Integrating Wellness in Our Daily Lives
Something I admire about the practitioners at Ampersand is their commitment to fully embodying our mission by practicing integrative wellness in their own daily lives. When I joined the group, I wanted to do the same so I started working with practitioners to start to move through the “stuck” space so many of us have experienced while coping with pandemic stress. I started by caring for my mind, body, and spirit through yoga with Ariana, which gave me the steadiness to be able to make more shifts in my life.
Finding Comfort Amidst Big Change
Changing my diet would be a more significant lifestyle shift. I was raised in an Italian household with a deep love for pasta, carbs, and desserts. That same loving family is also filled with many GI issues, ranging from inflammatory bowel disease to irritable bowel syndrome to acid reflux, many of which I’ve experienced since childhood. I have seen many GI specialists and have never experienced consistent symptom relief. When I met with Whitney, our functional nutritionist, she recommended eliminating gluten (among other things) to help my gut reset and rebuild. I was nervous about how I’d survive without my comfort foods everyday. Staring down a major lifestyle shift felt overwhelming for a brief moment, until I was reminded that Whitney would be there with me. She sent me a comprehensive packet filled with recipes, foods, resources, and more, and has been available for all questions and worries that have come up. Knowing that I had someone so knowledgeable to walk side-by-side with me through this change empowered me and helped me feel confident in my ability to make big changes.
The Key Factor in Making Big Changes is Having a Positive Mindset
Whitney also helped me shift my mindset. While I am eliminating foods that aren’t supporting my body and mind, she helps me to focus on all that I am gaining: the foundation for better mental health, an understanding of my body’s processes and how to support them, a more sustainable way of living, active engagement with what is happening within my body, and connection to the earth and all that it creates for us. I am reminded that whenever we make a big lifestyle change, it can be easy to focus on all that we are losing and leaving behind; however, when we take a step back, we can center ourselves in all that we are gaining by caring for ourselves. Shedding unhealthy habits can be difficult, but it is made easier with a compassionate, experienced practitioner to support and empower you through the changes being enacted.
What I’m Learning
The process of learning what helps my body to feel nourished and supported has helped me to become more mindful of how foundational gut health is to wellness. It has also affirmed to me that our personal journeys to wellness do not have to feel grueling–in fact, they can be empowering, exciting, and deeply nourishing. The same way that music feeds so many parts of my spirit, I am learning how to feed my body in a way that feels just as fulfilling and nurturing.
Empowering You to Cultivate a Healthy Environment for your Body & Mind to Thrive
If you, too, have been feeling stuck, or have felt that fear of what you may lose by making changes to how you feed your mind and body, I invite you to take a breath and take a step back to view the gloriousness of all that you could gain by taking control of your well-being by working with your gut health.