Updated: Aug 13, 2020
Written by: Karina Salcedo
Opinions. Critics. Fear-mongering. And face masks literally everywhere. These words describe the reality of our world. You live in a pandemic, and suddenly everyone around you knows what is best for you and your health. The opinions, fear, and constant reminder of an invisible threat can be so overwhelming, and the only solutions the media or people choose to give about maintaining health are face masks and social distancing. For these reasons, the Beauty for Ashes Team, composed of a panel of fitness trainers, certified life coaches, doctors, pastors, and nutrition experts worked to compile a checklist to assess your health. But first, let me tell you the story of why I care about health so much.
Health. Gosh, if you know me, you know how PASSIONATE I am about health. Why? Because I’ve overcome so many issues with it.
A vaccine injury left me cross-eyed and surgery/medical reliant on fixing the problem that left me bullied throughout my entire life.
While I still struggle with my strabismus, regularly attending the chiropractor and getting aligned helps to keep my eyes straight and prevents them from wandering. I often find that my strabismus becomes more noticeable when I neglect to get aligned. My vision is so much better when I visit the chiropractor and eat a lot of vegetables. In fact, after I started eating 4 cups of vegetables a day, I have not needed to wear my glasses.
A genetic disorder left me needing two surgeries that robbed me of my high school years & impeded me from walking—gradually leading to the breakdown of any muscle in my body—leaving me dangerously underweight and unhealthy.
With no muscle or ability to even run half a mile before needing to give up, I had little to no strength. With the help of my family, I committed to working out 4-5 times a week. At the time, I was working a 40-hour a week job, studying for the SAT, applying for college, and running my own business--but I had to make and find time for my health. From not being able to lift a 5-pound dumbbell, to now being a certified fitness trainer who has competed in two triathlons, God has helped me build and find my perseverance.
A body that breaks down when I consume the wrong oil or meat. It’s a blessing and a curse because my body literally breaks down when I don’t eat well.
You are what you eat. My body takes this phrase literally. At home, I never had to worry much about my eating because my mom always cooked healthy meals. When I moved to college; however, I quickly realized that my body had certain limitations. I could not figure out why I was constantly vomiting, nauseous, breaking out in rashes, fatigued, and experiencing headaches. I never tested out for any sicknesses and found it strange that the moment I returned home for a break, my "sickness" was gone. After consulting my holistic doctor and nutritionist, he informed me that my body just simply could not handle the toxicity of the cafeteria food that I was being fed. I tried to ask for meals with different kinds of oils or grains, but exceptions were too challenging to get from my school. After being hospitalized by the pain, I realized that even my modified eating at the cafeteria was not working. I began planning my meals by the month and found ways to make time to cook, grocery shop, and plan wholesome and organic meals (on a college student budget).
By God's grace and wisdom, I have overcome, and you can too. Now more than ever, it's time to get healthy. What does it take to have REAL health?
1. What is your diet like?
I'm not talking about the cute little occasional vegetable or fad diet. I'm asking whether eating food for nutrition instead of for pleasure is a LIFELONG commitment for you? But that second option is not easy, and I recognize that. It takes effort. Here is what I mean by it:
Are you eating ALL ORGANIC? It's not enough to eat "healthy" meats/ foods. Non-organic meats are typically mistreated, overfed with garbage, and heavily processed. Non-organic veggies are either genetically modified (c'mon, that's not real food) or sprayed with chemicals that mess with your hormonal balance.
Are you eating VEGGIES? RAW veggies? Yeah, this part is hard too. We need to stop diluting the vitamins in our veggies. The best way to make the most of our vegetables? Juice, juice, juice!
Are you staying away from unhealthy meats/foods?
I'll answer any specific questions you may have, but my shortlist of bad foods/ drinks: Alcohol, any form of soda (diet or regular), pork, shellfish, beans, corn, (most oils besides coconut, avocado, & olive).
(This is not all that composes a healthy diet, but just some of the main points).
2. Do you regularly exercise?
It boosts the immune system (physical health), it releases endorphins which are happy hormones (mental health), it strengthens your respiratory system, and helps prevent and HEAL diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc..
I don’t mean exercise every now and then. I mean CONSISTENTLY (4-9 hours a week). I refuse to go a week where I don’t get my hours in. While stretching and moderate movement are incredible, it can’t all be flexibility training and walking, either. You need a mix of strength, cardio, flexibility, and a physical hobby you enjoy!
3. Are you practicing healthy Godly habits?
Hygiene. Wash your hands. Take a shower. Clean your house often.
Chiropractor. Your spine NEEDS alignment. I sacrifice buying clothes, paying for subscriptions, and spending money eating out to take care of my bones, immune system, organs, and mental health. Alignments help me sleep, see better, exercise more, boost my energy, overall feel better (mentally and physically), and stay more focused.
Sleep. Gosh, this one is hard, I know. But we need the self-discipline to get to bed on time. I know insomnia is real and it is something I battle through chiropractor alignments, healthy eating, and a strict sleep schedule.
Are you making time for God daily? Prayer. Reading the Word. Listening to God. Worshipping. Fellowship with fellow believers.
This list is not exclusive; however, this is the start line for your journey to health. We recognize that our imperfect world can halt any or all of these steps to health in your life. Despite this, we encourage you to take control of the chaos through prayer and supplication (seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness) so that these things may be added onto you (Matthew 6:33). Remember, "[You] can do all things through Christ who strengthens [you]" (Philippians 4:13). So what is stopping you?
For any questions on any of the following steps from our Checklist for Your health, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.