I’ve been on a healthier route recently and I have a hard time keeping up with my own ambitious efforts because I’m human and change is hard. I started taking a step back and noticed how quick and easy it was to slip into my old habits and ways of doing things.
I realized that starting a blog would help keep me motivated.
I’ve been wanting to start one for a while now but didn’t know how to go about it. I still don’t know exactly what that’s going to look like yet but I am going to figure it out along the way. There has been so much on my mind and in my heart to share, but I have always found a way to talk myself out of it.
Since coming to the liberating knowledge that the best way to overcome fear is with courage, I decided that the best time to start is now.
I realized that I don’t have to have it all together to help others, and that allowed me to break through the chains of my own mind and move forward. I’m currently on the slower track of getting my undergraduate degree in psychology, but since learning my 5 year plan was a joke we’ll see where I end up. I plan to use my blog to share life and empower others to live a healthier life from the inside out (and eat a lot more plants).
Why this? A brief history.
- I was a grown adult still struggling with soul wounds from my past.
- I had developed unhealthy habits and coping mechanisms.
- I was stuck in fear-based legalism that was preventing me from living in freedom in Christ.
- I was suffering daily from chronic migraine that was unresponsive to traditional forms of treatment since I was 13 years old with headaches since childhood. I saw multiple specialists to find out what was causing the issue, was prescribed almost every medication on the market with no relief, and had my adenoids lasered out before walking away from typical Western ways of jumping through the hoops to successfully manage life with migraine. When my last neurologist at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles told me the best migraine management was meditation, I took a break out of trying to be “fixed” and felt hopeless for a long time (and later learned that meditation is a super important element although not a cure).
- I had a weakened immune system and frequently got sick, often turning into bronchitis, strep throat, or pneumonia.
- I was battling severe anxiety and depression.
- I had an unhealthy relationship with myself and distorted body image.
- I had an unhealthy relationship with food that often left me feeling out of control.
- I was having issues in my marriage and social life that resulted as an overflow of the above issues.
Basically, I was not doing fine at all like I so often pretended to be. And I was definitely not healthy.
I had to get to a point where I was frustrated enough with the way things were to challenge my complacency and make some changes. I wasn’t satisfied being told I would just have to live with chronic migraine because there’s no cure. I wasn’t satisfied with the disparity between the hope-filled worship songs I sang on Sundays and the hopeless weekday living inside my own mental hell.
I had to acknowledge that a lot of the ways I was living my life were rooted in lies I had believed, and I needed to reinforce the sweet sound of truth in my soul. I had to let go of things that were weighing me down and challenge myself to live in the freedom I was meant to.
Where we come from only determines where we start, and we can choose to go a different way any time we want. We can’t change the past but we can choose to let go and walk in the present. We have to let go of what is beyond our control (almost everything) and embrace changing what is (ourselves). We have to acknowledge the power we so often give up by falsely believing we don’t have any. We have to confront our common condition of brokenness and stop lying to ourselves saying we’re fine.
…And that’s how I started down the path of holistic healing and became my own experimental guinea pig.
I started doing my research. I started watching the health documentaries on Netflix. I took a nutrition class. I started talking to alternative doctors. I started opening up with those around me and realized I wasn’t alone in my problems, this world is completely backwards, and there is hope for a better way.
Here’s what’s up in our current state of ‘Murica.
- We are a nation of growing health problems despite scientific advances. 70% of health issues are related to lifestyle factors that we have influence over.
- We are a nation that prides itself on freedom yet so many of us are livings as slaves in bondage.
- The standard American diet (SAD for short) consists of way too much protein, fat, sugar, oil and refined flour while being fiber and nutrient-deficient from not eating enough fruits and veggies. We absolutely need adequate amounts of protein, carbs, fat, and oils but its the source that matters.
- 60% of the average American diet is processed food.
- We believe myths like eating healthy is expensive when the truth is that eating is expensive, and the differences in what we eat have to do with where we put our time and money with our food choices (there are definitely situations where resources are straight up limited, as access to resources are a huge issue for most people right now. I’m still learning how to get creative on a budget so I know this is a a huge struggle).
- We live most of our lives in an automatic default mode.
- We mask problems with band-aids instead of addressing the root issues.
- We have become more connected online but less connected in real life.
- We are a nation of 2/3 obese overeaters yet we are malnourished and nutrient-deficient.
- Most doctors only take one nutrition class even though nutrition is the link between food and health/disease.
- Stress reduction is given very little emphasis and yet is one of the most powerful tools within an individual’s agency that will greatly improve their health.
- Far too many overdose or develop abuse and addiction issues with FDA-approved prescription pills that are normalized while safer options like medical marijuana are still a budding idea in our society.
- The beauty industry relies on us feeling unhappy and ashamed of our bodies and is often successful.
- We blindly go with what’s considered normal instead of critically questioning.
- There are a handful of food companies that control most processed food and beverages on the market. Food corporations and other companies are funding studies that support their monetary gain rather than our health and encourage the public to continue consuming their products for their businesses’ sake. These are the people telling us how to be healthy, perpetuating ideas in society that encourages people to keep thinking that a plant-based diet isn’t a sustainable healthy option.
- Modern medicine often serves itself as an institution that keeps people sick more than it gets them healthy.
- We spend a lot of time, money, and energy on things that don’t really matter and often times lose focus on things that do.
What’s sad is that all of this is considered normal. But it doesn’t have to be.
Unsettled with this information and unsatisfied with the norm, I started making some changes over time. Here’s what happened:
- I accepted Jesus into my heart freshman year of college soon after my 18th birthday (yep- I had grown up and was baptized in the church but was missing out on the real deal the whole time). Since walking with Him I see where He’s been in my past, experience the realness of His presence with me today, and have hope for tomorrow because I can trust His faithfulness.
- I started seeing myself and others through God’s eyes as stained glass souls, sometimes we just need some light to see the beauty in the bigger picture even if there’s some dust or cracks.
- I stopped wearing the mask I literally painted on my face and the metaphorical mask on my heart and decided to be seen for who I really was, even if I had blemishes.
- I slowly started to overcome barriers and experience authentic community with those God put in my life.
- I learned that there is power in Jesus’ name and that love really does change everything.
- I started trusting in God instead of myself and started resting in the soul-healing truth that I was enough just the way I was but that I was loved far too much to stay that way.
- My condemnation started to turn into gentle conviction.
- I started to learn what it means to live in the freedom of the spirit instead of the chains of the flesh. My head knowledge of God and His love for me started to turn into heart knowledge that actually started to change how I lived my life.
- I started focusing on the unchanging God instead of my changing circumstances.
- I started actually reading my bible sometimes.
- I started to feel peace and comfort in situations where I would normally feel tension.
- I started challenging anxious and depressive thoughts with truth.
- I started seeing healing in areas of my heart I thought were hopeless.
- I started seeing healing in broken relationships.
- I moved towards a plant-based diet and challenged my entire relationship with food.
- I started drinking a lot more water.
- I started feeding my mind and body what was nourishing, phasing out what wasn’t helping me and introduced the good stuff.
- I stopped counting calories and focused on the real content of what I was consuming.
- I started focusing on providing the best I can for myself and my family with what I have right where I’m at.
- I started doing yoga and moving my body freely, taking advantage of opportunities for movement and exercise like getting outside when I can.
- I started learning how to dance with the pain instead of letting it defeat me.
- I started exploring new treatment options with hope and an open mind.
Here are some things I’ve learned along my journey:
- Holistic healing looks at the whole person and the interwoven connections between the body, mind, spirit, relationships, and environment and focuses on restoring the body’s natural health and homeostasis.
- We have to abandon many mainstream ideas that get reinforced into our minds and go back to the truth.
- Western diets bring western diseases, and diseases often run in families because diets run in families. Genetics definitely plays a role but by and large we can have influence on our health regardless of our genes.
- There is tremendous power in proactive and preventive health.
- Just get moving.
- The most power is in the little everyday actions we do that add up.
- Trying to make too many changes at once isn’t very successful, but one or two changes at a time and small swaps help.
- You are what you eat, drink, think, say, do, and live.
- Soul medicine is important.
- Balance is important.
- The food we eat is either the safest form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.
- Western medicine does have its appropriate place and benefits to society, but the day to day health is our responsibility.
- A high nutrient-density plant-based diet is the evidence-based way to go. It can prevent and even reverse many health conditions that we thought were inevitable.
- Sometimes you need to reframe how you think about something and change your focus.
- An attitude of gratitude is essential.
- It isn’t how much you have but what you do with what you have that matters.
- Only Jesus saves. No vegetable, workout, or positive vibes will do it. Basically, unless you start with your soul and build your foundation on Jesus, you’re always going to be striving for more.
- There is no perfect diet. A healthy diet is built around vegetables, fruits, good grains, nuts and seeds, and beans and legumes. Whole and lightly or unprocessed is best when possible.
- We need to watch our habits, not our weight.
- Change your diet, don’t go on a diet.
- What works for one person might not work for another- we are all uniquely made.
- There is controversy around meat and dairy: do your research and decide for yourself, but in general it is best to cut out or limit it, and to choose good sources if you do.
- You have to clear clutter and make space for what matters.
- Healing is not a linear process, and rarely looks like how you might expect.
- You can’t work your way into worthiness or improve yourself out of insecurity.
- There is power in plants and real food.
- Every day is a new day.
- True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen and eating/cooking from scratch.
- There is no formula fix, magic pill, or shortcut to health. You have to live healthy to be healthy.
- A balanced diet is over time. You don’t need every nutrient everyday.
- You have to do different to get different.
- You have to put the good in to crowd out the bad.
- Everyone is at a different place on their journey and we all have to start somewhere.
- The doctor can give you a diagnosis but it doesn’t determine your prognosis.
- You can consume all the kale, tea, and turmeric in the world and run a mile everyday and still won’t be healthy unless you work on the inside crap too. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
- Health is a direction, not a destination.
- Physical pain and psychological pain are so intimately tied together that it is rare to have one without the other, and our current model of medicine often fails to treat individuals with that in mind.
- Thinking doesn’t equal doing. Action is important.
- Healthy looks different on everybody.
- Holistic healing requires stripping your mind, body, and soul from the toxic crap you’ve consumed over the years and essentially rebuilding from the inside out.
- Healing comes in many shapes and forms.
- It is better to try something and risk imperfect progress than to fail by not trying.
- You have to intentionally nourish whatever you want to grow because the grass is greener where you water it.
- Sometimes we need to unlearn unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors and replace them with new ones.
- Sometimes its open-minded trial and error to find what works for you.
- It takes time for any growth to become visible, and holistic healing is a lifetime thing. You just have to stay on the right path.
- It often feels like swimming upstream against what I was taught and what everyone else is doing.
- We have the power to recognize and challenge negative thought patterns, take them captive and replace them with truth. New patterns can override old ones with enough time and intentionality.
- God is bigger than any challenge we face. No matter how big it is, how long we’ve had it, or how messy it may seem.
- We make choices everyday by how we live our lives whether we want to acknowledge it or not.
- Seek to heal by pressing into the pain and getting intimate with it.
- It really does take a village. Community is essential.
- Guilt and shame don’t motivate change, only love does.
- Grace is a necessity.
- We have to take control of our emotions or they will control us. Don’t give negative feelings a foothold.
- Nothing happens overnight. Forward is forward. Progress over perfection.
- We need to live life less out of habit and more out of intent.
- If you get tired learn to rest and not quit.
- Prayer is powerful. It isn’t fancy or flowery, just literally talking to God.
- We have to stop picking up the same chains Christ went to the cross to break.
- Sometimes we have to redirect our minds to the redemptive power of the cross.
- We’re all on equal ground at the foot of the cross.
The truth is I still have my challenges but I approach and handle them a little bit differently now. The struggle is real.
I am constantly healing inside out and becoming the wildly redeemed version of myself that I was fearfully and wonderfully made to be. Join me?