Questioning Your Health

March 20th, 2015

Do you want to FEEL healthy? Or do you want to BE healthy? What is the difference? I believe it is possible to FEEL healthy, to be free of symptoms that would indicate disease or imbalance, and not actually BE healthy. Our conventional medical system that is directed towards alleviating the symptoms has the potential to help an individual to feel more healthy without actually helping the individual become healthier. I do not believe feeling healthy through the absence of symptoms is the same as being healthy through a diet and lifestyle that is in accordance with the needs of our body. I am sharing this distinction again to help demonstrate a concept I believe is vital towards reclaiming our health. In order to truly become healthy, we must begin questioning our health and our choices in order to challenge ourselves and inspire change in the way we are living. Do you want to help motivate your family to make changes in their lifestyle choices so they will both FEEL and BE healthy? If so, you must begin questioning the choices they are currently making.

It is crucial to question in a manner that will encourage discovery for yourself or your family. For example, when talking with our children about nutrition we want to pose questions in an open ended fashion. Do not simply ask your children if they want salad with dinner. If you ask this, they say “yes” or “no”. Instead create a dialogue about nutrition by engaging the children with questions they can not simply blow off with a one word answer. Try something along these lines:

I was thinking about making either a salad or a veggie stir fry to eat with our grass fed steaks tonight. Which do you think would be a healthier and more tasty option for our family? Do you have any suggestions on how to prepare it? Oh, you don’t really want salad or veggie stir fry? What would you suggest we eat instead to be certain we are getting our 9 to 12 veggies servings per day?

By asking open ended questions we draw the other participant into the conversation. This is empowering and allows that individual to help direct and create the desired outcome still within the perimeters of our overall objective – to get the kids to eat some veggies with dinner.

The same technique can be employed regarding exercise. Do not simply ask your partner if they want to go to the gym with you, especially if you know they don’t like working out at the gym. Instead mention that you have been sitting all day at work and your body is really craving some physical activity. You want to spend time with them too. Do they have any suggestions on an activity that would be enjoyable for both while also providing some level of physical exertion.

When we engage our loved ones with open ended questions in discussions about healthy living, and encourage each other to make healthy choices, we can begin to improve our own and their health.  Interacting in a fashion that is more encouraging and supportive can help us chose activities and behaviors that make us both FEEL healthy and BE healthy. Ultimately, this is our goal. Good luck on your journey.

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Posted in Nutritional and Lifestyle Support/Modification |

Checking In On Your Health

August 23rd, 2013

I’m sitting in a coffee shop early in the morning forcing myself to work on this article. I have a reluctance to be here today because it is a gorgeous day outside and I have an opportunity to go and kayak with some friends for a couple of hours. Most of my being would much rather be outside playing now. Kayaking has quickly become my most favorite type of exercise and recreation. I think anytime we can merge activities together we are more likely to continue to pursue them. It also takes me out into mother nature full of warm sunshine, fresh air, and cool water. This alone is healing. And today as I think about it, that is where I would rather be.

But I am conflicted and obviously I am not going to paddle today. The reason I am not going out is that my body is giving me clear signs that it isn’t the best idea this morning. I have a blister on my big toe that ripped off yesterday when I was on the water and it is oozing a red, sticky fluid. I have bruises on my right and left elbow, both knees, and my left ankle. My arms are sore and my left elbow has a tingling sensation like I knocked my funny bone and the nerve won’t stop firing. I have a scrape across the top of my left ankle. The muscles across my back are sore and I feel like my stamina isn’t nearly at the level it normally would be. To top it all off I have a slight sunburn on my nose and a spot on my bald head where the sun was able to sneak through my protective helmet. So even though today would be a beautiful day to spend a few hours out on the water, I am going to stay inside and allow myself to have a recovery day. I am just going to say no.

Saying no, setting limits and boundaries, is an important part of maintaining or recovering our health. It is not just about knowing our physical limitations when we are working out. It is also about creating space when we are being pushed emotionally or mentally passed our threshold for a particular day. That threshold will change and move depending on the other factors surrounding a particular situation. That is why we must make an effort to constantly check back in and make sure that something we are undertaking is in alignment with our greater goals. I absolutely want to continue to improve at kayaking. If I go out today while my body is clearly suggesting that I don’t, I run the risk of getting seriously hurt or possibly injuring myself in a manner that would prohibit my ability to kayak for weeks or even months.

So instead this opportunity allows me to check back in with another one of my goals for this year. I want to be sure to work on my writings well before the due date. I get to sit and imagine how my journey will translate into a lesson for others. And after I finish this piece I can watch kayak “how to” videos to inspire me with new goals for my next trip out on the river. So I can actually continue to pursue my goal of becoming a better kayaker without inhibiting my ability to kayak in the future. It might not be quite as much fun, but in the long run the benefits will far outweigh the cost. Here’s to balance and self evaluation on your journey.

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Posted in Nutritional and Lifestyle Support/Modification |

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