I have noticed a theme among friends and family lately….well, actually myself too.
Maybe it is one of those things where once you start to notice it, it seems like everyone around you is doing it, or it is everywhere you go.
Either way, I like it.
I have put more of a focus on my long-term health over the past year. That is why I started working with Tawnee Prazak as my consultant.
I was sick of putting my running first, ahead of everything.
I love my running, and I have no intention of giving it up.
Although of course, there will be a time off period sometime in the next 5 years where I will hopefully need an extended break for something else important 😉
But I had always put my running at the forefront of my life.
Actually, that’s not true.
When I was 17-19 I definitely did not put running first, but that was a part of my life I lived in a different way, and I am not sure I would take it back. It really made me appreciate running so much more, especially as it took me over a year to claw my fitness back.
But since then, I would sacrifice my long-term health for my running, for those immediate rewards that I knew in my heart were wrong.
But this year, I decided it was time for a change.
Time to start thinking about my overall health.
So, we spent the extra money on organic fruits and vegetables, we spent extra time seeking out (and paying for) free range chicken, grass-fed and finished beef, local eggs, we bought household products that were not filled with chemicals with names so scary that they could be in a horror film.
And we started to make changes to our lifestyle to be healthier.
I have told you a lot about my diet changes, and I followed Tawnees recommendations exactly (except for one thing….that I am holding strong with….I think you know what that is…my sweets!).
I made the changes I needed to, and that has helped a lot with how I feel, which is great!
The biggest thing I am working on right now?
Relaxation, and finding ways to calm myself down, so I do not feel the need to be GO GO GO all the time.
Which is tough.
After a crazy year of so many emotional moments, I was burned out, and I could feel I was on the verge of having a meltdown.
It wasnt anyone elses fault but my own. I just took on too much, and tried to soldier on through everything that came my way like I usually would.
Unfortunately, not only can you not “force” yourself to relax, or check it off a list, the more you “try” to relax, the worse it becomes.
Much like my insomnia, which still shows its head by the way.
But I feel like I am getting better at it….if that’s even a thing 😉
I also started to get my blood work done every few months with InsideTracker, and I got my latest results last week.
InsideTracker uses the Hashtag #BloodDontLie and its so true.
I always wait eagerly for my blood results, and this time I was a little nervous. I had a feeling it would be bad, especially as I had been so stressed over the past few months.
My Inner Age based on my numbers had gone down again to 21.6, which shows that most of my markers were in a good place.
However, there were a few that were not good, and they are the ones that worry me a little.
My ferritin had dropped to a 44.
Not awful, and for those of you who are keeping track of your iron, but wondering what it should be, I recommend listening to this podcast episode with Pam Hinton, she will tell you everything you need to know about iron and calcium.
But, that ferritin level is lower than it should be, and I need to get it back up over a 50 at least for the time being, while I am pushing my body hard in training.
My cholesterol was high, but it had dropped since the last time I was tested, and the HDL (good cholesterol) was optimized, just need to get the bad LDL to drop a little more.
A few of the others were slightly out of their optimized zones, but I won’t bore you with that.
One thing I do love about InsideTracker, is that it gives you YOUR optimized zones based off your individual traits, and tells you what you need to do to get there.
This makes it so easy, and on the next page, you can even check boxes that match with your dietary habits, so they will recommend foods that fit with that.
Okay, but there was one that I told you was far away from optimized, and slightly worrying that it is even higher than it was last time around:
My AST and ALT has been high for as long as I can remember. Every time I get blood work done, it is high, and this was no exception.
Doctors have told me those high liver enzymes are just because of the running, that they will calm down once I lessen up on the intensity of my training, but something deep in my heart tells me that this is not just about the running.
And as the focus is now health, I want to do what I can to give my liver a break.
So first up, let’s hit relaxation.
I went to acupuncture for the first time ever last week, and for someone who hates needles, that was a big step.
Drew recommended I went to Blue Lotus Acupuncture, and said I would be in very good hands with Ramon. In addition to acupuncture, he does a whole host of other alternative therapies, including cupping, which many of you saw at the Olympics (those round cup sized bruises on the athletes).
I was a little apprehensive about going, and I wasnt sure what I would think, as I tend to be very skeptical of things like this, but Ramon was able to read me like a book. It was as if he had frozen time as I walked in the door, read my entire life story and all that I am, and then pressed play to tell me everything.
Some things he even told me about myself that I didn’t want to admit, things I pushed back about myself, in denial.
So immediately I bought in to what he was saying.
As people say, you do not really feel the needles themselves, and Ramon left me in the room for about an hour, pleading with me as he left to let go of control, and let it do its work.
I will definitely be going back. I loved how energized I felt when I left, although at the same time very calm. I think Ramon is going to help me work on some “stuff” that I have been too afraid to deal with in the past.
I have been thinking about these for a while now, but it is time.
I love my Kentucky Kombucha, and those are fulllllll of good probiotics, but I think I need a daily supplement, that will help my intestinal health.
That is where Prescript Assist comes in. I wanted to be sure that I found a brand to work with who were genuine, caring, and had a quality product with no junk.
This is the brand Tawnee recommended, and I decided I wanted to reach out to them to see if they were interested in helping me on my journey.
I talked to Leah, and she was wonderful, and sent me product right away.
I have heard so many good things about probiotics, and I look forward to reporting back to you about what I notice.
Finally, the food.
We have made big diet changes, and overall, it shows, my numbers are good, I feel good.
But there is one problem; the sweets.
I know this is the only area of my life that I have not given a chance.
I have never gone more than a few days without sweets, and maybe this is what is causing my health problems.
But the problem is, I am just not ready to let it go yet.
Yes, my focus is my health, but I just enjoy them too much, they have too much association with memories for me to let go of.
I am going to keep eating fish a few times a week. Steve and I love going to our local supermarket to pick out a different fish each week, last week we tried red snapper, and this week we had Mahi Mahi.
And of course we love Sizzlefish, and I am lucky to have them behind me for the other serving each week…..and sometimes delicious smoked salmon too 😛
As my InsideTracker results say, I need to add in more almonds, which is fiiiiinnneee by me, I LOVE all kinds of nuts, and being a Nuttzo, ambassador, I now have another excuse to eat it…..by the spoonful….Im working on my health, right? 🙂
Finally, if you didn’t see on my Instagram, last week, the WONDERFUL Go Raw delivered 13lbs (!!!!) of goodies for me.
Wonderful, raw goodies, that will help with my digestion, and what perfect timing with helping my liver out a little.
So I do not know what will happen.
Maybe I do need to cut the sweets for a few months to see what happens.
I believe in my heart that I will do it if I need to, but I am just fearful of heading down the orthorexia route, and so I think this will be a last resort.
I am giving some different treatment types a chance, so let’s see if my body can calm itself down without giving up two of my favorite things; running and sweets.
Anything you really struggle to give up even though you know you should?
Hi Tina, great blog post. I noticed you were concerned about your ferritin dropping to 44. To get it back up to 50, will you take an iron supplement or focus on iron rich foods? Or both?
Hi Morgan, I take Nature’s Blend Ferrous Gluconate as it works really well, this one http://amzn.to/2ctgz4u. I talk about my iron supplement more in this post 🙂 Don’t think we were friends when I wrote this 🙂 http://tinamuir.com/supplements/
Your health is SO important and it’s exemplary that you’re doing all this at such a young age. Another thing to consider is make up and personal care products. Parabens and sodium lauryl sulfates are bad news and they are in most drug store brands of lotion, shampoo, etc. What you rub into your skin enters your body.
You’re a great role model, Tina
I remember when I thought I could never give up Splenda. Then I did. I don’t think I can give up coffee…but now it kind of upsets my stomach, so I might switch to tea. I’ll never give up fruit though. I don’t know why so many “paleo” people are telling us not to eat fruit. Give up meat before you give up fruit! Sorry for that rant =P
I love how informative this post is! I really want to get my blood checked regularly but fear the costs. The only time I do get it is at an annual or pregnancy check! I have really cut back on meat and dairy as I KNOW that is what makes me sick (I can’t digest fats like the average body can). I need to just do completely without it but I get too stressed out cooking for a family that eats meat and dairy everyday so I lessen my stress by trying to eat 90% no meat/dairy. Work in progress!
Hi Tina! This might be totally irrelevant for you but it might also another thing you could check. My doctor found that I also had higher levels of LDL cholesterol and high liver enzymes. After making some dietary changes the levels didn’t drop, so I had an ultrasound done and they found that I had “Focal nodular hyperplasia” (a benign tumour of the liver), which causes these levels to rise! Apparently it is related to using the pill. Good luck with everything and I hope you can keep on enjoying everything you love!
WHOA! Thanks for sharing Eveline, my LDL is a little high actually, and the dietary changes havent really made too much of a difference. I do not take the pill though, but I should pursue it more with a doctor, you are right. Thanks for being brave and sharing 🙂
Many of us are sooo guilty of focusing on the short term and sometimes even the vanity side..but seriously the only race we are really training for….LONG HEALTHY LIFE
I couldn’t agree more with ALL of this! If you don’t have your health, nothing else matters, and you certainly won’t be able to run! I also love InsideTracker and should be getting another test done soon!! Good for you for making all these changes Tina !
I agree with all of this! Balancing overall health with running is very important to me. I try to eat a sustainable, low-meat diet but like you I find that I need to include some (high-quality) meat in order to feel my best and run my best.
You are an amazing , hard working , conscientious , pro athlete . Always prioritising your health . The sweets ? YOLO and progress not perfection I say !
Diet changes are so hard but I think knowing the whys and hows really help. I hear you on the sweets! I have cut out my nightly peanut M&Ms (which I never thought would happen) but I still need at least some dark chocolate. When I was younger I ate a lot more sugar, and I’ve noticed that if I go on a sugar binge now it really messes up my mood for a few days. I hope things keep getting better for you! 🙂
Tina, thanks for the great article, as always. I am sidelines again, second time in just over a year with a stress fracture. Different location. There are serious changes I need to make to my life if I want to keep running, and I think you hit the spot right here. My chiropractor recommended a blood draw to check my levels for low calcium and Vit D, among others. No matter what my doc says, I am interested in Insidetracker. Is there a plan you recommend over another? Thanks for the great content and inspiration.