Over a year ago, I made a decision that I wanted to move through life in a different way. I wanted to feel differently. My word of the year last year was the word vibrant. I didn’t want to just look vibrant. I wanted to feel it. I wanted to embody it.I wanted it to be something that people noticed. And boy, did you guys notice.
It was really interesting kicking off this year and looking at the last year and feeling really proud of myself because my health transformation took an entire year and it’s probably gonna take the rest of my life. When I get really deep on why it finally stuck and why last year I actually achieved that goal of feeling vibrant, I look at so many different factors from nutrition to exercise to different health devices, to the people that I brought into my life to help advise me on my health.
I’ve already covered a lot about my health journey on the podcast in episode 608 (if you haven’t listened yet, save it for your next listen!) But I realized after that conversation on the podcast that you have even more questions about what this has looked like for me so in this episode, I’m going to be answering your biggest questions when it comes to health and habits. Things like what I eat in a day and the devices I use and how much all of this cost. I’m going to dive deep into this and I am so excited to answer your biggest questions.
What does your exercise routine look like?
You asked what my exercise routine looks like these days. My goal every day is to get 20 focused minutes of movement in – the ultimate goal is 30 but I’ve found if I aim for 20 or just start there, the rest follows. I find myself craving gentle workouts vs. intense and I don’t care if it’s active time with the kids or a quick Peloton workout. My goal this year is to feel STRONG!
What’s that ring you’re wearing?
I wear the Oura ring and I seriously love it! I ordered it months ago and I wear it EVERY day. If you want to try Oura, I actually have an affiliate link for you!
The 3 biggest things that it’s helped me with are:
- Sleep prioritization and understanding my sleep quality. Since using it, I’ve been far more consistent with early bedtime, trying to create a sleep environment that gets me good rest, and winding down early.
- Understanding my recovery every night and what type and intensity of movement would be best for me. Apple watches just set the same arbitrary goal every day. I love that this is based on other factors like my sleep and HRV and my body’s needs.
- Cycle tracking. They recently linked up with NaturalCycles to help you with period tracking and prediction and I really like having those insights and understanding of when my cycle is likely coming.
How many hours a night do you sleep?
This question made me chuckle! So, I have really been focusing on my sleep and sleep quality. I pulled up my Oura ring and my sleep score is a 93 for the month and the year, which means I get REALLY good, solid, and consistent sleep. It’s not uninterrupted but it’s quality! I genuinely get around 9 hours a night – like last night it was 9 hours and 38 minutes and I spent 10 hours in bed! One thing that’s interesting is my Oura ring breaks down REM sleep, deep sleep, even your sleep efficiency and so it’s been super helpful to see all of these digits on a day to day basis.
What blood work panel did you do?
I did a comprehensive blood work panel. This included basic markers that many doctors look for like cholesterol but it went much deeper since doctors in conventional medicine often tend to order the bare minimum. So this one included an organic acids test that looks at nutrient deficiencies, fatty acid profile, and Nutrigenomics testing which is essentially a comprehensive genetic testing that goes more in-depth.
This blood work panel, and many of the health steps I took in the last year, were recommended by my dietitian, Brigid Titgemeier. Learn more about functional nutrition from Brigid on her site and tune into our interview on the Goal Digger Podcast, Episode 589: My Dietitian Reveals the Health Issues That Were Holding Me Back.
What supplements do you take?
I take about 12 supplements per day which is not a short list! Because supplements are super personalized to my specific needs it may not be very beneficial to share my current supplement routine, but this is something that is best to tweak based on your own labs and health goals. My dietitian says that it can actually be potentially harmful to blindly take supplements without knowing whether they are in your best interest.
That said, at a very high level, my basic protocol includes a high-quality prenatal, omega 3s, a probiotic, maca for hormone balance, and PGX which is a fiber capsule that can help with blood sugar control.
Where would you begin without the money?
My dietitian says to focus on consistency with your nutrition, sleep, stress reduction and movement. Set one small goal at a time. One benefit of the lab results is that they help you better understand the value of committing to lifestyle changes in order to move the needle on your internal health. So if you can’t afford the labs then jump to the next step of focusing on consistency to drive the outcomes.
Ask your doctor to include specific biomarkers in your yearly physical like hs-CRP, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and vitamin D. These are usually covered by insurance depending on your health history, diagnoses, age, etc.
What were some motivators to stay gluten-free?
This is kind of wild but when I found out 5 years ago that my body could not tolerate gluten (I did a test and literally nearly every result was in the red on my body’s ability to process all different types of gluten!) I went cold turkey. Once I got the hang of it, it was relatively easy. My family is awesome at helping accommodate and if I’m in situations where I don’t know if there will be options, I bring my own food or have snacks. I am honestly not even really tempted by gluten-y things because I just know I want to feel a certain way.
What are the top 3 changes that made the biggest difference?
- Focusing on how I wanted to feel and not look was HUGE for me.
- Prioritizing protein in my diet and just looking for ways to make my meals actually make a difference in how I felt was huge.
- Finding other ways that I ENJOYED working on my health and getting benefits through things that excited me — and creating a routine around them.
How much did your year of transformation cost?
This is honestly a GREAT question. I had to actually do the math and add things up. A lot of my health transformation came through the assistance of tools like my red light, my PEMF mat, my meditation device etc. so I’d say last year I probably spent about $4,000 on different tools and I actually reviewed my faves and which ones I didn’t love in Episode 622 about biohacking.
And then I would say with bloodwork, IV’s, nutritionist, DNA methylation, supplements etc. It was probably another $5,000 or so, so I probably invested around $10,000 into my health give or take. I also don’t have traditional health insurance so if I did it would have likely been a lot less but I paid out of pocket for it.
The Big Picture
I hope you’re feeling inspired. I hope you’re enlightened. I welcome all of your questions and I am grateful for your curiosity. To me, curiosity shows that you can notice the changes, and with those changes I feel like I personally show up differently and I’m proud of that. I’m really proud of how I stuck with it over the last year and how I have no plans to stop because once you finally feel good, you never wanna go back to not feeling this way.