I think everyone agrees 2020 was a special year. The overall impression I have from other people is they are happy to be over 2020 and onto 2021. I feel like this every year, but not because the year past has been terrible, simply that I love a new beginning. For me 2020 was wonderful because my second son was born in 2020 and I am forever grateful to have been blessed with children.
As you have probably seen, I am offering my 30-day New Beginnings Program for the month of January. You can sign-up and start any day this month. The program includes dietary changes based on your unique nutritional requirements, menu and recipe ideas, supplementation recommendation (if required), and a variety of change challenges to get you motivated and inspired to move through new beginnings to growing into your best self.
What does this New Beginnings Program look like for me? I have Celiac Disease and Psoriasis, along with food intolerances, so my digestive tract is almost always top priority. I normally control these autoimmune disorders successfully with a clean diet, exercise, and mindful practices; however, this year has been especially trying on my system. After giving birth and then being home alone with a newborn and a 5 year old during COVID left me with very little time for food prep, elevated stress levels, and sleep depravation… you can just imagine.
When our bodies are mentally or physically stressed, our digestive system takes a hit. Cortisol – the body’s main stress hormone – helps the body respond to stress when we are in danger, so we can fight or flight our predators. While cortisol is signalling the body to release stored sugars into our bloodstream for extra energy, it is also signalling our body to slow down or stop digestion because we need all the energy we can get to fight or run for our lives – digestion can wait while we fight to survive.
Everyone’s body responds a little bit differently to stress. For me, I crave sugar and dry, starchy food like nacho chips, toast, and cereal. I also cycle through feeling wired and tired. The ups and downs of blood sugar create cravings, which in turn make me crash and reach for a cup of coffee or more sugar and starch. It is a bit of a roller coaster and can be tough to get off the ride, especially because when my cortisol is pumping and I am on a sugar high, I get an amazing amount of work done and I feel GREAT. For those of you who know me personally, you know I like to make “to do” lists and cross things off. When I am wired, I am even more of a doer and get a ton of things accomplished, so I like the feeling of being wired and become tempted to have another sugar or caffeine hit to continue the momentum. The problem of course is that this type of lifestyle is super damaging to the body and longterm it can create a whole host of issues…probably why I have Celiac Disease!
So while I have been indulging more in holiday treats, I haven’t gone overboard and have no regrets. I do know I need to hit the reset button though, so for my personal version of the New Beginnings Program, I am cutting out refined sugar products that I do indulge in, and dairy has always given me a bit of trouble, so I am going to completely abstain from all dairy (except butter as this doesn’t bother me) to give my immune system a break. That is what I am cutting out, but there are so many things I am adding into my diet and to my daily routine to nourish my body, but also my mind and spirit.
Stay tuned for more updates about my 30-Day New Beginnings Program.