Living a Healthy Lifestyle

A few weeks ago, I was tagged by Evita at Evolving Beings to do six random bits of information about myself. Since I like the way she themed hers to spiritual and personal growth, I have decided to do my six nuggets of info on my journey towards a healthier lifestyle.

1. Old Habits


Fast FoodFor the most part of my life, I had never been concerned about a healthy lifestyle. Like many other women, I dieted if I was getting above the weight where I felt comfortable, but those were more crash diets than healthy diets. Otherwise, fast food, lots of soda, energy drinks, minimal water, little to no exercise, and anything the doctor prescribed to combat problems arising due to my lifestyle choices worked for me.

2. Catalyst for Change


PillsAfter a doctor’s visit in the June of 2007, during which I was told I may need to get on cholesterol medication for a rising cholesterol level, I had finally had enough. I came to the realization that it was not normal that I was going to my PCP every three months to have my liver tested to make sure it was still functioning properly. Not because I was a raging alcoholic, but because I was taking so many OTC and prescribed drugs. Pills to make me happy, calm my anxiety, help me sleep, relieve heartburn, digest dairy products, relax muscles, minimize the pain of migraines 3 – 4 times a month, suppress my allergies, and so on and so forth. And now they were considering adding another one onto the list, one which I have comes with many unexpected and undesirable side effects.

3. Going “Cold Turkey”


VegetarianThe most obvious, non-medicinal solution to fixing a variety of my problems was by changing my diet. Reducing the soda and eliminating the energy drinks altogether would help my insomnia and anxiety. Going vegetarian would reduce my cholesterol. And because I always fully immerse myself into new things, I decided to take it one step further and go vegan, to see if it helped with some other issues I was having which were also antagonized by diet. So, as non-veg as it sounds, I went cold turkey. The day after I decided, I started a completely vegetarian diet. And a week later, vegan. It didn’t seem to difficult, although I must admit, a year and a half later, I’m leaning towards just vegetarian. As a child, I had to be bribed into eating meat by having my vegetables withheld. This says to me that ever since birth, before I consciously knew better, my body knew that I was meant to live a vegetarian lifestyle.

4. Supplements & Natural Cures


Natural SupplementsAlthough the religious meaning to “man does not live on bread alone” has nothing to do with supplements, it certainly seems fitting. The change in diet is not a fix for everything, but certainly the step in the right direction. In addition to the vegetarian diet, I have researched the internet and alternative medicine books for supplements and natural remedies to replace OTC / Rx drugs for certain ailments. Vitamins and Emergen-C to boost immunity during the flu season, lysine for cold sores, cranberry to prevent UTI, stinging nettle for allergies, and flax seed oil with omega-3’s to aid in heart health and help with depression and anxiety. I also drink a vegan protein shake everyday.

5. Getting Physical


TennisI saw many benefits from just the diet change and supplement intake. But the best results came after I started incorporating some exercise into the picture. I don’t mind weight machines, but I was never the type to do treadmills or stair steppers in the workout room, even though I knew exercise that gets the heart rate up are beneficial in so many ways. So in addition to the yoga I was already doing, my fiancé got me into tennis and ballroom dancing. In a few weeks, we are planning to join a gym and start doing some muscle training to aide in better tennis and better shape. The combination of exercise and diet has made a huge difference in my level of energy and overall positive mood.

6. Results So Far


Healthy GirlAt my last annual checkup a week or two ago, my doctor reviewed my medication history, and was amazed that I was not on most of the daily meds, and taking less of the ones for migraines, which I now get much less frequently. My cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and other tests came out good. When I told her what I had been doing in terms of dietary and lifestyle change, she said that she wished she could bottle that formula up and have more people take that approach in terms of their health. She said that while most people know they can make natural changes to improve their health, not many are able to make the sacrifices and stick to them.

Disclaimer


One thing I would like to note is that there is not a natural solution for everything. There are still medications I take, such as migraine medicine (Zomig) when the homeopathic cure just does not cut it, muscle relaxers (occasionally) when I tweak something while playing tennis, and antibiotics if I get a major infection. Anytime you are going to make a drastic health change, it is important to do a LOT of research and talk to your doctor – maybe even consider a second opinion if your doctor is one of those that does not take alternative medicine seriously. It takes a lot of mental preparation and motivation to make a change, and even more to maintain it.





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Comments

  1. says

    I’m glad your taking care of yourself cause your worth it :)
    I need to practice what I preach LOL :)
    Thanks for your friendship I wish only the best for you.
    On youtube listening to MY December :)
    Stumbled the front page and this post ciao
    Thanks HEY have an awesome weekend

    John Sullivans last blog post..Best kept secrets on the internet

  2. says

    Hi Kristi,

    Wow this was great to learn more about your diet and health, etc. I am so glad you decided to partake in the tag.

    Now hearing what you just wrote, everything within me is screaming out to share with you my story on health and insight and actually how I help people as I continue to move in my career path from traditional science educator to holistic nutritionist and health counsellor.

    Your choice to go veg and avoid the cholesterol meds was by far an awesome way to go! I know first hand that it works and gave my doctor a jaw-dropping experience when she saw my cholesterol levels after a year on a veg diet.

    I have to tell you I did not like one bit that your doctor said that “most people are not able to make such sacrifices”….how is it a sacrifice to cut out junk out of one’s diet and incorporate healthy habits?

    I know our society still needs to redefine many things if we are going to really get serious about our health.

    Anyway without making this an article, do pop by Evolving Wellness if you’d like where I write about natural health, etc. and please let me know if you ever have any questions, etc, where natural and holistically balanced nutrition and health is concerned.

    Evitas last blog post..Movie Review: Wheel of Life

  3. says

    Being a vegetarian is quite a healthy lifestyle choice these days, my wife has been a vegetarian for the past 20+ years, which means my diet is the same unless we go out to a restaurant. Cutting out the tablets is also a good thing as they put a lot of stress on your liver and kidneys in breaking them down (know from first hand experience). Ive not heard of anyone who has adopted that many changes in one go though and stuck to them, It must have taken one heck of a lot of will power.

  4. says

    @John: Yes, it’s hard to sometimes to apply the healthy knowledge we have to our own lifestyle. But it is definitely worth it! :)

    @Jen: I shall definitely do my best!

    @Kalogjak: Thanks for the stumble! :)

    @Justin: Yes, the healthier one is, the better their mind works.

    @Mitch: Best wishes to getting your health under control.

    @Evita: I am subscribed to your site, Evolving Wellness. It does have a wealth of information on staying healthy the natural way.

    @Sandra: I believe it is the combination that makes the biggest difference. Doing one thing, be it diet, exercise, or switching to natural cures when possible, is beneficial. But doing them simultaneously brings the maximum benefit.

    @Khaled: I have never been one to go gradually into something. It has to be full throttle or nothing, and that is how that change went as well. Everyone has to do what works for them, and any change is helpful. :)

  5. says

    Great post! It must take a lot of will power to change your life so radically? I hope you will enjoy all the benefits. :-)

  6. says

    Since I’ve left veganism, I’ve gained 20 pounds and am now 50 pounds overweight. I think I need to rethink my decision and am definitely beginning to exercise a lot more. I could learn a lot from you. Thanks for the post

    Claras last blog post..Weighing In

  7. says

    Hello,
    A wonderful article on a great topic after all bloggers health needs to be also of great value for us. Thanks for sharing this article.
    Regards
    Sudeep

  8. says

    Great story! I’m so happy that you were willing to make so many changes to ensure your good health! So many people could benefit from doing what you did, it’s really amazing how big a difference your lifestyle makes on your health. I also think a vegan diet is a great way to be health, I’ve been vegan since 2001, but last year I started a raw diet and that’s been even better. You should look into that. Here’s a pretty good article if you’re not familiar. raw food

    Diet Blogs last blog post..Diet Soda – Not Your Best Bet

  9. says

    absolutely. everyone needs them. but the point is not everyone could do it everyday consistently. I will try. to keep healthy is so important.

  10. says

    I’ve grown increasingly attracted to living a healthy lifestyle the older I get. I am 32 and in better shape than most 18 year olds!. I am 6’1″ 177lbs with 14 percent body fat. Anyway, a lot of my friends think I’m a nerd because I quit smoking and I onlly drink once every couple of weeks at MOST. Also, I exercise regularly and eat right. Does all this make me a nerd?

  11. says

    Sorry to say that I will have to disagree of your disclaimer. No I don’t have full evidence that there is a natural cure for everything because of the simple fact that I don’t know of every illness out there. But, what I will say is that I believe that their is a natural cure for every illness in existence, the problem to over come is lack of knowledge do to lack of research
    .-= Diet´s last blog ..Acai products =-.

  12. says

    Although I can’t comment on the “vegan way” as I will most likely never go there (I consider a tender, juicy steak a gift from above), I can confirm the combination of exercise and eating more healthy has a powerful effect on the body and mind.

    I have Diabetes 2, and healthy food habits and exercise improved my condition within few months. I can even eventually get rid of it, though it requires a lot of effort and to maintain a healthy life style, not just doing quick 2-3 month plans.

    Jason, you don’t sound like a nerd to me, but someone who can look forward to growing older, not fearing it.

    By the way, I love how you use the Thesis theme here, Kristi. Still using a free theme in my blogs, but contemplating buying Thesis some day. Seeing how well it works here definitely gives me another reason to keep it in mind (please don’t take this as flattery, I don’t do that).

  13. Akanksha Lal says

    Even i have personal experience of this. I used to be sick most of the time earlier. But by changing my diet and including some exercise in my routine i have gained good health.
    I was a non vegetarian earlier, but now after going veg, i feel light and energetic all day. I have also started to feel more positive and enthusiastic without the need for any carbonated drinks or strong coffee to boost my spirits.
    My colleagues have also stared noticing a glow on my face and asking me about the plan i follow. What i did was simple..just including fruits in my diet and reducing processed foods. It didn’t take much hard work and i didn’t have to starve myself.

  14. says

    Kristi

    At one point of my life I was addicted to the medications. I just felt ok when I took vitamin E pill or multivitamin Centrum. I didn’t need them, but I took them. i just believed that it made me a healthier person. yesterday I watched a short set of advertisements on TV and saw how greatly they mistreat people. It is only when you become healthy and free from addictions that you can see what is happening around, and love the fact that most of the time we do not need the medications. Our bodies can be cured from within.

    so stay healthy and ciao
    Martyna
    Martyna Bizdra just posted The Leadership Skills of the Future Part II