Maria Connolly, LPC

Optimal Health and Wellness – It Starts With Food

Optimal Health and Wellness - It Starts With Food“Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.” ~ Bethenny Frankel

When I had my 49th birthday, I decided to try the Whole30® plan. I’d heard friends talking about it for years. So, when a friend announced that she was going to do it (Thank you, Tia!) and asked for people to join her, I thought to myself, “I’ll give a try!” I was curious and I really thought that it was going to be good for me. I’d lose a few pounds and feel better. Well, I am happy to say that it changed my life, by putting me on the path to discovering my highest level of optimal health. I truly feel like nothing can stop me from becoming the best version of myself now.

I began reading one of the books that goes with Whole30® program, “It Starts with Food.” I didn’t know their information would blow my mind! It showed how the food industry has been playing into our weaknesses by massively producing our craving for sweet, salty, and fatty foods. I’m not going to let them do that to me any more! I want to be in the driver seat as I make mindful decisions about what I put in my mouth and how it affects my body. Isn’t that how you feel too?

How does the Whole30® program promote optimal wellness?

First, I highly recommend reading or listening to an audio version of the book “It Starts with Food,” written by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, founders of the Whole 30® Challenge. It explains the science behind healthy eating and healthy living, in an easy-to-understand way that has kept me motivated ever since reading it.

For 30 days, you remove all potentially inflammatory foods and beverages from your diet (sugar, sweeteners, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, processed foods, and junk foods) and eat three “clean” meals a day, made with ingredients like lean meats, seafood, veggies, fruit, good fats, and eggs. When you eliminate inflammatory foods in a mindful way, you see how food is affecting your body on all levels.

Yes, it is challenging. But it’s also empowering! One of my favorite lines in the book was: “It is NOT hard. Please don’t tell us this program is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.”

I feel and look healthier than I have in years. I sleep better, I have tons of energy ALL. DAY. LONG…and drum roll…. For the first time in my life, I feel in control of what I eat. During the 30-day program I went to potlucks, birthday parties and even Christmas celebrations, without wishing I could eat sugar, carbs or drink alcohol. I am so excited to make Whole30 my lifestyle, a way to feed myself to promote optimal health and wellness, both physically and mentally!

Do you want to incorporate this program into your new way of thinking about 2019? To begin with, I suggest you become very clear about your intentions for the program. Do you want to heal a health problem? Perhaps reduce the inflammation in your system so you don’t have to deal with chronic pain? Do you want to become more mindful about your choices, so you can love yourself again? Do you need to find motivation that keeps you going through the ups and downs of weight loss? Identify why you want to do this program, and it will help you stay committed. It’s only 30 days of your life. Within that small span of time, you will discover what foods make YOU feel good!

If you want a whole new understanding and respect for your body, give this 30 day challenge a try. It helps to do it with an accountability buddy and guide. I’d be honored if you’d contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype), so we can work on this together.

Healthy Eating


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