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Taking Charge, Investigating Health Mysteries…and Why PIP?

by Lisa on February 19, 2011

One of my foremost goals in wellness coaching is to empower people to take responsibility for their own health and happiness. Often, I feel like I should have a degree in psychology instead of health because I also notice the range of perceptions by people about what role they play in their health. My dream client is someone who is willing and ready to take full responsibility for their health choices, who will do whatever is needed to be healthier.

I’m like that. I’ll do essentially anything, and only spare expenses that I can’t afford. But the issue, even when you feel that way, is that the human body can be elusive, improving general wellness is only one piece of most people’s puzzles, and it’s often a mystery about what’s going on and where symptoms are coming from.

Being healthy is not always a black and white issue. So I’m doing my Personal Improvement Plan (PIP) to fill in some of the gray areas on an essentially healthy life that I have.

Wanting more for my health than status quo and bandaid fixes has led me to things like...growing microgreens

Why am I doing PIP?

1. I want more energy and to feel like I want to jump out of bed every morning (improvement noted)

2. My ears are ringing 100% of the time. It drives me insane sometimes, and I refuse to believe there is no way to fix it, even though no doctor will even acknowledge that it’s a problem.

...fermented almond cheeze

3. The “Mexican Mystery,” as my friend aptly named it…a trip to Mexico two years ago, when my body swelled up like a balloon (including my head—and we had to go to a wedding, so I iced myself all day and looked like Kazoo from the Flintstones in all the pics). Also, my naturally olive and wonderfully tan-able skin, immediately turned dark and blotchy (face only) as soon as I went in the sun. Later back at home, dermatologists prescribed stuff that damaged my fingernails (and possibly damaged my liver), and then told me there’s nothing I can do to stop being blotchy. But I notice the pigment of my skin changes with hormone cycles, so I’m convinced it is something I can address. The swelling thing went away, and I don’t think it was related to the skin thing.

...Cultured veggies...

4. When I was an adolescent, I had some skin breakout issues, and medicated it heavily (which looked fabulous, but did damage from excessive antibiotic use, and later from 12 years of BC pills, etc.). It threw off my body’s ability to maintain bacteria balance, and I’ve been known to have hangovers for several days for “no reason”…and I’ve self-diagnosed that as candida overgrowth in my digestive tract (and systemically?)—the bi-product of its breakdown is acetylaldehyde, which is also partially what makes you feel like crap when you have a hangover. This has become much better in the last couple years, since I began addressing it myself, and stopped trying to find a doctor who had a clue. My doctors all told me that dietary changes wouldn’t help, but that I could go ahead and try if I wanted to. Cutting out/down on alcohol, sugar and simple carbs helps ease many symptoms, including: brain fog, skin breakouts, puffiness, low energy level, and more. Adding in cultured and fermented foods helps too. PIP is helping me focus on it, and not bounce back to denial when I rationalize that this one little thing won’t make a difference. Because every little thing does make a difference.

...power tools in the kitchen...

...Young Thai Coconuts...and fermented coconut water (a rival to kombucha, I tell ya!)...

5. I have no health insurance because I’m employed by 7 schools part-time and have my own business for wellness coaching. I know. My dad has informed me of the risks, but the cheapest rate I can get is $387 a month, and that’s just dumb. I never used my insurance when I had it because no doctor ever helped me—food is my medicine, and there’s no helpful co-pay on that!

...Growing and juicing wheatgrass...

...a juicer (actually, two), a dehydrator, a vita-mix...

So, I have a choice, and I’m choosing PIP. And after 5 days, I already feel less puffy and better all around. Some things that are damaged from longer-term abuse may take a while, but I’m willing to stick with it because being back and forth out of denial and wishing for magic has not worked :)

Do you have nagging health issues that are not really diagnosable or treatable, but that you feel are important? Have you ever tried naturopathic, functional medicine, or homeopathy? My experience with medical professionals has been very frustrating, and I understand that when a healthy person like me comes into the office, they don’t see any need to spend time or effort helping me—they have lots of people who are much worse off, and my problems don’t look like real problems to them—it’s not life or death or diagnosable chronic disease. I have wanted a partner in health for myself, but I couldn’t find one…so I’m doing my own thing, and I’m just glad I have the knowledge and resources to explore.

Have you heard of candida (yes, it’s a form of yeast…but no, I’m not talking about private part infections)? The issue I have with many new dietary and cleansing approaches is that they are too heavy on sugar and even grain-carb sources, which all feeds candida. Gluten intolerance can come from candida overgrowth, as can many other sensitivities. I have about 10 years of information built up in my head about candida…is that information something you want to know about?


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