About 2 (with infographic)
“Your intuition tells you that you must take better care of yourself, but
you tell yourself there’s no time, you’re not sure where to start, or what you need to do.”
How I went from frazzled professional to waking up each morning being my best
Work hard, play hard. It’s easy isn’t it?
Not really, if you’re a busy, successful professional.
Like you I was working hard to do the best in my career, and balance everything else. I fitted in time here and there for my family and friends. I kept fit as much as I could. My personal errands lingered at the bottom of the to-do pile. But “looking after myself” somehow found itself in that neglected pile as well.
As time went by, I was waking up feeling groggy with a fog enveloping the cogs in my brain. I blamed the stresses at work, and the bad night’s sleep I had from waking up in the middle of the night. But even when I was getting good sleep, I still woke up not feeling good or even good enough.
Coffee sometimes helped, but my post-lunchtime energy lows were so bad, my eyelids took on a will of their own and often pulled themselves closed, particularly in warm meeting rooms with an interminable conference call! It was like suffering from jet lag without crossing any time zones.
Being always in a rush or on the go, it was more convenient when I was hungry to nip to the vending machine for a treat to keep me going. Sometimes I thought I was too busy to eat!
“I set up Bumblebee Wellbeing to help successful professionals like you make lasting diet, lifestyle and behavioural changes to help you be your best.”
My a-ha moment
It was 2013 and I had signed up to compete in Ötillö. To prepare for the 65 kilometres of running and 10 kilometres swimming, I began exploring new ways to fuel myself.
What started as a way to have enough energy for a long race turned into a life-changing revelation: my diet was a big cause for how lacklustre I was feeling.
As I explored the world of Functional Medicine, I started to make food choices based on a paleo-template and lifestyle and behavioural changes that align with how our ancestors lived. They allowed me to take back my health and:
- wake up each morning feeling “ready to go” and avoiding “brain fog” during the day
- avoid my usual afternoon siesta-slump
- not have any yo-yo hunger pangs during the day
- moderate my mood swings
- maintain my fitness and lean muscle mass
- get off a long-haul flight and perform at my best
- drastically reduce my hay fever symptoms in the summer months without using drugs
- fix my autoimmune condition, psoriasis, that had over time failed to respond to traditional hydrocortisone creams
- have skin that looked like it should - healthy and radiant
- feel calm in my busy world
What was best about this? I felt healthy, full of energy, and positive about how I was feeling. My working hours were still long and busy, but my resilience to deal with the ups and downs improved and I felt balanced.
“I’m busy, stressed and fatigued? Can I improve how I look and feel as well?”
Despite being intelligent beings, we humans have lost touch with how we naturally thrive. Like bees, our human ancestors evolved to know instinctively what to do every second of every day.
However, we’ve both got out of balance with how our evolutionary history has programmed us to live life with health, vitality, and without chronic disease.
Bees are under attack from their environment - from environmental toxins (like neonicotinoids and other pesticides commonplace in intensive farming methods), habitat loss, extremes of climate, and disease.
And just as the environment for bees is changing, we have altered - in a short scintilla of time within human evolution - the environment in which humans thrive.
And by “environment”, it’s everything around us, all the choices we make every day about diet, behaviours and lifestyle. They determine whether or not we create the conditions for optimal health:
- the food we eat - or more accurately, the food-like products
- the air and water we breathe
- our use of digital devices
- the cosmetics we use
- the prescription medications that we over-use
- the sedentary lifestyle that comes from hours spent hunched over a desk, in an all-day meeting, driving to see a client, or sitting on a plane
- buying into the well-funded marketing of products and services that prioritise convenience over nourishment.
For 66,000 generations, humans primarily ate meat and fish, and we moved in sync with the rhythms of day and night. We had close knit communities and our main stresses were surviving against our natural predators and worrying about where our next meal might be coming from.
Of course, our daily lives have evolved since then - instead of being chased by a lion, we now worry about whether our stakeholders are expecting us to perform more with less. Or we ruminate over and over about whether it’s good or bad when our bosses give us more work because we’re “too” good at what we do.
“The fundamental mismatch between our genetic heritage and our modern, industrialised environment is responsible today for our poor health, wellbeing, and the epidemic of chronic disease”
What can you do? Nourish yourself to thrive!
Do you want to spend more quality time with your loved ones?
Do you want to live a life free of chronic disease, like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, Alzheimer’s, cancer, obesity, arthritis?
Do you want to wake up feeling good, full of energy and vitality?
Do you want to feel calm in a busy world?
Do you want to create the best foundation so you can be at your best at work?
You know instinctively there’s a cost to leaving the “looking after yourself” at the bottom of the pile.
You know you need to make a change.
Like bees, we humans, given half the chance, can rely on our sophisticated biocomputers to deal with every bacteria, virus, toxin, allergen, macronutrient and micronutrient that we cross paths with.
But to do that, we need to nourish ourselves more in line with the genetic heritage our ancestors bestowed upon us.
So what can all of us do to wake up in the morning feeling great, and to weather life’s ups and downs with joy, self-compassion and good humour?
It’s simple: nourish your mind, your body and your soul:
- eat a nutrient dense, low-inflammatory whole foods diet
- hydrate well
- move frequently, be playful, spend time outdoors
- minimise your exposure to environmental toxins
- get good quality sleep, consistently
- be mindful and present in every moment, and manage your addiction to technology
About 85 percent of the risk for disease is environmental, not genetic. And so the key to improving our health and preventing disease is to change our diet, lifestyle and behaviours.
About 85 percent of the risk for disease is environmental, not genetic.
And so the key to improving our health and preventing disease is to change our diet, lifestyle and behaviours.
Just as the future for bees could look better addressing their biggest threats, by adopting these principles - which have their foundations in the integration of Functional Medicine and an ancestral diet and lifestyle - we humans too can allow our super biocomputers to operate in the environments they were designed to.
Start with a small step!
At work, during meetings and at family gatherings, I would get all sorts of questions about what I was eating, how I was exercising, and what I was doing to reduce stress.
I realised that I wanted to help other people like you experience a journey towards health and vitality so you you can be your best at work.
If being your best, despite our modern, industrialised environment is intriguing to you, Bumblebee Wellbeing is here to help you achieve that. I’m passionate about helping people feel their holistic best and know this is within your reach.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
Lao Zi / Lao Tzu
I hope the resources available to you here, spark a desire in you to take a small step to being your best!
Be wise, healthy and well,
- they keep active and fly miles for the tastiest pollens and saps - there’s no FitBits or steps measuring devices attached to them!
- their colonies thrive when they work in teams - viewed through a human lens, they have a community and everyone plays an active part in it
- they know exactly which pollen from which flowers will best nourish them - they don’t harvest pollen substitutes, or things that look, feel and taste like pollen, but aren’t!
Help the bees
The bees are somehow going to have to have faith in us humans to help them to overcome their biggest threats. There are already some great organisations who are helping bees overcome their challenges.
https://friendsoftheearth.uk/bees/what-are-causes-bee-decline / https://www.soilassociation.org/organic-living/bee-organic/why-are-bees-in-danger/ https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/threats-and-pressures/
- we eat food-like products that fail to nourish us - rather than eating real food, we feed ourselves things that bear a distant or no relation to real, nutrient dense, whole food that our bodies instinctively know how to use. We feed our babies organic food, but as adults and parents we justify to ourselves tucking into fast food because it’s tasty, convenient and we don’t have time. Ready meals are convenient, but do you know whether to trust the ingredients? Isn’t it often just easier to pop down to the vending machine and grab a convenient snack? We see a gluten-free, nut-free, GMO-free or other “free-of” label, and assume the manufacturer has made something that is optimal for our health.
- we lead increasingly sedentary lifestyles - we sit at our desks for long periods of time without getting up to move, and at home devour those box sets, binge watching a whole series in one go, and thinking that exercising a couple of times a week will compensate for those long periods of sitting down.
- we are exercising too much - you know those colleagues who have set themselves an athletic challenge, they’re training hard, but you see they’re fit, but don’t look very healthy
- we are ignoring chronic stress - we think of stress as part of work, as something we need to endure to succeed, and don’t focus enough on the things that can help us reduce the effects of stress
- we are more disconnected than ever from human connection - we engage with electronic tools and apps instead of engaging with people, fostering a human touch, engaging in community, and fulfilling one’s true purpose. We spend time bombarding our minds with newsfeeds and social media channels instead of finding deep connections with the people closest to us. We do that and think we can still feel a sense of wellbeing and life-long satisfaction.
- we’ve lost touch with nature - we stay indoors in our hermetically sealed environments, and don’t get outside into the sunshine and get stuck in to some shinrin yoku.
- we are exposed to environmental toxins - our homes are filled chemicals that disrupt our hormones trusting the companies that make products “designed for the environment” or “non-toxic” to choose products that aren’t detrimental to human health. Have you checked what’s in your face cream, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, perfume, cologne, mattress, candle, air freshener, food container, water, cleaning product?