Many of you know that I recently hosted the first annual Woman’s Vitality Summit. Over 50 incredible experts from a variety of different fields came together to share their wisdom with us. One thing that all of them have in common is an understanding that true vitality does not stem from only one sphere of our lives: it blooms from a healthy mind, heart, body, and spirit.
This life-transforming event sent my email account into over-drive. I heard back from hundreds of women. I heard their stories of pain. I heard their wins. I heard their challenges. I heard their heart-felt appreciation for this summit. Over the next few weeks I want to share bits and pieces of these stories with you. One thing I know for sure, it’s easier to sustain motivation to change when you are doing it with others.
One of the frustrations I heard was from women who were struggling with their bodies. For example: “I used to be so thin and health. Now, after marriage, pregnancy, being a working mom, I am nowhere near my body and weight loss goals.”
In this post, I will be focusing on the body. In order to access the more subtle levels of your vitality, you must first listen to the wisdom of your own body. If you constantly have to fight an autoimmune disorder, extra weight, or inflammation of any kind, how can you be expected to hear that intuitive voice within? How can you practice loving fully when so much of your time is spent fighting for your health?
There are number of challenges we face to maintain a healthy balance with our bodies. Many of the Summit speakers had a lot to say on this issue. For Alissa Vita, the big focus is on hormones: “As women, our vitality, our energy, our creativity is all going to be either supported or not depending on the state of your hormonal system and your hormonal balance. And there are so many different things that put a drain on that system from chemicals in your food, to your make-up, to the timing of how you’re eating.”
A woman’s hormone balance is a reflection of a complex number of factors. If you are under constant stress, you will have your progesterone “stolen” by your adrenal glands so that you can survive. To the body, survival wins over libido and glowing skin. As you age, your hormones naturally begin to shift. If you are nearing menopause AND your adrenals are tired, you will experience menopause as a very chaotic transition, filled with memory lapses, sleeplessness, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. The good news is this does not have to be your experience.
Many women don’t know that their hormones are affected by the food they eat. Sugar, caffeine and alcohol are three of the top foods that can negatively affect your hormone balance. My heart went out to the woman who wrote me this:
“I would like more than anything to feel the way I felt even a couple of years ago with a functional bowel, a detoxed body and mind so I can be here for my fantastic children who have been through enormous stress on my account.”
I also love this quote from JJ Virgin: “I think the first thing you have to look at is your diet because the biggest needle mover for pain can always start with what’s at the end of your fork. And what I realized early on is that this is not calories in and calories out game, that your body is not a bank account, it’s not a calorie lab.”
The endless self-chatter can get in the way of this innate ability we have: direct feedback from our bodies. Since we are all so unique, the feedback is different for everyone. For me, when I eat certain foods, the next day I will have a rash around my eyes. I’ve seen it happen enough to know. If I eat this ice cream, I will wake up the next day with a rash under my eyes. Do I really need ice cream? The answer is no.
We are all so busy, and for me it’s been important to find a way to prepare healthy food in a timely fashion. That is why I created this recipe book for easy, quick, healthy recipes for people who need to eat without sacrificing the integrity of your meal. Please enjoy the attached book and send feedback! Which recipes are your favorite?
“We are over-scheduled and we are running ourselves ragged because of it.” –Dr. Keesha Ewers
The main point of the Woman’s Vitality Summit is to schedule time for YOU to take care of YOU. For without a healthy you, how can there be a healthy world?