A Holistic Route...That Has Changed My Life.
A couple of months ago, in February of 2020, I decided to take a new route in terms of my health and getting back on the right track. Starting in September 2019 I was sick with a number of things for 6 months straight after finally being diagnosed with asthma and an allergy to certain types of alcohol. I was feeling the worst I had ever felt emotionally about my
health, how my body felt physically, and mentally in the way that I looked. I decided that it was time to get serious about improving my quality of life.
Enter, Ashley. A Nutrition Therapy Practitioner with her own practice called, A Holistic Route. I stumbled upon her Instagram and was intrigued immediately, as I had never heard of holistic nutrition before.
Holistic nutritional therapy is a method that uses food as medicine to restore balance within the foundations of nutrition.
After having gone on all of the fad diets for the last 10 years of my life I had the idea that maybe this would work for me. I spoke with Ashley over the phone for a free 15 minute consultation to see if we'd be a good fit for each other and finally made the decision that this was going to be it for me. I was choosing my health in a different way than I ever had before and I was putting myself first.
When we began, we had discussions on how I was feeling, my health history, my family's health history, and what my ultimate goals were. I was lacking in energy, sleep, nutrients, activity, motivation, weight loss, and most importantly, a balanced diet. The best part about a holistic approach is that it is customized to YOU. So in February, Ashley suggested a metabolic balanced diet for me. This type of diet is helpful in getting blood sugar levels down and to a healthy place. Ashley also suggested that I cut out dairy and specific foods that have a high sugar count.
Jump to today, and I am three months into my new lifestyle and I feel absolutely amazing! This entire journey has not only been about losing some weight, but it's also taught me how to feed my body correctly in order for it to feel good. No more counting points, calories, heating up frozen meals, or any of those systems that never worked for me in the past. I am now eating balanced, nutritious meals that make me feel healthy, energized and revived. Most importantly, I feel that I can finally just live my life and not constantly worry about the counting of calories. I know what to eat, how it is going to make me feel, and how it is going to help my body and my mind.
I wanted to express my love for this practice by explaining the top 10 things that I have learned over the past few months:
1. HOW TO CREATE BALANCED MEALS.
After having Ashley explain the true importance of a balanced diet of healthy fats, carbs and proteins I have been able to start focusing on the types of foods I need to start building a nutritious plate. With the right macro nutrients in each of my meals I've learned how to stay full for longer and feel satisfied.
2. CHOOSING ORGANIC.
I now eat organic meat, vegetables and fruits because I've learned how important even the smallest things, like pesticides, can make a large difference in your health and how your body reacts to food.
3. SUPPLEMENTS + GUT HEALTH.
Your gut is everything. Flush that baby out and get it up and running well again. Your gut helps you in so many areas of digestion, your mental, and physical health. Supplements are also my new best friends. I take certain ones after each meal and then later in the day I take about 100 others for my daily dose. The current supplements I am taking are, vitamin B, vitamin C, magnesium, probiotics, women's multi-vitamin, fish oil, cranberry, hydro-zyme, and beta-tcp.
4. STOP WITH THE DAMN SPLENDA.
This was really hard for me. I was someone who drank 1-3 coffees a day with 2 Splendas and fat free half and half. Ashley switched me over to SweetLeaf, and while it's not the same as Splenda it is a lot better for you in the long run. I told myself to suck it up and to just use the SweetLeaf...and now I've gotten used to it! (I also use almond milk in my coffee...and it's an adjustment, but I'm doing it!)
5. STOP WITH THE DAMN SODA.
You guys, I haven't had a soda in 3 months. This is nuts to me and I am so proud of myself. Before I started I was having a soda everyday because I craved them and it was part of my daily lunch routine. I kicked that habit and instead actually look forward to my La Croix's each day for a bit of fizz.
6. HOW TO COOK.
Again...whaaat? Most of you guys know that I don't cook and I don't like to cook. It has never relaxed me and I've never been into it. However, this process has forced me to learn how to cook all of my meals because you end up learning what is in all of your food. When you know what is in your food you're able to then determine what makes your body feel good and what doesn't. Bottom line, you don't know what is in the food that is pre-made most of the time.
7. DRINK THE WATER.
I drink a lot of agua my friends. It completely flushes me out and gets me up constantly to go to the bathroom which is so important. If I don't have enough water these days my body instantly tells me and I have a raging headache. So keep filling up your water bottle and JUST DRINK. Add some lemon for a vibe.
8. LISTENING TO MY BODY.
This by far has been the biggest lesson that I have learned. Before I started the holistic practice, I was constantly bloated and felt like I couldn't control myself to stop eating even when I was full. At first it takes some effort (it still does sometimes), but I had to work really hard and constantly ask myself, "are you sure you're still hungry?", "dang, that lunch did not make me feel good", "I was so tired after that meal, why?". This entire experience has taught me to chill the hell out and really listen to my body. I am no longer bloated, I know when I am full, and I know when something doesn't make me feel my best. It's like magic and it's cool to have all the power!
9. DON'T DEPRIVE YOURSELF.
Hi. I am not depriving myself over here. If I have a family birthday party (on Zoom, duh), then I am going to let myself have a piece of cake. I never want to feel left out of a situation and I never want to have restrict myself so much that I end up making bad decisions later on. The fact is that we are all human, you can enjoy yourself, but then reel it back in and remember your mission. Something else I've learned in addition to this is that sometimes you have to remove yourself out of certain situations if you know it's going to be a major trigger for you. Example: When my sister makes brownies....hiiiii....hide them somewhere because I WILL go looking for them. Treat yourself, but reel it back in.
10. MOVE THAT BOOTY.
It took me a lot to start working out again, especially while being quarantined, but I'm pushing myself and moving my body everyday because it makes me feel GOOD! I have been taking full advantage of workout apps, YouTube, Instagram Live fitness classes, etc. Over the past month I have fallen back in love with working out because it helps me so much mentally as well.
The thing is that, I AM NOT DONE, and I never will be. The "journey" of being healthy is a lifelong journey and I need to remind myself to stay patient. I am going to struggle at times (already have), I'm going to laugh at myself, I'm going to smack my own ass (because hey, it's starting to look good), I'm going to feel all the feels because I am human. This time, I am not so afraid of falling off because I finally know that I have figured out that food is my friend and my body is my friend and they need to be treated like so.
If you are struggling right now with how you feel physically, mentally, or emotionally please know you aren't alone. Especially right now when we all may feel all the feels because we can't control much and we don't know what to expect out of this world. Try to give yourself some self love by treating your body right, it will thank you in the long run. Take this time to at least give that to yourself while we are stuck at home. YOU are in control of YOU...and hey, maybe a holistic route is perfect for you!
Lastly, a HUGE shoutout to my girl, Ashley! You are amazing and inspiring. Thanks so much for never judging me, leading me down an awesome path, being a great coach, and always answering my long ass emails. You truly don't know how happy and healthy I feel these days...I only wish I had discovered you and this method sooner!
A Holistic Route