The Power of Choice: 7 Steps to Designing Your Ideal Identity 👑

We are feeling a little ‘spicy’ today and really fired up to help you all, and remind ourselves, to check within and to be real about what we are choosing for our lives and why. Our beloved clients have been facing everything from pressures to have children, recent divorce fall-out, not feeling like they know who they are anymore, and all of this is on top of health issues such as IBS, high blood pressure, hormonal imbalances, low energy, and generally not feeling great. To get our life situations back on track, we must all start with an assessment. Don’t worry, we’ve broken it down into 7 steps to make it easier to digest.

The Importance of your Life & Wellness Assessment

While an assessment of our lives can be spurred on by a new year, a birthday, or a life transition such as a divorce, it can happen at any time. All of us arrive at a crossroads and realize that the path we’ve been treading has led to stagnation, poor health, lack of energy and possibly a lack of fulfillment. You might call it a crisis point as it is an extremely critical juncture that determines your life’s outcomes. There are two choices: either continue on the same path – because, frankly, it’s easier – and face the possibility of situations in your life getting much worse OR face the fear of staring down an unknown path, gather all the courage available to you, and start making those conscious foot steps towards your desired dreams and goals.

Is it easy? Of freaking* course not! We might wish to have a fun-infused foray into our heart’s true desires as we can lie in a hammock and breezily ask ourselves the question “hmm, what do I want for my future?”…but we typically arrive at crossroads with a sense of seriousness and urgency. So that the same question is laced with fear, or familial and societal expectations. That kind of contamination influences our choices and can crush our ability to live a more authentic life.

The importance of this assessment cannot be overstated. When faced with decisions that have the potential to shape our future and redefine our identity, we discover the immense power of choice. While voting with your dollar is a fairly familiar concept which means spending your money on products or brands that align with your values, each decision we make is a vote for the type of person we want to be. A decision to meditate or workout in the morning casts a vote in favor of being a more peaceful and fit person. Choosing to serve at a soup kitchen every week can create the compassionate, community-focused identity you desire.

Our choices lead us closer to our ideal identity and ultimately craft a fulfilling and authentic life that is true to our values. Let’s explore the transformative journey of designing your ideal identity, while highlighting the significance of choice and offering guidance to empower you on this path of self-discovery.

  1. Embracing the Power of Self-Awareness

The first step in designing your ideal identity is to cultivate self-awareness. Take the time to reflect on your passions, strengths, and aspirations. Maybe do a values inventory. Ask yourself what truly matters to you? What brings you joy and fulfillment? Maybe it is family, health, truth, justice, helping others, or exploring the world. Grab a favorite beverage, sit quietly and start to listen to that still, small voice within. You maybe surprised at what pops up and you also might be hit with some hard truth you’ve been ignoring. This time spent understanding yourself at a deeper level provides a solid foundation for making choices that align with your authentic self.

  1. Defying Societal Expectations

Does this idea make you squirm in your seat or does it feel like permission to unleash the actual true genius within? Maybe you were raised in a way that led to perfectionism, suppressing your own wants and desires, feeling like you couldn’t have/be/do what you really wanted, people-pleasing, and not speaking up for fear of breaking the uneasy peace in the household. This is not a denunciation of our families, societal or cultural upbringing; it’s more a means of understanding how we’ve lived and who we’ve been thus far in our lives. And now that you’re aware, you can choose differently – you can break free from societal expectations and external pressures. Maybe you choose to leave a “great” job as a high-powered executive to open your own bakery. Perhaps you decide to opt-out of ‘hustle culture’ and engage in smart and effective ways of working. Maybe you have a dozen children, ‘fur babies’ or decide on none. You might decide not to watch TV, to eat healthily, make a budget, have less than 300,000 possessions in your house, or anything else you see the majority of others doing (or not doing) and the undesired effects you want to avoid.

Designing your ideal identity usually means breaking free from societal expectations and external pressures. It requires courage to challenge conventional norms and to embrace your unique individuality. Give yourself permission to deviate from the path others have laid out for you and instead follow the path that resonates with your true essence instead.

  1. Embracing Growth and Learning

Creating an ideal identity is an ongoing process that requires continuous growth and learning, as well as regular check-ins. Like a child or with a beginner’s mind, be open to new experiences, explore different interests and cultures, acquire fresh new skills. Growth is an essential element of designing your authentic identity. Allow yourself flexibility as you evolve and adapt new habits.

  1. Embracing Vulnerability

Embracing vulnerability is an essential aspect of designing your ideal identity. It requires courage to be vulnerable and reveal your true self, as well as to let go of the fear of judgment. Cozy up to or embrace your imperfections, celebrate your uniqueness, and share your authentic voice with the world. Vulnerability paves the way for intimacy and leads to deeper relationships that enrich your journey.

  1. Taking Ownership of Your Choices

*Gulp* yes, this one an be hard as we look at our past and the results we have in our lives thus far. Don’t beat yourself up, instead mine the past for gold – you can now identify, and change, the thoughts and habits that got you here. Every choice you make from this moment forward has the power to shape your identity. It’s an awesome responsibility to yourself but also a privilege – you have the ability to design the life you desire. You are now an active creator of your reality. Congratulations!

  1. Embracing Resilience in the Face of Challenges

The path may not always be smooth, the sun may not always be shining as you embark upon your journey to be a healthier, fitter, happier person. As you navigate the path of designing your ideal identity, challenges and setbacks are inevitable. It is during these times that resilience becomes your greatest ally. Cultivate a mindset and support team to help you over come obstacles, adapt, an persevere.

  1. Cultivating a Supportive Network

Surround yourself with a supportive network of individuals who encourage and inspire you on your journey. Seek out mentors, friends, professionals, and communities that share your values and can assist you in achieving your aspirations. Having a supportive network helps foster and nurture your authentic self.

Bottom line

Designing your ideal identity is a transformative and empowering journey that begins with recognizing the power of choice. By embracing self-awareness, defying societal expectations, embracing growth, vulnerability, and resilience, and cultivating a supportive network, you can shape your life into one that aligns with your true essence. Remember, each decision you make has the potential to bring you closer to your authentic self and create a life of purpose and fulfillment. At this crossroad, powerfully choose to step boldly into the journey of designing your ideal identity. Future you awaits!

*normally we’d use another word for extra impact and because we feel strongly, but our 7-year-old niece might read this

Create your Vision Board 🌈

There’s often a lot of pressure around the new year to overhaul one’s diet, get fit, save for retirement, to change jobs or be a better parent. This is why we usually wait until the first or second quarter to create ours. It’s a great time to check in and see what is and what isn’t working in our lives. Plus there’s still time to get clear on what the rest of the year could look like. Let inspiration be the fuel you need as you strive to attain the next level of success.

When did vision boarding begin?

Vision boarding became popular in the early aughts, somewhat in conjunction with the 2007 movie The Secret about the Law of Attraction, but it has roots further back than that. In fact, collage was a popular art form whose composition of parts (photos, newspaper clippings, and pieces of fabric, for example) was often glued onto a surface to create a whole new expression. We started making collages/vision boards back in high school and would clip images and words from magazines that fit goals we had or just plain inspired us.

Beyond inspiration and pretty collection of images, is there a scientific benefit to making vision boards?

In a Forbes article, neuroscientist Dr. Tara Swart says, “[if you] look at it daily and visualize it coming true, this tracks images to your sub-conscious and primes your brain to grasp opportunities that may otherwise have passed you by.” The other key part of what she calls an ‘action board’ is taking a small step towards our goal everyday so that “you’ll be transforming abundance thinking into reality.”

What is the purpose and benefit of making a vision board?

An important purpose of vision boarding includes activating the powerful faculties within us: imagination and visualization. Often, part of the educational process (and beyond, into our jobs) strips these skills away from us in favor of recitation and regurgitation of facts and figures. Activate the skills of your brain’s right hemisphere – home of creativity, imagination, and artistic ability – by sparking a bit of creativity and learning how to dream and have a little fun again.

How to vision board effectively

Continue reading

Food Sensitivity Testing with MRT

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Most people – whether younger or older, ill or well – benefit from knowing which foods their bodies react negatively to.

Here’s the kicker: the food you think is healthy, may not be healthy for you.

If you’re healthy and want to stay that way, the focus is on prevention; since food is central to any wellness plan, to eat in a precise and personalized way is best.

Dealing with health challenges?

Maybe you’ve given up some of the ‘big 8’ offenders (e.g. wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs) but are still having some symptoms. Perhaps you’ve done (ineffective) skin testing or IgG food sensitivity testing. In either case, you know you need to drill down further and find out if your everyday “healthy” foods (e.g. blueberry, turkey, or tumeric) are actually inflaming you. This has been the case for many of our clients, some visual examples of food sensitivity testing results are below.

Conditions associated with food sensitivities are:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s Disease
  • Heartburn / GERD
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Arthritis and fibromyalgia
  • Autism and ADD/ADHD

Symptoms associated with food sensitivities are:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Constipation / diarrhea
  • Bloating and gas
  • Eczema, psoriasis, and acne
  • Fatigue and general malaise
  • Insomnia and poor sleep
  • Brain fog
  • Stomach and abdominal pain
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Nasal and sinus congestion or post nasal drip
  • Food cravings
  • Muscle and joint pain or stiffness
  • Water retention and difficulty losing weight

Additionally, this is a test worth doing if you plan on having children (to help lower inflammation in the body and improve fertility) or if you have children who are ‘picky eaters’ (oftentimes, kids intuitively know that a certain food is ‘hurting’ them and they try to avoid it).

If you want to lose weight or improve performance, this test provides you with the foundation for your personal diet strategy and may provide the missing link necessary to achieve your goals.

What makes MRT different? How does it work?

Some of the other tests you may have done, such as a skin prick or a food sensitivity test ONLY measuring IgG levels, often lack the accuracy in determining actual food sensitivities you may have.

Figuring out what our sensitivities are can be difficult; here’s why – the reactions can be delayed or dose-dependent. This means we may not immediately feel the effect of a food reaction; it may take many hours or days to appear. If it’s dose-dependent, we might feel okay with a little bit of the offending food, but stacking it gives us a reaction.

Mediator Release Testing (MRT) is a patented blood test that shows how strongly your immune cells react to the 170 foods and chemicals tested by measuring chemical mediators released from the cell. When released from immune cells, chemical mediators such as histamines, cytokines, and prostaglandins produce damaging effects on the body’s tissues, leading to the development of symptoms. Fortunately, MRT takes the guesswork out of identifying food sensitivities!

Here are some examples of ‘healthy’ foods that were showing up as inflammatory for clients, including: bananas, turkey, blueberries, coffee and more!

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Test results are only part of the equation. With your functional medicine dietitian-nutritionist, you’ll put into play the LEAP (Lifestyle Eating and Performance) protocol to help get you the results you desire. Curious about finding out the foods and food chemicals causing inflammation and symptoms in YOUR body? Contact us and see if MRT testing is right for you.