What are you able to do in your life to Be Well?

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I recently read a book by Alan Deutschman entitled Change or Die. Pretty intriguing title, huh? I’m not going to give a book review, but I do encourage you to read it. The take away message Mr. Deutschman is trying to relay is that change is sustained by new hope or new thinking. He suggested a new name for his book could be Change and Thrive. This new title resonated with me and I started thinking about what I could do in my own life.

As my blog’s tagline implies, “Be & Eat Well,” overall wellness isn’t just about what we put into our body, but also about how we listen to our body and what we do to keep our body in working order, to be able to maintain a high quality of life. Over the years I’ve slowly become more aware of my body and what it’s telling me. After time spent practicing yoga, seeking out health professionals, going through an elimination diet, managing stress differently, practicing positive affirmations and loving myself, I have witnessed how the body can heal.

Being aware of how your body responds in certain situations is crucial. Times of stress, fear, happiness or excitement sends signals to our muscles to either relax or contract. Different actions such as typing on the computer, cooking, jogging, hiking, or even yoga can irritate various muscles and joints, to the extent of chronic pain and quite frankly, annoyance. My chronic TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) issues brought me to reassess my current diet, activities, health care professionals and seek out someone who can help me get to the root of the problem and help my body heal.

After some online searching, I came across Tim Hackett and his private practice, Healing Hands Massage Therapy. After making the initial phone call and speaking with Tim for over 30 minutes, I knew this was someone who was professional, understanding, caring and eager to help me heal. Tim specializes on NeuroMuscular Reprogramming, which focuses on retraining muscles which are causing the discomfort by use of various forms of massage and Myofascial Release. After meeting him for a consultation and bodywork session, Tim pointed out a few areas where my muscles were weak and provided me with exercises and breathing techniques to do at home, as well as advice on how to adjust my posture. This “homework” is exactly what I’ve been looking for and wanting from a healthcare provider, in addition to their care. When we make an appointment to see a healthcare professional, we’re setting ourselves up as a “victim” of dis-ease looking for expert care and advice. We tend to let them take charge of our condition, rather than taking an active role ourselves. I feel the provider and the patient need to work together as a team in order for healing to happen.

My philosophy is that we can always change our lifestyle, habits, actions and attitudes to create behavior changes that will create new, healthy habits. While keeping in mind “change and thrive, I took it upon myself to tweak my diet again, in order to see if I could improve my quality of life. Positive changes happened within a few days. Avoiding gluten, dairy and eggs has allowed me to sleep soundly at night, made my anxiety dissolve and helped the muscles in my face relax and my jaw unclench. How long I will continue with this regimen is unknown. I WILL eat foods that contain gluten, dairy and eggs, again. Right now my body is telling me it needs a break and I’m not going to fight it any longer.

The body works as a whole and we need to treat it as a whole, rather than trying to combat one symptom at a time. Finding health professionals who strive to uncover the root of the problem and making an effort yourself to change your behaviors will inevitability save you time, money, and your sanity in the long run. I’m not saying that changing your diet or going to get a massage is all it takes to clear your health conditions all together, but by reassessing your daily routine, behaviors, eating and exercise patterns you will be able to listen to your body a little more. What is it telling you? Is your quality of life where you want it? Are you willing to make changes to feel better? Where is your stress coming from? What are you able to do in your life to Be Well?

“We are the means through which the world changes. When you pray for change, it is you that is going to change, not the world around you.” – Caroline Myss

Resources: Deutschman, A. (2007). Change or Die. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

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Post-semester Raleigh Staycation

My first week/weekend free in months. What does a girl do? Celebrate of course!

IMG_0268Bida Manda – Raleigh, with the lovely ladies I spent the semester with

IMG_0279Trampled by Turtles Concert- an awesome experience reflecting on the time since I first saw these guys at Waterfront Bar at UW-Stout to where I am today

IMG_0283Pretty happy with this homemade lunch creation

IMG_0325Indulging at Raleigh Brewing with good friends, Katie & Tara and my love, Michael

 

Took advantage of the brilliant sunshine & 57 degree day at the North Carolina Museum of Art-Museum Park.

IMG_0289Received new Christmas ornaments from mom and dad!

Enjoyed another gorgeous day hiking at Umstead State Park with my love. Incredible lunch at La Farm Bakery.

Putting into practice what I learned in Food and Society…indulging in food from past memories of home- WI and embracing new memories of home here in NC with chocolate from Escazu, Raleigh.

Couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the semester 🙂

What is my mission?

It is now early July and I am near completing my second month of my practicum experience. What an adventure it has been so far! Visiting Old Salem in Forsyth County, talking with BBQ masters in Lenoir County and attending Got to be NC Festival in Wake County has been a few of the experiences this project has led me to. Throughout my research I feel as though I’ve had a challenge that has been lingering in the back of my mind since I started. What is my mission? I know Elena’s mission for her Tasting North Carolina project, but what is MY mission? How do I want to portray my thoughts and ideas on this blog as it connects my research together and continues after the practicum is complete?

The first question I asked myself was “How does this project relate to being a Registered Dietitian (RD) and a Gastronome? Second question, “What do I want to get across to my audience?” Thirdly, “What is my voice in social media as a health expert?”

My mission: To share my love and passion for food, nutrition, wellness and health.

Food – I am a Gastronome.

Nutrition – I am a RD.

Wellness – I am a Yogi. I embrace living in the moment and believe in the importance of mind/body health.

Health – Relating to all other facets of well-being: physical/mental/spiritual/social/cultural.

Through this project my hope is to express the importance of knowing where your food comes from while each of us supports our own health and the health of the local community.

As I continue my writing and research, I’m sure my mission may shift and sway as I encounter new experiences and meet new people. Until my next post, Eat & Be Well.

A Time to Reflect

Happy March 1st! This day brings me happiness and eagerness for the upcoming months, as highs today were in the 50’s in the lovely state of North Carolina. Bright sunshine and the sight of our first trees blooming brought a sigh of relief and reminded me of nature’s rhythm. Winter surely did a number on most of the country this year, and I think we are all a little more excited for the day we can let the fresh spring air into our homes with our windows wide open.

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While the earth thaws and flowers start to peek their green tips through the soil, this is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the past months. The holidays allowed us to reunite with family and friends. The ice and snow storms gave us an appreciation for power, heat, and driving on dry roads. Perhaps our New Year’s goals have already been forgotten. Wouldn’t this be a marvelous time to re-visit our thoughts, dreams and wishes for the year?

As for myself, my semester of grad school has taken me into a whirlwind of writing, studying and test taking. Not only have I learned about nutrition metabolism, but I have learned how much time I previously spent doing other things: cooking, baking, blog writing, yoga, reading and the list goes on. I have come to realize, even more, the balance one needs in life. No matter what the situation, how busy we become, there is always time to take a few moments to ourselves.

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With the temperatures increasing and days becoming longer, embrace the changing season and breathe. Even though spring isn’t officially here until mid-March, think of this month as a spring-cleaning for our minds and bodies. Take a walk during lunch and notice the daffodils, robins and smile as the sunshine warms your face. Start using your grill, buy the season’s first produce at your local market and take the time to appreciate new beginnings and new life. Reflect on the past, dream about the future, but most importantly, live in the present.

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