As you know, from time to time, I post on something  other than books.  Earlier this year, I made the decision to go back to school to learn more about holistic nutrition. I found a school online, the American College of Healthcare Sciences, and began studies for a Certification in Holistic Nutrition.

That decision meant the free time I normally devote to reading and creating reviews for this blog took a backseat to reading textbooks, writing essays and research papers, and studying for tests and exams.  After so many years out of the classroom, and with a full time job and social commitments, it was definitely a challenge to make the time commitment required, but I ‘m glad I did it.

I started this journey after working with a naturopathic nutritionist.  I just didn’t feel “right” and thought it might have something to do with what I was putting into my body.  She made some suggestions, and within three days of incorporating the changes she recommended, I was feeling so much better.  More alert, less tired, and my allergies were finally under control.  That’s what sparked my own interest in learning more.

I’ve learned so much about wellness.  The premise behind holistic nutrition is eating whole, healthy, unprocessed foods.  Ideally, these foods are produced locally and with sustainable practices. It also follows, then, that if we are eating healthy foods, we are also kinder to our body through exercise, adequate sleep,  and a focused, healthy mind. As I’ve read and learned throughout this program, I’ve changed my own habits.

I now center my meals around vegetables, fruits, lean meats and seafood. What works best for me is to avoid gluten and dairy products. Everyone is different, but gluten and dairy seem to be allergen triggers for me and I feel better when I avoid them. That wouldn’t work for everyone, and I’ve had to work to make sure I replace the nutrients we get from grains and dairy by getting them in other forms and foods. I feel healthier when I eat this way. I’m fortunate to live in an area where I can get locally produced, organic, and sustainably and humanely raised foods. It takes time and research and costs a little more but the way I feel makes all of that effort worth it.

Changing what I eat made me want to take better care of myself in general. For the first time in my life, I want to exercise.  I bought a treadmill and started signing up for 5K’s.  Next week, I’m starting CrossFit, which simultaneously terrifies and excites me.  It will be a challenge for certain, but I’m excited about pushing myself and making myself stronger.  Remind me of that when I’m sore after a big workout.

I’m glad I took this journey.  I’ll complete the certification in January. I love that what I have learned, I can apply every day in the choices I make in what I eat, if I work out, choose to get a good night’s sleep, and work to retain mental clarity.  I’m looking forward to having time to read for fun and blog more frequently, too!  I’ll just be healthier as I’m doing it.