No GMO’s, sugar, carbs, soy, corn, fruits, legumes, grains, nightshades, eggs, meat, or dairy. No breakfast. No dinner.
Does that sound familiar?
Don’t get me wrong, I still have a list of my personal “no’s” — but now I have a completely different relationship with them. It’s a relationship not filled with strict rules and shaming, but simply what feels good to me intuitively and reflects my values.
I’ve done it all. Not in a wellness-fad type of way, but rather in a hardcore I-believe-in-this/it’s-my-religion type of way. And it worked for a while… until it stopped.
It took me getting sick and losing my fertility, with my hair falling out and a weakened thyroid, left with no energy to figure out what the hell was happening to my 23-year-old body.
It wasn’t necessarily the food I was eating, but rather what I wasn’t eating as a result of FEAR. I believed everything was bad for you. I didn’t take into account the stress of not doing something vs. the joy in taking part in what you love/your culture/your way of connecting with others.
I don’t necessarily regret my journey. I learned a lot about “health” and still practice many of those core values today — but I just don’t take it so seriously anymore. At the time, I felt like I had finally hacked my way into a healthier life, so, naturally, I would continue reading and applying my findings to my daily routine because I felt great. I figured it would help me continue to feel better, be better, look better, etc.
What I didn’t realize, however, was that there is a sweet spot. And once I went over that sweet spot, I ended up feeling unwell, even with the addition of all the recommended health changes to my routine.
It was too hard on my system and ended up stressing my body out so much that it went into fight-or-flight mode and I started packing on pounds and ended up with inflammation.
Though I thought I was doing all the “right things,” what I didn’t take into account was my community. I had isolated myself. It wasn’t that I wouldn’t hang out with anyone, but rather, when I did I would avoid doing the things that actually add to the experience of connecting with one another. I’m not religious but there’s a reason breaking bread together is such a spiritual experience, no matter your belief system!
Connection, community, and a support system are what help us live long, meaningful lives. And once you are able to trust yourself and your intuition to lead you to a truly healthy life, you can leave all the media headlines behind. You can trust that only you know what’s best for you.
I recently had my first child, Truth, and it has pushed into the forefront just how grateful I am as a mother to have learned a sense of balance. I know I’m not going to be able to control everything every step of the way, but I’ve learned that we do our best when we let go of the rest. What better gift can I teach my son early on in life than to trust himself and learn to let go? Choosing love over fear has become my daily supplement.
Nikki Bostwick is the founder of the fullest and the creator of the Saffron Latte.