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If you have been following this blog for any time at all, you may know that I have a passion for health and healthy living. This in undoubtedly due to the fact that I am on a constant search for it myself; after having been through an exceptionally unhealthy period entirely of my own making. I was physically a mess disguised in a misleadingly fit body. I was emotionally a mess, unable to sustain a relationship beyond my family and a few close friends. I was psychologically a mess, a tangled knot of stress, anxiety and depression. PHEW! So, basically, a MESS! Other than my mom and 2 close friends, no one knew. I was pretty good at hiding it, until the physical part got to be so bad that even people who didn’t know me well, namely clients and colleagues, began to ask me if I was ok. It was the fact that I couldn’t hide it anymore that finally made me take action. What the heck??!! How vain and myopic can a person be? Apparently……very.

The good news for me is that my health problems were fixable because I took action in time. I had to be honest enough with myself to realize that I did not in fact know it all.  I had to be willing to accept the fact that I had been wrong about many things. I had to realize that many things I “knew” to be true since my childhood were in fact not true. I also had to be willing to start over and build myself back up from the inside out. I had to be willing to ask for help and learn to trust others to help me.  It was like starting over. It was scary.

I tell you all this so that somewhere inside you understand that I have struggled through making these changes too. If you are here, reading this, I am either preaching to the choir, or you are looking for answers, ideas, support and guidance. I just finished my first phone call with a Health Coach from IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition) This is what I am studying to become. During our conversation she made several good points, one of which is not to be afraid or ashamed of my own story. Who really wants a health coach who has always been perfect, always made the perfect choice and has never known what it is like to struggle through this stuff? How could that kind of person possibly relate to someone seeking help? She was so right! It is through the struggle that we emerge stronger. It is through struggle that we learn. It is through struggle that we find our way with an understanding of why it is the right way.

What I worry about is that many people don’t seek help until they are already diabetic, or they have already had a heart attack or a cancer scare. What is it about us as a people that we continue to accept the chronic health issues or the feeling of “OK but not good” status quo? Why don’t early warning signs motivate us? Why do we have to be literally scared almost to death sometimes to make the changes that can make all the difference? Is it a lack of understanding? Is it laziness? And why is it that when we do decide to make a change we so often abandon the effort?  These are questions I am seeking the answers to in the hopes to help others avoid the downward health spiral I experienced. If everyone I meet through this journey can learn just one thing from my ordeal and make just one positive lifelong change, the impact has got to amazing. Because people talk! When someone makes a positive life change and truly feels the benefits, they share it with others and they in turn will share it with others. It becomes a grass roots effect that spreads exponentially.

It is no secret that as a nation we are getting sicker, fatter and more depressed. This is apparently contagious because as other nations adopt our diet and our way of life, they too get sicker, fatter and more depressed. We have become the country to emulate from a commercial perspective.  Other countries citizens want to wear our True Religion jeans, eat our Hostess Twinkies, have our iPhone, etc. Our metabolic problems are now becoming the world’s metabolic problems. I can’t help but think that with the path we are on, the planet will be here much longer than we will be if we keep up this pace.(Thus the  title of this post)  What if we can reverse the trend? What if as a nation we stop drinking soda.? What it we no longer cook our food in the hydrogenated oils that cause cancer and heart disease? What if as we no longer bought processed foods? Those jeans other countries want to buy will look even more amazing (and not just on the models) and Twinkies will be museum artifacts. We will then be exporting some really amazing changes that can do nothing but good for this planet.

The big picture needs to start with the small details. It is the small details that give the big picture all its life and character. Here are 10 small steps that you can take now.  Pick one or two or three or all of them and run with it.

  1. Cook whenever possible with real ingredients not with boxes and cans. 
  2. Make what you eat something that can be either be hunted or gathered as often as possible. 
  3. Take the time to sit and really enjoy your food. Reduce eating on the run (this one is hard for me)
  4. Drink more water! I start every morning now with a huge glass of spring water before I put anything else in my body. Crowd out the sugary beverages with water.
  5. When eating out, don’t be afraid to ask how a dish is made and request healthier changes like cooking your eggs I butter instead of vegetable oil. Or ask for your salad to be dressed in olive oil and vinegar instead of the bottled dressings many restaurants use. If that is not available ALWAYS get the dressing on the side and use sparingly or order something else entirely.  Most restaurants will accommodate you. If they don’t, don’t go back. 
  6. Educate yourself before jumping into a big change and read opposing opinions. 
  7. If you are not feeling good, something is not right. Genetically our bodies want to feel good so if you don’t your body is telling you something. Be your own advocate and fight for your awesomeness. Then tell others how you did it.
  8. Find a dietary lifestyle that makes you feel awesome and don’t give it up! Hold on to it with both hands and as tight as you can. It is not a diet, it is your life!  Why be awesome temporarily when you can be awesome indefinitely? For me this is Paleo. Call it Primal, Hunter Gatherer, Ancestral ….whatever……it works! 
  9. If your conventional doctor can’t seem to find what’s wrong with you and just prescribes a drug to mask the symptoms, look for other options. The problem is not in your head but the solution often is. Use your head and trust your instincts. Many times, it is the narrow approach to medicine that is often the problem. I can not recommend a homeopathic approach strongly enough but like all doctors find a good one. 
  10. Learn to relax and get enough sleep! (another tough one for me) Sometimes I just have to force myself to go to bed and quiet my mind by meditating before I can have any hope to getting a good night sleep. Meditating really does work for me. It’s easy, it’s free and it has no side effects!

Let’s focus on saving the people. By taking better care of the people, we will take better care of the planet by default. Grass fed /pastured animals and organic local produce are kinder to our environment just like they are kinder to our bodies. If we here happier and healthier we are less likely to abuse the world around us. If we take better care of us, the planet will be just fine!

Until Next Time,

Laura, Mom Gone Paleo

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4 Responses to “The Big Picture- I’m not looking to save the planet, it’s the people on the planet I am worried about. ”

  1. Fight for Your Awesomeness, I like that. It should be a T-shirt 🙂

  2. Mom says:

    Well said sweetie!

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