Dear Healthful Readers,

I always had a love of health. In fact, I received my masters in health promotion. Then came my first job as a wellness coordinator of a hospital. I was in charge of encouraging the hospital employees a road-map to health. But I ran into a few obstacles along my path… a mindset of high cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, overweight, morbidly obese, smokers, diabetes, heart disease. But that challenge encouraged me to implement wellness seminars, health quizzes, health fairs, one-on-one consultation. Later on, a high up at the hospital told me this wellness program didn’t matter and no more money will go into it. It was all for showmanship in the community. Since my values and integrity didn’t align with the inconsistent message of the hospital, I resigned. Approximately a year later, he was escorted out of the hospital in handcuffs.

But my love of health, inspiration and nurturing didn’t stop there. In fact, my late grandma was diagnosed with diabetes. The doctor immediately put her on insulin and told her to change her eating patterns. What he didn’t realize is she is well into her eighties with deep ingrained patterns. A mindset of doing what everyone else is doing or doing what she was taught or sabotaging her well-being… a pattern of suffering.

I took my grandma to the grocery and showed her how to read food labels. She was shocked as she read the cereal boxes and juice bottles. And she adamantly responded, “Jennifer, they are killing us. Just killing us.” I understood her conviction, her anger, her awareness. And I showed her a different way of eating… nuts/ apples, celery/hummus, hard-boiled eggs, protein smoothies. But it didn’t come with ease; it came with resistance.

And the hospital-model and sickness model continued the resistance. We visited my grandma in the hospital. She was disoriented from the insulin. It was time to eat. They brought her pancakes, jello, apple juice and I watched in amazement. I noted, “She’s diabetic!” And the nurse responded with a syringe of insulin in my grandma’s arm, “That’s why she gets this insulin after she eats.” My boys sat in disbelief.

Now to my boys. How can I instill a love of health and well-being? By being the example. I tried preaching, and it doesn’t work. Lucas even commented, “I don’t like anything organic.”

I came up with a simple tool instead.

When you look at your plate, variety is key. Ask questions.

Is it processed?

Is it alive?

Is it dead?

Processing meaning manufactured in a box, container or can with an expiration date and a list of ingredients you don’t recognize.

Alive depicts plant based, fruits and vegetables that grow in rich soil and on the land.

Dead involves selecting grass-fed, cage-free, organic, wild versions that will still maintain a high vibration.

But this trend doesn’t end with food. It begins with your thoughts.

How many thoughts are you still processing? Isn’t it time to let go the negative ones and integrate the positive ones?

How many thoughts are alive and filling you up so your cup overflows? How many thoughts are depleting you so you are running on fumes?

How many thoughts are dead? It’s time to bury it. Stop bringing up the past. Move on with forgiveness.

Remember this is a process and a discipline.

And you are never late to make changes in the game. Look at Tom Brady in the second quarter of the Superbowl.

It begins with you.

It begins with awareness.

It begins with a decision.

Finding my way back to health… and experiencing the joy of well-being with the hopeful intention of mastering the game of life.