We all know the impact of stress in our daily lives. At times we witness it in the change in our moods, the aches and pains that we have become so accustomed to that we have lost sight of what it truly means to live optimally. I find that many of us focus on one aspect of health while completely disregarding the importance of balance in all areas. At my most recent visit to my acupuncturist he mentioned my liver was “angry“. I was carrying “anger” in my liver which in turn was causing a multitude of issues for me. I arrogantly scoffed at this comment at the time but soon realized the truth in his words. I WAS angry. I carried a lot of frustration that I replayed internally without a healthy outlet and it began to consume me. I knew I had to get a grip. I was losing sight of the bigger picture by remaining in auto pilot, in turn I was only doing a disservice to myself and those I love.
Parents of special needs children and caregivers can relate to the impact of constant high stress situations. PTSD is extremely common in these situations. A recent study published stated that many brain scans given to mothers of children with autism to be similar to soldiers who have returned from war with PTSD.
The first step has to be finding at least one, undisturbed hour a day you can dedicate to yourself entirely. If you have to start at 20 minutes that’s ok too but FORCE yourself to make yourself a priority. Meditation/prayer, exercise, read a book, yoga are just a few things I do to unwind. In the world of autism/special needs I know there is little room for this..but believe me, your kids NEED you so consider this an ultimate MUST. I am not even there entirely myself but taking baby steps will soon give you the momentum to accept this as a lifestyle change.
I can guarantee there are countless parents out there who go to great lengths to ensure their children eat organic, unprocessed foods and then turn around and succumb to eating unhealthily for themselves..because we are EXHAUSTED people! I get it. Been there way too many times. Over the past year, I have gone vegetarian. It has truly and effortlessly made a huge difference in my health. My kids’ have always eaten gfcfsf (gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free) so I understand everyone has to do what is best for their families. I soon realized how controversial it was to suddenly not eat meat. I felt whenever I shared my enthusiasm about how much better I felt, people felt I was judging them for their choice to eat meat. Never. It’s never okay to guilt anyone into a lifestyle they aren’t ready for. Beyond that, I believe that approach never opens the door to positive dialogue. We all have something to learn from one another. I like to take in what has worked for others and customize it for what works for me. I DO care to share what has helped ME solely in hopes to help others. This is all in love people! Before I stopped eating meat I believed strongly in the testimonies and health of vegans, so in my mind I was already there.
Eating is a highly emotional thing. You can’t eff around with people’s appetites! They will get pissed. In a world of hardship sometimes food is the only solace. I don’t have an agenda to alter your choice to not eat meat but practicing some techniques of becoming a more conscious eater is imperative. Unawareness only contributes to unconscious “emotional” eating. Sugars and fats are so accessible and hidden in places you have no idea existed. This is the importance of understanding nutrition and educating yourself on what you put into your body. Sugar and fats release opioids in our brains. They enact on the opioid receptors that help control our appetites. Sugar is a drug..no lie. There is tons of evidence to support it. The film Fed Up sheds light on the state of sugar consumption in the U.S. I urge everyone to watch this film with their families. I cannot stress the importance of sharing knowledge about nutrition to your children at a young age. I’ve had people tell me that I’m “too strict” regarding my kids’ diets but I also look at the health of the person telling me this and their overall lifestyle. It’s not a choice for me to prepare healthier meals for my kids. Their entire neurological and behavioral health are deeply impacted by the foods they ingest so I never give a damn what anyone says. Just remember, those people have no idea the struggle it took to regain your child’s health! Trust yourself!
Let’s stop for a minute and consider our health as a nation. Despite being amongst the most affluent nations, we STILL are one of the unhealthiest. It’s time to ask ourselves WHY? Here is a breakdown where the U.S. stands compared to other developed nations.