As I look back on 2016 today, on New Year's Eve, I realize I have made some positive changes and have become a much healthier version of myself than when I started the year. I have never been one to make new year's resolutions, however, I try throughout the year to make small changes that, in the long, run impact my life. Here are some things that helped me. Pick a few out for yourself to make 2017 a healthier year.
- Losing 10 pounds: Testing out the TLS 21 Day Challenge made a huge difference in the way I eat. I became a weight loss coach prior to taking the Challenge and thought the best way to know how to mentor someone would be to go through the process. It takes 21 days to instill a habit and I picked up many healthy tips during these 3 weeks. It's not a diet but a lifestyle system. I learned many new recipes that some even my kids enjoyed. Who knew cauliflower can be used in place of tortillas? You can find more information at www.TLSSlim.com/maryrachford.
- The Happy Blood Institute: I met an incredible nurse named Linda Sereika who examined my blood and suggested "Eat Right For Your Type". That's a blood type diet based on a book by Dr. Peter D'Adamo. I am A+ blood type so I do better with a vegetable based diet which I was doing for the most part. I did have to omit some night shade veggies, go gluten free (which wasn't too hard, as I have a son with Celiac) and give up the red meat. Not that I have been committed to it 100% of the time but I must say I have more energy and sleep better when I do stick to the guidelines. Thank God red wine is beneficial to my blood type!!
- Taking Supplements: Linda also suggested a few supplements based on the findings from my blood analysis. I had been having success taking Vitamin D and B-Complex so adding Digestive Enzymes with probiotics and ACTS into the mix was not a big deal.
Digestive Enzymes from nutraMetrix are catalytic proteins that help the body break down food to utilize the complete spectrum of nutrients in the food we eat. They help replenish the essential enzymes and "good" bacteria in our gut. Other benefits include supporting the immune system, supporting the body in maintaining proper digestive functions and promoting healthy bowel movements. Who wouldn't want that? https://www.nutrametrix.com/product/nutrametrix-isotonix-digestive-enzymes-with-probiotics/?id=5664715&idType=product
ACTS stands for Adrenal, Cortisol, Thyroid and Stress Support and truly helped me get some solid sleep when the stress levels were up due to working 10-12 hour days. Linda suggested to me that my adrenal gland may be overworked which could possibly suppress my thyroid function. Cortisol levels have a direct relationship with the thyroid; the right amount of cortisol will allow the thyroid to function normally. The problem is constant stress can lead to excess cortisol production which stimulates glucose production. The extra sugar is typically converted into fat and can lead to binge eating. Thankfully, the ingredients of Holy Basil and Ashwagandha help to promote healthy adrenal gland function and minimize weight gain that is associated with increased stress. https://www.nutrametrix.com/search/?keyword=ACTS
- Starting the day with warm lemon water: The Challenge started me on this habit and I enhanced it by adding Matcha Green Tea and raw honey. See the links below for the list of reasons.
- Floating in salt water: Adding Epson salts to my own baths has been extremely beneficial. I learned this at www.floatnaperville.com. This amazing facility has made a business out of relaxing in water. Their baths can hold a lot more water and salt (1000 lbs) then my little tub and I get much more out of visiting Anicca's Float Club, but in a pinch drifting away in my own tub helps to reduce the stress levels for sure.
- Returning to a sport I love: It's hard to believe that I had stayed away from playing volleyball for 13 years but after a head injury had sidelined me it wasn't hard to walk away. Then one month a persistent patient in desperate need of subs for her women's team continued to ask me to play at every PT visit. I finally broke and joined the team as a regular. I hurt for days after the first game, awaking muscles that I didn't know existed anymore. That's even after taking an Epson salt soak! I slowly progressed with the help of my compression socks (www.110playharder.com with free shipping code: Naperville) and protein drinks after each game. It's great for the aging brain according to our recent FYZICAL Forum speaker Dr. James Kowal from the RUAH Center. https://ruahcenter.com/ He specifically mentioned playing volleyball, among other sports, as a way to keep the brain young. I love that for one hour I am not thinking about work or other life stressors and the feeling that comes with blocking a 20 something former college player in the championship game - priceless! It didn't matter that we lost, it mattered that we were able to compete.
- Finding the right pillow: I know this may not seem life changing, but after using my hands for 30 years as a therapist, night time can be a challenge when the fingers start to go numb. Recently, we developed a relationship with Essentia Mattress and Pillow Company (www.myessentia.com with 15% savings using our code FYZ005). And like any product we offer in the clinic, I like to test them out. Like Goldilocks, I had to go through two before I found one that was just right and the numb fingers are much better.
- Reading The Book of Joy: Written by the Dalai Lami and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Doug Abrams this is a delightful easy read. His holiness has survived more than 50 years in exile while the Archbishop battled the oppression of Apartheid in South Africa, yet despite their hardships - or, they would say, because of them - they are two of the most joyful people in the world.
- Determined my BodyQ score at FYZICAL: BodyQ is an integrated testing program addressing movement, function, general health, vision, hearing, balance, and recovery. Its primary function is to save you injury and damage down the road. The test will also help you in other ways, whether you want to increase your energy levels, recover from injury or illness, run your first 5K, lose 10 pounds, or just feel stronger. BodyQ testing can jump start you on the way to achieving your goals. It helped me get on a healthier path. Call the nearest FYZICAL to find your BodyQ or by going to www.myBodyQ.com. We are currently offering a 50% discount on the one hour test.
- Got a dog: We adopted a rescue dog. Wyatt was about 1-1/2 years old when we got him. Among the many responsibilities that come with dog ownership, walking the dog is a very good form of exercise - for the dog and for me too! It is nice to go for a long quick-paced (20 - 30 minutes) walk with him. I enjoy the peace and quiet during the time away from work, home, and family. Of course, the unconditional love he offers always brightens my day.
In closing, I think Douglas Abrams summed it up best by closing his book with this wonderful statement, "Ultimately, joy is not something to learn, it is something to live. And our greatest joy is lived in deep, loving and generous relationships with others." May your journey in 2017 be healthy and full of joy.