I was 27 years old, married, and teaching kindergarten at a wonderful school which I felt was my calling in life. Although my life seemed to be moving in the right direction, on the inside I was dissatisfied. After numerous tests and doctor visits I found out that my fatigue, infertility and weight gain was most likely caused by an incurable auto immune disorder called Hashimoto’s disease. I was overwhelmed when I began researching the disease process and how it affected my body. I wanted my physical being to match my life, but felt I didn’t have a manageable solution to an incurable disease.
That is when my friend Karri introduced me to essential oils and their benefits to myself and my family. Now I can’t say that essential oils healed my Hashimoto’s, and all my dreams came true… but it started me down a path to living a lifestyle that used natural solutions and remedies to support my bodies ability to heal itself. I started doing research to find better ways to support one of the most amazing creations on earth… our body.
The following habits are the building blocks on which I built my wellness philosophy. Starting here allowed me to make daily goals and lifestyle choices that complimented our overall health.
I began with food as it is the building block that provides the nutrients for overall wellness. I can still remember Joey complaining when I threw out his mint chocolate chip ice cream. But I knew that this was the first step to creating a healthy eating alternative. In the book Perspectives in Nutrition, the author states that
“Nutrients are the Nourishing substances in food that are essential for the growth, development and maintenance of body functions. Essentially meaning that if a nutrient is not present, aspects of function and therefore human health decline. When nutrient intake does not regularly meet the nutrient needs dictated by the cell activity, the metabolic processes slow down or even stop.”
I have to be honest here, I go through workout phases. I've had some excellent trainers that have helped me in achieving some wellness goals, but I have never liked the idea of going inside on a sunny day when I could be exploring. On those days I feel like being outside and experiencing nature through adventure is the way to go. There is so much to explore in just our own backyard that we find working on functional human movements through an active lifestyle has not only helped our fitness levels, but also has led to memorable experiences that brought our family closer.
Stress management and Sleep
The National Sleep Foundation has encouraged the wide acceptance of sleep as one of the three pillars of health together with nutrition and exercise. One of the biggest changes in our health came from stress management and sleep. This is specifically where my essential oils came into play and had a large impact reducing my stress, which transferred directly into a healthy sleep pattern. Sleep defines the period when the body focuses on restoration and repair. During this time, conscious brain activity is fully or partially suspended which contributes to restoring and maintaining emotional, mental, and physical health.
Reducing Toxic Load
We live eat and breathe toxic substances every day. Think about your own home and consider the paint, carpet, cleaning products or preservatives in food. Thats just in our own home! I found that managing the toxic exposures that I can control was essential since contact with toxic agents occurs every day by eating, breathing, living and sleeping. When overwhelmed by toxins, the body cannot properly perform its functions with full efficiency.
Informed Self Care
There is so much information on the web, that often times I got overwhelmed by the sheer volume of conflicting information. With this information though came the power to change our lives! Finding out how my body works and how to give it the nutrients and supplements that it needs to thrive and heal has been exciting! Self advocacy often times takes a back seat to big organizations that focus on the bottom dollar instead of your wellness. Informed self care is about preventing the disease process from begining instead of trying manage a sick body.
Proactive Medical Care
And lastly I focused on proactive medical care. As stated earlier I am so thankful that I live in a country that has access to modern medicine and medical care. It’s role in my journey has been tremendous in advising me on my conditions and providing options for those through traditional methods. The concept of integrative medicine, where traditional allopathic treatments work in conjunction with alternative, non-traditional practices is what I use to treat my whole body and not just the disease.
I have since “retired” from teaching kindergarten and have made teaching others the value of natural solutions my full time passion. I look back on this Journey so far, and am amazed at all of the ups and down, successes and failures (Liver stew for dinner…ew) and overall I find that it adds value and excitement to our families life. We are no longer stuck in a mundane life looking for things to bring us happiness, but living an adventure that not only affects our immediate family, but families around the world!