I have been studying nutrition informally since the 1980’s and formally since 2003. Like most people who begin to pay attention to health, my interest turned from culinary to healthy eating in 1982 when I turned up in hospital with a knee that had frozen up entirely, overnight, and left me crawling on the floor the next day in agony. A young intern mentioned to me, after the xrays had turned up nothing unusual, that I should maybe find a naturopath and see whether there was something that could be done.
The knee returned to normal function after a few days, but I was on my way to connecting with the field of natural health. My first naturopath started me reading about natural health, led me to purchase Laurel’s Kitchen, an early whole foods approach to cooking, and several other books on the topic. I did my first detoxification over the next several months and learned that my eating habits had contributed to a toxin buildup in the knee joint area. I have had no trouble with joint afflictions, ever, since that time. Every once in a while if I have a creaky knee going down a long stair case, I know what to do. In recent years, I can link in fact the consumption of just a little too much chocolate to the knee stiffness, and have the habit of referring to my chocolate knees when this happens. The stiffness is always, without fail, gone within a day or two.
Not until 2003 did I begin my formal studies of natural health, when once again, a health problem attracted my attention, this time more serious. Since I already knew of ‘natural solutions’ to health problems, I sought out help first, learning second, and had discovered my passion for this work. Not an obsession (there is a flower remedy for that!), but a commitment with passion to learning everything I can about how adult human beings can stay well despite the onslaught of environment, stress and unhealthy food choices every day.
A career in an exciting, high stress corporate environment, with little concern for myself or my health, led me straight to an obvious burnout, about which neither I nor my employer knew nothing, and a complete halt career-wise. At the time I didn’t know that my exciting and happy lifestyle of not taking time to eat properly, working late into the night and then early the next day for weeks on end – and perhaps I could mention mainlining on coffee and sugar! – created the perfect recipe for burnout.
The physical component of burnout is by far the most insidious. Called adrenal exhaustion, where the emotional reserves plummet to zero and the world is overwhelmingly impossible, burnout is a repairable, addressable condition, if you connect with the ‘holistic’ or natural health world. The onlookers – family, colleagues, business partners – have difficulty dealing with the burnout sufferer: they are irrationally irresponsible, despite themselves, and exhibit traits that were not there before. Like depression, burnout causes emotional haywire that is totally irrational. Most ‘normal’ people function from a rational point of view, and are baffled by what amounts to the personality change of the burnout or depression sufferer.
Enough of that – the picture is clear. The good news is that holistic or natural health has lots of options for improving and restoring the state of health, including but not limited to the adrenals. The process does however, take time. And the best way to get there faster is to learn what to do about it, including lifestyle and nutrition. Hence, ah hem, the importance of the natural health consultant, who works with such conditions in the same way as with chronic health conditions.
Okay, am I putting this out there? I think so. My goal during the 30 days is to keep track of moods and thoughts on this blog, so I will just see where it takes me…
Yours in health,