During my career, I’ve had the opportunity to have wonderful conversations with women. Many of them are just like me; we struggle with time, with weight, self-care, and hormones… and relationships… and love… and self-love. The list seriously goes on, and on. While each woman is currently experiencing a situation all their own, I find that every scenario is similar: Women are totally and completely burnt-out, and unsure of how to move forward.
Instead of taking the time to write out a list of questions, to help you “dig deeper” and answer your own questions (which usually, as a coach, is important), today is not the case. Today, I’m sharing a list of things I want to tell all women. Ideas, reminders and tips that I find myself repeating over, and over. Maybe one (or a few will resonate with you); and maybe you can use them to spark something in your own healing journey.
Eat your veggies!
There are so many different diets and trends out there, and I’ll never be one to promote, or recommend a certain way of eating (bio-individuality is glorious). Everybody and every BODY is different, and while everyone might eat differently, veggies should hold a sacred space in EVERYONE’S diet! Veggies are full of fiber, antioxidants, nutrients and WATER. They aid in hormone health, detoxification and more. Try more veggies; incorporate them into each meal, (half of your plate, if you can).
Gut health is essential to good health.
The gut really is your “second brain”, and in fact, I could argue it being your first. All health stems from the gut. From hormones to brain health, the health of our gut determines the health of everything else. Are you pooping twice a day, once soon upon waking? Are you eating probiotic-rich food, and filling up on fiber? Can you eat without feeling bloated? Leaky gut affects so many of us (myself included), and often, the root cause of any health concern should be addressed with the gut, first.
Your microbiome is a huge determining factor as to how many calories you will absorb from your food. The best way to create a healthy and diverse microbiome is to eat more plants and gut-friendly foods!
Restricting and depriving are two words to erase from your vocabulary.
Both words just sound sad, don’t they? I’m amazed that in this day and age, so many women continue to think that depriving themselves of something means they’re being “healthy”. Depriving means you’re leaving something out, and if that something you’re leaving out is something you really enjoy, that deprivation can be causing more negative effects than enjoying it can. Sure, not consuming the wheat-crust pizza (when you have a gluten allergy) is important, but that doesn’t mean you should be depriving yourself of pizza, all-together. YOU HAVE OPTIONS, WOMAN!
“Calories in and calories out” is not the secret to weight-loss.
This goes with restriction and deprivation. Weight-loss has much more to do with finding harmony with your hormones, and your gut, than it does with restricting your food and overexercising. Calories are a metric of energy, not nutrition.
Calories in do NOT equal calories out. Most people count calories when looking to lose or maintain weight, but this isn’t always safe because the way we assimilate nutrients, and absorb calories, depends on the quality of the food and the makeup of your microbiome (the “gut health” I mentioned earlier).
YOU are your own healer!
Lately, I see so many women struggling with disorders or issues that lifestyle could greatly influence. We live in a society where it’s so much easier to go to a doctor, take a pill, or fill ourselves up with synthetic-hormones, than it is to change our lifestyle. How’s your stress-level? Are you consuming chemical-filled foods? Not getting enough exercise or rest? Drinking more than you should? Girl, I understand. But those pills you’re pumping into your body won’t erase the bad lifestyle you’re living! Remember that the greatest healer you possess is your body! Sometimes, it just needs the proper tools.
Constant positivity is unattainable, but constant negativity isn’t great either.
I know we’ve seen both sides of the coin: women who post nothing but “positive vibes” all over the world wide web, and then the women who always seem to be “woe is me”. WHERE IS THE MIDDLE (WO)MAN?! Life isn’t all roses and rainbows, nor is it all thunderstorms and daggers. Remember to be relatable. We all have our turn for the super-great, and the less-than-ideal; that doesn’t mean we need to shout it from the rooftops. Yes, don’t bottle things in; get them out. But don’t let your circumstances define who you are.
Gratitude really does help.
Last year, I created a Gratitude Challenge, which allowed me to practice being grateful for something different, each day. Little did I know how much that ONE change, daily, would affect my month. When we take the time to focus on what IS going well (rather than what isn’t), our mindset changes. Being in a funk is something I know we all can relate to (maybe especially lately), however, when you put more thought process into something positive, positive things happen.
Supplements ARE helpful.
It’s sad but true: our soils are extremely depleted, and nutrients do, in fact, come from the soil. It’s extremely likely that most of us have nutrient deficiencies of some sort, meaning, we can’t get all of our nutrients from food! Even if our soil was nutrient-dense, what are the chances you consume enough fresh fruits and vegetables, from the earth? Yeah, I didn’t think so. This mean that supplements ARE IMPORTANT! They can take you from feeling “just okay” to “wonderful”. But WAIT! Before you jump down the never-ending “supplement rabbit hole”, take a breath. Not all supplements are created equal, so don’t call up your friend who’s selling the “latest and greatest” thing! A lot of supplements out there are a waste of time and money (and filled with a lot of not-so-great fillers). Get help in choosing high-quality, practitioner standard supplements that are indicated for your particular health journey, and need.
Love your liver.
Did you know that a TON of PMS-symptoms are related to liver-health? The liver, like the gut, is one of those essential organs we can’t function optimally without. Lately, I’m recognizing that a lot of my health issues stem from a sluggish liver, and it’s harder to detox than we think! Speaking of detox: be wary of detox programs that promote optimal health after a week of cutting out something! Sure, you’re working to rid your body of some negative toxins, however, incorporating them right back in (after a week of not) isn’t going to do much help. In this day and age, we need to live with a mindset of “constant detoxification”; working to routinely be taking action at detoxifying our body, so it can function well.
Reach out to a naturopath, or TCM practitioner if you’re struggling.
Everyone needs to be alone.
This is one I often want to shout from the rooftops: YOU DON’T NEED A PARTNER TO BE COMPLETE!!! My mom once told me that everyone needs to be alone, at some point of time, because later on, down the road, chances are we’ll be alone, again. And this is so true. Girl, I know you’re pining for a man (or a woman), but don’t let that be the measure of your worth. Repeat after me: “I don’t need to be with someone else to be complete”!
When I was single, a few years ago, I had such a hard time; being alone is hard. We’re vulnerable, insecure, unsure… but chances are, we’re not really feeling these feelings because we’re not with someone, we’re feeling them because our self-love isn’t there. Take some advice from someone (me) who’s been there: use this time being single to work on yourself. Take yourself out to dinner; dress up for you; work on pleasing yourself (physically and sexually); go on a trip, by yourself. Being in a relationship doesn’t complete us; loving ourselves, fully, completes us.
Yoga makes everything better.
I know yoga isn’t for everyone, but this practice is more than just a means of exercise… trust me! Yoga has helped heal my anxiety - bringing me back to calm (from that fight-or-flight mentality that causes hormone, endocrine and nervous system distress). It works to flush fresh blood back into your body, and reminds you to breathe.
Our bodies need to move, yes. Sweating and elevating your heart-rate is important, but so is unwinding, stretching, breathing and flowing. Bonus? Yoga can be done anywhere and everywhere!
Over-caffeination keeps you awake, but that’s it.
This is a pet-peeve of mine: “over-caffeination” being glorified. Yes, coffee is delicious, but the reasons for drinking multiple cups of it, a day, are less-than-desirable…. seriously. Coffee (and too much caffeine, in general) will upset your nervous system, adrenal glands, and hormones (especially when stress is already present). Just practice moderation, okay? And remember to eat some food before going to town on gulping it down!
Your “busy life” ain’t impressing anybody!
This seems like a good one to follow over-caffeination. We live in a society that glorifies being busy, which I believe, is a cause of depression, anxiety and feelings of “not being enough”. Everyone seems to be doing it all - working 40+ hours a week, with another “side hustle”, and enough time to exercise and meal prep. WHAT?! Usually what you don’t see is a severe lack of sleep, depleted adrenals, nervous systems and wonky hormones. You don’t need to do everything, girl. In fact, prioritizing your health usually requires doing less. AND THAT’S OKAY!!! Slow down, and trust.
It’s okay to quit.
This is a good one to follow the “busy life” mention. In order to slow down, and find happiness, sometimes that means no longer doing something that no long suits you; THIS IS OKAY! Quitting doesn’t equate failure - not even in the slightest. Sometimes quitting is the very best thing you can do for yourself. You’re allowing yourself time… and instilling that something is no longer working for you.
Comparisons aren’t healthy. Period.
Comparisons are hard to avoid, especially with an always-present social media presence, but they aren’t healthy. Remember that social media doesn’t portray real life; everyone’s “shit stinks”, and thinking that your life is any less because of what someone else’s might appear like isn’t good! Remember, you are not that person! Your life, your appearance, your job, your relationships, your health… it’s completely, 100% different from anyone else out there; it’s what makes you you. The next time you find yourself comparing, ask yourself why: what are you wishing was different in your own life? How would that benefit your own life?
Eat real food.
I know this should go without reminding, but we are a society that consumes so much processed food! Just because something has little calories, or is “sugar free” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy. Do you read ingredients, aside from other label information? Can you pronounce the ingredients? Do you know where they come from? Remember, real food gives us nutrients, fiber, water, and more! Remember, the health of your microbiome determines what you actually absorb, so filling your body up with chemicals might be fewer calories, but those ingredients can have other, more-serious effects on your body later.
Stand up for yourself. Stand up for women.
We’re living in a scary time for women, and it’s more important, than ever, to think about yourself, as well as your children. You have rights. You have a voice. You are powerful. Remember your power and use it, often! Stand up for what you believe is right, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Get inspired. Get happy.
Repeat after me, “Do what you love. Do what you love. Do what you love.” If there’s nothing, in your life, that’s feeling inspired, let this be your first priority. Find something that brings you joy, sparks excitement, sets your heart on fire. Remember, this doesn’t need to be your job, or a career, or hustling so you can work from home and “be happy”. This means doing more of what makes you happy, and brings you joy. Maybe it’s going on more dinner dates with friends that make you laugh for hours. Or volunteering for an organization you believe in, and support. Maybe it’s making a point to paint for one hour, each day, or play an instrument more. Inspiration comes from doing the things we enjoy, and getting happy is essential for health.
Believe in yourself.
This doesn’t require much description. Trust your intuition. Follow your dreams. Do more of what sparks excitement. Believe in yourself, for you can accomplish anything!
Which of these resonates the most with you? What areas need more attention?
What plans do you have for moving forward? Comment here, or let me know!