Pressing the Reset Button for Optimal Health
As we close out January 2013, I'm proud to say I've kept off those 30 pounds I lost in 2012. I'm devastated to say losing weight wasn't the answer I expected it to be. I'm thinner but not healthier. Despite making what I thought were healthy eating choices, symptoms continued and daily meds became a way of life. The ultimate negative outcome: surgery, scheduled for March 20.
On the recommendation of friends, I checked out It Starts with Food from the library. I can't say I agree 100 percent with everything I read, but I do have enough confidence in the science I saw to order my own copy of the book. My highlighter is ready for action when it arrives.
Dallas and Melissa Hartwig have taken the vast collection of nutritional information and boiled it down into one easy-to-read book that delivers a relatively uncomplicated plan to optimal health. The Hartwigs write in a conversational tone with infusions of humor, making their book a very easy read. That's saying a lot for me, because I hate to read. Their information would be useless if I couldn't make it past the first chapter.
Part of what has made a healthy lifestyle elusive for me is the seemingly disjointed bits of information I've gleaned, all floating aimlessly about in my mind. I'm a relatively intelligent person with a medical background, yet it's been difficult for me to connect the dots. Dallas (a physical therapist, by the way) and Melissa fit those many pieces into one coherent masterpiece. They use common language and brilliant analogies, making this information easily digestible for anyone - even someone without any medical knowledge.
A foundational principle they introduce early on is, "There is no food Switzerland." Everything we put in our mouth makes us either healthier or less healthy. As the Hartwigs untangle the biological responses that occur with our eating choices, a clear picture emerges that can give us the strength to be intentional in our decision-making.
Dallas and Melissa have made the road to change as simple as possible. As I was writing this post, I first described their book as "an easy-to-follow plan." But, it isn't easy to follow. There's nothing easy about change. Change is difficult. The Hartwigs are refreshingly honest about that as they come alongside their readers with humor and tough love, encouraging them to succeed.
The Hartwigs also provide online help to complement the information in their book. In fact, physicians and patients used the Hartwigs' online resources to reclaim health before It Starts with Food existed. Both the website and book have numerous testimonials from once-unhealthy individuals who were taking daily medications and suffering daily pain. After pressing the Hartwigs' reset button, those same individuals now experience a quality of life they didn't even know existed, medication-free and pain-free.
An excerpt from the Hartwigs' website sums up my expectation of what will occur as a result of embracing their program: "...designed to change your life in 30 days. Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, calm systemic inflammation and put an end to unhealthy cravings, habits and relationships with food." In a perfect world, I'll get to cancel my surgery.
If "short-term" jumped out at you, don't worry. The Hartwigs show you how to reintroduce a variety of foods into your diet after the initial 30-day nutritional reset is complete. You'll develop a personal eating prescription that is perfect for your body.
Does anyone want to join me on this journey? Does anyone have any information to share?