As some of you may know (or not), I am in the process of getting my BA in health and wellness with an emphasis in environmental science. I created this page for my capstone project, so every you see here are basically my assignments for that class. Let me know what you think and feel free to comment!
This is an article that I wrote for Toward Zero-Waste in November of 2017. One of things that I teach my clients is how to (as best they can) live a zero-waste lifestyle. Going zero-waste has so many benefits, not only for the body, but for the planet as well. If the planet is not healthy, then there is little chance that our bodies will be either. Zero-waste (or close to it) is not nearly as difficult as so many think. It just takes some forethought and paying attention to what is being consumed.
This is a great article on the importance of businesses becoming more sustainable. The fact that they understand that a healthy environment can equal healthy patients is a massive step forward. So many businesses only look at the immediate bottom line, rather than the long-term bottom line. Conferences such as these can be the catalyst to motivate others to move towards more sustainable practices. Information such as this can serve to help educate my corporate clients and show them the need for change.
This is a good article that sums up the environment’s effects on human health. It is a great overview of all of the different ways that toxins can enter the body, the effects they have, and the fact that there are still so many unknown toxins that we will not be aware of until far into the future. This fact tells us that we need to think like the native Americans, 7 generations into the future, and think about how our actions will affect those that come after us.
While this is a bit of a depressing article, it shows that we have the ability to change our own environments, which, in the long run, will affect the environments of other countries and their populations’ health and mortality. For my clients who are more activist-minded (in the global sense), this article will drive home the fact that we need to make changes here, locally, and be the change that we wish to see in the world.
This article is actually on my main page. It is one that I wrote for my blog on synthetic clothing and it’s impacts on the environment, and ultimately, human health. After I wrote this I received several emails and messages from people who were either upset, frustrated, or honestly, dismayed. This is one of the issues that lot of people do not know about unless it is brought to their attention. It is also usually one of the last things that I work on with my clients because synthetic fibers are used in so many things today. It takes time, attentions, and patience to weed out the bad and replace it with the good, and that is okay.
So, now I’m in week 2 (of 10 weeks of class) and this week I get to share with you some websites that I have found incredibly useful, informative, or simply inspiring.
This first website, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, might not be very exciting, but it is packed with information on different chemicals in our environment, how they affect the environment, how they travel through different environments, and, eventually, how they affect our human health. It’s written so that just about anyone can understand it without having to be a biochemist (which I very much appreciate).
As you have probably gathered from reading our main page, we’re big fans of real food. We do our best to avoid processed, GMO, or questionable foods. The organization Just Eat Real Food is wonderful for recipe inspiration, especially for those that have specific diets such as keto, paleo, etc., which many of my clients adhere to. While they do not have a website, they do have a Facebook page and are on Pinterest and Instagram.
Most of us know that single-use plastic is one of the worst inventions ever, but did you know that plastic comes in all sorts of sneaky forms? And once it starts breaking down it makes its way in the environment and then, yep, you guessed it, into our bodies. One of my favorite companies, Life Without Plastic, can help you start switching out your toxic plastic for items that are more renewable and much better for your health.
Beth Terry wrote a book called Plastic-Free, which I read years ago. It is her story about how she realized that she was, unknowlingly, contaminating her environment and her health. Her website is packed full of information, links, resources, and inspiration to help you on your plastic-free journey. Oh, and I highly recommend her book. It’s pretty dang awesome.
Ok, at first glance you’re going to wonder what in the heck emergency preparedness has to do with health and wellness. Here’s how I see it: If we are living a sustainable lifestyle we are automatically reducing our environmental footprint and contributing less to the toxic pollution that affects our health. In becoming more sustainable, we automatically become more prepared for emergencies and become less dependent upon social services. We have gardens that grow real, healthy fruits and veggies, we have chickens that lay eggs and give us meat that is raised humanely and without chemicals, goats give us meat, etc. Granted, not everyone has the ability to live on a homestead or farm, but most people have the ability to support those that do and in return, learn skills and procure food that keep us healthy. Ready.gov is a site that is great for beginners who don’t know where to start. Of course, as an emergency preparedness coach, I can also help you create a customized plan for your family, but in the meantime, this should get you started.
We’re in week three now and I am really realizing that my approach to health and wellness is a lot different from most. Below you will find to assessment assignments that I did, but for the purpose of this assignment I want to focus on client named Jennifer. I don’t feel like the questionnaires that we used really come from a holistic point of view because there are very few questions about her environment, other than “do you smoke”, or the other normal questions that they ask. I would go a lot deeper than that, asking about not just what she eats, but how the food is prepared, what personal care products does she use, what cleaning products does she use, etc. I feel that in order for something to be truly holistic, is has to cover everything, not just the expected. What do you think? Do you think health, fitness, and the environment should all be approached separately or as a whole?
This first assignment is from my unit 3 class;
And this assignment is from my unit 6 class:
Ok, we’re in week 4 now! I’m almost half-way done (this is a 10-week class)! This week we were supposed to do a PowerPoint presentation that includes anything that has to do with supplements and supplementing with vitamins and minerals. As you’ve probably guessed, I’m more of a fan of real food first and then using supplements only as that, as a supplement. Anyway, here’s my little ditty of a presentation. It’s not fancy (I’m not very PowerPoint savvy), but it gets the job done. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
Woohoo!! I’m in week 5, which means I only have 5 weeks left and I’m officially half-way done. This week we were asked to develop a syllabus (including lecture notes and handouts) for a class that had something to do with contemporary and alternative medicine. I chose to go with Real Food as Diet Therapy & How it Relates to Sustainability. I’m thinking I might actually offer this class in the future! Leave a comment and let me know what you think!
Alright, here we are in week 6! This week I have been asked to supply you with some of my favorite go-to resources regarding contemporary diet and nutrition. The funny thing is, I’m not really a big fan of “diets”, or rather, eating fads and trends. However, I am a fan of real food (as I’m sure you’ve gathered by now). Below are a few of my favorite resources that you might find helpful on your Real Food journey. Everyone has different fresh foods available to them, depending on location and culture, so even though these may list things that aren’t typically available in your area, you can always adjust things to fit your needs and food availability.
This site will supply you with an annually updated list of the “Clean 15” and the “Dirty Dozen”, meaning the dirtiest (read: laden with pesticides) produce and the cleanest (those with the least pesticides) produce. You can print the list off for wallet-size and carry it with you to make your shopping easier.
Environmental Working Group. Clean fifteen. https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean_fifteen_list.php
Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon, has been one of my go-to resources for great real food recipes as well as inspiration. There are so many stories of how this book changed lives for the better and helped people move to eating real food and real nutrition.
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. https://amzn.to/2TCPLlN
It is important to understand why organic or non-GMO produce tends to cost more (unless you can grow it yourself) and this site, from Mayo Clinic, does a good job at explaining why.
Mayo Clinic. Nutrition and healthy eating. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/organic-food/art-20043880?pg=2
Open Door is a wonderful, local organization that provides clothing, food, and living assistance to the residents of Waynesville, NC who are in need. The kitchen there grows a lot of their own food and they offer real food, cooked by local volunteers. This is a great resource for those that would like to be able to eat real food, but do not have the funds to do so.
Open Door. http://opendoor-waynesville.org/
Right on! We’re in week 7! This week I get to share with you some of my assignments and a list of resources to help deal with stress that I came up with for one of my classes. I’m loading the here as links because there are 9 assignments and the resource list is pretty long. Needless to say, there are a lot of ways to deal with stress and this list is by no means exhaustive. These tools and concepts can be used as a holistic approach to health and well-being by incorporating them into your life. There is no one practice that is perfect for everyone, so try them out and choose the ones that work for you. Enjoy!
Welcome to week 8!! For this week’s assignment, I was asked to upload my final project from one of my classes, Creating Wellness: Psychological and Spiritual Aspects of Healing. For this paper, I interviewed someone with extensive experience in the field of spiritual healing, but as you can see, it is difficult to separate healing into categories, since they are all not only connected, but actually just one thing. See if you can figure out who I interviewed!