How to Transform your Health – with Nutrition, Fitness and Gratitude

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Holistic Nutritionist, Ariane Labelle shares her top five secrets to feeling more energized and controlling weight.

Let’s face it, in today’s day in age – being healthy isn’t easy. I don’t care what anybody says.

Everything you thought you knew about food and health is false, and the truth – whatever that may be – is so damn hard to come by.

This realization hits many of us by our mid twenties… (or later if you’re one of the ‘lucky’ ones).

For most of us though, it’s around the age of 25-28, maybe earlier. By this age, we no longer have the luxury of eating whatever we want and if we do – it eventually catches up with us. Our pants feel tight, we’re tired by 3pm, and the idea of any overextending physical activity feels like a chore we’d rather save for tomorrow… or the day after… or never.

Now I’m not saying that everyone can relate to this, because we are all different and our bodies may react differently to food/activity due to our biological makeup and our varying environments. However, having been doing what I do for some time now, I’ve seen this scenario quite a bit!

By the age of 24, I had really started to struggle with my own health. Although I had no serious issues (at that point), being tired and unable to control my weight was a huge problem. What was really surprising though is the fact that I didn’t eat half as bad as some people I knew, I exercised and I slept well most nights – yet still struggled. It made no sense.

When I realized this, I knew something was up. So by the age of 26, I enrolled at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition (IHN) in Toronto. I had to get to the bottom of this, and learning how to properly feed and care for my body was sure to give me some kind of solution.

And sure enough, it was THE solution.

It was during my time at IHN that I embarked on my very own healthy pursuit. I had slowly begun implementing what I was learning in school on myself and little by little, step-by-step, I started noticing subtle changes in my health.

By late 2015, I had really started to benefit from the accumulation of my efforts – and it was definitely showing. Heck, YES!

This was a SUPER EXCITING time for me because experiencing this transformation firsthand was 100% proof that what I studied in school actually works… and because I had gone through the process myself, I knew exactly what I needed to do to in order to help others do the same. *Happy Dance*

By taking a holistic approach on my health – I lost 35lbs, had great energy and felt healthier than I had ever felt before. The most amazing part though – is that I’ve managed to maintain this in my everyday life since… and let me tell you, it feels like an EPIC accomplishment!

Author is seen in before and after images after losing 35 pounds

Ariane started with her own transformation

So how did I do it? Here’s are five of my best-kept secrets:

  1. Expect To Put Yourself First & Do What Makes YOU Happy!

As friends, coworkers, and lovers – we often put our needs and happiness on the sidelines to attend to the needs and happiness of other people. Of course, this is well intended, but it doesn’t benefit anyone in the long run.

In fact, this practice is backwards.

Similar to instructions on an airplane, you MUST put your breathing apparatus on before assisting someone else with theirs in the event of a change in cabin air pressure. Otherwise, you risk choking to death as a result of helping others first.

I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather take care of ME first than choke to death.

So that’s why you must properly take care of YOU before taking care of anybody else. Put yourself first and do things that make YOU happy. Only once you’re truly happy, can you really make others happy.

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If I can give you any last bit of advice here, it’s this: let people know that this is how it’s going to be moving forward… cause this is how it HAS to be in order to get where you want to go. Your success depends on YOU, and your journey will be much more joyous if you allow yourself the time to learn, play, work hard, rest, and grow – for you!

This worked for me and I’m sure it will work for you. So get out there, do YOU and BE HAPPY! It’s good for the soul.

2. Educate Yourself!

To progress in anything, you need to make time for learning. If you want your health to change – read, watch related documentaries, attend wellness workshops, and surround yourself with people you admire who have the ability to teach you how to become a healthier version of YOU.

It’s also important to consider whom you’re following and where you’re getting the information from… Dr. Oz’s teachings (although they may contain great info) aren’t always golden. So go out there, and educate yourself on health matters that pertain to YOU and consider your sources carefully. What’s trendy and hot on the wellness scene is often not what’s right for you.

To get you started, here are some of my favorite health-related documentaries:

  • Hungry For Change
  • Food Matters
  • Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead (with Joe Cross)
  • Got Facts About Milk
  • Forks Over Knives
  • That Vitamin Movie
  • Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes With Raw Food

I’ve learned so much from watching these awesome docs! They are a great source of information and will teach you how to change your health – once and for all. No fancy diet trends here. By watching these, you’re guaranteed loads of tips on how to change your health – naturally. Best to do it correctly – if you’re going to do it at all, right? *smile*

Most of these are free to steam online, so get Googling! You’ll find ‘em.

3. Invest In Your Health.

One of the GREATEST things you can do is invest in your health. Investing includes both time and money, but when it comes to your health – it’s investments you’ll never regret!

In order to get where I am today, I invested in 3 very important things:

  1. a food intolerance test
  2. a health coach (yes, even health coaches have health coaches!)
  3. and a gym membership.
  • Food Intolerance Testing

Food Intolerance Testing is also known as food sensitivity or IgG testing. Although this type of test can be slightly pricey (roughly $350-$500), I highly recommend it!

An IgG test screens your blood against hundreds of common food allergens and will give you a full list of reactive foods to eliminate from your diet. Chances are you’ll be surprised at your results because the foods you love (regardless of how healthy they are) will often show up as severe or mild intolerances. Avoid these foods to heal your gut and reclaim your health once and for all. The results on your overall health are astonishing!

  • Health Coaches

No one ever achieves greatness alone and this is especially true in attaining optimal health.

Fact is, we don’t understand our bodies as well as we should. As a result, we often attempt ‘healing ourselves’ in ways that do more harm than good. An example of this is trendy yoyo diets that result in ruined metabolisms. I’ve done it, and perhaps you have too. If you have, you would know that these types of diets create never-ending weight management issues that are difficult to overcome. No good I tell ya, no good…

This is WHY it’s SUPER IMPORTANT to work with coaches and experts who know what they’re doing. When it comes to health, doing it right is the ONLY way to go.

To boot, good coaches keep you accountable and on track with your goals.

Aside from the expert advice, accountability coaching is amazing for long-term success! So invest in a nutritionist, a fitness coach, and any other experts that will help you get where you want to go. In the end, you’ll be incredibly happy and grateful that you did. (Ariane provides coaching packages that fit individual needs)

  • Fitness Membership(s)

Movement is just as important as nutrition when it comes to improving your health. So get boogying!

Working out at home is great, but I HIGHLY recommend getting a gym membership or any other kind of fitness membership that suits your physical needs and means. This will keep you motivated and will encourage you to push harder during your workouts.

In addition, it’s a great way to get out and socialize with folks who have similar interests and goals – which is a huge benefit! So get out there, and mingle while you wiggle.

Editors Note: There are many gyms that specialize in Neuro/disability, as well as adaptive yoga programs.  You can also consider a local gym and coach that can help you learn what equipment can be adapted.  See How to select a Fitness Trainer 

paralyzed woman on hand cycle at gym

The NeuroFit Gym In Florida offers specialized equipment for Spinal Cord Injuries and other Neuro Disabilities 

4. Check-in With Your Digestion.

As long as the food goes in and comes out later, most people don’t even think twice about digestion until problems arise. Truth is though, the average person has no idea what good digestion even is! They assume what’s normal for them is the norm, and if their bowel movements are ‘normal’ – then all is good in the hood.

But what’s your poop like? How often do you go in a day? How long does is take for your body to fully digest a meal? Do you have intestinal parasites, candida/poor gut bacteria? Do you even know!?

These are all things to check into when starting a new health regime. If your gut isn’t in check, healing won’t occur and you risk falling short on your desired results.

Fixing my digestion was one of the best things I’ve ever done and I credit a lot of my progress to it.

So get informed about your digestive health! Check out the Bristol Stool Chart (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_stool_scale) and pick up Dr. Jensen’s Guide to Better Bowel Care on Amazon.com. The more you learn about your gut health, the greater your transformation will be.

5) Practice Gratitude, Everyday.

Any success in life starts with a grateful heart. So be grateful for the good, the bad and everything in between. Together, it’s made you the strong, beautiful being you are today and will continue to help you blossom as the days pass.

Great tips for practicing gratitude that helped me during my own journey, included:

  • acknowledging the good and bad things that happened in my day, everyday.
  • If something good happened, I’d take a moment to thank the Universe for the gift. I also did the same if things weren’t so good, because I knew that within this experience there was a lesson that I needed to learn.
  • regularly writing in a gratitude journal.
  • Keeping track of things I was grateful for, regardless of how big or small they were was a great reminder of all the blessings in my life. This really helped me during moments of self-doubt and difficult times along my path – and made me realize that things truly weren’t as bad as I’d made them up to be.
  • expressing gratitude to those who’ve helped and supported me.
  • It’s always nice to have help and feel supported in whatever you’re doing in life. What’s even nicer though, is telling people that you’re grateful for it! Implementing this in my practice gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, but also encourage the ones I was grateful for to remain in my corner every step of the way…. and they did!

So – be grateful, always.

… If you’ve made it this far, I assume that optimum health is something that you also want for yourself. For this, I congratulate YOU! By exploring ways to kick-start your healthy pursuit, you’re that much closer to achieving your desired state of health.

If you want to learn more of my best-kept secrets and would like professional help for your health transformation – get in touch! I’d LOVE to hear from ya!

Much Love.

Ariane

Live Healthy, Happy & Free. – Ariane

Ariane Labelle

Corporate escapee turned wellpreneur, Ariane is a certified holistic nutritionist and accountability coach from Toronto, Ontario. She founded her own wellness practice shortly after graduating from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition (IHN). Her online platform, A Healthy Pursuit, is dedicated to helping women worldwide realize their full potential in all aspects of life – starting with their health. Having married her passion for holistic health and love of travel, Ariane caters to clients world-wide as a professional digital nomad. She delivers transformational nutrition and lifestyle coaching to online clients and hosts various wellness retreats in beautiful sunny destinations around the globe.

Ariane is the author behind ‘Healthy Happy Hormones’, a thorough guide devoted to empowering women to optimize their reproductive health and is the official nutrition professional for PCOSWorldwide.com.

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