Health – such a broad term, I know – is endlessly fascinating to me. I spend hours each day reading through articles, blogs, and books about a variety of topics related to our minds, bodies, and souls, and the intersection of the three. New discoveries and connections arrive 100 times faster than they used to, thanks to people drinking too much coffee, being insomniacs, and posting all over social media.
So much is good, and so much is…bad. It’s not always easy to classify which is which, since science is no longer influence-free, which means you can no longer accept scientific studies as bias-free. Plus there are people with MD and PhD behind their name spouting what they have determined will be a good money-maker for their business. Not to mention the studies that prove something one day (even without any dirty money behind the science) will literally six months later disprove the same information. Science, as humans and woo-woo, is flawed.
People are also able to declare themselves experts based on their social media following and how many engaging videos they produce for Youtube.
I’m not knocking people for doing these things; it’s a reality in our technological driven world. I just hate that it often makes being healthy seem so much harder than it actually is. Yes, there are many of us suffering from underlying physical and emotional issues, and we need to do a little more heavy lifting to improve our health and well-being, and live more authentic lives (which is why I created the Metamorphosis program), but even while we do that, there are a lot of simple ways to take care of ourselves in the meantime.
So on that note, I’ve got a few health #nakedtruths that I want to share to cut through some of the bullshit that’s out there:
THERE IS NO ONE RIGHT NUTRITIONAL APPROACH
I cannot emphasize this one enough. The amount of “nutrition experts” out there these days ASTOUNDS me. People get certified by “schools” that only teach one dietary approach…what??!! So you should be vegan even though you’re gluten and grain intolerant, don’t digest beans well, and soy depresses your thyroid? You should go Keto when lots of fat makes you feel sluggish? A raw foods diet is the healthiest thing in the world except you can’t keep your feet or hands warm or for that matter get out of bed except to go to the bathroom because your stomach is constantly DYING?
I read articles by intelligent people saying things like, “Paleo is bad because it cuts out all carbs” and I wonder if they ever researched the fact that vegetables are a huge part of the Paleo diet AND vegetables are basically all carbs. I also read that you can’t age healthfully on a vegan diet, and I’ve got a couple of dancers who can prove you wrong in an instant.
Even when you figure out what nutritional approach works for you right now, that will change as you age, as you experience trauma, as holidays and kids and LIFE comes and goes.
Stop. Just stop. Instead:
- Go to a functional medicine practitioner, find out what foods you are allergic to (if you have environmental allergies, you pretty much have food allergies), get blood tests that actually let you know who nutrients your body is missing, if your thyroid/kidneys/liver/adrenals are having issues, and if you have heavy metals, leaky gut, or candida
- Cut as much boxed and packaged food and sugar out of your diet as possible, but DON’T CUT OUT EVERYTHING – it’s impossible, and you will eventually binge on what you removed; buy most of your foods from the perimeter of the grocery store
- Eat a lot more vegetables and some fruit, especially berries (organic if possible, even though those standards have been watered down tremendously; local non-sprayed, non-gmo are often better even if though they aren’t labeled organic); only remove nightshades if you have serious joint pain and pay attention when you reintroduce them
- Research your meat to make sure it’s actually grass fed and free range (not partially, but for the majority of its life – it’s nearly impossible to find any that isn’t fed some grain at some point) and EGGS that are truly pasture-raised (cage-free doesn’t mean the chickens have access to the outside world)
- Cut back on gluten, soy (especially the modified forms of soy you find in most vegetarian “meat” replacements), and dairy
- Give your body periodic breaks throughout the year. Some people call these cleanses, but from both personal research and with clients I’ve worked with over the years, I don’t recommend full juice cleanses or the Master Cleanse. If you have super stable blood sugar, these can be okay for 2-3 days, but after that, you are simply stealing nutrients from your bones, muscles, and tissues. Instead, cut out sugar, caffeine, alcohol, refined foods, and heavy foods for a couple of weeks and add an herbal or functional medicine detox to the mix.
- Take a good quality probiotic after meals
- Take digestive enzymes, digestive bitters, or apple cider vinegar before/during meals
- Vary from there depending on your lifestyle/ethical choices
In the Metamorphosis program, we talk more about what everyone should be doing nutritionally, and how to figure out from there what your body is calling you to feed and nourish it with right now.
THERE IS NO BALANCE
If I read one more article about achieving balance…
It DOESN’T exist. This is a theory my new-age brethen (yes, I consider myself one of them) like to talk about as they sit in lotus, take their wheatgrass shot the morning after drinking a microbrew beer, or in their articles about how to get rid of anxiety, but balance is an illusion that is worth crossing off your list (which will actually reduce your anxiety).
The Yin/Yang symbol is a perfect expression of why balance doesn’t exist – if it did, you’d see a line straight down the middle. Instead, it’s curved to signify moving a little more to one side then redirecting course back to the other. It’s also a great reminder that the dark and the light are in everything.
It’s better to try and work with the natural ebbs and flows, and notice when you are too far in one direction so that you can pull back into the other. In Meta, we talk about tools to better work with these energy flows.
Authenticity is the SHIT, and that means you won’t be/feel positive 100% of the time
We are human. Within that, we experience a wide-range of emotions. But recently as a culture (and a damn long time for women), we have been told to cut off certain “unbecoming” emotions, including anger/rage, sadness, fear, and disgust. Some in the positive psychology movement have focused on will-power as a way to happiness; though I believe whole-heartedly that we are often able to view things in a different, more positive way, including through a gratitude practice, will-power is not a bridge to a happy life. In doing this, you are often suppressing real emotions that are happening in the body, and guess what? They gotta go somewhere. And often this is a recipe for auto-immune diseases and other physical ailments.
We have to process our emotions as they come up. Sometimes, that’s relatively quick and easy, and other times, that takes diving in and witnessing what is under the emotion (often a core wound that we may have to work with for the rest of our lives). We develop self-compassion (and actual, not glib, self-love) by truly feeling and witnessing our emotions, which translates into a real, true, deep sense of joy and expansion for both the good AND the bad in our life. That is why shadow work is such an important component to Meta; we must make conscious that which is hidden in order to heal it.
You have the ability to do so much healing with simple, everyday acts. When you need an extra push or support (which we all do at some point), work with a practitioner, find a community, or engage in a program like Meta or something similar in order to get you to your next level in health and profound joy.