Ask a Death Doula Podcast: In stressful times, focus on what you CAN control

 Released: 05/24/2022

 Guest: Elyse Wagner

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Ask a Death Doula Podcast: In stressful times, focus on what you CAN control

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 Released: 05/24/2022

 Guest: Elyse Wagner

#Doulagivers, #healing, #holistichealth, #stress, and #wellness

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Speaker 1 (00:02):

Hi everyone. And welcome to this episode of ask a death doula today. We have a wonderful podcast for you. This is Elise Wagner. Elise has always been a questioner motivated to discover what’s possible when you’re really truly in your sole purpose for her, that purpose is to help others take ownership of their health. She first embraced this calling while in graduate school, when she was diagnosed with celiac disease and struggling with her diagnosis, she realized that she had always known intuitively that certain foods were creating brain fog, bloating, and mood swings. I agree a thousand percent. So she made the empowering decision to become the CEO of her own health and tapped into the motivation to change her lifestyle. Elise healed her mind and body by applying the knowledge she was learning in her master’s program, that food and the positive mindset are the most powerful medicine we have. It became clear to her that she was called to empower others, to choose health and educate them on how to achieve wellness. Elise always hoped to make a powerful impact on the world through health education, founding M F M C a and serving thousands of students as part of functional medicine movement is the manifestation of a lifelong dream. Elise is the author of smoothie secrets revealed a guide to enhance your health and co-author of functional medicine. Coaching, how to be part of the movement. That’s transforming healthcare. Elise Wagner. Thank you for being here.

Speaker 2 (01:32):

Hi Suzanne. Hi for having me and hi to everyone. I’m so, um, grateful and honored to share this space with you today.

Speaker 1 (01:40):

Thank you. Because I think we always are talking about on ASCA death doula, that we are holistic beings and the loss of that awareness in all facets of our lives has led to the struggles, right? So on, on many, uh, many, many levels, but for you, I just wanna, um, ask, uh, the first question that our listeners are gonna have is what is functional medicine, if you could just share what that is.

Speaker 2 (02:05):

Yeah. So functional medicine. I, if you can visualize a tree for me, um, so a tree with branches and a nice trunk and root system, um, and I’m first gonna go to what is conventional medicine. Um, and I like to think of it, conventional medicine is the branches in the tree. So when we, uh, traditionally think of medicine, we think of cardiology or pulmon pulmonology, or, you know, um, different parts of the body, it’s almost segmented, right? Just like the branches of the triage functional medicine is really a philosophy. It’s a way of thinking about the whole person. So really taking that holistic approach, bio psychosocial approach, and also coming down, um, the trunk and getting to the root cause, um, using evidence based modalities, um, and then taking a client centered approach. So really meeting that person where they’re, where they’re at. And I think that’s a huge, uh, differentiator, uh, from, you know, traditional medicine to, to functional medicine. So that’s kind of functional medicine in a nutshell.

Speaker 1 (03:15):

Okay. I really, I do really like that. And a lot of, you know, people know that I am registered nurse by trade. And so I have a lot to say about that space and just what you, what you shared, um, is that, you know, and there’s no judgment here, it’s observation, but we have to observe where we are to make the change that’s so very needed. And as a professional, we don’t have times in, in the medical field to diagnose, to get to the root of the cause. We’re putting bandaids on things for the symptom. Where is the symptom coming from? The symptom is symptom of something larger, where is that root? So I agree with you because we’ll just be putting this bandaid on. And then the irony there is that you put a bandaid on this symptom, you have side effects from that medication that have another symptom.

Speaker 1 (03:56):

You put another bandaid over here. We don’t even know where we started. So I do have to, uh, really highlight that. The other thing that I just wanna share is that my patients in oncology and my patients at end of life, many of them say to me, I know why I got sick. And so their lifestyle or the emotional, the holistic part of them with no judgment really allowed their body to not heal and to get DISE out of balance. So we’re gonna talk all about that, cause I think it’s so significant. And also we want people to, to learn from this so that we don’t have to have a crisis and end up in that space. Um, so for me, really wanting to talk on this podcast with you about stress and love the fact that you said, and I know that I take it to an extreme, but I’ve always kind of felt intuitively that food is poison.

Speaker 1 (04:45):

So hold on, let me explain. I, and it’s so funny cuz I always use the example, like what is a Dorito? Like you put it and, and I’m not saying I’ve never had ’em, they they’re tasty, but you put it in your body and your body needs fuel and your body is like, what do I do with this? And I feel like we’re starving ourselves. And of course we’re not giving the nutrients that we need. So we’re gonna talk about stress on all fronts, cuz this is a self care focus holistically. But I wanna ask you about stress of environmental with the food and what kind of impact that has on this beautiful vehicle that we’ve been gifted to have this experience in.

Speaker 2 (05:27):

Wow. Yeah. It’s this is a big topic here. Um, you know, the first thing that comes up for me obviously, uh, with a diagnosis of celiac disease and I’m always questioning, well, why is this, why did we have, you know, we’ve had this, uh, crop of wheat for such a long time. Um, and, and why now are we seeing just record, um, break, you know, record breaking, uh, statistics of autoimmune disease and yeah. You know, and I think mark, mark Hyman says this, um, eloquently. It’s not always, he says, it’s not the cow. It’s the how right. And I think you can apply that to a lot of different foods that we’re eating. It’s where, you know, let me back up a quick second, cuz one of the things I forgot to mention about functional medicine is that it’s a very individual individualized and personalized approach and we train health coaches, um, in the functional medicine philosophy as well as, uh, positive psychology and looking at what’s going well with someone that’s where we start.

Speaker 2 (06:26):

We don’t start at, what’s not going well, of course that’s information, but what’s, what’s happening right now in your world. That is hap that’s good stuff. Um, and so we also, as the coach approach take a lot of open ended questions, that’s our toolbox. Right. Um, and so we’re gonna be asking, you know, a lot of questions and that’s really where my mind goes is I have to ask some of these questions about, you know, well, like you just said like, well, what is the Dorito? You know, what are some of these foods? What are some of these ingredients? I’m definitely not one to look at the back of a, um, a box of, of food, let’s just say necessarily at the nutrient panel, but I’m definitely gonna look first and foremost at the ingredient panel. I wanna know what foods, uh, and ingredients I’m putting in my body.

Speaker 2 (07:12):

And, um, you know, so, so what are these foods, uh, what are these chemicals and these ingredients and, um, you know, I, I think let’s see Candace PERT. Um, she’s no longer with us in this realm, but, um, she is, she was one of the scientists who found the, um, oh my gosh, hello? What is it? The, um, opioid receptor. And, um, she made a really cool, um, statement and talked about how, you know, our, our brains and where we’re at today are just light years. Technology wise ahead of our bodies. Our bodies are still like stuck, you know, 30,000 years ago. And so I think it’s wise of us to always ask what, you know, what our ancestors have eaten this, you know, and, and what is this? And can we even pronounce this <laugh>

Speaker 1 (08:17):

Yeah, I mean, and I just wanna say that without again, this is a, a, a learning experience and really not trying to ever judge anything, but really making observations. I was very naive to the fact that I thought if it was sold in a store and it was, and again, there’s marketing, that’s pretty good, but if it was sold in a store that somebody approved something about it,

Speaker 1 (08:39):

And I think that’s a very loose again, I don’t wanna judge, but we’ve, you know, we very loose with, with what we can put into things and how things never expire and things of that nature. So for me as that nurse and watching people so ill, especially with chronic illnesses that can be with lifestyle and with, you know, diet and exercise can really be not only stopped, but reversed, many of them, and yet people are suffering terribly from all of these things because of all of the chemicals and the non-food food that we have. So one of the things I wanna ask you about is our DNA expression and our, our epigenetics, because I think this is so promising for people to hear that within 90 days, we can change that gene expression by what we put into our bodies, what we think that it, our, our cells replicate. And if for 90 days we make adjustments, we can in a positive way replicate. And if we don’t, again, that replicates in a unhealthy cell. So you have the power, everyone to make these decisions, but not only that you can feel really good and you can have a clear mind. So let’s just talk about like that for a little bit about, um, the, the stress of food, but also I wanna touch on the emotional stress that we’re all under, just in the world that we live in, because that has an impact as well.

Speaker 2 (10:01):

My gosh. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think we’re living in one of the most mm-hmm, <affirmative>, it’s not the most stressful times, you know, in our, in our life. Right. And there seems to be compounding stress, um, that happens. And you know, what you had just shared kind of brings me back to a, a story, you know, when I was 13 years old. So actually, you know, when you read my bio about the first time that I really looked at, you know, my food, it wasn’t really, when I was in grad school, it’s actually, when I was 13, that’s when my whole journey started and I was overweight. I was 50 pounds overweight. I never felt good. And I looked at what I was eating. I intuitively knew that there was foods, certain foods in me just did not agree. Right. And when he looked, you know, at my food and just observed, it was Pringles Cheetos, Doritos, you know, all the, the, if it had

Speaker 1 (10:54):

American

Speaker 2 (10:55):

Yeah, yeah. Bread in it done, you know, I was sold, right. Yeah. I would have like cheese danishes for breakfast and okay. So, and then I would look at, you know, I made this observation that I wasn’t feeling good after I ate certain foods, I would constantly be running to the bathroom and, and I was overweight and I was, you know, really what was going on was I was inflamed. So we have the state of inflammation. Yeah. And when I had that awareness enough of that intuitive connection, I didn’t always know the, how, I didn’t know what the next step was, but I went to my mom and I said, I don’t like how I look or feel, and I wanna change mm-hmm <affirmative>. And I found a nutritionist who partnered with me and, and she did just that she kind of observed and looked at overall, what was I eating?

Speaker 2 (11:37):

And we started to kind of take what we really did. Something very simple that anyone really, like you said, has the power to do. Um, we took out all the, the stuff, the crap, the processed foods, the things that just were, you know, not grown on a tree or in the ground or, or whatnot. And within two months, um, of eating a very whole real foods plant based, you know, I still eat meat, of course. Um, but I lost 50 pounds and there was no calorie counting. There was no diets. It was just, yeah. Eating whole real foods.

Speaker 1 (12:18):

All right. I think we have to pause on that for a minute. Cause I want people to really hear what you just shared and also the fact that when you eat whole foods, your body utilizes them. It knows what to do. It says, thank you because here’ some vitamins and minerals and this is what I can do with it when we don’t have that, it’s storing stuff. And it’s also very outta whack and confused. So everything gets out of whack, but also we gain weight. And this is fascinating to me because I feel like when we starve ourselves, even though we’re eating, so we’re constantly eating chips and this thing and whatever, and we’re still hungry, it’s because our cells are starving, cuz we’re not giving them exactly what they need. So, and here’s the fun P about all of this. When you start to make these choices, they can be absolutely delicious and, and trust. Ma’am not a huge vegetable eater like in and of itself, but I make smoothies like nobody’s business and I pack them with spinach. I’ll do one after our show today, but I want people to really know and your body will absolutely thank you. And you will feel like a superwoman, a superhuman, and doesn’t everyone deserve to feel that way.

Speaker 2 (13:23):

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think that was one of the biggest things that I realized and you know, why I wanted to continue the way that I was eating mm-hmm <affirmative> yeah. Was I getting the results that I wanted? Did I lose weight? I did. Mm-hmm <affirmative> but it didn’t, it wasn’t really, it never was, it was a little bit about the way that the beginning, but it, it became more about how I felt and the fact that I could feel good in my body. Yeah. Not in the bathroom all the time. Um, you know, there’s a level of confidence that starts to exude from you and, and that you start to feel when you’re really, I think it’s, I think what we’re really talking about is nourishment, you know, and there’s, oh my God. We could talk Susan. So for hours about this, because there’s the food that we’re eating. Right. Mm-hmm <affirmative> um, but then there’s also the environment that we’re eating the food in mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, how are we eating the food? Are we scarfing it down when we’re on a zoom meeting, you know, with other people at work, are we eating, standing up? Are we eating, sitting down? Is, are we eating in the car while we’re talking on the phone and trying to make a right hand turn or

Speaker 1 (14:29):

Whatever, if we not, <laugh>,

Speaker 2 (14:31):

There’s a lot of different elements that impact yeah. You know, our, our, um, relationship with ourselves and then the relationship with, with food as well. That

Speaker 1 (14:43):

Can, yeah. And I think that we’ve been brought up in a society where it’s like completely dysfunctional with food. Obviously we know that this is a mess, but also, I, I just wanna say that, you know, it’s not our fault because if you’ve been, you know, brought up in a certain way and you’re going to the grocery store and most of, well, just a lot of stuff there is, is again, not packed with the nutrients. So we have to be proactive about that. But I feel like for people today in our world, and you said it before, this is probably one of the most stressful times in history, but I wanna shine a, a positive rainbow on that because growth is painful. And I know that, you know, our planet, our world, everything is up for change and that’s a good thing, but it’s also a very challenging thing. So the stress that we’re under just emotionally in the world being part of it impacts your body with inflammation. And so the what, so we can’t control the outside. Right. But we can control what we do for ourselves. And so we wanna talk for a minute about, again, the impact of stress with the nervous system. And then I’m gonna let you share some tools and tips for our beautiful listeners that they can do really simply to balance that out and to restore to that beautiful homeostasis.

Speaker 2 (15:55):

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Um, yeah, go ahead. Talk about,

Speaker 1 (15:59):

Can we talk about the nervous system and what the stress response, um, with what’s called the sympathetic nervous system, what that looks like as it breaks down and what’s happening in your body because of that?

Speaker 2 (16:10):

Oh yeah, we can, we can talk about that again. That’s another big one to unpack, but I think in nutshell, what is happening right. Is we’re having things we’re just bombarded with things

Speaker 1 (16:23):

Bombarded. Yeah. I

Speaker 2 (16:24):

Mean,

Speaker 1 (16:24):

You’re in survi, we’re in survival mode,

Speaker 2 (16:27):

Right? I would say a, I mean, if you really stop and, and back up and really ask yourself, how often are you in this, what you said, a parasympathetic nervous system, which is our rest or digest the calm, relaxing state <laugh> and then how much of your day are you in a go, go, go fight or flight way, you know, of, of living. And if you really stop and ask yourself that question, I’d be really curious to see, you know, and even if you’re listening, you know, that would love to hear, you know, where you’re at realistically. And, and of course, you know, you need to be compassionate and, and nonjudgmental with, with yourself first and foremost. Um, that’s one of my tips actually, but, um, you know, when we’re constantly in this fight or flight state, it is consistently putting the gas pedal on our adrenal glands and pumping out cortisol.

Speaker 2 (17:23):

And, um, you know, that cortisol pumped out, we need it, right. We need stress in our lives. There is something called U stress and then there’s distress. Um, and the UREs, you know, things like, oh, I’m, you know, I’m, I’m gonna have a baby or I’m gonna get married or, you know, I just bought a house, you know, the good feelings. Right. But the distress, those are the things that we’re feeling. I think the deadlines, the, you know, the constant barrage of text messages and dings, and what’s happening on, you know, the news, if you’ve got some, if you’re someone who watches the news, you know, constantly in the background or you’ve got your emails coming in and, um, you know, and so just having that awareness and starting to, uh, turn that, that volume down. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (18:10):

We have to

Speaker 2 (18:11):

That volume, I think, of, of how much outer stress that we we allow. Right. Yeah. And I think that’s a, a P point of power is that when we can recognize where we’re at with some of these things, we can turn off some of the dings we can, you know, we can regulate some of these outer stresses in our life yeah. To help self regulate the inner, inner stress inner body. Right. Yeah. Um, but it absolutely can rec havoc on us on so many different elements of our lifestyle from sleep to relationships, to food that we eat and the choices that we make

Speaker 1 (18:49):

To everything. So I feel like, um, statistically they’re saying that this is so sad that 70% of our time is in a fight or flight survival. And I, I do understand that. And I do believe that I think I was probably more than that when I lived in New York during the pandemic, it was just very intense. I could feel my nervous system up all the time. Yeah. Um, and so if we break it down, simply for listeners to say that if you’re in survival mode, that’s all that your body is focused on just surviving. So it’s kicking out those hormones, kicking out cortisol and not taking care of anything else. Right. So you can only have two speeds, the stress, and that was always designed for short bouts of time, not for, and we’re just living with that, you know, the gas pedal down the whole time, which of course is gonna, you know, sputter out of control.

Speaker 1 (19:37):

So if you only have two ways that you can live either in this, this, the stress of that survival mode or the repair, the rest, the restore, your body needs to be able to regulate itself, get rid of the stuff. That’s not good go, you know, the virus stuff that comes in, uh, you know, get rid of it. It can’t do that if it’s in survival mode and that’s where we see people get sick, go downhill. And, and this is just, you know, what is, what is happening with so many people now. So we’ve got to know that that’s the key and that, I’m the only one that can do that for me.

Speaker 2 (20:13):

Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I, I love, you know, all the people out there who, who, you know, call themselves, you know, healers and, and, and all of that. And, and, and I respect that. And at the same time, I wanna be just as respectful to every single person in the world that you really are, the only person who can truly heal yourself. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (20:34):

And why is that? Because you’re the only one number one that knows exactly what you’re feeling. And you’re the only one that can give it to yourself.

Speaker 2 (20:42):

Yes. And I think that is not permission to, uh, allowing yourself, you know, to, to, uh, get into a different start, to move into a different direction about a different.

Speaker 1 (20:54):

Now what I do, Elise, when I, when I’m working with our doula givers, is I tell them, you know, cuz we talk about self-care all the time. And I tell them, when you are taking care of yourself, you are taking care of your patients. You are taking care of their families. And that really resonates with them cuz they’re like, wait, when I take a yoga class, I’m taking care of my patient, cuz I thought that was selfish that I’m taking. I’m like, no, cuz you are a better version of you that you are balanced and healthy and you can give out. So for some reason, we’ve come to a place where self care is equated with selfish that has to disappear completely because that’s wrong. And also there’s simple things that we can do and you’re gonna share some of those right now. Um, just some great ideas. And I think you, you know, you talked about it before I look at it, like we’re an instrument and we need to tune ourselves. Right. So we need to, yeah. So we need to go ahead and what do I need? I need a little quiet time. I need to shut that down. And so could you share some tools that you have, um, that our listeners could

Speaker 2 (21:49):

Use? Yeah, absolutely. I love that analogy of being an instrument. Um, and I think one of the best tools that I can share with you, all that you can start implementing today, like right now, um, out, um, is that question of understanding what you need. And a lot of people, you know, and, and myself included, this is a, this is an everyday practice. So I do not have this, uh, <laugh> on lockdown, you know, I’m practicing it just cause the rest of us. Um, this really comes from non nonviolent communication and you can use this with yourself, with your partners, with your, you know, coworkers, et cetera. But it’s all about first identifying the feelings cuz the feelings are things that we are really, we can be in tune with. Like we know when we’re off, we know when we’re feeling stressed, angry, frustrated, you know, disappointed.

Speaker 2 (22:41):

We can identify those. And you know, we also know when we’re feeling elated and happy and excited, et cetera. But the way to get to your needs is by using those feelings and the feelings are like the check engine light on a car. So whenever you are in a space of feeling, usually not in a we’ll use more of the negative feelings that we don’t like to feel. Cuz a lot of us let’s be real. We don’t like to be in that space of feeling angry and upset. Although many of us operate from that space on a daily basis. So identifying the feeling and then asking yourself, all right, I’m feeling frustrated or I’m feeling, you know, uncertain or anxious or whatever it is. What, what is it that I need? What do I truly need? And then turning off all the outside noise and in turning out that internal volume, really asking yourself that question, you can do it in a mirror.

Speaker 2 (23:33):

You can just do it, eyes closed or do it with a pen and paper. See what comes up for you. Mm-hmm <affirmative> what do you mean? Do you need quietness? Do you know, quiet time solitude, do you need, uh, to connect with someone? Do you need something to eat or drink? You know, there could be 1,000,001 different, I don’t know what your needs are only you do. And so connecting with that need now taking that step of, you know, that next step forward. What can you do to fulfill that need mm-hmm <affirmative> can you get that need fulfilled by yourself or someone outside of you and then really taking, um, a conscious action and step forward to fulfill that need, even if it’s for one minute mm-hmm <affirmative> so that’s kind of my, my first one, my first, uh, example or tip is the needs.

Speaker 2 (24:18):

The second one is tiny. I am a huge fan behavior change. I get it. We teach it, it, it can be difficult and hard to, to kind of swallow, especially in this world when we want things to change like yesterday <laugh> um, and so taking I’m a huge fan of, of tiny habits mm-hmm <affirmative> and really taking that big thing that you wanna work on, whether it’s getting more sleep or waking up earlier or starting to drink smoothies in the morning mm-hmm <affirmative> and asking yourself, how can I break this down just into the smallest next step that I can do yeah. That you can do. And so, um, sometimes that’s habit stacking, you know, maybe you wanna start a yoga practice or a meditation practice or something. Well, what can you, uh, maybe stack that habit onto maybe for just a one minute, one minute and maybe that’s something you already do in the morning, like make your coffee or your tea.

Speaker 2 (25:11):

Um, and so that’s, uh, a simple, easy way to, you know, stack a, a habit and start something new. But um, just as hopefully if you know, all my, uh, instrument players out there used to play the piano and the guitar and some other instruments, but you take care of your instrument, right. And typically, you know, might put it away or store it nicely and take it out. You might kind of brush it off. I am a huge fan of encouraging having kind of these book ends and taking whatever time you need, whether it’s 20 minutes an hour, I don’t know, sometimes longer, you know what, you’re what you need. I’m a huge believer in that, um, to really set yourself up for success. So doing that in the morning. Yeah. Taking time just for you in the morning. Yeah. Um, and then having the book end at night and winding down, whether that’s meditating, reading journaling. Yeah. Um, you know, some you can fill kind of, I think of it like a bucket, you can fill that bucket with things that are really gonna serve, serve you and, and be experimental, try different things. Yeah. Um, what’s one thing that might work for me might not work for you or you might not like that. And that’s okay too. So

Speaker 1 (26:19):

I love that. And I think that one of the things I often will say is, you know, we are all works in progress, right? And so when you are not doing what you set out to do all the time, cuz things happen, do not get upset with yourself, do not get down on yourself, be gentle and kind just like you would to somebody else. You know, we’re so hard on ourselves and that usually lets us kind of, you know, drop things and not continue. So I love those quick and easy tips. And I’ll tell you just some deep breathing for one minute of silence out in nature one minute and who doesn’t have a minute. I think it’s just the awareness of that and gift and gifting that to yourself because you are the caretaker of you. So I love the conversation and I love those tips. Can you tell people how they can follow up with you and get more information about what you do?

Speaker 2 (27:06):

Yeah, absolutely. So you can come on over to, uh, functional medicine, coaching.org. If you’re curious and interested in either becoming a functional medicine certified health coach or working with functional medicine, health coach to support you, um, you can of course come and follow us and hang out with me on Instagram. I’m at Elise E L Y S E underscore Wagner. I’m on LinkedIn, Elise Wagner. And I just, um, I love connecting with people. So thank you so much, Suzanne, for, uh, creating this space and allowing me to share some of this wisdom and um, I really appreciate it. Thank you.

Speaker 1 (27:41):

Well, thank you for all of the great work you’re doing to make the world a better place, cuz I see it every day. So thank you Elise. All right, everyone. So we have all her information down below. Thank you so much for being part of this episode of ask a death doula and I will see you in the next episode.

 

About this episode...

Big Ideas:

  1. Food and Stress [4:30] – Stress can come in many forms and one of them is environmental stressors. In our world today, most of our food sources are empty calories with a lack of nutrients and an abundance of chemicals and contaminants. This leads to an increase in inflammation and stress in the body which over time can develop into disease. Elyse says that she personally pays more attention to the ingredients listed on the foods she consumes rather than on the nutrient panel. She emphasizes understanding what she is putting into her body and as a rule of thumb she believes if you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t eat it. Many chronic illnesses can not only be stopped but reversed through proper diet and exercise and lifestyle changes.

 

  1. DNA Expression [9:12] – Within 90 days you can change your gene expression by changing what you put into your body because our cells replicate themselves. This process occurs every 90 days – so if you eat well, exercise, and take care of your body, that replication can take place in a healthy way. If you eat poorly and neglect your health, it will take place in an unhealthy way. You have the power to make that choice and it will make you feel well and give you a sense of clear mindedness. When Elyse was thirteen years old, she was overweight and struggling to feel good regularly. It was around this time that she developed a curiosity for the way certain foods made her feel and she began her journey towards a healthier lifestyle. She realized she had chronic inflammation and decided to make a change. She removed processed foods from her diet and lost 50 pounds as a result.

 

  1. Pay Attention to How You Feel [13:25] – Elyse started her path to a healthier lifestyle as a weight loss journey, but she ended up sticking to it not because of how she looked, but because of how she felt. She felt good in her body and realized that there was a level of confidence exuding from her because of it. She identified that these results came from the nourishment she was giving her body. Elyse wants people to know that it’s not only what you’re eating, but also the environment you’re eating the food in that matters. There are a lot of different elements that impact our relationship with ourselves and our relationship with food. Our society as a whole has a dysfunctional relationship with food and most of what is available in our stores lacks nutrition and is high in calories, sugar, unhealthy fats, and disease-causing additives. Elyse wants people to feel empowered to make good choices for themselves and take a more critical approach to how they shop and view their dietary choices.

 

  1. The Impact of Stress on the Nervous System [15:40] – Our bodies are bombarded with stress on so many levels daily that we essentially live in survival mode. When we are constantly in a state of fight or flight, it pushes the gas pedal down on our adrenal glands and pumps out cortisol. A certain level of stress is healthy to have, but when we reach a sustained level of distress it becomes unhealthy. We have to be intentional with how much outside stress we allow into our lives. It is empowering to realize that we can choose to regulate some of the things that cause us undue stress in our lives. If they go unchecked, it can wreak havoc on us and it permeates all aspects of our lives – the quality of our sleep, our relationships, and even the food we choose to eat. When we are highly stressed, we tend to make poor choices which compound into an unhealthy lifestyle. To live a healthy life, we have to reject unnecessary stressors in our lives – and we are the only one who can do that. You are the only person in the world who can truly heal yourself.

 

  1. Tools for a Healthier Life [21:45] – Think of yourself as an instrument that needs to be tuned regularly. One of the best tools that you can start implementing today to achieve this is starting to work on understanding what you need. It is a daily practice that takes time to get efficient at. Identify the feelings you have – we know when we feel off, stressed, angry, frustrated, elated, and excited. The way to identify your needs is by leaning into those feelings – think of them as a check engine light. When you’re feeling something negative, pay attention to it and ask yourself what you need to fix it. Turn down the outside noise and look inward for the answer to that question. Only you know what your needs are. Then take the next step forward to fulfill that need. The second tool you can use is behavioral changes. Take a big thing you want to work on and break it down into the smallest next step you can take right now and begin forming tiny habits that move you toward your goals. Be experimental and try new things to find what serves you most. While pursuing change, always be gentle and kind to yourself the same way you would be with another person. Never forget – you are the caretaker of you!

Memorable Quotes:

  1. “This is probably one of the most stressful times in history. The stress that we’re under emotionally just from being part of the world right now impacts our bodies with inflammation. We can’t control what’s going on outside, but we can control what we do for ourselves.” – Suzanne B. O’Brien RN
  1. “You really are the only person in the world who can truly heal yourself.” – Elyse Wagner

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