Week 1 Is Over…Thankfully!

I cried, I laughed, I yelled…I got angry, I got frustrated, I got overwhelmed…but, I lived.

This past week has probably been the most overwhelmed I’ve been in a very long time. Now, how much of it was because I was fighting, what I have named, The Devil’s Cold, I don’t know. I AM sure that my lack of energy 💯% played a roll in my ability to stay in control. But, I continued to press through, making changes when needed, and today, I can finally say I don’t feel so stressed. 🙌🏼

So I have learned a few things already that I definitely want to share with anyone ready to take the plunge to an AIP diet, or really anyone ready to make some drastic changes, health-related or not.

Lesson 1: Don’t make matters harder than they need to be.

I brought on a lot of unneeded stress by trying to follow a 28-day-plan without considering the amount of time and finances it would take to cook all of the meals. (I spent roughly $400 for four days worth of food, snacks and smoothie stuff included. 😳) AND I failed to reference my planner…had I done so, I may have noticed the amount of practices, parent meetings, and the guaranteed homework duty, that was going to wreck havoc on my dinner making. 😩 Instead of following multiple recipes, I could have stuck with my normal chicken and apple and/or sweet potato for lunch and some meat and veggies for dinner and called it a day.

Lesson 2: Don’t try to do everything. Little steps can make big differences.

I had planned on making several changes all at once and I definitely don’t recommend that! I even tell my clients, “baby steps”, start small and build on it. I planned to up my chiropractor appointments (an additional hour and fifteen minutes per week), add yoga to my schedule twice a week (two and a half hours per week), start my ozone therapy (hour and a half per week), and follow an AIP diet (countless hours of cooking, making sure I’m taking all of my supplements, drinking tea and bone broth with collagen, etc.) And there was a funeral in there as well that took a fair amount of my day, but that doesn’t count because that was unplanned and I wouldn’t have missed that no matter what. Regardless, this is too much for anyone. Even if you are young, single, don’t have a job yet and still living with mom and dad or you are a stay-at-home-mom who has the luxury of a house cleaner and groceries delivered… STILL TOO MUCH. If I were to start this process over again, I would have slowly added each of these in prior to starting my Ozone treatments, instead of adding them all in at once.

Lesson 3: NEVER TRY TO MAKE DRASTIC CHANGES WHEN YOU ARE SICK. 😩😩😩

This one I can’t say enough. I think my whole week and whole outlook AND my blog would be different had I not been sick. JUST….WAIT. You won’t lose anything by waiting one week.

Lesson 4: When you sit around a campfire, no matter where you sit, smoke will follow you.

Lol – this one definitely doesn’t pertain to what we’re talking about however, the fact that I’m camping and sitting near a fire does. Make time for yourself. Whenever you are trying to heal, make big changes, pursue goals, OR JUST HAVE LESS STRESS, find time to relax, kick your feet up, look at the scenery… and breathe. After this week, I honestly just wanted to stay home and “catch up” on everything and sleep in some. But God knew that if I stayed home I would not sit down and relax, or play cards with my family and outdoor games with my kids, or laugh around the campfire (while my dad “catches flies” next to me 😂). These moments when you relax are the moments that allow your body the chance to refuel, so you go after any goal or intention that you have. (Don’t worry, I made extra and packed all my AIP meals and snacks to bring with me. 😉)

I don’t have a whole lot of lessons, but these are the big ones. But honestly, as stubborn as I am, I’m not sure I would have followed my own advice had I known all of this anyway! 😂

Next week, I have pulled out the breakfast recipes that I’m supposed to make, saving me some time and money. I know coffee is not part of AIP but I figure if that’s the one thing I keep in, it’s not going to kill me. I drink decaf which is definitely better. But my morning fast followed by my bulletproof coffee just has to stay. 😊 I will be keeping dinner recipes that serve four. My husband is happily willing to eat my meals… thankfully! So we will eat a recipe for dinner and then have it for lunch two days later. This will keep a little separation between eating them. Every lunch will be a leftover, cutting out cooking at lunch time. I have planned my week so I know when I need to prep each dinner so that it doesn’t interfere with sports and appointments. My post workout meals will be easy smoothies and I already have everything I need for those. So hopefully, after this next week, my blog will be a much different tone!

On to next week, less stress, and treatment number 2!

Until then, be well!

To Exercise or Not to Exercise…

runningSo I’ve had a lot of questions about exercise lately and what you should do when you have an autoimmune condition. So I thought I would share my not-so “expert”, based on experience, opinion. 😂

I think exercise is as bio individual as is food. What works for one person may not work for another. This is an area where it really pays to be mindful of your body and it’s responses to what you are doing. Listen to your doctors and consider what they tell you. But also, no one knows your body as well as you do. So when you are taking part in an activity, really be mindful in the moment and pay attention to what your body is telling you. Most likely, you will have a gut instinct as our bodies are very good at telling us what they need, if only we listen.

If I had to give you my own opinion of what you should do, it would be something like this: If you are in the middle of a flare up or you are in the process of trying to heal, I would definitely dial back what you are doing. As an example, if you are someone who runs marathons and is training multiple times a week with long runs, you might dial it back to running 3 to 5 miles a couple times a week.  If you find yourself at the gym for a couple hours at a time, five to six days a week, doing several high intensity type workouts, maybe you dial it back by only being there for an hour, three to five days a week.

In evaluating your own situation, there is a really important question I would ask yourself. It’s not necessarily how often are you exercising, it’s

how often are you balancing your exercise with something that is grounding or centering?

In a more scientific way of saying it, how often are you balancing your sympathetic nervous system (SNS) by triggering your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS)?

You have to understand that when you exercise, it is a form of stress on the body. Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But, when we are in a state of stress all the time, that’s when it can be detrimental to our health. So, if you are someone that has a very stressful job, several kids that you are running around, you’re exercising multiple times a week, running errands between appointments and/or practices, you are stressing your body all day long. That’s when it becomes a problem. Add in any financial, career, relationship, spiritual, or other struggles and now you’ve got a recipe for staying in, or triggering, a diseased state.

When you are in a state of stress, you are triggering your SNS. This system is designed to take all of your energy resources and put them in the areas, like your muscles, to help you flee from danger. Think back to very early human days when danger was keeping yourself alive from the tiger chasing you. In this state, there is decreased blood supply to the gut and an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure. Being in this state on a frequent, or all the time basis, can be harmful.

We also have another system called the PNS. You will often here this referred to as the rest and digest system. When it is engaged, there is an increased blood supply to your gut which increases digestion. When you are in a parasympathetic state, your body is in a healing state. When you have an autoimmune condition and are dealing with a flareup, you want to be in the parasympathetic state as much as possible.  And even if you are a healthy individual, it is still just as important to have a healthy balance between these two systems.

So when we talk about exercise, not only should you ask yourself how much stress are you putting on your body with the type of exercise you are doing, but, how often are you balancing that out with something that triggers your PNS?  How often are you doing grounding, centering, and/or relaxing activities like yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, taking a bubble bath, reading a good book, or in my case, watching the birds at my feeders? If you can’t say that you are doing an activity that triggers your PNS as often as you are doing an activity that triggers your SNS, then I encourage you to push yourself out of the comfort zone of your normal routine, shake things up a bit.  Ask yourself what you enjoy doing that relaxes you and maybe look into meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises.  Your body will absolutely thank you for it!  And who knows…you might just lose those extra few pounds that won’t go away.

 

If you need help balancing your exercise, your work/home life, or your stress, reach out to me here!  I would love to help you!