You are what you eat

So the saying goes. 

After watching Cowspiracy a couple of months ago, my partner and I decided to adopt a vegan diet. I consider myself an environmentalist, someone who cares for Mother Earth, and after seeing that film I would be a total hypocrite if I kept eating animal products. So I embarked upon a 30 day vegan challenge, and almost 2 months later I'm still at it. My body and conscience have never felt better.

Luckily I was well on my way to veganhood when Tony Robbins came into my life, so his recommendations for how to eat didn't totally shatter my world. There was an entire day of Unleash the Power Within dedicated to health and wellness, which was incredible. I love that he takes a stand and makes you feel like your physical health is just as big a part of a transformation as your mental and emotional health. Because it is.

Many of the things that were shared that day I already knew, but there were some golden nuggets in there that totally shifted my personal health. Some of the news was heartbreaking (no more coffee) but most of it was exciting (no cancer!).

Vital breathing

Every morning, the moment I wake up, I take 5 really deep breaths. Breaths so deep I can feel them in my toes. It wakes me up. It helps me say, "Hello world! I'm ready to take on the day." I used to be so groggy when my alarm went off. Many days I would reach over and turn it off without even waking up (if that's not a magical power, I don't know what is). But now, thanks to using my breath and a few other tools, waking up is much less...painful.

The beauty of our breath is that oxygen is the food for our cells, and they need a lot of it to function in a healthy way. Our lymph system is the body's waste management department and moves toxins out of your body. By taking really deep breaths, you feed your cells and move lymph fluid through your body, cleansing & regenerating YOU.

"There is no single more powerful - or more simple - daily practice to further your health and well being than breathwork.
- Andrew Weil, M.D.

Living water + live foods

Of all the gifts I have in my life, I have to say that water is my favorite. Water in and of itself is fascinating. It's the only substance on Earth that is less dense as a solid. This single property is responsible for much of life because it's what allows animals to survive in the water even when its freezing. The less dense ice floats to the top and creates a type of insulation on the water's surface that protects the life below.  (Tony Robbins did not teach me that. I learned it in college Biology and use it as a party fact whenever I get the chance).

What Tony Robbins did teach me, however, is how vital water and water-rich foods are to my health and well-being. He recommends drinking half your body weight in ounces each day. I've been doing this since leaving UPW, and my body is SO happy. My skin is glowing and clear and I feel like a million bucks. I've also been focusing on eating foods that have most of their natural water content (raw greens, raw cucumbers, fruits, etc) and I feel way lighter and more energetic.

Water is magical. Tony shared so many studies where doctors used water as a placebo or as a prescription (that one was done in a prison) and it worked to cure people. I actually got rather sick a couple of weeks ago and used LOTS of water, vitamin C and some eucalyptus oil steams to heal myself. Who needs antibiotics when you have WATER?!

Alkalizing

By far the most fascinating part of the health and wellness day was learning about alkalinity. Science says touch your toes. I mean...science says that disease (dis-ease) cannot thrive in an alkaline environment. This means if your body is alkaline you are way less likely to get cancer, heart disease, common colds or any other number of ailments that flourish in acidic environments.

Learning about alkalinity turned me into even more of a science geek than I already was. Right after UPW I bought a pH testing kit, which is a fancy name for a piece of paper that you pee on and compare to a color wheel. The ideal pH for a body is 7.36. It's just slightly alkaline but is the optimal environment for healthy cells to thrive and sick cells to die. 

As a self-proclaimed healthy person I was certain that I would be totes alkaline already. So the day after UPW, I pulled out my handy dandy kit and used it. 6.4. Whaaaat? That was one of the most alarming moments of my life, only falling behind finding a lump in my breast and running out of almond butter when I was making a smoothie yesterday. 

Tony challenged us to an alkalizing cleanse where we were asked to cut out: all caffeine, all sugar, all meat, all dairy, ALL FUN. The meat and dairy was easy...but caffeine?! I thought coffee was good for you. In fact, I'm pretty sure I read that in a super legit publication that was totally true. But alas, I decided I could do 30 days to alkalize my body and give my adrenals a break.

I am proud to say that I have now made it over 30 days, and while I miss the smell and the taste and the ritual, I'm really glad I did it. Coffee is amazing, but in truth never made me feel that great. My energy is steadier now, and I'm dancing way more (read my Pop up dance party post to understand why). And as of yesterday, I'm alkaline! *Pats herself on the back*

So Tony Robbins more or less upended my life and destroyed my favorite pastime, and I want to give him a big kiss on the mouth for it. There were so many more powerful elements to our health that he shared and I'm sure they'll make their way into my future posts one way or another.