Autoimmune disease doesn’t strike overnight. Although, if you live with an autoimmune disease you know it can feel like you were run over by a freight train overnight and you woke up wondering “what the hell just happened?”
Generally, when this happens you run to the doctor because you feel sick. The doctor looks you over and sends you home with medicine based on your complaints and symptoms. Depending on how many times you’ve been to the doctor, the severity of your symptoms, or the competency of your doctor, labs may be ordered to support the medication recommendation and look a little deeper.
When was the last time your doctor asked about your diet, relationships, work, education, finances, stress, exercise, self-care? Probably never, right! Crazy because we know that ALL of these things collectively add up to your health and are impacting the dis-ease you are seeking answers for.
Do not get me wrong. I am not talking about the “it’s all in your head” philosophy that many will put on you because they can’t find a physical reason for your incessant pain, rash, stomach pain, fatigue, weight gain, weight loss, (fill your symptom in here). You absolutely are experiencing the ______________ that you are complaining of. Unfortunately, I’ve even known doctors that prescribe antidepressants or antianxiety meds when you come in with these complaints.
The question(s) that should be asked is “why?” “what is the underlying cause of _________?” with a whole lifestyle assessment with a lookback period (more than yesterday). What if you were asked lifestyle questions and included a lookback period? What if you were prescribed good mood foods? What if you were prescribed to get outside in nature for an hour a day? What if you were prescribed to move your body doing your favorite activity every day? What if you were prescribed to spend in-person time and surround yourself with the person(s) that make you the happiest? What if you were prescribed to take a vacation and truly unplug from work every 3 months?
Would these prescriptions solve everything? Maybe, maybe not. Would they have toxic side effects of organ damage, drug interactions, possibly death? Absolutely not! Would they cover up your symptoms or give you new symptoms making it more difficult to get to the underlying cause of the dis-ease? Nope.
Of course, there are times when it makes sense to visit your doctor but after 25 years in healthcare and 30 years of learning to understand my own body, you can bet I’ve learned a few things. I’ve learned that medicine is almost always toxic and misused. I’ve learned that medicine is almost always unnecessary. I’ve learned that everything we need to heal our bodies has been provided by nature but we probably don’t recognize it or know how to use it. I’ve learned that creating an environment to heal is up to me, not my doctor. I’ve learned that I don’t need permission to be the expert in my body (but I do need to learn how).
Start with the Low Hanging Fruit
Just because you know it, doesn’t mean you do it. We all know that we should be eating healthy food, exercising regularly, and sleeping well. The reality is that few of us actually do because life happens, the SAD life to be exact. The standard American diet and lifestyle is the underlying cause of most diseases, including autoimmune disease, that is epidemic in our society.
What if you decided to stop the SAD and embrace a new life, a WOW life? What if you ate good mood food? What if you started moving your body by dancing in the kitchen listening to uplifting music while you prepared food that was delicious AND nutritious? What if you sat down at the table and ate that good mood food with the people that matter most to you? What if you listened to a podcast or watched a video that inspired you or taught you something new instead of listening to the news or getting caught up in the drama? What if you journaled the wins and desires of the day before going to bed?
These are what I call the low-hanging fruit because you already know what you “should” be doing. The trick is to stop shoulding on yourself and get into action. Just pick one. Start with today, not tomorrow. Action is key so pick something that you can do and get a win. That win will lead to the next choice, do it again, and again, and again. Before you know it you find yourself in a new intentional choice routine and the guilt and shame of shoulding is behind you.
I’ll use good mood food for illustration because it is powerful, simple, and self-reinforcing. Today, instead of reaching for an energy drink or sugary snack to pick you up, eat your favorite fruit. The whole fruit not a canned, dried, or processed form of it. Maybe it’s a crispy sweet apple, a juicy orange, an exotic pineapple or mango, or a known superfood of blueberries or pomegranate. It doesn’t matter which fruit. Your body will tell you the one that is best for you because you like it and it’s available to you.
The nutrient profile in fruit makes it good mood food for anyone as it gives you a boost of glucose for energy but metabolizes completely and steadily because of the whole food matrix. Your cells will thank you because of the vitamins, phytonutrients, minerals, hydration, and glucose that they need to replicate healthy cells. Your gut will thank you because you are supporting a healthy microbiome with prebiotic fiber and encouraging probiotic health and diversity. Your brain will thank you because you just released the chemicals of serotonin by feeding your microbiome a whole fiber-rich food.
Are you hesitant to try it? Do you find yourself saying “but fruit is loaded with sugar? I’ve heard fructose is bad”. Welcome to SAD. You have been victimized by the standard American diet of misinformation because it is far more profitable to addict you to processed “health” foods that are laden with fake sugar and pseudo ingredients while they manage your medical conditions with prescription medications.
Have you ever tried to overeat whole foods? How many apples can you eat in a sitting? Have you ever tried to eat an entire bowl of blueberries? How about an entire pineapple? Nature tells us the right amount of whole foods to eat because, unlike processed foods, we are not physically able to over-consume whole foods. So in addition to the above benefits to our cells, gut, and brain that I mentioned above, we also have the added benefit of not having to count calories because your body will tell you how much is enough for you.
Congratulations! You have just successfully completed an introduction to Living WOW. You have learned how to choose intentionally to support your body rather than suppress or mask what it is telling you. If you chose to participate in the low hanging fruit exercise, you even learned how to make a choice for good mood food that showers your systems with all the goodies it needs, in the amount it needs to give you the lift that supports a WOW life rather than a SAD life.
Now do it again! As you are making those new intentional choices, take note of how your body is changing. What feels good? What’s the next choice best choice?
If you’re not sure or you need support, consider joining the Living WOW Challenge on the 1st-10th of each month at the Living WOW Center. The Living WOW Challenge is a 10-day experience with a menu full of good mood foods that support natural detoxification and healing of inflammation. In 10 short days, you feel the effects of less pain, more energy, and the momentum to embrace living WOW in a SAD world.
What can I expect during the Living WOW Challenge?
- Complete 10 day menu of delicious, easy, nutrion packed options
- Recipes for each meal
- Assessments & objective measures
- Supportive daily affirmations
- Daily word of scripture guidance
- Personal support
- Group coaching
- Convenient online access to fit your schedule
Living WOW is all about thriving, so you can bet the focus is on adding in so much amazing nutrition and content that the SAD is crowded out. We don’t believe in restrictions and rules but rather focus on intention and education. As you are empowered with nutritional healing you will recognize the ills of SAD and naturally begin to recognize the choices that are all about WOW and living your best life.
Bring your friends, bring your family, bring anyone you care an ounce about! Come and join the Living WOW Challenge to get a taste of WOW. It’s time to remember how good it feels to feel good!