Healthy Living Journey

Thank you for visiting Healthy Living Journey. We hope that you like what you find here and that it inspires you on your journey to better health. We are compelled by what we see around us. People are living longer, but many are not living better. Chronic and acute disease in adults and children is not only affecting lives, but putting a significant burden on healthcare systems. The cost is astronomical no matter how you measure it. Doctors and researchers are learning more and more about the role of diet and lifestyle in preventing disease and promoting health, from conception to old age. Our experience over the past four decades spanning three generations has born this out. Hi, we are Teri and Aja (pronounced asia), mother and daughter. Hi! I’m Teri – I am a wife, mother and grandmother, a retired Registered Nurse, married for 40 wonderful years with three grown, married children and two (currently) grandchildren. I became aware of the impact of nutrition on our health shortly after getting married and graduating from nursing school. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I heard an interview with a nutritionist and something just clicked. What we eat matters. It matters a lot. That was nearly forty years ago now. We know more now about why it matters and how important it is, but there is still a health crisis and probably even more confusion about what a healthy diet looks like. We are a people still obsessed with weight loss and quick results, bingeing and cleansing. The answer, we believe, is a healthy lifestyle. It begins with one step, then another, and another. It is based on education and the accumulation of knowledge that enables us to make those good daily choices that add up to a long healthy life. We believe it is never too late to start. We’ve heard doctors say that there is no condition that cannot benefit from better nutrition. We focus a lot on food here because it is the foundation of health. You are what you eat. Once you begin to make healthier food choices and gain more energy, you are more likely to feel like exercising. Activity and exercise are, without a doubt, important components of a healthy lifestyle. We advocate a plant-based diet with an emphasis on vegetables. This is because vegetables are the most nutrient dense and tend to be more alkaline. Variety is important. Color variations correlate to nutrient make-up. Rather than demand adherence to vegetarian or vegan lifestyles, we suggest a 90/10 approach. Aim to make 90% of your choices good choices and allow yourself small indulgences. Deprivation diets never last. Sometimes the social setting doesn’t lend itself to good choices. Over time you learn strategies to deal with the situations that come up. Social interaction is important and food is central to many social gatherings, but you will usually have choices that can keep you on track. If not, be social and just don’t over-do it. We were already eating a whole food diet when we started having children so it was very easy and natural that they ate what we ate. It was normal for them, normal for our family. I packed healthy snacks for them when we were out running errands. Whatever we decide as parents to make normal becomes normal for our children. This paid off. We rarely went to the doctor. Doctors notice when children are healthy. Our doctor, who was a naturopathic physician, told us “if more parents fed their children whole food I’d have a lot more vacation”. This can be you also. The kids all did well in school, never had attention or behavioral issues, and have carried that experience and knowledge into their adult married lives, making their own healthy decisions. That’s not to say that they were never sick or that we never had challenges, but when we see so many kids being labeled with ‘disorders’ and medicated, we know there is a better way. Now that we have two grandchildren, we are able to see this play out on a third generation. I will let Aja tell that part of the story. Hi there—I’m Aja. I've been married to my soul mate, Landon, for 10 years and we have 2 precious/crazy little boys! Aedan is 4 1/2 and Austin is 2--life is fun! I grew up with 2 parents who were very into health and I will forever be grateful to them for the foundation for health that they gave me. In hindsight though, that passion for health didn't really become my own until my little Aedan was born almost 5 years ago. Maybe you can relate? The first thing that happened was that, when Aedan was about 4 months old, we found out that he had a milk protein intolerance. Because I was nursing him and wasn't willing to give that up to put him on formula, I had to cut all dairy out of my diet. While stressful at the time, because I had to read every label and be super careful about what I ate, it ended up being such a blessing. I read and read and read about food and food labels and dairy and that one point of forced change ended up having a HUGE impact on the way we eat. It changed what foods were in our pantry. It changed what foods I cooked. It changed what we ate for snacks. It wasn't bad beforehand, but it made me realize that we did eat way more processed food than I thought. Maybe you can relate, where something happens to you, where it was hard at the time, but the fruit that came from it was great? So often, in so many areas of life, we can't see it until we look back, but it's always there. When it came time to begin feeding him solids, I did what I could to feed him only things that would nourish his little body. As time went on, he continued to be a healthy little boy, which I was, and am, so thankful for. Time flies! And then, a few years later, I became pregnant with our second son, Austin. My pregnancy with Aedan was super easy and uneventful, and I was so thankful to be able to deliver him naturally, like I wanted to, without any complications for either of us. There was the expected pregnancy (and labor!) aches and pains, but nothing at all out of the ordinary. And with my second pregnancy, it was the same. I was able to stay active pretty much to the very end (my husband and I were able to do a half marathon together about 2 months before each baby was born!) and I generally felt good right up until the end, which I was so thankful for. Austin’s delivery was short and sweet, ending again with a perfectly healthy baby boy, the biggest blessing of it all. Health wise, it has pretty much been the same story for Austin. Same dairy intolerance, but it was way easier this time because we weren't eating much dairy or processed foods anymore. And same everything else--I did my best to feed him what his body needed. Over 2 years have gone by now (again, time is flying by!) and he is still a healthy little boy as well. We haven't been in the doctor’s office hardly at all for sick visits--our doctor even commented once recently during a routine well check how small my boys’ files are. They didn't have ear infections, constant runny noses and didn't catch everything that went around. They did get sick some, for sure, but it didn't ever turn into anything bad and they usually got over it pretty quickly. And that gift of health in my boys (and my husband and I!) is what fuels my passion for helping families who want to get healthy (or healthier)! When you're feeling well, when you're kiddos are consistently healthy, when you have the energy to do what you need and want to do, life is just infinitely better. And nothing about keeping your family healthy is super hard (though is definitely can be counter-cultural, if you live in America at least)--in my experience, it's just about doing simple things each day to give our bodies what they need! Thanks again for visiting Healthy Living Journey. Teri & Aja