This was a popular question by many of you and I am happy that I can share here how I discovered what’s best for my wellbeing. The reason why I feel confident about my daily choices is that I spent a lot of time researching what is health all about. Here you can read how and why my journey to health started, and mistakes that I still make on my journey to “the healthiest I can be”.
We are all so different. I can see it in my own house. Somebody needs desperately coffee to get out of bed. I cannot even taste coffee. Now, take into consideration that we are all coming in different genders, sizes, shapes, and ages. And our life happens in cycles. Some things that were really good for us “back in the day” might be causing us some problems now.
David Avocado Wolfe is one of the people I like to consult when I’m on a learning mission. He is always very clear about one thing
You are your own best nutritionist.
I didn’t quite understand it at first, mainly because I didn’t know enough about nutrition to be called a nutritionist. But later on, I realized what he meant by it.
Our body and our health are amongst the very few things that we can directly control through our decisions and behavior. If we don’t understand our body, we are going to drive it off the road. We need to start to listen to the signals our body sends to us.
Just remember how awkward and helpless you feel when you are in a foreign country and you are trying to get by, but people don’t even bother to stop to listen to you, to help you out?
They acknowledge you are there, but then rush off as they are in a hurry. Or they stop, smile and listen, but send you in a wrong direction because they misunderstood?
That’s exactly how our body feels like. It keeps trying to tell us how it feels and what it needs. Sometimes it shouts at us
Hey, I’m hungry! Please give me something nourishing.
We are not so bad. Of course, we hear our body speak to us. We know all too well that “hangry” feeling. So, we stop at the first bakery to buy a slice of pizza and a coke. Or a sandwich and a soda. In a way, we answer
Here you go honey, now be quiet while I work.
The moment when I found out my WHY
I was more or less doing the same things when I was rushing through certain stages in life. It was more important to me to keep feeding my brain with knowledge than my body with energy. I ate pizza, pasta, burgers and sandwiches, and sweet stuff. No salads, but lots of fruits.
I remember thinking that salads are for people who want to lose weight, and since I was skinny, I always felt I need “heavier” food to give me sustenance. I remember people saying:
Omg Jelena, that’s not normal how much fruit you eat!
The funny thing is, I kept dividing food into two groups: one that gives you cellulite, and the one that doesn’t. Now that I think of it, I only cared about weight and cellulite. Generally, I was feeling healthy and fit as I was doing lots of sports.
Good thing is, I didn’t have too many vices to battle when I turned my focus on to the real meaning of health. I tried coffee when I was younger, and I didn’t like it. Actually, I vomited all night after that. I tried a cigarette too, and vomited all night. Tried alcohol as well, vomited for 3 days and lost 4kg in the process. I tried it at least a few times!
My days of testing those “grown-up” habits were finished. I just couldn’t make myself like any of it. Everybody thought I was weird. Even recently on my flight to London, a kind and chatty flight attendant was so surprised to learn I don’t drink coffee. She kept asking me
You don’t drink coffee? Like, at all? Not even in the morning? Are you sure? But, how do you stay awake during the day?
It was funny to me to see how surprised she was. No, I don’t take caffeine in any form. Not even green tea. I was always like that. And coffee might not necessarily be a vice for some of you, but to me, everything that made me feel addicted that I couldn’t stop was a vice. I never liked losing control of my body and addictions were just that.
So, if I couldn’t take any of those things to relax, focus or stay awake, what else was there for me to do? Especially when I was a student and had to put in long hours to keep up with all the workload.
I started doing some research and came up with lots of great ideas and suggestions. I found the purpose of changing my mindset about food, exercise, and health in general. It all made more sense when I invested time into understanding it better.
My adventurous path
When I don’t feel well, I am useless. I cannot focus, I cannot do things I like, I cannot be fully present, I am easily irritated and very often quite angry and upset with things. Long before I got interested in reading about health and nutrition, I was blaming others for my shifting moods.
What David helped me understand, among many other things, is that I have the power to change things around. I don’t have to wait for somebody to do it for me. I can do some research, turn things around in my daily habits, try new things… test them and see how I feel. (TIP: journaling the process is an excellent idea!)
My path was quite adventurous. I was going from one extreme to the other until I found a balance. So when something goes off, I am fixing it right away, and I am not waiting for it to escalate into something bigger.
The foundation for my health is a good diet, regular exercising, and good sleep. When I skip my routines, I can feel it straight away.
My body starts complaining and either I feel slow, tired, bloated or anxious. The good thing now is that I listen. We speak the same language finally. Before, I was getting on with it, or blaming the others.
I finally figured that the energy I spend is the energy I pour in. That’s where I became obsessed with what I eat. That was also a phase. We shouldn’t be obsessed with anything, but I guess I had to go through that phase first to find the balance.
My weak spot
Now, I shared with you what is the foundation for my good health. I tend to drift away from it from time to time, especially when I get overwhelmed with kids and work. The one thing that immediately drops out of my daily routine is exercising, which I really am not proud of. When that happens, it gets really frustrating because I live in an environment where the sport is the way we live. Imagine now me doing all but sports and hoping it will go unnoticed… lol.
I love exercising outdoors by the sea, in the park, or on my balcony. I have my yoga flow, I do my squats, burpees, and planks. I love swimming, biking, running… and when the opportunity presents I hit a few balls on the tennis court and do some kickbox.
However, my weakness is that I tend to skip my workouts when I’m pressured by time. I make sure food and sleep are in balance, but exercising is one thing in those moments that I think I can get away with if I skip. Then when I skip one time, it drags for days like that as I have a hard time to motivate myself to restart.
This is something I am working on also for the sake of my kids. I would love for them to acquire healthy habits and I need to lead by example. Their dad is a great example, but when the going gets tough, they can use me as an excuse for why they skipped their routines, and I don’t want to be the black sheep in the family.
So the inner work continues.
Learning is a journey that takes you in many directions
Learning about yourself never stops. I always change, and my body asks for different things, so I have to listen carefully because sometimes the things I enjoy the most become my enemies all of a sudden.
Anyhow, I just wanted to make sure you are aware of this. And to tell you a little secret – the most of the people you follow out there (Social networks) recommending you stuff with great conviction… they are just trying out things for themselves too, and those things might not work for you.
So take things lightly! You are your own’s best chance at living a healthy harmonious life.
The secret is – start learning about yourself. Read more, research more, be open to trying. And listen to what your body is saying. Are you bloated, tired, cranky, foggy minded..? Those are all signs to get yourself back in the driving seat.
There are a few documentaries that you can start your learning journey with:
Most of them you can find on Netflix, but I also recommend you to join FMTV. That is like Netflix for health. You have recipes, documentaries, yoga sessions, mediation sessions, cooking classes… everything!
Buckle up! This is the most important and adventurous journey you’ll ever take! It brings you joy and success on every step.
Please share in the comment section what you discovered on your path. I have some great books to recommend, so make sure to subscribe to my newsletter!