I was just on the hike and bike trail with my two rescue mutts (Stella & Luna, pictured – aren’t they cute?!) and they EACH had a TICK on them when I got back to the car. Not so cute.
Yes, the weather is gorgeous, but now it’s tick season, so I thought I’d share a little of my personal Lyme story … and also talk about Prana 🙂
They seem like two completely unrelated topics, but when I think about where my health was just a few years ago compared to where I am now, I know that battling Lyme disease and learning about self-care, nutrition and how to “fuel my prana” are definitely related. As is often the case, had I known then what I know now, it would have been much easier. Such is life! But by sharing my story, maybe you can learn from my mistakes.
WHAT IS PRANA? Prana is a sanscrit word that means “life force energy”… all living things have energy that flows and needs nourishment to sustain life and flourish. In China, it’s called Qi. In India, it’s called Prana. Einstein defined it as energy…
As humans, we get to choose the job we have, the people we surround ourselves with and the foods we put into our bodies. All of these choices will either “fuel our prana” and bring us closer to the best version of ourselves… or act like kryptonite and deplete our life force energy.
In this fast-paced, crazy world, it’s so easy to stress our minds and bodies…
Superfood smoothie? Prana-rich!
Diet soda? Kryptonite!
Fresh air? Pure Prana.
Cigarettes? Pure Kryptonite.
Yoga & Meditation? Hello Prana.
Stress? Killer Kryptonite.
Sometimes our wake up call is when we or someone we love gets sick. We finally have the motivation to take better care of ourselves. But often, the pace of life is so hectic that being sick isn’t even enough motivation. Instead of resting and recovering, we push through and ignore the messages our body is sending us.
I’m embarrased to admit, that when I was diagnosed with Lyme and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, I did most everything wrong.
WHAT IS LYME DISEASE?
Lyme disease is spread by ticks and causes flu-like symptoms, fatigue, headaches, muscle weakness and joint pain. Some people will get a rash at the site of the bite, but others don’t. Thousands of people get diagnosed with Lyme every year. Despite all the symptoms, I was undiagnosed for close to 2 years.
Prevention is always preferred with any disease. Protect your kids, your pets and yourself.
I make a spray bottle using Vodka (as a preservative 😉 and an essential oil blend called TerraShield (pictured left – with citronella and cedarwood oils – seems to deter bugs in general) and I check myself, my dogs and my husband like crazy after we’ve been outdoors, gardening or hiking.
Ticks hide behind ears and in inconspicious places so check thoroughly. The CDC says that if the tick is attached to your skin less than 24 hours, your chances of getting Lyme are very slim so this is why checking yourself is key!
PROTECT YOUR PRANA
Obviously, when we are flighting a disease or infection, it effects our Prana… Our energy is depleted, our bodies are tired and our minds can tend to get depressed. Although we didn’t choose the disease, we can choose how we will care for ourselves during our treatment.
Don’t make the same mistakes I made…
Instead of resting, I trained for my first 5K while on antibiotics. I kept teaching fitness classes until my knees buckled (literally).
Because I was so exhausted, I did what most tired people do… I drank a lot of coffee and ate a lot of sugar to boost my energy. When I got migraines, I drank more coffee and survived on bottles of Exedrin. When I got an ulcer from all the coffee and pain meds, I took an antacid. When I was so exhausted, I didn’t want to get out of bed, I drank more coffee.
Coffee and sugar were my crutches, boosting my energy temporarily so I could function.
I was about half way through my 7 months of antibiotics for Lyme when I started taking yoga and doing acupunture (since my Lyme was undiagnosed for about 2 years, I was on a long course of antibiotics). During that time, I was also diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and autoimmune thyroid disease that I’ll have for the rest of my life. My doc said the undiagnosed Lyme likely lead to the autoimmune disease. Surely the lack of self-care and stress I put my body through didn’t help.
NOTE – check for ticks and see a doc ASAP if you suspect any chance of Lyme. The sooner you treat it, the better.
If I had known then what I know now, I would have treated myself with a lot more love and kindness. I would have taken probiotics, eaten organic, clean foods, reduced my stress, gotten more rest and practiced more self-care. After being treated for Lyme and going on medication for Hashimotos, it took me years to recover my health. The antibiotics did their job, but I wasn’t doing my part. I expected the medication to be a magic bullet and that I could keep abusing my body.
FOOD IS MEDICINE
People look at me now as a health coach and a yoga teacher and they think I’ve always been this healthy. The truth is, if I hadn’t changed my eating habit and lifestyle choices, I’d still be the train wreck I was 18 years ago… and probably much worse… Many people with Hashimotos struggle with weight issues, arthritis and chronic fatigue. But instead, I feel better at 48 than I did at 28 (and that is the honest truth).
The real shift happened when I started practicing yoga and thinking about food as medicine and either “fueling my prana” or depleting my life force energy. As I wrote about in my book, Find Your Flexible Warrior, my approach is an anti-inflammatory superfoods diet that reduces your chances of disease and fuels your life force energy. I truly believe this approach to eating and life has transformed me from sick and exhausted to healthy and energized.
So, as a Lyme Warrior and a Prana Seeker, the bottom line is…
- protect your kids, pets and self against ticks
- if you do get bitten, see a doctor immediately
- if you do get Lyme (or any infection or disease) rest, eat well and practice serious self-care
- Choose foods and activities that fuel your prana
- Limit foods and activities that deplete your prana
If you’d like to fuel your prana and incorporate more yoga and superfoods into your life, join me in May for the Flexible Warrior Yoga & Superfood Smoothie Challenge and sign up for my enews for a free chapter of my book and 5 Recipes to Break Your Sugar Addiction.
XO & Namaste,