Here is the second half of my lecture. Enjoy!
<After college I moved into Manhattan with my then boyfriend, now husband. I was again stressed out and searching for a job. Through the many informational interviews and internships – paid and un-paid – I came to realize that the line of work I had been searching for just wasn’t doing it for me.
More stress – and the only thing that truly made me feel better was practicing yoga and eating healthy. Two things that I knew I should be doing more of in my life. I was never one to eat a diet filled with lots of sugar, but my diet was nowhere near the healthy level that it is now.
One day, my now sister-in-law and I were talking and as I was recommending a food product that she should try – bam, her comment was: you should do this for a living – and that was it… As soon as I got home I ran to the computer and did research.
I found the Integrative Institute of Nutrition where I could obtain a certificate to become a health coach – PERFECT!
As well as going to school for health coaching, I signed up for yoga school because after going to the same weekly yoga class in college, I knew how amazing it made my body feel and I wanted to be able to give that to others. SO I got certified in an accelerated program in just one month! By the time I was finished with yoga school, I was all ready to learn about health coaching.
As a health coach, we learn about all the different diets out there, that one diet doesn’t work for everyone, and one person’s medicine might be another person’s poison. When talking to my GI doctor about which foods I should eat for my colitis he told me I could eat anything I want. My intuition told me that wasn’t correct so I did lots and lots of research to find out that those who suffer from colitis feel much better when going on a gluten free diet. So, I tried it and it stuck. I now follow a gluten free diet, I limit my dairy intake since I know dairy causes mucus, and I seem to have an abundance of that, so the least amount of dairy the better for me.
As well as my Gluten free diet, I also stay away from processed foods, refined foods like white flour & white sugar and I stick to natural sugars like honey, maple syrup and agave. I eat lots of veggies as well as some meat but only once or twice a week and I always make sure it’s grass fed and organic because after seeing the movie Food inc I didn’t have a choice… For those who have seen it know what I’m referring to, and for those who don’t, I suggest you watch the grueling film about our country’s food industry.
I have learned an abundance of information about the importance of eating organic and I know that if I don’t pay attention to what goes into my body, then who else will? The way I see it is, my body is my temple, my home and if I treat it like garbage then I’ll most likely feel like garbage.
On top of my diet change, I’ve furthered my yoga practice. After learning how to create my own home practice to soothe my soul, I make sure to meditate and practice breathing exercises such as ujaii breathing, breath of fire and alternate nostril breathing every morning. We’re now going to practice alternate nostril breathing so you can see what I mean. I’ve learned to help calm the mind and body with this exercise. Let’s clear our laps, sit up tall in your chair and feel your feet on the ground: Do 3 rounds of alternate nostril breathing.
Since practicing yoga and breathing exercises everyday I’ve noticed a large shift in my stress level and I find myself able to control my breathing, which causes me to calm down when faced with stressful situations.
On top of all that I’ve already changed in my life to help my healing process, I’ve implemented a seasonal cleanse. My current yoga teacher, William Duprey taught me how to complete a yogic cleanse called dhauti – he was certain it would help clear my colitis symptoms completely. I wasn’t sure about this, but given my openness to trying new healing modalities, I was game. He gave me the instructions to drink a certain amount of Himalayan sea salt mixed with water and do specific yoga postures between each glass of water. Needless to say, I was in the bathroom all night but by the end of it I was completely cleaned out and ready to start fresh. So far, I’ve done this cleanse twice and have felt great after. I intend to continue doing this each season because cleaning out the body is as healthy as it gets and it helps to clear my colitis symptoms too.
Now that I’ve spoken all about what I’ve done for myself to help me feel better, the only thing that would top off this talk is some actual research! Well, I do have it and I know we all appreciate results on paper – so here it is. I don’t have the numbers from my colonoscopy test in 2007, but when I had one in 2009 my DR. said the colitis was 11 cm up the colon and that number was slightly better then my test in 2007. This year, 2011 I had another test and my DR. said the colitis was just 3 cm up the colon making it proctitis instead of colitis! That’s a huge difference and means what I’m doing is actually working! The first thing the Dr. said when he told me that result was: wow, those enemas must really be working! – in my head I thought – Sorry dr. C but I barely take the enemas and there’s no way they did this healing.
I have to say that all the work I’ve done on myself has really paid off. I can’t say I’m 100% better, there are still days where I see blood and mucus in my stool but I know I’m on the mend, and the fact that doctors say this disease is incurable, well…. We’ll see about that. I have all the positive energy and thoughts to know that what I’m doing is working. With that, I leave you with a thought – even though disease is said to be in-curable, with will-power and the right tools, can it be cured? No one will ever know, but it’s definitely food for thought. I thank you all for listening and I hope I’ve given you some hope that whatever disease it is you or someone you know struggles with, don’t give up, talk to everyone you know until you find the right cure to make you feel better. Questions?>