Client-“How much should I take and how long do I have to take it?”
Me- “Well, it’s kale, so as much as you like for the rest of your life.”
I know that example may be slightly (only slightly) exaggerated but I work with clients daily who are caught in the medicated mindset trap. They all want a quick answer and a quick fix. I don’t fault their confusion and frustration when I tell them that the healing foods and supportive therapies I recommend take time to alter their imbalance and, for the most part, should be followed indefinitely. Between the plethora of pharmaceuticals the abundance of “all natural” remedies, super food supplements and Dr. Oz, we should be confused.
True long term healing and dis-ease prevention is a daily dose of healthy lifestyle and food choices with some herbal remedies sprinkled in to ease imbalance and transition. Once the body begins to transition from hurt to healed your instincts towards how to better manage your own well- being will begin to get stronger. And, subtly, one day, you will just wake up and live a healthier, more vibrant version of you.
When beginning your journey I know you will have these questions as everyone does. Here are some answers to help guide you out of the medicated mind set trap.
~What do you mean I have to cut out sugar, wheat, dairy, soy, corn, coffee, alcohol!!!!???- I start with this as it is the beginning of eliminating inflammation and thus dis-ease. And, yes, for a short time, if you want to set the body on a healing path, you will have to eliminate all of these “foods”. The first couple of weeks WILL be difficult (like knee surgery pain difficult). BUT, once you start to feel better and start to understand what triggers your tired, anxious, bloaty self you will be better at deciding whether or not you want to eat those “foods”. This is about learning how your body works- if you simply decide that you can’t give up coffee and are fully ok with how it disrupts your sleep then that is your decision. But, at least now you know how things are related and their effects on your body.
~WHAT will I eat?!- Well, for starters you will eat real food. Food from the land, sea and sky that has not been GMO’d and restructured for mass production (like wheat etc). I realize that this is a huge hurdle for those with very busy lives as it does require learning how to easily and affordably prepare meals and snacks. This is where working with a health coach or and integrative health practitioner will be highly valuable to your success.
~How long until it works?!- Whether it’s dietary modifications or recommended bodywork therapies, I view both as lifetime dis-ease prevention. The most successful clients maintain long term healing when they maintain their sessions on an “as needed” basis, and that may be once a month or twice a year. However with specific conditions like amenorrhea (absent menses), digestive imbalance or a tipped uterus etc, it depends on your commitment to the plan and how long the body has been fighting the imbalance in determining time. For overall reset it takes about 90 days for the body and nervous system to register and imprint change so working with your practitioner and using your support networks as least twice a month is ideal for that time period. After some balance is maintained your internal compass should be strong enough to keep you on the plan until it is no longer a plan but a way of life. The healthiest people know- “you don’t have to be sick to get better” and they keep these “plans” indefinitely.
~But why can everyone else eat sugar, wheat, dairy….. and be fine?! First, you don’t know their story and each and every body is different. I can guarantee you however that anyone who eats inflammatory, processed foods will not have long term good physical and mental health. If your inner child is feeling very deprived and angry then treat yourself- BUT NO GUILT. Once again, it is balance. You have to live your life and have fun and be social and eat chocolate and drink red wine and make cookies when it’s cold outside. But, view these things as they are- nourishment for your soul in that moment. Once you really understand how your body works and reacts you can balance your decisions with grace. And, in time, as you heal your issues your body becomes more tolerant to your treats.
Some tips to achieve long term healing with grace:
- One thing at a time- take out sugar this week, dairy the next and so on until you are all cleaned up. Everything at once takes a level of will power that challenges even me.
- Write it down- journaling your process is very transformative and supportive. You may even spark a new sense of creativity.
- Be curious- don’t look at the body as a battle. Be a student and learn about how you DO work- not about how you don’t.
- Be a buddy- the more the merrier. When you have a friend or two on this journey with you it is much easier as there will be someone else to eat piles of kale and quinoa dinners with.
- This is not a pass/fail- Give yourself a break if you “fall off the wagon”. Perfection is boring anyways.
- Give Time- Time.
What are some of your questions? Post your comments or email me as I would love to hear and am sure you are not alone in the wonder of your body.