The short version is that I volunteered in a pediatric hospital unit during high school. My cousin had Cystic Fibrosis and I was inspired by the nurses and children on the unit. It wasn’t long before I knew I wanted to become a nurse, although my mother says it was much earlier!
What’s the one supplement you take every day and why?
I generally work with a medical provider to re-assess what my body needs every few months, but one thing I do daily is consume one of the best “supplements” nature has to offer – leafy greens! I blend them into a smoothie on days when I can’t make a salad, and I buy organic and local when possible. I’m prone to having inflammation, and leafy greens contain so many beneficial compounds such as antioxidants, vitamin c, calcium, and b vitamins. Get your greens in!
What’s one bad health habit you had to break?
Comparison. I’ve had a long battle with autoimmunity and I realized it wasn’t healthy for me to compare on so many levels. I would see other people doing more, achieving more, and feel frustrated that I could not keep up. I would see people become healthy after making several minor changes and ask why doesn’t this happen for everyone? I would see people moving a million miles an hour and think I needed to do the same. I felt like I wanted to do the same, because I am a driven person, but I’ve learned how to channel that drive into a healthier direction for me.
I’ve had to prioritize the many roles in my life and say “no” more often so that there is room for continued healing, and plenty of space for the beauty that is unique to me. I’ve had to minimize constantly seeing other people’s life-streams online to help me differentiate what I truly want, from what is being fed to me via media streams. Doing this has proven to be more fruitful in the end. Comparison can be an insidious habit that will creep into so many areas of a person’s life! I have a set of questions that I ask myself before taking on things that I “need” to do, and prayer is a more integral part of my life each day that helps me stay on track. It is not always perfect, and that is perfectly ok!
What’s your favorite way to break a sweat/workout that you’re obsessed with?
Ha! Not sure I would ever have the words obsessed and exercise in the same sentence when it comes to my life, but I do enjoy Bikram Yoga! I get to work up a sweat, detox, stretch, focus, and relax. So, so good. I also enjoy dancing and I don’t think of it as exercise, which is the best!
Name one health tip you think every woman should know.
You DO NOT have to “do it all.” Make it a mantra! Pick your favorites and simplify your life.
What’s the one health food trend you wish would just go away?
Any claims that one particular diet is best for everyone, or a cure all.
How do you spend your time when you’re not at the Centre?
I spend time with my husband and our two-year-old daughter as much as possible. We like to spend time outdoors, cooking, reading stories, seeing family and friends, and travelling to the beach! I also enjoy reading, writing, attending our church, photography, dancing, flower arranging, and other artistic endeavors.
What is your favorite guilty ‘cheat’ treat and how do you balance this in your diet?
I don’t have any guilty cheats. Really! Because of the health challenges I’ve faced, I always want to put good things into my body that aren’t going to contribute to inflammation or pain. A treat (not cheat) for me is going to Kale Me Crazy for a smoothie. Woo-hoo!
I feel good about what I eat, knowing that what I put in my body is nourishing and healing. Dark chocolate is healthy folks! Fresh-picked sweet and juicy blueberries in the summertime are good too! If I ever felt guilty about a food, I just wouldn’t eat it and I’d find something I can feel good about instead. I’ve learned that feeling good about what you are eating can be just as important for digestive health as what you are eating. Guilt can create anxiety around food. Trying to figure out what works for your body can create anxiety around food. I’ve been there. The key for me has been preparation and surrounding myself with healthy options so I don’t go too long without eating during busy days. I’ve also had to learn how to deal with feelings of alienation or hurt when people point out that I’m “skinny enough” to eat a cupcake or drink a soda. Unfortunately, people often make judgements based on appearances, and I encourage people to remember the mission behind their choices and to have compassion for others not understanding of your situation.
I know that there are so many people out there that can relate. Here’s to your health!