You can’t exercise your way out of unhealthy eating

Andrea reaching to the skyNo matter how much you exercise, if your diet is not right for your body at this time in your life, you are not going to be experiencing optimal health. Here are some reasons.

junk food smallIf you eating a typical American diet, then your are putting way too much sugar, way too many starchy carbs and way too little nutrient dense foods into your body.  Even if you eat lots of fruits and vegetables, if they are not free of pesticides and grown nearby, they may no longer contain the vitamins and minerals that you need. If your water is not pure, you could be harming internal organs and your cells. In fact, over-chlorination of our drinking water may be a contributing factor to the increase in thyroid problems among women. How do you know if your body is processing the food you eat properly so that it can be used as fuel?   These are important issues that often don’t get addressed until you are faced with a major health crisis.

Andrea laying on beachI was faced with one of those health crisis this past winter.   In January, I went through my routine blood tests and there were some suspicious numbers –blood sugar was high, antibodies high, a goiter growing on my throat.  I must admit I was a bit freaked out.  Anyone who knows me, realizes how careful I am with my diet, sleep and exercise routines.  Rather than let doctors prescribe medicines for me, I decided to investigate further and learn everything I could about why these numbers were out of whack.  What I have learned has been nothing short of amazing.

The information that I have learned has come from three different sources—a holistic nurse named Doreen DeStefano, NHD,BSN, RN, who runs Root Causes in Fort Myers, Dr. Isabelle Wentz,  a pharmacologist turned Functional Medicine Doctor, who produced one of the most amazing documentary series called The Thyroid Secret and Dr. Brian Mowll, a functional medicine doctor who specializes in Diabetes.  I have been listening in on his 2017 Diabetes Summit, a free webinar.logo

Below is a snapshot of what I have learned

Each of us are unique in blood chemistry and the more individualized tests we can get on our own specific chemistry (this can get costly) the more we will get to the root causes of our particular situations.  For instance, when I went to my regular doctor, she gave me the standard response to an elevated blood sugar level “watch your sugar and cholesterol”.  Dr. Mowll has pointed out that we are experiencing an epidemic of pre-diabetes in this country with more than 50% of Americans being diagnosed with this condition, primarily due to the amount of processed foods we consume and toxics in our environment. In my situation, I have worked tirelessly to limit both my toxic exposure and my consumption of processed foods.  I also have fairly low cholesterol.  I has been consistently at 188 for 20 plus years. I gave up junk food, gluten, alcohol, red meat, you name it,  that long ago as well.   So I am not your typical American eater.   And I exercise 6 days a week too!

Andrea doing balance on kneesWhen I investigated further with Doreen DeStefano we found that my body was seriously low on Vitamin B12 (hormone related) and Vitamin D (not sure why since I am in the sun 7 days a week and don’t wear much sunscreen since I have pretty dark skin).  Another medical mystery we are exploring.

I also have in recent years experienced  many cases of unexplained body aches—traveling bouts of inflammation that I thought were due to my overzealous way of playing tennis or just getting old.  But the jury is still out on that one.  What we did discover was that my body was forming anti bodies against itself possibly indicating some sort of auto immune dysfunction.

There are more and more cases of auto immune disease in our industrial society and the environmental link is being studied.  Personally, I am not going to wait for science to prove definitively that we are affected by the toxics in our food, air and water.  I am going to do whatever is possible to clean up my personal environment and my habits.

seaweed snackBelieve me this is not easy. Since I had already eliminated gluten and dairy products, I decided to eliminate corn, soy, rice and most sugars. Lots of research on toxic contamination of corn, rice and soy.  Sugar, on the other hand, is considered as addictive as nicotine and cocaine.  Its direct link to diseases are filling volumes of scientific journals.   I still use coconut sugar (which is processed differently in your body and  local honey, which has reported benefits such reducing your sensitivity to local allergens. I am eating seaweed to increase my intake of iodine, which can be depleted by chlorinated water.

Reading labels is becoming a way of life.  So is cooking and eating at home because it seems that everything prepackaged or made in a restaurant has some offending ingredient.   What has been interesting is the longer I do this, the less I crave these addictive foods.

Healthy food on a plate

Here is summary of changes I have made since January.  By the way I have lost 15 pounds without dieting.  Due to a knee injury, I am exercising less, but still staying fit.

  • No grains (I think rice was negatively affecting me)
  • Lots of healthy fats and proteins ( I don’t eat red meat or pork currently) The chicken I eat is only organic free range.  I chose my fish carefully based on recommendations by The Environmental Working Group.
  • Breakfasts and lunches are larger including lots of fresh vegetables. (For me, it works better if I cook them.  I still have some trouble digesting raw food) a protein ( I have no problems with free range, grass fed organic eggs) and healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil.
  • I am drinking Bone Broth daily, which according to Dr. Josh Axe , is the most gut healing food on the planet.  “It contains minerals that support the immune system, collagen, glutamine and glycine, which heals the gut lining.”
  • Dinners are light and consumed at least 4 hours before I go to sleep. This allows my systems to rest at night rather than work hard to digest food.

Mom and I mediumIs it worth it?  For me, yes…. Feeling good is more important than having fancy furniture and expensive clothes.  This is where I chose to spend my time, money and energy.  If you want to know more or need help, consider attending my yoga classes or essential oil classes or working with me as your health coach. Stay Tuned for the next chapter of my Health Quest.

I wish you health and joy in  your day.  Namaste,  Andrea

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