EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGISTS SUNSHINE COAST

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Sep
02

Adrenals, Food, MIndset and Movement - My Kaizen path to rebuilding my Health

One year ago I left the USA as a tired and emotional wreck, not quite sure what I was doing or where I was going. I am returning with a healthy body, a clear mind and I feel like I have a future of endless possibilities in front of me, and I could not have done it without all the help from Kaizen. For this I want to thank all of you. It has been well worth the weekly drive from Brisbane. Every staff member genuinely cares about the well-being, goals and journey that each of their clients are on and it is a wonderful community to be part of. If you want to make a change to create better health as a whole, then Kaizen is the best place to do it!

The Full Story

In August 2013 I moved to Australia after spending five years at Stony Brook University in the USA on an athletics scholarship. My time at Stony Brook was one of the best experiences of my life, but in my final year I sustained a hip injury. After many visits to the chiropractor, physio, athletic trainers, osteopath, masseuse and two different sports doctors, the pain in my hip and leg just kept getting worse. During this time I reconnected with Dave, whom I had worked with in Wellington before moving to the USA. During my teenage years he was an essential part of my athletics, helping me to win national titles, represent New Zealand and a number of different scholarship offers to universities in the USA. He had since moved from Wellington to the Sunshine Coast, and coincidentally my mother had recently moved to Brisbane.

When I came home for Christmas in 2012, I took a trip up to see Dave at Kaizen and within two days he had me back running, pain free. It was initially only for a minute at a time time, but I was able to build back up to over forty minutes running with no pain within just a few weeks. I returned to the USA for my final semester, ecstatic to be running pain free and to have some exercises and drills to try and stay this way. However, I kept noticing that whenever I was stressed, increased my training slightly, or was feeling particularly hormonal, that the pain would come back. Although the pain never reached the same level that it had, I knew that I still wasn’t one hundred precent right. I graduated with my masters degree in May 2013 and could no longer live in the USA, so I decided to move to Brisbane for a year to live with my mum, enjoy some good weather, and prepare for the next step in my life. I started coming to Kaizen once a week, and was soon back racing again. However, I still was not able to maintain running pain free.

This is when Dave, Angela and I discussed doing adrenal testing- especially because my mood swings and ability to recover was getting worse. The results of the adrenal testing were one of the biggest wake up calls I have ever received. My cortisol levels were below the lowest range of “normal,” the ratio of cortisol to DHEA was completely off and my melatonin was exceptionally high. I was in Stage 3 adrenal fatigue, and I was quite shocked by that diagnosis. I am an advocate of healing as naturally as possible, and getting to the source of the problem, and not simply taking medications to fix a problem. Doing this testing through Kaizen was perfect, because this is obviously their belief too. I am incredibly grateful that I could spend the next few months working part time, living with my mother and able to really focus on my health. I had to change my perspective on life in many ways, and the Kaizen staff set me up with Mandy from Mindset for Success, and she was an integral part of helping me find ways to reduce and manage my stress levels. Dave held me accountable for this too, and every week we would check in on whether I was hydrating properly, what time I was getting to bed, whether I had been taking “time out,” etc. Most importantly, I was still able to run and started really enjoying running without too many targeted goals!

After a couple of months of this, we knew there was still a piece of the puzzle missing. This is when we did food sensitivity testing. I have always eaten well. My family has always tried to eat fresh and organic food as much as we can, avoided too many take-aways, and still indulged in sweet treats occasionally. I was always aware of making sure that I got good nutrition from food. However, when my food sensitivity test results came in I had to completely re-structure everything I ate. I was off-the-scale highly sensitive to almonds, gluten and gialdin. I was also sensitive to linseed (flaxseed,) wheat, pinto beans, whey protein in dairy, watermelon and yeast. I remember wondering what foods there were left to eat. After my consultation with Kaizen’s nutritionist, my hope was restored and I knew I was about to embark on a really interesting journey.

I had previously been told by my sister that cutting out gluten would help my adrenal fatigue, but I am really glad that I waited to take the food sensitivity test until I did, because so many gluten free foods contain almond-meal and flaxseed. For the first few days I was hungry and grumpy, mostly because I missed my vegemite sandwiches. But then my world got opened into all these new foods to try: quinoa porridge, muffins made with hazelnut meal, passionfruit- coconut yoghurt. Home made protein balls rolled in crushed pistachios. I bought whey-free protein powder, and started making delicious post run protein smoothies with coconut water. As long as I was organised, it was relatively easy. It is hard to explain how good I have felt since doing the food sensitivity testing without using too many clichés.

“Life changing” barely covers it. I was so used to how bad I was feeling, that I did not realise how good I could feel. I am no longer fatigued all the time. My eyes look brighter and my skin cleared up. I used to feel bloated a lot, and this had decreased dramatically. I’ve lost weight. My running friends and I all used to think that an upset stomach, aka “runners tummy” was a normal feeling, but I have since discovered that it is not. I just feel so much better. And the most exciting part is that I am finally able to do some really tough gym sessions again! I used to go into Kaizen and spend the whole time being corrected, but now there are usually only minor things to correct. The intensity of my sessions has been able to increase and I recover better from them. The training at Kaizen itself has been tough, but a lot of fun, and jumping in the ocean after a session has been awesome! I feel stronger than I have in a long time and I look forward to the results in the future. The best part is that my body does not get as sore from running or gym work as it used to. I have been able to slowly keep increasing my training, and I do not have the same worries that I will never be able to run again.

For the first time in a few years, I am feeling limitless. On Monday I am moving to Boston to be with my fiancé and begin the degree for my dream career in Genetic Counselling. One year ago I left the USA as a tired and emotional wreck, not quite sure what I was doing or where I was going. I am returning with a healthy body, a clear mind and I feel like I have a future of endless possibilities in front of me, and I could not have done it without all the help from Kaizen. For this I want to thank all of you. It has been well worth the weekly drive from Brisbane. Every staff member genuinely cares about the well-being, goals and journey that each of their clients are on and it is a wonderful community to be part of. If you want to make a change to create better health as a whole, then Kaizen is the best place to do it!

By Hayley Green

Written by Hayley Green.