If you’ve seen any documentary on how food and nutrition affects health then you know that food can be a powerful agent of either good or bad. It is said that “every bite you eat is one step closer to health or disease”. And a journey is made up of several small steps. I’m going to break those steps down for you below and at the end, I am going to give you an opportunity to receive a free healing menu plan. I am also going to give you an opportunity to sign up for my free 7 Day kickstart, a 7 day email series to help you through your first week if you decide to start a healing journey. But for right now, let me tell you why these steps are the basics of healing most chronic conditions.
As a health coach I work with many chronic conditions and we work on many related parts that attribute to and are a part of chronic conditions. We balance blood sugar, improve energy, reduce pain and inflammation, increase energy and mobility, identify food triggers, and we also improve digestion and cognitive function. We even grow better hair and nails! When you have a group of people with chronic conditions you often find that there are some overlapping categories that seem to pop up in most of your clients. The individuality of each person is very unique but the causes are generally the same. So I wanted to give an overview: how does one reverse or improve a chronic condition?
While not every situation can be reversed, it is not unheard of to reverse type 2 diabetes, autoimmune disease, depression or ADHD. If they cannot be reversed, then they can be improved most of the time. Most of these chronic conditions can be improved by focusing most of all of the following health categories:
1. Improve Gut Health.
Gut health is being linked to every chronic condition from autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune, diabetes, Parkinson’s, depression, anxiety and even hormonal imbalances. So much of our immune system, hormone and neurotransmitter production, the ability to break down our nutrients and get rid of toxins (a source of physical stress and oxidative damage) is dependent on the health of our Gastrointestinal tract. The “gut” includes the stomach, intestines, gallbladder, liver, and pancreas. For this reason, we often start with gut health in our journey toward healing.
2. Identify food sensitivities.
Food sensitivities have been linked to ADHD, depression, autoimmune diseases, arthritis, and other inflammatory disorders. A food sensitivity is different than an allergy and can simply mean that a person feels better without the food than with the food on their plate. This may mean that their digestion improves, their energy, or even their blood sugar or pain levels in their joints. Identifying any foods that may be aggravating your health, is a key step in feeling better sooner. Many food sensitivities can be reversed, which means removing them may be temporary.
Toxic buildup can put stress on our bodies, causing inflammation, weight gain, pain and dysfunction. It can affect any body part including the digestive system, the brain, or your joints. Supporting your body in getting rid of stored toxins can reduce inflammation, pain, weight, swelling, or dysfunction. Also, avoiding exposure to toxins where possible can make it easier for our bodies to store less of these chemicals in the future.
4. Support the Immune System.
Autoimmune, chronic viruses, Chronic Fatigue, Lyme disease, and possibly others whose causes are “unknown” may benefit from boosting the immune system. A dysfunctioning or suppressed (or even seemingly overactive) immune system can make one feel “yucky” all on its own. By supporting the immune system, but not stressing it, we can possibly return it to its normal functioning state. A normal immune system can fight the “bad guys” like chronic viruses and also knows when to “turn it off” so it doesn’t attack us!
5. Support the Adrenals.
Let’s face it: Chronic conditions are stressful. Even if you do not have adrenal fatigue, (but especially if you do) life and illness can be very hard on our bodies. For this reason, supporting the adrenals can not only improve your sugar-handling (the ability to maintain healthy blood sugar levels), inflammation, wear and tear on the body, reduce heart attack and stroke risk, regulate weight and hormones, alleviate depression and anxiety, affect sleep, digestion, and much more.. it can help you heal from chronic conditions. It can also improve energy and the immune system.
6. Targeted Nutrition.
This is where things get even more unique to you. While each of the above categories are addressed differently for each person according to their own body and unique situation, this area is the most unique to you. In this category, we not only focus on specific foods to improve the health of a specific organ or body system (such as the thyroid, or the nervous system, or even the brain), but also have to address any deficiencies. We may optimize a nutrient to manipulate the body into doing its job better, or your body may just need more of a specific nutrient to thrive than your mate’s body needs. An example of this may be to focus on electrolyte rich foods to help regulate blood pressure or heart rate. We may reduce high glycemic foods for a person with Diabetes, or incorporate bone broth for someone with leaky gut.
This area is similar to targeted nutrition but the “nutrition” in this case refers to lifestyle changes. This includes working on “primary foods” a term coined by Joshua Rosenthal to refer to the things that feed you but don’t come on a plate. It may refer to exercising to reduce inflammation or increase mobility. It may refer to prayer or meditation that helps you reduce adrenaline or cortisol. It may mean incorporating social time into your schedule to increase your body’s ability to heal. It can also mean watching the sun set to help with adrenal fatigue, sleep and circadian rhythms. Regardless of which areas of your life need help to improve your chronic condition or the symptoms that bother you, there are often “bio-hacks” to help you get the results you are looking for on your journey.
That was a lot of information, wasn’t it? And it is a lot to think about.. but I want to assure you that I don’t expect you to go out in one day and do all of this. Remember above that I said that we often start with the gut. And before that we often start with dietary changes. If you haven’t gotten started with your gut health, then check out my beginner’s guide to healing your gut. If you have a chronic condition of any type, I suggest starting there. As always, If it is too overwhelming or you are feeling unsure, email me via the contact page and I’ll be happy to schedule a free consult for those who are ready to start taking their body back today.
If you just want to learn more but are not ready for one on one coaching, then simply sign up for the newsletter at the top of the page. This will ensure that you start receiving emails that tell you more about the above steps.
Feel free to comment below, I love hearing from my readers. You can also contact me directly through the email in the top menu bar if you have any questions about this article.
No matter which options you decide to explore above, I look forward to hearing from you and hope to get to know you better! Until then, enjoy your healing journey!