After speaking with a lovely loyal listener and prospective client the other day, something she said got me thinking. As we talked she said that she knows a lot of what to do for her health, and then also isn’t quite sure what’s next. As in she wasn’t sure how to uplevel her health from where she is to have more energy, sleep better, and consistently feel good while knowing that she is positively influencing her health so she lives well for as long as she is alive. I think that’s an incredibly empowering focus to have for oneself. What got me thinking is that while she reached out and wants to work together, and I know that it’s not accessible to everyone, so I thought how about we work through some things that I do with clients so you can benefit without jumping into working with someone. Don’t get me wrong, working with a health coach, naturopath, nutritionist or bodyworker has incredible value and can be a total game-changer. But also there can be things that you can do for yourself once you notice what is going on. The key is knowing where to start, so today on EAT THIS with Lianne let’s talk today about taking stock of where you’re at, with some self-awareness and assessment and then make a plan with some what-do-do’s to move forward.
If you’re like me, I’m starting to ask more questions about the influence and ways of the medical community. Now we can’t do without our doctors, nurses, and medical professionals, but realising that there is a limitation on getting to the bottom of what is going on with health. It’s almost like there is support for any ailment or disease as typically a prescription is given, but getting to the bottom of what’s going on and answering the why’s on isn’t a focus. I feel like a detective when it comes to health and while I certainly don’t know everything, I do know that there are small steps that can be taken to improve where you are at right now while digging deeper into symptoms, disease, and your health. I talked about tiny habits in episode 120 and encouraged you to add new behaviour to an existing habit as a more successful way of creating new habits and healthier ones at that. How did that go for you? Were you able to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning or take your vitamins while making coffee?
To start taking stock, answering some questions and writing down where you are at and what your focus is is essential. Let’s start with your health profile – what are your goals? Do you want to sleep better, ache less, deal with your gut issues and not be bloated all day, have more energy, sort out your dull or acned skin, lose weight? To get there, what are your health problems – as in a diagnosis, an itis or health issue that you know of, so note down what is contributing to your current health? Some examples here could be arthritis, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, sinusitis, diabetes, hypoglycemia, non alcoholic fatty liver disease, colitis, chrons, IBS, headaches or migraines, mental health issues of depression, anxiety or ADHD. Skin issues of eczema, psoriasis, hormonal issues of hypothyroid, endometriosis, PCOS, PMS, perimenopause… note all that down.
Let’s go through a body scan next – this is what I go through with my clients and they note down what they are living with now and have dealt with in the past. This isn’t meant to be a negative exercise as in you’re focusing on all your aches and pains, but meant to help you become aware of the lack of focus and concentration that you’ve been experiencing and then the next step being that you haven’t eaten any fish or consumed any omega 3 fats of late, which is the first place that I go to so that box is checked off – as in your body has the foundation of fats that it needs to support memory, focus and concentration.
I guess to sum this process up is that your efforts can prevent all kinds of disease – so not eating too much sugar for instance prevents the possibility of diabetes – which is what my genetic testing from thednacompany.com/eatthis clued me into. My genetic makeup and that of my daughters’ now that I have her results back, are that my sensitivity to carbohydrates and sugar is more likely to lead to insulin resistance, and diabetes than someone else who doesn’t have the same genetic make up. So my steps to prevent that are to decrease or avoid sugar, processed foods, all the tasty carbs, breads, cookies and limit my shortbread intake! But then if I do end up with hypoglycemia; that’s unbalanced blood sugar leading to headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, a crash of energy as symptoms or specific blood work that shows that I’m headed in the direction of insulin resistant, then I can treat it with adjusting my diet – so then I can focus on eating more protein, especially at breakfast, and don’t buy any more shortbread from the market, for instance. Doing that can then mean that I’m less likely to deal with the neuropathies – that’s a type of nerve damage associated with diabetes; pain and numbness in the legs, feet and hands, and problems with the digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels and heart. Do you see where I’m going with this? In order to optimize my genetic potential, because have that extra information, which you may not, but can do the test to find out, even noting down my symptoms offer insight; realizing that my energy is crashing in the afternoon, that my concentration tanks then too, is a lightbulb moment into the awareness that my blood sugar balance is off, and it’s time to work on it.
I’m going to have a version of my assessment form for you on sproutright.com/takestock so you can use it to fill out once a month and see where you’re starting and your progress as you focus on your health. It’s all well and good to make changes, but one of our biggest afflictions is that we forget – I don’t notice if I don’t have a headache or migraine for a month until I have another headache. Know what I mean?
Let’s start at the top:
Headaches, migraines, stiff neck, are you fuzzy headed or have brain fog, dizziness, or is there unexplained pain (see your doctor if so).
Oily, dry, poor condition, brittle, thinning, prematurely grey or greying fast, dandruff, do you have hair in the wrong places; women with facial hair, do you have more hair on your body, or are losing hair; men losing hair from their ankles upwards can be a sign of decreased testosterone as Dr Brockenshire said in episode 79 on men’s health.
Sore tongue, swollen tongue, tooth decay, mouth ulcers, how’s your morning breath; cue mouth taping from episode 90 with Dr Lawrence Freedman, dentist, do you have a poor sense of taste, excel saliva, a dry mouth, gum disease and bleeding gums and cold sores.
This is a part of the self-awareness assessment of yourself. Yes, flakey, dry brittle nails aren’t just how you are, it can be from a lack of good fats again. Then tying that into your high blood pressure and inflammation that is underlying then points to reducing the fried foods, processed foods and sugary foods as they all lead to inflammation. Make sense?
Next, keep a food diary. Don’t groan, I know it feels like writing down what you spend when you don’t want to hold yourself accountable because it’s going to cramp your style, but truly, if you aren’t aware of what you’re eating and drinking – or not eating or drinking, how are you going to make a tiny change and create new habits from there? Not easily.
In the download that I have for you at sproutright.com/takestock includes a food diary, so fill that out honestly. You’ll only be cheating yourself if you don’t. Then the tid bits and a-ha’s that you get from what you hear on the episodes and shows, can be tied into what you’re eating. The food diary writing is a way of being aware of just what your habits are and what you’re eating – from there you make those tiny changes. Most people think that they are ‘healthy’ eaters until they actually look at what they eat. I don’t remember if I had a shortbread yesterday or not. It could have been a mindless munch with an afternoon cup of Earl Grey, but I don’t recall. If I wrote it down and saw that I’m eating it every day, I will think twice before I go into automatic pilot mode. Moving the cookie tin away from the kettle for instance is a great first step.
The systems of your body all work together, and yes it takes a trained eye to understand how everything connects, but don’t discount what these five things I’m going to suggest that you do, can impact everything.
Know that just about everything that’s going on has an inflammation component to it, is likely impacted by dehydration and not drinking enough water, so once you’ve done your self assessment and know where you’re starting – as in you’ve taken stock of where you’re at. Follow these first steps to deal with what you’ve noted down in your self-awareness assessment and re-visit in a month or even two weeks to see if there is any change:
- Drink more water. 2L per day. If you drink coffee or tea with milk, it doesn’t count. If it’s black it does. If you drink soda (stop that now) then drink twice as much as the size of your soda.
- Fill half your plate with colourful fruits and vegetables. If you don’t eat any, have an apple. Get some blueberries, buy some baby carrots. If you can’t eat them raw because your belly blows up, steam or wilt everything. NO raw which seems odd, but break down whatever by dropping it in hot water. This takes care of the fibre and antioxidant categories. Add in Kid or SKin Boost to your morning and that’ll help further to give you those colours that you need every day to deal with the fire of inflammation.
- Find something to eat instead of something you bought that’s processed. Whatever package food you have, what else can you try? If ice cream is your thing like Chris, I’ll share a recipe for using frozen bananas. That is an incredible switch to also lessen your chemical load after all that I shared in episode 120.
- Where are your good fats? Do you eat fish? Nuts, seeds? If you’re allergic, go for seeds, or take an omega 3 supplement like my Take this by Lianne Omega Boost. Are you using vegetable oil, corn oil, canola oil which are omega 6 fats but don’t have any olive oil, avocado oil or the fruit itself in your diet?
- Carb vs protein assessment – from what you wrote down, are you matching your carbs like bread with enough protein? That’s hard to do in a sandwich or bagel, so how about a wrap filled with egg, grated cheese, hummus and quinoa?
Ok, so there you have it. Making a start to look after yourself whether you’re working with a naturopath, nutritionist, health coach or visiting your doctor, helps you take charge of your health. You know yourself best and switching the getting through the day to an awareness of yourself, what you feel and when, not dismissing the finer symptoms so you don’t end up with saying that you had no idea as you end up in the hospital or with a diagnosis that you didn’t’ see coming. Want to know more about your genetic potential – go to thednacompany.com/eatthis to order your own test and get $50 off. Know that the wait on results is still over two months, but start now. Do the assessment on sproutright.com/takestock download the doc and fill it in again and again bi-weekly or monthly. Keep that food diary going and tweak as you notice something else and make the changes that I’ve suggested.
Let us know what you learn about yourself – share, reach out and rate. If you want to know more about working together, book a discovery call. I also speak with people to do a quick supplement assessment for free.