If you’ve followed Color My Food for a while, you’ve heard that my dad’s experience with Parkinson’s changed my career and my life.
I’ve shared before what I wish I’d known about brain health when he diagnosed.
I became a functional nutritional therapist practitioner (FNPT) to help slow down the progression of Parkinson’s. Right away we applied what I was learning. And the mental decline began to reverse. Then suddenly he was gone.
To a great extent what moved me through my grief was the conviction that I had to complete my FNTP training to help others be proactive about brain health and overall wellness.
As crazy as it sounds, here I am 3 years in, but I’ve only now realized functional nutrition has also become MY wellness journey.
I gave a nutrition presentation last week at the River Oaks Women’s Breakfast Club, and mentioned it was my 57th birthday which met with astonishment. A woman came to talk to me afterwards and wanted to know how? What I was I doing to look so vibrant? Was I not afraid of aging?
I explained I embrace every birthday. My beloved mother was 43 when she died instantly in a car accident. I miss her still, yet I am grateful to know that love is ever strong.
My 44th birthday was hard; I’d outlived my mother’s lifespan. But I’ve always seen every year as a joyful celebration of life. Never a fear of getting older.
50 was a genuine celebration with Georgette, one of my lifelong friends, an hermana del alma (soul sister). Together we celebrated 100 which made 50 a piece of cake. 😂 More than 50 girlfriends dressed in red – a grand celebration.
My dad, as the only man at the party, kept saying he felt like it was his party. 😎 ❤️
50 + 50 = 100! A joyful 50th birthday celebration !
55 no big deal, 56 either. But I confess, 57 briefly stalled my breath. It’s closer to 60 than 50. 😅
So, I made time to sit outside and feel on it – rather than just think about it. One of the gifts of midlife was to get out my head and connect with my heart.
That’s when I realized how much functional nutrition has become part of my daily lifestyle. Part of me.
That birthday morning of introspection also made me realize that I that pound the drum of food/nutrient density constantly, but I don’t share the foundations that make function nutritional powerful
✅ Blood sugar regulation
✅ Fatty acids
✅ Lifestyle: stress resilience, sleep, and movement
Nor have I made it personal. Fear of vulnerability? Maybe. Privacy concerns? Probably.
I will step out of my comfort zone and make this personal, because I know it’s the personal that makes it real.
I can’t pack into one blog post my personal journey over the last three years, so today I will share daily actions that I know make a difference in my physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
✨Drink filtered water with about 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar after waking up to help my brain and body detox from the night’s internal repairing and cleansing work
✨Stay hydrated daily drinking half my body weight in ounces of filtered water (adding a pinch of sea salt a couple times of day)
✨Prioritize daily nutrient density
- Get quality protein, fats from nature, and carbs from plants at every meal
- Eat leafy greens and/or cruciferous every day – in a hefty salad with protein for lunch, a protein smoothie, salad with dinner, greens in soups/stews…
- A minimum of 3 plant colors every meal
- 9 – 10 plant foods per day: rainbow vegetables, beans, ancestral grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices — it all counts
✨Meditation (2021 daily habit starting with 5 minutes – took me 2 years but proud to say I am consistent now with 20 minutes daily. Working on making it 2x daily)
✨Consistent sleep routine (2023 daily habit). It took a year, but I am SO proud to say I can now wake up consistently feeling rested without an alarm clock – and I NEVER before considered myself a morning person.
✨Daily movement – Rather than circling for the the nearest parking spot at the grocery store or wherever I’m going, I park further away so I walk on a regular basis. 10 sun salutations when I get up to move body and energy – took me 2 years to make this a daily practice 😅
What daily habit have you set for 2024?
I invite you to share! I know from experience writing it out makes it more do-able and sustainable. And I can cheer you on!