Let’s face it, we all have something we want to improve or change when it comes to our personal health. We all know that as we get older things will happen to our bodies naturally. But we also get thrown a few curve balls along the way that are unpredictable. When it comes to our personal health we tend to be more reactive. We go to the doctor when we need something taken care of. Otherwise, we just keep going with our lives, right? But I’m starting to realize that aside from immediate healthcare needs, I need to be more proactive with my health.
My hardest challenge right now is where to start. I was introduced to a free health app called LEAGUE recently and decided to commit to a 30 day challenge to get on track to improve myself while also taking care of current health issues.
The Canadian-based app is on a mission to transform health by giving people a single destination to manage health and wellness needs. They have built an impressive community of top rated, verified health professionals across a wide spectrum of services. I can read about their qualifications and services right on my mobile device. The GPS can tell me how close they are to me. I can message directly with the pro and each one has responded pretty quickly. The app also keeps track of appointments and I keep note of the pros that I’d maybe like to check out in the future.
I’ve found all the tips I’ve been receiving you to be super useful. An example, I received a general, must-have shopping check list from League that I bring with me to help stay on track. So, I’m giving the app and a few pros a real test. Important to note that currently the app is only available in Toronto and will expand to other major cities across Canada and eventually US.
You know how people say it takes a village to raise a child? Here it takes a league for me. I’m taking a two-prong approach to reviewing the app: immediate needs and long-term goals. The first person I researched was Nathalie Niddam, a holistic nutritionist, to help me with cleaning up my diet. She has a passion for great tasting food and is well-known for her creative recipes that she shares with her clients. I don’t think I eat too bad or too much but I know that I can do better. And the fact that the gourmet doughnuts seem to be happily settling into the belly area is something I definitely want to address! My other criteria is I don’t particularly like people who bark at me. I’m more responsive to someone who can ease me into transitioning and a sense of humour goes a long way. I got that feeling with Nathalie when we first met. So, I think we’re on the right track.
Our initial meeting was about taking a look at my eating habits and discussing any goals I had in mind. I had done some “homework” ahead of time including keeping a food journal for a few days so she could see what’s going on. I had mentioned to her that I really don’t eat too much despite all my foodporn posts on my Instagram feed and I think I decent balance of everything. However, my weaknesses are coffee, coca-cola and jelly beans.
What she showed me opened my eyes and now I’m starting to understand that it’s not how little I eat, it’s what I consume that is the issue. My food journal was basically a roller coaster that I can’t seem to get off. The sugar spikes are extreme and while I get bursts of energy throughout the day I also get low moments. When I tell people I go from 0 to 100 I’m not kidding but that’s not necessarily a good thing. I keep going at this rate my health will definitely decline at a much faster pace. Yikes! Our goal is to smooth out that roller coaster ride for a steady energy level that is much better overall to get me through the days.
Nathalie can already see that I’m a real handful with a lot of energy. I’m a go-go-go type of person in every other aspect of my life from family to work to social. But it stops when it comes to exercise. I do yoga stretches each day at home and will join classes at a local studio when I can and I walk everywhere. “Okay, good. That’s probably the only thing that’s keeping your body together,” she said to me. I know I’ll be a challenge for her as I don’t have a consistent lifestyle but she’s focused and determined to work with me on making better decisions on nutrition no matter what situation I find myself in.
She’s already given me tips for situations like parties or events—those little hors d’oeuvres are deceiving and everyone seems to keep handing me drinks! Nathalie tells me to eat something healthy before I go to an event so I don’t arrive hungry. Or when I’m travelling and eat at restaurants all the time to look for more vegetables and proteins but less carbs.
I LOVE my coffee especially in the morning and don’t really want to give it up. Natalie suggested I switch to drinking matcha tea that also gives you that feeling of alertness but in a better way. I love matcha so it wasn’t difficult to switch that… so far. I do admit to caving once in a while and reach out for a coffee. I didn’t say I was perfect!
“There’s always something you can have that’s healthy at any almost any restaurant so keep that in mind.” I’ve learned so much from her already and I love her sense of humour… plus I’m avoiding the candy aisle now at the bulk food store.
The second approach to using the app is for chronic pain associated with my lower back. I had asked my GP what would be ideal for me. I’m currently seeing a chiropractor and what’s great is everyone is interested in working together towards improvement for a better me. I’m currently vetting through a few pros and building my own league to include an acupuncturist and a yoga/pilates movement specialist that are definitely okay for me to try. The site also has registered massage therapists and fitness trainers for all levels.
The convenience of the joinLEAGUE app is great for someone like me. I had mentioned to Nathalie that I tend to seek the easiest route so would that make me lazy a person? She laughed but what she said really hit it home for me. She sees me as someone who is time deprived and that’s very different from lazy. I’m willing to choose better for myself and my family and if it’s fast then it’s definitely easier for me to adapt. Let’s see how this all goes!
By the way…here’s how she responded to one of my food journal entries and this is why I love her…lol
Me: 5 oz Thanksgiving Turkey Burger at Wahlburgers (but I only ate half!)
Nathalie: eat the whole patty and dump the bun, double up on veggie toppings and please tell me you don’t like ketchup?!
Me: 1 glass coke?
Me: uh, 20 jelly beans (smiley face)
Nathalie: killing meeeeeeeee