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Time for a Reboot

Saturday I walked in the Denver Heart Walk with friends and family and was interviewed on the local news as a survivor. I'm proud that our team raised $2,000 to support the American Heart Association to fund lifesaving research. We had a beautiful day for this community event.

A woman in red adding her name to the Heartbeats of Hope wall at the Denver Heart Walk

Next month marks the 15th anniversary of the day I survived a heart attack. In July of 2009 while on a 60-mile bike ride with friends, I spent most of the ride experiencing symptoms that at the time I had no idea had anything to do with my heart. Later that night in the emergency room (where I found myself at the insistence of my friend), I found out that I had a blood clot in my coronary artery resulting in a heart attack that would have ended my life had I not gone to the hospital that night.

I was 31 years old.

Fast forward 15 years and here I am running my own health and wellness business, eating mostly plant-based, and managing my heart disease without prescription medication. My decision to use lifestyle rather than pharmaceuticals means that I have to pay close attention to my health.

After a few months of a diminished level of activity following my partial knee replacement in March, I'm feeling a bit heavy and unhealthy. To stay as heart-healthy as possible during the months when I wasn't moving as much as I normally do, I made a conscious effort to eat more whole foods, lots of vegetables in particular. We even purchased a spring community-supported agriculture (CSA) share to get more variety than we can get at the store, including some different types of mushrooms and microgreens.  

As much as I don't like to admit it, I tend to be a tad obsessed with my waistline, and let's just say that these few months have not been favorable. I was quite disappointed when I took measurements of my waist and hips a month ago. It's common practice for me to do a couple of cleanses per year as a reboot. In the first weeks of May, I did two 36-hour fasts one week apart, but I didn't surround those days with my typical routine of cutting out all processed foods, so I experienced only temporary weight loss and little improvement in those measurements.

As I was laying in bed unable to sleep a few nights ago, I started thinking about what I'd like a reboot to look like and whether it would be the same as what I've done in the past or something new. Given my mental state has been in a slump during my recovery, I wanted to add some components to address my mental health too.

I decided the theme of my reboot would be "Love My Body" and it would include the following:

  • Moving at least 30 minutes every day (preferably outside, but this can include swimming, weight training, and yoga)

  • Filling my plate with whole, plant-based foods and avoiding processed foods, added sugar, alcohol, and refined grain products (like pasta, white bread, and white rice)

  • Doing one 36-hour fast each week for the first two weeks of June

  • Saying something nice about my body every morning when I get up

  • Acknowledge one thing I accomplished that day before going to bed each evening (I picked this idea up from an episode of Jay Shetty's podcast On Purpose: 6 Small Changes You Can Make Immediately to Have a Big Impact on Your Mental Wellbeing

I started yesterday and will continue for two weeks. I'll share how things are going throughout the 14 days on social media. Follow along on Facebook or Instagram. I encourage you to make some of your own commitments to your physical and mental health. Be sure to choose a theme and activities that resonate with you. Let's do this together! 

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