There has been a lot of talk in the media lately about the concept of wellness. The very word wellness suggest that you are " well " in all senses of the word- physically, emotionally and psychologically.
However what do we mostly think about when you hear the word wellness ? More recently. wellness has become a real buzzword to focus on eating healthier, trying to exercise more, practicing meditation. It is also associated with what is often referred to as "cleaner " living a movement for not only eating a more natural, less processed diet but also for improving your lifestyle as well.
It all sounds really inspiring and fantastic, but how do you go about making that transition to increase wellness and promote well - being?
First of all, you have a look at why you want to make changes in your diet and lifestyle.
Are you trying to cope with stress at work, or reduce the risk of health problems? Do you want to manage health conditions like arthritis, ADHD or hypoglycemia by improving your diet and exercise routine?
Or have you decided simply to reduce your meat intake and eat less processed foods?.
First of all, it needs to be clear that if you have the goal of improving your general physical and emotional wellness, it is a process of transition and takes time! You can't just jump into drastic changes from one day to the next, as the chances are it will be too much of a shock and the changes won't stick.
Let me tell you my story.
About 10 years ago I was diagnosed with mild knee arthritis. This was a big surprise for me at the time as I felt I was too young to get arthritis. For a few years, I took the advice of my doctor and took medication when needed and started doing a bit more exercise. But basically did not really make any major changes in my lifestyle. Then about 5 years ago I was visiting a friend of mine who is a naturopathic practitioner, she offered to give me a free general health assessment. At this time I had been having issues not only with some arthritis stiffness but also urinary tract infections.
The assessment was very interesting as she recommended cutting down drastically on coffee, making sure I was eating more alkaline foods than acid foods and eating a diet that was 80% plant-based and 20% animal-based.
There were a lot of other recommendations as well such as being aware that a healthy gut is linked to your body health in other areas and therefore trying to eat more probiotic foods, yogurt, and so on..
Well, this seemed very overwhelming at the time! I was excited about the idea of managing my arthritis symptoms through diet but unsure exactly how I would make these changes. Would I have to make separate meals for myself from the rest of the family? Would I need to try and get other family members on board with these dietary changes? Would this be more expensive eating more organic foods and thus have an effect on my monthly budget?
I forgot to mention that my friend the naturopathic practitioner managed to reverse her arthritis symptoms completely through diet and exercise!
I started to gradually make changes starting with reducing coffee( which is not necessary for everyone as coffee is generally good in moderation). However, for some reason, my body just found it very acidic and reacted by increased inflammation in the knee. I started to notice a difference right away!
I increased my plant-based foods intake and over the course of the next couple of years ( yes, that's right years! I do mean make changes gradually!) I made even more changes such as taking red meat almost entirely out of the diet, avoiding processed meats and other less natural foods and cutting down drastically on sugar.
More recently I also cut down considerably on dairy and gluten although I do not avoid them completely. As they are known allergens for many people. I became aware that my body could only take them in small amounts otherwise I tend to have minor arthritis flare-ups.
To cut a long story short, not only do I feel healthier and that my wellness has increased I pretty much of the knee arthritis under control without taking medication. I do have to exercise regularly to keep the joints in good shape but apart from an occasional flare-up in the knee is doing pretty well!
The point I want to make here by telling you my personal story is that making a shift to a healthier diet and lifestyle and increasing your wellness takes time. We need to be patient with ourselves, It can't happen overnight. Making one small change at a time will have more lasting effects and will become habitual more easily.
What we eat can make a tremendous difference also when we are dealing with specific health conditions such as ADHD, If you are an Adult with ADHD you may want to consider working with your doctor or nutritionist to look closely at your diet and examine in what ways you can manage your symptoms by improving your diet and exercise routine.
Changing the way you eat is not easy and getting into a regular exercise routine can be a challenge.
But the payoffs of achieving a greater level of wellness as well as improving how you manage any health conditions naturally, will definitely be worth it!
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