptom, and now you have to do the work. No more palliation.’ Many times I’ll see any variation of the trio of high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, and blood pressure go together, as well as hormone issues (e.g. low testosterone, high estrogen) and thyroid concerns, with perhaps some underlying gut issue like indigestion or candida (yeast overgrowth).
While it seems like a lot, we start with a good diet (also customized for you), healthful lifestyle, good sleep, and stress management. Rotating in and out supplements as needed because we shouldn’t be on anything forever (well really except vitamin D), and if we are, it’s because it’s helping us live our Rolls Royce lifestyle, not the intention of replacing old habits.
And here’s some great habits you can implement immediately that will help take you to that next level:
Practice gratitude- Pretty much every disease and condition of any organ system has to do with anger, repression, holding onto stuff, not being who we want to be, etc. And we all have our stuff, but it’s our perspective that can change the outcome. When we become aware of our surroundings and become thankful, it acts to energize our cells and help heal our body. Set an alarm every day and see what/who you can thank- from the people who made your clothes you don’t know, to a nice deed your friend helped you out with at some point.
Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water- Seriously.. and more if you work out, have a glass of alcohol, crazy stressed, and for every cup of coffee. We are made of mostly water and its constantly lost in all of these processes, so makes sense we need to replenish. In addition, add a squeeze of lemon to help detox. Unsure of how to get the amounts in? Make a schedule- such as drinking 8-16 ounces in the morning, again after breakfast, more after lunch, and not quite as much before sleep to avoid waking up in the middle of the night.
Eat as many dark green leafy and cruciferous vegetables as you want!- Same thing- what meals do you usually eat vegetables at, and add these. Aim for 3-4 cups per day, more if you like too. Spinach, kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, chard, collards - are all so nutrient packed that you’re getting an incredible bang for your buck when it comes to nutrition and health. However, these are best even lightly steamed or sautéed as they contain a compound that can inhibit thyroid health. It’s slight.. so clearly these raw veggies were available especially versus a not so healthy choice, stick with these.
We all have our story and deserve intentional, customized care because we are individuals. We shouldn’t be boxed into treatment with supplements or pharmaceuticals, except somehow that inner three year old that always asked why has always been quieted. Or perhaps we research so much yet at the end of of the day the answers still don’t seem quite right. Perhaps we can set up a time to chat where I can help you channel that inner three year old to ask why, because this time you’ll get answers.