Healthy living isn’t easy. Especially when you’re being bombarded with so much conflicting information about health and nutrition. I’ve had to learn the hard way that not all health advice is good advice. Keep reading to discover five huge health mistakes I made on my healing journey.
Healing is not linear. True healing involves many ups and many downs. And my healing journey isn’t any different.
I’ve shared my story many times before but in a nutshell – I lived with depression, anxiety, joint pain, insomnia, hair loss, and so much more for over 10 years. I was finally diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in 2018 which started me on my healing journey.
Instead of taking medication that I believed would have only suppressed my symptoms rather than heal me, I decided to seek out natural alternatives in hopes of getting to the root cause and truly healing my body.
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The good news is I’ll be 40 years old next year and I feel amazing. The bad news is it wasn’t easy getting here and I made a ton of mistakes on the way.
But you know what – that’s ok. I’ve learned so much and I’m happy to share what I’ve learned so others can learn from my mistakes.
Over the past few years, I realized so much of what I thought I knew about health was wrong. I had to do a ton of unlearning to get where I am today in terms of my health.
I used to determine whether a diet, supplement, or other natural healing modality was working simply on whether it made me feel good or bad.
It didn’t matter that I didn’t know the science behind why it was making me feel good or bad.
If it made me feel good – then it must be good and it must be working.
But the truth is many diets, supplements, and even natural healing modalities just suppress symptoms (just like pharmaceutical medication), and very few actually heal.
So it’s absolutely vital to have somewhat of an understanding as to how something is working within your body. Because even so-called natural healing modalities can have unintended consequences that actually cause more harm than good.
I’ve had to learn this the hard way.
So here are five huge health mistakes I made on my healing journey. I’ve actually made a lot more than just five but these are the ones that had the most detrimental effects.
Health Mistakes I Made On My Healing Journey
I know there are some people who are very passionate about intermittent fasting and believe me I get it. I was one of them.
I first tried intermittent fasting in 2019 and soon after I was hooked. I felt amazing. I had tons of energy and I could focus and concentrate better than I had in years.
But after about a year the benefits I was experiencing started to fade. And not only did they start to fade but I actually started to develop new health issues that I had never experienced before.
Although intermittent fasting seemed to be working at first, ultimately it had major unintended consequences.
What I’ve since learned is intermittent fasting is extremely stressful for the body. When you fast, cortisol and adrenaline begin to break down tissue so that your cells have energy since you’re not providing your cells with the food they need to make energy.
Chronically elevated stress hormones are extremely damaging to the body.
Stress depletes minerals and minerals are cofactors for enzymes. Enzymes speed up chemical reactions in the body. Enzymes have thousands of roles inside the body some of which include digestion, respiration, and nerve function.
Without minerals, enzymes can’t function properly and without enzymes, the necessary chemical reactions inside the body can not occur. Lack of minerals leads to disease and illness.
You can read more about the true science behind intermittent fasting here – Why I Stopped Intermittent Fasting.
When it comes to diets, I’m pretty sure I’ve just about tried them all.
I’ve done the Atkins diet, the Whole30, I ate paleo for years and years. More recently I was really into keto. I’ve been gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free, and I even stopped eating meat at one point for a while.
But what I’ve now learned is any diet that completely eliminates an entire macronutrient is very harmful to the body.
You need carbs for energy, protein for repair and metabolic function, and fats are needed to transport fat-soluble nutrients and to slow the absorbency of sugars into the blood.
I now eat a pro-metabolic diet which may sound like a fad diet but it’s not. In a nutshell, pro-metabolic eating is simply eating traditional foods that nourish and support your cellular metabolism and avoiding foods that damage or harm your cellular metabolism.
When I was eating a ketogenic diet I consumed a lot of sugar-free protein bars and sugar-free protein shakes. And when I look at the ingredients of some of the things I used to eat (that I actually thought were good for me) I literally cringe.
Most are filled with vegetable and seed oils, gums, artificial sweeteners, and all kinds of other ingredients that are not actually even food.
Now, I simply eat real food. If it didn’t exist 200 years ago then I don’t eat it. It’s that simple.
Although, I definitely have a special preference for foods that are rich in bio-available minerals. Because when it comes to the human body, minerals truly do run the show.
Did you know exercise is very stressful on the body, especially cardio? Now I’m not saying all exercise is bad. Getting some form of movement in on a daily basis can be extremely beneficial to your body. But over-exercising can be very harmful.
And exercising when your metabolism is already thrashed due to fad diets and intermittent fasting is a recipe for disaster – which is exactly what I did in 2019.
On the outside, my body looked great but on the inside, my metabolism was being completely destroyed and I didn’t even know it.
Just because someone is in great shape doesn’t mean they’re healthy. Often you’ll find that people who are really into fitness are often struggling with hair loss, low sex drives, skin problems, and other signs of metabolic dysfunction.
This is usually caused by over-exercising because exercise is a form of stress on the body and stress on the body depletes minerals and minerals are needed for your metabolism to function properly.
Since I began supporting my metabolism, I started strength training rather than doing cardio and I’ve noticed some really cool changes – I eat way more calories, yet I don’t gain weight and I work out less but I look and feel stronger.
You can read this post – 10 Ways to Support & Boost Your Metabolism – to learn more about supporting your metabolism.
Taking The Wrong Supplements
Supplements can be extremely helpful or they can be extremely harmful.
Taking the wrong supplement or the wrong form of a supplement can lead to all sorts of different issues.
For years I supplemented with synthetic B vitamins, zinc, and vitamin D.
I’ve now learned that synthetic vitamin D increases calcification in the body, causes potassium waste, and depletes magnesium. Synthetic B vitamins are derived from coal tar and zinc supplements destroy the bioavailability of copper in the body.
Taking supplements without knowing what they are made from or how they truly affect the body can have major unintended consequences.
I now follow the Root Cause Protocol and I am actually training to become a Root Cause Protocol Consultant. You can learn more about the Root Cause Protocol here.
But in a nutshell, the premise behind the Root Cause Protocol is this – we are iron overloaded and copper and magnesium deficient. Copper is needed to transport iron in the body, when we have too much iron and not enough copper, unbound iron begins to accumulate in the tissues.
The accumulation of iron in the tissues creates oxidative stress which causes inflammation and increases the body’s magnesium burn rate.
Magnesium is required for over 3,400 chemical reactions in the body. So without the magnesium your body needs, enzymes can’t do their job which eventually leads to metabolic disfunction which then leads to the majority of the disease and illness that we see in the world today.
I’ll be sharing a lot more about the protocol in the future but my point in sharing all of this is – supplements have the ability to make or break your healing journey.
Striving For Perfection
Obsession with anything is bad, even if that obsession is fueled by a desire to live a healthier life. For years my desire to heal truly consumed me.
Living with an undiagnosed illness stole years from life. For over 10 years I struggled just to function throughout the day. But at times during my healing journey, my striving to be healthy and do everything perfectly also stole precious moments away from my life.
Especially during the time that I was intermittent fasting and consuming a keto diet.
If a friend wanted to go to breakfast, I would often decline because it was outside my eating window. Going to family get-togethers and backyard barbeques was always stressful because I would be worried about the food that would be served.
It was awful. I felt like I could never have fun or enjoy my life.
Don’t let your desire to be healthy keep you from having fun and living your life.
Having fun and enjoying your life is good for your health. It helps to lower stress in the body. So it’s important not to become overly obsessed with healthy living.
Balance is so important and I’m so happy I was able to realize that.
With that being said I do think there is a time, for example at the beginning of your healing journey, that being somewhat strict with your diet and health choices can be helpful.
It can help you develop good eating habits, retrain your taste buds, and kick off your wellness journey.
But if your health choices require you to remain strict long-term, meaning if you stray from them for even just a day you start to feel awful again, that’s an indication that your health choices are just suppressing symptoms and not actually healing you.
When I was intermittent fasting I had to intermittent fast every single day – otherwise, I wouldn’t feel good.
Things are totally different now. I do my best to eat healthy most of the time but if a friend wants to go out to eat, I go. And I feel fine.
If my kids want to go out for pizza, we go out for pizza. And I feel fine.
Because I’m no longer just treating symptoms, I’m actually healing my body.
By replenishing my vitamins and minerals, I’m restoring enzyme function in my body and by restoring enzyme function I’m restoring metabolic function.
Your body is designed to heal and it wants to heal. It just needs the right vitamins and minerals.
And when you’re truly healing, balance is definitely possible. You don’t have to be overly obsessed with food and healthy living.
So if you’re on a healing journey, be very careful not to let your desire to heal steal your life away the way your illness did.
Well, I could honestly go on and on about countless other health mistakes that I’ve made over the years but I think I’ll go ahead and wrap it up.
Healthy living isn’t easy. And like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, all the conflicting information about health and nutrition that’s on the internet and in books actually make it more difficult to heal.
It’s so hard trying to figure what to believe. I’m at a point now in my wellness journey where I’m no longer looking for the new health fad or gadget or whatever.
I’m now looking for what’s old, rather than new. What did our ancestors eat? How did our ancestors live? There is so much wisdom to be gained by looking back into the lives of our ancestors.
I’ve heard Morley Robbins, founder of the Root Cause Protocol, say a few times in regards to health “Instead of talking about what’s new, let’s talk about what’s enduring”.
And I’ve really let those words guide me when it comes to my health choices over the past few years.
If you’re tired of all the contradicting health information and you want to truly heal, I highly recommend reading the books below.