do you ever wonder. . . are we there yet?
Posted by Andrea Nakayama
Often times clients will ask me how they know when they’re “there”.
Are we there yet?
Have we reached our dietary goals?
Is this the stopping point?
Is it all better now?
But for some of us, there is an elusive place that’s as hard to reach as OZ during waking moments. It’s not that we can’t (and don’t!) achieve our goal weight, energy and physical stride.
It’s that it can be challenging to stay there… forever.
I’m not talking about the difficulty of sticking with it, of learning how to heed your prescribed dietary plan or known parameters for optimal health. Instead I’m referring to the changes that occur within our bodies themselves.
As your body changes, so does its dietary needs.
But don’t run away!
This isn’t blasphemy I’m speaking of. It’s resilience!
The trick is to learn to tune-in to what your body needs, adapt and ride the waves of change when they arise. (The fun part? Your diet never gets boring.)
This elusive there is certainly true for any of us who have autoimmunity or compromised immunity. Yet it’s also true for those who experience stress or aging.
Hey, that sounds like all of us.
What it means is that the body is in flux.
In autoimmune conditions the times when we know we’re off track are called “flares”. A flare is the sudden onset of symptoms ~ it could be as extreme as a rash, dizziness or an attack of acute fatigue.
Yet it may also appear more subtly, as something seeming slightly off.
While I work hard to manage my own autoimmune thyroid condition (Hashimoto’s), I know full well that certain things can be mediators that upset the balance of my delicate system.
Those mediators can be stress, overwhelm and even air travel. And that sounds like my day… today!
The mediator can be a bite of a food that my body recognizes as toxic, or a cold caught from my son. And all of a sudden I’m no longer there.
I’ve come to recognize a flare for myself not as some overt expression that completely takes me down, but instead a touch of inflammation somewhere in my body (currently the tender breasts that I struggled with before I determined the diagnosis), a shift in my mood and outlook (away from my usual bright yet stealth disposition), and ultimately, the realization that I have to step up the self-care even more.
(Damn, I thought I was there!)
In this way, I thank my autoimmune condition.
It provides a feedback loop that keeps me highly adaptable.
After all, survival of the fittest wasn’t referring to those with the most toned bodies, but instead to those who were most adaptable and resilient.
Interestingly, stress doesn’t just happen outside the body, as a work deadline, a sick kid or parent, or a struggling relationship. Stress can happen inside the body all the time.
That’s why I have two dietary pillars that I return to as a baseline each time I feel the balance of there disrupted.
They’re the foundation of adaptability and self-care.
They’re the same two pillars that I share with my clients as the backbone of health. And I’m going to share them with you today.
Pillar #1: Tend to your gut.
Digestion is where it’s at. Truly. If your digestion isn’t working for you, your body is under stress.
Pillar #2: Tend to your blood sugar
As your blood sugar spikes and slumps, based on what you eat and your particular body’s response, the result is a physiological burden that has both immediate and long term consequences.
Like I said, there can be elusive. We want to be adaptable. Let’s start by returning to the basic pillars of health, again and again.
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