Tag Archives: DNA

Perfect Health Doesn’t Exist

I opened my email inbox the other month and had a newsletter from a health professional in my network. I clicked through to read what she had to say about the germ-infused winter season and immediately felt my insides prickle. She said that we need to start pointing the finger of blame back at ourselves when we’re sick, citing that our immune systems aren’t doing their jobs because of physical and mental stresses that we aren’t keeping in check. I like this health professional and trust her a lot. I get her point. But I can’t agree with her.

Yes, it’s true that our immune systems are the foundation for our health. And we have a lot of control over how resilient (or not) our gut health is based on what we eat and how healthfully we live. But it’s also true that there are quite a few things out of our control from one season of life to the next. Take me as an example…

This past winter I cut way down on alcohol and caffeine, started sleeping longer every night, and replaced lots of household products with plant-based, plastic-free, fragrance-and-dye-free alternatives. I also dialed down my high-stress workouts and replaced them with some yoga and plenty of quality strength training for hormonal balance. Lastly, I’ve stuck to my routine of eating plenty of fruits/veggies, whole grains and lean protein, but added a boost of healthy fats to balance out omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in my diet. All of these lifestyle choices would suggest that my immune system should be fairly strong. Maybe even ironclad. Right? Wellll…

 

 

Ironically, winter 2017-2018 was not just a miserable flu season in America but also a miserable time in my household. I got sick more in the last few months than in the last 10 years combined. Three stomach bugs, countless colds and sore throats, and hormones responding to the inflammation by bouncing all over the place. Needless to say, my complexion went down the tank, too. I’ve been looking like I just hit puberty lately. Lol.

But I’m trying so hard to be healthy!” my mind has been screaming. “This isn’t fair!” Sometimes, it’s not enough. Sometimes, toddlers aren’t good about covering their sneezes and you end up with projectile snot literally in your mouth. Enjoy that visual. Sometimes, stressful life events occur like family deaths, job changes, seasons of travel, and physical injury. The list goes on. Sometimes, life just isn’t under our control. And that’s okay. Because nature didn’t intend for our bodies to be perfect. It intended for them to be flexible and resilient.

(Random aside: I took strange comfort in Lindsey Vonn’s reaction to falling short of the podium in the 2018 Olympics; she reflected on how one moment in life you’re on top and then things can change quickly. The fact that even the most impressive athletes in the world are not removed from struggle demonstrates how connected we are as humans in our plight. It’s nothing to badger ourselves over or feel shameful about.)

The idea that our health should be perfect sets us up for false expectations and failure. It’s the reason why people come into the gym and think they have to hold themselves to a lofty standard of exercising every day or else they’re falling short. And then they quit because of the fear of failure. If perfect health is as easy as following “all the right steps” then why do healthy and active individuals get cancer? Why do we get sick when we’re actually eating healthier than ever before? Why are we more prone to injuries and wrinkles as we age? We can eat all the health-food-junkie products on the planet and exercise every day, and we will STILL fall ill at times. We will still have moments of weakness and pain. And that’s okay, too. This is normal. I’m telling you: THIS IS NORMAL. Because perfect health doesn’t exist.

 

 

Our DNA isn’t stagnant. I’ve talked about this before. It ebbs and flows just like our gut health does. In this way, Mother Nature designed us to be able to respond to life’s inevitable challenges on a cellular level. You see, our DNA expresses itself differently under varying degrees of inflammation and stress. Sometimes, there’s little we can do to control the way that certain genes express themselves because we may be more predisposed to a health condition according to our genetics. While it’s true that there are lots of gene-testing services out there, many people are still unaware of their own situation and what they are more (or less) predisposed to. But we don’t necessarily have to know all the answers up front… if we’re willing to live in wellness.

When we’re dedicated to being flexible in body, mind and spirit, we open ourselves up to transformation throughout the lifespan. Staying active about self-care is all we can control. We get the privilege of choice in our lives! And I like to think that makes us a lot more powerful than perfectly-designed, stagnant beings.

One of my favorite quotes of all time by Michael J. Fox:

 

 

Choose a healthy lifestyle because it will help you through the inevitable challenges ahead, not because you think it will clear your path of all obstacles.

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

 

 

 

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DNA: Can We Change It?

Our bodies are no longer viewed as stagnant and incapable of change. A branch of science called epigenetics studies how we can effectively alter our DNA. Instead of being a victim to our genes, we can actually manipulate them. According to epigenetics, you don’t have to accept the spare tire around your middle (“that my momma gave me”) and you don’t have to resign yourself to a slow metabolism because of age. You have the power to alter the course of your entire life. To change your destiny, if you will.

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How is it possible to literally change who you are?

Stem cell biologist Bruce Lipton explains the difference between genetic determinism and epigenetics:

“The difference between these two is significant because this fundamental belief called genetic determinism literally means that our lives, which are defined as our physical, physiological and emotional behavioral traits, are controlled by the genetic code. This kind of belief system provides a visual picture of people being victims: If the genes control our life function, then our lives are being controlled by things outside of our ability to change them. This leads to victimization that the illnesses and diseases that run in families are propagated through the passing of genes associated with those attributes. Laboratory evidence shows this is not true.”

Based on Lipton’s theory, healthy cell expression can result from both intention and a “quantum nutrient diet.”

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Changing your DNA through intention:

Roger Nelson published a report through Princeton called “The Physical Basis of Intentional Healing Systems.” Nelson explains the power of the mind in the healing process: “When there is a disruption, and healing is required, the need is for additional order, the infusion of information. Of course consciousness is nothing if not a manifestation of information, and in its creative and structuring capacities, it is ideally suited as a reservoir for the processes that sustain and restore health and wellbeing.”

Nelson and Lipton agree that while it is difficult to quantify, the mind has powerful healing capacity when its faculties are directed at creating a state of mental, emotional and physical harmony.

Changing your DNA through “quantum nutrients”:

Quantum nutrients aren’t as complicated or ellusive as they sound. They are simply positive states of the mind such as love, self-love, appreciation, joy, hope and peace. When our body is stripped of these positive states and is plagued by stress, anger or frustration, it is depleted both emotionally and physically, detracting from energy the body has to focus on cellular repair. Thus, negative emotions can encourage disease and positive ones can foster good health and wellness.

The Institute of HeartMath in Boulder Creek, CA agrees with this notion and has decades of research showing how love, appreciation, anxiety and anger can all impact a person’s genetic code or genetic “blueprint.” This supports the power and restorative nature of positive thinking and its impact on our overall wellness.

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Basic Ways to Change Your DNA and Life:

Research supports the power of the mind and its role in our health. Simple, daily steps are possible so that you can create a state of harmony in your body and mind, which can promote the best expression of your genetic potential. Here are a few things you can consider:

  • Meditation – download a podcast or app, join an online community or attend a workshop near your home. There are lots of ways to get involved in meditation. It can be a scary thing to step into, but once you are alone with your thoughts and can practice harnessing them, you will begin to see the world simplify. It will become easier to manage even as it becomes more profound.
  • Journaling – write down positive affirmations or intentions every single day. This daily practice will train your mind to focus on the positives instead of the negatives in your life. With consistency, this can trascend into other areas of your life such as how you interact with your loved ones and how you speak to yourself in your mind.
  • Spiritual Practices – finding a spiritual community of some variety is essential to wellbeing. The modern world we live in convinces us that our self-worth exists in areas we have little control over such as our careers, our financial wellbeing, and our impression on others. If we focus on an unchanging and priceless spiritual identity, we become more secure and joyful individuals because we are no longer shaken by the ebbs and flows in our bank accounts, physical health, job title or popularity.

In these ways and more, I hope that you find improved wellness. I hope you can acknowledge the incredible power you have over your body and the direction of your life.


“The concepts which now prove to be fundamental to our understanding of nature … seem to my mind to be structures of pure thought, … the universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.”

James Jeans, The Mysterious Universe


Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

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