A few weeks ago I attended Beauty, Wellness, Wisdom held at ABC Home. It was a day-long event celebrating holistic beauty, health, well-being, wisdom, and wonder. The morning opened with Lodro Rinzler, author of Walk Like a Buddha, leading us in how to set our intention for the day. This was different from the typical goal-setting I sometimes do in the morning (which typically involves a notepad filled with a long list of tasks that rarely gets done by the end of the day.) He mentioned how the moment we wake up in the morning, our minds race with a thousand things we plan to do, avoid, stress over, we immediately reach for our phones which further exacerbate these feelings, thereby setting a tone and a pace for the entire day. Lodro suggests: upon waking, not to hop right out of bed and get going nor to hit snooze and lay there pondering, but rather to sit on the edge of your bed and focus on your intention for how you want the day to unfold. On the days that I remember to do this, I feel a lot more centered and calm for the first half of the day, a time that can usually be plagued with anxiety and rushing.
Next came the first speaker, the very funny and charismatic Joe Cross, who wrote and directed “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead.” Three years ago Joe was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and weighed over 300 pounds. It was at that point that he decided to take action and stop “outsourcing” his health. He described outsourcing as putting his serious health issue in a stranger’s hands to solve, while taking no responsibility himself. Explaining that 70% of disease is based on lifestyle choices alone. There are two buckets for your health, he said: the unlucky bucket (filled with things you can’t do anything about unfortunately because they are beyond your control) and the insanity bucket (filled with damage you do to yourself that you have complete control over.) So you have decided to live your life a certain way and now having been sick you decide to “outsource your health to someone else.” One of the things Joe discussed that resonated with me was the “Tall Tree Analogy” meaning you climb up and look down at what you’ve been doing to yourself. How have you been treating your body and what has occurred as a result of that treatment? Utilizing that, Joe came to the conclusion that he needed to fast to eliminate all the toxins he had put in his body over time. Seeing as he only needed three things to survive: air, water, and food, he chose to eliminate meat (or “anything with a mother or a face” as he put it), and focus on plants, referring to them as “the connection for our success.” Because a true famine fast consists of only water, Joe came up with the idea of juicing all the fruits and vegetables as a way of outsourcing the digestion of the fiber and nutrients to the juicing machine, so he would only be drinking the liquid from them. He went on to do a 60 juice fast where he lost 100 pounds and cured his autoimmune disease to the point where he no longer needed medication for it. Joe travels across America trying to ‘build a community’ to help those in similar situations as his, emphasizing the importance of outside help to get through what can be considered withdrawal from t . He closed with a point that I think we are all subconsciously aware of but often ignore: that we cannot alter the environment we are in (the common distribution of processed foods available at every corner) therefore we must alter ourselves.
Finishing the morning session was the Mind Body Green Panel, with the founder Jason Wachob, Woodson Merrell (chairman of the department of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center), and Seamus Mullen (a chef who uses food as a way to aid his Rheumatoid arthritis). All three enthusiastically analyzed the concept of treating the body like your own personal ecosystem. Talking about the microbiome, defined as “the ecological community of commensal symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share our body space”-I had to look up a few of those words to fully comprehend it myself. Basically it’s where eastern and western medicine meet. All three panelists agreed on the belief of using food as medicine, as studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between bacteria in the gut and overall health. They all praised the consumption of probiotics and prebiotics daily. Probiotics being the live bacteria that help balance the microbiome by supporting friendly bacteria. And prebiotics being the foods and nutrients that feed the friendly bacteria in your microbiome. They all suggest incorporating fermented foods and probiotics into your diet and drinking organic juices (important that they are organic to avoid pesticides! Otherwise there is no point because you are just putting more toxins in.) As well as utilizing “microbiome superspices” such as turmeric and cinnamon. Dr. Merrell finished the discussion with an incredible insight about our genes. He described the genes as the software to our hardware and that they are not necessarily set in stone. Declaring “you have tremendous power to change them through all aspects of lifestyle-your stress levels, the water you drink, and especially the food you eat.” The opening of the day was overwhelmingly informative and enlightening. I learned ways of looking at all aspects of my life and overall health from different perspectives. Since the event I have been especially conscious as to what I consume and how each decision I make affects me. I encourage you to read more about all those who were included in the opening conversations of the Beauty Wellness Wisdom event, citing the ABC Home blog, they were “an esteemed and eclectic bunch united by their innovation, creativity, insight, and, most importantly, deep humanity.”
(Image via The Note Passer-A new favorite read!)