It is not unusual for someone at a Chicago based Whole Foods, juicing business, wellness company or even a friend to refer to me as 'Hey, here comes the Vega Girl'. I feel like I should get t-shirts made - haha! I actually think they just might sell....and note they'd be pretty cute.
I've never really shared 'fully' why I am a self professed 'Vega Girl' though so, I thought it was timely given that Vega has recently deputed their NEW Vega One Formulation!!!!!!!! Wait until you here all of the healthy benefits of drinking Vega One! The reformulation is so incredible! Well, I won't make you wait at all....read on!
I was first drawn to Vega products after reading the Thrive book series by Brendan Brazier. I was very ill with POTS Syndrome and was seeking out information on plant based health. I knew based on Brendan's background as a world renown athlete which you can read about here, that this man operated from a place of deep knowledge of nutrition and integrity - a combination that I feel comfortable championing.
I initially knew nothing more about the products other than the fact that I thought the Vega One Nutritional Shakes tasted better than anything else I had tried on the market (I had tried about 12 others total which is a lot) and I was a gigantic Brendan Brazier fan.
And thus began my own education of plant based health & of Vega. My body started healing and I believe that drinking a Vega One Nutritional Shake every single morning (no fail) aided in flooding my body with alkalinity. And then I started to 'feel' better!!!!!
The more I learned, the more I talked about the company at wellness trade shows and expos such as The Green Festival in Chicago and then I began to talk to juicing businesses in Chicago. When I would go in to grab a green juice, I would encourage them to try Vega as their plant based 'nutrition on the go' option. And this grew into me getting to know the Vega Team themselves and a relationship grew. I definitely pursued Vega pretty aggressively because it's rare for me to love a product 'that much'! I have yet to find a company - and this is a bold statement - who has as much 'heart' behind what they do. So, it isn't just the REAL unprocessed whole foods plant based nutrition in every sip, it's also the people at Vega...the Vega Team. They exude warmth - care - true heart - integrity - transparency - good character. And they genuinely blow me away. So, the rest is history hence, I fell in love entirely!
Let's jump to this NEW Vega One Formulation & WHY it's - in my humble pie opinion - the absolute best choice on the market when choosing amongst the sea of plant based nutrition options! And if you really scour competitors ingredients....well, I'll just save you time and share...nothing on the market compares.
The New Vega One Formulation is made from REAL WHOLE FOODS INGREDIENTS (shall I repeat that - dwell on that for a few). REAL WHOLE FOODS INGREDIENTS! The following is what you get in ONE scoop of Vega One!
Anddd.....Non-GMO Project Verified - Gluten Free - Certified Vegan - Primarily Organic - Bio-Degradable Packing - No Added Suger-Dairy-Soy Products (NONE)! *Please take TWO minutes and read here about the quality ingredients you are choosing to ingest when you choose Vega One!
Know what you are putting into your body!! It's so critically important to really nurturing your health.
Vega One's New Formulation is literally EVERYTHING you need ALL-IN-ONE!!!
Someone asked me recently with a bit of snarky sarcasm, 'Why do you get so excited about a protein shake'? Right question to ask me because I literally broke out in this cheering like motivational speech about Vega (haha)! It's NOT just about the Vega One Nutritional Shake...which mind you is SO IMPRESSIVE via it's nutritional value......it's about a complete plant based MOVEMENT within the company that spills over into our lives!!! It's about YOU & YOUR overall WELLNESS!!!! Simply go to their website to see all that is happening via the plethora of products, supplements, LIFE, HEALTH, FITNESS....it's inspiring!!!! Go get inspired to LIFE YOUR BEST LIFE!!!! And show Vega how you are doing it via their motivating #BestLifeProject!
Please head over to Vega & learn about their overall guiding principles. You will start to really gain an understanding of their overall INTEGRITY.
Snapshots of Wellness readers know that I refuse (absolutely won't do it) to promote or market a product that I don't ethically stand behind - next to -and with. And this is the Numero UNO product that I recommend for Snapshots of Wellness readers! Go get yourselves some Vega love!! And yes, I not only drink the Vega One Nutritional Shakes daily (Coconut Almond is my favorite followed by French Vanilla & Chocolate), I take their supplements and eat their Vega One Meal Bar. And yes, I have put the Vega One French Vanilla into cake batter before - yeah, I raise my hand high, I've done that. haha.
Next week, I am going to share about more details of the Vega One Formulation. Today's blog post was to share overall why I am a bona fide Vega Girl & simply introduce the new formulation.
If you want to really deep dive with me into the ingredients & sustainability benefits of the New Vega One formulation, etc., come on back next week & we will do that together.
And until then, go get yourself some!! Click here to find a location that sells it near you or you can purchase online! Share how you much you love Vega with the hashtag #BestLifeProject (I am confident you will)!!!
The Ella Woodward Effect: Meet the healthy-blogger who healed herself with superfoods, by lydia slater of you magazine
The Ella Woodward Effect:
Meet the healthy-eating blogger who healed herself with superfoods,
by Lydia Slater for You Magazine.
Ella Woodward is floating around the kitchen of her sunny West London flat, spooning tahini over a dish of roasted kale and brussels sprouts, and looking the picture of glowing health. Her large grey-green eyes sparkle, her glossy brown hair tumbles to her shoulders and her Lululemon skintight yoga pants cling to her toned size eight limbs. It’s almost impossible to believe that less than two years ago, a little-understood condition called postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTs) left her in constant pain, sleeping for 16 hours a day and so bloated she had to wear her father’s clothes. ‘Now I’m up at 7.30am, feeling so energised that I go off to my spinning class,’ she says happily.
Ella credits her astonishing recovery to a diet that makes Gwyneth Paltrow’s appear positively debauched. She eats no meat, dairy or eggs, no gluten, no refined sugars, no processed foods of any kind. When she makes brownies, she uses brown rice flour, raw cacao and sweet potatoes; her chocolate mousse contains whipped avocado. Naturally, alcohol almost never crosses her lips – if she doesn’t want to be a party pooper, she might have a vodka and lemon juice once a month or so.
And yet her daunting regime seems to have struck an extraordinary chord with people. Her Deliciously Ella blog, on which she posts weekly recipes, gets 2.5 million hits a month. When she released a recipe app earlier this year it shot to number one in the food and drink sector in both Britain and the US, and has so far been downloaded over 60,000 times. She has 242,000 followers on Instagram, 63,000 on Facebook and 25,000 on Twitter. ‘It’s quite a lot,’ she says modestly. No wonder she’s being hailed the new Nigella.
Now she’s bringing out her first recipe book, also called Deliciously Ella, and two more are already in the pipeline. Although I don’t agree with faddy diets and can’t imagine life without a bacon sandwich or glass of wine, I have to admit that on the page, her food looks scrumptious. But how does it taste? She shoves a bowl of the sprout and kale mix in front of me and, nervously (I dislike both), I take a spoonful. It’s rich, sweet, nutty and utterly moreish. Her potato curry is equally tongue-tingling. In fact, by the time I leave her kitchen, I have all but decided to attempt the vegan lifestyle myself.
When I told my parents I was cutting out gluten, dairy, sugar and meat, they laughed! But Ella is no more a natural green goddess than I am. In fact, rather less so. As a child, she detested fruit and vegetables. Eating a banana would take her an hour (she used to play eeny, meeny, miny, moe over every slice). ‘As for veg, I’d only eat baby corn, because if you stir it into macaroni cheese, you don’t really know it’s there. If we had a Sunday roast, I’d just eat the chicken and potatoes. I’d even pick the tomato slices out of sandwiches,’ she says, laughing. ‘Food was a big part of our family gatherings, but it was usually pasta. We didn’t eat that well,’ she says. ‘Everything was home-made but not much veg or fruit.’
This is all the more ironic, given that Ella, who is just 23, is the eldest daughter of Camilla Sainsbury, the supermarket heiress, and Labour MP and former Cabinet minister Shaun Woodward. Her childhood was extraordinarily privileged – her family is worth many millions, so there were holiday homes, the best schools and live-in staff – but her diet, by her own account, was appalling.
Not a day went past without Ella getting her Haribo fix. At St Andrews University, where she studied history of art, her signature dish was a Rice Krispies cake, a nauseating mix of puffed rice, golden syrup, marshmallows and melted Cadbury’s Caramel chocolate bar, topped with a bag of pick ’n’ mix sweets: ‘That was my thing.’
Ella says she never got fat because she has her mother’s slender genes. ‘But my skin was grey. I wouldn’t say I looked well.’ That didn’t stop her being spotted as a model, though. She signed up to the prestigious Models 1 agency and was sent off to Paris for castings in the summer holidays of 2011. But overnight, her life was turned upside down.
PoTS is a little-known condition that attacks the autonomic nervous system, affecting all the bodily functions that are supposed to happen automatically, including heartbeat, digestion, circulation and immune system. The doctors suggested that the condition might have been triggered by glandular fever caught from her sister the year before. ‘I was so excited because I thought, if you get a diagnosis you get pills, and if you get pills you get better,’ she says.
In fact, her ordeal was to get worse. She was put on steroids and developed acute bladder infections that culminated in her being put on an antibiotic drip. The other drugs she was given had little effect. ‘Instead of being in bed 90 per cent of the time, I was in bed 75 per cent. But that didn’t give me back my life. I got really depressed. I remember crying hysterically a few times, but otherwise I closed myself off. I didn’t speak to any of my friends. Nobody knew what was happening apart from my family and my boyfriend.’
Ella had met her boyfriend, Felix von Abercron, at university, and they had been planning a trip to Marrakech. ‘He thought we shouldn’t go but I was very insistent that we should because we had booked it. Even if it just meant hanging out in a different room.’ They went, but within 12 hours, Ella had been struck down by severe food poisoning and had to be repatriated, semiconscious, on a drip. This was to prove a turning point. ‘I thought: I’ll lose him – nobody’s going to stick around for this. I will have no friends, I will live at home for ever, I’ll never have a job, never have kids… I panicked.
Lying in her mother’s bed, she started Googling alternative health and came across the American cancer survivor and author Kris Carr, who changed to a plant-based diet in response to her diagnosis. ‘I read her book and it really clicked with me,’ says Ella. ‘I thought, “I’m going to do this.”
‘I came downstairs and I said to my parents: “OK, I’ve got something to tell you. I’m cutting out gluten, dairy, sugar, meat, eggs, anything processed, chemicals, additives…” They burst into roars of laughter and said, “So, what are you going to eat?” They thought it would last about three days, but I was really inspired.’
Given Ella’s sweet tooth and her veg phobia, this radical new diet was a huge shock. She wouldn’t recommend others give up so many fundamental foodstuffs at once, she says, but she felt she had nothing to lose. For two months she stuck to the same three dishes: porridge with bananas and blueberries dissolved in it (so she didn’t have to see them); buckwheat bread with mashed avocado for lunch, and, for dinner, brown rice pasta with tinned tomatoes and ‘any vegetable that wasn’t too scary, such as courgettes’. The hardest thing was abandoning her Haribo fix. ‘Every night, I had
a dream that I’d raided the sweet cupboard. I relapsed a few times when things weren’t going well – I’d go to Tesco and raid the pick ’n’ mix aisle. Sometimes, it felt worth it.’
All the same, after three weeks, she says, something had changed. She was no longer getting hot, itchy allergic reactions to everything she put in her mouth. But two months into the new regime, she passed out after undergoing a cystoscopy to investigate her constant bladder infections.
‘I came to and found six doctors standing over me.’ Others might have concluded that the diet wasn’t working. For Ella, it simply meant that by eating the same foods every day she wasn’t trying hard enough.
The following day she began her blog in an attempt to force herself to try new recipes. ‘I thought, at least if I learn to cook and write recipes and take photos and sort them – which I can do in bed – then I’ll feel like I’ve achieved something.’
Over the next 18 months, she discovered tamari, quinoa, tahini, agave nectar and the wonders of apple cider vinegar (she orders everything from Amazon). Her health improved steadily, along with her culinary skills. She came off all her medication and gradually began to socialise again, and completed her degree.
Now, she says, she is full of energy, her skin and hair are better than they have ever been, and she can do anything she wants to – but she’s still very careful. ‘If I have two drinks, my hangover is probably what most people’s would be after 15,’ she says. She doesn’t miss anything about her previous diet. ‘I don’t know what would happen to me if I ate a bacon sandwich, but I’m just not interested. I still have a sweet tooth, so I bake a lot: but I’d much rather have one of my sweet potato brownies than a processed chocolate bar.’
Her regime has rubbed off on her parents and siblings, too. Her mother and one of her younger sisters avoid gluten and are both ‘practically’ vegetarian, her other sister adores her roasted kale and her elder brother emailed her the other day to tell her proudly that he’d made a cauliflower pizza. ‘And my dad is pretty into it. He has a juicer, and he’ll have porridge for breakfast with almond milk. I’ve even found jars of almond butter that he’s bought, which is very impressive compared to what he used to eat!’ Even Felix now makes green smoothies in the morning. ‘It’s so funny, because he’s six foot five, German, and lives off pâté and sausages at home,’ she laughs. Perhaps most persuasively, Ella’s doctor has gone gluten-free after seeing its effects on her.
But the real surprise has been the extraordinary success of the Deliciously Ella blog, which has taken everyone, especially its author, by surprise. She didn’t tell anybody about it for two months, but then it took off through word of mouth. ‘It’s so cool, the number of emails I get from people saying I changed their life,’ she says. ‘It’s pretty crazy.
‘Last summer, I was talking to my mum about wanting to write a book, and she said, “Maybe you’d sell 300 copies.” With the app, she thought we might break even in a year; we made our money back in a week.’ Now Ella makes a six-figure income from the books, the cookery classes and developing recipes for supermarkets including Marks & Spencer and Waitrose, and she employs two staff to help her respond to all the emails she gets on the blog. She has even returned to modelling, appearing as a ‘modern muse’ in a campaign for Esprit. ‘I never expected any of it,’ she says. ‘It’s weird – but it’s good.
‘There are so many healthy eating blogs out there, people are always asking why I think mine did so well. I do wonder whether my illness hasn’t been a blessing. It helps people relate to my diet. They think if I can do it, anyone can.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2913229/The-Ella-Woodward-effect-Meet-healthy-eating-blogger-healed-superfoods.html#ixzz3PIfnqmIF
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It's Sunday night & I am lying in bed with the flu. And I am realizing how I am ready for a brand new chapter which will result in massive change. I have been ready for about 14 months but it was around 10:00pm that I realized it was 'Go Time'.
You know how you have those 'few' moments in life where your lifestyle just changes...on a dime? It doesn't happen often but certain lifestyle changes impact your entire future. Some examples: The day someone decides to stop smoking and they actually do it & never look back. The day you decide to propose to your girlfriend and all of that time planning comes to that very moment when are down on one knee to ask her. The moment when after years of wanting to lose weight & join a gym, you actually start working out daily & eating healthy. The day you end a toxic relationship albeit a friendship or love interest. The very moment someone gives their life to Christ. The day you give your resignation after two years agonizing over it. The list goes on but I am hoping you are thinking of your own pivotal life changing moments. The moments where you make the decisions that change the trajectory of your entire life.
I am at that 'pivotal time' and it involves wellness. My idea of wellness is best defined as: Maintaining an optimal level of wellness is absolutely crucial to live a higher quality life. Wellness matters. Wellness matters because everything we do and every emotion we feel relates to our well-being. In turn, our well-being directly affects our actions and emotions. It’s an ongoing circle. Therefore, it is important for everyone to achieve optimal wellness in order to subdue stress, reduce the risk of illness and ensure positive interactions.
And if you want to put together your own definition of wellness & need some guidance, I really love this diagram.
I see so many of us caught up in social media & moving at a neck breaking speed or not moving at all b/c we are planted in front of a screen. As a result, I rarely see anyone that I personally know living a truly healthy life.
I think our society has gotten so far away from wellness - peace - balance - that it's very alarming to me. Join me in stepping away to actually indulge further into the real world. Rather than mindless scrolling through FB, call someone that you are actually friends with and meet for coffee (and turn your phone off). Look UP from your phone when you are going through your day. God wants you to see directly what & who is in front of you. Gosh, I wonder how many prayers God is answering for all of us yet there is too much noise to notice.
I love the opportunity that I have in front of me. I am 100% certain that I am called to change - right now. And I am aware that when you make a massive shift in your life, it disrupts the status quo. And when you are transforming and those around you are used to you being the way you 'were', people try to hold onto what was....sometimes desperately. They try to hold you back often without even realizing they are doing it - without any bad intention. People fear YOUR change for a number of reasons which is prob. a whole lesson in psychology. Think about the friend who stops drinking & going to bars and the friends he had been drinking with don't like that. 'Come back for another glass' they say as they watch someone they love move forward into a healthier lifestyle. Think of the friend who stopped eating junk food - the one that you 'pig out' with on weekends or want to order a large pizza with. And they are now eating fruits & veggies....all of the time. You want them to keep up their bad habit because it soothes & comforts you. And what about the people pleaser who is always at your beckon call who is no longer pleasing YOU. The examples are endless. Think of the friend you gossiped with for years until you realized that 'gossiping is the devil's play' and when you stop, maybe she feels lonely without the drama. Again, examples are endless.
I am doing a deep dive further into wellness & my faith. I am taking a leap with God into new terrain. For the first time in my life, I am not looking backwards and I cannot be halted by those that aren't headed where I am going. And if it means losing touch with some, then that's what it means. I am doing it regardless because as I said, it's 'Go Time'. And when God says 'Go'? You run. You race. You sprint.
Life is really really really short. Live your truth and live it well.
Let us be about setting high standards for life, love, creativity, and wisdom. If our expectations in these areas are low, we are not likely to experience wellness. Setting high standards makes every day and every decade worth looking forward to.
Note: My time blogging is going to now be one to two times a month vs. weekly. What is really exciting though is that my next post will be a 'Guest Feature' by Sarah Coulter titled 'Hope for Haiti'. And this will take place in two weeks from this Saturday. Prep your heart to be stirred & inspired.
It's basically the arctic in Chicago via freezing temps. What are peeps in the city feeling? Cabin fever, flu bugs, more lethargic, antsy, bored and blah.
Let's work in wellness with the following FIVE health tips from yours truly!
1. Greens, greens & more greens! Eat your greens people! Organic spinach - kale -chard - hooray. I know, greens aren't that exciting to 'some of us (my hand is raised) but, sometimes our palettes just need some time to adjust and fall in love. Work greens into your smoothies - make a salad - add greens to your sandwich wrap for lunch - steam them - add them to everything! Figure out a way to get organic greens into your body! My favorite reference for 'everything green' is Kris Carr. So, to get to the 'why' greens are so good for you, check her out. And if she doesn't convince you? Well, maybe Dr. Mercola can here.
P.S. I am personally SHOCKED at how easily I get the flu & worn down when I eat processed foods from SAD (Standard American Diet). When I switch to healthy-organic-plant based whole foods? The flu is a thing of the past, my sleep cycle is better, I feel more energized & my mood is on 'happy'. Be your own experiment & try it for a week. You will feel drastically different when you change your diet.
2. Increase your level of Vitamin C! Let's quickly tackle 'Why' & 'How'!
Why: A recent study published in Seminars in Preventive and Alternative Medicine that looked at over 100 studies over 10 years revealed a growing list of benefits of vitamin C.
"Vitamin C has received a great deal of attention, and with good reason. Higher blood levels of vitamin C may be the ideal nutrition marker for overall health," says study researcher Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan. "The more we study vitamin C, the better our understanding of how diverse it is in protecting our health, from cardiovascular, cancer, stroke, eye health [and] immunity to living longer."
"But," Moyad notes, "the ideal dosage may be higher than the recommended dietary allowance."
How: Eat your best sources of Vitamin C which are chili peppers, red bell peppers (more vitamin c then oranges), green bell peppers, kale - kale - we love kale, broccoli, papaya, strawberries, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, pineapple, kiwi, mango & any additional supplementation recommended to you from your Naturopath or Integrative Physician!
3. MOVE YOUR BODY OUTDOORS to INCREASE Vitamin D! Go for a brisk walk - YES... in that cold air! Sun exposure triggers vitamin D production in the skin, and bones need the “sunshine vitamin” to make the body absorb bone-strengthening calcium properly. Not getting outside during winter months slows down production and decreases the body’s store of vitamin D.
What I really like to do is bundle up & walk to Starbucks which is about 8 blocks away. I treat myself to a hot chocolate & take the long route home. Is it really pleasurable in this cold of weather? No but I want to take care of my body. Is it much of a 'workout'? Nada... but 'a little' is better then 'not moving at all'. So MOVE MOVE MOVE!
*If you have the money to join a gym....join a gym and get your cardio on.
*If you have a smaller budget but money to spare, head over to Groupon because they have amazing deals via yoga, pilates, short-term gym memberships!
*A budget that does not allow for anything extra? Find out which gyms & yoga studios in your neighborhood offer free classes & go take them! You can get up to two weeks worth & you trial various exercise routines! Otherwise, put together a workout routine in your own home. There are a lot of exercise videos on YouTube! Finally, you can make up your own routine as well. Where to go for ideas? Google. We live in the world of no excuses.
*And when all else fails????? My friend.....dance it out like Parov Stelar!
4. ACTIVITIES! There are tons of winter activities to do that range beyond your bed, blankets & remote control! If you want to know what is going on in the city of Chicago daily, the absolute BEST app is 'Sosh' - you need Sosh on your phone! Honestly, you need to go no further than Sosh to fill your winter calendar with fun activities & events. Some of my own ideas? Museums, movies, cooking classes, meeting friends & family for hot chocolate, brunch/lunch somewhere nearby, ice skating (you skate, I'll watch...from indoor a nearby cafe - cheesy grin) & you can always go to Meetup.com to find fun events to attend involving basically any hobby known to mankind.
5. GIVE GIVE GIVE - BE OF SERVICE! This winter, get your mind off of yourself and how frigid it is outside and help people!!!! If you live in Chicago, go to this agency food depository locator and find a place to feed those that are just grateful to have a warm meal! Volunteer at a nursing home and put smiles on the elderly faces!
We know what is NOT working and that is complaining - isolating yourself - laying around - eating sugary processed crap - waiting 'until Spring' to do any or all of the above. You are better than that & so am I.
So, let's appreciate the season & stay healthy!!!
Once a month on the site, I will answer one of your questions in detail pertaining to your health journey. And yes, we will dive into a bit of my own in order to shed some perspective you are all desiring. While I have put this chapter of my own behind me, the number of emails weekly has gotten overwhelming. And it is glaringly obvious that hundreds of you are looking for hope - medical protocol strategies - answers that don't seem to be coming - perspective. And you are coming to me for it. I am just really humbled & honored to help you.
I have finished reading all of your emails. Your stories are heartbreaking - motivating - inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing so openly with me. And a heartfelt thank you for entrusting me with such personal information.
So, there will eventually be a tab on the site called 'Recovery Room' and you can head there to see if any of what I have shared resonates with you. Please note that my only medical background is in medical sales (aka no medical background). My experience essentially lye's in my own personal climb out of illness, treating with the best of the best in both holistic and western medicine & persevering through until I healed.
Let's get started. I needed to choose one person to answer. And the person I chose is a young woman named Yides (cool name). Yides, this one is for you!
Yides & I exchanged several emails. She contacted me after reading several of my health related articles across various publications. To share a slice of Yides situation so you all best understand my response: Yides is dealing w/ multiple chronic illnesses and in the process of healing, she has grown incredibly hard on herself. And being surrounded by successful friends rising through the ranks of their careers, she is almost "embarrassed to be ill". She bills herself a 'healing junkie' and seems to have a physician team that is costly but helpful. Yides question is, 'How can I learn to not be so hard on myself'?
Hi Yides (smile)! I told you that my first blog post of the year would be for you and I mean that. Hmmm...so much to share....thank you for asking my perspective. I kind of wish I could respond in a vlog style (video blog) so you can see the infliction & tone in my voice. Because I found myself doing a vertical nod when reading your emails. In other words, 'I get it' so my words below coming from a place of understanding and well, love. I can certainly say that I have stood where you stand. And we need to get you standing on new ground. Let's try.
First some inner thoughts via my own journey:
When I got sick, I was striped from my 'title' via my job as an Immunology Specialist, a reputable 14 year career with a company highly admired by most in the medical industry, all of my savings that took me over 15 years to accumulate, my hobbies of travel & athletics, etc. So basically, I (like you) was left with 'Who am I' now that I am stripped bare? And while it's the most challenging journey I have ever been faced with (still is), there is no bigger lesson of faith - endurance - stamina - perseverance - and character....none.
People are vastly unaware of how reliant they are on 'career title', 'salary', 'lifestyle', 'capabilities'. Who are any of us when the titles, materialism, hobbies, earnings......are wiped away? Think of how reliant women are of 'I am 38 and not married - I have got to be married - this is soooo embarrassing'. All of these mental 'ideals' are the societal norm and they now bore me. But who are you when NONE of that matters and ALL of it (all of it) has been washed away in a health crisis? Who? It's an impactful question that I pray none of you reading ever have to answer beyond metaphorically. And frankly, no one could answer unless they have gone through the experience. So, focus on character Yides and not worldly pursuits. It's a great place to start and you will be all the better equip to further heal.
I used to want to throw a softball at anyone who would get all philosophical while I was suffering severely. It didn't rest easy on my mind. I was angry, heartbroken, desperate & pleading with all my might for help from God - daily for two years. And I - like you - was so ridiculously hard on myself. I gave myself a verbal beat down from every direction I could. Yides, I hope you gather that being hard on yourself is not flattering or healthy (0: I was stuck with an illness that people couldn't 'see', having to repeatedly explain & often defend my new normal...while I suffered terribly. I felt trapped in a body I hated. And then Yides, God began to work through me and in me every single day (quickly too). He began refining my perspective, lifting the veil, shining the light, giving me direction and providing me with the 'right' support via friends, physicians and family. The redemption story started when I actually let Him.
My advice to you is rather simple per your question. Yides, you need to love yourself like He loves you. Do you know what that type of self love will then look like? Before I share, let me tell you bluntly (you asked), you are clearly not loving yourself and in the process of kicking your own ass, you have trampled all over your confidence. Because when you really truly adore yourself like He does? You are going to start to rise UP in confidence and believe in yourself. You wouldn't treat your child the way that you are talking to yourself, would you? Nope.
The foundation you are standing on is NOT about titles - comparisons of careers - comparisons of salaries - comparisons of what 'she can do but I cannot do'. Are you ready to hear the foundation of which you DO stand on whether you realize it or not?
You stand on the foundation of Jesus Christ...you do. And if your faith is not strengthened yet by what you have made it through, you & I can skip this blog, jump on the phone together and I will convince you further however long it takes b/c you are worth it Yides. You stand strong in that you are loved beyond what you can ever possibly even fathom. Try to fathom that kind of love - let it seep through you - and then start feeling it. My confidence level sky rocketed once I got through where you are. So have faith you are in a phase my friend - one that will be far behind you as soon as you make the decision to eave it there. Revel in your endurance to achieve wellness & healing.
Yides, most of your friends (guessing) would not make it a week in your shoes. So, the first thing you can do that will help YOU is lose any ounce of embarrassment. Just lose it. Grab a hold of confidence within you because it is there and begin to handle your day to day with an inner knowing that you are walking through a battle that you were chosen for whether you like that fact or not. And you can handle it. You can -you will - you are. And you can fully heal whether the doctors said you will or not. Put your business hat on and look at what healing modalities you are spending your money on and what doctors. Sometimes in the healing process, we get so caught up in what we are doing (supplements, physician appointments) that we don't stop to ask the MOST important question which is THIS: Has my functionality increased? Yides, THAT is the most important answer to a question you didn't even ask...haha. So, another blog post - maybe next month. The body's own healing mechanism given an alkalizing environment & lifestyle has proven again and again clinically that it CAN and DESIRES to heal itself.
So right now, you are working against your body and with chronic illness, you have to work as a team. Think of your words - mind - body - all as one team - one family unit. And approach it as such. You respect every part of the team/family unit. And for the team to succeed, you provide encouragement, nurturing, tools to healing, kindness, love and a specific game plan so the entire team knows the direction to go. Being cruel to your body (b/c that is what you are doing) by being cruel to yourself is one in the same. And you know where it has gotten you, right? Nowhere good.
An analogy that a doctor at Mayo Clinic used with me that I really resonated was this: Kelly, if the love of your life had a broken back and he couldn't stand, would you stand over him yelling 'Get up - you suck - I cannot believe this is happening - come on - MOVE - go jogging with me - what is wrong with you'. I would certainly hope not. Yides, you are doing a deep dive into further illness with your approach right now of 'being hard on yourself'.
You need to be kind to yourself and I don't know how to teach self love. But God does. So, ask Him how. And if you are not a Christian or you do not believe in God, gosh....you are missing out. And I say that with all of the gentleness in the world. I have had so many people say 'keep your faith to yourself' through my journey. I have been ridiculed to my face for my faith. And I have been laughed at but I quietly smile because I am standing on His foundation - and I'd rather be standing in my shoes then anyone else. It's impossible to share any aspect of my own healing without mentioning The Healer.
I hope this answers your question Yides. I hope something I wrote provides you with hope to ignite your own healing. I believe you can do this! You have the tools and a game plan - now the rest needs to come from you. And I would be doing you a disservice if I told you that you can do it alone - without Him - you can't. None of us can.
Hugs & tons of love pouring into you today....from this girl in Chicago!
Happy New Year!! We made it! How did you ring in 2015? I'd love to hear about the festivities so, please share via any of my social media links. This year I attended a lovely cocktail party & then at midnight, I was surrounded by loved ones at home. It was actually a perfect balance!
I wanted to provide you with a 'Snapshots of Wellness Highlight Reel' of what is to come in 2015! By THIS summer, the entire site will be revamped from blog to website! And my only hint to the changes is in the highlight reel above!
While the blog evolves via content, the tabs at the top of the page will also be changing immediately. For a short time, there will only be one tab featured called 'Daily' which is the page you will arrive at when you come to Snapshots of Wellness. If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you will see 'Previous' so, to explore older content, just click away.
I am thrilled about 2015 and while I did not set specific 'New Year's Resolutions', I do have a colorful vision in sight for this site which will be a true reflection of my entire life goal which involves wellness. This is the year that my personal & professional life will collide in the most courageous way to date!
Enjoy the first weekend of the year & take care of yourselves!
Created and curated by Kelly, Snapshots of Wellness encourages all of you to cultivate your 'joie de vivre': Compassion for Animals via food, style & lifestyle.