Over the next 5 days my goal is to help you set the foundation for optimizing nutrition when it comes to fibromyalgia
And to start us off…
You might be wondering why we are talking about mindset when the focus for the week is on nutrition. Mindset is a major key to healing and that MUST come first before anything else. Today, you will gain insight on how to maintain a positive attitude. What you will learn today is the greatest concept you could ever learn about healing.
Practicing mindfulness requires introspection and staying in the present moment–the only place where change is possible, since the past is already over and the future has not yet begun. This is really where we get in touch with reality and become aware of our negative thoughts, emotions, and actions as they are, without exaggerating or minimizing.
When we are mindful, we are fully aware of where we are, where we want to go, and how we can go about getting there. Awareness sets a path for success. This is why mindfulness and self-compassion are so crucial for our health.
This exercise is very similar to meditation. With guided imagery, you focus your thoughts on a place or an image that creates positive feelings; this redirects you from negative thoughts. You can do this in many positions you find comfortable.
TIP: If imagining or remembering the place is too difficult, find a picture that you can look at instead to focus on. It can even be a piece of art in your home that you find relaxing.
Head over to our Facebook group and tell us how you felt during this exercise.
Yesterday we kicked things off with one of the first foundations of healing, which is a healing mindset. If we are stuck in a place of doom and gloom, we aren’t doing to heal no matter what we do. It’s not always easy having a chronic illness, but we can start to shift the lense through which we see our fibromyalgia.
There are several known trigger foods that can cause fibromyalgia pain, however there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for everyone. Today we’re going to be focusing on nutrition to minimize inflammation in the body.
Use food as medicine for fibromyalgia. You need to find your optimum fibromyalgia food formula. So what exactly do I mean by food formula?
The fundamental equation is simple: Eat less of the foods that make you feel worse, and more of the foods that make you feel better. And, of course, to do it by spending as little energy as possible.
The thought of cooking can be overwhelming, especially when you’re dealing with pain and fatigue. Here are a few tips that may help:
Head over to our Facebook group and let us know your biggest takeaway from today. What are some of the things you’re going to implement when creating your “Food Survival Guide?” These are the things you will plan in advance for when you’re not feeling great and it’s just too hard to cook.
I’ll be LIVE in the Facebook group to share The Fibro Food Formula . Look for the live streaming video at 6:30 pm EST. Can’t be there? The replay will be available to watch afterwards.
So far, we’ve talked about how you first need a healing mindset before you can start to heal from fibromyalgia. Yesterday, we talked about putting together a Food Survival plan. These are the things you will plan in advance for when you’re not feeling great and it’s just too hard to cook.
Digestion is one of the foundations of healing that we’ll briefly touch on this week. There are few things we do more often than sleeping and eating. And that’s why sleeping and nutrition and digestion is so important for overall well-being.
Our society in the way we live our daily lives have wreaked havoc on our digestive systems, which is why we’re starting with the basics of how to support our digestive system from a lifestyle perspective.
Mindful eating is particularly important in fibromyalgia.
People with fibromyalgia have developed an abnormal stress response over time. This means that your body is so used to being in fight or flight mode that it has trouble shifting to rest and digest mode when it needs to.
You may not be eating on the run or skipping meals, but your body is responding as if you were. We need to calm your body so that you can switch into a rest and digest mode more often. This will take practice but the benefits will be well worth the effort.
Did you know it takes at least 15 minutes for your brain to register that you’re full?
If you eat really quickly or on-the-go, your brain has trouble receiving signals from your digestive tract.
This is because your body is in fight-or-flight mode when you’re in a rush or not sitting down and focused on eating.
In fight-or-flight mode, your body directs blood flow and energy towards parts of your body you would need to fight or flee from danger (heart, lungs, leg and arm muscles, etc) and AWAY from your digestive tract.
Since your digestive tract won’t save you from danger, it doesn’t get priority in this state.
Eating on the run or multitasking while eating can serious disrupt your digestion, because your rest-and-digest nervous system isn’t active and your digestive tract isn’t getting the signals it needs to function properly.
Today’s challenge is to make a few simple changes in your eating environment that can have significant benefits in how you feel after eating. Give the following a try:
Sit down at the table to eat
Eat away from your desk if you’re at work
Focus only on eating while eating. No distractions.
Give yourself enough time to eat (at least 15 minutes, if not longer)
Eat slowly and ENJOY YOUR FOOD.
What changes did you make to your eating environment? Head over to the Facebook group and let me know which of these tips you’re going to try!
p.s. Struggling with fibro? Schedule a FREE Fibro Breakthrough Call.
On this call, we’ll uncover what’s secretly keeping you stuck in a never-ending cycle of symptom flare-ups, gain strategies suited for your body to help you live a life with less pain and more energy, AND we’ll create a next step action plan.
CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE
Ensuring your body has basic nutritional components and an appropriate amount is another foundation we need to have in place before we work on more advanced nutritional strategies. If you have nutritional deficiencies and they are not being replaced, this will be a huge barrier to your progress.
Knowing which kind of nutritional deficiencies you have really needs to be based on lab work, and that’s something I do with my clients, but what causes nutritional deficiencies could be that you’re not eating that particular food, medication, leaky gut, and much more… Tomorrow we’re going to talk a little bit more about how you can use the supplementation to fill in the gaps, but today we’re going to focus on filling in the gaps with food first.
The first step in making sure that we’re getting all of the vitamins and nutrients that we need is to ensure that we are eating regularly throughout the day. Irregular eating habits trigger the starvation response and are an added stress on your body. Irregular eating is also a common cause of low energy and energy crashes in people with fibromyalgia.
I generally recommend three meals per day with 1-3 snacks, depending on your appetite level and the size of your meals. The reality is, most people aren’t eating enough food to get the nutrients that they need.
There’s a lot of fad diets out there making a lot of promises, however they’re not sustainable and they’re causing you to be nutrition deficient.
Stop looking for the next best crazy fad diet to cure your fibro! It doesn’t exist and it never will. When you start to eat mostly whole foods, eat mindfully, and you eat on a more regular basis you’re going to start giving your body the nutrients it needs to start healing. It really is that simple.
My challenge for you today is to start planning your meals and plan to eat 3 meals a day plus 1-3 snacks per day.
Listening to your body is very important, but you may have lost touch with your hunger cues if you have been eating regularly for a long. Of time. You might need to work on retraining your body to send hunger cues at the appropriate time (shortly after waking up, for example).
To do this, all you need to do is consume a small amount of food at times that would constitute a regular meal time. For example, if you don’t have an appetite for breakfast, try having a couple of bites of banana with nut butter each morning when you wake up. This will help train your body that it should expect some form of breakfast. If you can’t eat large quantities, that’s fine. Our goal is to shift your body and metabolism into a wakeful state, not necessarily to be prepared for a buffet breakfast.
Plan to eat 3 meals and 1-2 snacks. You want to aim to have some protein at each of those meals.
Head over to our Facebook group and share with us ONE of your meals today. What did you eat? Did you eat breakfast or lunch today where you normally skip that meal? How did that feel to add that meal in?
Book a FREE 30-min Fibro Breakthrough Call so we can discuss how my approach using Functional Medicine principles can help you have less pain and more energy with fibro.
In the past 5 days, we’ve talked about two of the foundations of healing when you have fibromyalgia: mindset and nutrition. Nutrition is a very important aspect of the treatment of fibromyalgia that rarely gets enough attention.It also a topic that’s a mild wide mile deep and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition with fibromyalgia.
Determining your dietary triggers is a very individualized process.
Some of my clients with fibromyalgia feel fine eating gluten and dairy, whereas others noticed significant changes in their symptoms with removals of these Foods. Additionally, when they repair their digestive system, some people can eat food they may not have tolerated previously.
In my practice, I often give clients a choice by doing a food sensitivity test. This helps us narrow down which foods might be causing triggers for you.
You don’t need to go on a strict, unrealistic diet for the rest of your life. In fact, most people aren’t eating enough food. That’s right! You should probably be eating more. But I want you to eat healing foods. Improving the ability to produce energy from nutrients is a key factor in restoring balance and reducing fatigue and muscle pain…. However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.
To find out exactly what triggers your fibromyalgia symptoms and know how and what to eat for fibro, then it’s’ time to take the next steps. Schedule your Free Fibro Breakthrough Consultation with me.
And for today…
Now that you’ve begun to take a look at nutrition and mindset as it pertains to healing for my fibromyalgia, today we’re going to look at the #1 trigger of fibromyalgia symptoms: STRESS!
Stress is one of the biggest symptom triggers you will be exposed to, and it won’t always be avoidable. There are ways you can work to minimize stress and retrain your body to react to and cope with it and in a healthier way. The ultimate goal is to retrain your body to engage in a situation appropriate stress response and to be able to shut the stress response off when it’s not needed.
Our bodies respond to all types of stress in the same way, by generating inflammation, which in turn damages tissue and leads to poor functioning of our organ systems. Stressors can be physical, mental, or emotional. To our bodies, a stress is a stress is a stress. Native emotions generate inflammation, just like eating an unhealthy diet.
MINI CHALLENGE FOR THE DAY: MEDITATION
Whether you’re meditating before a meal, before bed, or periodically throughout the day, meditation is a skill that requires practice. Meditation looks different for different people. Some people enjoy deep breathing, While others enjoy listening to guided meditation, and still others find prayer or positive affirmations to be their ideal form of meditation.
Meditation has been studied in people with fibromyalgia. Meditation can reduce stress, thus reducing inflammatory markers associated with fibromyalgia. Other benefits of meditation include improvements to pain, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and sleep quality.
Your challenge today is to spend 5-10 minutes in meditation today.
Head over to our Facebook group and tell us how you felt after meditation today.
I’ll be LIVE in the Facebook group this afternoon to share The Link Between Stress & Fibro . Look for the live streaming video at 6:30pm EST. Can’t be there? The replay will be available to watch afterwards.
If you miss any part of the challenge, you can find all materials in the archive.
p.s. Nutrition is only one of the several things I address with my fibro clients. Are you curious to hear more about how I can help you feel and be the best version of yourself from the inside out?
Book a free Fibro Breakthrough Consultation HERE.