Proper nourishment (and micronutrients) are widely considered the foundation of a wellness practice – and that definition is different for everyone based on a variety of factors and influences. To that end, many experts say there’s no one right diet (and that’s why there’s over 100 being promoted out there!), as long as it’s generally fresh, whole-foods based, low-sugar, unprocessed and appropriately balanced for your nutritional requirements.
The reason for a variable nutrition standard is rooted in our unique physical makeup: we each have different health histories, environmental-influences, genetic make-up, potential drug interactions, and even emotional-based considerations (read as: variable stress levels) that impact how our body processes food. In addition, layers of ever-changing exercise, self-care, non-toxic living, purpose-driven behavior, supportive community, positivity, gratitude and spirituality also contribute to your overall measure of wellness. The practice is keeping it all in balance…on top of your day job.
With that context, as my awareness and understanding of these key elements of wellness has grown, I’ve done my best to tackle each category with enthusiasm and commitment (sometimes feeling like a game of whack-a-mole…which is just fine for a competitive personality like mine.) In turn, as you might expect, I have felt tremendous growth in my health, happiness and general feeling of sustainability.
But, when people ask me, “What has been the greatest change you have made to improve your wellness?” My answer is always the same: “I had a full health audit at my doctor, and most notably, had my vitamin levels checked and optimized accordingly.” I have to tell you…it’s not a silver-bullet, but balancing my micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and being directed-to the right formulas and brands – then, understanding when to take what – was a game-changer for me.
To be frank, I’ve always been a bit skeptical of vitamins and supplements – knowing the dietary supplement industry was big business, and myself sometimes a proud contrarian – I was a bit hesitant. Sure, your doctor will prescribe you to take specific vitamins when you’re pregnant for the health and development of your growing baby – and I never questioned the value in that after gratefully delivering a very happy and healthy baby – but besides that, in truth, it was low on my priority list. I felt if I ate a good diet I’d get everything I need. And maybe that’s true…but again, without the help of a very customized diet plan rich in micronutrients and based on a complex and comprehensive physical and mental audit by a doctor as outlined above, how do you REALLY know if you’re nailing-it on that front? It turns out that despite my best efforts, I wasn’t…and for most, I’ve learned that it’s incredibly difficult to achieve perfection as your physical needs and influences are constantly changing.
Though a blood test suggested by my doctor at a regular physical exam, I received a clear outline of what was in and out of balance for me. In simply correcting my vitamin levels, my energy quickly soared and it helped enable me to tackle all the other pillars of wellness more effectively. Now, as I said before, everyone is different and vitamins alone don’t guarantee some utopian result – there is no such thing as perfect wellness in my book. But, if you have an opportunity to meet with your primary care doctor and ask for that evaluation, or visit an integrative practice where it’s more likely to be part of their common practice, you may find that you will shift from just an average feeling of health, to really thriving. It was truly life-changing for me!
Disclaimer: I am not a physician nor medical expert. I share my personal experience purely in the hope it will enable you to start a conversation with your own doctors and/or medical professionals to work towards achieving maximum health, happiness and sustainability in your unique situation.
Love this!! Glad you found a great integrative doctor… do you have any resources or advice on finding a quality integrative MD in Michigan? Would love to link my mom to someone in West Michigan and eventurally for Marcus and I when we relocate to Detroit Metro. Thank you!!!
Hey Erin! Thank you! I found my practice here in Atlanta from both word-of-mouth and some solid referral and advice groups for my area on Facebook (not to mention that the founding doctor is on TV regularly). That said, in doing a quick Google search, if it were me, I’d give “Prosperity Health” in Birmingham, MI a try. The reviews seem to be solid and their site suggests similar approach to what I’ve experienced at my provider. For your mom, just search “Integrative Medicine near [insert zip]” and keep an eye out for the best and largest amount of reviews – my guess would be they’re clustered near Kalamazoo. Hope that helps!