Hello, there! Thanks for hanging with me while I was away. Itâ€™s wonderful to be back. I’ve got some life-changing discoveries to share with you!
When my 26-year-old daughter, Sam, and I discussed my being part of her postpartum recovery, my days were already full. Two part-time jobs, a freelance business, a husband and mentoring classes. She is also the writer behind “Take 5Â Living the mom life â€“ making it through each day one pot of coffee at aÂ time.”
There are things you do because itâ€™s right, things you do because you want to and things you do because theyâ€™re the last chance to do them. All three of these were the case with Sam. I took semi-leave of absence and worked from home. Small victories!
Before Samâ€™s husband went back to work, sheâ€™d already hit a crises point with her health. Aside from healing from major surgery, wrapping her mind around new scheduling acrobatics as a mother of two small boys, she felt exhausted and depressed. Eliminations were few, painful and she was frustrated by digestion at a standstill. See it in her words here. This caused a “stuck point” with her weight and postpartum depression waited in the wings like a dark shadow.
Sam had noticed the effect sugar had on her moods and diminishing energy level. Without ceremony or compliant, she cut it from her diet. As a breastfeeding mom, she couldn’t drink coffee.Â In four weeks, she had to be ready to go back to work. Not just an employee but as a manager.
One associate, Diane Casey, had warned me about the negative effects of antibiotics and I filed it away for future reference. But before I arrived on that Monday morning, I realized the warning was meant for right now. Having that information turned out to be critical.
Every Bite Counts
We justify and minimize. Itâ€™s just this once. It tastes so good, itâ€™s just one tiny little treatâ€¦ All the while those treats add up, taking a toll on our body until thereâ€™s a crash. For some, it can be devastating.
Post-surgery antibiotics had messed with Sam’s digestive system, which is related to the immune system. When the immune system is out of whack, a domino effect begins. Sugar, empty calorie foods, and antibiotics wreaked havoc on every facet of Sam’s wellbeing.
We take our bodies for granted until the day we wake ready to go full tilt and feel like all our bones have left us. Instead of hopping out of bed on go, we end up like one of those carts at the grocery that only goes forward a few feet then poops out. All of our energy drains out with each step. Every movement feels twice as hard, like swimming in concrete.
When weâ€™re not operating at our best, we canâ€™t be as much help to those around us. We can become irritable, short-tempered and exhausted. Our responsibilities, recreation,Â and closest relationships can suffer as a result. People depend on us, our family, spouse, co-workers.
People depend on us, our family, spouse, co-workers. We owe it to them to take care of ourselves, to be our best.Â We must understand that the right food can be our medicine. We must be vigilant regarding our diet which = health. I had been making this point with my daughter by bringing big fruit smoothies and green “NutriSalads” and freshly-packed, homemade kimchi loaded with probiotics.
Just as her children needed her, my daughter needed me. I felt honored that she trusted me enough to eat some new, weird fermented stuff (kimchi). After a week, Sam found a renewed sense of strength. She started feeling better physically and emotionally. Postpartum faded as she made food that made her feel happy and energized. Her digestion became more regulated and she began making her own fermented food.
“I want to emphasize that this totally changed my digestion, mood, and attitude, ” Sam said. “Even without coffee, I have great energy now and eliminations twice a day. No sugar is key, but so is kimchi every day.” She later confided that she had planned to take postpartum meds, but felt so good after a few weeks, that when the doc offered them to her, she declined. Not once but twice and refused to take the prescription for “just in case.”
What does this mean for you?
What is it that you absolutely must do to continue investing in your good health? You probably donâ€™t have to look very far to figure out who needs you or depends on you. Maintaining a positive outlook on life is one key, but good health crosses over into other areas of life.
Physical health is important but so is emotional, mental, social and spiritual health. You must know yourself well enough to know what you need and when you need it — even if it means seeing a specialist. I’ll be talking more about that in the coming weeks. What ways do you practice self-care? Please comment below, I’d love to hear from you.