Blogversation 2012: What do you do to take care of your health?

Throughout this year, several bloggers will engage in a conversation, asking questions of each other and responding. Others are absolutely welcome to join the conversation, as well. Learn more about the ladies of Blogversation 2012.

Today’s question comes from Blogversation hostess Colleen: @cnewvine on Twitter: What do you do to take care of your health?

Well, I don’t run. Here’s what I do do: I listen to my esthetician.

I’m not kidding. She improved my skincare and my complexion, certainly, but she also inspired me to be a healthier person, to improve my appearance from the inside out, to address inflammation in my system. I can’t express what a huge deal this is.

See, I’ve had GI problems for twenty years. To know me is to know I can belch like Barney on The Simpsons. I’ve downed barium to figure out why I burp so much. I had an endoscopy to check out ongoing acid reflux. I’ve elevated the head of my bed, I’ve taken two Prilosec a day. The best I’ve been able to do is manage the pain and chalk up my gut issues to stress.

And then, a couple of years ago, while getting a facial, we got to talking about inflammation, diet, green powder, and alkalizing the digestive track. Suddenly, a lightbulb went on. Aha, if I clean up my system and start eating better and more mindfully, I might alleviate my problems and improve my skin.

This might be obvious to some, but it took me decades to figure it out.

So I started reading, chewing through books like The pH Miracle and Ultraprevention. I asked my GP for certain blood tests to check stuff like my magnesium levels. I started taking digestive enzymes, probiotics, and a boatload of supplements. And I made myself a green-powder smoothie every morning.

I won’t say I was cured after a week. But now, on the flip side, by following a few guidelines (see below), I’ve lost twenty pounds and get compliments nearly every day about how fantastic I look. Someone told me just today that I look very serene. I think my skin has a glow, not from the occasional facial (although that helps), but from good living and eating. I don’t diet, but I’ve changed my diet. And my body continues to thank me every day.

A few tips I’ve incorporated into my life:

  • Buy unprocessed, raw, whole food whenever possible
  • Add in raw foods, seeds and nuts whenever possible (chop chard or kale and add it to soup, for instance)
  • Take Omega-3 fish oil and Omega-6 borage or black current seed oil supplements, as well as other supplements, digestive enzymes, and probiotics
  • Try to drink a smoothie with green powder every day
  • When traveling, bring fruit, raw almonds, and trail mix to snack on. Airports contain virtually no food that’s unprocessed
  • Dry brush your skin vigorously before you shower; it helps to eliminate toxins
  • Minimize or eliminate coffee, sugar*, soda, red meat
  • If you’re going to eat ice cream or any other processed food, look for a few ingredients as possible
  • Brew a pitcher of iced tea at night and try to drink it the next day (it’s a good way to stay hydrated)
  • Chuck all the old salad dressings in your refrigerator door. It’s very easy to make your own
  • Stir fries and fajitas are a staple, as they are quick and healthy
  • Don’t count calories; focus instead on the quality and kind of food you are putting in your mouth

*When thinking of sugar, remember that any starch—potato, bread, pasta, baked good, etc.—turns into sugar (i.e. glucose) in the body. Try to keep your starch/sugar intake to a minimum at each meal. I sweeten tea with stevia.

(photo: iamgratefulhowareyou.wordpress.com)

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