Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Are You Natural?
I used to think that being natural pertained to aesthetics. Living in New York City, I am immersed in the height of image-obsession. So, to me, ‘natural’ meant being free of restructuring bodywork, from nips and tucks to inserts and pulls. However, the past few months have led my life on a new journey, both in terms of my health and my career and have drastically altered my perception of the term ‘natural’ and what it means to my life. I truly believe (as cheesy as it may sound) that God only gives us what we can handle, and for every seemingly ‘bad’ thing that happens, there is always a ‘good’ that comes through- trust me, I have learned first hand...
For those of you who follow my blog, you have probably gathered that I have had to postpone production of my first video series. I have had some health problems and was recently told the reason was likely due to a version of celiac disease. The lamens definition for this disease is: “A chronic nutritional disease, caused by the inability to metabolize gluten, which results in malnutrition, and causes a host of other problems in the body. The disorder can be controlled by a special diet that emphasizes the elimination of all foods containing gluten. In the beginning, people with this disease must also eliminate all refined sugar and dairy from their diet”.
Let me tell you, everything I ate up to this point contained one if not all three of these things – so the diet I must now adhere to is traumatically life changing and difficult to follow. Going through this I have seen some of the best western and eastern doctors in the world, along with top nutritionists. Not only did I want to learn how to eat this way, but I wanted to know everything I could about our bodies (celiac or no celiac) and how nutrition plays a direct role. At first, I thought “no dairy, sugar, sweetner or gluten?? My life is over, I might as well live in a cell, and even inmates probably have more to choose from”. However, I have learned that it basically means everything I eat must be true whole, natural food. If you think about it, this is what our bodies were originally meant to eat in the beginning. Hundreds of years ago, humans did not eat processed foods, refined sugar etc. They ate whole fruits, vegetables, grains, lentils and meat. Eventually I will be able to add back in dairy and sugar, but I am no longer having withdrawals, I have a new way of eating and cooking which I enjoy and makes me feel better than ever. I’m not going to lie, I still have my cravings and it’s not always easy, but it’s a discipline just like anything else and it’s one with a positive outcome. Keeping my eye on the goal is what keeps me motivated and eating ‘clean’ really does make you feel different – I urge you to try it even just for a week!
Above all, this journey taught me more than just nutrition, it changed my state of mind, I learned that natural is not just physical & aesthetic, its also what you put IN your body. It’s all about mindset and the way you live your entire life, which includes how you eat, how you train, the way you carry yourself and how you treat the world, the environment and others. Bill Lange, VP of Marketing at ZICO Premium Coconut Water put it best when he said: “It’s about believing in the value of “being natural” and having the discipline to act that way in almost everything you do”.
My connection with ZICO has been fateful to say the least. I have recently taken over the face of their ‘natural enough’ campaign, while simultaneously going through one of the scariest health problems of my life. The ironic part is that aside from water, almond milk and seltzer I don’t have many beverage choices… but ZICO is the one brand I can still drink. I actually got into ZICO last January when a friend introduced it to me as an incredible recovery drink, then I started drinking it after flights to rehydrate and restore energy, now with this disease I’ve had to eliminate anything unnatural or remotely unhealthy – GOOD NEWS: Zico is all natural!
In working with ZICO I have met some of the best quality people. When I told Bill about my condition we had a lengthy discussion about it and how the team at Zico could help. Being natural in every aspect of life is truly what they are all about which is why I see Zico has having a completely different brand personality and value than any other beverage choice. I am proud to be working with them and enlightened on how the combination of my condition and working with ZICO has turned me into a healthier, more natural person. For more Zico benefits visit: http://zico.com/products/benefits