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I was born with a propensity to push. To push boundaries, to push limits, patience, rules, and to push back on being trying to control what I think or do. I don’t really know why I’m like this or where it comes from but my parents tell me that I’ve had a ‘fire in the belly’ for as long as they can remember. It’s my best friend and my worst enemy. My psychologist husband has a field day with my ‘fire’ and independent spirit but it’s just how I’m built. I have trouble sitting still. It’s not just an urge to push myself physically, it also manifests as a strong need to understand why I feel a certain way. When it comes to my injuries and illnesses, I call it my investigative health hustle – the urge to get to the bottom of why I feel...[bloated, Lymey, brain foggy, hip achy], or whatever my symptom du jour is. This health hustle mentality led me to Dr. Minkoff and LifeWorks Wellness Center and is also the reason why I refused to accept advice from my regular GP that I needed a year of very strong antibiotics and to stop training. I’ll try most alternative therapies if there’s some biological plausibility behind them and they’re grounded in medical science. For example, I recently learned that a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) had shown promising results for people with disrupted gut microbiota or have had historically hard to treat digestive problems. After doing my own research, I flew to the UK and underwent a 12-day intensive treatment at the Taymount Clinic and feel noticeably better because of it. It’s less about whether this will be the ‘answer’ and more about my unrelenting drive to try things that might help. I will not give up. It’s not just my athletic career that’s at stake, it’s my emotional wellbeing. How I use my symptoms and the emotional roller coaster they send me on is a huge part of my coping.
"And though the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me, shine until tomorrow, let it be." ~ Paul McCartney/John Lennon
But -- and this is a huge but – there comes a time when I just need to calm the f*** down. This is the part I struggle with the most. I’m a horizon seeker. Always looking ahead to see what’s next or to think about what I plan to do in the future. But this means I often neglect the present. I don’t take enough time to just be in the moment. Even if my symptoms are flaring up, there comes a time when the ‘inner peace’ is reached by just living more in the moment. Some call it mindfulness, some call it gratefulness, some call it ‘letting shit go.’ I’m getting more and more signs in my life that this a great way to start living. Heck, even my fab new bike sponsor is called Liv. Get a clue, Paterson! I’ll never stop racing about and using my hustle muscle but I am training myself to just let stuff go. To breathe. To look around for things to be happy and grateful for. To recognize that my experience of life doesn’t need to be defined by a head full of overwhelming thoughts and feelings. I’ve started to learn meditation. I’ve started to be aware of what I’m thinking without acting on it. The science of learning to let stuff go is certainly compelling. It lowers stress, boosts immune function, lowers blood pressure, and it does wonders for those around you who have become so accustomed to dealing with my whirlwind. If only I had listened to the Beatles, “Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Physicians over thousands of years have observed a link between a patient’s mental state and how swiftly they recover. It is a long-standing axiom that people who are determined to get better and maintain a healthy frame of mind recover more quickly, with better results.
But what if we told you that it’s a two-way street? That specific health conditions can cause conditions like depression and anxiety?
In 1931, decades before the first antidepressant and antianxiety medications had been developed, a physician named Yaskin discovered that clinical depression is the earliest manifestation of pancreatic cancer. Further research demonstrated that patients who suffered from gastrointestinal malignancies carried the greatest risk of suicide – which was one of the first science-based flags indicating that the digestive system can have an impact on mental health.
The simplest way to reduce toxins in your body is to avoid them. Despite today’s crazy world that has toxins everywhere, there are steps you can take that will reduce your toxin intake. This gives your body a chance to get rid of the “backlog” and catch up.
Elderberry, also known as Sambucus nigra, has been used for centuries as a natural herbal remedy for those who fall ill.
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, referred to elderberry as “nature’s medicine chest,” and it has been noted as early as the 5th century BC as a medicinal tonic – forever cementing it as a staple in human nutrition.
But, it wasn’t until recently that we understood WHY it is so helpful to the body. And with this understanding came advanced methods of harnessing the incredible power of this medicinal plant.