Updated: Jan 23, 2022
Sooner or later we all feel stuck in life and we start wondering how we got here and what is to be done to move forward. I am not talking about purpose in life, emotional or financial problems, I am talking about general health. Of course it is easy to blame it on aging, or any other external factors, but are we ever looking at ourselves from inside out? Are we aware of what we are doing with our body, the most precious "vehicle of life" that navigates us through day and night in only one direction?
It was the year of 2014 when I started to feel that "the engine of my vehicle" needed more care. It always starts with a first step, when you have the courage to open one door, then the second one, and so forth... For me it was the connection with "functional medicine", which none of my medical doctor friends at that time seemed to accept or be open to discussions about it. I purchased my first audio book "The immune system recovery plan " by Susan Blum, MD, MPH, a Doctor's 4 -Step Program to Treat Autoimmune Disease. And yes, it seemed overwhelming , difficult to understand at first, coming from a traditional world of medicine. I was working with patients in the comfort of their homes for almost 20 years, trying to use my expertise as a Physical Therapist to make a small impact on their path to restore health.
Around the same time, I had the opportunity to attend an event at The 92Y in NYC where I met Dan Barber, the most influential person in my life with regards to love for food. He won the James Beard Award for Best Chef in New York City in 2006. Listening to his presentation on quality of food and differences between his own grown carrots and the WF organic carrots, excited my salivary glands. Reading his book "The third plate" only reminded me of my childhood and all the good food from my grandma's garden and put that awakening moment in my brain about where I was driving “my vehicle” to.
In my early thirties, I was running out the door in the morning with my coffee, eating homemade cold sandwiches in the car between seeing patients, picking up quick dinners from Whole Foods self service salad bar or even skipping dinners and only pleasing my brain with a piece of good quality cheese and a glass of red wine. I was making choices for clean and well prepared food - in my opinion at that time, but were they nourishing my body? Was that the right fuel my body needed to thrive?
Fast forward, I ended up searching for new answers and must say, support, in the process of understanding where "my vehicle" was in this adventure called life.
I enrolled in one year training at Institute of Integrative Nutrition ( where I learned overall lifestyle changes with focus on nutrition and wellbeing ). Here I was introduced to Dr. Robin Berzin, M.D., founder of Parsley Health, in NYC. Soon after my IIN graduation in 2019, I became a member of Parsley Health. Only by this time, I could say that "my vehicle" started to receive the maintenance it needed and began to run smoother and with greater force.
Being able to disconnect from toxic elements in the work environment, learning that holding still is more difficult than moving quickly, becoming more aware of my body in space, being in the present, bombarding my body with an abundance of nourishing meals, all these new shifts in my lifestyle helped me rebalance, recalibrate, feel more vibrant and look at health through different lenses. I became fascinated by the connection between mind and body, superficially looked at in our conventional medicine. I haven't ever known before I could feel so clear, present, calm and connected.
Can't agree more with Dr Robin Berzin that "as much as the mind informs the body, the body also informs the mind", our physiology determines our psychology. If we truly want to get to the bottom of why so many of us feel tired, burned out and anxious, we need to step back and take a comprehensive, holistic look at what's going on inside our bodies.
“No matter what happened in the past, how long you’ve been sick, or how sick you are, ownership of your health starts now.” - Dr Robin Berzin, MD - STATE CHANGE, 2022