With years as a lifeskills consultant and coach, I came to know everyone has a story to tell. And with each up front and personal story, the disciplines of life often become the center of our daily routines. As I was looking forward to enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with my family, I found myself reflecting on the disciplines that have impacted my daily life.
Getting Better or Bitter – My Choice
The difficulties of life that come our way challenge us to choose between “getting better or bitter.” Even when solutions elude us for a season, the challenge remains. I remember those years in the 1980s when my health began a downhill spiral. After many doctors and hospital tests, they only resulted in “Sorry, we know you are deteriorating but don’t know why, and don’t know what to do.” That’s when a heart-to-heart talk with God really began. I decided to give “trust” a try. And that was the beginning of a whole new adventure into the disciplines of life, day by day.
One of my first steps was to step “out-of-the-box” of our current traditional healthcare options. . . what I call in an article series, “Working Wellness around the System.” I got on a plane, walked into an integrative/complementary medicine MD’s office, and walked out to a whole new world of healthcare. So unfamiliar with this territory, I was just beginning to learn what the word “integrative” really meant.
I didn’t leave conventional or traditional medicine behind but experienced first-hand a doctor who combined the best of both worlds. He became my mentor and advocate on my early wellness journey. He helped me leave bitter behind and embrace getting better in every way, body and soul.
You are probably now wondering what those daily disciplines entailed. For those who follow my byline or are new to From the Heart, I offered my story in a 2016 article series, available to read on my website, My Wellness Declaration. You can also read my autobiography, In Daddy’s Eyes). Yes, those years included finding other medical mentors and advocates. They also included taking three steps up, one step back on many occasions. Yet, with “trusting” alongside “testing” the waters of wellness, grace and gratitude have prevailed.
Two Core Disciplines of Life
Fast forward 30 plus years, here’s a glimpse into two core daily disciplines in my life—faith and food. First, I believe I would not be here today without my faith in God and His promises to me. We all know everyone has their own adventure with faith to understand and embrace God in this big wide universe. I encourage you to continue your adventure. For me, His name is Jesus, to be more personal and specific here.
At 38 years old, my food disciplines began to combat, reduce, and resolve genetic, environmental, and metabolic diagnoses. Included in the list of diagnoses was severe nutritional malabsorption and layers of hormonal and metabolic degenerative disorders. I was simply starving to death and feeding off my body to stay alive. Food then became my primary medicine. Yet, it was more complicated than simply eating a healthier diet.
With severe malabsorption and deterioration, I was put on a comprehensive nutritional supplement regimen of potions, lotions, and pills. This regimen augmented my body’s inability to produce hydrochloric acid needed in my stomach and pancreatic digestive enzymes to break down and metabolize food, particularly proteins and fats. Then add the severe chemical and food allergies and sensitivities, requiring avoidance and rotation of foods.
For the first five years, rotating foods every seven days was essential. Thereafter, a four-day rotation of food families has been my daily routine. Over the years, with the help of certain physicians, books available, and my “awesome” scientist husband, I created a modified food rotation chart. This chart was based on scientific food families. I then created my own rotation recipes to follow each day.
This rotation chart and recipes helped me avoid the most allergic and sensitive foods and reduce daily exposure. The chart included rotation of grains/carbohydrates, nuts/seeds & spices, oils/fats & vinegars, fruits, vegetables, sweets-sugar sources, animal proteins, teas & other drinks. Over the years the severity of reaction was reduced or resolved. The degenerative spiral stopped. I could clean my house, start working as a lifeskills consultant/coach, and found my passion for writing and weaving again! I could even dine out occasionally and be around others with heavily doused cologne and perfume!
Holding on to “Better”
At 73 years old today, I continue my more flexible food rotation alongside nutritional and hormonal supplementation monitored by my wellness team of physicians and nutritionist. I consider it a blessing to take only a third of what I had to take years ago. A bonus is enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with my family! I can also dine out more easily. In the past ten years some restaurants and grocery stores are providing healthier options. Restaurants are even willing to tweak the menu for me. Bless them!
May I continue to be body aware and soul conscious, holding on to “better” to maintain my health, grace, and gratitude. A daily discipline for sure! May my daily disciplines and story help you or someone you know. I would be glad to hear from you or your friend. What daily disciplines of life have you embraced with grace and gratitude?